Ana in short shorts! Christmas came early!
|I’ve been baking cookies and sweets nonstop over the holidays, and I really regret not making sudoku gingerbread. I made peppermint bark as well and I could have totally made a puzzle out of it. Ugh, missed opportunities all around. I’m a bad person. Anyways, if you happen to be doing some cooking or baking this holiday season…do it Phi Brain style
I’m worried about Kaito. He’s promoting teamwork and actually letting his friends solve puzzles. This is unheard of! The man must be mentally ill! That or he’s actually retained some of the character development he’s had over the past two seasons. I find the latter to be highly unlikely, however. Anyways, the main puzzle baka duo (plus Nonoha) are tied up so Kaito has no choice but to let the comedy relief trio take the wheel. It’s nice to see Kaito graciously let them help instead of sulking or yelling at them to be careful. Now he actually trusts them to go through puzzle death-traps for him. Aww, how sweet.
They showed up late to the party
I’m not sure why the Ana-Cubic dynamic hasn’t been explored before but the two of them are really fun to watch together. Ana is just…well, Ana is always fun no matter who he is with. But pair him with someone shrewd like Cubic and you’ve got yourself a grand old time. More surprisingly, Iwashimizu is becoming a great character to fully complete the comedy relief trio. Cubic’s robots used to just be a glorified form of transport, but giving them their own personality has been surprisingly fun. I like the simplicity of his gags – such as his insistence on wearing a rain poncho because that is what he thinks humans do.
They quickly become involved with a Master Brain, and thankfully there isn’t much time wasted trying to get us to care about this woman’s ordeals. She tells us a neat story about the history of the waterfall and then Ana conveniently does his psychic thing to save us a lot of time. The best part about her is that her backstory is – once again – incredibly sexist. Get this: she leaves her man because she’s desperate to have another man need her. Then when she realizes he already has two lovely ladies at his side she doesn’t leave him, but she aspires to be his secretary. His secretary. Her ultimate goal in the climbing of the career ladder is to make coffee and sort papers. You know, the kind of entry-level jobs you give poor university students? At this point I don’t know if it’s unintentionally just continuing to be misogynistic or if I’m on the lookout because of how terrible it’s been in the past.
To add insult to injury, absolutely no one tries to comfort her after solving the puzzle. She is fired, left alone in a dank cave, and ignored. No one gives her advice or helps her move on and understand that she can find meaning in life without Enigma. There is no heroic friendship speech, just Cubic and Ana snatching a clue and then leaving her! Amazing. Truly amazing.
Puzzle game too strong
As for her puzzle, it reminds of the kind of thing you would play on the computer when you finish your work early (around grade 4 or 5…). The fun twists here is that you have to overflow some of the tanks to get the correct number. This is another reason why I love seeing Ana with Cubic – because they each have very specific skill sets. Cubic is excellent at math and focusing on details using the left side of his brain. Ana uses the right side of his brain to see the big picture and think creatively. This allows Ana to think outside the box and see new ways to approach a puzzle, instead of always following the same strategy. It’s the perfect mix!
The solution was neat, although I’m getting a little tired of watching the overview of their chibi heads solving the puzzle while we see still shots in the background. Just how much has that been used in puzzles? Can’t they think up some exciting new ways to direct puzzles? Things picked up again once Iwashimizu gallantly saved them by faceplanting into a stalactite.
No more of these shots, please.
The puzzle scavenger hunt is going nicely, although I can’t help but feel like something is missing. The excitement of this huge, giant puzzle is being downscaled by the puzzle of the week format. We don’t get to see them traveling to foreign locations and exploring any more. They just conveniently run into Master Brains right away without having to do any legwork or hunting. It’s all been a bit too simplified. I want a little something more than okay puzzles and okay episodes. I want the greatness of Phi Brain! Come on, it’s Christmas!!!
Preview: Oh God, he’s back.
the physical embodiment of “u mad bro?”