Review - Chobits

This will be a collecting point for my past anime reviews and future reviews. Please note that there will be the inevitable time references in these as they have been lifted from my old LiveJournal (I'll keep the existing ones there for now)

Review - Chobits

Postby mistie710 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:54 am

Considering that the last review I did was for Angelic Layer, I suppose it isn't too unusual that I should follow it up with this title, although it seems that that period had an awful lot of similar titles including Serial Experiments Lain and Key the Metal Idol.

In this case, the story starts with Hideki, a farm boy with a habit of taking to himself out loud without realising it and a curious naivete is given the stark news that he has failed his Uni entrance exam. Yes, dear reader, he is now officially a "ronin", condemned to leave his ideallic lifestyle and his friend, the cow, and live in Tokyo, studying in cram school by day and, after a fairly unusual form of recruiting, working in a bar by night. Nothing really unusual there except that, in the big city, the "Persocon" is everywhere.

A persocon (I suspect that this is a typical Japanese contraction, probably of Personal Console or Personal Computer) is a humanoid computer, capable of performing all those various things you might expect of a computer but in a way that is probably more typical of an android or something of that nature. Hideki, of course, wants one. Two problems exist with that. First of all, being a ronin, finances don't exactly run to the sort of cost that persocons tend to rack up and second, he would have absolutely no idea what to do with one even if he could afford it.

Imagine, therefore, what might happen if he accidentally found a persocon in the trash, picked it up and took it home and, with a little help from neighbour Shinbo, got it working. Yes, that is what he did, but the persocon he found was somewhat unusual in that, despite the apparent lack of an installed operating system, this persocon seemed to be moving. There was something unusual about this persocon, though she was in no condition to explain herself as she had forgotten everything, even down to how she got into the trash in the first place. All she could say, at that point, was "Chii".

The story follows Hideki and Chii as Hideki tries to balance his studies, his work and his life teaching Chii about life, and Chii's search for her "One and Only", prompted by a mysterious series of picture books. It includes much of the manga, including Chii's search for panties, Chii's kidnapping and the saga of the Chobits series of persocons, from the internet myth to the reality.

Actually, having mentioned the other series, I can say that I actually enjoyed this, especially as it seemed to have been handled far better in its transfer from print to screen than Angelic Layer was. The art isn't anything unusual for TV, though it does seem fairly close to the manga and the story doesn't vary too much. In that sense, it is unfair to compare it with Layer, though it isn't as complex as Lain or Key, so it won't weird you out. There are some extremely funny moments, from what Chii does when she is told to "stick her finger in it" by the seedy peep-show owner to the Chibits mini-episode where Sumomo and Kotoko, two miniature "mobile" persocons, go on a mission to save Chii from the ultimate humiliation! There are also some very touching moments. I should imagine that this series was aimed at an older audience than Layer and, as seems to be the case with my viewing these days, it is certainly not a beat-em-up fan's dream.
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