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Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 08/16/2004

Hideki Motosuwa is a young man who hails from a small farm in Hokkaido. He's something of a country bumpkin, oblivious to the urban life and the innovations that come with it. Now Hideki wants to study at Tokyo University. Unfortunately, his test results are a disaster and he ends up enrolling in a cram school so he can take the entrance exam again the next year. When Hideki moves to the city, he is completely awed by what seems to be the greatest technological advancement in man's daily life -- the Persocomm. A persocomm is a personal computer personified. It can be in the form of a cute girl, a cute guy, or even an animal. It can do everything a PC can do: surf the net, send e-mails and faxes, play games, answer phones, etc. But then again it can also do things a PC can't do; such as cook meals, run errands, go on dates... it's just too bad Hideki can't afford to buy a persocomm. However, by some stroke of luck Hideki finds an abandoned persocomm in a trash heap. It's an extremely attractive female persocomm to boot! Hideki takes it home, and thus begins his life with his very own persocomm Chii.

I've seen several Clamp series over the years, from the intensely shoujo "Magic Knight Rayearth" to the wildly popular "Cardcaptor Sakura" and even to the somewhat more obscure "Miyuki-chan in Wonderland". Most of Clamp's works tend to be in some way or another variant of the magical girl genre, with the exception perhaps of the X series and movie. Chobits infuses a much needed breath of fresh air into their repertoire, being a romantic comedy devoid of apocalyptic themes, a daily supply of monsters, and constant facing off with enemies.

Chobits is basically about a guy and his persocomm, in this case Hideki and Chii. Sound simple? It's anything but. For one thing, when Hideki gets around to activating Chii, all she can say is "Chii". She doesn't seem as high-tech or useful as other people's persocomms, and even people around Hideki who are knowledgeable about persocomms can't figure Chii out. At first Hideki thinks Chii is a broken persocomm, which could be why she was trashed by her former owner. But Chii proves him wrong by continuously learning about everything and everyone around her, until she can speak and do things that other people and persocomms can do. Chii eventually becomes an important part of Hideki's life, and soon both start developing feelings for each other... or at least that's how it seems. Can a human and a computer really love each other? After all, no matter how human-like Chii gets, deep inside she is still a persocomm. To top it off, a mysterious organization seems to have set their sights on Chii -- and it's evident that Chii is different from other persocomms.

I thoroughly enjoyed Chobits. I found all of the characters to be extremely likeable, and majority of the episodes are funny -- with Chii trying to emulate everything Hideki would do and say. The series gets a tad darker and more serious towards the last few episodes, when Chii's origin and purpose for existence are slowly revealed. There are also a lot of instances and story points which are far-fetched and downright impossible (such as a persocomm shedding tears or performing seemingly magical acts) but Chobits is so charming and loveable that it's very easy to push aside all skepticism and just take in everything as they come.

The visuals possess an understated allure, with scenes and character designs that come across as pretty, pleasant, and clean. The art and animation are polished but never overpowering, definitely very easy on the eyes. The songs and music complement the series perfectly as well, and I especially enjoyed the cute and catchy opening theme.

I can readily say that Chobits is by far the best animated Clamp work I've seen to date. Although I do wonder how Hideki and Chii could possibly make things work in the long run, Chobits is enchanting enough to make you believe in the romanticism of it all. After all, it's the journey there that makes it all worthwhile.

This series is composed of 26 episodes.

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Review Title:
650 Minutes
General Rating:
5 out of 5 stars
Suitable For:
Young Adults
Comedy, Drama, Ecchi,
Romance, Sci-Fi
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