Chaos;Head

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You only wish it were a harem show.

"A shipping container on the roof. Sounds crazy, no?"

Chaos;Head 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 Knight-Hart, 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 know 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 by Madhouse for the fall 2008 season, with an Xbox 360 updated rerelease titled Chaos;Head Noah released in February 2009.

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 has Spiritual Successors in Steins;Gate and Robotics;Notes.

Tropes used in Chaos;Head include:
  • All Just a Dream—Some of the positive delusions try to provide a Happy Ending through this, Takumi even lampshades the cliche.
  • 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?")
    • In the anime also (to a lesser extent) "a delusion?" ("mousou ka?") and "somebody help me!" ("dareka tasukete kure!")
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy—Einstein was a Gigalomaniac.
  • BFS—The Di-Swords.
  • Bittersweet Ending
  • Bland-Name Product: Deluoode for Google, and We-Key Pedophilia[1] - 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)... 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.
  • Bloody Murder
  • 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 Live with 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
  • 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.
  • Cooldown Hug
  • Creepy Monotone
  • Cruel and Unusual Death—The New Gen murders. 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.
  • 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 him randomly having sex with one of the girls.
  • 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.
  • Diagonal Cut
  • Dojikko—Kozue. Also Yua, in the anime.
  • Downer Ending
  • Dysfunction Junction—We'll be here all day if we try listing all of the crazy in this show.
  • Emotion Eater—This is how the Di-Swords function.
  • Emotionless Girl—Ayase.
  • Evolving Credits—Very subtlely done in the opening. In certain parts, Takumi's facial expressions change as the series progresses, becoming more confident. Only really obvious if you watch the openings side by side.
  • 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.
  • Eyes of Gold—Takumi (in certain lighting), Yua, her twin sister Mia, Shino.
  • Fan Service—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
  • First-Name Basis
  • Flash Forward—The show starts with one
  • Formulaic Magic—fun10 × int40 = Ir2, the equation Takumi discovered in elementary school and the basis of the Noah Project. What the equation actually signifies is never explained in depth.
  • Freak-Out
  • Geek—Takumi. Yua acts like one to get Takumi to trust her.
  • Girl with Psycho Weapon—The entire core female cast.
  • A God Am I?
  • 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 stab her own eyes out with a scissor. All while Sena could do nothing but watch. No wonder she hates her dad.
  • Government Conspiracy
  • 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
  • Hey, It's That Voice!—Take a seat. There's a few.
    • Kenta Miyake as Norose is basically reprising his role as Rosenberg in El Cazador, except with scary teeth and a BFS.
    • Akira Ishida as Fumio Takashi, a psychiatrist whom Takumi saw in the past for his perceived mental illness. Takashi is killed in the "Brainless" New Gen murder.
    • Hiroyuki Yoshino as Takumi Nishijou. One Niconico Douga user went as far as splicing in Takumi's voice into a scene from Gundam00 where Hallelujah is first introduced (Allelujah gets Takumi's voice).
  • Hey, You
  • Hikikomori
  • Hospital Hottie—Shino. Also a Meganekko, to an extent.
  • Hot Chick with a Sword—They all might use Di-Swords, but it's Sena who belongs to this trope.
  • 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—Pretty much 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.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness
  • 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.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia
  • 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.
  • Younger Sibling Fetishization: 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.
  • 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.
  • Mind Rape
  • The Mole -- Suwa.
  • Mr. Imagination—Takumi has far too many delusions not to qualify. Though this is more of a deconstruction, considering he's insane...
  • Multiple Endings
  • My Name Is Inigo Montoya
  • New Transfer Student—Kozue.
  • Nietzsche Wannabe—Norose.
  • 90% of Your Brain—Norose's reasoning for how the abilities of Gigalomaniacs work.
  • Otaku—Takumi. Specifically of the Anime sort, though he really likes his MMORPG.
  • Poor Communication Kills
  • 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.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses—Yua
  • Slasher Smile
  • 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.
  • Split Personality -- Subverted
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • Taking the Bullet -- Sena's father, Hatano.
  • Tall, Dark and Bishoujo—Sena.
  • Techno Babble
  • Theme Music Power-Up
  • Theme Twin Naming -- Yua and Mia.
  • Third Person Person—Kozu-pii
  • This Is Reality
  • 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 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.
  • Uh-Oh Eyes
  • Ultimate Gamer 386: The protagonist himself, too obvious.
  • Ultra Super Death Gore Fest Chainsawer 3000 -- Show Within a Show titled Blood Tune, and MMORPG titled Empire Sweeper.
  • 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 Rerelease -- 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

Whose eyes... are those eyes?

  1. the Encyclopedia of Useless Knowledge