Chaos Head

I watched this over the weekend, but I want to talk about a couple of other things before I get started.

I finally watched Batman: The Dark Knight. It was better than Batman Begins (but that's not saying much). In fact, everyone in it is great. Heath Ledger is great, Morgan Freeman is great, Gary Oldman is great, Michael Cain is great, Aaron Eckhart is great. Christian Bale is HORRID. He drags the entire movie down, keeping it an "OK" film instead of a "great" film. Well, OK...let's give the writers some credit for keeping it down, too. The editors deserve some of it too. Great actors cannot carry a film when they're given horrible dialog (see: Star Wars: Phantom Menace). And I don't care how good Ledger was (and I was impressed), a film will not be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar with such shoddy editing. Otherwise (well, not otherwise; the bat tank is still stupid), it was fine. Moving along.

E3 is in a week. Last year I paid pretty close attention, and even "live blogged" the big 3. I don't know that I will do that this year; I just can't seem to get excited. Last year was a huge disappointment, and I feel like this year they've already announced everything there is to announce. What surprises could there possibly be? And I'm in no mood for another year of casual nonsense.

There was something else I wanted to mention, and it wasn't just my increasing loathing of 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons. So we'll move right along to a review of Chaos Head.

Review begins here

Chaos Head (written Chaos;Head) is based on a visual novel (no surprise there) by 5 pb. and Nitroplus. It's a bloody, sexual, psychological thriller. Well, that's it's genre...it's not like it's scary or particularly "thrilling." It's kind of average really. Actually, the basic story line is pretty intriguing. The idea that the body is made up of electrical impulses, and that certain people can project their own delusions into the minds of other people, or create physical manifestations of their own delusions. That a blind person could hook up a sort of video camera into a part of their brain, and be able to "see" again. It's fascinating. But the show is full of so much otaku pandering that it kind of gets lost. Think Clannad meets Evangelion meets Haruhi meets Serial Experiments Lain.

It's also sort of drowned out by a terrible male lead. He has what is most easily referred to as the Shinji Complex (meaning Shinji Ikari from Evangelion). I don't know about you, but I don't like leaving the fate of the entire world in the hands of the world's biggest loser. What makes the most whiny, cowardly, sniveling guy on the planet the most powerful guy in the world? And why does he get six hot girls following him around all over the place? They save his weak ass quite a bit too; is this some kind of male fantasy? Hot chicks wielding swords coming to your rescue?

I managed to watch most of this 12 episode show ignoring all this, and just enjoying what was going on. Until I got to the end and suddenly this lame ass is the most powerful guy around and he's suddenly able to defeat the bad guy. I just couldn't buy it; but I promise I tried! He just crawls around, whining and pleading for someone to come and save him for most of the show. It's hard to feel any sympathy for the guy.

The show gets a little confusing from time to time. The main character, Takumi, is a hard core hikikomori. He lives in some sort of metal shed on the roof of a building, and leaves only when necessary. He even has a schedule for school that he follows to ensure he only intends the minimal amount of attendance time required. He's obsessed with an anime called Blood Tunes the Animation, and creates this illusion of the main character in his home that he talks to and interacts with and pretends he's married to. He imagines the girls he meets in real life (and he states several times he has no interest in 3D girls) as part of the eroge games he plays. The guy is totally delusional. Which is where things get a little confusing, because sometimes it's hard to tell what things in the show are real and which are the delusions of either Takumi or other characters (sometimes it's way obvious though, once you realize that's what he's doing).

The girls that gather around him (and he himself) are called Gigalomaniacs, people who have experienced intense psychological trauma and can now turn their thoughts into reality. They each wield a Di-Sword, which is typically invisible to everyone (except other Gigalomaniacs) unless it has been real-booted (made into physical, solid reality). They all have their own goals, but ultimately they're fighting against the corporation NOZOMI, which is attempting to use a machine to create delusions of a perfect world for humanity. Or...something.

It's animated well enough, I guess, but I'm not a fan of the art style or character designs. I did really enjoy the opening theme - F.D.D. by Kanako Ito - but the music is so much better than the animated sequence it accompanies that it's not really worth mentioning otherwise.

By the way, the story takes place in Shibuya. Is Shibuya the new Tokyo? There used to be a joke (maybe it still is a joke) regarding all of the world destructing, apocalyptic type shows that wreak havoc on a fictional Tokyo. Shibuya seems to be the new place where unexplained circumstances screw with your mind (see also: The World Ends With You). Poor Shibuya.

Image (left to right): Sena, Kozue, Nanami, Takumi, Rimi, Ayase, Yua