Sometimes you just feel like you want the Earth to swallow you up…
|This season of Phi Brain has been like no other. It’s not like they went completely off the rails and abandoned puzzles, suddenly turning into a show about curling or sky-diving. However, the addition of Raetsel (a girl!) and a more mutual goal of getting back Jin’s memories, co-op puzzles, and the revival of the ancient genius Orpheus himself has made this season quite the odd one. There have been a LOT of twists lately, and the most recent one proves to be a real Phi Brain first.|
I’m impatient by nature, so let us ditch chronology and talk about the events near the end as that’s where the biggest surprise lies. The deal is, as I’m sure you know, Rook died. It doesn’t matter if he really died or not, but Phi Brain had the nerve to make us assume that a fairly major character kicked the bucket. For all the dangerous puzzles we’ve been through, no one has ever come close to being in actual danger. There’s always the illusion of impending death, but somehow it all works out with just a few seconds to spare.
Kaito has solved tons of puzzles with his life on the line, and it hasn’t deterred him from the subject in the slightest. He is immune to the trauma of having razorblades fly at him everytime he touches a sudoku. Likewise, I am never convinced that any puzzle would actually harm someone. The whole point of the show is that puzzles are so fun that they’re worth the risk of getting sliced, diced, smooshed or ‘sploded. They conditioned us to think that the risks were totally worth it for the thrill of solving puzzles and getting smarter.
Rook dying goes against all of that, which is why it’s so shocking. People actually…DIE when they solve puzzle death traps? That goes against everything that’s happened thus far! Puzzles are supposed to be wonderful no matter what! Also, Phi Brain generally gives off the “kid show” vibes which means no one so much as sheds a drop of blood. Suddenly, that invulnerability melts away with the death of Rook. It’s a really interesting move that makes the end game of this season all the more interesting. It’s always a bold move to kill off a beloved character – especially when it’s the first blood ever drawn. However, for all the reasons that I previously stated, this death sticks out like a sore thumb and therefore is not believable even in the slightest.
They never show the actual explosion of the cart, which is a very impersonal way to send off Kaito’s best friend. In all likelihood, Rook managed to break free of the Orpheus Ring in time and save himself. Let’s not forget this dude is secretly some kind of bodybuilder under those fancy clothes and could probably jump out and scale the walls with his bare hands. I doubt this is the last we’ll see of Kaito’s afro bestie. So although it’s a neat and edgy twist, you just know it’s not going to be true.
I expected more mantears and grief
So RIP for now, Rook. We’ll play your little game for now because it means we get to see Kaito give a cheesy revenge speech and have a touching, homoerotic reunion afterwards. Just when I thought Freecell was squeaking by to steal the spotlight, Rook reigns supreme once again. All hail the yandere king. Although with the current pattern, Freecell may be next up for an Orpheus Ring offering. Slowly but surely, Orpheus is going on the offensive to make sure he has a host body to replace Jin’s blood-coughing meat vessel. Not the best choice, now, was it?
As much as they’re trying to say “look at all the options he has for a vessel” it’s quite obvious that Kaito will be the one to face him. Kaito may have to face off against his friends again, but in the end, he’ll be the one to face Orpheus. To be honest, the end is kind of dragging out now. Kaito should just battle Orpheus right now and finish things. All of this is just extra stuff to give us more puzzles and more drama. It’s starting to get a bit messy, like they’re desperate to throw in twists for the hell of it. How many weeks in a row have we gotten some new reveal to focus on? It’s been a bit too much. This week’s twist was good (if not a little easy to see through) but I fear that the constant fallback on gimmicks is not doing the show any good. It may sound weird, but Phi Brain has a good plot sometimes and is capable of more than just ridiculous statements about puzzles and the fate of the universe.
Next week looks great. I love these group puzzles so much more than the single ones, it isn’t even funny. Rook’s big puzzle (that he claimed to have “made” in the span of a few hours) is just a rather shoddily animated race with lots of speed lines. It wasn’t particularly interesting. The only thing to spice it up was that it was my favourite character and he was preaching like a bright-eyed Jehovah’s witness who just arrived on your doorstep. It was…quite the speech. I’ve never seen an Orpheus Ring affect someone like that, but I guess Orpheus has that kind of power. Hopefully Raetsel doesn’t start worshipping Orpheus like a God, considering she’s got the same thing strapped to her arm. It’s going to be a bumpy ride to the finale, but I don’t want to reach the end of Phi Brain with negative thoughts in mind. If this is the last season ever…I’d better enjoy it!
I’m going to stop giving my solution because I realized these puzzles are genuinely meant for kids which is why they’re so damn easy. Like…wow, that took 10 seconds again to solve. Still, it’s a cute addition for a show about puzzles. Anyways, Ana’s “riddles” tackled way more pressing issues such as: “If a cat says woof, is it a cat or a dog?” and “If a cat says woof is it a dog or a monkey?”. Truly, he is the second-coming of Orpheus himself with that kind of intellect. Jikukawa must be elated that Ana is a Phi Brain child while he is nothing but an apple juice junkie with no screentime.
Preview: A massive group puzzle with 4 of the Phi Brain children who aren’t (supposedly) dead yet! But don’t get too excited, because it’s another maze puzzle. Haha…
“Maze with a twist” seems to be the theme of 90% of Phi Brain puzzles