First Impressions – Phi Brain

[WhyNot] Phi Brain - Kami no Puzzle - 01 [7105C87D].mkv_snapshot_03.26_[2011.10.02_18.37.38] [WhyNot] Phi Brain - Kami no Puzzle - 01 [7105C87D].mkv_snapshot_14.04_[2011.10.02_18.48.16] [WhyNot] Phi Brain - Kami no Puzzle - 01 [7105C87D].mkv_snapshot_18.36_[2011.10.02_18.55.39]

Premiere madness continues with Phi Brain, from Sunrise.  I confess I had fairly high expectations for this one, given that it’s two cour and the director, Sato Junichi, has done fine work on series such as Aria and Ikoku Meiro no Croisee (as screenwriter).  It also features a star-studded cast including Jun Fukyama, Fujiwara Keiji (I believe those two are in every series this season), Sakurai Takahiro and Miyano Mamoru, for starters.  But to be honest, I found the opener to be pretty generic. It’s about a teen (Sakurai) who’s incredibly adept at solving puzzles, and gets mixed up in some sort of puzzle MENSA group, solving life-and-death mazes and such, and all that sounds modestly interesting.  It looks good in that generically polished Sunrise way.  But nothing that happened in the first ep made much of an impact – not the mystery of the labyrinth, not the premise, and not the characters.

Sato-sensei’s presence is enough to convince me to give Phi Brain another week to grab me.  After that, it stands or falls on its own.



  1. t

    I know Sato Junichi is directing but I also know this is a daytime NHK ETV show,and while that channel as aired stuff like dennou coil and bakuman it's also the home of stuff like element hunters.

    Some are expecting something like kaiji,akagi,liar game but I think those people are likely to be disapointed,those are very much seinen titles and this couldn't be more shonen.

    So yeah just expecting a fun standard show,the same kind I watched when I came home from school.

  2. M

    Really? I thought this was one of the most impactful shows of tihs season, /especially/ the labyrinth reveal. I don't know, it just felt so… fantastic when he revealed that the maze slid down, especially when there was a perfectly fine route to go inside the empty space. That feeling was even more fantastic when I realized, at the beginning of the episode, they were running away from that big, empty space – so he knew that there was nothing in that space!

    I guess, if you try to take your time while watching each episode, trying to solve each episode before the main does (whether meant to be solved, like the sudoku (which was used to give the viewers a false sense of security) or not, like the maze), Phi Brain really starts to transcend the border into truly interactive anime.

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