Phi Brain 25 (s1 final) ~ we are joined together by puzzles

April 3, 2012

Kaito Daimon ~ don't worry he'll be back next week for season 2.

With episode 25, season 1 of Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle (AKA Φ-Brain Puzzle of God) draws to a close. This show started out implausible, turned into some silly fun, and ended with a big showdown that put the future of everything on the line. Sounds like the perfect shounen series, doesn’t it? Somehow Phi Brain mostly worked despite (or, perhaps, because of) a premise based on people seriously battling with puzzles. As with most shounen battle series, there was a fight each episode, but in Phi Brain, the fights are between puzzle givers and the solvers who solve them.

This was not a serious show, but it did tackle some serious themes: the importance of friendship, and the dangers of shutting others out. Oh, and “Puzzles are AWESOME”! Over the course of 25 episodes there were some legitimate moments of tension, not just as the clock ran down and the puzzle of the week remained unsolved, but also as we witnessed various characters (often our hero, Kaito) make some bad decisions. It also managed to work up into an interesting, and occasionally surprisingly dark, final stretch.

What follows is less an episode review, and more spoiler-free final thoughts on season 1 as a whole. Let the Puzzle Time begin!

Anna Gram comforts Nonoha Itou.

Although there were some interesting side characters, and they did play important roles in the finale, I’m not going to dwell on them, except to say that I really enjoyed Gammon’s role over the past several weeks. One really good thing about having a second season coming up, is that Kaito’s friends will have more of an opportunity to participate fully after all they have been through.

There was never a moment when it wasn't obvious that Rook was the real final boss, but some of the twists along the way still surprised me.

A man and his puzzle are not easily parted.

The big thing that made an impression on me was the ultra-serious way that the cast reacted to puzzles. That by itself gave this show an odd charm. Overcooled at Metanorn tags her Phi Brain posts “bitches don’t know about my puzzles”, which is a perfect way of summing up this attitude. The second biggest impression, however, was made by the soundtrack, which was released just a couple of days ago. I’m really looking forward to getting it, because the BGM was very eclectic and had some great tracks. And while I’m talking music, it will be a shame to see Brain Diver go, so here’s May’n performing it one more time.

2 Responses to “Phi Brain 25 (s1 final) ~ we are joined together by puzzles”

  1. Overcooled Says:

    The way they take puzzles seriously remained hilarious all throughout the series, even when the plot tightened up and things became genuinely tense. It’s just such an odd thing to devote your life to.

    I’m hoping that because all of his friends have been introduced already that they get more of an opportunity to shine. Ana in particular, because his psychic powers are kind of whack.

    BRAIN DIIIIVVEERRRRRRRR

    • Joojoobees Says:

      “BRAIN DIIIIVVEERRRRRRRR”

      That song is just so cool. One of the things I liked about it was the way the lyrics just bordered on making sense.

      I hope there is more time devoted to Kaito’s friends as well. It would be great if they could break off and have adventures of their own, kind of like Q-chan did while Kaito was in the hospital.

      As to Ana’s psychic powers. They have to do something more with that! I noticed that she painted another psychic portrait this episode (then abandoned it in a forest?) Maybe she travelled to the island through the painting?


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