Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Chobits is the story about Hideki who on the way home from work finds a Persacom, an android like computer, wrapped up and set out by the trash. When he takes her home he finds out she isn’t like any other Persacom out there, Chi, named after the only word she knows when she’s booted up, runs without an OS and any other system that tries to run a diagnostic crashes. With no manufacturer label or hint to who created her, could she be part of the fabled Chobits line of artificial intelligence?
This is another one of my comfort picks from the legendary CLAMP, a group of female mangaka responsible for a lot of well known titles like Cardcaptor Sakura and Magic Knight Rayearth. The thing I really love about their storytelling is how playful it is but also the depth.
Chobits, even in volume one, is exceedingly deep. It’s beginning to crack the layers questioning if humans could fall in love with computers if they were shaped like us and could learn and take care of us. It’s really giving me Fifth Element vibes with the young woman found scantily clad with unknown origins and a limited vocabulary.
This falls just short of ecchi, if I’m being honest. Hideki is 19 so he’s a young man and there is mention of porn and sexy magazines. Chi finds one or two of them and strikes playful poses to mimic the girls. It’s all done very tastefully with A LOT of humor mixed in to the situations. The running gag is that he’s worried everyone will think he’s a pervert when he’s just trying to take care of and look out for Chi.
That said Chobits deals a lot with personal experiences with technology and relationships with technology. There is a lot more beneath the surface and I have found that the manga is, in my opinion, better than the anime in so many ways. There is a lot to unpack and it’s just going to get better and better from here.