Phi-Brain: Kami no Puzzle review

This anime based series was a warm surprise last year. Being in the works since 2010, it was the anticipated new series by Sunrise studios, set to air on NHK-Educational channel.

Directed by Junichi Sato, at first the premise seemed suited for children, when it can appeal to a very wide audience. The style of the animated drawings is unique, it creates its own world. No wonder a manga adaptation was an easy transition in November of last year in Newtype Ace magazine by Kadokawa Shoten, illustrated by Yoshiki Togawa.

The story revolves around Daimon Kaito, a high school freshman genius who loves solving puzzles, is selected as a candidate for "Phi Brain". He and his friend Nonoha find an "unsolvable puzzle" near their school. The puzzle turns out to be a life-threatening Kenja Puzzle created by the mysterious group POG (Puzzle Of God). After successfully solving the puzzle, Kaito is designated as a Solver and is joined by other Solvers as they battle POG all over the world by solving the Kenja Puzzles.

Kaito solved the first puzzle that granted him the Orpheus Bracelet, a device attached to his left arm that enables his brain capacity beyond the 10% that all humans normally use, thus he is able to solve anything in seconds. He is given the title of 'Einstein' in the school's ranks.

It would seem that Nonoha, his childhood friend, is the typical tsundere-type, but she is not over the top like Sakura from Naruto. She is good with children and taking care of people, thus she obtained the title of Nightingale, in allusion to Florence Nightingale.

Kaito is a strong protagonist, he doesn't want to depend on this bracelet nor he wants to depend on the dictates of POG, all he wants to do is solve puzzles and meet the soul of those who fabricate them. Along the way, he meets other peers similar to him, such as Gammon, who is a loose tempered type who brings the funny moments.

Then he meets Cubic, a cute genius invent-all boy with the title of Edison. He always wants Daimon to quit doing puzzles and hangs on to him like a little brother.

Then there's Anna Graham, an androginous boy who is the artsy type that carries the title of Da Vinci. Anything Humanities related is left to him. He relies also on the paranormal and his sixth sense to solve problems.

The thing that engaged me from the very OP sequence of this anime is the character of Luke Banjo Crossfield. He seems to be a reimagination of the Mad Scientist Villain, but with a white afro and an evil smile that suits him consistently.

The episodes are centered on creative, unique and insightful puzzles that play with the element of danger for everyone involved with a good pacing and focus on the plot. It is scheduled for 25 episodes this season.

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