Mike: Is it just me, or is Taku’s viewpoint getting more and more closed by the minute? Basically, since we only see things from his viewpoint, it’s starting to feel increasingly unhinged and even claustrophobic and oppressive in a way—like you feel like you’re trapped in his warped state of mind.
Mike: For me the emblematic moment was when he sees the “Shogun” in the middle of the street, then he “wakes up” and sees Rimi again. When she asks him what’s wrong–he just babbles stuff about the sword, about her being a demon, etc. It’s one of the few moments where we really get a glimpse of just how unhinged he seems from the outside.
Ray: It’s not just you. I got pissed at him for calling Rimi a demon woman, for like the gadzillionth time. But I also got annoyed that she didn’t just react like a normal girl and say something like, “Fine! But at least get out of the road or we’ll both get killed!”
If he’s not in his right mind without a good reason, then she being caring makes perfect sense. But I feel like we’re seeing another Shinji, this time trapped in episodes 25 and 26 of Eva TV.
Mike: There’s even the “you can’t run away!” part too! The thing is, Taku really doesn’t seem to have a lot of redeeming qualities; like I really dislike how he treats his sister. And still, all the girls in the show seem to have a superhuman level of patience with him.
Ray: Superhuman is right. If he had a normal sister, she’d just go away and be angry, and then later stay away and be sad. Here’s the thing though, which part of what he sees is unreal? Aoi Sena, who gave him a foot job in his fantasy, really seems to have a sword.
Mike: True. I suppose the old saying that “just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you” probably applies. Actually when FES mentioned the sword, I assumed she was talking about the big invisible sword Nanase was carrying around.
One of the more poignant aspects of Taku is that he really does want to believe that there is love, there is someone out there for him–but so far, at least with Yua, he has been badly disappointed. A lot of his internal conflict is whether to believe whether someone is as caring as they appear to be or not. Rimi seems genuinely concerned, as is his sister. Yua of course was putting on a show.
Ray: Yua seems have dropped out of the limelight for now. So far, the true intentions of the girls remain unclear. Something is the key to all this though, that legend about the awakening of the demon king.
Mike: Yeah. We are getting more and more of a complicated backstory here, and my hope is that it doesn’t become too complicated. That would serve as a distraction from what is both interesting and frustrating about this show–a depiction of actual seeming insanity.
Ray: Yeah, it’s rather strange with the demon legend. What I do know so far are these points:
1. Taku is the only one recorded running away from the murder scene.
2. Rimi, and the girls are real people.
3. Aoi Sena does hold a sword. Everything else is a blur.
Oh and I guess his sister really is his sister.
Mike: I think the game roots of the show are beginning to peek out with the introduction of the new girl in the class in episode 4. Like it is now beginning to resemble something of a harem, though the rest of the show is bizarre enough to make it feel like one. Every new girl introduction now seems sinister!
Ray: Hahahah, yeah. The only thing that prevents it from becoming completely harem is that he realizes it’s not. But yes, the new girl Kozue also really whispered to him, because Rimi is interested in what she says.
Ray: Hmm, maybe the show spooks people enough that they want to put in a sweet song to unspook people? In any case, now the net is tightening around him, and he has to do something more decisive soon. Swinging a toy sword and screaming like Shinji does not help at all.
But on the other hand, if it’s not real at all, then why did he kill somebody? But wait, even if he’s only delusional, he doesn’t have to be the killer. There are multiple facets of plot threads running here.
Mike: Yeah. I don’t think it’s going to be quite so straightforward. Has it been solidly established that he has clairvoyant powers now? That he can in fact see into the future and possibly even control events in the future?
Ray: Not firmly established, no. Wait a sec, he gets a picture showing another murder, right? And later the murder happened. And if what Yua says is true, that he is Shogun, then perhaps it is established that he has that power. I mean, he doesn’t sleepwalk.
So at least for now, it doesn’t seem like he’s done the 2nd murder.
Ray: Ah, the bus incident. It’s more like he placed a curse, and the accident happened. That’s not clairvoyant – that’s just manipulation. He wasn’t allowed to go on the trip, and he got angry and cursed the bus.
Mike: Hmm–well then, if he has that power, it hasn’t shown up since. I wonder whether the murders are him cursing someone. I also wonder whether repressed memories are a part of this. But anyways–I think I’m out of speculations now. 🙂 You?
Mike: Hard to tell. The focus of the show is totally different. Eva didn’t get caught into this state of total subjectivity until the very end. All the way up until episode 25 it was still a relatively “normal” show. Here, the head trip starts from the beginning, and doesn’t let up.
Mike: Lain is far more self-consciously “intellectual.” Like it’s definitely playing with ideas about connectedness and such. Lain also doesn’t have the horror elements that Chaos;Head does. The closest show to this one is still Higurashi, but Higurashi is far more of a traditional gothic fable, and told stories in mini-arcs rather than in one long arc–so there was terror but also relief by the end of each.
Ray: Well then, in any case, perhaps you can write a comparison article by the end of this show. For now, though, I can’t help but get suspicious that it gives head trips for the sake of giving it. I mean, look at the facts: Taku is the only murder suspect.