Chaos;HEAd, Episode #06 – "N.O.Z.O.M.I." or "This anime is freaking me out"

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Sena: 1, Fatboy: 0.

(Apparently, WordPress hates my guts. I apologize if you have seen this post appear and disappear from the front page multiple times, but I promise this is the final version. At any rate, on with it!) I hate to drop spoilers at the beginning, but a meteoric epiphany slammed into my brain when Sena destroyed the illusion generator. Now don't get me wrong, her Di-Sword limit break totally slays, but I'm not talking about Sena-sama's cool moves; I'm talking about the exposed circuitry. After what seems like ages of confusion, six simple letters brought it all clanging into place: NOZOMI (dun, dun, DUUUUUUUN!)

Yea, yea, so they planned it like that. So what! Just because my understanding has been piecing together precisely the way the writers and director intended does not lessen the brilliance of the freshly-illuminated light bulb in my head. Indeed, it was a glorious moment. And while we are on the topic of glorious moments, anyone who happened to read my Touryanse editorial can now add another bold-faced submission to the list of pop culture references I pulled from Wikipedia. I nearly shat my pants at the end of this episode.

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Is that a Di-Sword in your pocket, or...

Even without prior knowledge of this episode's insane conclusion, you can tell right away that something immense is about to happen from the little explosions of superb animation quality that pepper its landscape, as well as from Taku's dwindling mental state. I thought he had made it to the 'edge' already, but apparently Yua decided he needed to blow chunks into the schoolyard before she would be satisfied.

As promised, Rimi is there to support Taku through his mental struggles with her indefatigable feminine charms and thank the stars, obnoxious Seira-tan is relegated to a back seat now that (as I have suggested in a past post, accurately or inaccurately) Taku is being forced to quit the unreality of his otakuness and confront the "reality" of his delusions. Sorry Seira-tan but some things just can't be ignored. Let's hope you aren't one of them gwahaha!

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WTF moments.

Taku's reaction to the latest New Gene murder -- the darkly ironic total lobotomy of his psychiatrist, who was on sabbatical due to "exhaustion" or "fatigue" or some such vagary -- is understandable, but a bit misinformed. He has a nervous breakdown because he concludes that the New Gene murders and any other strange events in the process of ripping Shibuya apart are all centered around him, but this may be because he lacks perspective; facts. Rimi returns with Cokes in hand to collect his broken pieces and put him back together again.

Yasuji and his chestnut jelly-eating trap of a friend (no matter how many times I listen, the seiyuu sounds like a DUDE) make up for what Taku lacks -- an outsider's objective perspective. They understand that the increased rates of gravity errata in Shibuya are somehow responsible for, or tied to, the New Gene murders and the cultish congregations of people that seem to be accumulating quietly in the background of each episode. They are also aware that Rimi's victim - if, in fact, it was actually her that committed the murder - was actively researching the increasing GE phenomenon and tried to publicize this information before he was killed, information that suggests Shibuya is sitting on top of some massive geological force comparable to a volcano.

Yet, Taku's knowledge about his own role is a vital component in this little mystery. He managed to deduce from Sena's gnomic train car monologue, from his recollection of the school bus incident, and... regrettably... from batshit Yua's (she's competing viciously with Seira for the title of "Maipeisu's Most Hated" in this anime) allegations, that he may possess the psychic ability to manifest his delusions. Add to this the little revelation about N.O.Z.O.M.I.-brand illusion machines, and it wouldn't be all that strange to think that Taku's psychiatrist had been murdered to prevent him from snooping (like the professor?), rather than to provoke Taku. Oh yes, and the other side of it is that N.O.Z.O.M.I. has definitely had its eye on Taku for a long time. Who knows, he might even be the result of their experimentation.

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Hell's Bells!

In the end, equally many questions were newly produced as were answered. Taku gets a phone call from Shogun, hears Touryanse playing, which degrades into a freakish siren crescendo and all manner of frightening, lunacy-inducing, ear-splitting, seismic Hell breaks loose, bringing Shibuya to its knees and sending a white, misty haze over everything in sight. I had my speakers turned WAAY up, and this part scared the living crap out of me. What the hell is going on! (C;H VN veterans, I bid thee seal thine lips!)

Next Episode:

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YOUR HAIR IS SUPER SPECIAL!

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18 Comments

  1. Posted November 17, 2008 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    “YOUR HAIR IS SUPER SPECIAL!”
    WTF? Uhh.. I think so too. XD

    C;H is getting better and better. Since Takumi discovered that his powers were his delusions become reality.. Like Ohwow.

  2. Rhine
    Posted November 17, 2008 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t the purpose of a trap to lure and capture? I don’t think that lure’s attracting anyone.

  3. Posted November 17, 2008 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    haha last picture! yeah..very special =_=

  4. Chronolynx
    Posted November 17, 2008 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    About the trap comment, the seiyuu sounds a lot like the seiyuu who voiced the numerous random characters from Lucky Star. Can’t remember the name atm though.

  5. Maipeisu
    Posted November 18, 2008 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    @Kairu Ishimaru: Yah, the story has gotten a lot more interesting, especially now that I can sort of see where everything is going. I was hopelessly confused for a while. As for the animation, though…

    @Rhine: Let’s call this one a “bear trap”! (ROFL)

    @AnimeVocalist: I wonder how many cans of styling gel it took to get it like that.

    @Chronolynx: You know, I’m still watching that series, but come to think of it, you might be right. I may rummage through the ANN encyclopedia to see if I can find something. I’m curious as to why they decided to use a dude for her voice. I mean, is she really a trap or just a husky lady with a husky voice to match? XD

  6. Posted November 18, 2008 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    THAT’S WHY YOU ARE HERE WITH ME.

    Best part of the episode: THe slow transition of the ringtone commonly heard at crosswalks in Japan (Shogun? Shibuya? Crosswalks? I see what you did thar.) to the insane sound of an ambulance screeching throughout the city. Shit’s about to get started.

  7. Forgan
    Posted November 18, 2008 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    I like to think that Kozue needs hair gel to just keep her hair pointing down <_<. That normally, it starts to float above her head and spirals into different directions. And the best she can do is try to keep it pointing down somewhat, but it still spirals into many directions. Maybe not a very plausible theory, but one that amuses me the most so…

  8. Chronolynx
    Posted November 18, 2008 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Shame you haven’t finished LS yet <.<. Anyway, think I found the seiyuu

    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=3581

    She is, in fact, a woman, who’s voice (described on her wiki page) as “hoarse and androgynous”. So yeah, could definitely see where you’re coming from with the husky part lol. As for her character being a trap, let me just paint a big HELL NO sign and leave it here for ya =P. Since she isn’t a guy (no matter how ugly/manly she sounds…), she wouldn’t be a trap. At least, not in my book.

  9. Maipeisu
    Posted November 18, 2008 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    @Omisyth: Indeed. ^_^ I believe the word you are looking for is touryanse. Check out the second paragraph.

    @Forgan: Maybe it’s reacting to the spastic GE Rate.

    @Chronolynx: My backlog list gets bigger and bigger every day. @_@ But LS will be one of the lucky (ack! a pun!) anime that gets priority. After all, besides being a ‘must-see’ its my only souvenir from slaving away reporting at AWA 2008 and I was one of the poor fanboys foolish enough to fall into Bandai’s ridiculous “special limited edition t-shirt box” trap. Speaking of traps, thanks for the tidbit about the seiyuu, looks like you were right on target with the Lucky Star reference. I guess she isn’t a trap! Coulda fooled me with that sexy baritone, though. :-P

  10. Denisu
    Posted November 18, 2008 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    At last next episode seems to be ready to start puting things together. I think Rimi knows hell more than what she pretends, lets just waith she isnt another Yua. Talkin about Yua, she gets a call during the “freakish siren crescendo and all manner of frightening, lunacy-inducing, ear-splitting, seismic Hell”, what was that about? sister? maybe the super-special hair girl…

  11. SoSo/Karin lover
    Posted November 19, 2008 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    It all high school girls could take out a Di-Sword magically, there would be less crimes against them since all the perverts and sickos would be so dead for messing with them.

  12. Zentari
    Posted November 19, 2008 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    @Maipeisu: Ok, I’m gonna ask you to explain the plot so far then , in nice simple words because frankly,this is starting to remind me of Lost (in the sense that nothing is explained really).

  13. Salyu
    Posted November 20, 2008 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    Luckily this will never become like Lost, since it’s based on a Visual Novel with an ending, whereas Lost can just keep getting extended and extended with more and more and more characters each season until the producers completely milk it dry…

  14. Maipeisu
    Posted November 20, 2008 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    @Denisu: Yea, I also think Rimi knows more than she lets on. Not sure what Yua’s phone call was about…

    @SoSo/Karin lover: LOL how true. And you would never, ever see another harem anime.

    @Zentari: Alright, I’ll give it my best shot. ::laughs nervously:: Actually, rather than a plot summary, how about a chronology of events (ordered from least to most recent)? Here goes:

    1) Child Taku draws a picture of a school bus (the on that he would have been on had his parents actually allowed him to go on the trip) and thinks strongly about it crashing. Not even a day later, his mother gets word that the school bus actually did crash.

    2) Child Taku becomes socially withdrawn. His parents begin taking him to a mental health ward where he meets the psychiatrist who was killed. An agent from N.O.Z.O.M.I. can be seen lurking in the background, watching the entire incident.

    3) Somewhere between the past and present, Ayase is in and out of another psychiatric hospital reserved for the craziest of the crazy.

    4) Fast forward to the present, Taku is a full-blown social recluse and is very much used to living in his own mental world. He is a Seira fanatic, and frequently imagines her talking to him. It’s not clear whether the scene from the beginning of the first episode is a dream that Taku has, or a snapshot of things to come.

    5) Taku goes to school and learns about the New Gene murders for the first time. Keep in mind that these murders were occurring before he knew about them. Also keep in mind that Yua is already at his school, as well as Ayase, Sena and Rimi. Though Rimi claims to be his friend later on, he does not recall ever having known her. Yua is watching Taku closely even before the first murder.

    6) Taku returns home and meets Shogun online, who shows him a picture of the first murder a day before it happens. Shogun also alludes to some dangerous scientific research in his conversation.

    7) The next day, Taku stumbles upon the murder victim (a professor who was researching Shibuya’s funky GE Rate) and “sees” Rimi as the culprit. It’s not clear whether he imagines Rimi, or whether she is actually there. However, his prescient ability is already in gear because she addresses him in the same fond manner that she will treat him in later episodes. Note that she says that she “wanted to meet him” as if she had not met him already.

    8) Yua, who was also at @Cafe and monitoring Taku’s chat convos finally confronts him about the murder after pretending to want to date him and finding the cross in his room. She concludes that he has the ability of precognition, or something similar. Note that surveillance recordings have pictures of Taku running from the murder scene with the cross in his hand, nothing else.

    9) Taku checks himself into the hospital again to visit his psychiatrist. It is not clear whether or not they measure anything significant. By the time Taku awakens, the psychiatrist has left.

    10) Taku begins to do some research to clear his name and stumbles upon another person who supposedly has precognitive abilities – FES. He attends the Phantasm concert and she confronts him with her Di-Sword. Note that the lyrics of one of their songs contain a description very similar to the manner in which the professor was murdered. Also note that she copies his phrase, “Sono me dare no me?”

    11) The phrase is found scrawled on the wall in blood next to the following New Gene victim, who had been drained of all his/her blood. It hits the news.

    12) Taku and Ayase meet up again the next day and she explains that the Di-Sword is his only salvation. Keep in mind that Ayase has some mythical/prophetic knowledge about what is going to happen Shibuya, or so it would seem.

    13) Taku is confronted by the police (Yasuji), who is aware of the GE Rate phenomenon and decides not to take action on him or anyone else yet.

    14) Taku gets closer to Rimi. Taku also meets Sena for the first time and she asks about his ability to see the Di-Sword.

    15) Kozue finally transfers to Taku’s school. It is not clear why. She greets him telepathically.

    16) Shogun reveals himself and tells Taku that he cannot run. Note that Shogun has a very young sounding voice. This is his strongest delusion yet, in which all of Shibuya’s citizens disappear.

    17) Taku has his first dream about Rimi, a dream in which they are the only two people that exist.

    18) Kozue brekaing out a Gero bandaid marks the fourth or firth appearance of that symbol.

    19) Taku has a delusion of a huge chain. He follows it onto a train and finds Sena sitting there, who explains the scientific principle behind the delusions.

    20) Yua confronts Taku a second time. People chase Taku after she explains her suspicions to them. People are also chasing Ayase, who has brought suspicion upon herself with her precognitive abilities and her song lyrics.

    21) Ayase explains the Di-Sword a second time, and tells Taku that the first was a fake.

    22) The third set of murder victims appear on a YouTube video. One of them turns to the camera and uses Shogun’s phrase, “Sono me dare no me.” Taku deduces that the video was made by Shogun.

    23) Taku tries to prove that Shogun is the murderer and instead stumbles upon the fourth murder victim – his psychiatrist.

    24) Sena reveals that the N.O.Z.O.M.I. is somehow involved in the utilization of the GE Rate to produce illusion generating machines.

    25) Yasuji’s colleague explains that something must be causing the phenomenon.

    26) The phenomenon reveals itself.

    *Whew* So that’s the story thus far. Without getting too deeply into theories, I think that there are four different parties involved here: 1) People like Taku who possess extrasensory and psychic abilities, 2) organizations that are trying to exploit the GE Rate of Shibuya to use this ability on other people, 3) people like Sena and Yua trying to stop that from happening, 4) Shogun, who is hoping to exploit the GE Rate to his own ends and perhaps to an extent that N.O.Z.O.M.I. did not anticipate. His side is not clear. Also, I do believe that as the rate has increased, so have Taku’s delusions. So there. Take from it what you will. ^_^

    @Saiyu: Thank goodness for that!

  15. Cat Megex
    Posted November 20, 2008 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    A side note on Kujira (the androgynous-sounding lady): she voiced (voices? I dunno if he’s still around at the moment) Orochimaru in the Naruto anime.

  16. sacchi
    Posted November 20, 2008 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    /me thinks Rimi could “become” powerful di-sword.

    Seriously, when Taku asks for a clue, and the other girl replies that he might see it and might not see it as well, Rimi is at the background.

    It was also creepy when she said “put your sword down, don’t use it” or sth like that.

  17. Zentari
    Posted November 23, 2008 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the list, was kinda lost.

  18. Nox
    Posted November 24, 2008 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Anyone else notice that the Japanese pronunciation of “Di-Sword” sounds awfully like the word “disorder”, as in mental disorder? It an awful pun, but makes a whole lot of sense, since this show’s focus is on delusions and crazy people.

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