This 20th anniversary edition collects vols 1-2 of the original run of Chobits.
Hideki is a broke, cram school student trying to get into his dream college. He wishes he had enough money to afford a persocom, artificial intelligence beings who look strikingly like humans. Hideki’s luck turns around one day when he finds a persocom in the trash pile. He takes her home and tries to fix her up, even though he knows absolutely nothing about technology. His cram school classmates tries to help him out, but there’s something different about Chi - she has no memory and no operating system! Hideki seeks out opinions from other experienced persocom programmers but has little luck. Meanwhile, he has to teach Chi everything, from language to manners and how to wear clothes (panties are not worn on heads!).
Reading this really takes me back to high school when I originally read this series, although I'm not quite sure if I would buy it for my current collection. There is a lot of nudity, as Hideki finds Chi pretty much naked, and she doesn't understand shame, so she changes clothes quite frequently. There is also lots of talk about sex and porn. At one point, Chi gets mixed up working at a peep show. Aside from the nudity and adult conversations, this story is ultimately about finding your true love and loving someone for who they are. The mystery of "The Other Chi" who shows up at odd times in Chi's visions, and the various people around Hideki who seem to know an awful lot about Chi, gives this story the needed depth. As Chi learns more from her surroundings and from Hideki, what we as readers get is a primer on what it means to be human, and how special human beings are.
The CLAMP group always have such beautifully detailed illustrations. Even in a moderately sci-fi setting, they still manage to bring in some elaborate dresses for Chi that are reminiscent of Cardcaptor Sakura's outfits.
VIZ rates this for older teen for reasons stated above. If readers can make it past adult situations, this series is worth delving into.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 11-12
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: High School, Manga, Science Fiction, Romance
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