I went into viewing ChäoS;HEAd without a great deal of expectations. Having read through many of the reviews and hearing some firsthand accounts on it I got the impression that it was going to be an average at best experience. However this was a show that I had been very interested in seeing since it started airing. For me it’s a great example of not believing everything you hear.
The story starts out as a pretty interesting mystery involving a number of grisly murders and a high school boy who believes he has witnessed one of them and is being fed information about
future killings before they happen. The boy is Takumi, a severely disturbed and socially awkward individual who is terrorized by delusions and paranoia. The plot feels genuinely creepy at times but doesn’t manage to sustain this over the course of the entire series. Because of Takumi's delusions the viewer is not always sure what is real or what isn’t. It does take some significant detours and while it’s not the smartest thing I have ever seen, in my opinion it managed to be interesting through the end. However one might feel about how the story changed focus over the course of the show, I did feel that it ended very nicely with most of the loose ends tied off.
Takumi's character for me was extremely interesting. Sure he is a stereotype of a socially awkward otaku, but what makes him a great character is his personality. He is an extremely disturbed person. His inability at times to know what is real or what isn’t made him fascinating. I enjoyed how he coped with his fear of others by imagining his favorite anime character as a companion. I felt the story did a great job in developing him and having him overcome his fears and questions about his own existence.
Sadly as good as I felt Takumi was as a character, the rest of the cast is quite uninspired. The girls all fall into the usual patterns that we see in every anime, from the moe sugar sweet best girlfriend to the brainy and to the cold hearted swordsman. Still despite this I still enjoyed most of them, particularly Yua and even though they weren’t that groundbreaking. The villains are equally stale from an originality standpoint. Their motivations are 2-dimensional and boring and really were a poor foil overall for the heroes to overcome.
The artwork is good for the most part but a little inconsistent at times. I felt the colors were kind of flat and the styles seemed awfully dated looking. In addition the character models felt.. familiar. It didn’t seem like there was any originality in designing them and some of them actually looked like they were ripped directly out of other anime. I did like the music, the opening was good and I felt set the tone, but the ending while a good song felt out of place considering the subject matter of many of the episodes.
Despite a number of faults I just can’t say that I didn’t like this show. It’s not great at anything it does. The thriller elements of the plot fall a bit flat and the action scenes really aren’t that interesting either. My interest in the main character and a decent storyline made this an enjoyable experience for me. I would recommend it, however if you looking for a superb suspense thriller or a great action you’re probably going to be disappointed.
Chaos;Head is a prime example of an anime that collapsed under the weight of its own ambition. In trying so desperately to separate itself from a myriad of other suspenseful thrillers while catering to a pre-selected audience, Chaos;Head spreads itself all of the place, so much so that everything about it is thin, flimsy, and overall disappointing. The end result, however, is stuff of unintended comic gold.
Chaos;Head starts fantastic with a very adventurous first episode brimming with possibilities. The play on otaku falling victim to their own delusions, coupled with a series of bizarre homicides was intriguing enough to keep me watching it repeatedly, but
then trouble began to surface. The series began to breach the mysteries it had established with theoretical existentialism, leading into discussions using made-up terminology that goes entirely unexplained and becomes even more convoluted as its short but utterly incomprehensible run comes closer to a finish.
Even more irritating, all of the mysteries and delusions established in the first episode are cast aside as convenient attention-getters. Nothing established in the first episode even matters to the big picture. Also, plot twists, while numerous, are established without any prior knowledge as to what they entail for the cast and revelations do not have any gravitas. The only reason I give the story any points is for the first few episodes alone, before it careened into self-destruction.
Characters are a little better, but only in certain instances. Main character Takumi is entrancing throughout the first half. His reactions to the mania around him are painfully crafted with a sense of realism so as to have Takumi's reaction become the mirror of the viewer, and it works very well. However, he betrays this reality of self when the series enters into its convoluted style of existentialism and he becomes a living deus ex machina.
The girls of the series are handled just as carelessly, often with vain attempts at giving them personality quirks but failing to capitalize on them. The only real exception to this is Kozue, but her traits are so forced and intruding, that by "cutesyfing" her the staff made her more off-putting than any other girl. Moreso, the series can only focus on one or two girls at a time, meaning that all the other girls suddenly disappear from the picture. This would be fine, except they often return with a wealth of new information we are forced to assume they learned off-scene.
Technical aspects are far better than anything the series offers otherwise, but not exceedingly so. The art is fairly average of the typical series these days. Madhouse obviously didn't break the bank, but the looks is acceptable. Takumi's character design, especially his face, is often hard to look at, but the girls all look acceptable. The animation flows well-enough but it's nothing to write home about. An all around average job.
The sound was good too, but only in some parts. Namely the theme songs; the first being a catchy Kanako Itou number with lyrics that make no sense but are befitting of the series' storyline, and the closer being an impossibly upbeat tune with lyrics that resemble bad stalker poetry. Sound effects and vocal performances also highlight various sequences. The prior are easily arguable, but the BGM is horribly composed. Not ear-bleedingly so, but still quite bad.
Yet for as sharp and horrible a nosedive as Chaos;Head took, I reveled in it. I wanted to see how bad the story got and how awful the characterization became. It may have been a poor series, but it reaches on "so bad its good" territory in the same way a handful of cult classics and B-movies do. It's not for everyone, but you can definitely have a lot of fun laughing at just how awful this series becomes.
Ever since Neon Genesis Evangelion's debut in the late 90's philosophically charged mind-frags have been a staple of anime. Many of these mind-twisting series are pretty brilliant, despite being exceedingly obtuse. Chaos;HEAd is definitely not one of these. Filled with nonsensical metaphysical babble, flimsy internal logic, and clearly not as smart as it thinks it is; this show is the perfect example of what happens when a psychological thriller goes completely wrong.
The show follows a socially inept (to put it VERY lightly) and barely sane anime obsessed recluse named Takumi Nishijou as he is pulled into a reality bending battle with the fate of the
world at stake. Grisly murders and suicides are taking place around the city, throwing it into confusion and fear. Takumi witnesses one murder being committed by a pink haired girl; a girl who appears to him at his school claiming to be his friend and classmate, something that all his acquaintances affirm even though Takumi has no recollection of her. This drives the already unstable Takumi into a paranoid panic, but the more he struggles to get back to his hermit lifestyle, the further he is sucked into a world of conspiracy theories and horrific happenings; as well as running into more cute yet strange girls.
This animated adaptation of a visual novel seems to be trying to do a lot of things. It tries to deconstruct or at least put a dark twist on the harem trend by giving its gaggle of girls twisted or scarred personalities. It tries to bring forth existential ideas with theories of how the mind perceives things and mind-powered reality bending abilities. It tries to be an intricately plotted suspense thriller, filled with hallucinatory imagery and cryptic ominousness concerning a prophesy, an evil organization, and a mysterious man in a wheelchair. The problem here is not a lack of ambition, the problem is that the show fails to execute well on anything it attempts.
Despite giving most of the cast damaged and twisted psyches, the story fails to make any of its characters compelling because they are just not believable. To put it simply, the characters do not act or behave like actual people. Takunm is so far gone that it pretty much impossible to relate to him. Imagine taking Satou from Welcome to the NHK and stripping him of the humanity which made him a compelling character, leaving only his extreme dysfunctions. Now imagine the show playing his insane ineptness as straight drama, rather than dark comedy; and you have Takumi. Takumi is a one dimensional caricature of a crazy otaku rather than a complex fleshed out character; so his turmoil and insecurities ring hollow. The rest of the cast pretty much follows suit. The gaggle of girls that surrounds Takumi is a collection of graphic novel stereotypes, devoid of much personality besides their strange mental dispositions. The main antagonist, who is revealed later in the series, lacks any kind of understandable motive; he's evil and wants to rule the world because the plot needed some kind of bad guy, I guess.
The show also tries way too hard to build tension. To be fair, the techniques it uses are pretty commonplace in psychological thrillers. Strange camera angles and hallucinatory are very useful tools to create an effective chiller. Unfortunately, the staff of Chaos;HEAd lacks the skill to use them effectively. There is no subtly to the suspense in the series, and as a result it is often ends up being unintentionally funny. Moments of high tension and sinister revelations happen sporadically with no rhyme or reason, making the plot unfold very unnaturally.
Just as bad is all the meta-physical babble in the series, in fact, that is probably the worst part. The shows has some 'interesting' concepts about the world, and how the mind can perceive and influence it, which are so far from reality they barely make sense at all. Unfortunately, the show is intent on trying pass off this confused jumble of ideas as something poignant. Worse yet, some of the concepts in the show are so implausible that the show spends a good amount of time with exposition to explain the convoluted logic behind them. Underneath all of this is a rather basic plot involving an evil organization bent on taking over the world and the unlikely heroes who must stop them that is over-complicated by all the nonsense the show puts us through.
On the technical side of things, Chaos;HEAd doesn't look bad, just woefully uninspired. The character designs are the placid moe-fied girls and plain looking guys; they are neither particularly appealing or hideous, but just kind of boring to look at because we see characters that look like this all the time. Backgrounds are fairly well detailed, but just like the characters, there is just nothing eye catching. The animation is standard quality for TV anime, nothing flashy with moments of choppiness, but nothing horrendous. Obscure camera angles and other effects are used quite frequently, but seldom effectively. The show does such a poor job at properly setting the mood that the effects come across as an obnoxious, failed attempt to be artsy. The soundtrack is sparingly used and when it is used, it hits a lukewarm semi-successful at best. There are many scenes in the show without music, but even in scenes with a track playing, the music just kind of fades away in the back ground, or is played at a blurring high volume. There are moments when the soundtrack is used to good effect, but they are rare and far between.
Chaos;HEAd is an exceptionally bad waste of 12 episodes. It is a show that takes half-baked ideas and tries to present them as something intelligent with endless psychological babble. Behind all the quasi-philosophical mumbo jumbo is a generic, and honestly, rather dull plot. Despite all the pretense of depth, Chaos;HEAd is poorly conceived creation devoid of believable characters, compelling storytelling, and worst of all, intelligence.
This review is biased, because I read the VN. I thought about writing a review that does not mention the VN at all, but I that I'd rather write one that does, one that mentions the VN throughout the whole review.
It's also a long-ass review. Did I mention that I'm rambling on the game?
ChäoS;HEAd is an adaptation of a popular Visual Novel of the same name, spanning 12 episodes.
Just from the idea of a 30-40+ hours Visual Novel adapted into a 12 episode anime (about 5-6 hours) you already know that many segments will be shortened or cut off completely, unless it is only the
first season out of few, which is not.
When I first read the synopsis of the game: "Takumi is withdrawn and is not interested in 3D things" I already had a great interest in playing the game.
Mixed with a mysterious serial murder case and Takumi chatting with people in the internet, staying in his room most of the time... it sounded like an excellent idea.
I installed the game and started to play it (without knowing Japanese) and just from the beginning I was hooked. The menu music and design, the atmosphere in the beginning of the game.. it has blown me away.
And when I knew that a translation project has just started and is progressing fast, only a few months after the game came out.. I looked forward to this real bad.
A few months later, Right when the before the anime started, finally a decent beta patch came out (playable with pretty much the whole game, unlike the patches that came out before that).
I started playing the game and in the next day, I watched the first episode of the anime.
Already, I noticed a few differences between the anime and the game, but overall, the differences were not that great, and the anime had a good start.
I finished the game after some time, and while it had mixed reviews from other people, personally, I enjoyed playing the game very much - even if it suffered from some problems which I overlooked because it was thoroughly an enjoyable experience for me.
While progressing in the anime I felt that the anime lacked the emotion that was present in the game, but overall it did a nice job following the main storyline without any problems up until episode 6.
I couldn't wait to watch episode 7, because the most interesting stuff are about to begin from here, if it had followed the game.
To my surprise and disappointment, episode 7 had some significant changes , emitting one of the best parts of the game, and made the anime lose all the horror and suspense parts it had up until now (even if they were few in number).
Episode 8 was an episode that was not present in the game at all.
Episode 9 followed the game, but rendered episode 8 unneeded completely.
Episode 10 emitted all the best parts from the game, completely, and was censored as hell, more than others, and was not enjoyable for me at all.
Episode 11 was bad, and censored as well.
Episode 12, the final episode,was good, considering that the previous episodes were a trainwreck.
Wow, that was a long introduction. So lets get to the technical details:
Story 6/10: Rushed, best segments from the game were not present in the anime, lacked feeling, lacked almost all of the horror and suspense elements.
Art and Animation 6/10: Character designs were simplistic, and while the animation was really good in some scenes, it was choppy as hell in others.
While some backgrounds were done beautifully, most of the background characters were done so badly, really badly.
So in one word... inconsistent. In Two words, very inconsistent.
Sound 9/10: I think I'm one of the few people that liked the anime OP more than the game OP. The ED was great too, I never skipped the OP or the ED not even once.
The background music was really nice.
All the voice actors did a great job, and overall in the sound department it gets a 9/10. Why not 10/10? because the anime was rushed and the script was rushed , the voice actors had to rush it too, and it's a shame. Because of that, many scenes lacked the feelings that were presented in a much more superior way in the game.
Character 7/10: While in the game, some of the characters were stereotypical and undeveloped, I liked pretty much all the characters, and especially Takumi.
Takumi is a stereotype of a withdrawn person that is not interested in 3D things.
He's pretty much the biggest stereotype of an anime Otaku almost Hikki that barely goes to school just to graduate), collecting figurines, shuts himself in his room all day, playing MMO's, living on a container on the roof, has an imaginary anime character WAIFU (He likes her more than all of his other WAIFUS) that he faps and fantasizes about all day up until the point that he talks to her when he's alone and her voice is served as his inner voice giving him the ideal advices for him when he's in a pinch... getting to the shoes of a guy like that can't get more interesting for me. It was so awesome for me to know what Takumi thinks about, the fact that he barely talks in the game, the fact that he doesn't trust anyone.... the way that his characters was developed and was faced with all the crap he has to go through it was amazing. I found myself agreeing with him, being amused by him... I just really like his character.
Now the anime... take his character, make him less pathetic, make him more talkative, and the fact that you barely hear him thinking... suddenly I didn't care what happens to him as I did in the game. He was much more flat, and it goes to almost all the characters in the anime compared to the game, mainly because of the changes in the anime and the fact that it was rushed. I didn't like the Imouto because she wasn't as moe in the game... the same goes to pretty much all the other characters (Rimi, Sena, Ayase, Yua , detective Ban, Shogun, Suwa, Hazuki, even Daisuke... and so on).
I liked Kozu-Pii just like I liked her in the game... maybe I liked Kozu-Pii a little more in the anime. I'm not sure about this. It's just that I didn't care what happens to the characters as I did in the game, because it was rushed, and the new mediocre story segments made things only worse in the development of the characters.
Enjoyment 7/10: The most important factor for me. Did I enjoy the anime? Most of the time? yes. Did I did not enjoy the anime at other parts? yes.
I had some mixed feelings, really. But I guess the reason I'm giving this a 7 in not a 6 as I planned because to my surprise... I enjoyed the last episode. No other hidden meanings here.
The anime was a:
In one world: Trainwreck.
In four words ( I think..):Trainwreck that I enjoyed.
In eight words (Wait.. I'm not sure here): Trainwreck that I enjoyed most of the time.
Should you watch this anime? You should decide for yourself.
That is all for this long ass ramble first review. To my surprise, it didn't take me long to write this. I guess that I wrote what I thought, simple as that. Sorry for the spelling mistakes and all other shit.
Chaos Head is an excellent new anime. If you like psychological animes with a little of paranoia rolled in then you will love this anime. I loved the first episode, the character Taku is so intriguing. Those of you who like psychology lets just say he'd be the perfect patient. I could not stop watching this anime, and i cant wait till the next episode comes out. oh yeah the art and story line are one of the best of the 2008 anime.
ChäoS;HEAd is a Supernatural, Psychological, Mystery, whatever that literally gives a new meaning to the term “mind-f**k”. Whichever way you feel about this series, whether you like its intriguing set-up or detest its absurdity, there’s no denying that it’s a complete mess.
Following the life of some loser otaku, Takumi Nishijou is a high school student living life in his own little world of online gaming, anime and perverse fantasies. Then one fateful day he wonders into some gruesome murder scene, changing his current life dramatically, as extreme paranoia sets in. Well that’s the introduction, in a nutshell and like most people I struggled to make
sense of this absurd anime that felt like watching the Matrix on crack, whilst also watching Scanner Darkly of LSD. But we are not alone as the main character struggles to make sense of what’s going on as well and it isn’t until halfway into the series that some light is finally shed on our confused minds; with some much needed plot exposition. It’s just a shame that whatever explanations into what the series is about will go over most people’s heads and I’ll be wasting my time trying to explain it myself.
However what can be explored are the characters, as this series is full of a weird bunch. As stated before the main protagonist is some loser otaku Takumi, who’s pretty much like a more freakishly annoying version of Tatsuhiro Satou from Welcome to the NHK. What more can be said about this deluded kid, except that it’s weird how this series became a bit of a harem when all of a sudden his surrounded by bishoujo. Naming all of them would be a pain, so just think of all the character types found in your typical visual novel/eroge and give them weird psychological complexes.
At least the animation and music was great, with a credible amount of effort put in by studio Madhouse clearly evident in this area. The character designs and action moments are plain rubbish but the scenery and objects are certainly portrayed incredibly well. Also the music is pretty fascinating, since it has some eerie tunes to set a weird tone for this weird series.
Overall ChäoS;HEAd was a fairly interesting anime as it was more like a homage to a portion of the otaku world, whilst trying to give a serious story. About halfway into the series it certainly piqued my interest, with all the weird theories they were throwing about but for the most part it made little sense.
I know a lot of people hate Chaos;Head for some reason or another, but damnit, I thought it was good. I originally watched it in July of 2010 and gave it a 10/10. Was that score deserved? What did I like about it so much before? It'd been so long I figured I'd re-watch it and give it a proper rating and review.
People criticize Chaos;Head as a convoluted mess, but I disagree. There were some times that complicated points in the storyline were explained at a rather fast pace; perhaps not exactly "easy" to follow, but I don't think it was hard either. For
anyone who didn't get it, this series is a lot like an anime version of The Matrix.
- - - S T O R Y - - -
Throughout the entire show, I found the story to be quite intriguing. The show is filled with mysterious identities and mysterious happenings, which unravel over time with a natural flow. Nothing felt forced or tacked on to me. Perhaps getting a lecture about electromagnetic waves and human senses out of the blue felt "forced" to some, but I think the timing was appropriate and the characters explaining obviously did so intentionally, planning it out ahead of time.
Chaos;Head has a few "reveals", the main one being something personal about Takumi. I found all of them to be decently executed. Takumi's big reveal was led up to more and I felt it was quite well done. Some anime series will just randomly throw plot twists at you without being convincing at all, just expecting you to accept any changes it brings. Takumi's character development was smooth and believable. Some may argue otherwise, but it's not like he just did a 180 outta nowhere. The confidence the Di-Sword would bring, the relationship he built, the immense power and understanding he acquired, etc. I think is more than enough reason to give him a little bit of courage.
There are two minor plot holes in this series. The first is Rimi's involvement with the New Gen incident from the first episode. There is never any explanation as to why she was there. However, it honestly feels like it doesn't matter. We can assume she was there for any number of reasons, even that it was just a delusion attack on Takumi. The answer has no bearing on the story, really.
The second is how all the female characters acted like friends and as if they all knew each other in the final episode. This was a little silly since most of them have never met before, but also not a huge deal, and it can also be explained away as a result of Takumi's delusions. They all go to the same school, anyway, so it wouldn't be too unusual to be slightly familiar with each other.
- - - A R T - - -
The art is average for the most part. There's the rare inconsistency with Takumi's hairstyle, but it's really not a big deal. Cutesy anime girls with outrageous hairstyles, the usual. The art and animation is as good as any other average anime.
The part I really liked about the art is the effects that were used at certain tense moments. A desolate world where there is only Takumi and Shogun... A place where you must absolutely not be, where you can feel your very existence is at stake... A dark hallway that is clearly off limits... It just added so much more feeling to the scenario, as if you were right there with the characters.
- - - S O U N D - - -
The opening and ending themes are among my favourites from all the anime I've seen. They've got a good sound and good singers. The opening theme's intensity doesn't feel like it's all there since the show's full of cutesy anime girls and some parts of the opening animation aren't exactly exciting. Still, it's a very good song. The ending is one of two songs I've heard from Seira Kagami; I feel like I really gotta check out more of her stuff, she definitely sings better than your average idol or squeamish high pitched girl. I'm sure people would think the song is just gay since she says "super special", but you gotta remember English isn't her first language, there's bound to be some poorly phrased sentences. Still, I think it's a very good j-pop song. It may not fit the whole series' mood, but it fits the ending. Make of that what you will.
Takumi's voice actor does the job great. I love how Takumi creepily/uneasily laughs to himself and how he sounds uneasy and troubled. The rest of the cast is just average roles, and they do that fine.
I find the music in Chaos;Head to be pretty interesting and to fit the mood perfectly. It's common for anime to have overly silly and upbeat songs whenever the character does something silly or to just have boring music that you don't even really notice. Instead, Chaos;Head opts for simple piano pieces to gently give you the right feeling. The tense moments have incredible distorted piano pieces and awkward, creeping, noisy tracks. Most anime will just give you some exciting "action" music at the heated moments, but Chaos;Head gives you something chilling - a taste of insanity itself. I love it.
- - - C H A R A C T E R S - - -
Takumi - He is an awesome character. He's a weak, cowardly otaku who daydreams of a life with his 2D waifu and tries his hardest to not be the main character. That part is okay, but what's really great about him is his extreme negativity, paranoia, and his general attitude and reactions to events. His uneasy smile and weak little laugh, averting his eyes from other people, walking ahead of people who are talking to him... Overall, he's just a hilarious character, and his otaku references are a bonus for anime fans. It's also cool that he hangs out on the computer, plays MMORPGs all day, and uses Google and Wikipedia to solve his life problems, much like the rest of us.
Shogun - I thought it was interesting how they presented a harmless, shriveled up old man in a wheelchair as some mysterious and cryptic being with unknown allegiances. The fact that they made a character like that interesting in any way is impressive, especially in a sub-culture where people only care about cute girls.
Rimi - Just another anime girl throwing herself at the main character? Not really, she has a good reason for it. All of her actions make sense at the end, which I think is great. I'd say they should've developed her character more, but it's hard to imagine how they could've; she was fine.
Yua - Like Rimi, there are also good reasons for her actions. Her character development is generic at first, but her first plot twist makes her pretty interesting.
Kishimoto - Also has reasons behind her actions and how she gets close to Takumi. I know that's pretty bland to keep saying, but I don't wanna spoil things.
Sena - It was kinda silly how she literally carried her sword at all times. I mean, even if no one else can see it, she would be looking pretty stupid walking around in public as if she's holding a sword resting on her shoulder. Her backstory gave her a fine motive for the story, though.
The girls overall - Not exactly interesting by themselves, but not as typical as you'd think at first glance. If you think you'll be seeing "the down to earth one", "the sporty one", "the shy one", etc. like in other harems, you're mistaken. In fact, this isn't even really a harem. The girls don't flirt with the main character or try to start relationships, they don't blush at him, they don't accidentally show him panties, etc. They're mainly just there for the sake of the plot and allowing Takumi's character to develop. Maybe they could've been more intricate like Takumi himself if there were fewer girls, but I guess I'm not really complaining. The story was fine as it was, whether they were necessary or not. This would've been better if they weren't flaunted as the representatives of this anime for general otaku appeal, though.
- - - E N J O Y M E N T - - -
I didn't enjoy when Takumi had delusions about the girls playing out some hentai scenario or when he accidentally touched Rimi's breast (though his dating sim references were funny). These kinda things (the ecchi) are just way too overdone and boring to be any remote point of interest. However, I can respect that Chaos;Head didn't make any effort to actually make it erotic. It felt more like silly anime shenanigans, not like "I can't tell if I'm watching anime or porn".
I also respect that Chaos;Head didn't bother with bloody violence/gore. I mean, there were some little visions of horror, but they didn't emphasize on it much - they left things more to your imagination. It's not that I'm afraid of a little blood or anything, I liked seeing that in Hellsing Ultimate before. The reason I respect Chaos;Head for not doing the same is because gore has become a simple little trick anime producers use for shock value. They insert it when it isn't even really appropriate and people just gobble it up. Chaos;Head simply didn't need it, and I think it's good that they acknowledged that.
I found this series to be enjoyable the whole way through, though I think the ending and final battle felt a little... I dunno, lacking for a climax. I think it's because the villain had a very good and valid reason for his schemes, whereas our heroes didn't have very solid grounds to oppose him. If it were a debate, the good guys would lose hands down - they only won by using force, like brutes. They did rationalize it a bit better afterwards, but it felt kinda hard to get into that battle while it was happening.
For anyone complaining about how things don't make enough scientific sense to apply to the real world, c'mon... it's just a sci-fi story. Of course they're gonna stretch the truth a bit.
On a side note, it's funny how "Wikipedia" in this series is "Wiki-pedophilia".
- - - O V E R A L L - - -
Well, I suppose I can't recommend Chaos;Head to everyone since it's evident that a ton of people hate it. It's just 12 episodes and starts off really exciting, though, so you don't have much to lose. It's more creative and original than the majority of anime you'll come across, to say the least.
I dunno, I think people are just missing the point and getting hung up on how they didn't understand the concept of the delusions. Chaos;Head literally asks you if you can really be sure that what you see is reality, and tells you that the only way you can know for sure is if other people confirm it. Say one person is colour blind and thinks something is gray, but 10 other people think that same object is yellow. It is yellow because everyone else says it's yellow, even if you can't comprehend that. They take it to an extreme that some people believe and some people do not. There are many ways you can interpret this line of thinking. Is God real, or does he only exist because so many people believe he does? Is history the truth, or is it fabricated? If your brain can send signals to increase or decrease your body temperature (such as when you're sick or sleeping), could it go so far as to give you physical burns or let you freeze to death? Can you say a rainbow exists, or is it only there because you perceive it to be there?
I think it's interesting that an anime series based itself on perceptions and "belief" itself. This anime isn't extremely deep, and I really don't think the plot was that complicated to understand, but it is somewhat thought provoking. Apparently too much for some people, I suppose.
I haven't played the game, nor have I read the visual novel, so I cannot compare and point out about differences or things left out. Thus, this review is about the anime only.
Chaos;Head... I'm going to be honest, and say that Chaos;Head was a real disappointment. The concept is fairly original. I give points for that. If you were like me, I was expecting a fairly elaborate plot with twists and suspense, but Chaos;Head severely lacked that, and thus, it turned out having a really mediocre and a down right uninteresting result. To fit this kind of a story-line, into such a short space of
time, obviously was not a very good idea, and the result of this is of huge disappointment.
An Otaku called Takumi lives by himself and excludes himself from the rest of the world. One day, he receives a message from a mysterious "Shougun" with a link to a highly disturbing image of a person staked onto a wall. The next day, after walking through Shibuya, he runs into an alleyway, and accidentally stumbles into a man having been staked to a wall, exactly that in which he saw in the image. As it turns out, these are a series of mysterious seemingly supernatural events referred to, as the "New Generation". Eventually, Takumi gets caught-up with the events of "New Generation" and becomes paranoid of things around him and starts having delusions. He becomes troubled as to who he can trust, what aren't delusions, and who is this mysterious "Shougun" who seems to be around him all the time?
The first half of the series was rather strong. It was very well set up, and had a lot of potential in becoming "one of the greats". Elements of being a very well thought out psychological thriller were present, with small bits of science mixed in with the mythology of the story. Slowly released questions and answers: Good! Although, once it hit around the half way mark, the storyline and plot just began to fall apart, and once it hit the final straight, it basically just blew up on itself. Things became way too obvious. Some scenes became almost pointless. Even when things were still mysterious in some sort of way, the answer was just thrown at you. There are too many times where you could say "Why didn't you do that in the first place!?" and "Isn't it obvious?". They seemed way too rushed, and definitely were not very well thought out. The small amount of romance in the story didn't help at all and it really all seemed a little tacky. As far as I could tell, they just made the story lamer than what it had already become. Where were the twists? Where was the unexpected? Where was the "I want more!" feeling?
One guy surrounded by a whole lot of girls? Fine, if you can pull it off well, then sure. I'd have no objections to that. However, each girl did not play a large enough role. A lot of the times, it was as if they were "just there" without much purpose. Takumi was just way too wimpy and cowardly in the beginning. Good ol' brother-sister personalities are fun, and Kozue added a little more fun into the storyline. Overly obnoxious villain? How original... I'll give points to Takumi's and Sena's past as they're history is certainly interesting, along with Shougun's true identity. Although these played a fairly direct role in the plot, really, the characters were all rather dull and not complex enough.
Animation and character design were rather standard. The character's weren't elaborate, but it worked. There were really no inconsistencies in animation, and the sword designs were certainly interesting and nicely detailed. There really isn't anything outstanding in the OP and ED. They didn't quite fit along with the storyline that well either. The musical score seemed to have trouble in deciding how it wants to fit. I mean, the score wasn't bad as such. It just seemed... well... unfitting with the mood and tone of the scene. In some aspects of the story, the soundtrack was fitting, while most of the time, it just didn't help the scene. All the voices seemed to match fairly well with the characters, although there aren't any real standouts, but nothing to complain about either.
To wrap it all up, Chaos;Head really was just a messy, rushed and not very well thought out anime. It just didn't have that suspense, and nor did it have that much complexity. It certainly had huge potential, however the series just couldn't pull it off. Perhaps if the ending weren't as rushed, and things not so obvious and pointless, I'd be able to give it a better score. I feel I'm being a little generous here, and I've given it an overall 6.5 out of 10.
Stein's Gate is the 2nd highest rated anime on this entire site. It is universally beloved by anime fans everywhere. However, what about its sister series Chaos Head that takes place in the same world and had the same writer? It is universally disliked! How is this possible? What could have gone so terribly wrong here? Lets take a look.
Plot and Characters: 4/10
The main character is the boring Hikikomori that we have seen so many times before it is getting old. Unlike Rozen Maiden or Welcome to the NHK, this series doesn't really try to challenge our view of otaku or do a good job
making the viewer sympathize with them. He is simply there. A series of gruesome murders begins and you would think that the series would start to get interesting. You thought wrong! Chaos Head is one of the slowest and most boring anime ever made. That isn't really an effective criticism by itself, but if a film is going to be really slow it better do something right to make the effort worthwhile. Chaos Head does NOT deliver in this regard. A kid with a short attention span may complain that a classic film by Bergman or Kurosawa is slow and dull, but the wise adult can point out the philosophy, cinematography, and all the amazing things that the film does well. Chaos Head on the other hand tries to introduce mind blowing ideas with helpful animations, but completely falls on its face. It isn't nearly as intelligent as it clearly thinks it is, and this is quite obvious to the audience. Stein's Gate didn't just rely on "mind blowing" time travel theories, but also had solid characters and writing. This is what people actually liked it for! Chaos Head has the ideas, but shitty characters, poor writing, and terrible execution.
Art and Music: 5/10
The soundtrack really wasn't that enjoyable or memorable for me. The art is fine, but hardly groundbreaking for the year in which it was made. The production budget is decent, but honestly comes across as lacklustre across the board.
I actually dropped this series halfway through, and it is only 13 episodes. I just had zero desire to waste another minute of my life watching Chaos Head!
This series did have some potential and clearly could have done better. I believe it was based on a visual novel, but I haven't read it. Perhaps the original source material was better and this was just a really bad adaptation. If you liked the writing of Chaos Head, but want to see a series that actually has good characters and executes its ideals MUCH better, I would hop on the bandwagon and watch Stein's Gate, which as I mentioned is by the same author.
Chaos;Head is on par with Death Note...the plot is insanely interesting...makes me want to have more...the characters are unique...having an otaku being part of a mysterious organization is completely original...I recommend this to anyone and everyone...WATCH IT!!!! It'll get you hooked on from episode one
First of all my opinion is biased because I played the Novel before I watched the animation.
Story: Rushed rushed rushed and rushed. I don't know what they were thinking when they squeezed a 30+ hour plot in a ~6 hour animation. Many details are completely gone and some important plot elements were reduced to a minimum. I don't want to spoil so I keep this section rather short.
Art: Oh my god, droopy the animation. The art is horrible in every possible way. One word for this -> QUALITY
Sound: Can't complain here but I do like the original OST more.
Character: Side character development comes rather
short due to -> squeezing the plot.
Enjoyment: As you can obviously see I don't enjoy this anime very much and to put it bluntly I'm biased. I'm just watching this to see which ending they're going for but I can probably guess.
Overall: For me it is a 4~5. For the average guy who didn't read the Novel it ould be 7~8 probably.
It should be noted that this is my first review on this website.
My friend recommended this series to me because of the interesting premise. I looked it up (on here, actually), saw that it got some decent reviews, and started watching it almost right away.
This series had a lot of potential. It could have gone the distance. It could have gotten an 8 of 10 from me.
Needless to say, it didn't...
I'll start with Takumi Nishijou, the male lead. I used to think Shinji Ikari was the most annoying anime character, but Takumi jumped up and nabbed the crown. He's the main reason why I loathe
Takumi spends the majority of the measly twelve episodes whining about the events around him instead of becoming involved in them. Other annoying anime characters tend to have some kind of involvement in the story.Takumi just sat back and cried as his harem took care of everything.
Great job, Takumi! In my opinion, you're the worst leading character in any of the anime I've seen!
The only character that held my interest when he wasn't on screen was the police inspector on the murder case. I'm not even going to bother to remember his name, because I have the aching feeling that he's just a bad rip-off of police inspectors in past series (the police inspector in Noein, for example).
The villains and Takumi's harem girls got little or no development. In fact, I'd venture so far as to say that some of them got less than Takumi.
I gave this show such a low rating because the characters destroy anything that could have been accomplished. I forced myself to watch the last episode just so I could tell people how horrible it was, and I only got that far because the suspense made me want to see some manner of resolution. I would have said a bit about the horrible explanations provided for the powers, except that the basic idea is understandable if you can get past the tech-jargon and some people like to listen to tech-jargon.
In closing, stay away from ChäoS;HEAd unless you think the story is worth putting up with the characters. You have been warned.
as for me I already watch the episode 1 of the anime chaos head i already like it even the anime is Still Beging the first episode was perfect,.the Scence were Takumi Receive a link to certain Site from a person named Grim was really Scary.because when Takumi Click it showed Him A Crime Scence,at thought wasnt really but when he saw the crime in with own eyes and also a girl and next day He was suprised when He found out that girl belongs aslo with the same class Is really Scary thing to Happen,as for the characters voice is really perferct,the opening
song and ending song is really nice
Takumi is a high school student. He is withdrawn and is not interested in 3D things. In his town, a mysterious serial murder case happens and people get panicked. One day, when he chats on the internet, a man suddenly contacts him and gives him an URL. He goes to the website and finds a blog image that suggests a next murder case.... On the next day, it really happens....
Takumi suffers from intense delusions as a result of his apparent schizophrenia and the extremely secluded lifestyle he lives as a hikkikomori. One day he accidentally stumbles upon a gruesome murder scene, a part of a
chain of events called "New Generation." After this, his life gets caught up in these events, and he meets a bunch of increasingly insane anime girls with swords.
Story & Characters
Alright, admitedly, looking at the first couple of lines, my first impression was, "This sounds like a rehashing of 'Welcome to the NHK'," with some crazy NEET at its center that I could quite easily not give a dang about. Well, alright, I watched it anyway. My first impressions from the first few lines, part right and part wrong. To those of you that are NEET-allergic, sorry to dissappoint you, but that was spot on. To those of you that didn't like NHK or are hoping for something different, you should be happy that it's nothing like NHK.
The Story progression was spot on to make a great show. They always provided enough information in one episode to get you to start thinking it would go one way, then out of the other side of the field throw you off next episode. (At least, they really landed that home on me and my roommate.)
In terms of shock factor behind the characters, they did everything spot on. And as I have said earlier they kept me (and my roommate) guessing right up until the end, even about the characters and their motives. The complex nature of entangling affairs that brought everyone to together prior to the final episodes was carefully concealed until the rise into the climatic final battle.
But the real kicker of Chao;Head, for me, was the use of perspective in the beginning of the series to create this very intimate feeling of who Nishijou Takumi was as a person, and ultimately, how they used that initial feeling and plunged the viewer into a very dark and disturbing story of the different sides of the human heart and both the conscious and unconsious minds we all have.
And, alas, we all have to admire the use of Takumi's delusions as both a story device at cementing our understanding of Takumi and his character and the create venue it created for fan service for all audiences and preferences.
Considering the harshness and splendor of this show with the sheer power of its story and implications for our world, throw in some originality, and I can find no better way to have told this modern day scifi mystery thriller with a little spice of ecchi and romance. There was enough of everything. Eat the 10!
And on a side note, with a fair backing in modern science, one only realizes that all those spiels that the characters gave throughout the story were pretty accurate and were well depicted. Side note now over, kudos to the staff who added those in to that detail. Power to them!
As an exercise to grading whether the art work style was appropriate for the series, I often think about if other studios had been in charge of everything. And I also compare it to, in cases like this, to the game. I can think of no better studio to have done this and the anime images are on par to those of the game, so they not only did the story justice with them, but they also did the game justice.
I have to say that the use of line art style artwork on the Di-swords when normal peopel weren't supposed to see them was quite good, although I tend to think that there must have been some better way of doing it. Yet, for my talk, I can think of no better way to show their presence and maintain the aura that they aren't visible to normal people. Ah! Gotta love conflictions such as these.
Some of the most powerful images in the series came from Takumi's delusions, thankfully, and they should be more memorable than the normal day in the area around Shibuya.
The vocal cast was diverse and talented and really played up their parts well. Those that were weak-kneed (aka Takumi) and those that sounded strong (aka one of the girls at one time or another) sounded their respective parts. And I didn't sense any inappropriate tone-age that sometimes comes across in some shows.
The insert song "Haritsuke no Misa" is perhaps one of the most memorable songs in the world of anime. And has the sound of a metal song that would get even the most avid Rammstein fan's attention while it's playing. A great song, by a great artist. And...as a bonus, the lyrics are as disturbing as some parts of the series.
The BGM is just that BGM. It's not meant to stand on its own, but as an enhancement to the story.
And a note on the OP/ED, absolutely wonderful songs that really, and I mean really, match the series' intents and mood. Although, at first, one's eyebrow will reach for the sky when hearing Seira Kagami's "Super Special" (ED). And one's eyebrows will have no ready made expression for the lyrics of the Itou Kanako's "F.D.D." (OP). Eyebrows excluded from the initial stage, they are great songs.
That kind of leads us with an 8 in this area.
As you can tell, I love the way they told this story. If they had a 20 in this section, I would give it. Now, I will tell my reasons.
You already know that this was a great thriller, as it keeps one guessing right up until the end. And your interpretations of the characters change on a pretty constant basis as the story progresses. Here's an example: I first hated Takumi, but at the end of the series, one could only feel jealous of the ------- with a certifiable harem of great women and the powers of a god. Perhaps this is all a little exagerated, but I think my point was made rather readily with that.
Thriller anime are either great or they suck. This was one of the great ones that came with a few bonuses, including some pretty good backstory and backworkings within the story. Another bonus not often seen. So in all due fairness. I recommend this anime.
ChäoS;HEAd is a prime example of why most one-cour shows have linear and simple plots. Imagine a box being stuffed so full that it explodes --- this is a perfect metaphor for the show. A combination of a plot that tries way too hard, characters that are as intriguing as a piece of printer paper, and perhaps the most obnoxious main character in all of animation history lead ChäoS;HEAd to be one of the worst shows I've watched.
ChäoS;HEAd introduces mysteries and plot points nearly every episode, yet these plot points are barely ever expanded on. You'll get introduced
to a murder one episode, and then it'll barely even get brought up again. Most things in the earlier parts of the show don't even contribute to the end. Instead of contributing to the plot, these mysteries are used to... uhhh... build tension? Nearly every episode has some sort of plot-twist, and the plot becomes incredibly convoluted and bizarre.
While the plot by itself is already confusing and dreadful, it is made even worse by the "scientific terminology" used to explain the Sci-Fi elements of the show. "Wait, so, there's an evil organization that has world domination in sights, and they're... projecting brain waves into the real world?" A combination of unexplained, bogus terminology and an even more confusing basic plot structure only serve to confuse and disappoint the watcher.
The appalling plot is not even the worst aspect of the show. ChäoS;HEAd features perhaps the worst cast of main characters to ever appear in animation. Unsurprisingly, with 7 main characters in a one-cour show, most of them either get close to no character development, or get the most forced character development possible. Each girl is focused on for about 2 episodes, and then effectively becomes a side character in the show. This creates 6 different heroines with two-dimensional and bland personalities. In fact, a lot of the time, the characters in the show are used simply to inject more information or terminology to create a more convoluted story.
The only non-heroine main character, the protagonist of the show, is nearly impossible to bear with. Takumi is an anime-obsessed hikikomori that sounds like he has some sort of combination of asthma and crippling anxiety whenever he speaks. His levels of paranoia and extreme social awkwardness make it nearly impossible to sympathize with him, or even understand what he's thinking at any given moment. Throughout the show, Takumi transitions from his already bad form, the asthmatic paranoiac otaku, into an even worse character: a suicidal Soren Kierkegaard. He just kind of walks around and spouts existentialist rubbish. ChäoS;HEAd would honestly be a more enjoyable show had Takumi been replaced with a wooden board.
Now we get on to the non-appalling parts of the show: art and music.
Let's start with art. For 2008 standards, the animation style is average at best. Madhouse probably didnt get a very high budget for the series, since the source material, the ChäoS;HEAd visual novel, is nothing to write home about. The characters all look decent.
Music is easily the best part of the show. An above average opening theme by Kanako Ito, and an alright ending theme were about the only times that I enjoyed watching ChäoS;HEAd. The background music is absolutely horrid; however, it is quite fitting for how bad the show is. The background music and sound effects manage to create more suspense than the plot itself.
Overall, I'd recommend anyone who decides to watch ChäoS;HEAd to first look up their nearest suicide hotline, and then save that number into their phone for easy access.
Ah. The infamous Chaos;Head. To be honest, I thought this series was going to be a great one, one that will make it to my faves list. Of course, I should have known from the first episode that it would suck. But anyway, on with the review.
Normally, I wouldn't give the story such a low score. After all, the story is the heart of the anime, isn't it? But, if it weren't for the fact that I am highly interested in murder/mystery/thriller plots, I would have given this story a 1 out of 10. The story itself was the most rushed story I had
ever seen, even more so than another 12 episode anime I had seen. It was a nice attempt, but it didn't really cut it for me.
Okay. Sue me. I liked the art. In fact, I loved it. Not really much else to say about it.
Loved the opening and ending theme. And I liked the music they played in the beginning of the episodes. It sets the mood for the anime itself. In fact, I think the sound was the best part.
Meh. Characters were pretty decent for an anime like this, though I didn't like most of them. And the development for one of them was like the story line: Way too rushed. Plus the relationship between characters is REALLY poor.
Enjoy this series? Most of the time, I just wanted to put this anime on my "Dropped Anime" list. But, I kept with it because I liked the feeling of having finished an anime.
I would recommend this series only if you like rushed development and story. This anime was sheer disappointment in my eyes, when I thought it would be decent.
When I first started watching Chaos;Head I was intrigued and it got my attention because I thought it was setting itself up to be a psychological thriller akin to Paranoia Agent, but then by about episode 6 the story takes a sharp left turn and becomes a typical action shounen story where the MC learns he has these special powers that he has to use to save the world from this evil organization.
I could see this working as a straightforward "good guys vs. bad guys" type story, but there are a few reasons why it fails at that. First, the MC, Takumi, is
not heroic, in anyway; in fact, he's such a jerk I don't have much reason to root for him. Second, an action story needs good...well, action, but this story doesn't. There's rarely any actual fighting and when there is the choreography is just awful; it just looks like the characters are swinging their swords without thinking and without skill or strategy involved. Third, so if the MC's have the power to make anything they imagine real, doesn't that make them ridiculously overpowered? Seriously, why fight with swords? Imagine a tank or a heat seeking missile or even a Gundam.
Another complaint I have with the story is how confusing it is. Even when they provide exposition it doesn't explain anything; I'm still confused about what EG rates and anti-particles are and how that translates into them making swords appear from nothing.
Takumi a horrible protagonist. He's selfish, cowardly, perverted and instead of being punished he's rewarded with a harem of supporting characters. As an example of what a jerk Takumi is, there's a scene where Takumi is walking up the stairs at school and a girl in front of him trips and skins her knee. What does Takumi do? Walks around her. Seriously, he doesn't ask if she's alright, helps her up, or even registers her existence because if it doesn't effect him he doesn't care.
Also, if you listen to what Takumi says, almost every sentence he says contains the words "I","Me",or"My" and keep in mind he's suppose to be the hero of this story!
As for the other characters I don't have much to say.
Genichi was your typical egomaniacal villain with a God complex.
Rimi is Takumi's best friend who is in love with him for some reason.
Nanami is Takumi's bratty little sister.
Not really anything memorable or likeable I found about them.
I wouldn't recommend this anime to anyone; it fails as a mystery, it fails a psychological thriller, and it fails as an action story. Overall, it was just boring and I want to punch Takumi so much!!
This is one of those shows that i really looked forward to, and the first 2-3 episodes almost got me feel I was high on something, but then …
Story: Alright, so the story begins with introducing the main character, Takumi. He is an Otaku that has failed at life basically, living in a container with his computer and anime figures totally isolated from the world excluding the few occasions he goes to school on. The thing that will catch your attention right of the start is that Takumi is having severe delusions that alter his reality. Right after the first episode we get thrown
into a murder case, which Takumi is somehow connected to. It is hinted that he is suffering from Scizophrenia and/or other pshycological issues. This makes one want to know more. Who is the murder? Can it be Takumi himself, doing it with another personality? Anyhow, a lot of questions pop up leaving you in despair once the episode is over and you realize you don’t have the next episode downloaded. So what does the anime make out of all this? Ill make it short: Nothing. The pshycological feel is totally crushed in episode 4 when we get to know a little of the truth about everything and the anime here derails into some sort of bad fantasy adventure with swords and what-not. oh, did I forget to mention that Takumis harem also steadily arrives as the show progresses? That’s right, weird girls keep coming up all the time, and all but one of them likes takumi. I was going to score the story a 6, but while I was writing this I remembered how I had trouble finishing the show, so it gets a 5.
Art: Well, it is Madhouse, so I cant say anything other than its good. The only thing lacking was the characters, and especially the girls. They just felt to.. animated! I don’t know, they just felt lifeless to me. The backgrounds and such we’re good though. So the art gets a 7, had the characters been better it would have gotten an 8.
Sound: I have nothing to complain on about the sound, but im not going to praise it either. Its mediocre, perhaps even a little better than that. The good thing about the sound is that they used the appropriate sound at the right moments, which gives a better feel to the show as a whole.
As for the voice acting, I think that Takumis VA did a great job. He expressed Takumis feelings really good, and it made him come to live, unlike the other characters. That said, I don’t think that the other voice actors did a bad job, but it wasn’t really memorable in any way. So the sound gets a 7, much like the art, it could have gotten an 8 had it just been a little better.
Characters: ok, so what to say about the characters. I already introduced Takumi to you, but ill just rant a little more about him anyway. So as I said he is a looser otaku with delusions bla bla, and he is perhaps, the best characters in the whole show. To be more exact, I think that he is the best character. His life situation is pictured pretty well, he is an otaku that doesn’t know that much about life, have a hard time socializing with people etc. it all makes him feel alive. This said its not like I think that he’s a VERY good characters, he’s fine, that’s all. All the other characters are stereotypes you’ll hate as soon as you see them, or else you’ll learn to hate them as the show progresses. There really isn’t anything to say about them, they are just uninteresting and have no real personality nor feel to them. I was a little unsure if I should give it a 5 or a 6 as a score, but in the end it got a 5. Takumi just wasn’t enough to cover the fact that all the other characters sucked.
Enjoument: The first episodes was great, then it derailed. After having watched around half the show I had it on “on-hold” for some weeks before finishing it. Even now I don’t really know why I just didn’t drop it there. This should speak for itself as for how much I enjoyed the ride. The show tries to be serious, but fails. Its just like how Death note tries to be to serious sometimes, just that you don’t laugh at Death note on those occasions… Imagine Light throwing the death note away, then he buys a sword and goes around killing criminals with it. Still trying to be as serious as before. That’s kind of how Chaos head is/was. Anyway, it gets a 5, and this goes for the overall score aswell.
A show where the name itself, ChäoS;HEAd, is meant to be taken literally. Your head will be filled with chaos as you attempt to understand what is going on.
The beauty of ChäoS;HEAd is that the show itself is a mystery. The rushed pacing of the show in combination with the intentional mysterious plot made it difficult to keep a handle on what was going on. I cannot count the number of times I said, out loud, "What the hell is going on?" I feel like the writers were trying to make this something unique that stood out as a gem among the crowd. They did
manage to make ChäoS;HEAd unique, but not necessarily in the way they intended.
Before watching this, I did take a peek at other reviews to see what the general consensus on the show was, or lack thereof. Some outright call the show a flop, while others appreciated the uniqueness of it. I decided to give it a go and make my own opinion on it. The first episode had some interesting lead-ins, places where a highly interesting story would have developed. I was looking forward to something special, though I figured I was setting myself up for disappointment. Oh boy did I set myself up. Like a bat out of hell, the story jumped off a cliff. Or so it seemed. For the vast majority of the show, the viewer is left confounded by "technobabble", unsound science, and plot twists, all of which were bundled up into a mysterious burrito for you to eat. It is not until episodes 10 and 11 that answers to the many questions brought up since the beginning receive answers. As a mystery genre anime, the show excels at keeping the viewer thinking about the possibilities of what could have happened. The mystery aspect aside, the plot line itself is rather iffy. While the lead up to the finale seemed to fit, a sudden deus ex machina sent thing astray. Had this anime been 24 episodes instead of 12, I think things would have been able to develop at a more appropriate pace and it likely would have been a far better series.
Moving on to the story itself, ChäoS;HEAd follows the life of Takumi Nishijou, a shut-in otaku who is so out of touch with reality at times that his mind synthesizes his favorite game character into being his wife. His quiet life is suddenly cast into disarray as a series of gruesome murders and suicides, known as the New Generation Madness, spring up in his home city of Shibuya, Tokyo. His distaste for the "three dimensional world" leads him to initially brush this off as not important to him; however, as fate would have it, he is thrown into the mix as he witnesses one of the murders first hand. His already fragile mind is snapped and he (and by extension the viewer) gradually becomes unable to differentiate his delusions from reality. The way he reacts to his distorting situation mirrors how the viewer reacts to this show - immense confusion, accompanied by a lack of words. "Errors," as they are called by Sena Aoi (one of the main characters), are causing the world to collapse and it is up to those who can see them to prevent them and "save the world." Scientifically unproven concepts are also brought up, especially from episode 5 onwards. What are known as lunar-biorhythms, the effect of the moon on our body, are an example of such. For the sake of avoiding spoilers, I wont go any further with the story aspect.
Going on to the cast, there is an overload of "main" characters present in ChäoS;HEAd. For a 12 episode anime, seven characters to focus on is too many. I found myself confused for the first several episodes as to the purpose of these characters, especially as to why they were being given mixed personalities. With many characters present, many "magically" disappeared for periods of time, only to return with details that would advance the story in a confusing, and somewhat forced, manner. That said, they all had a purpose and each had their necessary roles. Sadly though, their personalities remained mostly static, especially the MC who was consistently annoying to me. Though development of the characters is lacking, their portrayal improved the show and I would consider this part of the show "mediocre" overall.
The artwork proved to be par for the course, I think. The main characters are all high school students, so it's generic dress code galore! But seriously, who the hell makes students wear PLAID pants/skirts!? The Di-Swords (those giant purple things in the cover picture) are pretty cool looking, in both forms they are depicted in, though. Aside from that, there's nothing that really makes the show stand out from the artwork perspective, in my opinion, but there's nothing bad about it either. This is a different story when looking at the audio. The series' opening and ending themes are "F.D.D." and "Super Special" (performed by J-pop artists Kanako Itō and Seira Kagami, respectively). While "F.D.D." felt appropriate as the opening, I was woefully displeased by "Super Special." Initially, I found myself laughing hysterically when the words "You're always super special..." were uttered. For a non-romcom show, "Super Special" felt completely out of place. Within the actual show, there isn't much to speak of with the audio. Most of the time it was appropriate and enhanced the situation, while sometimes it fell short of expectations.
It's easy to see why ChäoS;HEAd has received such mixed reviews. Due to the confusing and rushed nature of the story, one can quickly become disinterested in it and fail to appreciate the mystery portrayed. I wouldn't recommend this as a light watch, though it's not something deep either. It's more of a mentally stimulating show, getting you to think about things in a different way. If you are one who enjoys mystery, I definitely would give this show a go. You'll appreciate the many twists and turns this show takes in attempts to throw the viewer off from where the truth lies.
So- to begin, I enjoyed this series. Yes it was interesting and slightly difficult to get into and wrap around the whole concept but once into the anime it gets more understandable.
Story-8: Reason-again with most 12 episode anime they had a lot of ideas and fewer episodes to get them all in. But they manage to pull it off. They added multiple characters that are delicately intertwined and revolve around one another in some way. The concept of the mind is always present in the anime and must always be included when making decisions about it- because not all is what it appears and
one can be fooled. I would suggest watching the anime in maybe one full go or maybe over 2-3 days without missing, because you will have some difficultly putting loose ends together.
Art-8-Reason: I'll be honest, since I'm not an artist, and I didn't want to say that this anime's art-style is like every other anime, that's just not good enough. This anime had great art work, especially in the form of the weapons used. Again because this anime focused around what the mind could do and create the artwork to assist that idea along was detailed, and colorful. I would suggest focusing more on the Di-swords since their designs and the main thing. The character's designs are I suppose common but they do have their individual styles. Ranging from long-haired to short, colors from pink to silver, black, and blonde. The eye colors all matching and added to the characters. At some points feathers, and sparkling of the Di-swords happens(won't give too much) but it usually symbolizes something within the anime and it was rather beautiful how it was done. The background is decent. The city scenes again depict what Tokyo looks like(most part, not making too generalized statements), and when it comes to certain scenes for example the first scene you see in the anime- will change your mood. It's dark, you're curious as to how it happened, and this is where the artwork gets /very/ into things.
Sound:7-Reason:Not alot to go on when it comes to the sound. Depending on if you watch subbed or dubbed the voices are amazing. Some characters have their switch-moments where they sound one way then another. On average really for background sounds, yeah you get the delusion sounds-which are kinda creepy, and the rain in the beginning of the anime- the fighting with the swords does sound like it looks. The series keeps one opening and one ending all throughout- and I personally loved them. The beat is something you can rock or nod your head to, and the female lead has such a strong voice, for both songs. The ending has a little English sung(opening does too but around the end) and both songs fits the plot of the anime overall.
Character:7-Reason: They added a lot of characters in a short amount of time. And because the anime deals with delusions and false things, what you see in a character may change or not be real at all. There was no extensive background for all the characters- just bits and pieces, but only enough to progress the story and why the characters need to fight. The most detailed of the characters wold possibly be the main one since his comes out of the blue.(Won't reveal more than that). The villains within the anime do a heck of a good job masking themselves until later- but if one can put the pieces together then it is fairly simple. Oh and look out for a guy that looks like a homeless person. ^^
Enjoyment: I enjoyed it fully which is why I gave it an 8. Yes the only reason it didn't get a 10 was because of the confusion it causes at the beginning and the way all the characters come together. Not saying it's a full on rush just to get them all in, but they were delightful with their own personalities and had meanings. They added some Mythology into it as well which I thought was a good touch since it connected with the plot as well. You'll enjoy the ending, you may even cry.
Overall-8: Reason- the characters-good enough to be their own and progress the story. Artwork and sound- decent to great depending on the scenes, and what was going on. Story and plot over all-confusing, mysterious, but a well-defined one that would give any mystery goer a run for their money.
My suggestion is if you watch this series, go and watch it first- then watch Stein's;Gate. It has a connection to it.