Western Animation / Chaotic
You can transport to Chaotic and play for real.
— Kaz, to Tom.
is a Danish trading card game (TCG)
turned animated series that broadcasted on 4kids TV and later on Cartoon Network.
In the show, Tom Majors and his friend Kazdan Kalinkas enjoy the mildly popular Chaotic TCG as a recreation. Kaz, being the one with the glasses, always tells Tom of his adventures in Perim and his matches in Chaotic. Tom usually dismisses such stories as a fanboyism — that is, until he receives a mysterious password after one online match. He enters it into his Chaotic tie-in device called a scanner and is transported to the pocket dimension "Chaotic". Here players gather to play in the eight Dromes (seven official Battle Dromes run by the powerful and enigmatic Codemasters and a Beta Drome for practicing and anything-goes battles), where they transform into the creatures from the game and defeat each other in combat. It turns out that when you port to Chaotic, you also leave behind a version of yourself on Earth to go about normal life. As if all that weren't enough, you can also port into the actual world of the card game, Perim. There players can use their scanners to scan locations, creatures and items, gaining the ability to use them in the game. Tom makes some new friends, Sarah and Peyton, as well new enemies, Klay and Krystella. Along the way the characters manage to get wrapped up in some dangerous adventures.
The real-life card game seems to take place separate from the TV series, with no humans turning up and featuring only the high fantasy world of Perim.
In Perim the four Tribes are at a centuries-long war that sought to find the Cothica
, the supreme and ultimate power in all of Perim, as well as seek to retribution on the Tribe(s) that they blame for its disappearance. As the game has progressed into M'arrillian Invasion
, the fifth forgotten Tribe, the M'arrilians, was released from its imprisonment behind the Doors of Deepmines and is now wreaking havoc across all of Perim in order turn it into one big ocean. The process of oceanification is done by practically melting the ice caps
of Perim. One year later, Secrets of the Lost City
begins. The four high muges of Perim — Najarin, Enre-hep, Kopond, and Lore — perform a ritual that raises Kaizeph, the levitating lost city of elements, from the depths of Lake Ken-i-po. The city becomes a new hub of activity for the Tribes. Over in the dig sites of the City of Kehn-Sep, the creatures have finally uncovered the Cothica Tablet. Though the tablet answers many long-debated questions, apparently not everyone likes the answers.
Now has a character sheet
This show provides examples of:
- 0% Approval Rating: It's shown clearly from early on that basically everybody in Chaotic hates Klay and Krystella due to their off-putting, nasty personalities and consistently ruthless behavior in both Chaotic and Perim. Even the Drome Master of Battledrome Crellan calls out Klay on his behavior in the episode Everything is in Flux right as the match between Klay and Tom is about to begin, and in the episode War Beasts the same guy who worked with them to cheat Peyton out of 20 of his best cards for a War Beast card he can't control, betrays Klay and Krystella by giving Peyton the info he needs to control his War Beast and defeat Klay in a battle. It only emphasizes this trope that the duo actually likes being so heavily disliked and openly state that they don't care how they win, so they're willing to lie, cheat and backstab without batting an eye to achieve it.
- Action Girl:
- Almost every female creature put into the spotlight by the show, including Laarina, Intress, and Takinom, to name a few.
- When we see Sara in her first dome battle, it's one of the most intense fights in the series.
- Aesop Amnesia: There is the episode where the gang befriends a new Tom, lavishing all of old Tom's previous positive attention on him. Fed up, old Tom wagers their friendship on a match. He wins, but his friends call him on it telling him that they'll be friends with whomever they choose. Simple enough, but it becomes jarring once you recognize that the unfortunate implication that his friends weren't actually TREATING him like their friend. In another episode the boys do the same thing to Sarah when a cute girl showed up and they proceeded to ignore Sarah all episode.
- Amazonian Beauty /Beastess: Intress, in the card game anyway
- All Just a Dream: The episode called Chaotic Crisis where the creatures of Perim invade Earth.
- All There in the Manual: When it was up, the 4Kids site cited Sarah's Chaotic screen name as Chaotikween, which was never revealed in the show itself.
- Averted with Krystella. Out of the six most important humans in the show, her Chaotic screen name was the one that was never revealed, either in the show or on the site.
- Alpha Bitch: Krystella, easily the meanest female in the show. In one episode, Pyrithion gets spooked when she gets really angry at seeing a plan of hers be ruined. Pyrithion happens to be a large, cobra-esque naga creature who can spit fire, so the fact that Krystella spooked him showcases how genuinely terrible she is.
- Alternate Universe: Perim and Chaotic are an alternate universe to earth, according to the official backstory.
- Always Someone Better: CoolTom is better than Major Tom at nearly everything, better scans, better record and even better food creations. He brags about this nonstop when Major Tom challenges him to a match. But, Major Tom ultimately proves to be the better Chaotic player. After losing the first five matches and having only Maxxor left, he proceeds to decimate CoolTom six times in a row.
- Animesque: M'arillian Invasion, not so much in the first season.
- Arc Number: The number 7 is a recurring theme throughout the franchise (for example, Chaotic has 7 letters, and "Cothica" is just an anagram of that) and there were supposed to be 7 seasons, plus there are 7 Codemasters.
- Art Evolution: While season 1 used flash animation, M'arillian Invasion has switched to more anime-style traditional animation.
- Although many fans considered the flash animation of season 1 to be better than the pseudo-Japanese animation from season 2, so it could also be considered art devolution.
- Batman Gambit: In one episode Chaor's army corners the M'arrillians in a marsh of oil before sending it all up in a massive inferno, only to find when the smoke clears that not only did he not harm any of the M'arrillians (they simply hid beneath the oil until the flames died down), but the whole reason they came to the marsh in the first place was to lure him and his army away from Underworld City so that Lord Van Bloot could conquer it for them. They knew he couldn't resist the apparent opportunity to wipe them out
- Big Eater: Peyton
- The Big Guy: Peyton, again
- Bizarrchitecture: Castle Bodhran in the card game. Supposedly there are are doors below your feet, stairs ascend sideways and floors are seen where ceilings should be, but no matter where you stand, you’re always right side up. The card's flavour text even uses the trope name: This strange stronghold is built in a style that might be best called “bizzarechitecture.”
- Calling Your Attacks: Literally...
- Catch-Phrase: "Let's get Chaotic!" is the Chaotic Players' way of saying "en guarde!"
- Character Death: Tangath Toborn at the end of Secrets of the Lost City.
- Cthulhumanoid: Many of the M'arrilians, including their leader Aa'une in his projection form.
- Collectible Card Game
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The Mugic colors happen to be color-coded for the Tribe that can use them. Colorless Mugic can be used by anyone, Blue Mugic for the Overworld, Red for the Underworld, Yellow for the Mipedians, Brown for the Danians, and Black for the M'arrilians. The players' Scanners match these colors after the Art Evolution. (Codemasters' are white, for those who were wondering)
- Combining Mecha: GiganTroopers (or Big Giant Robots) figured out how to do this after they went on a rampage after being given autonomy.
- Convection Shmonvection: Nobody seems to be affected by the heat coming off the magma at the Lava Pond, even though in one episode the temperature is shown as being enough to incinerate hot dogs held over it.
- Creepy Twins: The original idea for Klay and Krystella; although now they aren't twins — they are still creepy, especially Klay.
- Still played somewhat straight with Krystella; she has a twin sister, but only Krystella herself is creepy.
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Cothica. Apparently its power maintained a golden age of peace, until it just vanished. Phelphor claimed the M'arrillians had the Cothica and the tribes grew jealous against the M'arrillians for having it, but he lied.
- Darker and Edgier: The second season took a darker tone than the first season, especially after the M'arrillians showed up.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Underworlders say that the Overworld tribe is responsible for the war over the Cothica.
- Light Is Not Good: On the other side of the spectrum, the Overworlders are arrogant and are sometimes willing to Shoot the Dog. Don't let the teamwork system fool you; they can be pretty petty.
- Peyton even told Tom in one episode, when he was complaining about the Mipedians attack on Castle Bodhran from an earlier episode, that no tribe is all good or all evil and each has their own good & bad members.
- Deadpan Snarker: In the first episode, one of the robots hates the first reactions to new players, since they all say the same thing. And is also annoyed by their reactions of seeing a talking robot.
- Sarah is this the most out of any character.
- The drome masters (or master, as it is the same voice for all dromes and never explained exactly who it is), who are essentially the referees in the dromes and whom we only get to hear and never see, can be this too at times.
- Doomsday Device: A gigantic heat ray built by the M'arrillians at Glacier Plains capable of melting the ice caps and turning all of Perim into an ocean.
- Dream Within a Dream: Kaz in Chaotic Crisis.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Several creatures appear in episodes in card form or in a seconds long cameo before appearing in episodes fully or partially focused on them. For example, Ulfhedinn, Tom's opponent's Weapon of Choice in "Shifting Sands" is used and Curb Stomped in "The Thing With Bodal" on the team of Tom's opponent in that episode, Tank.
- Eldritch Abomination: The sentient blight that haunts Prexxor Chasm in "Chasm Quest" and "Blight Fight". In fact, it is described by Smildon and Tom to not be a creature, but some kind of disease.
- Enemy Mine: The Danians, Mipedians, Overworlders, and Underworlders all put aside their feuding to combat the M'arrilians' dominance over Perim.
- Evil Brit: Klay
- Face of a Thug: Many monsters look intimidating as hell and have the personalities to match that, but there are others who look just as scary and intimidating yet they're actually quite friendly. Probably the best example is Aokua, an enormous, scary looking dragon Underworlder who humans fear due to rumors of him hating and eating them, but it turns out Aokua is a very friendly guy who loves a good laugh, and the negative rumors come from his habit of playing scary yet harmless pranks on humans.
- Faux Action Girl: Although Sara has a lot of Scan Quests, she is very rarely seen in a Drome Battle.
- Fighting Series: Debatable because even with the elements of a war, arenas, and semi-standardized techniques, the game is still the point of the show.
- Flashback with the Other Darrin: In a meta-sense; the Previously On in the season premiere of M'arrillian Invasion is done in the season's new art style as opposed to the Flash animation of the first season.
- Fusion Dance: Borth-Majar. They can fight only while merged together.
- Game Face: Phelphor is actually a M'arrillian double agent, but possesses the ability to take on the appearance of an Underworlder.
- Geek: Kaz
- Goggles Do Nothing: The original character design of Tom shows the similarity to Digimon.
- Grey and Gray Morality: None of the tribes are 100% in the right all the time. Some of them are jerkasses, some of them are downright despicable, and alternatively some of them really are heroes, but there's no purely evil tribe or purely heroic tribe.
- The episode "Shifting Sands" best expressed this trope, After Tom's first encounter with Mipedians nearly got him killed he saw them all as evil, Peyton tries to show him that every tribe has their own good guys and bad guys and that no one tribe is wholly good or evil, they get saved by the Mipedian Tianne and he takes them to his home to explain that no one tribe is all bad, but some tribes have really bad apples. Then comes in the scorpion-like Overworlder Slurhk, one of the few evil Overworlders ever shown, who tries to kill the boys and Tianne because he believes the Midepim desert belongs to the Overworld. Tianne ends up preforming a Heroic Sacrifice to save Tom and Peyton, but not before allowing Tom to scan him so he can see the world as he does.
- Hufflepuff House: The Mipedian and Danian tribes, who don't get as much exposure as the Overworld and Underworld tribes.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: Aside from a few monsters in Perim who are neither good nor evil, Klay and Krystella are shown to be much worse. This also includes any other players in Chaotic. See Jerkass below.
- Interspecies Friendship: All over the place, with the main humans having a knack of befriending creatures in Perim, be it individually or as a group. Whether it be overall friendly creatures like H'earring, Vidav, Garv, Aokua and Wamma, to less friendly creatures like Chaor and Smildon, the group ends up making quite a bunch of friends as a whole in Perim. Even before the pilot episode where Tom gets to Chaotic, by then Kaz has befriended H'earring, Sarah has befriended Wamma and Peyton has several Mipedian friends. It helps that the main group never hesitate to help out a creature in need, including saving their lives, no matter what tribe they're from, earning their trust and friendship that way.
- Perhaps the most peculiar example comes in the episode Elementary, where Peyton befriends, of all things, a M'arrillian.
- Vlar, Maxxor's ancestor, is despised by his contemporaries for his acts of thievery from the local Kiru Village.
- A lot of the humans are huge jerkasses. Klay and Krystella are the obvious examples, especially when one of their antics causes Tom, Kaz and H'earring to almost fall in molten steel. They never hesitate to screw people other, cheat them out of their cards and endanger anyone just for kicks, never displaying any positive qualities at all.
- Other than Klay and Krystella, one of the meanest is Sam, an egotestical and mean spirited jerk who doesn't really care about other players at all, and is perfectly willing to let people be banned from Chaotic because it means less competition for him. Then there's the time when the main quartet find a door through time to Perim's past, where they can scan creatures that don't exist anymore; Sam discovers them by spying on them, and rather than keep it a secret himself to take advantage of the extreme rarity and uniqueness of the situations and everything they can scan, he decides to blab about it to everyone in Chaotic just to spite the main quartet.
- Even Kaz and Sarah tend to be jerks from time to time due to their being more open about their opinions of tribe superiority compared to others, and they have ego issues much more pronounced than Tom and Peyton. It should also be noted that out of all animated shows based on a game and revolving around said game, this one is arguably the one with the most hardcore trash talking, whether it be out of competitiveness, or tribe affiliation, or simply because the humans are just plain mean. Kaz and Sarah display the tribe affiliation jerkiness quite often, especially when compared to the more open-minded Tom and Peyton.
- CoolTom is a grade-A version. He let Tom almost get coded while he got an Ice Cloak scan in the Overworld Barracks, and then actively tries to take Tom's friends away and making them his own. He is not quiet on this point when they battled in the Drome.
- Codemaster Hotekk is also quite arrogant and jerkish towards players.
- Perhaps the nastiest of the lot are Simon and his three friends from the episode "A Rare Hazard". Their hobby was taking lots of scans of very rare locations, then proceeding to use explosive to destroy them so no other players could ever have them and they could sell their scans to the highest bidders. To wit, these four are eventually caught and the Code Masters ban them from both Chaotic and Perim, never able to return again. Klay and Krystella have pulled off all sorts of terrible stunts but have never been banned, so that shows just how genuinely rotten Simon and his friends were.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Some of the creatures can be pretty nasty, but also genuinely nice to those they come to care about.
- Several Mipedians, such as Zhade and Siado, who are sneaky and underhanded, are also quite friendly with Peyton.
- Rothar from the Underworlders is a dangerous and violent brute, but has been stated as the kind of guy who will always stand up for those he cares about. In the episode "Colosseum Showdown", Rothar's intervention by insulting Hammerdoom saves Kaz from being attacked right then and there, and in the end of the episode "Stelgar Strikes", Rothar finds a severely weakened Stelgar and offers him his help, despite not knowing who this creature is or what tribe he's from.
- On the humans side, there is a player named Bruiser, who's basically an arrogant Jerk Jock through and through, but as soon as he learns that the reason Tom risked his prized Maxxor scan for a Castle Bodran scan from Bruiser, a fight which Bruiser won, was so Tom could help a kid named Reggie, who had been captured by Mipedians, Bruiser does not hesitate for a second to give Tom the Castle Bodran scan he needed.
- Limited Wardrobe
- Loads and Loads of Characters
- Master of Disguise: Iparu
- Mentors: Codemaster Crellan, obviously. Kaz, Sarah, and Peyton could be considered mentors to Tom.
- Merchandise-Driven: The tie-in card game, of course.
- Mickey Mousing: It's a given, since this is a 4kids produced series.
- Mind Manipulation: This ability is pretty much the M'arrillians' bread and butter. There is also one Underworlder (Opto) who possesses the ability. They lose the ability after they're defeated in the Season Finale of M'arrillian Invasion. They're still around, but no mind control.
- Monowheel Mayhem: Mowercycles are this plus some teeth to grip stone walls and powersaw through everything else. They can also ride up walls, but just don't try to drive across a log bridge.
- Monster Lord
- Nerd: Kaz
- Never Say "Die": Surprisingly Averted in M'arillian Invasion. In the second episode of the 3-part season finale. The second in command of the Overworlders, Tangath Toborn, casts a mugic to freeze time so the melted ice-caps of Glacier Plains don't flood Perim. He is unable to get out of the way in time. It takes effect after he's engulfed in the flood, causing him to drown. This is surprising because this happens in a show made by "4kids", who removes every single mention of death in their shows and the anime they dub.
- Then again, it could be a Disney Death since characters who are said to have died in "4kids" shows, come back later (e.g., Luffy from One Piece Dub, Leather Head from TMNT).
- He was frozen in waves. In the season finale of Secrets of the Lost City, it's revealed he's from the Spirit Lands, a sort of ghostly place. His sword is the only way he can stay in Perim. Another creature from that place wants to battle him. The only way free Tangath to stop this creature was to destroy his sword. After he stops the creature, he returns to the Spirit Lands. All four tribes hold a funeral for him at Glacier Plains. This time, it's a real death.
- While death is almost never mentioned on the show, many creatures are seen dying onscreen. The episode with the highest body count to date appeares to be "Warriors of Eternity", where many Mipedians were killed.
- New Meat: Tom is new to the real world of Chaotic. Another episode focuses on the boys smitten with a new female player, and in another, Tom helps a young newbie before Klay can steal the kid's cards from his deck.
- Noodle Incident: Used in the first two episodes, and rather hilariously, as it was used to make Tom believe Kaz about saving the scanner.
- One-Winged Angel: Aa'une decides to do Lovecraft before his doomed battle.
- Polar Opposite Twins: Twins, Krystella and Jysella.
- Serious Business: Only in one parallel universe.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: In one episode, someone steals a piece of Danian battle gear that Sarah was attempting to scan, so she recruits Tom, Kaz, & Peyton to engage in a Chain of Deals that will allow her to get a card version of it. After much hassle on their part, including Kaz having to give up one of his prized cards, they manage to obtain it, only for Sarah to reveal that her Danian friend caught the thief while they were busy and she already scanned it.
- Shout-Out: The M'arrillian's former name was "The Deep Ones"
- Tom Majors screen name is "Major Tom", chances are he or one of the staff are David Bowie fans.
- Spoof Aesop: Peyton and Krystella engage in a battle of the sexes in order to determine which is superior. Peyton wins, but then someone points out that he only used female monsters, while Krystella only used male monsters, which just confuses everybody. By season two, he's turned this into a Running Gag.
- The Smart Guy: Kaz, and to some extent Sarah
- The Smurfette Principle: Sarah is the token female lead of Chaotic.
- Team Pet: He'arring, though probably a lot different, seems to fill this role
- Too Dumb to Live: Kaz, outside of Chaotic and Perim. His obsession with talking everything Chaotic and Perim to everyone at every waking hour, including making school reports about his adventures there, and his stubborn insistence that they are real places despite being unable to provide a shred of proof nearly makes his mother take away his scanner for good, which would have made Kaz unable to go to Chaotic and Perim or return from it anymore. Rather than just stop talking of it altogether so his mother eases up on him and he can continue coming and going as he pleases, he continues to insist it's real and tries to get proof, which in his eyes is to have someone from Chaotic call his mom to tell them it's real, not realizing that her mother can simply attribute this as any random kid from school calling her to say that at Kaz's insistance.
- Transformation Sequence: Used to turn players into Creatures during Drome Matches.
- Tsundere: Some of the creatures do their best to act all tough and mean towards some of the main humans, despite the fact that it's more than obvious they've come to genuinely care for them. Both Maxxor and Smildon act like this to Tom, as does Chaor for Kaz, but in all cases (especially Chaor's), they ease up on the kids after a while.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Borth and Majar
- Weapon of Choice: Tom has Maxxor and, later on, Tangeth Toborn, Kaz has Chaor and, seemingly due to his tendency to show up on Kaz's teams, Rarran, Sarah has Lore and Wamma, and finally Peyton has Zhade and Marquis Darini.
- Witch with a Capital B: Used (possibly) in episode 12. Peyton mentions tripping over Krystella's "broomstick" and Krystella responds that he (Peyton) sees strong female players as witches. In episode 5, after she speaks, Peyton imitates the sound of a bus pulling over and says the "witchmobile" just pulled in.