Chaos Head ReviewElizabeth Williams
Takumi Nishijo never cared much for the 3D world. People never understood him. They didn't see how he could lose himself in his massive multiplayer online games or anime. Perhaps what he disliked most about the real world the most were the three-dimensional girls. They were impossible to read, and besides, Seira, the heroine from his favorite anime, was the girl of his dreams.
But for someone who tries so hard to shut himself closed to the outside world, suddenly he finds that he is catching many people's attention. It all started when Takumi was talking with his online friend, known as "Grim." Grim asks Takumi if he has heard of the recent "New Gen Incidents." These were very brutal killings that were happening in the area. Another friend, called the "General" proceeds to send Takumi a list of links after telling him that as far as the New Gen Incidents were concerned, things were just warming up. Takumi is horrified at what he sees. There is a photo of a man pinned to the wall with metal stakes. The photo is burned into Takumi's memory.
When walking home a couple nights later, he hears a clanking sound. He follows the sound into an alley where he sees a girl his age pinning a man to the wall with metal stakes. The girl recognizes him and calls him by name. Takumi's instinct is to flee and try to forget the whole thing. When he arrives at school, he sees the same girl sitting next to him. She claims to be his friend, and when he accuses her of murder, she thinks it's a mean joke.
Suddenly, the former shut-in finds himself the center of all kinds of social interest. All sorts of bizarre things start to happen, and the line between reality and delusion gets blurred. Unfortunately, he also gets some unwanted attention thanks to his escape from the alleyway being caught on police camera.
Fantasy and reality are a common motif in Chaos Head. Those with mental illnesses or who experience emotional or mental torture develop powerful abilities. Those with "normal" minds are oblivious to what is going on around them.
As a general rule, Chaos Head is a pretty heavy anime. The mood is that of confusion and desperation. Both Seira and Takumi's sister, Nanami help to lighten the mood. Nanami repeatedly pulls Takumi back into reality, talking about everyday things. She often nags Takumi about buying a cell phone to keep in touch with real people. She also talks about "Hoppy the Frog", a popular keychain mascot. Seira acts as comic relief. All of her actions and emotions are extreme and she talks to Takumi in a way that is very honeymoon-esque. Other bits of comic relief include some of the fantasies Takumi has about different girls he meets. For example, while out with Yua, he imagines her kissing him and he out loud says, "Oh, boy!," creating a very awkward moment with a schoolmate he met very recently.
Overall, Chaos Head was an enjoyable series. One watch of the one season anime will give you a gist of how everything works. I would recommend a couple of watches to fully understand. If you are into riddles or psychological thrillers, I recommend it.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.
I started playing games from a young age, but really got into it when Santa left a SNES in the fireplace. My other hobbies include reading, writing, gardening, and playing with my two cats.
About the Author: Elizabeth Williams
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