Phi Brain 25 (s1 final) ~ we are joined together by puzzles
April 3, 2012
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!
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.
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.