Phi Brain S2 – 11

It’s not a proper beach episode until all the girls feel physically uncomfortable and slightly molested!

Don’t you wish you were on a lovely beach vacation as well? Subtract solving puzzles 24/7 and you’ve got a pretty sweet trip on your hands. It’s a shame I’m stuck here with summer courses and hospital volunteer work, because I really feel like I need a break from all this. Alas, I must slog through my work so I can get around to some blogging. What’s more relaxing that blogging about a light-hearted show like Phi Brain, right? I get a this week in my discussion but ah well, I’m sure it was more calming than trying to squeeze more studying in!



Oh God, this episode just made me mad. Nonoha is a character I want to like, but can’t. She’s fierce, determined and doesn’t take shit from anyone. By all rights, she should be a badass. However, this week she did nothing but piss me off. It’s a real shame that Nonoha is so easily peer-pressured into attempting puzzles. You don’t have to adopt the same hobbies as your friends. Nonoha should be confident about her abilities to support her friends and cheer them on. But noooo, her big revelation is that she’s useful to everyone…because she can cook. Yes, that’s right, the only thing women are good for is cooking because they are too dumb to do anything else. Excellent message, Phi Brain. You really know how to show off your female characters as strong, independent women. =A=

Watching Nonoha struggle so much with puzzles was nothing short of infuriating. I must have mouthed “GIVE UP” a million times to my TV, as if my whispers could somehow make her foolish actions stop. It’s great that she wanted to try, yeah. Good for her. But do you know how annoying it is to watch someone try to do something they suck at? It is pretty annoying. I could have done with less shots of her sitting there and just fumbling with that rubix rectangular prism. Maybe watching her try really damn hard to figure out a puzzle she got when she was like 7 would be more endearing and garner more sympathy from me if she didn’t make the situation so dramatic. I can’t believe she threatened to leave her friends just because she sucked at puzzles. That is like being friends with really great people who just happen to play a lot of video games and then not hanging out with them anymore because you suck at games. People have different interests, strengths, and weaknesses. No one (Except her) even cares that she can’t tell a magic square from a crossword puzzle – so this whole dilemma is brought on by her own misperceptions about how her friends feel about her. Low self-esteem is very harmful, and here is your exhibit A to prove it.

Kaito: Oh mann…I didn’t think turning the computer ON would count as a puzzle for her…

It would probably be a better idea to write this after I’ve cooled down, but what better time to give you my emotional reaction to an episode than immediately after? Strike while the iron is still hot, is what I always say (except not really, because this is the first time I’ve used that saying). Nonoha made a lot of stupid decisions, but at least everyone else was normal this week. Kaito and Gammon were still getting bromantic, Elena was a pleasant mix of sympathetic and saucy, and Ana was pretty adorable. BUT DAT HO NONOHA. Urrggghhh, she’s gonna betray Kaito because she sucks at puzzles any moment now, isn’t she? *sighs a million times*

Overall, a very frustrating episode where Nonoha does a bunch of stupid things.


Puzzle Sexism

“Woman actually doing something useful…ISN’T THAT CRAZY, GAMMON?!”

Mark this spectacular event in your calendar, folks, because Phi Brain just invented a new form of sexism. Puzzle sexism. It is a form of sexism where women are shunned from solving puzzles, and are thought to only be useful for cooking. The “get in the kitchen and make me a sandwich!” theme is still prevalent, but now there’s the added twist of women being denied the right to solve puzzles. This was most likely unintentional, but it’s kind of hilarious how all the men ignore the women unless they’re providing either puzzles or food. Sex appeal or personality? Pah! Who cares? Don’t forget that Nonoha isn’t the only one being ignored. Airi, Chieno and Miharu are never seen interacting with the Phi Brain kids except at meals. Even Jikukawa is a bit estranged from the group since he’s a bit more tentative to solve puzzles. He plays it smooth, but I think he’s still a bit insecure about being an Orpheus armlet reject (hence his special episode next week which might lead him to being the first to betray Kaito).

The only girl who breaks the mold in the group of good guys is Elena. I was very ‘meh’ about her at first. I felt the same way about her as one would feel about a cloud in the background. It’s just there. Elena can solve puzzles, and she’s really intuitive. Kaito and Gammon play the role of typical dudes who don’t understand things like feelings very well, so they don’t react to Nonoha’s sullen mood at all. Elena picks up on it right away, and confronts Nonoha. She’s not the type to go “awww, poor baby!” while soothingly patting someone on the back, but she does address the issue rather bluntly. She supports Nonoha in her own way, and she understands what her true role in the team is. Nonoha supports everyone and brings them together. Without her, the team drifts apart. Jikukawa notices everyone suddenly becoming a hermit too, but he’s too busy drinking apple juice to do anything. Elena gets stuff done! She also doesn’t cry like a baby just because there is no food. Seriously, is your role as a food provider so important that if you can’t make food, your entire life is ruined? Elena’s got my respect now, because she’s the closest thing to a strong woman this show has got.


Bonus Puzzles:Show ▼

Preview: Remember when Freecell said everyone would betray Kaito? This might be starting now with Jikukawa. Even if not, we get to see Jikukawa in grief as his alter-ego assaults him mentally (and maybe physically!). Can’t wait to hear Ishida Akira’s silky voice for 20 minutes, mmmm…

“Hey Jikukawa, you alright?” “I am going to fling myself off of this roof.” “Okay, cool, seeya later!”


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.
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8 Responses to “Phi Brain S2 – 11”

  1. Yuushin says:

    Aah. I agree *nods* overall this was kind of frustrating episode u__u It took me a day to even process what the hell did I watch, because I was expecting something different…I don’t know what, just not something…Pathetic, in a way, like this xD

    And c’mon! She didn’t make a lot of stupid decisions! She made one, and that is even attempting to solve puzzles alongside with Kaito and Gammon, who are madman’s about them…Poor thing, I don’t think anyone can keep up with them xD

    Anyway, when I got to my senses after watching the episode, I was fine with message that even through she can’t solve puzzles she is, in fact, very important person in the group- the one who keeps them united; but what I didn’t like is circumstances we came to that conclusion and that is the birth of “Puzzle sexism” you mentioned. The way this was handled and how it turned out rubbed me in the wrong way too, and made most of Phi Brain’s watchers rage, the one’s who like and the one’s who dislike the show xD

    I don’t think we have to worry about her betraying the group because she can’t solve puzzles (that would be too cliche, even for Phi Brain). At least one good thing that came out of this is that she made peace with the fact that she’s not cut out for solving puzzles, and choose to stay in the group being the best her she can be…And that turned out to be Mom/Cook xD One good decisions she made in the end, no x) In the bigger picture I think this was good for her character, cause feelings of loneliness and need to feel like you belong among your friends (another thing I know well -____- xD) can be heavy, and the way she dealt with them is admirable I think. Because it would really suck if she actually left then cause’ she couldn’t solve that silly puzzle, and it could easily happen, and there could be even more drama about it~ And we don’t want more unnecessary drama of this type now, do we~ 😀

    PS: I must say, I love these banners you have for the site btw :3

    • Kyokai says:

      Thanks for the compliment on banners! We are celebrating a very Fate/Zero week with it’s finale soon to air. ^^

    • BlackBriar says:

      There is too much between Nonoha and the rest of the group to ever think she’d betray them. What I think she does well is to motivate everyone when things get tough. I seriously doubt Kaito could’ve survived certain parts of season one if not for her.

    • Overcooled says:

      I wanted more beach fun, so you’re not the only one who was let down. Nonoha made one mistake (okay, yeah, you can condense it into one) and it just made the entire episode frustrating to watch…I mean, she’s the sane one of the group…All hell would break loose if she joined the ranks of those crazy puzzle addicts!

      Nonoha not being able to solve puzzles is fine, but I’m glad everyone can see that the way Phi Brain tried to send that message was very misleading. Couldn’t they have emphasized her other, NON-COOKING strengths? <_< I don't know...I think those feelings might resurface and cause her to switch sides. It's cliche, but I can't think of any other reason for her to betray Kaito. At least she didn't leave from being unable to solve one measly puzzle. That would have made me go FULL OUT CAPS LOCK RAGE for an entire post. >_<

  2. BlackBriar says:

    A second beach episode right after the previous one that was aired last week. That’s rare. But this was mostly on self reflection. At least Nonoha isn’t mindlessly following the group like some puppet. She had the self-awareness to question her reasons for being around them other than just being a friend. That alone should at least be admired. I had to laugh at whenever she needed something important, puzzles had to solved beforehand. That’s the worst form of boot camp imaginable.

    Puzzle Sexism. It is duly noted. What else has this show created? Probably so many things that we’ve most likely lost count. The guys continue to show they are no better than crack addicts with a serious, possibly fatal addiction. I imagine if a puzzle was in the middle of a road and they had to solve it there on the spot while some kind of vehicle was coming towards them, they wouldn’t budge until it’s finished. That’s how hooked I think they are. A meal couldn’t be finished if a puzzle is there.

    After seeing so many episodes of Phi Brain, I’ve come to the conclusion that Nonoha could be a character designed to challenge the puzzle crazed trend of this series. Ana and Cubic used to be against the trend but now they’ve completely turned. Other than cooking skills, she has excellent photographic memory. Which is why she earned her genius title. Should anything come along that concerns memory, it would be safe to say they’re all as good as dead without her.

    • Overcooled says:

      Well, she did kind of mindlessly try to follow the group this week. She It just took her a while to snap out of it and go back to her normal, puzzle-hating self.

      Puzzle OCD and Jun Fukuyama screeching syndrome? lol I don’t know. Keep in mind they regularly risk their lives for puzzles, so that road puzzle would count as a normal puzzle duel most likely XD

      I would love to see Nonoha use her memory more! They need to make a memory puzzle or something so she can shine.

  3. TheVoid says:

    I noticed that without Nonoha to keep him in check Gammon goes full sister complex on his sister. It seems only her and puzzles keep him doting on her 24/7.

    • Overcooled says:

      She was pretty freaked out by his doting so it must not happen all the time…lol. Yet another reason why Nonoha is good for more than cooking.

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