WARNING SPOILERS!

Genre: Comedy, Romance, Drama, Sci-Fi

Rating: PG 13

Studio: Madhouse

Episodes: 26

Original run: April 3rd – September 25th 2002

Available on: Funimation

Languages Available: Japanese, English

Subtitles Available: Japanese, English

Manga Available: Yes

Overview:

Motosuwa Hideki is an 18 year old boy from the country who wants to study at college in Tokyo. After failing to get in he still decides to move to the big city and study at prep school for a year. On arrival he begins to notice that many people in Tokyo are using persocoms which are human like computers who carry out a range tasks for people. Hideki finds a discarded female persocom in a pile of trash and decides to take it home and see what happens. When booting the persocom up he discovers that all she can say is the word “chi” and he decides to name her just that. Hideki begins to look after and teach Chi and their relationship begins to develop.

Review:

Now, I know this series is pretty old but it was a pure joy to watch and the whole concept of the story really got me thinking.

One of the most interesting elements about Chobits is the ever growing relationship between Chi and Hideki. When Hideki first stumbles upon Chi she is practically a baby as all she can say is “chi” and she has no comprehension of anything at all. Hideki has to slowly teach her as if you would teach a child. This includes words and their meaning as well as the differences between what’s right and wrong. I found this learning element to their relationship very charming as it’s lovely to she how Chi grows as a persocom and how that in turn helps to grow Chi’s relationship with Hideki as she discovers the world and how she feels. I love how Chi doesn’t learn everything right away as many machines often can do in television and film and it takes time over quite a lot of the series in order to see her grow and I think this continuous development makes it seem more real and believable.

The most interesting element of Chobits by far has to be the relationship and the question of can humans and robots or in this case persocoms fall in love. This idea is explored not only through Hideki and Chi’s relationship but also other characters such as Ueda Hiroyasu the bakery owner who ends up falling in love and marrying a persocom. Whilst the idea of falling in love with machine seems rather far fetched, Chobits makes this concept very real and enjoyable as Chi is made to be almost human. This idea could be considered a low point of a human’s development that they would pick a computer over flesh and bone as even in the anime people see it as being a bit of a taboo due to the fact that they have feelings for a machine. Somehow though Chobits makes this concept seem quite normal. I think maybe one of the biggest reasons I found myself routing for Chi and Hideki’s relationship is due to the fact that Chi grows as a persocom and this growth and development makes her seem more human. She isn’t a know it all machine who thinks she is superior to humans, instead she grows and learns with the help of Hideki and his support. Hideki looks after her as treats her as if she is a women instead of a computer. His continuous blushing, awkward guy moments and even panicking when Chi got herself a job in a peeping room shows that he doesn’t see her as a machine but he sees her more as a real girl who needs protection and support. Chi also seems more human as she is always confused and concerned when something is wrong with Hideki or parts of his life. She wants to do anything she can to help him and tries her best to make things easier for him. This awareness Chi shows makes her seem more real as usually robots and computers are portrayed as dense when it comes to humans and their troubles.

I loved both Hideki and Chi’s relationship as well as their individual characters. Chi is incredibly sweet and pure and knows nothing of negative or malicious thoughts or feelings. Even though she doesn’t show much emotion I still found her a charming and adorable character. Hideki is a typical awkward boy who has his awkward and pervy moments. I found his awkwardness adorable and loved how he has to try to take care of Chi even though he can barely look after himself. This fact made him much more likeable because he isn’t perfect and he is just trying his hardest to get by in his life. One of the other big reasons I probably loved Hideki so much is because Tomokazu Sugita voiced him and I have such a soft spot for Sugita’s voice acting.

The drama within the series and the lead up to it all seemed well paced. There is some mystery towards the beginning of the series as no one knows Chi’s background or why she is considered to be apart of Chobits. This mystery element kept me intrigued but it didn’t overshadow the romantic or comedic elements of the series. I also enjoy the fact that the series also dabbled into the idea of persocoms being like children to people as well as partners. I was worried towards the end of the series that it was heading towards a sad or unsatisfactory ending as Chi lost all her memories. I think the only negative of the series is the fact that I got a little lost towards the end as to what was happening with all of the persocoms when they all began shutting down because of Chi’s power. I felt this part wasn’t explained properly enough but I just rolled with it and hoped for the best. Fortunately the ending satisfied me enough and my overall opinion on this show is very positive.

I recommend this anime to anyone who enjoys romance and drama as well people who enjoy series that also make you think about and contemplate concepts and ideas.

Rating: 9/10

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