Phi Brain Ep 04 - The warm and fuzzy puzzle

Ah~ I think this was probably my favourite episode so far. I guess that's not saying much of a series only four episodes deep, but I enjoyed myself thoroughly. The reasons are plenty!

Child!Rook is so cute.
One: We discover the childhood friend's name! His name is Rook. I felt the sort of satisfaction from learning this name as I would have has we ever found out what L's name was from Death Note. The back story between Rook and Kaito was further developed in the opening scene. It is solidified that they were both young puzzle solvers, which indirectly solidifies the fact that the older figure from his recollections is a puzzle teacher of sorts, not some random baby sitter. Now that I know a bit more about Rook, I wonder what happened to the teacher.

How do you react to this? Obviously, the person is crazy.
Two: The character introduced in this episode is love. L-O-V-E. How can you not love somebody with the name Ana Gram. Haha - it was clever enough that I didn't get too upset with the stupidity of the puzzle from this week. Ana is an aloof and strange character, who is an animal whisperer of sorts. The introductory scene shows Ana chatting with birds and when they visit the house with the puzzle, a group of cats flock towards and climb all over Ana.

How polite he is. See, not everyone tries to blow up the city!
Three: The POG Giver was not a cheater. He's a butler to a rich household belonging to the widow of a famous painter. I wonder why Japanese shows tend to name their butlers Sebastian. I have a feeling that as soon as a man enters the butler business, the name change is a part of his indoctrination into the trade. He's the most polite POG member we've met yet. It was a welcome change after the previous two turned out to be psychotic cheaters.

My BL sensors went off. Ha-ha.
The story unfolds at a slower pace than normal, which is what may have contributed to the slow, simple puzzle. The beginning has Jikugawa telling Kaito to block off his Saturday for puzzle solving. Kaito refuses on the principle that he's not a pawn to the organization. We learn exactly how susceptible Kaito is to being told that a puzzle is too difficult for him to solve. I wonder if he'll ever realize that his ego makes him gullible. Jikugawa tells him where to find his designated partner for this puzzle.

That's right love. They are your friends~
The partner is code-named Da Vinci. Ana, like Cubic, is not interested in puzzles but has vast knowledge and interest in art. I can see why this is handy because the puzzle is at the house of a deceased painter. The widow of the painter has commissioned their school to solve this puzzle and Kaito and Ana are assigned to this task by the headmaster. The POG Giver is the (head) butler of this household.

...Why are you inhaling the gas deliberately Ana?
The puzzle is innovative but lacklustre in delivery. A room filled with framed paintings is the puzzle. The solution is a code number. The catch is a thick concrete wall cordoning them off until they solve the puzzle. The time limit is enforced by the denser-than-air gas that is going to eventually fill the room and suffocate them. Kaito stops the release of Orpheus during this trial. He notices that the frames of the paintings have a different pattern on each side of the painting. The four patterns are repeated on every frame in a different orientation. Kaito and Ana remove all the paintings from the walls, leaving only three which can not be removed without force. They then begin to arrange the paintings around these three by matching the adjacent sides of the frames. Once all the paintings are rearranged, Ana starts naming the painters in order. Kaito soon realizes the code is based on the first initial of the painters name. They try to punch in the code (MDCLV) only to realize that there are no letters on the input keypad. The use of roman numerals was obvious to me but it took Kaito a long time to come to that conclusion. They even flash the clock which shows time in roman numerals to provide that hint to the viewer. I do wish that Kaito's pace kept up with mine, but it wasn't a major deal breaker in this episode.

That's a lot of paintings of a woman for a landscape artist!
The treasure was a room filled with paintings of the widow from various years in her life. I thought that was a very cute treasure to punctuate a very cute episode. While Kaito was solving the puzzle with Ana, a jealous and apprehensive Nonoha grabbed Gammon, who now has a crush on Nonoha - probably because she's a girl, to go find Kaito and Ana. After all, Ana is prettier and more stylish than she is. I would be worried too, if I were in Nonoha's shoes, because Ana seems very perspective. She's the only one who's picked up on Kaito's underlying bitterness towards puzzle-solving.

Does that mean you'll break Rook when he's no longer mysterious?! T^T
All in all, this was a slow but progressive episode. As usual, the closing scene features Rook. He wonders if it's time for him to meet Kaito. I look forward to that first meeting. Also, I look forward to determining whether this part of the opening video is just a cool looking insert or some kind of foreshadowing...