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.
I cryptically left out the part in last week’s Chaos;Child review where Nono is stabbed. This was quite the dramatic ending to an episode filled with mysterious details. The big question this week is: Did Nono survive? Well, read on – things are never what they seem in Chaos;Child.
Japanese Title: 彼らのお祭りのお話の言い分
I know you’ve been waiting in major anticipation for the answer to the anime’s most pressing question. I was taken aback after Nono’s attack and wasn’t sure what to expect. The good news is that Nono survives the attack – but the bad news is that Takuru is completely grief stricken. Nono makes several requests of Takuru but mainly asks him to stop investigating the murders.
She really harps on this. Nono dives into a long backstory and it all seems innocent enough, but I think there’s more she’s not saying. The most interesting part of the attack footage seems to be what the attacker says before stabbing Nono. Perhaps a major clue?
While she’s out, the Newspaper Club has to fill in with helping to organize the school festival. Essentially, it’s shut down during this time. I think this is probably okay, considering a majority of the club’s activities bordered on illegal. Maybe spending some time enjoying school will take some heat off of their backs.
Despite taking some time away from their perilous detective work, the Newspaper Club can’t seem to catch a break. A reporter named Watabe is supposed to do an interview with the club during the festival, but unfortunately – he runs into a sticky situation.
You’ll appreciate that pun later. This ‘sticky situation’ leads to Takuru and friends being interviewed by the detectives again. More questions arise and Takuru reveals that he saw a blinding light during the Shibuya Earthquake. Apparently, so did many others.
Equipped with this knowledge, Takuru comes to a shocking conclusion. He excitedly shares his new theory with Nono, who again pleads for him to stop investigating. I sincerely doubt that’s going to happen.
Nono, your persistence is only going to push Takuru to keep investigating. Use reverse psychology, or else he’s going to get suspicious of you too.
The best part of this episode is the sticky situation. Not necessarily the most uplifting moment, but an interesting break in the pacing. Keep an eye out and try not to consume any food while watching this episode. This highlight may make some people nauseous!
Chaos;Child is definitely a detective story first and foremost. Anyone who entered into the series expecting it to be a brutal thrill ride may want to reevaluate their understanding of the story. It’s meant to be a headpiece and somewhat of a psychological thriller – the visual icing on the cake being graphic violence. There’s a pendulum of pacing in Chaos;Child, a current problem that breaks the overall viewer experience. Part of this I attribute to an attempt to remain true to the Visual Novel. There’s a certain fan-history with the Science;Adventure adaptations and it appears the creators are aware of it. I think that the show should find its pacing by Episode 4 or 5.
The genre is another thing to note about the pacing and to excuse its current status. Psychological thrillers have to set an expectation, a conventional way of thinking for the characters, the world, and establish a mental framework in the main characters. I believe many of these character stories, such as Nono’s family history in the beginning of this episode, are meant to set these expectations.
The fun of the thriller comes when these expectations are whittled down through the course of the narrative. The goal of this degradation is to make the audience feel empathetic to the mental breakdown occurring in the characters. Smash their understanding of the world and everything they know (the characters AND viewer). If Chaos;Child can accomplish this tension by the end of this season – I’ll consider it a successful run.
I think we’ve finally gotten enough groundwork as viewers to take us off the kiddie ride. I’m hopeful that the next episode will take us down the speedway of psychological horror and allow us to connect some of those gruesome dots. If you’ve been keeping up, I’d love to hear what you think about the current state of Chaos;Child. Like it, love it, waiting patiently? Let me know in the comments. MANGA.TOKYO readers. We’re all in this together!
Also, don’t forget to check the rest of our episodic anime reviews for Winter 2017!
NEXT TIME: Gigliomaniacs お話の裏側が妄想を始める