You only wish it were a harem show.
If you are God and the delusion becomes reality. Chaos;Head
About what kind of the noids you get?
Is it the sensual world? The despotic society?
The destructive sanctions?
is a Visual Novel
starring Nishijou Takumi, a high school student and raging otaku.
Takumi lives in a steel shipping container on the roof of a building, converted into a small apartment. He spends most of his time at home, either playing the fictional MMORPG Empire Sweeper Online
(in which he is Neidhardt, the most famous and powerful player to exist) or watching anime. He has over one hundred "waifus" (figures), his favorite being the character Seira from the fictional anime Blood Tune
; he frequently affirms his love of 2-D women and his hatred of 3-D women. He is a borderline hikikomori
, having crafted a "minimum attendance shift chart" to ensure that he can attend school as little as possible while still graduating.
When the story begins, he is only known to have even semi-regular interactions with a few people: his bratty younger sister Nanami
, his ESO guild partner Grim
(whom he speaks to online), the school's resident playboy Misumi
, and Seira, whom he has become deluded into thinking she exists and can hear her talking and interact with her as kind of muse. Beyond these, he seems to be quite afraid of interacting with people, exhibiting classic signs of social phobia (such as extreme discomfort with making eye contact).
This routine life is shattered when, upon coming home one day, he hears the sound of something being pounded into concrete
. Looking over, he sees a pink-haired girl pinning a body to an alley wall with cross-shaped stakes
. The girl turns, smiles, and inexplicably calls him by name, at which point he runs. This scene is the third in a series of bizarre, gruesome murders called the "New Generation" murders.
The game has a unique "delusion trigger" system where the player can, at certain points, opt to view one of Takumi's daydreams/delusions. The player is given a choice between a good delusion (happy, humorous, or H
in nature) or a bad delusion (paranoid, violent or tragic in nature). For example, when Nanami visits and berates Takumi for not ever calling home, she takes a swig of soda without asking; the good delusion brings up the concept of an Indirect Kiss
, prompting Takumi to compare it to a hentai game
scene (at which point it almost does turn into one), and the bad delusion involves Nanami taking a swig of coke, then gagging and coughing up blood and dying. Takumi wonders why that happened, then remembers that he poisoned the coke beforehand. Typically these delusions have no direct influence on the story itself (Takumi simply snaps out of it and the scene continues from where it left off), but seeing certain ones triggers flags that can influence which ending you see. Many of these delusions involve blatant reference to anime (or eroge) tropes.
The game was made into an anime
for the fall 2008 season, with an Xbox 360 updated rerelease titled Chaos;Head Noah
released in February 2009. Three episodes are available on FUNimation's Youtube channel.
A fan translation patch for the game exists, but was taken down from the main site due to an agreement with Nitroplus, which unfortunately lead to Development Hell
as there's no localized version of the game yet, in fact no news after the "agreement" between the original fan translators and Nitroplus were given.
The game is the predecessor to Steins;Gate
Chaos;Head provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Sena.
- Adaptation Distillation: It takes around 20 hours to finish the game (or at least one route of it). The anime adaptation, on the other hand, is little short from being 6 hours long. It hardly takes a genius to figure out that something had to go.
- Adaptation Expansion: The anime introduces Ayase's cocytus-delusion, which functions as a freezing attack. Additionally, the events of episode 8 are anime-only.
- Affectionate Nickname: Rimi always calls Takumi "Taku." This is to differentiate between the two people she knows who call themselves "Takumi."
- All Just a Dream: Some of the positive delusions try to provide a Happy Ending through this, Takumi even lampshades the cliche.
- Amplifier Artifact: Di-swords serve as these, allowing the Gigalomaniac to properly make use of their hallucinations. Takumi is the only person who has been evidenced to do them without one.
- Angsty Surviving Twin: Yua. Her twin sister Mia died in the "Group Dive," the first First Gen incident. Yua then launches her own investigation into Mia's death. She suspects Takumi is involved in the First Gen murders and pretends to befriend him under the ruse of being a girl otaku. When Takumi finds out her true intentions, Yua ... doesn't take it well.
- The Anime of the Game: The original PC game was released on August 26, 2008. The Twelve-Episode Anime ran from October 9 to December 25, 2008.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Nanami
- Arc Words: "Whose eyes are those eyes?" ("Sono me, dare no me?") Even reaches memetic status in-universe.
- Artificial Human: Takumi is a delusion given human form and artificial memories.
- Band of Brothers: Takumi and his guild partner Grim who turns out to be the one behind most of the new-gen killings.
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy : Einstein was a Gigalomaniac.
- BFS: The Di-Swords.
- Bittersweet Ending: Slightly more sweet that bitter, although the real Takumo is dead and Sena's father saved Sena at the cost of his own life, the un-real Takumo finally realizes and confesses his love for Rimi, all the members of his band are still alive, the world was saved and Kozue regained her normal, non-telepathic voice.
- Bland-Name Product: Deluoode for Google, and We-Key Pedophilianote - seriously - for The Other Wiki.
- The list goes on, believe me - Taboo! (Yahoo!), Slavecard (Mastercard), Grouchosoft Mindorz X Perfect (Microsoft Windows XP Premium... seriously), THREE different McDonald's spoofs (McDeinald's, McDynald's and WacTiKald's), Asos (Asus)... there are easily a half dozen of these in each chapter of the game, and the anime adds in even more.
- MewTube (YouTube) and @-Channel (2-Channel).
- ...both of which would later resurface (and play major roles in) Steins;Gate.
- Break the Cutie: Every single heroine. It's the basic requirement to obtain a Di-Sword, after all...
- Calling Your Attacks: Subverted; in the only instance, the character can't think of a name to use
- Can't Stand Them, Can't Live Without Them: Takumi's attitude towards "3-D" girls.
- Can't You Read the Sign??: @chan has a "20 years or older" rule, clearly seen every time Takumi (17) is reading it.
- Captain Ersatz: Darth Spider
- Cast from Lifespan: Any Gigalomaniac that overuses their powers risks severe damage to themselves. Shogun is very far along with process, thanks to constant use of his powers along with his genetic disorder, and the creation of Takumi put him in a coma for a year.
- Character Blog: Part of the website for Chaos;Head Noah features blogs by each of the six main girls and one for Takumi.
- The Chessmaster: Norose.
- Chunky Salsa Rule: Invoked. And subverted. When Takumi learns to heal, he can grow a new head as easily as any other body part.
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: When a Gigalomaniac finds their Di-Sword, they gain the ability to Real Boot delusions. This forces others to perceive the delusion, giving it physical form.
- Clones Are People Too: Shogun considers Takumi to be a real person, just one who was born differently, and he wants Takumi to live on after his imminent death. In ending AA, Rimi agrees with Shogun.
- Combination Attack: Gigalomaniacs can work together to Real Boot delusions, resulting in more powerful effects.
- Continuity Cameo: The name Neidhardt is mentioned in passing in Steins;Gate.
- The diagrams showing how to control a peron's five senses are also used when the protagonists in Steins;Gate attempt to built a Mental Time Travel machine.
- Neidhardt's ESO friend Geji-nee is referenced in Steins;Gate, where she coordinated an attempt by various @channers to locate the IBN 5100, and more concretely in Robotics;Notes, where it's made clear that she's an AI.
- Cooldown Hug: Rimi delivers one to Takumi when he starts having a breakdown on a middle of a road.
- Counter Attack: When two Gigalomaniacs fight, they can even turn a delusion against the original user.
- When Suwa tries to catch Takumi in a delusion to keep him from defending himself, Takumi turns it around on him, forcing Suwa to kill himself.
- When Norose uses a delusion that destroys Takumi's sense of himself as a human being, Takumi eventually embraces it, using the delusion to get around No Self Buffs.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: The New Gen murders featuring a guy who was killedby having his blood drained and a guy killed by scooping his brain out with a spoon. However, the 2nd incident easily takes the cake and then some after you get know the circumstances of the murder. Nurse Hazuki, who together with Suwa is the culprit behind all these cases, restrained the unlucky guy on a operating table and proceeded to vivisect him without any sort of anesthesia. And that isn't even the worst part. Remember that an unborn child was inserted into his body? That's Hazuki's baby of whom Suwa is the father. How it got into that guy's body you ask? Well, after slicing the victim open, she - I shit you not - proceeded to cut her own womb open, rip the fetus out and shove into that guys stomach. And she did this without any anesthesia, all while sprouting an Slasher Smile par excellence and mumbling stuff in some sort of trance.
- Cute and Psycho: Two. Nice with some disturbing and murderous traits: Kozue. Jerkass psychopath with a veneer of civility: Suwa.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: A form of chinese water torture was done to Ayase in her backstory.
- Cute Mute: Kozue, at first.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Serious-mode Yua has a habit of emphasizing sentences by repeating them several times in a row with slightly different phrasings.
- Deus Sex Machina: Many of Takumi's delusions are about one of the girls randomly coming on to him.
- Diabolus Ex Machina: Route B is one huge ever-expanding example of this, featuring among other things, a Despair Event Horizon (Sena) and Body Horror And I Must Scream (Kozue), all of which culminates in a Let Them Die Happy Mercy Kill Just Before the End for a Shoot the Shaggy Dog ending. And the reason why it all happened? Kozue got knocked unconscious during the earthquake.
- Dojikko: Kozue. Also Yua, in the anime.
- Don't Look at Me!: Takumi has three notable instances of using this: First two times are near the end (or beginning), first one being directed towards The Gaze while the second one is for Rimi. Third one is addressed at pretty much everyone around him after he was set up as an ESP. He never actually says them out loud though.
- Downer Ending: Endings A and B. The anime follows AA, the happy ending.
- Dysfunction Junction: We'll be here all day if we try listing all of the crazy in this show. It's pretty much a given that the gigalomaniacs are pretty broken at least.
- Eleventh Hour Superpower: When Takumi recovers from Gorose's attempt to destroy his whole entity, he has come in terms with being a delusional existence. This means that he can treat himself as one, which in turn makes him indestructible.
- Emotionless Girl: Ayase.
- Evil Phone: At one point, Takumi gets a phone call from an out-of-service number, where he hears a creepy children's song followed by ambulance sirens and a near-deafening beep. It's the sounds of Noah II starting up.
- Expospeak: Halfway through the anime they seem to replace the Unreliable Narrator stuff with massive amounts of technobabble.
- Eyes Always Shut: Detective Ban's right eye is almost always closed, giving him a Columbo-esqe appearance.
- Fanservice: Some of the delusions Takumi is having qualify for this.
- Fake Band: Phantasm. Their lead singer is FES, also known as Ayase Kishimoto.
- Fictional Video Game: Empire Sweeper Online
- Finger in the Mail: Happens when Nanami gets kidnapped. Although instead of a finger, it's a whole hand.
- First-Person Perspective: In the visual novel. *All* of the visual novel is first-person; Takumi sees everything the camera shows, though it takes him some time before he realizes this and accesses the knowledge.
- Flash Forward: The show starts with one
- Flawed Prototype: Takumi. Shogun couldn't afford to try again.
- Formulaic Magic: fun10 × int40 = Ir2, the equation Takumi discovered in elementary school and the basis of the Noah Project and is referred to as more revolutionary than e = mc2. What the equation actually signifies is never explained in depth.
- Geek: Takumi. Yua acts like one to get Takumi to trust her.
- Girl with Psycho Weapon: The entire core female cast.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: Sena's mother. She was secretly used as a test subject for creating matter from delusions artificially. Since her second child and Sena's little sister mana died shortly after birth, they created a new baby from artificial delusions and gave it to her. Sena's father was against turning her into a guinea pig, but also didn't want her to realize that her child had died, so he reluctantly approved. The experiment continued for several years, until it was decided that enough results were gathered from it and it will be halted. Sena (who didn't know about the experiment) unfortunately happened to be there when they turned the machines off, causing her mother to freak out upon realizing she's been carrying a corpse and proceeded to tear at her face, eat her child's corpse, and stab her own eyes out with a pair of scissors. All while Sena could do nothing but watch. No wonder she hates her dad.
- Government Conspiracy: While it turns out that it wasn't the mysterious 300 man committee behind the events but Norose and a couple of traitors from the committee, they still had a fair few companies and organizations working towards their aims.
- Gratuitous English: "New Gen" and a few others.
- Hair Colors: Fifty-fifty split - Rimi, Kozue and Ayase have them, while Yua, Sena, and Nanami have more normal blonde and black shades.
- Handsome Lech: Takumi's best(/only) friend Misumi.
- Harmful to Minors: Sena and her mother, sister and father. Wow.
- Healing Factor: Subverted. Gigalomaniacs can alter reality, but they can't use their powers to heal. Eventually played straight with Takumi.
- Heroic BSOD: Takumi has two during the course of the story. The first is after chapter 6, when he thinks his sister is dead. The second is after the revelation that he's an Artificial Human.
- Hospital Hottie: Shino. Also a Meganekko, to an extent.
- How We Got Here: The story starts with Takumi lying in a ruined Tokyo street. Rimi creates a Di-Sword and kisses him just before she stabs him. Subverted in the AA ending, where the sword wasn't Real Booted.
- It's a Small Net After All: Averted most of the time, there are random comments, spam e-mail, and useless search results.
- Image Song: Each heroine has her own Image Song that plays during the credits of her respective route in the Xbox 360 version of the Visual Novel
- Imaginary Friend: Seira, from Blood Tune
- Imagine Spot: Defines Takumi's 'delusions', but it seems as though he doesn't remember them. Some might go into Daydream Surprise territory, except they're obvious to the audience, particularly because you have to trigger them yourself in the game.
- Interrupted Suicide: Ayase. Takumi's first conscious use of his delusionary abilities in the game is to create a flowerbed which breaks her fall after she attempts suicide by jumping off the roof of the school. And later on, Takumi himself.
- Lighter and Softer: Chaos;Head Love Chu Chu, a true Unwanted Harem romantic comedy version that's actually a sort of sequel to the main series of events.
- Little Sister Heroine: Several 'Delusion' events play up this angle, such as with the indirect kiss scene.
- Lotus-Eater Machine: At the end of route B. Takumi didn't escape it.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Takumi hopes that Yua, and later Rimi are this.
- Meganekko: Yua, most of the time.
- Memetic Mutation: Applied. After the release of the fourth New Gen murder, which had "Sono me, dare no me?"/"Whose eyes are those eyes?" written in blood, the entire city ended up repeating it.
- Mind Rape: Most of the delusions that NOAH II causes are psychological attacks, so this is to be expected.
- Mind Screw: With Takumi leading the narrative, not only does he not have any idea what's going on, the audience doesn't know much more than he does.
- This happens from the gameplay perspective as well. Choosing a delusion trigger will show a flash of images, followed by the screen going slightly blurry, as a sign of Takumi having a delusion. As the game progresses, these indications won't always show up when a delusion is in progress; the player will know only after the game cuts them off in the usual manner. To make things even more confusing, delusion triggers sometimes trigger real events to happen to Takumi.
- The Mole: Suwa.
- Multiple Endings: Three ones in total.
- 90% of Your Brain : Norose's reasoning for how the abilities of Gigalomaniacs work.
- No Self Buffs: Gigalomaniacs can't heal injuries with their powers. This is because their powers don't allow them to ignore the pain. Subverted when Takumi learns to turn off his sense of pain.
- Otaku: Takumi. Specifically of the Anime sort, though he really likes his MMORPG.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: Creating a Di-Sword for the first time requires a Gigalomaniac go undergo severe psychological trauma. By extension, the perfection of Noah II required creating Gigalomaniacs and taking samples from them.
- The Power of Friendship: Takumi sees his six friends praying for his success and safe return while undergoing a delusion attack, motivating him to turn it around. This leads to his Eleventh Hour Superpower.
- Psychic Link: Kozue uses this to communicate telepathically. Kind of. It's stated that somehow it is entirely different because it runs off the power of delusions.
- Takumi and Shogun have one as well, mainly because they technically are the same person
- Rapid Aging: Using the power of delusions apparently causes one to age faster. This is only relevant to Shogun who has a genetic disorder causing him to age faster. As a result he's almost dead of old age at the start of the story at about 17 years old.
- Serious Business: Do NOT mess with Sena's popsicle.
- Shared Mass Hallucination: One of the central ideas in Chaos;Head, but it runs on the idea in reverse: if you can get more than one person to see the same thing (real or not), it becomes real. Whether it's explained as magic or science depends on the character given the explanation, although the story focuses more on the scientific one.
- Show Within a Show: Blood Tune. All the audience really knows about it is lead character Seira, who Takumi is deluded enough to see talking to him.
- Slasher Smile: Used frequently in Takumi's bad delusions. Norose starts sporting these frequently as well after he's been revealed to be the Big Bad.
- Split Personality: Takumi starts to think he had one that was responsible for the new gen killings. He was completely wrong.
- Spoiler Opening: The gradual reveal of the different Gigalomaniacs throughout the story isn't quite as exciting after you see all but two of them with their Di-Swords in the opening.
- The Reveal of Norose as the Big Bad is also somewhat spoiled in the anime OP by the shot of him grinning maniacally.
- There's also the shot of Hazuki and Suwa together... why would those two characters be even be associated? ...Oh...
- Straw Nihilist: Norose.
- Suspiciously Apropos Music: In all three versions of Chaos; Head, the music by Phantasm is not only apropos, it's plot important, since it seems to be predicting the New-Gen events.
- Surprisingly Good English: The ending theme is about 75% this. The performer, Seira Kagamai, born to a French-Canadian father and a Japanese mother, is (obviously) fluent in both English and Japanese.
- Sword of Plot Advancement: After Ayase gives Takumi a cryptic offhand comment about Di-sword, he starts searching for it, if only to gain even some security in his current situation.
- Taking the Bullet: Sena's father, Hatano to protect Sena from getting shot.
- Techno Babble: Most of Takumi's encounters with Sena result in her explaining something about Gigalomaniacs in this manner.
- Theme Twin Naming: Yua and Mia.
- This Is Reality: Referenced rather frequently, but most often by Takumi himself
- Tomato in the Mirror: Takumi is actually a delusion of...himself. The other him being what the protagonist him knows as "Shogun".
- Took a Level in Badass: Takumi does by the end.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Sena loves Crunchy-Kun popsicles.
- There's also Momose and her pronounced fondness for Japanese sweets.
- Tsundere: Sena. She even has a Shout-Out to Shana, Nanami also shows tsundere traits focusing on un-giver strategy
- And in one of the delusions, Takumi is called on his phone by an (otherwise nonexistent) incredibly generic Tsundere love interest, whose every second sentence is "It's not that I like you or anything".
- I Love Tsundere Music Player (Extras) - "I'll let you listen! But only because it's you."
- Twelve-Episode Anime
- Twin Switch: The game and anime alike drop a lot of hints that the girl we know as Yua was actually her twin, Mia. The incident that gives her her Di-Sword has her conclude that it doesn't matter which one she is.
- Her character route in the Updated Re-release confirms that they indeed switched places right before the incident. Because Mia suddenly didn't feel like attending an otaku meeting she was actually looking forward to (she's quite moody, to be exact), she convinced Yua of switching clothes so she can attend the meeting in Mia's stead.
- Ultimate Gamer 386: The protagonist himself, too obvious.
- Unreliable Narrator - The start of the anime is entirely from the perspective of the delusional main character, and he's not sure what's going on.
- Everyone is an Unreliable Narrator in this show. Both the pseudo-scientific and pseudo-religious explanations are likely the results of each character's own delusions: Sena, the main source of technobabble, is heavily influenced by the occupation of her father, which ties in directly to her incredibly traumatizing childhood; Ayase, who is the main source of the pseudo-spiritual explanation, is shown reading a book in the hospital entitled "The Knights OF Gradiale," her name for the Di-Sword wielders.
- Unwanted Harem: While except for Rimi none of them are after Takumi romantically, elements of the genre are invoked in a fashion. Official art usually depicts Takumi with the six leading girls of the show in a way reminiscent of it as well.
- When Takumi is being tortured in the final episode of the series, he slips into a delusion of having a romantic comedy-like relationship with the girls.
- Updated Re-release: Chaos;Head Noah, for the XBox 360. Changes to the game include adding routes for each of the girls and changing it to widescreen. They also changed the route system; you now have to finish each route to unlock the True Ending, which can then be directly selected from the Main Menu.
- Virgin Power
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Norose. The fact that he's also a Straw Nihilist pursuing his goals to extremes tend to make him less than sympathetic, though.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Sometimes Takumi thinks of himself as a character in an RPG.
- Younger Than They Look: Shogun is a high school student. Takumi is a month and a half old.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Rimi and Kozue.
Whose eyes... are those eyes?