First Impressions – Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle

Phi Brain, along with Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon (first impressions of that should be up soon!), have been very pleasant surprises this season. Though I didn’t expect Phi Brain to be bad, I thought it would be nothing more than a slightly entertaining diversion.

It’s far better than it sounds, and I’m not going to lie, the plot sounds bad. So why did it surprise me? Well for starters, it’s incredibly fun.

Phi Brain is about Daimon Kaito, a boy who is something of a prodigy when it comes to solving puzzles, and is admired by many of his peers because of his talent, and many of them try (unsuccessfully) to get him to join the school’s puzzle club. You see, in Phi Brain’s world, everyone takes puzzles incredibly seriously, which leads to some hilarious dialogue.

..."Those poor, unhappy puzzles."

In many ways, Phi Brain is reminiscent of the Professor Layton series of games (and before anyone tells me this, I know that got an anime adaptation), in which you played as the titular professor (and master of puzzles) and his apprentice Luke, almost everyone you met had a puzzle they wanted you to solve and no one ever batted an eyelid at just how puzzling everything was. In Phi Brain, every character is in love with puzzles, at the school Kaito attends with his friend Nonoha there is a labyrinth set up on the school grounds, a student tests just how good Kaito is at puzzles by getting him to solve a Sudoku puzzle he made that even he had trouble solving, which Kaito blasts through in a matter of seconds. Kaito receives an invitation to solve a puzzle in some nearby ruins from a man named Minotaur, but to receive this challenge he had to solve some more puzzles, on a machine made purely so that he could test Kaito. See the similarities?

In this world, Kaito is a badass...

But Phi Brain manages to avoid feeling too derivative, thanks to vastly different characters and aesthetics, and it manages to be a ton of fun at the same time. Everything moves at a fairly fast pace, never stopping to explain everything in detail and saving more time for puzzles. It’s very nicely animated as well, courtesy of Sunrise (surprisingly well so, given that they’re handling three shows this season) and everything is nice to look at, apart from strange character designs. The soundtrack is also a surprise, which helps liven up every scene without being a distraction, and manages to be quite varied.

Don’t even attempt to take anything that happens in Phi Brain seriously, you’ll only make the experience worse for yourself. Just sit back, switch your brain off and have fun with everything that happens. It remains to be seen how long this will remain entertaining for, bat at least it’s off to an incredibly solid start.

Will I blog this?

No, like I said, it’s very fun to watch, but I don’t think I’d have very much to say about this each week, hell, I barely mentioned the plot at all here.

3 Responses to “First Impressions – Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle”

  1. 5 October 2011 at 9:07 am

    This is shounen fun. I’m with you, it isn’t meant to be taken seriously, except by little kids. I have a 7 year old nephew who thinks Beyblade battles are real. He has one of them, and “fights” against the kid upstairs who has another. There is no point in explaining to him that it is all chance, because to him Beyblade is serious business. Phi Brain (IMO) is enjoyable by people beyond that, but it requires not taking it entirely seriously. Girls will not fight over you, just because you are good at sudoku.

  2. 2 Didi
    22 February 2012 at 1:37 am

    I am a huuuuge fan, I love phi brain, I was pretty surprised because at first I thought (from the name and the discription) that it was boring or something, event though I dislike Nonoha, she could’ve been more.. um pazzuru-freek it is a really good anime, I love it XD

  3. 3 Didi
    22 February 2012 at 1:41 am

    Jojobees, well if I find someone who is that brilliant, [who can solve complex puzzuls in like 8 or 5 minutes] I would totally fall for him XD
    and I’m not talking sudoku that’s just for fun !

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