Chobits

TV (26 eps)
3.911 out of 5 from 41,263 votes
Rank #1,858

Having failed to earn admission to a university, Hideki Motosuwa has moved to the big city, determined to study his hardest for next year's exams. However, an unusual distraction presents itself one unsuspecting day in the form of Chii, a robotic young girl that has been discarded in the trash. In a world where an increasing number of people turn to these 'persocoms' for company, the bonds and limits of human relationships are tested as flesh manages to fall in love with the machine itself...

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Reviews

VivisQueen
7.5

StoryChobits is a charming series which portrays, weirdly enough, a touching relationship between man and his computer. Incidentally, it also brings a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘to turn a girl on'. As well as providing excellent comedy moments to enhance the emotional experience, Chobits delivers an intriguing social commentary on the relationship between humans and machines. Sure, watching Chii stumble adorably through simple social situations with hilarious consequences left me feeling warm and cheerful. However, later, as the series introduced the more controversial subplots, I found myself emotionally confused (in a good way) and a touch saddened. I am unsure whether I agree with the possibilities opened up by the story, although I appreciate how important these issues are for the characters. At the least I take this as a sign of the series' complexity. Whilst largely episodic, with the series revolving around Chii's step-by-step development and Hideki's bumbling responses to it, there also exists an overarching sad tone which only comes to the fore towards the end. In this way, it is comparable to series like Fruits Basket and, just like Fruits Basket, the delivery of the last few episodes is great. On the one hand, what happens to the central protagonists is quite melodramatic but, in terms of the wider implications, the series delivers an intriguing, open-ended conclusion. Everything considered, only one question remains: why does it not deserve the full marks available? The problem is that Chobits remains trapped by its genre, with the plot hinging upon the ‘single male with female guest in his apartment' gimmick. Although presented with utmost skill, the fact remains that there are only so many new ideas to be found here. The result is that the bulk of episodes in the middle are stereotypical and wholly skippable with the second viewing.AnimationBeing a typical CLAMP feature, Chobits has a clean, fresh look, with the palette comprised mostly of pleasant pastels. Movement is smooth throughout and the comic expressions hit the spot every time. Because of the combination of simple-yet-elegant design and quality visuals, dating the series is not straightforward; meaning it will continue to look good for a long while yet. Animation-wise, my only problem is with the character designs of Chii and Hideki. I find it discomfiting that this guy who looks twenty-five (although he is nineteen) is supposedly in love with a girl that looks twelve (although, technically, she is ageless). There is a believable reason why she looks that way, but that does not stop me pulling the odd face, particularly at the ecchi scenarios.SoundThe opening theme is catchy and repetitive without ever getting old; the ending and in-scene themes in comparison are decent but not memorable. What earns the show a high rating is the voice acting, which works well at all times, and Chii easily gets the most credit for suitability.CharactersChii is everything a guy could ever want - docile, loyal as hell, and forever pubescent. Not to mention that she looks great in a towel. Going by past experience with similar characters, I expected nothing substantial from her... which means I was pleasantly surprised at the extent to which she did develop. At first she just does a lot of endearing things like mimic Hideki's actions and act innocent at the most inappropriate times, which only evokes a lot of sentimental gushing. Eventually, her own will and personality start to come across; although, disappointingly, she does not mature to the extent that she could have. By the end, she still seems a lot more victim than heroine, albeit a highly sympathetic one. Just like Chii, but on a different level, Hideki Motozuwa is a fish out of water character. A farm boy trying to make it in cosmopolitan Tokyo, he is shy around girlie things, kind and considerate, and totally lacking in the brain department. Hideki is ninety percent stereotypical - down to the nosebleeds and the virginity - but the ten percent of personality that he has stops him being annoyingly flat. For example, his patience when teaching Chii, how he provides for her at considerable cost to himself, his active concern for her when she is not with him, and his willingness to learn from her in turn, are indicators of a deep and admirable soul. Moreover, the fact that Hideki provides some classic comedy moments makes warming to him very easy. The rest of the cast, including Hideki's best friend Hiromu Shinbo, Yumi the waitress, Minoru Kokubunji the child expert, Mr. Ueda the baker, and Chitose Hibiya the landlady, all have fantastic backgrounds. They provide subplots which are not only emotional in their own right, but feed meaningfully into the central plot as well. Each character's situation is a memorable variation on the same theme and gives a fascinating insight into Chobits's controversy.OverallChobits is enjoyable through and through, just not rewatchable through and through. Barring the formulaic structure, it seems to have no major flaws to speak of; after all, it has characters that are interesting, delivers some truly heart-warming moments, and looks very good. If you are looking for a romance with a mostly-sweet-sometimes-sad feel, then this one comes highly recommended.

haize78
5

Chobits is a classic romantic comedy. It's not bad, but there are too many things I found annoying, frustrating or simply too naive for me to give it a higher score. It's like the creators had in mind exactly where they wanted to get and what kind of message they wanted to pass  on and, in the light of that "higher purpose", they willingly decided to sacrifice a bit too much of the viewers' patience and intelligence.  Firstly, it's largey filler; the story really kicks in only at episode 19; up until then there are only slight hints here and there. And those filler episodes are really just that, they are not used to build the characters or develop them. As a matter of fact, there is painfully little depth to the characters and nearly no character development. They are likeable characters, both the main ones and the secondary ones, with their own personality, but quite clichèd and predictable.  The story, when it finally does get going, is decent and well-paced. It's the premise I find contradictory. This feeling I get of being played around with is what prevented me from enjoying this anime. Persacoms are very pretty, human-shaped personal computers which are very common in the world where Chobits is set. The protagonist, Hideki, after having transferred from the country to the city to start preparing for college, finds an abandoned persacom in the trash and takes it home with him. Obviously it's an extremely pretty, female persacom, which he calls Chi because the only things she seems able to say is "chi". Chi's data appears to have been erased, so Hideki has to teach her everything, starting from how to talk - he can do this because she does have some learning software installed, so if Hideki teaches her she will learn. And thus Hideki and Chi's relationship starts to develop. What doesn't work in all this, is that first they tell you that perscoms are man-made machines, they are computers, they are not human, they do not have feelings, interests or a will of their own. But we are then told that there are supposed to be some special, legendary persacoms, the so-called "chobits", which can develop human emotions and act on their own will. So we kind of get spoon-fed the fact that Chi is a chobit. And all of this makes sense and makes Chi's behaviour and reactions acceptable, and everything about Chi very endearing. Eccept for the fact that then during all those episodes where pretty much nothing of real importance happens, you assist to all these stories and conversations on the relationship between humans and persacoms, with humans falling in love with persacoms and even marrying them. And this is what deeply and profoundly bugged me. Are they machines or not? Clearly they are, but if they are and notwithstanding this they can anyhow develop human feelings and a consciousness, what's so special about Chi then? I don't know, maybe if you don't ask yourself too many questions you can enjoy this anime.

angelsreviews
6

The story is pretty interesting, though the anime sadly lacks compared to the beautiful manga from CLAMP. They cut so much out and yet seemed to add things to it that were not in the original manga. In that way, it loses a lot of the meaning behind it. The story line isn’t really all that new, something we have seen a lot in media where humanoid robots take over the world, being built to be peoples slaves and sometimes sexually created. Then suddenly one goes crazy.It’s not only in the anime but the manga as well that Chi’s restart and turn on button is her… privet place. It makes it rather creepy and pretty perverted. This whole show has a lot of fan service that isn’t in the manga which just makes things even worse. Another strange thing that happened to the anime is that the numbers got a bit odd when they brought it over. It happened from the 9th episode up. You see, the 9th episode was supposed to be actually a half episode called 8.5 instead. It was a recap…and the same goes for episode 20 which was supposed to be 18.5. Now I have to ask… why do we need this many recaps for a 26 episode series? I mean, we really aren’t that dumb and it does get really old. And even more bothersome is that there is actually a 27th (24.5) episode that was unaired and is only shown as on the DVD! You can guess what I’m going to say about that… its another bloody RECAP! Like we need one after the last show has aired! And because its on the DVD, it feels very stupid on their part because the person watching was probably marathon the show to begin with…The comical part is actually pretty funny and the only Romance I see is Hideki’s problems with women. It’s rather bothersome sometimes. He just seems really off a lot of the times and though they give him a good reason to be, it just makes him like every other character in a harem anime. It’s a bit annoying because he doesn’t seem to have his own characteristics.Unfortunately, the same goes for Chi and her strange personality. She’s like a little child who doesn’t know anything at all and a lot of times, it just feels really annoying. She just has no real emotions for most of the show and when she does show them, it’s rather sad or really happy. I would have at least liked to show her mad at one point.The art style is beautiful, no duh, it is clamp that first created it and the style matches the manga pretty damn well. Unfortunately, it also has its downsides with how flat the faces look and you don’t really see their noses well when they are looking right at you. The mouths are rather small and every once in a while, you will get a character that has a chibifide expression but otherwise, it’s rather plain. The women’s hair normally is what looks the most beautiful.The voices are alright, some work well and others in both the English and Japanese dub are not that good. Chi is really cute but her voice hurts my ears when I have to listen to her for long periods at a time like when she is walking down the street saying underpants. It’s funny, but ugg… my ears!

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