Chaos;Head Series Review

chaos18017

I am not a huge fan of the horror genre, especially when it attempts to gross the viewer out. I do enjoy seeing when the characters of a series or movie have their minds messed with, which probably explains why I think The Ring is my favorite horror movie. I figured I’d give Chaos;Head a chance since it was from Madhouse and maybe I could find an anime that could mess with my mind.

Final Series Score: 9/12 A-
Rewatchablity: low
Pros: story remains compelling till the end, does a good job of keeping the viewer guessing as to what’s really happening and what will happen, unique premise helped the show remain interesting
Cons: lackluster animation and very ugly school uniforms, the harem elements intrude on the story at times but never to the point of interfering with it, the ending is a bit of a let down, characters are not very deep nor do they develop much throughout the show

Awards given to this show by this blog

  • Best Character Ability / Power for Fall Season 2008
  • Best Story for Fall Season 2008
  • Runner-up for Best Ending Song for Fall Season 2008

chaos10900

Story

Taku is an otaku nerd living in a converted shipping crate with only a tenuous hold on reality. A series of gruesome murders starts occurring in the area that he lives and it appears that he’s somehow connectedthese murders.

Thoughts and impressions

Chaos;Head tries to combine a harem type show with a psychological horror show and it’s about as successful as what’s humanly possible. The back story of the show is done in such a way that the harem elements don’t stick out really badly and at times these elements actually help the story along. I’m not a huge fan of harem shows so I was worried this would swamp the horror part of the show but it never did.

The psychological horror side was quite well done throughout the series and is the big draw to the series. It kept the viewer guessing what was actually going on and where the show was heading till the very end. I particularly enjoyed the fact that Taku was an unreliable narrator because as we watched the events unfold we were never quite sure that if what we saw was what really happened or just a figment of Taku’s insanity. I did think the ending was a bit of let down but that might be more from not having any more mysteries then the actual ending.

There were various little things that I enjoyed about this show that others might or might not like. One was the female private investigator because the voice actor, Kujira, was the same woman that did many of the background roles in Lucky Star (for example, the convention in episode 12). I love that voice, and wish she’d do more roles. Another was the ending song. It wasn’t because of the heavy amount of English used because it actually sounded like English but whoever wrote the English lyrics was not a native speaker and the lyrics only kinda make sense. Yes, I find the oddest things funny.

I would recommend giving this show a watch to someone looking for a psychological or suspense anime but with the caveat that it does have it’s flaws and if you have a low tolerance of harem elements, then you might want to look for something else – maybe try Paranoia Agent.

chaos10144
She’s not actually there.

Essential Information

chaos33010

chaos23707

Here’s the ending:

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Chaos;Head Series Review”

  1. That is a pretty damn high score for this series. I really could not stomach how it went after episode 7, I mean revealing everything in one shot was bad enough, but Takumi going from wimp to something akin to hero in like 1-2 episodes? The psychological thrill part was good at the start, but it just went all downhill. It was quite the disappointment for me.

    Like

  2. @Panther: Thanks for the comment. I definitely agree with your points – he does go from wimp to hero way to quickly and the reveal wasn’t done good – but up until around episode 7 or 8, I was thinking about maybe giving this show a perfect score or at least a very strong A+. So it did get docked but I thought the ending was done well enough not to dock the show further down.

    The other thing I do now that I have several shows rated is see how my overall feelings about a show compare to other shows and in this case when I saw Maid Guy also at 9/12, I knew it was the correct score for me. I also thought the ending of Maid Guy wasn’t as good as it could have been but had a very strong first half and I liked the show at about the same level.

    Like

  3. I saw the article on the main page and was looking forward to seeing this abomination get grilled, what a let down. There was nothing redeeming about this show, it suckers viewers in with an interesting start but never delivers instead all you get is a ridiculously convoluted plot, piss poor animation and characters utterly devoid of any real personality.

    I give this show 2/10 don’t let my wasted time go in vain.

    Like

  4. I personally loved it, and I always loved the kind of Horror and Psychological stuff in this Anime. 10/10

    Like

  5. I personally think this show was funny as heck. I loved his weird delusions and how he can create another mind of himself. Watching the first 2 Episodes I had my doubts but as it went on, I got used to the styling. It reminds me alot of ‘Welcome to the NHK’… His face and his personality is alot like the same of the main character in ‘Welcome to The NHK’.

    In short, this anime was great. I totally recommend it to anybody who loved Welcome to the NHK and that they don’t mind a bit of gore and twist. Hilarious, Action-Packed, Plot-Twisting, Anime Dumbfounded, and Romantic… what more could you need?

    Like

  6. This anime overall was very entertaining. Throughout the story i was captivated to find out what would happen next, but that is when things started to go downhill. The story itself was pretty good but it all happened way to quickly so i ended up getting lost once in awhile. It bugged me that kasumi throughout the anime excluding eps 10 11 was at the complete mercy of either megane-chan, aku-onna or the tsundere. Still it kept me mostly entertained so i would give it a 8.5/12.

    Like

  7. I didnt want to watch this because it was Harem. Usually when its harem its generic and bad. The ending was a bit too generic but hey its a harem! Honestly 2/3 of the episodes were fantastic. But hey the producers had to appease the harem fans i guess. Nerdy male lead turns hero xD I would agree with the other people, maybe they could have added another 4 episodes? Great psychological thriller throughout most of the series. If you like psychological thrillers and harem I would highly recommend it.

    85/100

    Like

  8. The first half of the series did well in building up the suspense and keeping me interested. But in about exactly episode 7, like most people here said, it well downhill from there. I was really disappointed with how the plot progressed (well, the concept IS interesting) but I just feel they pushed it too far to the point of the story being ridiculous and unbelievable. I think it shouldn’t be called a horror genre (I was irritated with Taku’s mental rants more than I should have been scared), but I guess suspense with some gore would be fine.

    I just finished watching the last episode and thought to myself: “That’s it?” It could help to know more about the original Taku (in the wheelchair) – why he’s like that or how he possessed the strength to overpower Noah II and why did he project a delusion like that of our wussy and cowardly protagonist. Everything just happened so fast – and without further detail to allow a grasp of realism to the situation.

    Also, the antagonist almost always seem to let our hero and heroines go after a confrontation. He usually let’s them go until the protagonists find a weak spot to kill him. Wait, they should have just captured him in the first place. Lol.

    Anyway, I give this show 6/10. Definitely no match for the suspense-thriller-psychological–morbied-moe Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni.

    Like

  9. Here are some further details since there seems to be some interest in the background details. Spoilers ahead for those who plan on reading the VN.

    Most of the horror comes at the description of serial killer and psychopathic behavior. I really thought Grim was Taku’s buddy and some internet acquaintance. We, ourselves, have and know plenty of those. The verisimilitude of typing to Grim every few days on Taku’s computer drew me in and made the contrast with the nurse far more strange. The nurse was not only the nurse that Taku saw whenever he went to the doctor to ask him about whether he’s really crazy or not, but also the killer in the fetus incident and in the killing of Taku’s family doctor. It was truly atmospheric to understand her fanaticism and how deeply off the normal charts Grim was. She gave birth and then transplanted her own fetus into the victim’s belly. All utilizing her own medical procedures and no anesthetic for anyone. A horrific incident, but naturally normal for a cult follower. Her husband, the father of the child, is the guy who shot his friend, the police investigator, and is the guilty party behind the stake murders. When you wrap it all up, the impact is very strong, especially as the lead up is great, suspenseful, yet subtle.

    There’s also the horror of reading a description of what it feels like to be impaled. Which wasn’t pleasant but Taku had to go through that illusion in order to sustain the attack and counter-attack. The time is like a genjutsu attack. Hours and days can happen in seconds.

    The reason behind why the chief villain isn’t out to kill the subjects is because the only way to awaken a megalomaniac is to unstabilize their psychological state. Riri, for example, was kept in utter darkness without human contact, until she killed her personality and a new one emerged, free of all bad memories. For a time. The cycle repeated itself for an unknown time and the current Riri, the one we came to know, was only born when she met Original Taku. Her absolute devotion to Original Taku came from the first time she met him, when he showed her what the sky looked like to a person (using dead spots) that knew nothing except being alone and being in the dark. Noah II requires samples from these wizards or quantum observation channelers, when they have awakened. For the purpose of powering up Noah II to god like levels, the chief villain used psychological torture, fear, and other tricks to Awaken the potential test subjects. Regardless of how powerful they may be compared to regular humans, the girls in Chaos;Head are infinitely fragile psychologically.

    The chief villain captured the girls before and tested them out. Utilizing better methods, he now uses them on Taku, whom he describes as a monster. A powerful channeler, yet no amount of psychological stress or torture has made him awaken. Given the power of Noah II and the fact that he knew all the weak spots of all the female channelers, it wasn’t too reckless of him to release them and let them go their way. Although some may have been the result of the Original Taku’s actions. That part of the story is left untold. A sort of unknown background.

    The chief villain is basically a centralized authoritarian utopian. Noah II will remake the mind of humanity. People will think, see, and feel what they are told to, in order to make the Perfect Society. For this purpose alone, to avoid all the wars and suffering on the Earth, the chief villain tortured all those girls, killed all those people, and came up with the Noah II project. Initially began with an equation by the Original Taku. This is why Taku O feels responsible. The protagonist doesn’t claim to know a solution that will bring about ultimate happiness for everyone. He does know and state that humanity’s happiness is not equal to or worth the happiness of those he knows in front of him. He’s basically saying he is selfish and doesn’t care about the fate of humanity, only those he knows ; ) But considering his original state of hikkimori fear paralysis, that’s legions of advancement.

    The original Taku has a genetic disease. I forgot what they called it, but I looked it up and the medical databases do list it as a disease and do list the same symptoms. Skin coloration. Advanced aging. Etc. The Original Taku is obviously more powerful than current Taku, simply because he has more experience and is mentally more stable. But his life is almost up. So instead of letting it end like that, he intentionally used even more of his powers (which seem to advance the progress of the disease) to create a copy of himself utilizing quantum probabilities. Taku is said to be the most power channeler ever found. Taku 1 basically created Taku 2 to continue the fight, while Taku 1 used illusions to close off a room in the hospital and used it as a safe base. Riri didn’t want Taku 2’s powers to awaken, for that would decrease the lifespan of her Taku. Eventually, though, when Taku 1 died, his memories and experiences were transferred into 2. So a sort of happy ending at the conclusion.

    Taku 2’s mental instability basically comes from being alive only a few years or even months.

    The antagonist’s battle plans, I cannot explain entirely since they changed some of the battle and plots in the PS2 version.

    The ending I would probably rate my third or second best ending in all the visual novels I have read. The dramatic tension and the execution were, if not flawless, very well done. Utawarerumono’s visual novel PC game, I would rate my highest. Along with Clannad’s Kotomi Ichinose. Although all of the endings to Clannad would rate close to Number 1 in terms of hierarchy. Utawarerumono takes the spot primarily because it is SF, fantasy, military, tactical, and political in nature. The execution with all these disparates qualities was flawless. It was a tragedy and a great crime against artistic excellence to change up the plot in the anime. Eien no Aselia –
    Kono Daichi no Hate de I would rate as my third best ending.

    http://dakkodango.com/

    The reason why I liked Chaos;Head’s ending is primarily because it has some stellar hero power ups at the end and it has some great psychological horror setups that appeal to my tastes. Utilizing the Dirac sea (this is the so called “zero point energy theorem”), Taku created the power of instantaneous regeneration. By utilizing the enemy’s delusion attack and freeing his mental awareness from his physical body, Taku has ascended to a difference conscious level. When his body is destroyed, it instantly regenerates based upon Taku’s consciousness and awareness, utilizing matter from the Dirac Sea. Thus potentially, Taku is either immortal or indestructible. Although, again, the post-victory story isn’t told so we don’t know what happens or doesn’t happen with these powers. Are they gone? Does he never use them? Well, End of Story or as the Japanese write, FIN. The snake Taku used to destroy Noah II by bypassing Noah II’s self defense mechanism, was matter of pure anti-matter.

    This is basically a melding of fantasy and science fiction. Techno mages. I like that genre.

    Like

  10. ML Alternative, given what I feel now, would rate number 1 spot, but I haven’t placed it anywhere because it was so recent I believe bias may be showing its true colors here. I need to replay Utawarerumono to fully compare the two. Unlikely to happen since that adventure game has a RTS component that can’t be skipped. Although I have saves of all the important conversations.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s