Phi Brain S3 – 21

Phi Brain 004

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.

Phi Brain 005Phi Brain 006

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.

Phi Brain 008

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.

Phi Brain 003

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!

More Puzzles:

Phi Brain 002

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…

Phi Brain 009

“Maze with a twist” seems to be the theme of 90% of Phi Brain puzzles


A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
Blinklist BlogMarks Delicious Digg Diigo FaceBook Google MySpace Netvibes Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter

6 Responses to “Phi Brain S3 – 21”

  1. yanhomo says:

    What I’m more surprised about than anything is all these Easter eggs and continuity. It’s like they actually planned for all three seasons.

    I will definitely go back and re-watch it all once season 3 ends and I’ve gone through the post-series-depression.

    • Overcooled says:

      Wow, I did not notice that nod to Rook’s conversation with Kaito back in season 1. On one hand they did some extensive planning with Orpheus coming back but on the other hand some of the plot is messy as hell. I can’t tell if all this is intentional or not.

      I’m going to be so sad when this ends…

  2. Peache says:

    It’s so weird see Rook like that…i don’t believe it.
    He’s alive. I hope ^^
    I really want to see how will this over

    • Overcooled says:

      I don’t believe it either. There’s no way they’d suddenly decide to kill someone off like that…Especially someone like Rook!

  3. BlackBriar says:

    True, though the characters are same, even with new ones being added in, the third season has outdone the previous two by far up to now whereas the second began to walk in the footsteps of the first.

    Rook’s death was a real eye opener. You’d think everyone relevant in this show would have plot armor preventing even if they were thrown into a fool’s puzzle. Despite what happened, we didn’t see the explosion on his side so death isn’t exactly final until proven otherwise. These aren’t Shiki type deaths, after all.

    So Orpheus wants to defy the two things humans shouldn’t be able to: physical limitations and time. The fact he abandoned his original body is enough to say he’s ceased being human so I have no idea what to call him. What Jin said about the Phi Brain children’s bodies not cutting it raised some intrigue. I wonder what he meant by that.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, the second season was just “add more villains with Rings and do weird stuff with the Rings”. Even the main villain was another white-haired, psychotic, childhood friend! In comparison, this is quite the change.

      The rule of “if you don’t see it happen, it didn’t” is really important for anime deaths, indeed.

      I am always tempted to call him a God, but he’s not at that level YET. Close though. He’s not really much of anything aside from a parasitic consciousness. I’m curious what he meant about them not cutting it too. Maybe they aren’t smart enough for him yet?

Leave a Reply