Review: Phi Brain: Kami No Puzzle 2

Phi Brain: Puzzle of God Season 2

Haha, wow. I remember way back at the start of this show, about 40ish episodes ago, I complained to no end about how ridiculous it was and how it didn’t make sense. I’m sat here, at the end of Episode 50, and the second season’s ending, to tell you just how amazing this show has become, in the hope that at least one of you will watch it and see for yourself that this is a wacky, fun-filled adventure worth enjoying.

The concept of the show is simple, Kaito, the male lead, solves puzzles. At the end of last season, he came close to solving the Gods Puzzle, but stuff happened. This season is a direct continuation, with new baddies and a new plotline in the Orpheus Order and Freecell. The idea of using puzzles as a method of “battling” is ambitious in itself, but this show doesn’t lack ambition, throwing wacky and creative idea after another, be it the motives behind Freecell, the plot itself or even the characters interactions. I’ll get to the characters later, but really, if there was a prize for ambitious shows and creativity, this show would easily take the first prize.

In fact, having so much creativity really works in this shows favour. It uses all of this to create a world, the world of Phi Brain, and it really brings it to life with it’s atmosphere and the characters. Once you get sucked into the atmosphere, the entire show becomes ridiculously fun and enjoyable, so it really is just a matter of hitting the magical point where it absorbs you. Hell, when everything goes in it’s favour, including the absolutely amazing OP, I’d question why it wasn’t using all of this to create it’s own world.

Obviously, in any world, you need something amazing. Phi Brain delivers this in it’s characters. Kaito, the lead character, has previously had 25 episodes of character development behind him, along with Nonoha, taking the role of leading female again. The positions havn’t really changed since the first season, Nonoha’s the supporting female and Kaito’s the lead puzzle-solver. However, the roles aren’t stagnant this time around, as Nonoha gets plenty of development, truely deserving of her role as supporting character. The rest of Kaito’s friends get screentime, but to be honest, it’s a really tiny amount, really pushing them back to backstore characters. No, this time, the best character is, without a doubt, Freecell.

It was going to be hard to top Rook from the first season. He was almost a perfect baddie. So what does this season do? Throw us a psychopath. Insanity is hard to pull off in anime, so when Freecell played the perfect part of an insane lunatic, I was really happy with how well he was handled. He’s the main antagonist for the season, and he’s a really good one. Not because he torments Kaito, though. Because he mentally tortures Kaito and his friends with his crazed rantings, and it becomes a huge plot point to ask what’s real and what’s just one of his lies? Needless to see, he’s handled really well, and is an amazing character in this show, right up until the last moment of the show.

Amazing characters, amazing OP, amazing amounts of creativity and an amazing world are just a few of the things that Phi Brain has going for it at this point. It really is an amazing show, and it’s my hope that more people will see for themselves just how fun it is. It may not be the next Fate/Zero, but it doesn’t try to deliver serious drama or anything, it wants to be a thriller…and I can safely say, as a thriller, Phi Brain excels.

Alex’s Score: 10 out of 10 Meeps (Masterpiece)

Liam’s Score: 10 out of 10 Meeps (Masterpiece)

Advertisements

Phi Brain: Kami No Puzzle 2 Episode 25 [Final]

Release the Infinite Puzzle

Well, previously, I thought this would be the final episode, where either Kaito or Frecell got the God Scrolls and everything, but I guess that since the show’s popular in Japan, it gets another 25 episodes onto it. Are they needed? Well, let’s see how this episode turns out.

The ultimate showdown between Kaito and Freecell starts without any explination of the rules, but it seems to be a super-duper game of tag. It’s actually a rather innocent puzzle, but the simple tricks are the best ones.

With Kaito switching into his ultimate form somehow, bringing back that trademark Red Eye he always had in S1, it became obvious very quickly that this puzzle was actually going to be evenly matched. When you have two gods with equal powers clash, things never end. It’s one of the unwritten rules of gods, and that’s what it looks like this puzzle will do. However, is this what Freecell wants? In a rather emotional “fantasy” of his, he’s back to being a child, the child who was forsaken by Kaito, and the two of them are playing together. Is this what he wants?

As the two of them have a heart to heart talk in the closed world that they’ve created together, Kaito and Freecell reveal their honest feelings, and Kaito shows Freecell that he’s not a strong person after all. It’s cheesy, but when you consider how much Freecell’s motives have been based around Kaito when he was a child, it makes perfect sense, and it’s actually rather touching to see. Freecell’s desperation to keep hold of his closed world, and Kaito’s desperation to bring the other out of the closed world…you actually end up feeling sorry for Freecell.

After the puzzle’s end, Freecell, forsaken by his own world, lost his soul in the ring…and the only person who can reach out to him is Nonoha, the bearer of his mothers pendant. As he’s dragged out of the closed world by Kaito and Nonoha with the pendant puzzle, it looks to be a happy end for everyone. With the puzzle solved and Freecell’s Orpheus Ring smashed, there’s only one person unhappy with this result, and that’s Whist. Whilst I don’t know what Season 3 will be about, it looks like i’ll see you all then!

Phi Brain: Kami No Puzzle 2 Episode 24

Closed Off

I…don’t think it’s wise to trust Whist. As Freecell sits in a snowy mountain region, using his awesome new powers to predict the future, he sees Nonoha in all of them, and she features more prominantly than Kaito does. It’s been a rough ride, but at Episode 49 of Phi Brain, it looks like everything’s heading towards one hell of a finale.

Rook and Kaito never fought the Puzzle of God, Rook was released from the rook beforehand. So this looks like it’s the first time we get to play with the Puzzle of God…and after learning that Klondike’s ring wasn’t smashed and just stolen, Freecell’s twisted motives look to be showing themselves. Surely, it isn’t very long afterwards that Nonoha gets herself kidnapped, and Team Kaito is off to rescue her and put an end to whatever Freecell’s up to.

However, it’s uh. Not long afterwards that Nonoha notices that she’s been taken to the Himalaya mountains as a willing guest of Whist and Freecell…and it looks like the reasoning for this is based on their talk in that episode they saved Kaito. However…well, I don’t know if Freecell is out of whack or bipolar. He has a lot of problems, and as Nonoha hands him back that memento she’s been carrying, it’s revealed that it’s a puzzle that even Freecell can’t solve…the puzzle that Freecell wanted to solve with Kaito all that time ago.

And that’s what shows me that something is wrong here. Freecell reverts back to a child when Nonoha shows him what his mother made for him and what she wrote about him…and, well. Nonoha said it better. He hates his mother, but loves her. He’s happy Kaito wants to keep his promise, but doesn’t feel anything about it. He’s trapped in two worlds, and as he constantly digs up memories of his mother with Nonoha, he…he seems almost pitiful.

Before long, my theory that Whist is hardly trustworthy comes into the open. Him and Solitia, Freecell’s mother, sought to create a god…a god to take control of the Orpheus Order and rule the planet. With Kaito having shattered the final ring for good, the showdown of gods, the fight that all the episodes have been leading up to finally getting underway, the creepy episode that shows us what kind of person Freecell really is comes to an end.

Phi Brain: Kami No Puzzle 2 Episode 23

God’s Miscalculation

When an episode opens with a line like “Nobody can stop Klondike now”, you know that the finale’s getting closer. As even Jikugawa reappears, it’s pretty clear things are going to turn. Returning with him is a diary, the diary of the Orpheus Order. It contains the power, and the sad truth behind Klondike’s ambitions to activate the ring, and how he aims to make mankind exceed god.

On top of that, it reveals just how Freecell came to be involved in everything, and just how the ring is dangerous…very dangerous. Infinite knowledge and power can warp even the softest of hearts, and turn mankinds greed into a sin stronger than hatred itself. At last, we get an explination about Freecell’s mother…and I was happy with it. The saying “fate is ironic” really applies here.

Emotions and the fates of everyone entangled in the replica rings and Klondike’s sick twist aside, Kaito now has something to do. Freecell needs to hear his mothers last words, and find out just what the rings do to people. However, Kaito was never a “do-er”. Rook was the person who got things done, and that’s why he’s gotten himself involved yet again, with the POG giving their full support. Even Pinochole and Doubt are chipping in, along with the members of the POG that we never expected to see again. However, pulling the “I can predict the future” thing…is that the power of the final ring, or a useful dues ex machina? Just what ridiculous ability does Hoist have, anyway? Questions still need answers, and as Klondike outruns the POG again and again, it doesn’t look like these questions will get answered any time soon.

As Klondike escapes to the roof of the building, a special someone is waiting for him up there: Freecell himself. The Ultimate Replica, the Final Ring and the Orpheus Ring…this is why Freecell is a worthy rival, as Hoist joins sides with Freecell, and we get a look at the powers of the Ultimate Replica…the ring that’s the strongest, yet the one that’s tainted in a very dark history. As Freecell, consumed by this ring, defeats Klondike and his “final ring”, he leaves one message for Kaito. He’s waiting at God’s Puzzle.

So much for Klondike. It felt a little anti climatic, but creepily anti climatic, almost in a good way…xD But one question remains: What IS that eerie glow Freecell has?

Phi Brain: Kami No Puzzle 2 Episode 22

Lord of the Board

For humanity to evolve, it needs to shed the bonds that hold it onto the ground. Discrimination, war, poverty and suffering are all things which need to be removed for the sake of a perfect future. The episode opens up with Klondike giving a speech about this to a hall full of people. Last week, the Order collapsed on itself…so this week was always going to be a big questionmark. As the man behind the curtains pulls the strings one last time before his big plan, it’s time to find out everything going on in the shadows.

In typical Phi Brain style, this means that it’ll be solved by a game. See, I was slightly buying into the whole “Let’s give everyone a ring to control them” scheme, but if what Klondike is saying is true, he’s created a ring that’s even stronger than the Orpheus Ring, one that can give people the ultimate enlightenment. I don’t know if the puzzle was rigged, or if Klondike is really that good, but the idea of an invisible maze was a really fitting puzzle for the “final boss”. Someone who, even without the ring, can thrash Kaito.

However, that makes no sense as to why Melancholy is there. She may have the only genuine ring, and be a true child of the Phi Brain, but Klondike shouldn’t need that with how brilliant he is. Why didn’t he just throw her away when she wasn’t useful anymore? With the true form of the puzzle being revealed, Kaito’s super “power” kicks in, allowing Klondike’s evil motive of sapping Kaito’s ring to start, powering up Klondike’s ring even further. From what I understood of that ending, Klondike became a Phi Brain with his “final ring” activating.With Freecell drained of all his power, the ending just keeps moving closer. This…will be good.

Phi Brain: Kami No Puzzle 2 Episode 21

The Sad Clown

Resuming from last week, what with the Gusha Puzzles, Kaito is still ploughing through them at a ridiculous pace. I don’t know if there’s that trademark “F” at the end of all of them, but one things for sure: Kaito’s back on the path to becoming a Phi Brain. Solving puzzles and accelerating his brain waves to a new high, well…the only difference is that he’s not wearing a ring anymore.

Freecell’s desertion of the Orpheus Order has caused  some problems, and now that someone’s messing with Mizerka and Doubt, after being spat at by Melancholy, the two arrive in front of Kaito and his friends for one last blaze of glory…one last puzzle to provide the ultimate data, with the ambition to transform their fakes into the real deal. With Kaito and Ana accepting their request to duel, it becomes very clear very quickly that the two are treating this as a suicide mission, without any care or consideration for their lives.

When everyone’s balancing on the beams, fighting for their lives, they start to enjoy the puzzle to it’s fullest, and it’s all over too soon…with the two rings shattering as they both truely gave up on their lives, that leaves Whist, Melancholy, Freecell and Klondike in the Order, with nothing about any of them becoming any clearer. Who is Klondike? Why is Melancholy special? With nothing answered and more questions posed, we march forward into the next episode, where i’ll imagine Freecell meets Klondike and has that special talk.

Phi Brain: Kami No Puzzle 2 Episode 20

Return of the Gusha Puzzle

That was an interesting way to start the episode…we havn’t seen that since the scrolls in Series 1. Yet another rather messed up prediction of the future…I think this was the aftermath of Freecell’s awakening as a true Phi Brain, one that’s stronger than Kaito. So with Kaito knowing that Freecell’s stronger and that he’s found a very dangerous toy to play with, there’s one person left to turn to: Rook Banjo Crossfield.

One of the old Rook’s puzzles, the puzzles from when Rook was under the control of his ring and the ruthless head of the POG It’s a very fascinating puzzle, a maze complete with traps and malicious little titbits. But bod, that bit at the end was freaky. Freecell solved the Gusha puzzle before Kaito, and left his taunting remark at the end. Just what kind of person has Freecell turned into? Just who is Klondike, and what is he trying to get up to with Hoist? What has Freecell seen in Hoist? What’s the purpose of the memento that Nonoha’s carrying? I’m starting to worry that they aren’t going to wrap everything up here…