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.