Headaches Aplenty

Chaos;Head is an unlikely progenitor to greatness

by Bob Johnson

I’m Taco Bell Nachojo.  I’ve come from the future to tell you about an anime in your past.

The first in the Science Adventure series from 5pb.+Nitroplus (the second of which is the acclaimed Steins;Gate), C;H invites us to stay past its Three Episode Watch to see the fallout from a series of bizarre murders in Takumi Nichijo’s neighbourhood, and to learn more about the mysterious women that keep popping up around him.  What the heck is going on?

Well, you kind of get a detective story for a little while.  You kind of get an average guy saves the world story, except not really.  Trying to parse the plot of Chaos;Head logically, it’s more like a guided tour of conspiracy theories and parapsychology, seen through the lens of a harem anime.

The harem characters are hardly anything to write home about, lifeless to a one.  Between them, there was about enough character arc for one or two of them to split.  Don’t (pillow) fight over them now, lest you get over-developed!  I’m looking at you, Kozue.  Then there’s all the little questions like:  How is it that you have a rockstar who is utterly emotionless?  And is Yua the only woman at the academy who doesn’t have a tailor?

Fundamentally, Chaos;Head is a gal game translated all-too-literally to the screen.  An early focus on mind games gets you in the door, but soon gives way to a hollow middle of monologues, capped off with a sincere but underwhelming crescendo.

During the battles, we’re supposed to root for Talcumpow, but aside from the fact that he stands for individual freedom against orderly oppression, I don’t find much to like about him.  He’s another protagonist infected with a case of chronic whining disease, with an otaku level that would make NHK’s Tatsuhiro Sato blush.  And as we chew on the ending, we are left to ponder a terrible fate for the world; people remain free, but only where untouched by Man-Haruhi’s myriad delusions.

It’s not hard to see how Steins;Gate took everyone by surprise when its older sister is a ditzy mess.  I don’t know how well C;H played out in game form, but on the animus it leaves a lot to be desired, failing to leave behind anything to appreciate as science fiction, adventure, or fap material.

Don’t Look It Up:

Chaos;Head animated series
Based on an eroge scenario by Naotaka Hayashi
Produced by Madhouse, Licenced by Funimation

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