Tentacle-Free Anime: "Chaos;Head" (2008) Review
- by Kazekun, 31 March 2014
I don’t think I’ve ever had more difficulty watching an anime than I experienced with this series. My life schedule is pretty hectic, I feel like I can never find the time to sit own and just relax. That’s where anime really gets to shine for me and become my escape from reality’s harsh grip. But not this time, I found myself really lucky to even get through one episode as I continued to get interrupted one time after another for the most trivial of things. Too bad the show didn’t end up being worth all the suffering.
I promise guys; I’m not on a Madhouse kick or anything, considering they’ve been the animation Studio behind most of the anime I’ve reviewed lately. No, a friend recommended me this and it seemed interesting already so I figured, I’d try it out. Chaos;Head starts off pretty strong with some of the most engaging first 4 episodes I’ve seen in a long while. It starts the premise off nicely and continues to build up many questions that are fairly interesting to want to know the answers to.
I’d say it was around average at best. In fact, there were tropes in this that I in fact enjoyed and found surprisingly refreshing. The fact that Takumi is allowed to live his own hikkikomori (loner, hermit, secluded, whatever you want to call it) lifestyle, while having a sister and parents actually plays into a very nice twist for the series. He is also in a harem surrounded by girls and yet none of them want to get in his pants, and vice versa.
Watching Takumi accept the world around him through his delusions can be quite fun to watch and at times tragic. I did feel bad for Takumi in the end and I was happy to see where he ended up as the hero. But his journey there sort of floundered towards the end causing for no stride to victory but some awkward bounces. Likewise, I didn’t overly hate any of the female characters but I did find the involvements of most of them to be unnecessary and full of the phrase “plot device.” And by plot device, I mean legitimate plot device. There’s, like, no fan service in this series, which took me well off-guard as I expect fan service in almost every anime these days. It’s kind of a staple.
I also found this series to be a lot darker than I ever expected it to be which too was a nice surprise. The promotional material for this anime is very keen on showing off the girls and how cute they are when Takumi takes up 80% of the shown and there’s really not much “cute” to be had when you get into everyone’s dark pasts. It’s almost like the creators are setting you up for your own delusion before you begin the show.
Speaking of, the animation by Madhouse in this is pretty sub par for what I know they can do. The characters themselves look great, except for the villains. The Di-Swords, the swords the pretty girls carry around, look like they do not belong in this world at all which is a real shame. And it just feels like this was a series they felt they could put minimum effort into when every story should be considered worth putting a lot of effort into; both in animation and story.
Chaos;Head could’ve been a very good series and perhaps a masterstroke of a story if the creators would’ve put a little more thought into this world. I know it’s based around a visual novel game but the game should never dictate how good or bad the anime ends up being. There was a lot of intriguing questions and yes, even some intriguing answers to some of those questions. But most questions never got answered or got answered very poorly, and I was unable to, in the end, care about the threat our heroes were fighting to prevent. Had the entire story just established itself as a mindbender dealing delusions and what in this world is considered reality (it’s been done before, but this would’ve been a really neat take on it), instead of an action/adventure boss battle romp by the end then Chaos;Head would get my solid recommendation.
Unfortunately, I can’t do it.
Final Score: 2 Delusional Girls with Di-Swords out of 5
Have you seen "Chaos;Sword"? How did you enjoy the movie and the review?
Tagged: Tentacle-Free Anime.