Comic Books Magazine

First Impressions: Phi Brain 3

Posted on the 11 October 2013 by Kaminomi @OrganizationASG

Phi Brain 3 Screenshot 1

There are now officially over fifty episodes of Phi Brain. The world is an amazing place.I’ll just put this up here at the top; if you’re wondering if you can watch this season without having seen the prior two, the answer is no. This episode wastes absolutely no time getting straight into the action and introducing what I assume will be the core conflict for at least the first half of its run.

Things seem to have gone back to business as usual after the events of the second season, with Kaito traveling around the world in hopes of restoring his mentor Jin’s memories. But things begin to change when he solves a reset puzzle and obtains the “prize,” a brooch with a cat on it. At the next puzzle, a strange girl named Raetsel appears and claims the brooch as well as Jin. Strangely enough, Jin seems to remember her. Meanwhile at Root Gakuen, the other Phi Brain children suddenly have to deal with a new threat, a man called Enigma who wants to remove all puzzles from the world.

Phi Brain 3 Screenshot 2

I’m sorry, I don’t speak puzzle obsession

If you’ve watched Phi Brain for any amount of time, you already know that the show strikes an interesting balance between having a serious plot and ridiculous character motivations. Phi Brain‘s true calling card is that everyone in its world is utterly obsessed with puzzles, and that does not change here. Despite taking somewhat of a darker tone right off the bat, the wackiness of the series still cannot be denied. The names are silly, the music is upbeat, and the animation does a great job of showing the uniqueness in each character. And yes, people are still taking their puzzles far too seriously.

But the break between seasons seems to have done Phi Brain some good, since there’s a shine to the production that wasn’t there before and the premiere decided to deal with the unresolved plot threads from the first season rather than retread old material like the second. That said, the second season did the same thing but ended up to be disappointing anyway, so we’ll have to wait and see if it keeps this up. One thing that did get me really excited was how this episode handled the puzzle solving section at the beginning. This show has always had a problem with showing its solutions, but they might have finally struck gold here. The scene concisely explains the puzzle’s solution and how it works while not losing the “holy crap, he figured that out within seconds” reaction. Hopefully the rest of the season will follow this example.

Phi Brain 3 Screenshot 3

Overall, this premiere has given me a lot to be excited about. If you enjoyed the previous two seasons or even if you found the second season lacking, there’s a lot in here that shows exactly what makes Phi Brain so fun to watch. I think that fans of the series will be very happy with this episode, so if you like the series and haven’t seen this yet, what are you waiting for?

This series is streaming on Crunchyroll.

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