Sket Dance – 41

In the first part, Enigman and Quettion inflict a “Battle Q” upon the Student Council sans President Agata, in which they answer every question incorrectly and are corrected by “Bosshuton”, or Bossun in masquerade. Agata arrives at the end to answer everything correctly and bail his council out. In the second part, Enigman, out of character as Daimon, begs the sket-dan’s council for advice about an impending date with the real Quettion, who shot him down initially but whom he wore down to get said date. A firm believer in Murphy’s law, Daimon obsessively overthinks every detail, but everything he feared turned out to actually come to pass.

Just five episodes separate the first Enigman episode from this, but we didn’t mind the rather recent revisiting of the dichotomous couple (also, Quettion’s”Thinking Time” song is quite catchy). It was also nice to see the council in action, once again out of their element, being faced with questions whose answers elude them. This was a scenario in which Tsubaki’s honor, Shinba’s looks, Daisey’s violence and Unyuu’s cash were all non-factors. One nice detail was the fact they never showed us the incriminating photo being used for leverage – some things are better left unknown to keep the tension high.

The second part followed the second part of episode 35, in which Daimon exhibits all the qualities of a typical heartsick high schooler, only amplified. Any possible thing you could worry about before going on a first date? He’s worrying about all of that and more. The sket-dan listens intently but quickly run out of patience with him, insisting he should just go with the flow and he’ll be fine; Quettion won’t hate him for one or two slip-ups. Of course, quite hilariously, everything he predicts could go wrong does go wrong, and Quettion does end up hating him even more (despite loving and admiring Enigman). Daimon can’t catch a break, but that’s what he gets for falling for someone who finds the real him so dull and repellent.

Rating: 3

Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle – 01

Daimon Kaito is a puzzle-solving genius with boundless potential. His classmate Jikugawa lends him a PDA containing a series of puzzles, which he proceeds to quickly solve. When he does, he is invited by the “Minotaur” to a grand puzzle with many stages, but with this one, his life is on the line, as well as his friend Nonoha’s, who tags along. With her help, he clears the initial stage, and he is then furnished a golden armband and a red seeing eye, which will help him use all of his brain to solve the puzzles to come.

We here at RABUJOI love it when are expectations are exceeded. Basing our assumptions on little more than the title, we thought this was going to be a somewhat childish romp involving puzzles. Turns out…well, it kinda is, but who cares? It kicks way more ass than we predicted. Kaito is a somewhat Bossun-looking lead, and while his promise to his dad (solve those poor lonely puzzles 0_o ) it’s clear this is just a kid whose brain needs to be constantly challenged. The fiery Nonoha kinda reminds me of Miyoshi from Bakuman – but is voiced by Lain!

Let’s face it, none of the character designs are super original, but they are well-executed and attractive, and full of life and energy, too. The animation was excellent, the soundtrack was very eclectic and as for the puzzles, well, let’s just say it felt like we were watching Myst in anime form, what with the tricky practical puzzles where you may die if you screw up. The system underlying Minotaur – Einstein and Orpheus and whatnot – still somewhat escape us, but this was a great introduction, and we’ll be watching next week.

Rating: 3.5