Warning: Potentially NSFW/disturbing image in review below
In 2009, a powerful earthquake reduced Shibuya to rubble overnight. Strangely, the earthquake had a minimal effect on areas less than a mile or two away in any direction, leading many to wonder why the earthquake had such a profound impact on Shibuya. In the aftermath of the earthquake and mysterious “black fire” that killed thousands, a series of brutal murders grips the nation’s imagination. Dubbed the “New Generation Madness” killings, the brutal murders eventually ended abruptly without anyone being arrested. Now, 6 years later, a new string of horrific murders is taking place, and Takuru Miyashiro is leading an amateur investigation into the events along with his high school newspaper club. What dark secrets will they uncover as they delve into the underbelly of Shibuya?
Fresh off my marathon of Death Parade, I was ready for some more creepy anime. I think my mindset helped me to appreciate the series more, as it’s typically not in my wheelhouse. Chaos;Child definitely has the creep factor, but is lacking the depth of character and psychology that I really enjoyed in Death Parade. Part high-school adventure, part Saw, it’s basically like watching the Scooby-Doo gang stumble upon horrific murder scenes rather than unmasking goofy villains.
Chaos;Child seems more interested in trying to flesh out the nature of the murders rather than developing their lead characters. Takuru and the gang do research and utilize the internet to post their “scoops” and try to discover new information, but as of yet there’s not much meat to any of their respective development. The closest thing we get comes near the end of episode 2 as we learn more about Kurusu and her “older sister” relationship with Takuru. Unfortunately, shortly after the audience gets to enjoy some warm and fuzzy feelings… Chaos;Child reminds you that there is no happiness in this world – only pain.
I will say I’m a big fan of the opening theme, and the animation is certainly crisp, though I’ve put myself on guard after series like Orange and Izetta open strong only to yield to sloppy animation tactics by episode 6-7.
Overall, I’ll probably keep Chaos;Child in my lineup for now, if only because the Winter lineup is pretty thin this year. I hope we get some more character development in the coming episodes, as horror is much more compelling when bad things happen to characters you care about. Until then, you can catch Chaos;Child on Wednesday mornings on Crunchyroll!