Chaos;Head, aka “How to make a jackass out of a good premise”. Some people must think they can make wonders if they make an anime as f*ed up as possible. They are wrong. Although studio Madhouse is easily one of the best when it comes to production values, in this case they made a sloppy/lazy production just for some quick bucks. Something which is EXTREMELY disappointing. Although from what I hear the source material, a visual novel by Nitroplus, is extremely good, the choice of giving the direction to some nobody (Ishiyama Takaaki) who never made a decent title in his life (his roster is full of throw away minor action/ecchi titles) could only spell doom for the whole project.
ART SECTION: 6/10 [Trolled by amateurs!]
Analysis: General Artwork 1/2, Character Figures 1/2, Backgrounds 1/2, Animation 1/2, Visual Effects 2/2
- First of all, I got trolled when I saw the first entry picture. I thought “an action anime with chicks and magic swords”. Well, it isn’t. Action takes place from episode 8 and on and it is still silly for the most part. Random clashes and magic gismos making stuff appear and disappear are hardly realistic and the speed of the battles was so slow and simple that I was not interested one bit. So, as an action anime, this series is terrible.
- I got trolled again when they switched the picture to a guy surrounded by happy go lucky girls. I thought “a generic harem”. Well, it’s not that either. There is hardly any nude or fan service in it beyond the erotic illusions of the protagonist. Just lots of pretty faces and “zettai ryouiki”. Although it does feel like a harem half the time it is still far from one as any hits of romance or ero stuff it has in it are short and have little to no purpose in the series.
- Then there is the horror aspect of it. So amateurish. Although the animators tried to insert cinematics in order to make things look creepy, everything was done so poorly and lifelessly it didn’t help in building atmosphere. There are lots of great horror anime and this is not remotely scary. Heck, they even censored most of the gore as blood and severe injuries are almost never shown. How do you hope of making a gore story by taking out the gore?
- There is also the character figure issue. There are lots of kawai girls surrounding an antisocial male who wastes his life in the otaku life (the bad type of otaku life; shut in a container playing games and gathering female figurines all day long while bashing away all real girls). Too ideal for a setting that is supposed to criticize otaku life. Where are the ugly women; The girls were as pretty as the plastic ones.
- What I did like was the attention given to those fancy square patterned school uniforms and some occasional visual effects that were indeed interesting and scary. But beyond all that, the artwork feels poor for the time the series was made and lifeless to the most part.
SOUND SECTION: 6/10 [Shut up mute loli!]
Analysis: Voice Acting 2/3, Music Themes 2/4, Sound Effects 2/3
A follow up of the same problems as the animation. Sound effects do little to promote the atmosphere. Voice acting is relaxed but not terrible. The main lead has a very irritating voice but that actually fits his antisocial personality. The girls have rather typical voices with the usual squeaky loli accompanying them while the main villain is plain nasty. Nothing great in all. As for the music themes, the opening and ending themes are mediocre pop pieces that you will hear a couple of times before forgetting entirely.
STORY SECTION: 6/10 [And it sounded so good on paper…]
Analysis: Premise 2/2, Pacing 1/2, Complexity 1/2, Plausibility 1/2, Conclusion 0/2
- You got to be a real loser if you are capable of being given such a great premise and then f*ing so bad. Based on a novel, the general story is very interesting actually, concerning delusions, memory losses, occult and secret apocalyptic experiments along with gruesome murder cases and mystical invisible swords. The first two episodes are great to watch, despite the poor visuals and atmosphere.
- And after that, everything turns to BS. The lead wastes half the series having erotic illusions around six pretty girls that have nothing better to do than interact with this loser. Ok, they are not really in love with him and just want to exploit his special power. Still, by the time some actual development occurs in the second half, you are left to believe this series is a light school comedy with a few poor horror overtones. And then the revelations come and the second half of the series becomes a standard action mystery title… which still has poor atmosphere, boring action and revelations that happen fast through monologues. Man, they really screwed up…
- In all, the pacing of the story is slow and ridiculous for the most part, going fast only when it has to explain the complicating story. WHY ON EARTH would they fast forward the important stuff and focus on nonsense? The story itself is great but the presentation was done by people not familiar with storytelling. Not to mention the really corny ending. So predictable and uninspired you could see it coming two episodes before. Bad, bad, bad…
CHARACTER SECTION: 7/10 [The lights make me look funny mister director.]
Analysis: Presence 1/2, Personality 1/2, Backdrop 2/2, Development 2/2, Catharsis 1/2
- The protagonist in the series is a real loser and was portrayed exceptionally, with an irritating voice, otaku life, erotic fantasies, fits of rage towards women, and running away from his troubles all the time. All accompanied by an imaginary friend of his, which is basically his favorite female anime character. Then there are half a dozen other girls with issues. They all have invisible swords only he can see and they find in him the means to solve their troubles. Great excuse to be swarmed by pretty chicks!
- There is an interesting secondary cast of students and megalomaniacs who also play their part in the grand scale of things. The cast of this series had the potential for greatness.
- Yet it failed to be great because of all the above. From the poor atmosphere, to bad storytelling and lots of silly school comedy moments, the characters devolve to almost cardboards. It is actually very interesting when each gets to face his/her greatest fear, which is really inside his/her mind. I loved how everyone’s greatest enemy was his/her own self. The villain was practically craving on that. Very interesting concept. Still, as mentioned over and over, amateur handling lead to pass for idiots when they are actually not. And having that terrible ending didn’t help to leave you with good last impressions about them.
VALUE & ENJOYMENT SECTIONS: 1/10 [Remake now!]
Analysis: Historical Value 0/3, Rewatchability 0/3, Memorability 1/4
It had the guts but missed the glory. If it gets a remake and some pros in the genre get involved, this will turn out to be a jewel. As it stands, it is uncut and unpolished.
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