Chaos Head, I’m sorry I mean’t ChäoS;HEAd (because semi-colons, random capitalization and umlauts are cool), is easily one of the most retarded things I have ever seen. Now as I watch a lot of anime, I’m no stranger to the pointlessly stupid. However, ChäoS;HEAd goes above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to being astoundingly bad. Each episode seems like a twisted experiment, trying to see what new and exciting levels of retardation it can reach. The first episode is bland and boring then each additional episode gets worse from there until you reach the final episode which is pointless, nonsensical, and completely devoid of any value. There is not a single redeeming factor in this show. The main character is an unlikable minge, the supporting characters are barely one dimensional, entire plots are entirely pointless and even the visual imagery fails miserably because the animators at Madhouse decided that bothering to animate this show was too much effort for them. The show starts out as a shittier Welcome to the NHK, then turns into a murder mystery, then turns into a psychological thriller, then turns into an action series, and never even remotely succeeds at any of them. All these tone shifts are completely sudden and jarring as fuck, often abandoning any plot points left hanging only to remember they exist four to five episodes later and try to lazily tie them up or leave them entirely pointless.
And when I say plots are pointless, I don’t mean that they seem kinda tangential and meandering, I mean flat out that having the plot in the series does nothing. Prime example? Easily 10% of the total show is devoted to a character who accomplishes nothing and tells the viewer things they already know. Throughout the series there is a detective named Ban investigating the murders in the aforementioned murder mystery plot; however by the time he ends up discovering anything of importance not only has the murder mystery plot become entirely irrelevant (forgotten for new pointless shit) but every single piece of information he uncovers is shit the viewer has already known for at least two episodes, and then he dies pointlessly before he can even do anything with the information he has. In order for a plot like that to work there needs to be tension around whether or not the police will interfere or somehow impact the plot. In ChäoS;HEAd this can’t happen because Takumi is already dealing with the super natural aspects of the show that render the police entirely ineffectual. Oh and to make matters worse the murders of the crimes he was investigating end up being completely unrelated minor characters, one of which just immediately commits suicide after it’s revealed that she’s the murderer. And that’s a pretty good summary of ChäoS;HEAd‘s main problems. Characters just exist with no purpose and often inject themselves in to the plot simply to seem relevant but they don’t have anything to do.
There are more things I could bitch about, like how ChäoS;HEAd may be the only show in history with an exposition episode that makes things more confusing instead of explaining shit, or how stupid the loli who is traumatized by her own reflection is, but I’ll settle for bitching about the dub.
Zzzzzzzz. Zzzzzzz. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. I understand the source material they had to work with put them at a massive disadvantage, but that doesn’t excuse this. This isn’t horrible, this isn’t insultingly bad, this is bland as fuck.
Takumi Nishijo (Todd Haberkorn). I have mixed feelings about Todd Haberkorn. I find his voice hits the right frequency of mildly annoying that it’s like being forced to listen to air pass through a small crack. You don’t realize how much it’s bothering you until you’ve been listening to it for five hours and are ready to punch something to make it stop. At the same time though, I find his odd tone and inflection to be kinda endearing, like a small puppy trying to operate heavy machinery. (It’s cute till he runs down the orphans with the steamroller.) Takumi’s biggest problem is that he’s neither likeable nor interesting, I feel that Haberkorn exasperates that to an extent. One of the most common complaints I’ve seen lobbied towards the original Evangelion dubs is that Spike Spencer’s performance makes Shinji annoying and whiny. And while I do agree that the original Eva dubs did suck, that specific complaint is not something I’ve ever been able to get behind. My dislike of those dubs comes from the fact that they’re poorly acted and directed. I bring this up because that’s how I feel about Haberkorn’s performance in this. He makes the character worse. I think the fundamental difference between this and say Spencer’s original Shinji performance or Sean Schemmel’s Goku in the original FUNi DBZ dub is that I’d say those were bad because the performance was bad (mainly due to inexperience as both Spencer and Schemmel have reprised those roles in modern times and done a really good job) where as Haberkorn’s performance is actually pretty good, which makes it bad. See while Haberkorn does a great job at being Takumi, he’s still Takumi!
Everyone Else (People). I was going to breakdown the remaining main characters but since they’re so tangential that Takumi’s imaginary girlfriend has more presence than them, I can’t bring myself to do that. Out of the remaining cast only Carrie Savage and John Swasey sound like they’re even awake. Carrie Savage is one of the few voice actresses who can sound “cute” without making me want to pour lighter fluid down my ears and strike a match. Unfortunately like the rest of the side cast, Rimi is extremely flat and boring so there really isn’t anything the performer can do without a better script. Brittney Karbowski is outstandingly annoying as the annoying little sister character and the remaining actresses for the main cast feel as vapid as the dating-sim based characters they’re playing. Even Colleen Clinkenbeard felt flat. The dub unfortunately dubbed Ayase’s songs over and to make matters worse Stephanie Sheh is who they got to voice Ayase. (Thanks FUNimation that’s exactly what I wanted for *insert culturally sensitive non denominational holiday here*.) Although apart from her singing I didn’t find myself annoyed with Sheh in this role, just bored. So I’ll call that progress.
One of the reasons I didn’t do an in-depth review of the bajillion shows I covered in my “Crapload of Stuff I watched” is that I really had nothing to say about the way those shows succeeded or failed. (With the exception of Baccano!, which I might do a post about how that dub is still great despite it being full of self-sabotaging crap.) And that’s how I feel about ChäoS;HEAd‘s dub. The show it’s attached to is a pile of shit that would drag down even the best performances but they could have at least improved that in the writing department as 85% of the show is just people talking and 95% of everything they say is completely irrelevant to anything and could easily be rewritten wholesale without altering context. But even with source material as bad as ChäoS;HEAd there was a distinct lack of effort in thus dub by everyone who wasn’t Haberkorn and adding crap to crap just gives you double crap.
Final Score: F