Anime Review: Chaos;head (2008)
Director: Takaaki Ishiyama
Studio: Funimation Entertainment
Release Date: Nov 29 2011
Runtime: 300 Minutes
Availability: On DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack
Takumi Nishijo is an otaku, he’s a shut in who loves to play computer games and watch anime. He also slacks off in school, but his life is going to be turned upside down when he receives a mysterious picture from the “General”. Feeling uncomfortable he leaves his house to go to the internet café. On his way home, he discovers the crime scene in his picture, along with a mysterious pink haired girl.
Strange things begin occurring around him as he continues to have delusions during all sorts of situations. Are his delusions muddling what’s real or is it all in his head?
The Low Episode Count Hurts the Storytelling:
Chaos;HEAd is an immensely confusing anime. It is based on a visual novel of the same name, but I’ve heard it’s a terrible adaptation of the visual novel. I haven’t played the visual novel, but I can see why. The story is good, but the pacing is terrible, it’s rushed, there isn’t enough time to develop all the characters, and there are quite a few of them. This needed to be 24 episodes and not 12.
Because this adaptation has such a short episode count, they try to cram loads and loads of exposition and world-building into as many episodes as they can and this is a visual novel, and in order for a visual novel adaptation to be good, you need the bare minimum of 24 episodes in order to flesh out the story and characters.
The pacing is far too rushed and you can tell the story should be an amazing one, but rushing through everything makes for very bad storytelling.
The Worst Animation from Studio Madhouse!
It’s a shame that Madhouse did such a lackluster job on this anime, but I did find out this adaptation was a “rush job” because Nitro+ was rereleasing the game on consoles and they wanted an anime to promote the game.
Chaos;HEAd Funimation Trailer:
The Music Is Unmemorable, Except for The Opening, Ending and Insert Songs:
I found the music composed by tOkyO is very unmemorable, and that’s a shame because it could have been so much better than what it was.
The music is good, the opening is "F.D.D." by Kanako Ito and the ending is "Super Special" by Seira Kagami.
Will you watch Chaos;HEAd?
The Dub is Good, But The Anime Deserved Better Storytelling:
The voice cast for the dub is pretty good. Carrie Savage is great as Rimi Sakihata and I like her character a lot. She’s probably my favorite of the female characters in this anime. Todd Haberkorn is good in this anime as Takumi Nishijo. But then again, he’s in a lot of Funimation dubs.
I enjoyed Brittney Karbowski as Nanami Nishijo, and she’s been in anime I’ve enjoyed as boy roles, it’s nice to see her voicing a girl. Clarine Harp is good as Sena Aoi. I haven’t seen her in a lot of anime, but I hope I’ll see her in more stuff.
Colleen Clinkenbeard is good as Yua Kusunoki. I like it because this isn’t the usual sorts of characters she voices, so this is a nice change.
Kara Edwards is really cute as Kozue Orihara. She did a good job and I also hope I’ll see her in more anime.
Stephanie Sheh is awesome as Ayase Kishimoto. Why do I say that? Well, I didn’t recognize her voice at all. And I can usually pick her out in a dub cast. Vic Mignogna is also good as the General, I love his work and he is my favorite voice actor in anime, he has a smaller but extremely important role in the anime and it was nice to see him in something different too.
There are some fighting and some blood because of a murder scene. The fighting is mainly science fiction based and not too graphic.
Takumi has some suggestive dreams but nothing happens in them.
There is some profanity but not anything heavy.
Chaos;HEAd is rated TV-14 for violence, language and fanservice.
It Wasted So Much Potential:
Watching Chaos;HEAd, I could tell the anime had so much potential to be good, and I could tell that the story was supposed to be something special.
Unfortunately, because they decided to rush through the story by cramming it into 12 episodes instead of 24 episodes, they should have made the anime much longer than it was.
Because the anime has so many issues because of it being rushed I can only recommend it for legal streaming through FunimationNow instead of buying it on DVD/Blu-ray.
What Doesn't Work
Story had potential to be good
Story pacing is rushed
Decent English dub
Episode count needed to be longer
Animation is mediocre
Overall Rating: C-:
Chaos;HEAd had the potential to be a really great anime, one that I would recommend that you buy. However, this is not the case because of the rushed pacing, lack of character development and the fact that it still is confusing for a lot of people after they finish it. It’s an anime I’ll highly recommend you stream, watch it, and then decide if you want it. This isn’t going in my anime collection, but I did enjoy it. Funimation Now has it subbed, but if you want the dub, you have to subscribe to it. It’s not up completely on Hulu, but that could change, you’ll have to check those websites. The followup Chaos;Child (2017) is licensed by Funimation with the actors reprising their roles for the recap episode of Chaos;Head.
The visual novel for Chaos;Head has not been licensed in the United States.
If you’re interested in buying it, the S.A.V.E. Edition is very inexpensive to purchase.
The next entry in the Science Adventure series is Steins;Gate (2011) and it's superior in every way as an adapation.
The sequel Chaos;Child is streaming on Crunchyroll and FunimationNow.
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