Chaos;HEAd, Episode #03 – Harem + Giant Swords = OHSHIAT!

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When Harems Attack, Part III

And just when Takki thought it was safe to leave the shipping container and bump elbows with the 3-Ds! Actually, Taku makes a surprisingly levelheaded decision for being such a doofus. He checks himself into the local hospital for a psychiatric examination. That's right, he thinks he's crazy. Wonder what would give him THAT idea?

Taku is not crazy. My reasoning? Exhibit A: He is at least sane enough to step back and realize that he has specific moments that feel like utter, bottomless insanity. If he recognizes that he is going crazy, then he is not totally crazy, at least not yet. Exhibit B: Taku only goes into the hospital to check on a certain part of his sanity. He only wants to know that the little part of the human mind that makes sure we all don't go around hanging unsuspecting sarariman up with wimbled crosses and forgetting about it afterward is intact. He mentions nothing about Seira, who goes out of her way to make an entrance on his hospital bed decked out in nurse cosplay. He just wants to know that he isn't the one committing those horrible murders.

Then again, maybe he's so batshit that he only he thinks he's partially insane, when in fact, he is about as far off the deep end as one can get. Maybe he IS the one committing the murders. Maybe there is a reason that Yua is busy researching dissociative personality disorders. When a buxom harem shows up toting gigantic, fantastical swords and insinuates that a poor, helpless loogey of a NEET is going to bring about the destruction of the world, you know *something* has got to be up. Let us scrutinize the otaku in question. Sorry for the late post; was waiting for m.3.3.w. subs, as requested ^_^;

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"Hellooooooo, nurse!"

So after a brief recap on the last episode (oh the abundant good and wonderfulness of brevity), poor Taku is on his way into the hospital to get his head checked. Looks like the Cokes and animu aren't doing it anymore. Looks like Yua's revelations really jangled his nerves. Problem is, he didn't really think it through. For one thing, he's not willing (or able) to tell the doctor all of the details of his troubles. He only gives a vague account of the problem. So the doctor resorts to the cliche placatory measures that are expected of all witless physicians -- he tells him without batting an eyelash, "sleep disorder", and has him spend the night in the hospital.

Okay, so what's really happening here? Well before I get to the big, fat, shiny golden hint that we need to tuck into the backs of our heads, let me first mention this: yellow. Tons and tons of yellow. The color yellow is associated with insanity, especially the sallow, jaundiced yellow you might expect to find in an abandoned building, creeping out in places where white once prevailed. For some reason, they decided that this would be a good color to have in the mental health block of the hospital -- you know, to keep the patients appropriately "stimulated". Yellow is not only in the hospital, but it is also in the uniforms of Taku's school and it is impassably obvious in the flashback scene with the big eye staring at young Takumi... Kind of reminds me of The Gate from FMA...

...Which brings me to the next point: the flashback. The hospital scene was kind of stupid, on the surface. I mean seriously, what was it? Taku goes to a hospital and starts gushing about mental problems he can't explain. They put him to bed and strap him up to a few monitors to help him make sure he isn't a somnambulatory psychopath. Seira shows up and puts in her two cents. He wakes up and they send him on his way. WASTE OF TIME. FAIL. Obvious idiocy aside, the hospital scene was a neat little way to explain a few things we didn't realize before: 1) the flagrant displays of yellow are not a coincidence, 2) Taku has a childhood history of causing accidents with his psychokinetic powers, and returned to the hospital not so much because he sought legitimate answers, but because he had had his noggin inspected by the same doctor when he was a child, and...

3) ...N.O.Z.O.M.I., the big shiny clue. There was a top-level government agent (obviously government, because they always, always, always wear all black and dark glasses) watching young Taku not so stealthily from the background during the flashback. Which means there probably still is a government agency watching Taku. I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that the name of the agency is NOZOMI. The doctor, of course, is blissfully ignorant. And if you believe that, I got a bridge I can sell ya for reeeeeal cheap.

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Wanna know what REALLY creeps me out? I think he is smiling in that security image.

A montage of the harem is all we need to realize that something immense is unfolding, and that Taku is at the center of it all. But that raises even more questions, like, "why does Rimi act act so moe if she was the one that stabbed the dude full of holes?" Did she really commit it or not? It would be a mistake, I have realized, to assume that because Rimi held one of those giant swords to Taku's chest in the scene from the first episode, that she is a murderer. In fact, a giant decorative sword indicates just the opposite. Both a murderer and a warrior kill, but each kills for very different reasons; each act is propelled by very different motivations. I may have mistook Rimi for a murderer (all according to Madhouse's plan, no doubt), when the actual murderer might have been the one on the business end of her blade.

More questions: are they really all a network, or are they individuals working separately toward a similar purpose, perhaps even competing? Let's suppose that they all know each other. Let's also suppose that they each know of the New Gene murders. Let's suppose that they all suspect Taku for their own, individual reasons. Yua has her research, FES has her mythological prophecy, Rimi has... big, bodacious, magical pink hair!!! But if they all suspect him, and they are working together, and they all agree that he is the culprit, it wouldn't make sense for them to approach him one by one unless there was something holding them back.

It would be more plausible if they didn't all belong to this fictitious network I speak of. It is a network insofar as it represents the trappings of shounen, but within the scope of the story itself there are some glaring disjunctions that cannot be ignored at this point. For instance, Yua doesn't have one of those gigantic swords. The library scene suggests that Rimi does not know FES. Past encounters imply that Yua and FES are not acquainted. Yua gave her little 'helpless girl who can't throw a ball' performance in front of Taku's sister. I'm more inclined to believe that none of them know each other, that they are deliberately hiding from each other, and that not all of them share an equal understanding of the grave and apocalyptic situation that FES ponders in the library.

This is good. This is good because it means that Taku still has a chance. He is not being suffocated by a merciless harem serpent. The alliances have not been decided yet. Romance has not restructured the equation yet. There may be bitchfights (pardon the French, but we are dealing with *harem* here.) I'd even go so far to say that is not some grotesque psycho-thriller masquerading as a harem show; it is an altogether new breed, a titillating syncretism that will make its mark with a familiar cast but a new kind of script. I am excited.

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As a musician, I just had to love the Phantasm concert.

With the montage complete, Seira sets the ball rolling again by making the delightfully naive suggestion to Taku that all he needs to do is prove that the Shogun images didn't come from him. If it were only that easy! To both their ohshiatness, his efforts fall flat on their ass and he instead confirms the accuracy of Yua's dreadful research. The image was created the day before it happened, September 28th, without a shadow of a doubt. (Here, I couldn't tell if Seira was simply his kimochi-warui way of thinking out loud, or if she was just giving him bad, bad advice for a change.)

Anyway, Taku bites the bait and hunts for some information on precognitive abilities. The info search leads him to Phantasm, a four-piece goth punk band whose frontman goes by the name 'FES' (the blue haired girl that goes to his school). For me, the concert was the highlight of it all. I did not totally comprehend how and why the "Crucifixion Mass" lyrics could/would have described the murder exactly as it happened, but it wasn't terribly distressing, because I was totally absorbed by the music. I may be a sucker for all things musical, but more moving than the sound of the band was the way it tied everything together, gave a voice to the haunting bog of events we have already sunk knee-deep into, and into which we will inevitably submerge. At the height of the epicness, FES leaps off the stage with her giant sword and crosses the cultishly entranced audience to stare Taku in the eye while she presses her bosom against his chest, sword inches away from him. So. Intense.

I think I've babbled enough. He runs from the concert, but he cannot escape. Taku spots another sword girl in school uniform looking for someone while he is out on a date with his sister the next day (note: she buys him a cellphone and forces a gero on it, an act not at all without significance.) To top it off, back at his apartment, he receives an image of the next murder victim, a person sucked completely dry of his or her blood... and Taku's trademark slogan smeared on the adjacent bathroom wall. Now that the harem has been gathered neatly together, things are about to get quite interesting.

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14 Comments

  1. Posted October 27, 2008 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Those eyes, those are our eyes, the audience’s eyes. We watch this show, therefore Taku exists. If we all stop watching this show, it’ll go off the air and Taku will cease to exist. Why does he do the things he does? Because we want him to. Otherwise, we would stop watching this show, and, again, the show will get pulled from the air and he ceases to exist. Why is there a harem; why do every girl carry a fricking sword? Because that’s what we want; therefore, that’s what we get.

    The chaos isn’t in Taku’s head. It’s in ours. :p

  2. Zan
    Posted October 27, 2008 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    Whoa. Meta.

    Waiting for m.3.3.w. subs is a bit agonizing. Oh well.

    Heh. We-Key PedophiriA: Encyclopedia of Useless Knowledge.

  3. Denisu
    Posted October 27, 2008 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think this will turn to be a good series, but it does have the cliffhanger hability, I’ll keep watching it. It does live up to the name chaos…

    hehe, We-Key PedophiriA

  4. Hasako
    Posted October 27, 2008 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    This series reminds me of the beggining of Higurashi…although its not as good :P

  5. Posted October 27, 2008 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Actually, Kozue’s still technically not in the picture, but eh.

  6. lubczyk
    Posted October 27, 2008 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    I don’t get it how people are hating this series for being a harem under the guise of a physiological-mystery-thriller. As if that’s a bad thing!!! Personally, I can’t wait the pool/beach/onsen episode to come around!!! It’ll probably be some really fucked-up shit.

  7. SoSo/Karin lover
    Posted October 28, 2008 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    Oh there will be blood. Lots of Blood! ; }

  8. Posted October 28, 2008 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    CRUCIFIXTION OF FAITH IS AWESOME!!!
    Also, the homeless raving lunatic seems to be right for once.

  9. Posted October 28, 2008 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    @bakaneko: “The chaos isn’t in Taku’s head. It’s in ours. :p” H-h-how morbidly profound!

    @Zan: It is agonizing, but you know now that I’ve decided to change my image format, I’m not even sure it makes a difference. You can’t read the subs anyway, so I’ll probably get back on the speed (subs). Sorry for the hold-up!

    @Denisu: LOL @ http://yitza.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/pedophiria-pedobear-approves.png

    @Hasako: That’s on my anime backlog! I saw one ep at a con.

    @Zeroblade: Ko-zo-e? Who’s this, another sword-swinging babe that hasn’t been introduced yet? Have you played the VN?

    @lubczyk + SoSo/Karin: A bloodbath, for sure (pun intended).

    @Omisyth: Yea that song slays. I want to know who the band is. I wonder if they have a good album I could check out?

    Watch the homeless dude be the final boss. I will laugh.

  10. ixbite
    Posted October 28, 2008 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Is it just me or does this kind of remind you guys of X and the armageddon thing? It was that last scene in the episode with the homeless guy and his sign that judgement will befall this city (or whatever it said). I don’t know, it might just be me…^_^

  11. Posted October 28, 2008 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Oddly enough Seira-tan is the least likable of the female cast for me. I cannot wait to see those weapons turned on Taku as he is the Final Boss in this RPG.

  12. Maipeisu
    Posted October 28, 2008 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    @Crusader: I could not agree more. Seira annoys me more and more every episode; I’m not sure why, though :->

  13. Posted October 28, 2008 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    I dropped it after skimming through this episode. Even the imouto wasn’t enough to justify the rest.

  14. Forgan
    Posted October 28, 2008 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    The Kozue Zeroblade was talking about is the girl with the blond twin tail hair. He was saying that she still hasn’t moved to Tokyo and met Takumi yet, so she’s technically not involved yet. It shouldn’t be too long until then, however, as she shows up fairly early on.

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