Chaos;Head, VN Recommendation of the Week!

Key points for VN Recommendation – Chaos;Head:

  • Chaos;Head weaves a gripping tale blending psychological horror with sci-fi elements, challenging perceptions of reality through its first-person narrative style.
  • The remastered version enriches side characters with detailed flashbacks, enhancing their motives and adding depth to the story, while protagonist Takumi’s unreliable narration intensifies the experience.
  • With iconic art style, crisp sound effects, and haunting soundtracks, Chaos;Head offers an immersive journey filled with trippy moments, compelling characters, and an unforgettable story.
Sono me, Dare no me?

I wanted to talk about this VN for a while now but I couldn’t figure out a format in which I should do it. So I replaced one of my weekly recommendation articles with this. I know the article is tagged as “anime recommendation” but we are here to talk about the Chaos;Head VN today. I don’t plan on making this a regular series. But once in a while, doing something like this isn’t a bad idea at all.

So welcome to the first edition of our VN recommendation series. This week we are talking about Chaos;Headβ€”the massively underrated prequel to Steins;Gate and Robotic;Notes. Unlike Steins;Gate though, this VN doesn’t lend itself to a good anime. This VN plays to all the strengths of the medium which makes an anime adaptation very difficult if not impossible. So yeah, the anime adaptation that exists for this VN is bad. So let’s talk about it.

Introduction

Just like the other games in the series, Steins;Gate and Robotic;Notes, Chaos;Head is also developed by 5pb and Nitroplus. It is the first game in their Science Adventure series. The game was planned by Chiyomaru Shikura and written by Hayashi Naotaka and features character designs byΒ Sasaki MutsumiΒ and music byΒ Takeshi Abo. It was originally released in 2008, with an enhanced version for the Xbox 360 coming out in 2009. Finally, a remastered official English version released worldwide for Windows and Switch in 2022.

Plot

The plot of this VN is very complex. I am going to massively paraphrase it to fit it here. The story follows Takumi Nishijou who gets involved in a serial murder case called “New Gen”. The story is a blend of psychological horror and sci-fi. Starting relatively normally as a murder mystery with horror elements, the game soon dives into the sci-fi stuff in the latter part.

Takumi frequently has delusions and you get to pick if he has a negative or a positive delusion. And depending on the situation, the events that follow might not even be a delusion. The game constantly messes with our sense of reality always making us question what actually happened and what is a delusion that Takumi just experienced. It plays the first-person writing style of VNs to its strength and hence the story is even more impactful. Takumi is also an unreliable narrator adding further to the experience.

Characters

In the original version, all side characters in the game were kind of shallow. This was addressed in the remaster with multiple characters getting detailed flashback scenes, adding depth to them and explaining their motives. Takumi himself is a good MC. I don’t like his personality, but writing-wise, he is great. He fits the story perfectly, I wish that he got a little more development but his writing is still pretty solid. This helps because you are experiencing the events through his PoV.

Art and Soundtracks

Nitroplu and 5pb always have amazing art and music in their VNs. Their art style is iconic, and the sound effects are crisp and recognizable. And when you hear certain sound effects, you know something crazy is about to happen. Soundtracks vary from cheerful and upbeat to downright haunting and I love them. The voice acting for every character is top-notch as well.

Summing Up

Here’s why you should read Chaos;Head:

  • Amazing story
  • Trippy as hell
  • Great characters
  • Awesome art/soundtracks

That is all for now! Let me know what you guys think in the comments below. I will take my leave here. I was vague about certain things on purpose because I didn’t want to spoil anything and because I simply didn’t have enough room here to explain the complex narrative of this VN. So go play it for yourself. With that said, see ya!

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