52 of 58 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I don't want to rag on the show too much because it is decent. Its got great atmosphere, an interesting premise, and some interesting character designs and personalities for the main cast. The problem comes in that Chaos;Head starts off strong with an intriguing mystery and bizarre behavior from the main character, but it fails to deliver any sort of satisfaction with its conclusion. The science is poorly explained, the main villain comes almost out of nowhere, and it isn't ever made clear what some of the characters' connections to the main plot or sub-plots were. The main problem with Chaos;Head is a lack of focus. If they had trimmed down the number of characters and steered the story to follow the main protagonist more often, then this would have been far more enjoyable. I still think people should watch this show, but I can't really recommend a purchase.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I would say that this show is for at least older teenagers. The cover blurp would have you think that the reason is violence. BTW, the main on-screen violence is in the first episode and the last two. I believe that the real reason is that it is ostensibly about a delusional, psychotic teenager whose delusions become real. In addition, other people also have delusions, and the delusions have delusions. The result is that in order to properly follow the story, you need to be able to follow what is real and what isn't. Otherwise you will end up being very confused.
The story opens with our hero, a teenage otaku, who is living in a metal shipping crate on the roof of a building. He has a sister who visits him periodically, but he spends most of his time with his delusional anime girl-friend. He periodically goes to school. If he isn't gaming, he is doing on-line chatting with his friends. As the story opens there have been two sets of murders. The pace takes off when someone sends him a pic of a horrific murder. The next day (at night), he witnesses that murder in progress. He sees a girl he doesn't know at the scene covered with blood, with the murder weapons in hand. He runs, and is caught in a surveillance camera, so now the police are searching for him.
The next day at school he finds that he is sitting next to the girl, who says that she has known him all his life. Other girls enter the story, one of which says that the hero himself sent the email with the pic of the murder, and others that say he should awaken. Then the girls start carrying swords. Then the EVIL organization enters the action. Shibuya will never be the same, since it gets pretty well destroyed.
The end result is a psycho-thriller, where you are kept wondering what is real and what isn't. If you liked the psycho-thriller Perfect Blue, I think you will like this one also.
The package comes with four disks, two DVDs and two Blu-Ray. I watched the Blu-Ray and the quality was very good. The main characters were hand drawn and the swords were CGI, which added to the impact of their supposing to be delusions made real. The extras were some trailers, text-less credits, and a song.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
This show is definitely worth watching, as its story and character development are fantastic. The show starts off strong, has a great middle portion, and then just sort of.. ends. They build up too many characters to end the show in as few episodes as they did, if the show had been more focused on fewer characters, or had been significantly longer in order to come to a fitting conclusion for such a fantastic build up, this show would be up there with the likes of Ghost Hound and Serial Experiments: Lain.
All in all, if you are a fan of the science/mystery/suspense genre of anime I definitely suggest watching this. But if you have not seen them I absolutely recommend watching Lain, Ghost Hound, and Dennou Coil above this.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Jonathan A. Chang
- Published on Amazon.com
I rarely write reviews; I'm just not good with describing things. But having just finished watching this anime and reading these reviews that are all over the place, I figure I could clear a few things up. Don't worry, no spoilers. First of all, this anime is not creepy. This is not a Shiki: Part 1 (Limited Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo) or Satoshi Kon's Paranoia Agent: Complete Collection (or Boogiepop Phantom), nor does it really aim to be a mind-bend like Serial Experiments Lain - Boxed Set. There are some anime that will confuse you and maintain that general atmospheric vibe -- if you are into that sort of thing, then Chaos;Head probably isn't it. Let's be clear: I wouldn't even consider this to be in the same genre as the aforementioned anime. If anything, this should be compared to its successor Steins;Gate: Complete Series: Part One (Limited Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo), or even C: Control - The Money & Soul of Possibility [Blu-ray]. It's more of a sci-fi with psychological thriller elements, than a psychological thriller with sci-fi elements.
What Chaos;Head is: an anime that's based on a visual novel. If you're unfamiliar with the concept of visual novels, they are like novels, except they usually have text over graphics and some music composition in the form of software. They have limited interaction, sort of like an extremely linear text-based role-playing game. Sometimes there will be choices you make at key points of a story. One popular concept in visual novels is that, as the main character, you play through the same world multiple times, and with each play-through, as you gather more information about the world, your character makes better decisions, leading up to the "true" ending. (for an example, see 999 on Nintendo DS)
So as you can see, when adapting visual novels into anime, the producers will have to either choose one ending that they want to capitalize on, or somehow cycle through all the endings, with the main character eventually gaining some power that transcends an individual world; because the main character must have the unique ability to remember events that occurred in previous play-throughs. Visual novels usually start out with Question Arcs to build up a mystery, but end with Answer Arcs to explain everything.
The nature of being a visual novel makes Chaos;Head differ from true mind-bending anime in that, as the story progresses, the questions will be explained in various ways, usually involving some psycho-(or techno-) babble, and ending with the main character as the only person that could change the world. Cliched, yes. But that's how visual novels go.
Chaos;Head, the anime, only goes through the story once. The main character is seemingly paranoid schizophrenic, but does (eventually) develop; in fact, his schizophrenia will play an important role in the plot. Enjoy his psychological breakdown in the first episodes, but later on in the series, you might want to slow down and digest what some of the other characters are rambling about. Several key conversations are essential to understanding the plot, even if they seem ridiculous at first.
I must admit, for those of you that are on the fence of whether to get this or not, the sophomoric effort of 5pb/Nitro+ (the authors of the visual novel), Steins;Gate, is a much better anime, not the least because it is twice as long, lending to a more developed plot -- Steins;Gate I consider to be a masterpiece, one of my favorite sci-fi anime. I didn't watch Chaos;Head until after I watched Steins;Gate, and although it's convoluted and a bit more cliche and less imaginative, the personality of the 2 anime are very similar. If you are pessimistic, watch Steins;Gate first, and then decide if you would like more from the same authors.
I recommend this anime to those who like to think a bit more than the average person (perhaps you weren't confused when you watched Inception or Donny Darko); it starts off mysterious but ends more or less shounen in the last couple episodes. I feel the shounen aspect is like a darker, more raw, more complicated, more sci-fi oriented version of Star Driver in that the powers that the characters develop have the ability to change the universe as we know it (and of course the final antagonist wants to play God). This is not a spoiler because it's pretty common in anime; par for the course.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Chaos;Head was something I'd been very intrigued with long before it made its way here. So i was very excited when Funimation announced it would be localized for an American audience. It features a hikikimori (Japanese Social Recluse) who experiences delusions and horrible hallucinations of things like murder, betrayal, and isolation. This is of course welcome. He meets a cast of girls (who all like him of course since this anime is based on a visual novel) who attempt to pull him away from his computer screen and his fear of society. Each of these girls is very endearing, all of them having their own quirks and charms.
The main character, however is not. He spends most of his time regressing into a fixation with "2-D Girls" and he can't get through a sentence, let alone feeling, without uttering how he loves 2d girls and is disenchanted with anything real. It's a fine defense mechanism to express when it isn't entirely transparent, shallow, and repeated ad nauseum. But it is. When he isn't obssessing over 2-d girls (a rare occurrence) he's sitting in the fetal position, feeling sorry for himself while one of the girls does their best to convince him he isn't a waste of life (how do they believe this themselves). He is a terrible main character and I can't state that enough.
The show itself revolves around the idea that people's ideas and dreams can be made real and can change the world. This is handled very well and carries into the central conflict of the plot. The reasoning behind this is elaborate, and it's the backstory that really shines in this narrative. The usual happenings are cliché-ridden and unexciting, but it's when the mysteries of the murder and the wheelchair bound man are unfolding that the story is incredibly engrossing and hard to stop watching. I was drawn to this show by the promise of delusions, murder, and hot girls having sword battles, all put together by the creator of Deathnote (my favorite anime. Just as a point of reference, the mastermind behind Deathnote's story was not involved in this.)
This isn't a GREAT show. It's a good show, at times being very interesting and charming, and at other times being extremely generic and flat. You're probably better off watching Deathnote or Welcome to the NHK if you're looking for really good anime that's kind of like this