Oh to find a girl who loves you for who you are, who hangs on to every word you say and who actually desires to do everything possible to make you happy, well you've probably guessed it, she'd have to be a robot, and in Hideki's case it was, or a computer to be precise.
Story - 7/10
Chobits is like many school and romance Animes, a young high school aged boy, who inevitably has never touched a girl, stumbles upon a relationship and now has to figure out how they work, and in Chobits the guy really has to figure out how everything works, including where the power button is.
The first part of the series is dedicated to Hideki attempting to teach his persocon, a form a computer that can resemble a human or other life form, how to talk and interact with others. As well as his struggles with juggling life and his College prep classes. During this stretch in the show Hideki is more of a father to his persocon, whom he named Chi. He spends his time worrying what trouble she could get into how he's going to afford taking care of her and most importantly why she;s a one of a kind persocon that even boggles the mind of young computer wiz Minoru Kokubunji.
Towards the middle the story turns more into a romantic comedy, with Chi having feelings for Hideki, which were enhanced after reading a book about a lonely character also searching for the one meant just for her, and Hideki having feelings for Chi, his landlady Ms. Hibiya, his teacher and his co-worker, and bosses daughter, Yumi. The story also can turn here for some, due to influx of Sumomo as a constant character. Sumomo is the persocon of Hideki's neighbor, best friend and go to guy for every problem he encounters, Shinbo. Depending on your tolerance for cuteness you may find her completely adorable or horrifyingly annoying.
The 3rd act of the story focuses on Chi's powers being exposed and the revelation of who actually created the Chobits, the special series of persocons that outperform those available to the public. This is around the point where the show lost me. They tried to throw in some new characters who just came out of the blue, were never developed, but were suppose to play a huge part in the climax. They also attempt to make the ending bigger than it is, having you believe there is a huge conspiracy behind Chobits and that the fate of the world now rest with Chi, but no. The big reveal of where Chi came from and why she acts the way she does, while attempting to come from a good place, just seemed a bit weak and even cruel to the main character Hideki, a few words from someone he knew could have saved the poor kid tons of time and the problems now filling his life, like how he'll apparently be in love with a robot instead of a real girl.
Animation - 7/10
While there isn't anything truly spectacular about the animation and character design, there is no place to complain about it either. They let the story drive the anime instead of trying to blast it full of flash animation, like many others of the time had. Many of the characters look as if they could be pulled out of every other slice of life anime, with the exception possibly being Sumomo, who was pulled out of a fairy anime, though her actions do seem to have some special attention paid to them to ratchet up the cute factor.
Sound - 6/10
I really can't remember any music or anything special that jumped out with the sound of the show. There were no real annoying moments and for an anime like Chobits that works out best, keeping you more focused on the story rather than the music.
The English voice overs were also done very well, some could find Sumomo a bit irritating, but i enjoyed the lively touch to her voice which then contrasted nicely with Kotoko's more serious tone. Also with two Anime mainstays voicing the two male leads of the show everything sounds exactly as it should.
Characters - 6/10
Some of the characters in Chobits we've seen a million times before, the hopeless 15-25 year old who needs a girlfriend, the knowledgable and helping friend and the formatted computer, ok guess not the last one. As well thought out, drawn and voiced most of the characters are, there is just something missing about most, where others are neglected an entire series just to have all their information dropped on you quickly as the story draws to a close.
At parts of the series it seems as if a character is given a plot point to either fill a missed hole or to just get them out of the way.
But again some of this can be forgiven because of Sumomo.
Overall - 9/10
Chobits ended as a series that i really really enjoyed, but then I'd ask myself, Why? and i don't know if i can say. Its got a great story and some funny moments, but does that make up for the somewhat abrupt and terrible ending? It can easily be seen as just an average boy meets girl type story, but again I somehow enjoyed it over many other Anime's i've seen, and based on its ranking many others did too.
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