Phi Brain 6 ~ reverse berserk

November 8, 2011

Kaito Daimon is having some problems.

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)?

Kaito is acting strange, but Q-chan is willing to examine him.

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.

The student council president, Souji Jikukawa, has a thing for juice boxes.

Rook and Bishop, masters of the P.O.G.

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.

Despite the sometimes off-putting character designs, this show has a lot of really good visual ideas.

Example of when the odd character design this show favors really works.

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.

With Kaito disabled, Gammon Sakanoue, AKA Galileo, attempts to solve the puzzle.

Unfortunately, things don't work out so well, so Nonoha risks her life to save him.

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.

6 Responses to “Phi Brain 6 ~ reverse berserk”

  1. Character Designs: I think they just look weird because of the art style. If they’ll be drawn by a different artist and the style will be changed, even Gammon can have fangurls. Haha!

    I agree about Nonoha. Her name’s in the title, so hopefully she’s indeed the star of the upcoming episode. Looking forward to it xD

    • Joojoobees Says:

      Yeah, Nonoha deserves a real focus episode.

      I think they are going for kind of a wacky design, which is fine. Sometimes I think it works, sometimes I’m at best indifferent, sometimes I’m not convinced. But, hey, they don’t have to please me, and this show does have some other interesting factors.

  2. Overcooled Says:

    I’m looking forward to a Nonoha episode as well, because she’s always been off to the side helping Kaito without any incredibly important role. Also, all of the solvers thus far are guys, so it’d be nice to see things balanced out. She may not be the most technical of puzzle solvers, but she’s certainly not dumb. I say she deserves a title for risking her life so much!

    • Joojoobees Says:

      The funny thing is, if Nonoha got into a hand-to-hand fight (no weapons), against all of the boys at once (Kaito, Gammon, Cubic, and even Anna) I’m confident she would win. Opening it up to weapons, I think would give Cubic the edge.

  3. David A. Young Says:

    I really enjoyed the throw-away scene when the three are in front of the Devil’s Mouth. Both Kaito and Gammon look like they’ve just finished a marathon, while Nonoha’s not even breathing hard. She is one finely-tuned physical machine! But she’s no dummy either. It’s a nice switch from the usual character dynamics.

    • Joojoobees Says:

      Great point! There is some weird humor in the show, in that none of the guys are in any way athletic, and Nonoha is like a super-athlete. It was great that they worked that moment in.

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