Phi Brain 6 ~ reverse berserk
November 8, 2011
In episode 6 of Φ Brain (Phi Brain) Kaito and friends battle with the POG, but Kaito is still suffering from the emotional shock of last week’s episode. Will Kaito ever be able to solve a puzzle again? And what will happen to his friends (the human ones, not the puzzles)?
Edison, AKA Cubic AKA Q-chan decides to help Kaito by tranquilizing him, strapping him to an examining table, and performing experiments on him. When he comes to, Kaito finds out that his friends are all worried about him, and that the Orpheus armlet enables him to use all of his brain, including the emotional response centers. The debilitation he is experiencing is because the traumatic memory of his parents dying has flipped the effect of the Orpheus armlet; his emotions are taking over 100% of his brain, which might kill him, so his brain is rejecting puzzles as a self-defense mechanism.
There are a lot of side characters in this show that aren’t well-defined yet, but I can accept that, given that Kaito, Nonoha, and Gammon have had time to develop, both as characters and as a team.
One thing that I have been frustrated with in Phi Brain is the weird character designs. I usually either don’t care, or just don’t watch shows with bad character designs. Here I get the feeling at times that the designs are very clever, but appeal to a strange taste that I don’t share. Then sometimes I think I am starting to like the designs, or at least they can look pretty cool at just the right the moment. Then, inevitably, there comes a moment when the characters look so bad that I wonder how they let that past QC. I guess this is a sign of a very creative approach on the illustration team. One certainly has to admit that when it works it works. The “giver” this week, a deranged miko, really came off as crazy, in part because they never let something like sensible proportions stand in the way of a design idea.
Nonoha Itou’s character is pretty interesting. She hasn’t really been developed in a straightforward way, but because she has been in so much of the show, we have gotten a good chance to see her react to a variety of circumstances. She has participated as a solver, hauled Kaito’s sorry ass back home, stumbled into danger, sulked on the sidelines, and above you can see her saving Gammon’s life. The girl likes to keep busy, if nothing else. It looks like next week we might get an episode that really focuses on her.