Phi Brain S2 – 18

The only show where getting smarter gives you the ability to break through brick walls

When I was first watching this episode, there were dogs barking loudly outside of my house. My neighbour has a scrappy little dog named Duchess that barks up a high-pitched storm whenever someone passes. However, I thought there was a dog in the background approaching Kaito’s group and got excited. “Rook has arrived,” I thought to myself, “and he brought his adorable pomeranian too!” Rook isn’t in this episode. Rook doesn’t even have a dog. THEY WERE IN A FOREST. *sigh* I guess we all have moments like these, don’t we?


Herbert’s attempts to “straight up gangsta fly” did not sit well with the rest of the Order

What’s better than one Orpheus Ring? Why, two rings of course! The big shocker of the week was seeing Herbert sport two different coloured rings. We know for sure that one is fake, but it’s unclear whether his gold one is real. Whatever the case may be, having two of any ring-type on just one person spells out DANGER in glowing red letters. Klondike probably had no intentions of forgiving Herbert and just wanted to use him as a guinea pig to see how someone would cope with 2 rings. While it ostensibly doubles his intelligence and problem-solving agility, it also greatly suppresses the emotional centres in the brain.

People with one ring let out their dark, ugly emotions, but people with two rings turn those feelings into a completely separate personality. This is the first time we’ve seen a sort of alternate personality take over an unwilling host. For example, Rook was evil, but he wasn’t aware of this until the Ring was removed. Herbert is completely aware that what he’s doing is wrong, but he cannot stop it. This is much worse and much more terrifying, because the Rings are basically splitting you into two people and sealing away control completely. Trying to break someone out of that with the power of friendship alone is highly unlikely.

As the Order finds more unique ways to create beefed-up versions of the Rings, I wonder if they’ll use them on the other members. I like how two rings cause two red eyes, so I’d be alright with Melancholy or Mizerka sporting the ruby-eyed style. Over the 2 seasons this show has aired, we’ve discovered a ton of different side effects from the Rings. They alter emotions, harm the body, rewrite memories, increase your intelligence and even tell the future. What will be next? Will these fakes be able to see the future too? Freecell has a crazy rainbow-eye in the preview for next week’s episode, so I doubt we’ve seen everything these Rings can do. I love it! The more dangerous these Rings prove to be, the more Mizerka and Doubt seem to grow suspicious. They might be the ones to help overthrow the Order. Melancholy is so cruel that she might actually be in on everything with Klondike. At the very least, she doesn’t seem to care about who dies as long as she gets to crush people’s confidence by beating them in a puzzle.


Angels and Demons

You can actually play a simpler version of this week’s puzzle on the “free demo” section of the Professor Layton website (or in the game if you have it). It’s a great puzzle because the rules are very easy to understand, and I think most people are familiar with it from Professor Layton or even from school. Herbert’s version is actually solved rather easily, and without any apparent time limit. His goal was probably just to get everyone in one area and then crush them all with explosives as opposed to making a hard puzzle. Kaito is hinting that if Herbert focuses less on sneaky little traps, he would actually be a formidable Giver. All of his puzzles (including S1) involve using a lot of logic and keeping track of many concepts mentally before coming to a specific conclusion. I like how each Giver in this show has their own special style of puzzles.

Back to the puzzle, I liked how each character got their own role. Cubic was God: is the creator of the humans (i.e. his robot!). Alternatively, he is basically the godmode character who solves everything for Kaito and pals with his computer expertise. Seriously, this shota gets shit done. It also makes sense for Nonoha to be the angel, because she’s the only normal one who doesn’t murder people with puzzles -__- Her title is that of the sweet, saintly Nightingale, so this makes sense. Gammon is Kaito’s rival, so it makes sense for him to be opposite to Kaito as the Arch-Demon. This might also be a nod to how he joined the evil POG in S1 as well. So that leaves Kaito as the Arch-angel to be opposite to Gammon and the counterpart to Nonoha. The arch-angel leads the angel, which makes sense since he always protects her. Usually it’s not from being eaten, but whatever. Speaking of which, those “eating” jokes were so…incredible. You just don’t hold back, do ya, Phi Brain?


Final Thoughts

The Order promised to leave Kaito alone, but they’ve done everything but leave him be. Naturally, Kaito is pissed and finally decides to bust into their new HQ and set things straight. I mean…really…If they don’t stop when they lose in a puzzle, what will stop them? That’s the only method Kaito knows! Anyways, it’s good to see the puzzle-gang take initiative and try to actually stop the bad guys instead of just waiting to see what puzzle they’re invited to next. I’m looking forward to that talk with Freecell, if it ever happens. Phi Brain has been making us more and more suspicious about the Order’s shady dealings lately, and it’s really making me hungry for the truth!

This week’s puzzle was pretty great too, mostly because I’m rather fond of those “crossing the river” puzzles. Herbert revealing his other Ring was exciting, and I loved the crazy effect it had on his body and his mind. I was really convinced he was healed with the power of friendship at the end (because that was the case last week with Pinochle), which made his sudden betrayal even better. It works especially well for a show like Phi Brain where villains instantly switch sides due to the slightest display of kindness. Very nice! This is also a great set up for next week’s episode, which looks really good as well. It’s a good time to be a Phi Brain fan with the plot moving forward, a sudden burst of exciting puzzles, and the same usual jokes. It’s not every day a dude breaks through a wall because they just got smarter.

Bonus Keys: Show ▼

Preview: Kaito is stuck somewhere under all that rubble, and I’m guessing Nonoha and Freecell share the mutual interest of digging him out of there. I’m not sure exactly what happens, but I think we learn a lot about Freecell next week…Freecell and his rainbow eye that takes both his puzzle-solving powers and his flamboyancy to the next level.

 The crack pairing ship has set sail.


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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11 Responses to “Phi Brain S2 – 18”

  1. TheVoid says:

    Well Herbert did appear to finally atone at the end. But the armbands took over. The fact that he was mentally questioning what he was doing at the end kinda says that he should have thought twice about using two armbands.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, he would have shook Kaito’s hand and become his friend if the Ring hadn’t taken over his body completely. Two Rings is just too much. That mental splitting was just…yikes.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    A cliffhanger? This is the first time I’ve seen Phi Brain pull one of those. I keep wondering how loaded these people are. A whole underground structure beneath a castle with a huge monitor for the spectators to see to set the stage for a puzzle. Where do they get the money for all that stuff? It was an enjoyable puzzle to watch and Kaito had the right idea using Nonoha’s memory skills. Otherwise they would have died.

    Herbert should have paid close attention to the Order and the Rings. One alone had the power to corrupt a person’s consciousness but two is nothing but disaster waiting to happen. And just when he was about to atone for what he did, he gets sealed off. I mean, it couldn’t have happened while he was still evil? “It’s not every day a dude breaks through a wall because they just got smarter.” Well, knowledge is power, after all.

    Maybe the Order will use more Rings on the members for tests. They’d have caught on with its effects had they watched the situation with Herbert unfold. There are so many side effects that they are completely unpredictable. The Order’s motives become more and more suspicious. I loved the double glowing eyes and Melancholy looks like the poster girl for that. I don’t think it would work for the others.

    Freecell is stepping in next episode with Nonoha? Interesting pair up. Kaito! Your greatest fanboy Freecell will rescue you! And speaking of Nonoha, has anyone else other than me been waiting for Nonoha to let down her hair? I’m starting to think it wont happen.

    By the way, nice change up on your personal discription for the post. I might actually be terrified.

    • Overcooled says:

      But…but..last week’s cliffhanger!! D:

      I don’t get how or why they’re have ruins under their mansion/castle either. I stopped questioning that sort of thing long ago. =_=

      Herbert may have known what the Rings would do, but he didn’t care. If it meant revenge and power, he would risk his life to obtain it. Of course, he’s regretting it AFTER the fact. lol yes, Phi Brain takes “knowledge is power” far too literally!

      Melancholy seems like one of the most evil ones of the bunch, oddly enough. She might just be the next one to be tested out for a double-ring spin.

      I forgot all about her letting her hair out. Maybe soon? She’s actually been pretty useful lately. Like how you mentioned her memory skills being put to use this week, plus her little escapade with Freecell next week.

      Haha, thanks! I can’t resist hamming it up and living up to my reputation as Metanorn’s most dangerous writer ;D

  3. Liza says:

    I don’t know why but I was actually chuckling a bit when Herbert became a good guy just from Kaito being all, “You make awesomesauce puzzles!”

    I actually understood this week’s puzzle too! In theory. Could I have solved it in the 8 turns? Well sure…if I had like an hour to think it out.

    Hmmm, I wonder where it will go from here. Obviously Kaito is not dead but he is kind of in a predicament and Nonoha and Freecell are working together(maybe…) I’m hoping the scene from the OP where Nonoha puts down her hair happens at some point. I still say it would be epic if the Order made Nonoha wear a ring. That would be interesting…

    • Overcooled says:

      It was a pretty funny moment, actually. I don’t know if it was intentional, but that was the best moment of the episode!

      Some of the puzzles I barely even comprehend (the mirror puzzle in episode 1 with Freecell…Jesus Christ…) but this one was pretty simple. Comparatively. I prefer it when I know what’s going on in the puzzle.

      Yeah, Kaito’s alive because he’s the MAIN CHARACTER, but I guess they have to find him. They being Nonoha and Freecell? We’ll have to wait and find out, I guess.

  4. Jenanime4eva says:


    ROFL. You and your fabulously cheesy puns XD.

    My first reaction at the end of this episode was “WHOA CLIFFIE! :O Probably the first time Phi Brain has pulled such a serious one”.

    I was rolling my eyes when Herbert was suddenly all good and everything, but when they pulled the “nah just trolling ya” twist, I thought now this is more like it! >:D

    I also couldn’t help but laugh when Melancholy didn’t give a sh*t about Pinochle being supposedly dead LOL XD. She’s such an evil little brat :P.

    I found it rather interesting when Ana was allocated the position of demon but thought the other positions fitted the characters well. Gammon and Kaito bickering over their positions got a laugh out of me and so did all the “eating” jokes. I’m sure Nonoha would LOVE for Kaito to eat her XD.

    Next week’s episode looks really interesting with Nonoha and Freecell teaming up to rescue their mutual lover Kaito ;).

    I actually paused the episode first after Herbert had explained the rules of the puzzle so that I could have a go myself. Found it pretty easy :). Kinda reminded me of this Japanese boat puzzle , which I also enjoyed doing. I’ve played all the Professor Layton games and love the logic style puzzles :D. One of my friends who also watches Phi Brain has commented that I am somewhat of a puzzle maniac just like Kaito hahaha XD.

    • Overcooled says:

      Literally the only time I could use “commit sudoku” and be correct and I couldn’t let the chance pass me by =w= Thank you, thank you, I’m here all night.

      The plot is finally back! Crazy! No more dogs running through mazes now, we’re getting honest to God cliffhangers now. I like where things are going too. The Order are really starting to grow on me the more they doubt their own involvement in this weird, anti-Kaito project. And yes, Melancholy’s “screw everyone else” attitude is wonderful.

      I avoided talking about Ana as a demon because his is the only one that made no sense to me. I’d have to really stretch to come up with anything. Weird.

      Crossing puzzles are pretty simple. If you have no time limit, you can work out everything perfectly too :3 Ooo, a harder version of the puzzle! IT’S PUZZLE TIME!

  5. Yuushin says:

    Awesome episode!! 😀 Loved it! Puzzle was rather simple, but fun. I love logic puzzles, and it appears like Herbert is specialized in them, which almost makes him one of my favorite givers :3…. And the jokes about “eating” that go with it are awesome xD and how everyone got to participate, even Nonoha (heck even the robot (Yoshio-kun) got good role in it xD)

    Can’t wait for next episode too 😀 I can’t even imagine what can Freecel/Nonoha interaction bring into the light. Obviously nothing good, judging from her expressions, and Freecel has blue/green eye?! What’s that all about? D: those colors doesn’t make it look too bad, like red one :/ but since that’s Freecel on the armlet we’re talking about, definitely not goood >_____< ~

    • Yuushin says:

      Also, with all this new info about the rings we have and seeing what they can do by now, scenario where they put one on Nonoha and turn her against Kaito is becoming more and more possible to happen :/

      • Overcooled says:

        I like logic puzzles too. They’re my favourite kind! I like Herbert’s puzzles the best, but I’m kind of “eh” about him as a character.

        I don’t know what the heck Freecell’s rainbow eye was about. It might be an evil version of the rainbow cortex Kaito has in his eye when he solves puzzles. Upon further inspection, his Ring also turns black/purple…the same colour as Kaito’s when he could see the future o_o He didn’t look distressed though, so it might not be that bad. I’ll bet money that he’s gotten smarter from it though, whatever it is. <_< As for putting a ring on Nonoha...I'm waiting for that to happen too XD It could rewrite her memories completely and make her evil! Just put 2 or 3 on her and she's done.

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