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.
Well! It seems my prediction from last week’s Chaos;Child review came true. The pacing has picked up – just in time! Intense weirdness and scary sights revive my interest in Chaos;Child. Check out Episode 4’s review below!
Japanese Original Episode Title: お話の裏側が妄想を始める
This week, the journalism gang doesn’t mess around. While I’m not 100% on my Scooby Doo power rankings, I’m going to do my best to create a parallel. Takuru is obviously a mix between Fred and Shaggy. Previous to this episode, I would have said Takuru was straight Fred. But after the events in this episode, I’m going to say he’s a mix of both. Onoe is our Velma character. She’s pretty strong-willed and curious, but has a few moments of timidness. Ito is Scooby. He’s pretty carefree, but Takuru enables him to freak out. I guess Nono is Daphne, but she’s pretty much out of the investigation at this point.
Anyways, hopping back into the plot – the Journalism club, without really any exposition, decides that they are going to investigate local spooky hospital. I’m glad there wasn’t much backstory into why they were going. Apparently they believe that the creator of the sumo stickers works out of the hospital and it’s their duty to find him.
As often happens in a spooky hospital, the gang gets lost and find themselves in the hospital morgue. All the while, Takuru’s sanity is starting to go (which I mentioned was an element of a good psychological horror, last time) which is causing everyone quite a bit of stress. I suppose Takuru is undergoing the most amount of stress as his breakdown is causing him to see absolutely horrifying images. There’s some vague hints that this isn’t the first time Takuru has been inside this hospital either.
Since Takuru can’t stop screaming (see above) he’s really starting to get on everyone’s nerves. Most of all Mio’s, who has been following them secretly around the hospital. She makes him shut up and leads them down a hallway full of spooky jail doors and old women pushing empty baby carriages (you know, the normal creepy hospital stuff).
The gang + Mio discover a gigantic computer room which has all kinds of records. Mio goes into a backstory about the hospital and Takuru begins to scream again. All the clues are starting to make sense and at the end of the episode – they run off with a new, mysterious lead.
Pacing ramped up: Finally, we’ve got some good action again. It isn’t a straight 1 to 100mph situation, but we’ve definitely accelerated to 60mph. If you like sudden, loud piercing noises and blood – this is the episode for you.
Earthquake, Shmearth-quake: If you’ve been playing detective during Chaos;Child, this week is full of hidden gems and clues that may help you solve the mystery of the Shibuya province earthquake. Read the computer screens in the computer room too, for some extra juicy information. My curiosity is peaked, as certain suspicions about Takuru are dashed away. Also, we find out some pretty nutty stuff on the origin of the Sumo Sticker.
Themes and Comments: Episode 4 utilizes many popular horror tropes. There are creepy singing women, scary crevices, zombies, crazy people, shrieks, blood, and more blood, horrific eyes and more. To be fair, these elements are woven intricately into the plot and if you recall our discussion about psychological horror, last week, they mirror the current mental state of Takuru. I’m becoming more convinced that we as the audience are meant to view the story – solely empathetic to Takuru. This forces us to feel his unease as he explores his world and the mystery of the Sumo Sticker and NewGen madness.
I’m ready, bring it on!: Okay, I’m kind of not very good with horror. The whole genre scares me. I guess that’s its purpose, but I’m more of a “Kick the soccer ball and Win the Game, Happy Friend Feelings!” kind of guy. I think I’m in the right mindset now though. Bring it on Chaos;Child. You’re not going to make me go mad. I’m going to remain perfectly sane and rational, like always. My reviews are going to remain coherent and straight to the point. No NewGen Madness here, plus I just put 45 Sumo Stickers on my car’s bumper. Next week may drop pacing for plot, but just incase you try to freak me out again – I’m telling you, you won’t.
How are you holding up, dear reader? Let me know in the comments and check out some more of our seasonal reviews on Manga.Tokyo.
NEXT TIME: 妄想の住人が騒ぎ迫る