Rubik’s Cube Analysis: Overlord S2 Episode 1

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I haven’t done one of these posts in a while. Unfortunately, I don’t have too much to say about the Rubik’s Cube appearance in Overlord, as we only get brief glimpses of it. As I said in my post on the episode, the cube looked pretty good from what I could see. I didn’t see any obvious inconsistencies as I did way back when I last wrote one of these posts.

I didn’t really have enough information to replicate the position seen in the episode this time. It’s probably possible, but the position seemed mostly random (like someone had just scrambled up a Rubik’s Cube for reference). It might have helped if I got a more continuous view of the cube, but the scenes mostly jumped to different shots of it. Oh well…

I want to talk a bit about the statement about the difference in difficulty between solving a single side and solving two sides. It’s a fairly intuitive aspect of solving a Rubik’s Cube. You can only make progress on a second side by messing up the first solved side.

This idea is why it’s generally more efficient to line up as many pieces as you can before you solve a side. If you watch me solve, I generally don’t solve the first side for the first 10 or so seconds, which is a bit more than halfway through the solve.

So what exactly does it mean to “solve” a side? You just need to get all of the colors on one side to match, right? That’s certainly what we see in the episode. The cube’s appearance ends when all of the orange pieces are lined up.

I want to draw your attention to the bottom of the cube, though. Although, all colors on top are orange, the pattern adjacent to the orange side is yellow-blue-yellow. In a “true” solve, those colors would all match as well.

When solving a Rubik’s Cube, we have a concept of “orientation” and “permutation”. When you make all colors on one side match, you’re solving those pieces’ orientation. If the colors on the adjacent sides also match, you’ve solved the pieces’ permutation. You can think of orientation as making sure the pieces are facing the right direction and permutation as making sure the pieces are in their correct locations.

An example of the same side correctly permutated.

Marth’s Rubik’s Cube Nerd Moments in Haruchika Episode 2

Just wanted to point out some animations mistakes from Haruchika that probably few people noticed. In Rubik’s Cubes, there is a concept of color schemes, which is the orientation of the color that appear on each side of the cube. There are two major color schemes in existence.


The more common Western color scheme features white opposite of yellow, green opposite of blue, and red opposite of orange. It’s the one that we’re probably most used to seeing.


The second color scheme is the Japanese color scheme, which instead features blue opposite of white and yellow opposite of green (keeping red opposite of orange). I rarely see this scheme, but I notice it easily because of how different it is from the Western colors.

[HorribleSubs] Haruchika - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.49_[2016.01.15_07.00.09]

Now let’s look at the scene with Haruta solving the Rubik’s Cube. If you look closely at this screenshot, you will see a piece towards the left near Haruta’s left hand that has green and yellow on it. In the Japanese scheme, this is impossible because green and yellow are opposite of each other. As a result, we can conclude that Haruta is solving a Rubik’s Cube with the Western coloring.

[HorribleSubs] Haruchika - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.49_[2016.01.15_07.02.03]

Here’s another clue that this a Western cube. Notice the corner piece in the front that is blue, white, and orange. Since blue is opposite of white, this is also an impossible piece in the Japanese coloring. But here’s where things go wrong.

[HorribleSubs] Haruchika - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.53_[2016.01.15_06.50.38]

Look closely at the cube as Haruta puts it on the table (you may need to open the full-resolution image). Facing us is a yellow side, but the top is white. In the Western coloring, white and yellow are opposites, so they shouldn’t be showing up next to each other. This makes no sense!

The same mistake is made at the very end of the episode too when Haruta paints the cube.

[HorribleSubs] Haruchika - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_19.24_[2016.01.15_07.08.15]

Notice the orientation of the cube here. You can clearly see yellow on top with red in the front and blue on the right.

[HorribleSubs] Haruchika - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_19.35_[2016.01.15_07.08.31]

If you look really closely here, you can see the tinge of green on the bottom (it’s too dark to be white). This is the Japanese color scheme, right?

[HorribleSubs] Haruchika - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_20.17_[2016.01.15_07.07.25]

But here we have yellow and green magically next to each other…so, is this the Western color scheme?

Again, these are things that probably only someone who has solved Rubik’s Cubes as much as I have would notice, but I hope you found it interesting.