Chobits Anime Review
/ TV Series / Comedy / 16-up
Damn near perfect.
...A fanservice-y romance meets Blade Runner.
US Release By
Geneon Entertainment, Pioneer Animation
Romantic Sci-fi Comedy
26 25-minute episodes
2002-04-02 - 2002-09-24
What's In It
- Violence: 1 (mild)
- Nudity: 2 (moderate)
- Sex: 3 (significant)
- Language: 1 (mild)
What's "Chobits?" "Chobits" is a story of the future, where robots named Persocoms (computers that look like people) are abundant. Enter 19-year-old Hideki. He really wants a Persocom for himself, but he's dirt poor, and a ronin student (a person who didn't make the college cut, so is studying for the entrance exams for a year). He really wants a Persocom, and one night, finds one in a person's trash...
How lucky can he be?
I first viewed "Chobits" on accident. I was just searching through mIRC, and clicked on somebody's trigger. It was an XDCC trigger though (automatically sends you a file). The file sent to me was an episode of "Chobits." I watched, and fell in love. This review is of the first 22 episodes.
The series starts out fairly innocent. 19-year-old (still a virgin) Hideki finds a Persocom in the trash. Bringing it home, he turns it on (won't tell you HOW he turned it on). Unfortunately, it can only say one word: "Chi!" It also has no OS (operating system). Back luck for Hideki.
It seems though that Chi (he names it Chi) can function without an OS though. How? Does she have an OS and it is just not detectable (some of the most powerful Persocoms crashed when they checked for Chi's OS)? There's something about our little Chi that we do not know.
There's also a rumor going on around the Internet about a legendary Persocom that has emotions of its own. A robot with a free will? Can Chi be one of those legendary Persocoms? A Chobits?
Presentation - 9/10
Chobits is presented beautifully. Any normal person would fall in love with Chi by the end of the second episode (she's just so cute). Each character has a distinct personality, and they all feel different from each other. I swore that these were real people and not just animated characters. The characters are that good.
You action Dragonball Z freaks and mecha freaks may not enjoy this anime much at first, but just wait until around episode 20, when the mood of the series suddenly changes drastically. A story this well written would be very hard to pull off, but CLAMP did it without a glitch. Like I said before, though, action junkies may be a bit turned off.
Story - 10/10
Once again, this is where "Chobits" shines. The story is well written, and moves slowly, but smoothly with every episode. The episodes do not have continuity like Dragonball Z. Each episode has its own theme (Chi goes out, Chi goes to work, Chi helps... see a pattern here?). There is a story running in the background of the whole series though. It begins as watching Chi as she becomes more intelligent and learns more throughout the series, as well as her forming relationship with Hideki.
Wait, a Persocom and a human? I won't give away much, but this sub plot is written and presented beautifully, but gives the impression that it will lead to a not-so-happy ending. Let's hope not, though. Then once it reaches to around Episode 20, the story changes drastically. Plot is just suddenly thrown into the viewer's face, and leaves them gasping for air, and wondering, "What's going on?"
All this does, though, is make you even more excited about the next episode. There is never an episode that I didn't like, and never one that didn't make me look forward to the next. This is storytelling at its best people. If I could give any department a perfect 10, it would be the story. Good job, CLAMP!
Music - 9/10
All done great! It isn't often that an anime has such a good mix of music, and in which each song matches each scene perfectly. The music in "Chobits" is great, alone and with the anime. Some songs will have you smiling, some crying, and some making your blood rush with adrenaline, and even some that will get you thinking, and wondering what's going on. Half of the emotion in the show is from the music alone.
The only downfall is there's just not a lot of music. All the music is great, but it's a lot of the same stuff each episode. This doesn't at all subtract from the feel of the show, though. Go on Kazaa right now and download the second ending theme. It's fantastic.
Visuals - 9/10
I shouldn't even have to review this part, because I'm sure you all already know. This is a CLAMP show, people. Therefore, the visuals are absolutely amazing. Each character is drawn beautifully, and all are distinct from each other. The backgrounds are also drawn great. Everything looks just stunning. Also, don't forget the animation. It's all drawn smoothly.
One of the only animes I could say definitely rivals this is "Love Hina" (another great series). Not really much more I can say here. Another good job by CLAMP!
Overall, "Chobits" is one of the greatest animes I have ever seen to date. I have only seen 22 episodes so far, but I don't think this series will pass 26. It seems to be nearing its end, unfortunately. When the series is completed, I will give my full review, but until then, get on mIRC or Kazaa (preferably mIRC) and download this. This is definitely worth every megabyte of space it takes up.
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Notes and Trivia
Based on a series of graphic novels by CLAMP, available in English from Tokyopop. Geneon also sells the soundtrack CDs.
US DVD Review
Geneon's DVDs feature anamorphic widescreen video, English or Japanese audio, a full subtitle track as well as one that only translates signs, and by way of extras boast of creditless opening and endings, an art gallery, some "digest" episodes, and the Chibits featurette.
Geneon calls it 16-up.
Violence: 1 - Not much at all.
Nudity: 2 - Some nudity in the earlier episodes, but not too much.
Sex/Mature Themes: 3 - A LOT of mature humor, and an overall mature themes. Keep children away.
Language: 1 - The graphic novel uses lots of bad profanity, but the anime is mellowed down.
Available in North America from Geneon on bilingual DVD, either as a thinpak complete set (which also includes a soundtrack CD), or seven DVDs, available individually or in two box sets.
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