This comes a bit late, but last month, fellow aniblogger Valence had a great idea and asked what we would do if we could rewrite anime. In my years of anime watching, I have amassed a long list of anime that I would like to see changed, but for this post I thought I’d focus on the three biggest let-downs of my anime-viewing career: Chaos;Head, Code Geass R2, and Venus Versus Virus.
WARNING: Spoilers below.
One of the anime I would’ve liked to have seen rewritten is Chaos;Head. It’s the prequel to the currently airing series, Steins;Gate, and is about a delusional hikikomori, Takumi, that believes everyone is out to get him. From the start, Takumi is presented as an unreliable narrator. His views and descriptions are inconsistent with those shown during the third person and even conflict with some of his own experiences, leading to some very confusing moments for him. At first I thought Chaos;Head was going to be a very in-depth story about the fall of a teenage boy into the depths of insanity where he would be lost forever, or realize the extent of his illness and wake up one day in a mental asylum. Oh how wrong I was.
Chaos;Head is about a guy (Takumi) with a harem of very beautiful girls (one of which is an anime character) who all wield cool weapons and fight some bad organization from taking over the world. Let’s also not forget that all of those girls have a thing for Takumi. Now before you say that that could have just been all Takumi’s imagination, there’s plenty of scenes showing that’s impossible. A lot of the side scenes with the girls are clearly taking place far away from Takumi so he would have no idea what’s going on. That means everything the viewer thought was a delusion at the start of the anime was actually real, making Chaos;Head a harem/fantasy anime rather than one about mental disorder. If I could have things my way, Takumi would have ended up in a mental asylum and none of the girls would have existed (at least not in the way he imagined them). I think that would have made for a more intriguing anime.
Next is Code Geass R2, but first off, I’d just like to say that Code Geass (season 1) was magnificent. The setting, character designs, comedy, and action scenes were all good points, but by far the most impressive aspect of the anime was the mastermind, Lelouch. A cold-hearted villain bent on revenge, Lelouch would do whatever it takes to reach his goals. He was aided by C.C. and the power of geass, which let him order anyone to do anything he wanted, but the greatest aspect about him was that he was able to manipulate people without the use of his geass. As Baron Acton once said, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” Code Geass was certainly going down this path, and after the cliffhanger at the end of the first season, I couldn’t wait for the next one to see what happens.
When R2 came around, I was sorely disappointed. They didn’t resolve what happened between Lelouch and Suzaku at the end of the first season, but even worse, it was almost as if someone decided to take a 180 on the plot development. Lelouch started to lose sight of his goals, he started caring for people, and worst of all, he was no longer an evil mastermind. Heck, his plans didn’t even seem very well thought-out either. Lelouch was no longer the great villain that I had admired, but a confused boy questioning his very own decisions. When he “saved the world” in the final episode, that was the last nail in the coffin for me. They had killed Lelouch both figuratively and literally. So if I could rewrite Code Geass R2, I would make it very close to the first season, with Lelouch continuing down his path of destruction, eventually losing all of his loved ones, including Nunally, who would die by his own hands. At the very least, I would’ve made it clear the cart driver was Lelouch.
The last anime I would like rewritten is Venus Versus Virus. It was so good that I can’t remember the characters’ names. I do remember that the plot was something along the lines of semi-yuri, girls fighting something using special guns, and 1 useless guy somewhere in there. Honestly, the only reason I watched Venus Versus Virus in the first place was because I really liked the ending song and I was waiting for some yuri action.
What really disappointed me about this anime was the way it ended. When I was in elementary school, we were always asked to write stories and were given a minimum number of pages. I hated writing (which is ironic now that I have my own blog), so once I reached the minimum page count, I always ended the story with “…and they all died.” That’s exactly what happened in Venus Versus Virus, everyone died in one big explosion. If I could rewrite this anime, I would have given it a real ending, perhaps only one of the girls die, maybe they both live on, or even have one of the side characters survive, having everyone die is just plain laziness on the part of the writers.
While these three anime titles are by no means the worst anime out there (except maybe Venus Versus Virus), they were the most disappointing in my eyes. Each one had so much potential and seemed like they were going to lead up to an epic ending, only to have this viewer asking himself what he just wasted his time on. The way a series ends can make or break it, and these three definitely didn’t make it for me.