Phi Brain 11 – Puzzle Guardian Barrier

December 12, 2011

If you want the treasure, you have to solve the puzzle. It's that simple.

Episode 11 of Φ Brain (AKA Phi Brain, Kami no Puzzle) does a good job of explaining just what this show is about. It describes the eternal struggle between those who would protect the world’s treasure and those who would take it. The treasure has been secured behind puzzle barriers. But the Puzzle Givers and the Puzzle Solvers have two very different perspectives. The Solvers see the puzzles as challenges that must be faced, but the Solvers, particularly the organization of Puzzle Givers known as the P.O.G. (Puzzle Of God), view the puzzles as something that must remain unviolated. Forgetting the puzzle, they have started to put their efforts towards eliminating the Solvers, by any means necessary. Thus the delicate balance between Giver and Solver has been disrupted.

To make a long story short, the characters are wearing silly costumes again this week.

Nonoha Itou. As usual, the Solvers face danger when Puzzle Time begins.

Only a genius could solve a puzzle under these conditions!

For the second time, Phi Brain stresses the importance of Puzzles as a friend to a lonely child. Whereas the puzzles kept Kaito company after his parent’s death, Elena sees puzzles as validating her existence after she was abandoned by her mother. To Elena, if she didn’t have puzzles (especially her identity as a Puzzle Giver), she would be nothing. The POG were able to use her diminished sense of self worth in using her to attack the show’s heroes.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the leader of POG’s East Asian division has been deposed by Rook (or Luke), an old childhood friend of Kaito’s. Will this mean that POG will return to the true path of puzzles? Or will Kaito and friends face another dangerous puzzle next week?

On other matters

It turns out that this is my 350th post here at the Abandoned Factory. I thank everyone who reads it for stopping by, and I even extend my thanks to those that aren’t reading this, but that have supported me in the past. Anime is great fun, and I have deepened my enjoyment of the medium by putting together these posts. Keep watching anime!

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2 Responses to “Phi Brain 11 – Puzzle Guardian Barrier”

  1. Overcooled Says:

    Congratulations on 350 posts!! The most important part is enjoying it, and it seems like you’ve got that down in spades. Keep it up~

    Nice point about the TV show representing the feelings of Givers and Solvers. The only exception I can think of to that is when the Solver is on the good side, like the painter who wanted his wife to see all the paintings he had of her. I think he wanted it to be solved in order to show them to her. Otherwise, both sides are in direct opposition.

    I kind of liked Elena’s backstory and how she used puzzles as a way to get her mother (and then her fans) to love her. It’s less ridiculous than Kaito’s fear of puzzles because they killed his parents, which is unintentionally hilarious. Elena’s is relatively plausible.

    • Joojoobees Says:

      Thanks! I think the story of the painter was like the idealized version of what was supposed to happen. Actually there was another one like that, the story of the theme park. I think the ideal is, as Kaito said in this episode, that the Giver really wants the puzzle to be solved so they can share something of themselves with others. In the Painter’s case, it was his love for his wife. In the theme park it was the beautiful view that was inadvertently ruined. In Elena’s case it was her true self (? sounds like Persona).


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