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Chobits
Chobites volume 1 cover.jpg
Chobits volume 1 manga cover.
ちょびっツ
(Chobittsu)
Genre Romantic comedy, Science Fiction Ecchi Harem
Manga
Author Clamp
Publisher Japan Kodansha
English publisher Australia New Zealand Madman Entertainment
Canada United Kingdom United States Tokyopop, Dark Horse Manga
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Young Magazine
Original run 14 February 200129 November 2002
Volumes 8 (List of volumes)
TV anime
Director Morio Asaka
Studio Madhouse
Licensor Australia New Zealand Madman Entertainment

Canada United States Geneon
United Kingdom MVM Films
Germany ADV Films

Russia MC Entertainment
Network Animax, TBS, BS-I
English network Indonesia Malaysia Philippines Singapore Thailand Animax Asia
United States Anime Network
Original run 2 April 200224 September 2002
Episodes 26 (List of episodes)
Anime and Manga Portal

Chobits (ちょびっツ Chobittsu?) is a Japanese manga created by the Japanese manga collective Clamp. It was published by Kodansha in Young Magazine from February 2001 and November 2002 and collected in eight bound volumes. Unlike most stories by Clamp, Chobits is a seinen series commonly mistaken for shōjo because of its strong romantic themes and flowery art style.[citation needed] Chobits was adapted as a 26-episode-long anime television series broadcast on TBS and Animax from April to September 2002. In addition, it has spawned a video game as well as various merchandise such as figurines, collectable cards, calendars, and artbooks.

The series tells the story of Hideki Motosuwa, who finds an abandoned persocom (パソコン?), or personal computer with human form, that he names Chi after the only word it initially can speak. As the series progresses, they explore the mysteries of Chi's origin together and questions about the relationship between human beings and persocoms. The manga is set in the same universe as Angelic Layer, taking place a few years after the events of that story, and like Angelic Layer, it explores the relationship between human beings and electronic devices shaped like human beings. Chobits branches off as a crossover into many other stories in different ways, such as Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, xxxHolic and Kobato.

Contents

Plot

Story

The series centers on the life of Hideki Motosuwa, a held-back student attempting to qualify for university by studying at Seki prep school in Tokyo. Besides a girlfriend, he dreams of having a persocom (パソコン?): an android used as a personal computer, which is expensive. On his way home one evening, he stumbles across a persocom in the form of a beautiful girl with long hair lying against a pile of trash bags, and he carries her home. Upon turning her on, she instantly regards Hideki with adoration. The only word the persocom seems capable of saying is "chi" (ちぃ Chii?), thus he names her that. Hideki assumes that there must be something wrong with her, and so the following morning he has his neighbor Hiromu Shinbo analyze her with his mobile persocom Sumomo. After Sumomo crashes during the attempt they concludes that she must be custom-built.

Shinbo introduces Hideki to Minoru Kokubunji, a twelve-year-old prodigy who specializes in the field of custom-built persocoms. Minoru's persocoms, including Yuzuki, a fairly exceptional custom-built persocom, are not able to analyze Chi either, and thus they conclude that she may be one of the Chobits, a legendary series of persocoms rumoured to have free will and emotions. Although this is a possibility, Minoru is confident that it is only rumour. Yuzuki also adds that she does not resemble any persocom model in any available database and so she must be custom made after all.

A major part of the plot involves Hideki attempting to teach Chi words, concepts, and appropriate behaviours, in between his crammed schedule of school and work. At the same time, Chi seems to be developing feelings for Hideki, at an emotional depth she is not supposed to possess, and Hideki struggles with his feelings for her. The need to figure out more about Chi and her mysterious functions and past becomes a pull for the characters in the series.

Hideki's feelings intensify for Chi whether she is a persocom or not, despite horrible experiences of his friends involving persocoms. Chi becomes aware of her purpose through a picture book series called A City with No People which she finds in a bookstore. The books speak about many different things involving human and persocom relationships: persocoms and their convenience as friends and lovers, how there are things that they cannot do and questioning whether a relationship between a persocom and a human is really one-sided. It also speaks about the Chobits series; that they are different from other persocoms, and what they are incapable doing unlike other persocoms. These picture books awaken Chi's other self, her sibling Freya who is aware of their past and helps Chi realize what she must do when she decides who her "person just for me" is. Together, Chi and Hideki explore the relationship between human beings and persocoms, as well as their friends' and their own.

Etymology

In the series, the derivation of the name "chobits" comes from their father, Ichiro Mihara, who used the word "chobi" to describe anything he thought was "small and hopelessly adorable." Two chobi become "chobits." The word "chobits" is an anagram of "Chitose Hibiya",[1] and is also the password given to Elda, Freya, Sumomo, and eventually Chi. The spelling of the title uses a mixture of hiragana (ちょびっ Chobi[t]?) and katakana ( tsu?). The mixed letters were chosen because a persocom's password requires a mixture of hiragana, katakana, and/or Latin alphanumeric characters for increased security. Similarly, the password Chobittsu (チょびっつ?) for Sumomo, set by Hideki in episode 19 of the TV series, mixes katakana ( Ch[i]?) and hiragana (ょびっつ [y]obittsu?), although in Tokyopop's English translation of the manga, the password is "Chobits" (with a capital "C").

The word persocom (パソコン pasokon?) is a Japanese contraction of personal computer (パーソナルコンピュータ pāsonaru konpyūta?). In Japan, it is used to refer to personal computers in the same way as the initials PC are in English. In Chobits, it is used with no distinction between modern and humanoid computers. In the final chapter of the manga, Chitose Hibiya explains that persocoms were not named "robots" because Ichiro Mihara did not include Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics in them.

Themes

Despite the comedic and ecchi moments, Chobits itself deals in dualities. The most explored issue throughout the series is human-persocom relationships. Although the series stresses the ideas of persocoms being loved, the lesson that the series attempts to pass along (being loved for who you are) can be represented in many different ways.

"Watashi" (a first person pronoun in Japanese), a character drawn by Chitose Hibiya in a children's picture book A City with No People, is used in the series to hint at the definition of reciprocated love to Chi, and is used to highlight issues with human-persocom relationships; drawing upon the fact that because persocoms can be programmed to imitate desirable human behavior, human beings would opt-out of human relationships, resulting in obvious problems, such as the inability to further produce offspring.

The series deals with issues and ideals of virginity and sex in that Chi is effectively incapable of sexual intercourse (in the manga at least, in the anime this is never actually stated), as attempting to do so would "reset" her, so she must therefore only entrust her body to someone who cares for her well-being as opposed to someone interested in a purely sexual relationship. Freya explicitly tells this to Hideki in the final scene of the manga, that to have Chi, pointing between her legs, means that Chi would lose all her memory.

Earlier in the story, Freya makes elliptic statements suggesting that it could be possible to touch Chi there, as seen in Episode 20 of the anime when Chi was abducted. Chi mentioned that her "One and Only" can enter there, pointing Hideki to that location. While Freya does not expressly suggest that Hideki and Chi can be intimate, she does seem to hint at Chi's capacity of being so if she so chooses. Hideki continues to loves Chi purely however, thus promoting the ideals of "loving someone for who they are" throughout the story. It is also hinted in the story that Chi's particular placement of her 'On' switch is added after Freya's death, since her father gave her "special abilities." Along with his goal to ensure all persocoms find happiness, the placement of Chi's 'On' switch ensures that her personality will thrive only in a relationship in which she is loved without the pressure to have sex.

The idea of love as a concept is addressed for the denominator of the story, in several installments of A City with No People; this deals with issues particularly relating to searching, and subsequently waiting for someone who is a "soul mate." This parallels the story of Freya, who fell in love with her father and creator, and ultimately wished death due to heartache. This idea is used as a means of helping Chi in her quest for "a person just for me" or "my one and only." Both Chi and her sister, Freya; Atashi being linked to Chi, and the companion, linked to Freya.

Main characters

Hideki Motosuwa (本須和 秀樹 Motosuwa Hideki?)
A 19-year-old (in the anime, 18) repeat student attempting to get into university by studying at a cram school, while working at a izakaya to make ends meet. One night, while walking home from work, he finds a persocom lying in a pile of garbage. He takes her home, and upon activating her, finds that the only word she can utter is "Chi". Because of this, he gives her the name "Chi" (in the anime, "Chii") and takes her into his care, doing his best to protect and teach her. Despite his shortcomings and occasional moments of awkwardness with the bustling environment of Tokyo, Hideki is a genuinely kind and honest person, whose habit of thinking of others' well-being before his own can cause many problems. When a friend is in trouble, especially Chi, he is always there to help. Although many characters in the series often tease him for being a "nice guy", they turn to him for advice with their problems, knowing he will always hear them out and do his best to assist them. Voiced by: Tomokazu Sugita (Japanese), Crispin Freeman (English)
Chi (ちぃ Chii?)
A "chobit," a technologically advanced persocom rumored to possess true machine intelligence, with the ability to feel emotions and act on her own will, unlike other persocoms.[2] Hideki finds her in a pile of trash as he makes his way home from work one night. Upon turning her on, she is only able to say the word "chi," remembers nothing of her past life, and is unable to perform even simple tasks. Because of this, Hideki names her Chi and undertakes teaching her how to function. Chi reads a series of children's picture books, A City with No People, about a character searching for the "person just for me," which were written pseudonymously by Chitose Hibiya as a way of reconnecting Chi to her past self, and to guide Chi's search for love. As the series progresses, Chi begins to have visions of another persocom who is identical to herself. This "other Chi" advises and protects Chi, and as the story nears its climax tells Chi something about her history before she was restarted; that Chi had been named "Elda" by her loving parents and had an older sister. When the older sister broke her heart for unattainable love for her father and would die Elda had offered to take all of her older sister's memories, at the cost of her own memories. Her older sister thus became the guardian of Elda's memories and Elda's protector. See the entry for Freya in the list of Chobits characters. At the end of the series, Hideki finally admits that he loves Chi, and is her special person. Voiced by: Rie Tanaka (Japanese), Michelle Ruff (English)

Development

Adaptation

There were several changes made to the story when it was adapted into an anime series. The more important ones include:

  • In the manga, when Hideki introduces himself, he is already in Tokyo and employed; in the anime, he is shown moving to Tokyo and meeting Chitose Hibiya, his apartment manager, and is unemployed when he finds Chi.
  • Several events in the anime do not happen in the manga: such as the trip to Minoru's beach house, the circulation of an online urban legend regarding Hideki's apartment being haunted, he and Chi helping Ms. Hibiya clean the apartment complex, Chi needing to be charged and Chi cooking for Hideki. The episode where Chi gets her first underwear occurs in both, but it receives more emphasis in the anime (a whole episode) whereas in the the manga it receives about two pages.
  • In both versions Yoshiyuki Kojima suggests to Minoru that they hack the main computer to learn more about Chi. In the anime they then hack the syndicate's computer, using Yuzuki. In the manga, Kojima and Minoru are put off by the penalty. Yuzuki overhears and a little later tries hacking the National Database (Zima) on her own, based on her programming.
  • In the anime, Shinbo Hiromu lives in the same apartment complex as Hideki; in the manga, he does not.
  • In the manga, Hideki learns Ms. Shimizu and Shinbo are having an affair when he searches for Chi, who went looking for a job. In the anime, he finds out much later.
  • In the manga, Yumi Oumura is not the daughter of manager Nekoi at Club Pleasure, where Hideki works.
  • In the manga, Chi gets an outfit from her past life the night after Takako Shimizu stays at Hideki's apartment. In the anime, Chi gets the outfit from Chitose Hibiya after she and Hideki help her with cleaning the apartment building.
  • In the anime, Chitose Hibiya's late husband Ichiro is not named, nor is his affiliation with the creation of Angelic Layer mentioned. In the manga, he is mentioned by name.
  • Freya "dies" in the anime and manga under essentially the same circumstances (her CPU becoming overstressed by too much pain), but for different reasons. In the manga, she tells Ichiro Mihara about her feelings for him, and feels pain and joy at the same time which was too much of an emotional burden on her. In the anime, Freya mentions that she couldn't admit that she loved her creator, and therefore suffered from the pain of using all her willpower to keep her feelings a secret.
  • The ending of the anime differs from the manga in several ways, including not alluding to Hideki never having Chi because of her switch location, and of Freya taking over Chi's body and asking her mother Chitose to shut them down, saying the Chobits series is a failure, and the activation of the program after all, although the effect on Persocoms is not the same as described in the manga.

Media

Manga

The original Chobits manga was written by Clamp, a collective of four Japanese manga artists. It was serialized in Japan by Kodansha in Young Magazine from February 2001 until November 2002. The 88 chapters were collected in eight bound volumes.

The manga is published in English in North America by Tokyopop.[3] Tokyopop's translation is distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment.[4] Tokyopop lost its license for the series, as rival publisher Dark Horse Manga announced at San Diego Comic-Con International that it would be publishing new omnibus editions of the series in celebration of CLAMP's 20th anniversary.[5] The first of the volumes is scheduled to be published January 27, 2010 and appears to be 4 of the original volumes in 1.[6]

It is published in Hong Kong in Traditional Chinese by Jonesky, in Singapore in Simplified Chinese by Chuang Yi, in South Korea by Daiwon C.I., in France by Pika Édition, in Spain by Norma Editorial, in Mexico by Grupo Editorial Vid, in Italy by Star Comics (which serialized it in Express), in Germany by Egmont Manga & Anime (which serialized it in Manga Power), in Poland by Japonica Polonica Fantastica, in Brazil by JBC, and in Sweden by Carlsen Verlag.[7]

An art-book based on the series, Your Eyes Only, was published by Kodansha; it is licensed in North America by Tokyopop. In addition, A City with No People, the fictional picture book written in the series by Chitose Hibiya, was released in Japan as a picture book;[8] and also released as an audiobook with text read by Rie Tanaka, the voice actor for Chi.[citation needed]

Clamp often reuses various characters among their manga. Chobits is their first seinen series, aimed at young men.[9]

Anime

Chobits was adapted as an anime television series by Madhouse. The series was directed by Morio Asaka with music by K-Taro Takanami and character designs by Hisashi Abe. The opening theme is "Let Me Be With You" by Round Table featuring Nino. The ending themes are "Raison d'être" (Reason to Be) by Rie Tanaka (episodes 1–13), "Ningyo-hime" (Doll Princess) by Rie Tanaka (episodes 14–25), and "Katakoto no Koi" (Awkward Love) by Rie Tanaka and Tomokazu Sugita (episodes 26).[10]

The series was broadcast in 26 episodes from 2 April 2002 to 24 September 2002 across Japan, East Asia, and Southeast Asia by the anime satellite television network, Animax and the terrestrial Tokyo Broadcasting System network.[10] It was later released on 8 DVDs.[11] The original episodes 9 and 18 are "recap" episodes, summarizing previous events. These episodes were re-numbered for the DVD release as episodes 8.5 and 16.5, respectively, and removed from their original sequence by being published together on the final DVD. As a result, the series is 24 episodes long on DVD. In addition, there are two DVD-only OVAs: a 27th episode recapping the series (numbered episode 24.5)[12] and a 6-minute special, "Chobits: Plum and Kotoko Deliver".[13] The ending theme of the latter is "Book End Bossa" by Round Table featuring Nino.

The series was broadcast in Korea by AniOne TV, in France by Europe 2 TV, in Spain by both Animax España and Buzz Channel, in Portugal on Animax Portugal, and in Poland by Hyper. It is licensed in North America by Geneon,[10] which has released the series in 7 DVDs.[14] This release is redistributed in the United Kingdom by MVM Films[15], and in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment.[16] It is also licensed in Taiwan by Proware Multimedia, in France and the Netherlands by Kaze Animation, in Germany by ADV Films, and in Russia by MC Entertainment.[10]

Soundtracks

Two soundtracks from the anime were released by Pioneer. Chobits Original Soundtrack 001 was released 1 July 2003 and Chobits Original Soundtrack 002 was released 7 October 2003. Three singles were released, the opening theme "Let Me Be with You" by Round Table featuring Nino, and two ending themes by Rie Tanaka, "Raison d'être" and "Ningyo Hime". In addition, a character song album, Chobits Character Song Collection, was released on 17 February 2004.

One piece of music in the anime nicknamed "Dark Chi's Theme" by fans (cause it appear in "Freya mode"), it does not appear on any Chobits soundtrack. Original name of the track is "Fuuma (Dialogue Mix)" and "Kamui (Dialogue Mix)", which are available on their respective singles "Fuuma" Single and "Kamui" Single from the X soundtrack.

Drama CDs

Chobits was adapted as a series of four drama CDs, each called a Chapter.

Games

In 2002 Marvelous Entertainment released in Japan only a Chobits game for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance called Chobits: Atashi Dake no Hito. The game was available bundled with a clear blue Game Boy Advance with a decal of Chi above the A+B buttons and a Chobits logo above the D-pad.[17]

In 2003 Broccoli released a PlayStation 2 game titled Chobits: Chii Dake no Hito. Like the Gameboy Advance game, this too was released only in Japan.

Another PC-version game was also released in 2002, using Macromedia and Quicktime as the background support. This game is called Communication Game, in which the player can "talk" with Chi and teach her to speak. It also contained some small games inside such as a keyboard typing game.

Reception

Reviewers consistently praised the production quality of the anime series, citing good sound and animation quality and detailed backgrounds. The adaptation was criticized for shifting the focus from Hideki to Chi, in particular for having episodes devoted to Chi "doing cute things" and providing fanservice.[18] Critics generally agreed, however, that the second half of the series was stronger than the first, as the story explored the moral and philosophical explorations of the relationships between humans and artificial intelligences, and whether the latter have free will.

References

  1. ^ Clamp (2003) [2002]. "Chapter 87". Chobits volume 8. Tokyopop. pp. 113–116. ISBN 1591824095. "Ichiro Mihara: "Chobi" means "little" ... Two chobi become "chobits." It's a word I made up, since the password system won't take actual words. "Chobi" spelled in hiragana, with the last sound in katakana. Chitose Hibiya: Your daddy told me that anything he thinks is small and hopelessly adorable is "Chobi" to him. That's why you two are his "Chobits." Another thing ... my Ichiro told me that the word "Chobits" ... is special to him ...because it's made up of the letters in my name — Chitose Hibiya. And that's why they're my children." 
  2. ^ Clamp (2002) [2001]. "Chapter 5". Chobits volume 1. Tokyopop. pp. 84 to 85. ISBN 978-4-06-334383-0. 
  3. ^ "Chobits Volume 1". Tokyopop. http://www.tokyopop.com/shop/1030/Chobits/1.html. Retrieved 2008-08-18. 
  4. ^ "Madman > Manga > Catalogue > Chobits". Madman Entertainment. http://www.madman.com.au/actions/periodicals.do?method=home&periodicalId=4. Retrieved 2008-08-18. 
  5. ^ "Dark Horse - San Diego Comic-Con International 2009". Anime News Network. 2009-07-25. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/convention/2009/san-diego-comic-con-international/dark-horse. Retrieved 2009-07-27. 
  6. ^ "Chobits Omnibus Edition TPB :: Profile :: Dark Horse Comics". Dark Horse Manga. http://www.darkhorse.com/Books/16-633/Chobits-Omnibus-Edition-TPB. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  7. ^ "Chobits (manga)". Anime News Network. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/manga.php?id=1553. Retrieved 2008-08-18. 
  8. ^ Beveridge, Chris (2003-05-23). "Chobits Vol. #2: The Empty City (of 7)". Mania.com. http://www.mania.com/chobits-vol-2-empty-city_article_75033.html. Retrieved 2008-08-24. "I even went and bought the real version of the book that was made after the shows release and read parts of it to my daughter before bed." 
  9. ^ Beveridge, Chris (2003-03-05). "Chobits Vol. #1: Persocom (of 7)". Anime News Network. http://www.mania.com/chobits-vol-1-persocom_article_74885.html. Retrieved 2008-08-24. "After all their successes, the women behind CLAMP go and produce their first seinen, or “mens” comic." 
  10. ^ a b c d "Chobits (TV)". Anime News Network. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=357. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  11. ^ "DVD&Video情報" (in Japanese). Tokyo Broadcasting System. http://www.tbs.co.jp/chobits/dvd.html. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  12. ^ "Chobits (OVA)". Anime News Network. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=6098. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  13. ^ "Chobits (special)". Anime News Network. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=2685. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  14. ^ "Chobits (TV)". Anime News Network. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=357&page=28. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  15. ^ http://mvm-films.com/detailed/chobits_boxset.htm
  16. ^ "Madman > Madman Anime > Catalogue > Chobits". Madman Entertainment. http://www.madman.com.au/actions/series.do?method=view&videogramId=12. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  17. ^ "Nintendo to release Chobits GBA". Nintendo World Report. 2002-09-04. http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/newsArt.cfm?artid=7719. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  18. ^ Carpenter, Christina (2002). "Chobits". THEM Anime Reviews. http://www.themanime.org/viewreview.php?id=215. Retrieved 2008-08-24. ""Whereas the manga version of Chobits concentrates more on Hideki's point of view, with him finding out Chii's secrets, the anime is Chii, Chii, and nothing but Chii. Now, if it were more about Chii finding out facets of her personality, basically a retelling of the manga from her point of view rather than Hideki's, this would be fine. Instead, three-fourths of the series is devoted to watching Chii do cute little things." 

External links


Simple English

Chobits (ちょびっツ?) is a Japanese manga and anime series created by CLAMP.

Plot

The story is mostly about the life of Hideki Motosuwa who did not make it into a university, and so is called a 'ronin'. Hideki tries to get into a university by moving from his farm and studying at Seki, a cram school in Tokyo. He is not used to women, but likes to imagine that he is. He wants to have a girlfriend and a 'Persocom'. A Persocom is a kind of robot that looks like a person, but can be used like a computer, phone, and a "partner" in some cases.

One evening when Hideki is walking home from the grocery store, he finds a unique Persocom on a curb. It is a beautiful young girl with long blonde hair, wrapped in white cloth, lying against a pile of trash bags. He takes the Persocom home. Hideki looks all over the Persocom's body for a switch to turn her on, and finds it between her legs. He turns her on and asks her questions, but all she can say is "chi", so Hideki names her Chi.

Anime

The anime has 26 episodes and was broadcast across East Asia and Southeast Asia by the anime television network, Animax. Episodes 9, 18, and an extra 27th OVA episode are used as "recap" episodes, looking back on the events that happened previously. The episodes were given different numbers for the DVD release because the original recap episodes were not included as part of the main anime, instead being published together on the final DVD and re-numbered as 8.5, 16.5 and 24.5 making the series only 24 episodes.

There is a 6-minute special episode: "Sumomo and Kotoko on a Quest", or "Chibits", which is about Sumomo and Kotoko.

The series was supervised by Morio Asaka, and Hisashi Abe was the character designer and the animation director. The ending to the anime series is different from the manga. One thing that is different is that there is no allusion to Hideki never having Chi because of where her switch is, and the new part of Freya taking over Chi's body and asking her mother Chitose to shut them down, saying the Chobits series is a failure, and the activation of the program after all, although the effect on Persocons is not the same as in the manga.








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