Resides in Austin, TX (USA). Long time connoisseur of anime and manga - I'm an art director, media critic and eccentric. I love to write, draw and travel.
When I mentioned in last week’s Chaos;Child review that things would probably heat up, I never expected to see things so flamboyant. In fact, Episode 7, ‘Betrayal’, ended on such a tense moment – that it was impossible to review it without providing context afterwards. So, what exactly happened in Chaos;Child to make things so intense? Keep your eyeballs in your head and try not to let your head explode as we go head first into these two amazing episodes.
Japanese Original Episode Title: 錯綜する光と影に惑う思いは
In order to accurately cover these two episodes, there will be a few marked spoilers below. I don’t typically do this, but there was too much exposition in Episode 7 to accurately cover the plot without mentioning a few things. I’ll do my best not to spoil too much!
Last week, I determined that too little had happened for us to comfortably sit around and make merry. There was some confusion regarding the pyrokinetic girl, who we suspected to be Senri. Well – the episode opens with a death, and it appears to be Senri – impaled by a giant metal rod. A gruesome way to go! A quick investigation reveals that the victim actually is not Senri, but a girl named Haida. Simultaneously, the 2channel mirror (@channel) begins circulating rumors that Nono actually knew Senri in the past. With the ‘death’ of the apparent murderer, the NewGen case is called off. Solved!
I assumed that Nono knew more than she was letting on, and throughout this entire episode, secrets keep trickling out. Takuru refuses to believe that Nono has anything to do with the death. He also believes that his delusions of Senri were caused by whoever killed Senri/Haida. Takuru hurries back to the Aboa Dorm after hearing about the @channel conspiracy to check on Nono. She seems okay, but then Takuru realizes that his younger sister Yui is missing. He’s informed that she went to the store with Itou, and he gives Itou a call.
Things get really insane here. Like, it’ll be hard to package it all up. It may be one of the most disturbing scenes I’ve seen in an anime in a very long time. Skipping the details, Episode 7 ends with Nono and Takuru discovering that the killer is alive and well, and can use mind control.
This leads directly into Episode 8.
After the horrific incidents of Episode 7, Nono pulls Takuru aside and reveals everything. My suspicions proved to be true, but the reveal is nothing I could have expected. Nono goes through her backstory and tells the story of Senri. Senri was a lonely girl who was subjected to many tests and only had one friend, Nono. Well, on the night of the Shibuya earthquare – Nono died.
Wait, what? How’s she telling the story? Well – Nono of the now, is actually Senri – a Gigalomaniac. She wished she could become Nono and from the point of Nono’s death, Senri filled in – never revealing the truth.
To Takuru, Senri is Nono – and Senri is determined to stop the killer, as she blames Episode 7’s death on herself. Takuru goes to visit a recovering Itou and discovers a few more clues on the new suspect. He returns to find Senri missing, with the computer open. An audio clue is all he has to go by.
Episode 7 Highlight: The Brutal End
If everything we’ve been through has taught me anything, it’s the the most unexpected things will happen – even if you expect them! The horrific and gruesome murder at the end of episode 7 will stick in my mind for a very long time. The build up and the imagery are intense. The emotional breakdown between the characters, as well as the credit roll on top of the scene makes for one of the best moments in Chaos;Child.
Episode 8 Highlight: A Backstory I can Get Behind
I’ve complained about the amount of exposition and pacing involved with it in this series, but Nono’s backstory is actually incredibly interesting and a nice break from the events of the previous episode. It helps that it’s a major plot point and also something I was interested in learning more about (since I suspected that something was up).
It may have taken 7 episodes, but Chaos;Child is finally great! This pair of episodes has changed everything about the series and made the build up, pacing problems, and convoluted pieces of story a giant part of the whole. Without the previous episodes, these two would have had no effect – but because we were forced to live in this world for several weeks, the emotional impact hits hard. We also have seen a return to the detective elements in the story, as more clues have been presented. I’m eagerly trying to go through and discover what I may have missed before, especially with the audio scene at the end of episode 8. While I’m not a huge fan of having to sit through many slow episodes to get into the action, I’m glad I did. If you dropped Chaos;Child, I highly recommend returning to it now. Things can only get more intense from this point forward.
I’ve got my anime hotseat pants on. I’m ready for the next episode and eager to see how the events play out. I don’t see any more issues with the pacing and now that everything is out on the table, it’s time to see how the puzzle fits together. Come back to Chaos;Child! Let’s get through this together, reader! I’m excited to hear what you have to say.
NEXT TIME: Duel (錯綜する思惑の行き着くところ)