Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)
It has been nearly a decade since Chaos;Head was released and honestly I only remember that I watched it. Making episode 0 decent for sparking up some memories but, combined with episode 1, honestly unless you like seeing bodies twisted, mangled, or disfigured, I’m not sure what you may get out of this.
As noted, episode 0 is made to remind you what happened in Chaos;Head. It goes over the New Generation Madness murders and reminds you who Nishijou, Nanami, and Rimi are. It also reintroduces you to Shogun and with that you seemingly should have had your memories refreshed about what happened.
As for episode 1, it has been six years since the earthquake and the New Generation Madness murders. Yet, there seems to be a desire by someone to honor those murders with a new set. Enter Takaru who is a wannabe detective who has seemingly stumbled into learning the murders maybe being paid homage to. Something which, according to a blond girl named Hinae he sees on the floor of one of the crime scenes, he will be part of. Though not as a hero, the person who solved or ended the crime spree, but as a victim.
The Dead Bodies Were Shocking
I think the last horror anime I watched was Corpse Party, and I’m pretty sure that gave me nightmares. This isn’t on that anime’s level, for reasons below, but the images seen in episode 0 instantly had me remember why I know I watched Chaos;Head before. Though I can’t say I remember much more than that.
It’s All Shock Value, No Substance, and Hardly Any Use of Building Up To Something and Setting a Tone
Episode 0 is purely about trying to use these disgusting images of post-murder bodies to shock you. However, it doesn’t remind you of some interesting story, it doesn’t make these murders and the earthquake that followed seem like they were part of a larger narrative. Even with being reminded of Nishijou being weird and living in a shipping container and seeing Rimi who I faintly remember seeming psychotic, it doesn’t spark any type of good memories.
For example, there is an anime named Another which also features grotesque deaths but on that show, it was so vulgar they were censored in their original airing. I can remember people getting impaled by their umbrellas as much as I remember Mei and Kouichi becoming close and him trying to protect her. Granted, that show came out in 2012 and Chaos;Head in 2008, but just for comparison sakes, Elfen Lied, an older anime, and another violent anime, there are memories besides the dead bodies, blood, and etc.
Which with episode 1, the true start of this series, you don’t see a drastic change from. We watch someone eat their fingers, get strangled to death, and it is just one thing which should shock you after another. However, if you have become accustomed to this level of violence, you won’t be fazed. Making it when it finally tries to add some suspense, maybe some mystery, add soundtrack which should make things creepier, it feels like too little too late. Especially considering it had a whole hour to not just remind you of the events of Chaos;Head but get you interested in Chaos;Child.
Overall: Negative (Skip It)
In 2008 it was a bit more difficult, at least for me, to see anime which had this amount of violence or even shows which had this level of violence. However, almost a decade later, what is shown here is child’s play and not just for me, but arguably in general. Making it where this show would need to build tension, have memorable, likable, or even characters you treat with suspicion, and set an eerie and uncomfortable tone. All of which it doesn’t. It tries to toward the later part of episode 1. Making it real disappointment if you expected anything similar to Steins;Gate. Which I recognize didn’t include a horror element, but it did have some wonderful and memorable characters and storylines. Something utterly lacking in both the recap and first episode. To the point that I think just like Chaos;Head, the only thing which maybe memorable about this show is the imagery and nothing more.