ChäoS;HEad, Episode 1

In the anime business, we often see VN adaptations, mostly eroge. However, we rarely got something different from the usual “school romance”, even though they are obviously different from each other. In some rare occasions, we got completely different visual novels, such like Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni, Fate/Stay Night, Utawarerumono, Demonbane, etc.
And this time, another of such “outsider” got its rightful adaptation. Chäos;HEad, by 5pb and produced by Nitroplus (to contrary of common belief, Nitroplus has absolutely nothing to do with the game realisation/direction, only the production, pretty much like Visual Art’s for Key games).

http://i215.photobucket.com/albums/cc65/kl4shik4ri3/ChaosHead/ChaosHead.jpg

Suspense and thriller, this story involves Nishijou Takumi, a very unusual protagonist: a complete hetare, borderline hikkikomori. He is your usual creepy otaku, “enhanced” with strong delusion he acknowledges himself and bears an utter disinterest to the “3D world”. However, he will be involved in a series of murders that will soon challenge Takumi to figure the truth out of his delusions.

As a VN reader, I was quite interested by this title, and got curious by this announcement. This led me to actually take a look to the visual novel, and it was a nice ride. I assume that many of you didn’t read the original material, so I will try to keep my comments safe. However, I think it will be interesting if I also add some points that compare the game and its anime counterpart. I will separate each CH article into 3 parts: the usual summary/comments, the differences between the 2 medium + additional information (safe, just for your information) and a thorough “rant/critic” as a VN reader (should only be read by those who are already spoiled or have read the game), these shall be in white (… white trigger? XD) as there isn’t any spoiler tags system for wordpress unfortunately. They will cover most of the time the content that has been omitted that should have been kept for the plot.
I hope I will provide
articles that will stir your interest, regardless you are an anime only or VN reader.

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In a complete wasteland, Nishijou Takumi is lying on the ground, nearly lifeless.
A girl approaches him and apologises to him, materializing larges blades out of nowhere. As Takumi is contemplating her as an angel, she crouches next to him, pointing her blade right on his heart and kissing him.

I don’t have much to comment about this scene (aside of being quite short compared to the original), except I was kinda taken off guard by this… extremely weird perspective, in this shot. It almost look like Takumi is twice taller than her, geh…

This scene was of course much longer in the game. Even though Takumi’s “mildly philosophical” talk isn’t much important to the plot, it is actually giving some intriging part of how the world “is” at that given time. One important thing that the scripters added that was not supposed to be there: The girl originally does NOT apologize. It might look trivial, but it will have its meaning in due time.

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Opening: 「F.D.D」, sung by Itou Kanako
While I didn’t exactly find “Find the Blue” really fitting for CH game OP, I must say that F.D.D is even worse in that aspect. It does have tempo, but it is completely missing the mood of the sequence given with it.
Speaking of which, I have to admit that it was extremely disappointing, regardless if I was spoiled or not. The fearful part was of course the “sentai/magical girls” style
and the random “unique color” of each girl’s aura and weapon, given to the six girls of the series. Honestly, this was so wrong that I wouldn’t be surprised if people mistake this series as a harem series.
To add the insult to the injury, the quality was surprisingly sub par for a OP, and went totally ugly for few shots, especially the “magical girls formations” , here and there. It is just “wrong” in so many levels… that’s a shame…

Please feel free to compare the Original Game OP, with the Anime series OP.

[White Trigger]
As said before, the text is in white, so you will have to highlight it in order to read it. Please remember that the following portions will be a direct comparison with the game which are extremely spoilerish unlike green text.

While the demonstration of the Di-Swords is something given by the game OP as well (dampening stupidly the possible “shock” of Nanami being a giga lo maniac), I wonder why the hell they blatantly show Suwa and Hazuki together (as people would wonder why Suwa isn’t with Ban, when they will see them the first time), especially with that evil grin and sharp stare.
That kind of hint is quite too much I think, especially these guys are basically a big surprise at the end (Hazuki might be identified as “Grim” with her sketch scene, but that would not be as far and it is late game anyway, but heh). Of course, it doesn’t say blatantly they are the true culprit of the New Generation cases, but it gives away a big possibility that they are some antagonists so. Honestly, what is the meaning of putting a cop and a nurse together if they are “unrelated”? No sense at all, so it is easy to conclude both are related into some extent, and using the obvious evil grin cliche, and dark background + sharp stare don’t exactly put them in a subtle position…

Meanwhile, I liked how they put all the New Gene cases hidden in the “blood stain” when Takumi was contemplating in the building. With what we know from the trailer, they will cover Vampyre and more cases, so they won’t skip any important incident… well I hope.

At least, it seems they won’t forget Sena’s father in the whole plot though I wonder how they will be able to squeeze the whole damn plot into 12 mere episodes. I’m really worried about the characterization/development, which wasn’t exactly stellar in the original game (aside of Taku’s) to begin with, so more skip of it would be detrimental character wise…

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Takumi is sleeping, but is then awakened by a girl’s voice. It belongs to Seira, the heroine of Blood Tune anime series. Completely seduced by his heroine created by his deranged mind, Takumi is not really dozing out of his slumber, while Seira can’t exactly understand why Takumi is using a minimal attendance chart for school. Uninterested by his grades, Takumi tells her that he can skip the first lesson. However, he suddenly leaves out his lethargic state, wondering “whose eyes are those?”.

Seira’s scene was actually nicely done in my books: the scene itself managed to show how “broken” Takumi is: his delusions, his clearly disinterested behaviour and his low attendance.
Ironically speaking, I was quite surprised how they designed Seira. To be quite honest, she is good looking here (unlike her VN design) and her different approach is far less annoying. It is ironic as the rest of the cast seems to be greatly dumbed down, design wise (especially Sena, so to speak).

Seira is of course a life sized delusion, demonstration of how strong Takumi’s delusions can be. The particularity of this delusion is the fact it is encouraging him into living in his delusions. However, the anime adaptation changed drastically Seira. Originally, Seira was meant to worsen Takumi’s “hikkikomori” side, as she is always hammering him about how he shouldn’t trust 3D people and reality.
She was actually inducing him into living in his own delusions.

Her role shouldn’t exactly differ much, despite this drastic change of stance. While her game counterpart makes him distrust reality, in the anime series, she is making the 2D side more appealing. The result is the same, though the method is very different.

A little point that the scripters omitted here: they did not explain why Takumi used such minimal attendance chart. As you probably figured out, Takumi is not interested by school and does not understand the need of being graduated. However, they missed the fact that Takumi is still doing very good. He is actually “smart” in a way, as despite his very low attendance, he has great grades.  Basically speaking, he sees little point in attending school as he has good grades. So it isn’t like he is a lazy bum or whatnot, just that he sees school as a waste of time.

Meanwhile, Takumi’s seemly “random” comment is actually quite important to the actual plot, though it seems the scripters changed completely its meaning. The following information will be given into a white trigger, but its explanations are superficial and might help you to understand a bit the start and the next occurence of this. It is “slightly” spoilerish, and is shown in the game during the same time frame.

[White Trigger]
Actually, I wonder why they did change “sono me dare no me” into a complete random comment. Originally, when Takumi is “introducing” himself at the start of the game, he just briefly mentions that as the title of his essay when he was younger. He did that because when he was young, he always thought that someone invisible was always stalking and watching him, the “god’s gaze”.

Although he is 17 years old now, Takumi still has this “little game”, feeling someone’s gaze behind him despite no one is there. However, he is “used” to that and manages not to turn his head.

The major point however is: he NEVER say the line by himself, and the occurence of such line is such a mystery to him (as only himself should know about it) that it freaks him out COMPLETELY.
So the timing of such lines is prime and necessary for the mood and Takumi’s flipping state, but it seems they will use that completely arbitralily.

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As he enters in his classroom, some girls who were chatting had a little blank in their discussion while Takumi was sitting, then resumed their little chat. Takumi knows very well that he probably disgusts many girls though from his point of view, they are even more disgusting.
Suddenly, his only “buddy”, Misumi Daisuke, arrives and cheerfully discuss with him. Albeit one sided, the discussion flows “well”. As Takumi doesn’t exactly pay heed to Daisuke’s womanizer prowess, Daisuke jumps the topic into the New Generation cases, but Taku is completely oblivious to what he is talking about. Daisuke explains about strange murders occuring around, and the fact the culprit is rumored to be a beautiful girl. As Daisuke is fantasming about the possibility of meeting her back at the crime scene, Takumi is not interested at all.

I’m really relieved that they did not screw this part. Albeit trivial, this scene is very important for the “interactions” between Taku and Daichin.
Execution wise, it was well done, giving quite the proper feelings to convey by their respective characters.

The anime doesn’t seem that blatant about that part, but actually, Daisuke is the only “3D guy” that Taku would at least listen a bit. Why is that? It has been hinted subtely in fact: Even if Daisuke should be the “opposite archtype” to the otaku one, he is actually not pushy and is open minded enough regarding Taku’s interests. As the later obviously shows no interest to 3D girl, Daisuke drops the subject. It might looks a simple abandon, but actually, Daisuke is not selfish/unconsiderate and does not push through Takumi’s shell. It does look not so impressive, but it actually touches well Takumi’s appreciation.

Back home, Taku is playing Ensue, a MMORPG. Defeating a though Mob, he is celebrating his victory with his teammates and Seira. Taking a break, Takumi is contacted by one of his teammate and online friends, Grim. While Taku is bored after the little unexciting game, Grim brings out some news about the New Generation Madness. Of course, Takumi still doesn’t know anything about that and check Grim’s link. He learns that there are some bizarre incidents that happened in Shibuya. These were grouped together as New Generation Madness, or simply “New Gene”.
5 high schoolers jumped together from a building, a man was found dead with a fetus in his abdomen.

Seira’s change is even more blatant that I’m wondering if things are reallying going as planned. She rather sounds like a personification of “common sense”, unlike the “2D obsession” she is in the game. Not like it is all that bad, but really make Taku affected by her quite differently.
Funnily enough, it seems the animators screwed a little bit: the link uses “yaboo”, but the actual site is “taboo”. Nitpicking a bit, but it is still an inconsistency.

Taku’s comment about him being a God is “actually true”. Taku’s “Knight Hart” is an infamous player in Ensue, being max level and respected by the online community. Of course, while he might get some ego from his feats, he is actually a “good guy” and helps people out in the game.


Some details for the New Gene cases:

  • Group Dive: all the victim’s families and friends claim that none of the 5 high schooler would have any reason for this “group suicide”. After a long investigation, the police is unable to find a proper clue, so it is hard to conclude it as a murder though suicide isn’t good either.
  • Pregnant man: absolutely no clue about the possible mother. The fetus is 6 months old (IIRC) and has no blood relationship with the man. The man has his abdomen cut open while alive, and the culprit(s) forcefully put the fetus in him, stitching his abdomen afterwards.

As he is reading the news, Takumi hears a loud knocking at his container door. It is Nanami, his little sister who orders him to open the door for her. As he does so “wholeheartedly”, Nanami is cheerfully “intruding” his place, confirming his survival. Taken offguard by the mess and the smell, Nanami rants how Takumi is neglecting his room. Since Taku doesn’t have any girlfriend, she is okay to arrange the room for him, but he coldly declines her offer.
Of course, Nanami doesn’t get why he refuses, but Takumi justifies it as he doesn’t want her to mess up his room. Nanami is unpleased by her bro’s behaviour and then picks up a coke bottle, out of thirst. Takumi is shocked to see her drinking like that (indirect kiss) and asks her to at least uses a cup, while blushing.
However, Nanami is already sipping her drink with a cup… yet another of Taku’s delusions.

Afterwards, Takumi asks Nanami to leave, but she wants to buy a cellphone with him, upon their father’s orders. As expected, Taku sees no point in doing so, which upsets her even more. She decides to go home but expects her brother to walk her to the station. Of course, he doesn’t pay heed to that, despite Shibuya became quite dangerous due of the recent incidents. Takumi doesn’t care, and Nanami gets angry and leaves out, slaming the door.

Ahhh… they decided to use the green trigger for Nanami’s coke scene. Well it wasn’t exactly as “good” as the original one, but the essence of it is there. Of course, we lost a lot of the deranged “imouto fetish” Taku was supposed to have XD.
I was quite satisfied with this adaptation: they kept the essence of the siblings intact.

As you probably saw, Takumi is trying to sever his bonds with his family. Not like he actually hates them whatsoever, but being the otaku weirdo as he is, you can expect them not really understanding his hobbies and interests.
What the anime forgot to explain is the fact that the building is owned by Takumi’s father, and, somehow, our hetare was able to convince his father to let him live alone, in a housing container. With minimal needs such like electricity, Takumi is able to live on his own, by selling Ensue in-game gold (like IRL gold farmers for any MMORPG).
Because of this, his situation depends mostly on his father’s decisions. Hence, if he isn’t doing any good alone, he will be forced to go back home. This is the reason why he is forced to let Nanami checks him out, as if he does not abide her “intrusions”, she would obviously report that to their parents, and big troubles ensue.

Takumi is finally “free” and sits down, but suddenly feels as if someone is watching him.
Back at his computer, someone joined the chatroom, Shogun. Weirdly enough, this guy right away pasted a picture link out of the blue. Taku finds it fishy and wonders if it isn’t a virus, so he tries to discusses with Shogun. The later suddenly puts an english line that creeps him out even more. However, he finally uses proper japanese and talks briefly.
Coincidently, he also lives in Shibuya, but as Taku mentions the creepy events, Shogun claims they will go on and paste a very weird formula: Fun^10 X int^40 = lr2. Shogun comments this formula has killed the world’s possibilities though Takumi is more creeped about his random stuff.
Takumi tries to keep his cool and asks Shogun about the picture, and the later believes he would be interested… he suddenly begins to spam countless links of different pictures, freaking Takumi even more.

Startled by this sudden stunt, Takumi is trembling but inadvertaly clicked on a link. He is shocked to see a man stabbed to death by countless cross shaped stakes.

As I will say in the white trigger, I’m really not satisfied by the adaptation of the scene as it didn’t convey completely the mood here. I must say that the problem was the straighforward execution of the scene. I think it would have been better if Taku was watching his back once or twice when chatting with shogun to put more emphasis on his stressed state. And yet, no “sono me dare no me”…

Originally, the scene with Shogun was supposed to happen with Grim’s link. Both guys were logged on, but Shogun didn’t say anything until Grim leaves the chatroom. Before going so, Grim did actually something that would give even more food for thought. Considering the clue, at that early stage of the anime, it will be given in white, not here.

[White Trigger]

I have no damn clue why they screwed this scene so bad…
First, Grim’s doodle (the badly drawn man pierced by many stakes) being removed simply obliterated the possible shock value with Hazuki. Also, it was supposed to be a invaluable clue if one was actually wondering how grim could coincidentally draw a man stabbed by countless stakes. That was a very eerie coincidence if one was thinking about the timing between him and Shogun.
The second but not the least: the removal of “whose eyes are those?” from Shogun. As explained before, this was something that only Takumi was supposed to know. However, Shogun used this enigmatic line out of the blue before logging out. This was meant to put the creepy and heavy sense of this line over the course of the story, yet it became a random line for Takumi. I really don’t understand this choice.

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Nanami is playing Tennis with some classmates. As she smashing very hard, the ball leavs the court. A blonde girl picks up the ball. However, She is really no good and fails to properly throw it back to Nanami.

…What was actually the point of that scene, aside of showing that girl is not really athletic? Well, it isn’t bad or anything, but I see no reason for this scene and it could be used to extend the key scenes instead… ah well.

Because of that creepy event, Takumi doesn’t feel much secure in his room and decides to go to the net café, playing ensue. However, to get into a better mood, he decides to use another character, Liselotte, playing the PK.
Feeling better, he leaves his usual ROOM 37 but notices the next one, 36, being open. As he sees a bag with 3 frog mascots similar to Nanami’s, he notes the actual page browsed was a wiki about New Gene.
Disturbed by that, he decides to leave immediately.

There is nothing to comment about this little scene. Short and accurate, it actually conveyed enough despite its simple execution.

Just for your instance, Takumi is using Liselotte in order not to “stain Knight-Hart image”. Even if Takumi isn’t exactly standard in term of morals, he is actually proud and thus wants to keep his image of great and legendary hero. As result, he is following the “etiquette” and does “not” want to PK. However, to unleash his stress out, he is using another high leveled avatar, Liselotte.

Takumi is going back home, but he realizes that he is in a dark alley. This is so creepy for him that he really can’t consider it IS Shibuya. Suddenly, he hears a weird hammering noise and tries to figure what it is.
As he turns in the alley, he sees a shocking scenery: a man is pinned on the wall, stabbed by several cross shaped stakes, exactly like Shogun’s linked image. There is a pink haired girl in front of the victim, and that girl turns around. As she faces Takumi, she says she wanted to meet him. Takumi is completely frightened and can’t understand how she know his name.

She slowly steps towards him, but overwhelmed by terror, Takumi runs away.

The mood was… unfortunately not as intense as I would expect. I won’t blame that on the anime adaption however, as it was extremely polished in the game and I was obviously expecting too much due to this. That said, I’m relieved it wasn’t censored by some random darkned spots or black blood.
However, I’m not really happy with what they did with “her”…

[White Trigger]
I honestly don’t understand why they did not make Rimi more concerned and especially her “Taku… I’m glad/relieved” sentence. This actually gives a big hint that Rimi was gentle right from the bat.
The thing I liked in the original scene was not only the shocking value, but the contrast between Rimi’s behaviour and her bloody appearance. Over there, they just pushed the mood a bit, but it isn’t as effective as in the game I believe.

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Takumi managed to gets back in his container. Unable to understand what was going on, he realizes that he was still gripping the stake he picked up shortly before. This freaks him out and he throws it away, sulking in despair. He is completely afraid as that girl knows his face but his name as well. However, Seira appears and believes it was only a delusion. Takumi is still affected what he saw, but Seira mentions she cannot see any stake he was talking about. Reassured, Takumi disregards the matter in a flash, despite the stake still lies in his room.

Somewhere in Shibuya, a highschool girl is singing, but… conveniently enough, the lyrics mention needles…

Again, nothing to complain or so. They sticked faithfully to the original scene though I must say the third perspective is a bit contradictory to actually build up the mood. I think the sight of the stake in the end should have been removed, as we were supposed to follow Takumi’s perspective, hence, leaving out that detail would have given more questions about “that scene”: was it really reality or another delusion?
It isn’t anything that bad, but still a noticeable change in the execution.

By the way, I dunno if other game players would agree but the “stake song” is really not as good as in the game. Regardless the lyrics (I assume they didn’t want to go anything close to gothic etc), Sakakibara Yui wasn’t really melodious here, unlike in the game. Buuh :/

On his way to school, Takumi senses someone is watching him. Fustered by this sensation, he is trying not to turn his head and walks faster. Arrived at school, he is unable to bear anymore and suddenly wonders if the girl tailing him is that “demon girl” he saw yesterday. Horrified by this thought, Taku turns around, surprising a blonde girl behind him. Confused by this, she greets him good morning and leaves out.

Nice hint here. This kind of details, if used correctly, can be very useful (or misleading?) in various instances of the story. For those who still didn’t figure what I’m talking about, have a close look to that girl’s bag.

At a crosswalk, Takumi bumps again on that blonde girl and really believes she is after him. He is deep down scared by the thought of her being an ally of the demon pink haired girl.
Suddenly, something… “bizarre” happens: the girl laughs maniacally and drops many stakes. She then dashes towards him. Helpless, Takumi screams but then, he is back to reality.
Despite it was nothing but a delusion, Takumi doesn’t feel safe and runs away. This confused and hasty decision will make him bump on a bike, falling miserably.

The blonde girl arrives and helps him out, though Taku doesn’t trust her one bit. As he asks her why she is following him, she intoduces herself as Kusunoki Yua and says she was interested in him at the first glance. Takumi is shocked to be in such eroge-like situation and grows even more suspicious.
Taku tries to dismiss her, but he can’t stand up at all. Concerned, Yua tries to help him despite he pretends to be fine.

So they actually used the red trigger for Yua here. That wasn’t too bad if you ask me: they did a pretty good job in the bizarre, brutal and chaotic aspect of the scene. I do wonder why they did the scene at dawn instead of nightfall: it would have gone even more creepy.
Honestly, the scene looks a bit different in the anime and here, I actually can understand why Takumi is so suspicious about Yua’s “too good to be true” behaviour XD. I really can’t compute how a girl like this can hit on a complete hetare and otaku nerd, everything based on “fate”. That is exactly what we are used with eroge etc, so seeing them IRL would be a bit scary.

Meanwhile, Nanami is eating at her usual fast food restaurant with two of her friends. She is ranting how her brother is a completely useless guy. Although her friends are clueless about this “type of guy”, they actually think there are girls that would be attracted by boys like Takumi. Of course, even if that would happen, Nanami looks rather unconvinced that Takumi would be able to hook with a girl anyway.

Pretty much like the tennis scene, it is a completely anime original scene. Once again, it isn’t anything bad, but I see no point in that especially that the audience would already figure that Takumi would be so useless as a “guy” to actually get a girlfriend. Nothing negative, but nor positive either… It looks like a luxury placeholder/filler to be honest.

Ironically enough, her dear brother is currently with a girl who fell for him! As they arrived at Taku’s housing container, she is contemplating his lifestyle and oddly feels envious to that.
Once inside, she isn’t affected by the mess or mold smell at all. Rather, she is hypnotized by the sight of Taku’s Seira Figure. Be it whimsical god’s doing or miracle, she is actually a big fan of the very same anime series, Blood Tuner, surprising Takumi in the same process.
Yua is interested by his figures but suddenly sees herself not really polite in her manners and wonders if she should leave out. However, Taku is affected by this “weak spot” and lets her check his collection. Not only that, but he also comments about these as well, like a pro… or rather a obsessed maniac.

The mood is pretty nice, and Yua finally asks him his name. As he answers her, Yua is quite happy which is overthrow completely Taku’s moe definition.
Suddenly, Yua is about to say something and… a very wild delusion occurs: a flat out confession from Yua, who is wearing Seira’s swimsuit.
Taku is then knocked back to his sense, as Yua tripped on his CD cases. As she is cleaning the “mess”, she then notices the cross shaped stake. Yua covers this fact, pretending she found one of some ero doujinshi.

Then, Yua would like to order the upcoming new Seira figure with Takumi, but then steps her request back as she thinks she might go too far, especially that she was the reason why Taku hurt his leg. This whole situation makes Taku pondering: She is literally the best match for him, yet this golden chance seems rather the allure of the devil, so ultimately, Taku still keeps his guard up.
As he remains silent, Yua is “fine” with this though she is teary eyed, making Taku unable to refuse her request.

As Yua leaves out, Takumi holds his “dear” Seira figure, still claiming her as his wife. In the meantime, some news confirm the recent new “New Gene” case. A man was pinned on a wall with several needles.

Original, but easily more effective green trigger than its game counterpart XD (ironically, I prefer the other swimsuit, but using Seira’s is more “logical” this way).
I actually liked the flow between Yua and Takumi: they seemed actually so “different”, yet they could match each other… if Taku wasn’t that paranoid to begin with. Granted, I believe he is not exactly wrong as it looks way too unreal for an otaku. That said, being cautious doesn’t always end into PARANOIA.

Just a little information here: Yua did the same and confessed to Takumi. She then suddenly undresses herself and is shown wearing… a racing swimsuit. This is actually one of Taku’s fetish that you can set at the start of the game with nonsensical “YES OR NO” questions between him and Grim (however insignificant they might look, they are actually a trigger for something special, but irrelevant to the story progress).

Takumi is as usually sitting on his chair, completely absent minded. Meanwhile, a girl is greetings their classmates and sits down next to him.
Takumi then realizes that that girl is no one else than “that” pink haired girl, who is most likely the one who killed that man with these cross shaped stakes. Noticing his gaze, the girl cheerfully greets Takumi.

One question: WHY NOW, FFS??
I understand it was for the shock factor, yet… I don’t understand why this scene was shown there, and why it is so different *shakes head*…

[White Trigger]

Really, I don’t get why they threw out Rimi that early. Sure it lessens the “girl arc” impression from the game (as she only appears after Yua reveals her true intentions), yet the shock factor seemed rather watered down a lot. I think the main appeal with Rimi’s original entrance was how she barged in out of nowhere, even when the player himself wouldn’t expect her! She would be forgotten or considered as a delusion at this time until she shows way later in chapter 2.
I really think the anime is going way too fast for its own good, even for 12 episodes… bah.

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Ending: Super Special sung by Kagami Seira
Okay… Well, the song isn’t “bad” by itself: Kagami has a nice voice and convey some good feelings. However, the song actually is very bad for 2 things:
1) Its lyrics are completely off the boat (I mean… “When there’s enough bombs to blow the earth”… I mean… yarrr?)
2) Absolutely not matching the mood for C;H… at least, it does matches the mood of the ending sequence.

The biggest problem is that… It almost make Takumi like some random messiah with his harem, which is quite arguable, be it the lyrics or the sequence anyway.
Speaking of which, I wonder if the studio actually make efforts, as it was definitely small and not really animated. The ED isn’t bad, but it is really “off” for the series.

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Preview

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Overal Thoughts:

Well, considering that I’m already spoiled, I must say that the excitment and expectations are most likely very different from the usual watchers.
I actually liked how they managed to keep the thing as “faithful” as a basis. The few changes they have done are debatable (especially concerning Shogun) but in the end, it was okay for the setup.

I’m however very displeased by the fact that so many details were omitted, butchering a lot the initial mood and creepy atmosphere. That was the main vector and brickshitting aspect of C;H especially for the very start, so the readers could have a uphill effect (until we have the… “shounen” syndrome with the later chapters). The anime basically went too simple and fastforwards, which wasn’t anything good for a series that mostly relies on the mood and suspense.
C;H is plagued by the same problem that Higurashi had, but in a much worse way.

Also, I must say… the design is really not my cup of tea. I will admit that Sasaki Mutsumi’s design (Myself;Yourself, Chaos;Head) is absolutely not to my liking (I really dislike how she does faces, especially eyes, except for some exceptions here), but the anime simply dampened a lot the “aura” of the characters, especially for Sena and Ayase as seen in the OP.
This is even worse when you involve the QUALITY of the series: the animation is a bit stiff and average, but at least bearable. However, the textures and the colors are really poor and dry. But the straw was probably the proportions and the inconsistent side of the design, which was horrible at time, especially the OP.
Considering Madhouse’s productions, I wonder what went wrong with C;H because, aethetically, it is not appealing. It really looks old fashioned.
Even if I didn’t like much the original game design, the tones, colors and traits were quite good. So the straight “dull” visual aspect of the anime adaptation is disappointing.

Meanwhile, I must also admit that Yoshino Hiroyuki didn’t deliver the “creepy otaku Takumi” as good as in the game (this is ironic as usually, it is the opposite): I really miss the “Fuhihihi” that Takumi usually spams out of nowhere in the game (at least, he somewhat did that with Seira’s figure). This is a shame, as he was really doing well the pitiful and coward voice for Taku.
The other seiyuu did they job fine, without much difference here, except perhaps Kitamura Eri. The Pink haired girl wasn’t as cheerful as she was to be, but well…

In conclusion, the first episode didn’t impress me a lot, though I would obviously blame on my perspective rather by the flaws of the anime itself. Yet, I cannot hide my worries for some of the key scenes in the future, considering how they changed few things and how the pace is really fast. I’m hoping the best for this, as it would be great to see a proper C;H adaptation despite the inherent flaws of the game.

By the way, I’m quite surprised to see many people completely lost with the execution of the first episode. It seems that Takumi’s character is quite different from your usual protagonist, yet I believe that his own character shouldn’t be different considering the recurrent thing about “delusions”.
Speaking of which, the other surprising part was to see people speculating “who is real”. I know that my knowledge from the original game is quite an advantage, yet I believe they didn’t screw much the hints and such.
Hence, I guess this might be a nice clue to give, in order to give an edge for your comprehension. Of course, you are free to disregard the following hint, I’m putting it into a white trigger, as I believe many people would prefer to stay in the dark, in order to fully realize the situation by themselves. For those who are okay to get a little guide about the delusions, please read the following information. This is merely a little clue that can be found by yourself if you compare and find out differences and similarities.

[White Trigger]

The delusions are obviously events that would hardly happen considering the given context of the current scene. However, some delusions might be very tricky even for Takumi himself.
As result, please observe carefully how the camera is shown: if the movements are slow AND going in many directions (see Seira’s scenes) you will figure that the current scene IS a delusion.

Be aware that delusions are applied to Takumi ONLY (not a spoiler, it is just obvious). So anything out of his “range” of perspective should be taken at their face value. (So NO, Nanami is NOT a delusion).

On another topic, I’m not really sure if I should continue the way i’m blogging Chaos;Head. Truthfully, I wanted a complete and perfectionist approach in order to make my article “nice” to read for anyone, regardless their knowledge of the story. The idea was borrowed from my Higurashi articles, though I’m still unsure if it would be useful in the future if the “normal” “additional info” and “spoilers” triple approach would be that great for all of you. Please don’t hesitate to put your comments, suggestions etc.

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11 Responses to “ChäoS;HEad, Episode 1”


  1. 1 ZY October 14, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    A very comprehensive review, infact I think that this is the most detailed review I could find on the internet. I enjoyed reading this review alot because basically I want to know as much as I can about CH without playing the game.

    Although the “normal” “additional info” and “spoilers” triple approach are well written (I read everything), I think that the additional info and spoilers section should be merged because basically any information that is not presented in the anime = spoilers. Granted the additional information aren’t really spoilers inregards to the whole story but still they are info that aren’t known in the anime. Either way though I would still read everything, as this suggestion is for readers who want absolutely no spoilers in any form.

    A request here, I would like to see in the spoiler section, the green,red triggers that happened in the VN for each delusion. For example the coke scene (Green trigger: what happened, Red trigger: what happened). Mainly because I want to compare the differences between the VN and anime but having not played the VN at the same time.

    That is basically it, although the review might be too long for people who don’t like reading, I personally liked the way it was written because of how detailed it was. Keep it up and needless to say I’ll be back for episode 2!

    9.5/10

  2. 2 deathkillz October 14, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    My initial thought when I saw this in the draft…”HOLY WALL OF TEXT!” ^^’

    But even so, I had a great time reading what you had to write, Klash. Kudos to you for the effort.
    This is great insight for the people who haven’t played the game but want to know more about how well it is being adapted.

    I am all up for this “triple” approach but just don’t burn yourself out in the process ;)

  3. 3 sadakups October 15, 2008 at 12:26 am

    Awesome, Klash. You’re the only blogger that I know whose articles I won’t mind reading despite having a whole lot of text.

    Seriously, this is good. At least I figured out how the hell a high-schooler live alone in a container van atop a building in Shibuya?

    I suggest you keep doing this, unless it really eats a lot of your time.

  4. 4 sterling01 October 15, 2008 at 12:45 am

    For the OP scene I wonder why they didn’t add the “sword” going into Taku and why did they change Daichin’s hair he doesn’t look as fabulous.

  5. 5 Bill October 15, 2008 at 12:57 am

    Great review. I pretty much agree with your assessment, especially with regard to the pacing (totally messed up timing) and loss of atmosphere.

    As a game adaptation, this is one of the sloppiest I’ve seen in a while. IMO, it’s barely enjoyable if you’ve already played the game (many other adaptations are inferior to the game experience, but they generally stand up better as actual shows than Chaos;Head). However, new viewers should be okay, since the sense of mystery can pull them in, even if episodes are badly directed.

    As for the anime original scenes, I’m sure the writers worked them in to increase moe appeal (Yua’s clumsiness, that “Nanami smash!” thing, etc. IMO, the restaurant scene further depicts some sense of a brother complex). Since much dialogue has been removed, they need another way of adding character charm to ensure that viewers stick around.

  6. 6 Kaioshin Sama October 15, 2008 at 3:55 am

    En dépit de cela, j’aiment ceci si j’aimais Higurashi Klash? Même si l’adaptation est faible? Est-il meilleur que mon Français? :p

  7. 7 クレナイ夢 October 18, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    I can’t believe I didn’t see this blog earlier. *bookmarks*

    Anyways, I read through all of it and nearly all of the complaints, including the White Triggers, almost mirror what I found wrong and hated in the anime. There were a few parts I couldn’t quite remember, but reading through it was a good refresher on what really happened. The only scene I really liked was the Red Trigger on Yua from the sidewalk; they skipped the last bit of the scene, but it works either way.

    Oh well. As long as they can still keep the anime purists guessing at the entire mystery – despite of how chopped up it is – without having to refer to spoilers or the VN, I guess it works out in the end. It really does ruin the animes’ potential though.

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