Phi Brain S3 – 17

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I spy a mameshiba…

(Did you find the mameshiba?) January 29th was National Puzzle Day! I’m kind of sad I didn’t time this post better and get it up for such an appropriate (and oddly specific) holiday. Oh well, maybe we’ll have a season 4 and I can catch it next year. Maybe.

Despite being an anime about using your brain to solve puzzles, Phi Brain really likes explaining any new developments. It’s kind of nice to get a thorough debrief (in an office room meant for debriefing, no less) right after something freaky happens. Like, say, someone becoming the vessel for a God and playing around with the fabric of time itself? The past few seasons have been heavy on supernatural stuff, but this season has mostly abandoned that. Most of the main characters removed them and new ones are no longer in circulation. The main villains don’t have them either (except Herbert, but he’s a walking joke), so the puzzles have been without much in the way of magic, seeing the future, or becoming possessed.

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Dayum, Gammon. That’s some apocalyptic booty right there, mmhmm.

After going so long without experiencing the various powers of the Orpheus Rings, a bit of a refresher is in order. A lot of this stuff is from season 1 as well, and it’s easy to forget what happened that long ago when most of us can’t remember what we had for dinner last week. Basically, the whole set-up with the God Scroll and the God Puzzle is finally making a comeback. The God Scroll isn’t the secret to knowledge – it’s the mind of Orpheus that “downloads” into your brain as soon as you beat someone else in a God Puzzle. In fact, there is no God Scroll. Whatever scroll-like thing Rook had to bait Kaito with at the end of season one wasn’t real, I suppose. Who knows? Maybe they didn’t plan this far and now they’re just retroactively making shit up as they go along. Either way, this is a minor point and it feels like they planned this all along and the seeds they oh so tenderly planted are finally beginning to sprout.

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The girls just can’t catch a break

Orpheus – a name they’ve been throwing around since day one – has finally entered the playing field. Now that he’s here, it’s kind of like a shocker you wish you could have seen coming. This whole plot was cooking the second Jin lost his memories, and it’s been stewing until now. I really can’t express just how much more I like this twist than the alternative – Jin regaining his memories through the power of friendship and everything being peachy keen. I didn’t realize there was a “try to take over the world” option until now, but I’m loving it. Forget Enigma as the end boss – this guy is perfect.

Kaito has faced a lot of enemies before, but never a God. Or a God-like being, I suppose. Orpheus still is one “puzzle of the world” short of beating out the real Gods…whatever real Gods are. Orpheus may just be a really smart poet, but he’s so powerful that it’s hard to see him as anything but otherworldly. I like that his powers extend to not just seeing the future, but altering the past. Unlike past villains like Rook or Freecell who were vicious – but also a little desperate and unhinged – Orpheus is confident and completely in control. He could kill you just by making eye contact.

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Yes, quiver in fear of my exposed clavicle and man cleavage!

The debriefing of all of his powers and basically where the series will go next was long, but not tedious. It’s a lot of talking, but it helps you really see all these links between now and things that happened many, many episodes ago. It’s also good to clarify the more trippy aspects, such as how Orpheus is able to control time in any way he pleases and how he managed to keep his mind in tact without a body for so long. It feels like a thought-provoking sci-fi novel more than Phi Brain at this point, and I love it.

I’ve already gushed over how cool it is that someone preserved their mind for years and years just to give to someone who wanted to be smart. Even cooler, Phi Brain was the one to use such a high-tech concept. Phi Brain. The anime with a psychic trap and characters named after synonyms for “puzzle.” It’s not the most serious series, but Phi Brain is really reaching to try and make fans take it seriously. This show has come a long, long way from it’s roots. The animation is leagues ahead, the derp-factor has gone down, and the rampant homoeroticism is only joked at in previews. Hmm, perhaps that last one is a bad thing. But all in all, Phi Brain should no longer be looked down on as a niche anime that only weirdos and British people like. After this season, I’m starting to feel like I could recommend this show to anyone.

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*blocks everyone’s view of entire screen with hair*

It’s not just this big, sudden twist that’s making the show better either. There’s also some lasting character development that’s been really surprising. I’ve always seen Kaito as a little, stubborn prick. As a result, my jaw drops every time he shows humility. He still has the fire in him to pull at Rook’s collar and shout at him, but he now has the maturity to understand that Rook is just trying to help. Of course, he’s still magnetized by puzzles despite the dangers, but so is everyone on that damned planet. I won’t even call it Earth because it’s not the Earth we know, that’s for sure. Aside from Kaito, there are other nice touches such as Freecell finally doing something and Melancholy helping them too. I guess that Melancholy episode actually had a purpose! In retrospect, I’m kind of glad it happened, even if most of it was spent watching her be insufferably irritable.

I really like where things are going. The tables have turned and now Enigma is serving Orpheus and Raetsel and Kaito must fight Jin instead of save him. The next episode looks especially wonderful as well. I can’t wait to see what goes on and what Gammon overhearing their conversation could mean for the future. Good thing the next episode is really soon since I posted so late…Hahaha…

Preview: Orpheus sends Kaito, Nonoha and Freecell into their past to witness themselves as children. Events include messed up versions of Kaito’s parents dying, Freecell’s mom being sick and Nonoha…oh, she doesn’t matter so we don’t see her. Right. There also might be an alternate reality/future created as a result of this??? I don’t know but seeing all the guys together in some strange puzzle school(???) looks adorable and I might have to retract that statement about rampant homoeroticism soon.

Phi Brain 013

Who’s gonna wear it?


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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10 Responses to “Phi Brain S3 – 17”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    Wow, this was epic. This is the biggest twist in the entire franchise and I’m glad I stayed with the series. Just the development alone from this made it feel like we’re already at the end but there’s still 8 episodes remaining.

    So Orpheus basically scammed everyone just so could gain a new body (That’s an Orochimaru move!) and their expectations and beliefs have gone down the drain. Even Cubic is baffled by his capabilities. But for someone who hasn’t become a full Shiki Phi Brain, he’s proven to be insanely overpowered. Even I’m a bit intimidated when he gets a close up with his changing eyes and that smirk. Not to mention having the ability to see the future is an unfair advantage. If Kaito were to engage in a puzzle battle against him, he could probably change the outcome. That’s like Maximillion Pegasus using his Millennium Eye to anticipate his opponent’s next move.

    PS: 6000 comments officially in the bag! How do you always manage to have a post ready just when I’m about to make another milestone, master? It’s got to be a “coincidence”. 😀

    • Overcooled says:

      It was soooooo good. I didn’t expect something like this when we still have so many episodes to go.

      I think his flickering eyes may be some physical proof that Jin is still in there. Whatever it means, it’s really ominous. Because they constantly change I can’t look away. It really is a Pegasus-like move! I wonder if Kaito will win with the heart of the puzzles then?

      Congrats on 6000 comments! That’s nothing to sneeze at. Thanks for always supporting us, BB! And of course I posted at the right time, we’re telepathically connected ;D

      • BlackBriar says:

        Congrats on 6000 comments! That’s nothing to sneeze at. Thanks for always supporting us, BB! And of course I posted at the right time, we’re telepathically connected ;D

        No problem! I love this site! That and maybe I know your pattern after knowing what shows you blog and then when I get close to another 1000, I hold off until one of your posts show up and finish the rest of the errand off. It’s anyone’s guess. 😉 And it’s the second Phi Brain S3 post that I’ve made another 1000 on. That one is odd.

  2. belatkuro says:

    3 things:
    1. Shouldn’t Raetsel have been crushed by that boulder in the dream Kaito had? Humans don’t bounce off like that when facing a rolling boulder. And I doubt she decided to dodge seeing as it was a sudden move.
    2. Felt like Gammon was just shoehorned in the lineup just so there’s more options for Orpheus. Being Gammon is suffering.
    3. What the hell was up with that pink jet of Melancholy’s? So ugly.

    I kinda forgot there were some supernatural stuff in here. This season has downplayed it a bit I guess. If they made its presence better then I would have bought that the whole plot has been boiling ever since the first season. Now it does feel like they’re making it up as it goes. Either way, Jin as the final boss is a great twist. Guess they were telegraphing for several episodes now. And Enigma lost that place when he told his pathetic sob story.

    Having just finished Index NT9, the preview has the same vibes as that. Seems like a perfect world made by Orpheus to trap the guys. Either way, looking forward to Nonoha with her hair down again. And more homo which is definitely in lack this season, not that I miss it or anything.

    • Overcooled says:

      I laughed when Raetsel went flying from the rock and didn’t have any visible injuries aside from “dirty clothes.” And as for Gammon, yeah, now that you mention it this probably just means something terrible is going to happen to him. I thought maybe he’d sneak around and try to save Kaito, but he may just end up being the one that needs saving in the end.

      I thought they were going to abandon all the Orpheus stuff too. I honestly can’t tell if they’re making all this up or not though. Some of it looks really good but there are still a few weird loopholes going on.

      So much hype for the next episode. I love when they make a fake, perfect world and the characters have to realize it’s a trap before returning to their less-than-ideal reality. It happens a lot in anime, actually. This will be the first time I see it happen with tons of guys being overly friendly to each other though…

  3. peache says:

    Yeah! Amazing…
    I really want to see whats coming next
    Good review overcooled 😀

  4. Kyokai says:

    I finally caught up and what a time to do so. This is definitely one the epic moments of the entire series. Things coming together finally with proper character growth. Loving it. :3

    • Overcooled says:

      I’m falling behind on so many shows…But yes, now is a great time to catch up on Phi Brain since it’s getting so good. Welcome back to the puzzle club, Kyokai-sama =w=

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