There’s this anime called Steins;Gate that I watched a few months back. I really liked it. In fact, I gave it a near perfect score and rambled on about it for longer than I ever have any anime. But I discovered something whilst searching for a new show to watch: there was a precursor to Steins;Gate, a lesser known anime set in the same world. Lo and behold, I snagged a copy and started watching with expectations high and nothing less than elation at the fact I was about to embark on another journey with the people behind one of my favorite anime…
WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS?
Hey, it starts off generic enough. There’s a murderer on the loose, and I shouldn’t have to explain what this murderer is doing as it should be readily apparent. Our main character, Takumi, lives out of a storage crate where he collects anime action figures, plays MMO’s, and is constantly harassed by his waifu who doesn’t seem to have any redeeming qualities or personality beside the fact she wears enough clothes to cover an ant and has large tits. So um, he’s our hero.
While I have no problem with the portrayal of an otaku with a waifu (sounds familiar to me) I do have a problem with the fact that this character is so batshit insane and delusional that any sort of shits I give for him are thrown out the window by his overly dramatic everything. And on top of that, he’s just an all-around prick. His sister may be annoying, but you’d think he would give a bit of a damn about her, especially considering how scared he is for himself as these murders happen. But nope, not gonna walk my sister home, just gonna let her walk alone and be possibly murdered. Brother of the Year!
So anyway Takumi sees a pink haired girl murder some guy and picks up a weapon and runs away and meets another girl with glasses and she’s looking into these murders and thinks Takumi is the killer and wants to turn him in and…
IT’S FUCKING BORING! What the hell is going on? Why am I not excited? Seriously, you have this big plot concerning murders and a mysterious killer and the most exciting thing happening is going on a trip to the FUCKING ANIME STORE! Woop-dee-fucking-doo! But later when glasses (her name’s Yua, and while I typically remember names of characters without looking at the Wiki, I had to for this. It shows how much I cared) confronts Takumi about being the murderer, she threatens him with one of the stakes used in the murder he saw. Then she apologizes for threatening to murder him, saying she went a little “overboard”. Oh, are you sure about that? Last time I checked it was okay to threaten to murder someone and point a weapon at his chest.
Oh, and guess what happens? Bet you can’t?
Did you guess the pink haired girl goes to Takumi’s school, is in his class, sits right next to him, and claims to be his childhood friend? DING DING DING! You are right!
So anyway, there’s another murder and Takumi figures out that the song lyrics of this band Phantasm are apparently prophesying the deaths. So he goes to check them out. First of all, the music that you are forced to listen to is so bad, so shrill, so horrifying. The band, headed by lead singer Rei Ayanami…I mean Ayase Kishimoto, is horrible. Bad. NOT GOOD. Their most popular song is apparently called Crucifixion, which is what I wished someone would do to me while watching this scene. Thankfully, the song is only forty-five seconds, so I’m assuming their other songs are longer, and the reason Crucifixion is the favorite is because it ends fast, but not fast enough that your brain won’t start punching itself. The concert must have been free with fantastic drink specials, because that is the only way I can see anyone rocking out to this bullshit.
Takumi talks to Ayase about stuff. The police catch Takumi on camera running from that first murder scene so ask him questions, then let him go. Later he is pursued by the police for further questioning, but I guess it is too hard for the police to walk into his classroom and take him away. Why the hell is the guy at school, learning, doing normal things, when he’s being chased by the police? And why wouldn’t the police check the school for him if they want him so bad?
There’s this catchphrase the murderer leaves behind. “Those eyes, whose are they” becomes a kind of pop culture thing. People are saying the words left behind by the murderer everywhere: on the street, in the school. They want to brand it. WHAT? So a whole section of Tokyo is scared to death of a murderer, yet they decide to make his motto into a pop culture kind of thing? And the anime can’t figure out what this catchphrase actually is. “Those eyes, whose are they” becomes “Whose eyes are those” and then goes back to the former. Consistency…Chaos;Head doesn’t have it.
Oh, did I also mention that Wikipedia is called We-Key Pedopheria in Chaos;Head? I’ll let you decide why I find something odd with that.
So Takumi is having these delusions. He sees a guy in a wheelchair named The General who constantly harasses him about auto insurance or some bullshit and he blames it on the pink haired girl who he witnessed at the first murder. Her name is Rimi and I don’t know how she puts up with Takumi. He calls her a demon and tells her he’ll kill her. And her response? Slaps him, cries on his shoulder, and holds his hand. Because, you know…realism!
As the plot continues to thicken, and I mean thicken to the consistency of syrup, we are led deeper and deeper into a world of confusion. What I mean is the plot makes no sense the more it keeps going. Well, let me rephrase that. It makes a little sense but is so convoluted and explained so badly that you’ll end the show scratching your head and wondering how Ir2 is the equation that can destroy the world. There are these people with swords who are fighting to protect the world from being peaceful or something. There’s a big evil corporation that uses these backpacks to make people believe their delusions are reality. The corporation has created a big metal testicle that will save the world from evil and make people happy through rebooting the system or some bullshit. There are six girls and one guy, Takumi, with these D-swords that are going to stop le evil corporation from making the world happy and safe because Takumi is a selfish fuckwit who wants to pork Rimi rather than let the world be without war.
This sounds as exciting as watching butter melt, and it is. The originality of the plot stems from its use of delusions being projected between people, but this entire idea is so badly explained. I didn’t get it. I still don’t understand half of what happened. When blowing minds, you must first set up a base level that everyone can get, and build to a pinnacle point where my head explodes with the ideas complexity. But this show jumps right for the pinnacle rather than explain the lower layers. Thus, no mind blown, just a guy scratching his head.
Let’s point out some more fallacies. First, our buddy Takumi is the only person in his school wearing green. Everyone else wears blue. Trying to stand out and be a rebel Takumi? I mean, nobody likes you and you don’t have many friends anyway…no need to stand out from the rest…
Ayase jumps off a four or five story school building and lands in a bed of flowers and manages to survive with no injuries. Because flowers are like a ten foot thick pillow.
At a later point in the show, the people downtown have a mass delusion and see the gayest excavator of all time strut down the road. When it disappears, they move on with their lives like nothing happen. And as the sword bearing girls destroy the backpacks containing the delusion machines with their seven foot tall ridiculous-ass swords, nobody says anything. Just a normal day in Japan.
There’s a very cute character named Kozupii. She’s probably the only character I can say I gave a percentile of a damn about. She can’t talk. So she uses telepathy instead. She apparently had a bad experience as a child, and, as with everything in this show, it’s fucking stupid. When she was a child, people followed her with mirrors and asked her who she was. Because…that makes sense? People do that? Sure.
In episode nine Takumi is called by his sister, in dire need of help. He tells her to quit prank calling him. You know, when she sounds like she’s being hurt, it must be a prank. Rather than be nice and ask what is going on. Because it’s not like there are FUCKING MURDERS HAPPENING AND SHE COULD BE HURT!
So let me stop complaining about the plot and complain about everything else I haven’t complained about yet. The animation is horrible. It may be old, but the animation is still bad for the time.
And let me tell you something inspirational: You’re always super special. The lackluster opening can be forgiven because everything else about the anime is lackluster. But the closing credits are a thing of beauty. Accompanied by the beautiful sounds of a Japanese person trying to speak English, this song is the epitome of laughable. Why are you trying to speak English when you don’t know English?
Here, just read the lyrics. Maybe you can interpret them for me:
You’re always super special, that’s why you are here with me
Miracle baby, I’m happy to be with you
Big sing of “love and peace”
Where there’s enough bombs to blow the Earth
“All A-kids only”
Prioritize money they own
I wish I was kidding, but those are the real lyrics.
So anyway, I watched twelve episodes of this giant piece of festering dog shit. In those five or so hours I wasted I could have been reading a book, taking a class, learning a language, giving my time to charity. Nope, instead I dulled my mind with an overly complicated, underdeveloped, ugly, uninteresting mess of an anime. The characters are all cardboard cut outs with nothing at all to keep you interested in them. The plot continually gets more and more overly-complicated and badly explained. The writing is downright atrocious. The design is idiotic (the bad guys sword…what the fuck was that?). Everything about this anime is bad. The only redeeming factor I may be able to give it is the fact that it ends.
There must have been a miracle performed on the studio that gave us this anime for them to turn around and create Steins;Gate. That’s the only explanation for how they can go from making one of the worst anime I’ve ever seen to one of the best.
Save yourself five hours and heed my advice. Don’t watch this. If you haven’t seen Steins;Gate, watch that. If you have, go back and watch it again. Just, please, avoid Chaos;Head at all costs.