Shibuya psychological thriller and suspense anime Chaos;Head finally makes its appearance. An adaptation from the popular visual novel by Nitroplus (not an eroge as such), the title promises, and delivers, a very contemporary vision of murder and delusion in Shibuya and on the Internet.
What it does not deliver, however, is much in the way of sound production values.
The protagonist collects figures and lives in a shipping container playing MMORPGs, so he is something of a hikikomori prince, and perhaps worthy of tremendous respect or derision as such.
I particularly like how close he has his fridge to his computer (bonus points for it being full of coke bottles), although in practice a fridge is best kept in an adjoining room to reduce noise. About the only nice touch in the show, however.
What really surprised me about this anime is how cheap the animation is and how shoddy the character designs look, especially compared to the original CG. It may not be bad throughout, but in most places a distinct lack of quality and effort is evident.
Seiyuu work is mediocre to my mind; the protagonist is appropriately whiney but intensely annoying as a result, and the female characters are a little overdone.
Music is poor – I’d really expect an edgy or avant-garde score from this, but what is provided is bad J-pop.
No censorship seems evident; it looks as if people being nailed to walls with metal stakes is currently more palatable to stations than the prospect of seeing their pantsu or otherwise. There is no service to speak of either.
If you look at his figures, you can see some interestingly familiar ones. The nicely detailed figures are a little spoiled in a later shot when they are shown from a completely different perspective but are not redrawn in the slightest.
The ED is amongst the worst you’ll ever see. For that matter, they don’t even bother with an eyecatch in the breaks.
The actual story seems fairly interesting, though very little is actually developed in the first episode save establishing the fact that the protagonist is already out of his mind even before the murders and hallucinations start.
I’m not at all convinced by this title; though it may yet pick up and deliver an engrossing story in later episodes, the lack of effort and poor production values in the all important first episode suggest it is destined for mediocrity.
Fans of the original visual novel and those intrigued by a very contemporary psychological thriller with strong otaku overtones may well embrace Chaos;Head, but I have my doubts about the reception it will receive elsewhere.