Foreign Friday: Chobits

As I mourn the end of xxxHolic (the last volume was released this week in the U.S.), I chose another CLAMP title for this week’s Foreign Friday: Chobits.

The Story

In the future, boys will be boys and girls will be robots. Like every other guy, Hideki just wants a cool job, a hot ride, and a state of the art robotic girlfriend. But pretty persocoms don’t come cheap and Hideki is out of luck…until he finds a cute one in the garbage. But even in the future, you get what you pay for and he soon discovers that real women aren’t the only ones who are high maintenance.

The Characters

Hideki is a farm boy who’s just moved to the big city; he’s enthusiastic, hard working, but not the brightest. His ignorance of technology is the leading humor factor throughout the series. Chi is a persocom who’s memory is a blank slate, leaving her at the level of a very small child, with a small child’s curiosity. True to CLAMP’s style, there is a lot more to it, but any more would ruin the plot!

What I Thought

Whether I love it or hate it, CLAMP never makes for a stale plot, and the characters often have depths that as readers we can only guess at. Chobits is on the more straightforward side, but there is a depth to the plot as it touches on the disconnection of human interaction as people become absorbed in “it.” For the most part, it is a romantic comedy that ends well (not always a guarantee with CLAMP) and leave’s one of CLAMP’s favorite messages: love is love, no matter if you’re human or not. I’ve raved about CLAMP’s art before, and this is no exception. For those of you who have read other CLAMP titles, you may be interested to know that this has some ties to their previous series, Angelic Layer. This series is more mature than Angelic Layer however, and includes some adult topics and fanservice. The series is complete in 7 volumes, all available in English in the U.S.

There is also an anime adaptation that follows the main plot of the manga. It was enjoyable as well.

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