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Hideki's just like every other guy in the 22nd century. He just wants a good job, a good car, and a sexy robot girlfriend to call his own. Until he lands a job, he'll never be able to afford his own 'Persocom' companion. Hideki's luck changes when he discovers Chi--an adorable but seemingly stupid Persocom--tied up in a pile of trash. His first robot companion turns out to be a lot more responsibility than he expected, and she gets him into quite a few embarrassing situations. It's 'boy-meets-girl' for the cyber age.
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The story start out kind of boring, but later it becomes solid and interesting. The problem in this manga is that they focus in the love people feel for machines and how that is normal (what the heck?!). Also, as expected from CLAMP. whatever you think the ending is, well it's not!
Despite the flaws, I recommend it
First, let's talk about the best part of this manga: the art. Simply put, it's amazingly beautiful ...and anyone familiar with me knows I do not say that lightly. Even I can hardly find a flaw in it... it's just as it should be, each line in the ideal place... even the men, wonder of wonders, are drawn in an attractive way. What's more, Clamp manages this outstanding quality consistently, page after page, for eight whole volumes.
Okay, now the worst part: All that ecchi trash that was put in to jazz it up for the audiences susceptible to such things. It's just low. The worst part is that they even have the main character acting like a hypocrite, and they treat it like there's nothing wrong with that.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Hideki's got porn all over the place, and so clearly doesn't see anything wrong with looking at naked girls, but if someone wants to look at Chii naked, suddenly he thinks such behavior is very wrong. (Granted, Chii didn't want to be a stripper and was taken advantage of. But come on, he really thinks that none of the women in his porn have been taken advantage of either?) So a woman's privacy is only valuable if he personally knows that woman. And yet the authors often have the other characters calling him a nice and kind person! Also (this is more minor, but still), he goes and gets hammered drunk, and he doesn't seem to think there's anything wrong with that either. He should at least be ashamed... I think Clamp tried to make up for this and change his character to be less depraved with the end, since Hideki decides he loves Chii even though he'll never have sex with her, which is very sweet, but... it doesn't add up. He's still got all that porn lying around his room, and I'm not at all convinced that he's going to give it up, which is morally opposite his touching confession to Chii. If the story somehow sent the message of "well okay, he still has problems to work on" it would be much better, but instead they treat it like it's totally fine.
Having readers like and empathize with the main character is very important to a story, and shameless hypocrisy just isn't likeable... Clamp really missed the mark there. Also, good taste is essential for a good manga, and all that ecchi nonsense is the opposite of that.
The character of Chii, on the other hand, is quite another story. I think Clamp did a good job balancing a lot of things with her: she had to be ignorant like a child but not stupid, pensive but not a space cadet, tragic but not mopey, innocent but not shallow. I also thought the scenes where Chii read the storybooks were very sweet and just esoteric enough to add some nice flavor to the manga.
Next, about the message... for the real world which we live in, the message doesn't work... a machine, no matter how advanced, is only a machine... it's not a living thing, it doesn't have a soul, it's not a person, so it can't have a real love (sexual love) with a human being. However, the universe the story takes place in is not necessarily this one, so you can easily imagine it being a fantasy world where an inanimate object can be a person, and since a person is capable of love, then the idea works. If you adopt that idea, the series is much more enjoyable, because then you'll be able to appreciate the pathos of the concept the story explores.
Now, the plot. It isn't very dynamic--it's more along the lines of a slice-of-life manga, so those who prefer action or something fast-paced may not like Chobits. But in my opinion, it gets the job done. It probably could have been better, but it's functional.
Okay, so there are some very good and some very bad parts to this one, but all in all, I think I'd still recommend giving it a try. Even it turns out you hate the story, at least you got to see some beautiful drawings, right?
... Last updated on January 22nd, 2014, 11:43pm
This one would do better, I think, if it was shorter [which isn't something that I normally would say.] At times, it tries to be very profound and serious but things can also degrade down to superficial nonsense.
It's different, that's for sure. I seemed to breeze through the chapters. The chapters are shorter than most manga in the first place, but it felt like a light read per page. The concept was interesting, though. Although the obvious theme of the story is about man loving machine, I think it's a little deeper than that.
I think it's more about being able to love knowing there would be complications. I saw an earlier review saying it's about man not being able to get with women (or the other way around) so they have sex with machines. However, if that person paid attention, they would see they are completely off base. This next part contains spoilers.
Spoiler (highlight to view)
If that person actually paid attention to the manga, the person would have seen that the main character, Hideki, actually does not, and never will, have sex with Chii. However, he chooses to love her even though he knows they could never become one in body. That shows an amazing sense of love and devotion.
Sure the background characters (the ones in the crowd) may have sex with their "persacons", but the story wasn't about them, it was about Hideki and the other characters and how even if the love seems doomed to fail or is shunned upon by society, if one wills it to work, it will work. Throw the whole man loving machine concept out the window, and try to look at it in different terms. Maybe CLAMP did want to focus on man loving machine, but it certainly can be looked at in a different light if one chooses to.
For that reason, I think it is a very good romance. Definitely not the best, but somewhat deep. I would definitely recommend it. It isn't long, it's interesting, and it has cute moments. If one likes the romance genre, one would enjoy this one.
... Last updated on June 13th, 2010, 1:13am
I found this manga very "Clamp". The ending was really beautiful, and it was really a surprise to me when I found out about Chi's "power"; I had thought that if Hideki realized that he loved only her, then all persocoms could truly love. Sure, there are some loose ends, but you can NEVER have a story with everything neat and happy. The ecchi parts were really weird, but Clamp managed to save the series with the beautiful ending. Oh, and I personally think that the reason why we make robots etc in our image (that is, the human image) is because we want to play God. We want to create and control. I honestly expected Clamp to mention this in Chobits, but then again, it's my opinion.
... Last updated on April 27th, 2012, 9:10am
Im sick of seeing the comments about how bad this series is. The art is great, it has an original storyline(no vampires here!), the characters interact well with each other. Of course it also has heart. I recommend this manga to people of all ages. It shows the corruption of a technology dependent society thats forgetting humanity. Even though the MC does fall in love with Chi, he recognizes her on a human level. While other characters feel that persocoms are unfair to other humans.
Great Series... Great Story... Geat Art
This story is an all around good manga...
It has a good story.... Has good art....
Interesting theory on the characters... definantly reccomend to someone who is looking for something good to read.
I should mentioned I read all 88 chapters in 5 hours.... It was pretty good...
A cute CLAMP series
A really strange sci-fi romance, though not surprising since it's a CLAMP story. A a female robot goes through a massive identity crisis while the male lead falls in love with her. It's not as perverted as many other series with similar ideas, and contains a lot more morality as well. The main characters are really cute and the story flows well without dragging.
give it a try!
it's sweet and sad, but the message about love is there. there's a hopeful feeling from reading this series.
Wow, it was great, a really deep manga by CLAMP who again, somehow managed to pack an *EXTREAMLY* shoujo message into a nice seinen package that moved me to tears.