44 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Phi Brain episode 1

You see that sudoku? That incredibly difficult puzzle that took the creator the entire day to solve? The guy who is the president of the fucking puzzle club in school, who is so into his puzzles that he probably has Professor Layton tattooed on his bollocks, took the entire day to solve due to its incredible difficulty?

Boom, done. 9 Minutes 38 Seconds. Plus I didn’t have the luxury of a pencil to scribble possible answers in the little corners and had to clumsily doodle using the photoshop paintbrush. That clearly added, like, 9 minutes of fiddling about with the mouse. I would have had that Sudoku completed faster than Kaito did. I would own these fuckers in their puzzle games. They’re probably still trying to work out how to get through the 8th Test Chamber in the first Portal game, the pussies.

In fact, I could be the main character instead of Kaito. I’d be much better main character material, mainly because I’m not such a stuck up prick the entire time (only most of the time). I promise I wouldn’t lounge across every shot, slouched like the heavy burden of puzzle genius was weighing me down. I would save the single solitary female character from the parasite growing on the back of her head. I would give the audience enough time to process the puzzles that are actually being presented so that the reveal that the maze moves doesn’t feel like a total ass-pull out of nowhere.

Mind you, there are a few things I’m lacking as a potential main character. Access to the script for one, so I won’t be able to read ahead and know the solution to every mystery before it appears. Neither is my hair anywhere near spiky enough to be a hot blooded shounen lead, nor do I have the Goggles of Complete Uselessness in my inventory. Neither do I have the stupidity to walk into elaborate death traps instead of burrowing through the sides Minecraft style, or calling the police, or ignoring the bloody thing altogether because it’s not doing anything.

Maybe one of you can be the main character instead. Go on, take that Sudoku and beat my time. Then grab several buckets of hair gel, slouch your back like you’ve got rickets, and then you can become the protagonist of Phi Brain!

This entry was posted in First Impressions and tagged , , . Anime: . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Posted October 3, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    Maybe he’s actually president of the special needs puzzle club.

    • Posted October 4, 2011 at 3:09 am | Permalink

      I just spat my drink all over my keyboard when I read that. Thanks a lot, Shin.

  2. luffyluffy
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    God the character designs in this look so… ugly.

    • luffyluffy
      Posted October 4, 2011 at 3:22 am | Permalink

      I got two minutes into it before I just burst out laughing and deleted it from my harddrive

  3. Posted October 3, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    At least you *have* hair. #bitter

    • Scamp
      Posted October 4, 2011 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      It is going grey though

      • luffyluffy
        Posted October 4, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        Are you becoming an oyaji?

        Because oyaji are pretty moemoe

  4. DrIdiot
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    This is exactly what I hate about puzzle animes (including Kaiji). The actual puzzle aspect is rather trivial.

    Sudoku is not even an interesting puzzle. At least games like go and chess are computationally complex.

  5. Posted October 4, 2011 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    I wish I hadn’t seen your solution because I wanted to solve that sudoku and prove WHATTA GENIUS I AM and join that super amazing club and be with that Akira Ishida character forever.

  6. V
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    Holy crap that’s an easy sudoku. What will happeb next episode? A difficult kakuro puzzle? A difficult hatori puzzle? A cryptic crossword, or worse, a code breaker? :P

  7. KBKarma
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    An interesting manga I’ve come across called Paradox Blue seems to provide more interesting puzzles. Though it seems to me that the same guy solves the puzzles every time. Also, since the puzzles are rather more supernatural, the clues they provide might not be sufficient.

  8. 3242
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    and THIS was my most looked forward to show?

  9. Kiseki
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 2:13 am | Permalink

    I took 7 minutes and 29 minutes doing it exactly how you did. Ha!

    So this is no good if I’m deprived of Laytons (3DS emulator will never come into existence) and finished with Treasure Report? Aww fuck everything.

    • Kiseki
      Posted October 4, 2011 at 2:15 am | Permalink

      29 seconds*. I am clearly a genius.

      • Okamu
        Posted October 4, 2011 at 4:11 am | Permalink

        You know that there are 4 Layton games available for the DS and there are good DS emulators, right?

      • luffyluffy
        Posted October 4, 2011 at 5:13 am | Permalink

        I’ve got the first one.

        ….. I-it’s incredibly frustrating…

    • Okamu
      Posted October 4, 2011 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      I love them

    • Scamp
      Posted October 4, 2011 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Curse you and your superior puzzle solving skills! I need to play some more of those brain training DS games~

  10. Anna Ki
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 4:00 am | Permalink

    …another potential to-watch down the drain. -sob- I need my Liar Game fix, damn it!

  11. Posted October 4, 2011 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Pah, and you doubted me when I said it was lame because “your taste sucks”.

    Also, I believe you meant “bollocks” not “bolocs”, which sounds curiously much like the way folks in part of the American military pronounce the acronym for the basic officer’s course.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 4, 2011 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Fix’d my slang spelling for you

  12. Posted October 4, 2011 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    “I would give the audi­ence enough time to pro­cess the puzzles that are actu­ally being presen­ted so that the reveal that the maze moves doesn’t feel like a total ass-pull out of nowhere.” – My thought exactly. They are just too ambitious with the whole thing.

    Instead of being the protagonist, I want to be that Menatour whatsoever. Clearly that’s Soji wearing a cape and a skull buffalo mask >_>

  13. fathomlessblue
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    There was a frickin’ tragic flashback scene concerning his need to solve things! “Solve them, Kaito. Make them free. Those poor unhappy puzzles” I literally spat my tea all over the keyboard! How can anyone write something so ridiculous?

    The main question I repeatedly asked during this ep was what the hell was its point? A show about a guy solving puzzles? Just pick up Professor Layton and solve some yourself! The show’s entire purpose was redundant!

    Oh, and the animation was god-ugly. It was like watching Giant Killing, only without the Gar male-orientated sports dynamic that made that style actually work for the series. Bleh!

    “You’re amazing when you’re solving puzzles, Kaito” So is this how you win over a girls heart; hardcore Sudoku skills? Oh, I could laugh at this all day long.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 4, 2011 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      I thought the animation and art style was pretty cool myself. It is like Giant Killing, but the actual movement is a lot more fluid and not quite so stencilly

      • luffyluffy
        Posted October 4, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        You know what needs a sequel? Giant Killing.

      • fathomlessblue
        Posted October 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        @Scamp To me it’s like a far less extreme version of the style found in Kaiji; not particulary pretty (especially to female characters) but it works in a sketchy kind of way, at least for male orientated series that aren’t focused on bishies (sports, fighting etc).

        @Luffy I agree, but it’ll never happen. I heard the dvd sales in Japan were rather poor. Everyone was probably too busy spending their cash on K-on!!

      • luffyluffy
        Posted October 4, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        God that sucks. I’ve never been interested in football before, and Giant Killing was pretty fucking awesome. It’s still much more exciting in it’s animated form than actually played though.

        GO GO ETU

  14. Ty-chama
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    9 minutes, 28 seconds using MS paint to add the numbers…
    This seriously took this guy all day?

  15. Posted October 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    I’d rather read Neuro solve some neat mysteries than that.

  16. Marow
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Sudoku is meh, I prefer nonograms. :3-

  17. Posted October 4, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    I can’t do Sudokus. :< Numbers trip me up.

    • Posted October 4, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      Then we are two already. I always hated math.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted October 4, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        Three for three.

        Fucking hate those things

      • Marow
        Posted October 4, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

        Make it four.

        … only because I don’t know the trick behind sudoku (guessing game).

    • Scamp
      Posted October 5, 2011 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      You guys are losers. Sudokus are the shit

  18. Mr. Anon
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Took me 12 minutes, also without writing scratch numbers because it wouldn’t be a fair competition otherwise.

    This was my first sudoku in years, so I’m convinced someone who actually does these things regularly should be able to solve this one in like 3-4 minutes, even faster maybe.

    So yeah anime is bullshit. Oh wait we knew that.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 5, 2011 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Fair enough. I do a sudoku about once every 6 months or so when I’m bored on a train and someone left a newspaper lying around

  19. romulus
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    There hasn’t been a review without sarcasm so far so even if those animes are watchable I don’t want to waste time on that category. I still wait for something new which gets general praise even from a seasoned scrooge like you so I would try it out. You helped me to decrease my watchlist to about half its size without having to put up with mediocre shows until spring.

    By the way I would like to recommend something. As every pilot episode is generally enjoyable, (its goal is to gather as wide audience as possible) deciding if a watchable show has potential or not based on pilot includes bias too. I decide if the show is any good after I watched the second episode. At that point the show shows its true colours. Pilots usually have traits the show abandons at ep2.

  20. Posted October 5, 2011 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Find yourself a large enough vat of hair gel, and you just might succeed in spiking your hair enough to be the male lead. I said might, you also have to be unnecessarily smug in your puzzle solving endeavors.

  21. jane
    Posted October 6, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    you are so cute,you did it?it is not the point of the show WWW

  22. demir59
    Posted October 17, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    6 min 35 sec NEEEEEEXT!
    woohoo! its not that hard actuly. anymore puzzles that i can solve this is easy.

  23. Posted October 23, 2011 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Wow, I’m late.

    (The sudoku puzzle actually /only/ uses the basic rules and needs simple ‘well, there’s a 4 in that row, so there can’t be a 4 in this spot in this column either’ rather than SUPER ADVANCED CROSS-FINDING and TWIN TAGGING and man, I was such a nerd back then I want to punch myself in the face, hard.)

    Phi Brain’s main emphasis is in its puzzles. The sudoku puzzle was made without any advanced tactics to lure us into a false sense of security. Similarly, the maze puzzle, which I thought was good enough by itself to warrant a 8/10 (B+?) first episode. At first, I wondered why the hell he didn’t go inside the large room through the extremely obvious, completely passable route, so that I spent like ten minutes drawing circles in paint to see what he was trying to do, while also noticing that there was a giant, completely walled in box right on top of the room.

    Then, when he actually moved the box, I realized that it wasn’t a room, it was an empty space! Seriously, it’s impossible to duplicate this feeling, but it was a feeling of sheer ‘holy shit, that was amazing’. Although it’s impossible to get that feeling again from rewatching this episode, perhaps trying to solve puzzles in the next episode will create a similar feel.

    (Also, there is really only one path from the exit to the middle and from the entrance to the middle. You don’t even need a pen to mark you going through the maze, because there are no long dead ends ):

  24. Adeel
    Posted September 16, 2012 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    I Solved This in 5 Mins

  • Categories

  • Anime