Dark Horse Comics’ Announcements at Sakura-Con

Dark Horse Comics announced during the company’s Sakura-Con panel that it has acquired the licenses for the following titles: Legal Drug, Drug & Drop, Oreimo: Kuroneko, Satoshi Kon’s OPUS, and Seraphim: 266613336 Wings.

  • Dark Horse will be releasing an omnibus edition of the three-volume series Legal Drug on September 10, 2014.
  • The first volume of Drug & Drop will ship on January 7, 2015. William Flanagan is translating the series.
  • The company will release the three-volume Oreimo spinoff manga, Ore no Kouhai ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai under the title, Oreimo: Kuroneko. The first volume will ship on April 15, 2015.
  • Satoshi Kon’s OPUS will be compiled into one volume and will ship on November 26, 2014. Zack Davisson is translating the series.
  • Seraphim: 266613336 Wings will ship on February 18, 2015.

In addition, Dark Horse Comics also announced that it will be releasing CLAMP works digitally, beginning with Clover on May 21, 2014. Other titles will follow, including Cardcaptor Sakura on June 4, 2014 and Chobits on June 18, 2014.

Chobits: Anime vs. Manga

After watching the Chobits anime series, I was interested in reading the Chobits manga to see how the anime compared to the original manga source material. I have read all eight volumes of the Chobits manga, and these are the observations I made.

In many respects, the main story basically stayed intact between the manga and the anime. However, there were some minor differences between the two mediums, as well as a major change at the end of the story.

One of the first things I noticed was that in the manga, Hideki and Shinbo are not neighbors in the apartment complex that Hideki lives in; in fact, it appears Shinbo doesn’t even live in the same building as Hideki. Personally, I think it was a wise choice to make the two neighbors in the anime. This choice in the anime is especially effective for adding tension between Hideki and Shinbo for the plotline concerning Ms. Shimizu.

Another difference between the two tellings is Hideki’s employment situation at the beginning of the story. At the beginning of the manga, Hideki is already employed at My Pleasure, and it’s while he’s on his way home from work that he finds Chi in the trash. However, in the anime, Hideki doesn’t get the job at My Pleasure until the third episode, after he’s already found Chi in the trash. In some respects, it adds more tension in the anime for Hideki to be unemployed when he finds Chi; however, finding her on his way home from work works better, in my opinion.

In the anime version of Chobits, the fourth episode is all about getting a pair of underwear for Chi; first, Chi tries to buy them for herself, but it’s ultimately an embarrassed Hideki who goes and buys them. In the manga, this story is only a small portion of a chapter, and Chi is never involved in trying to purchase the panties.

There are also some “filler” episodes in the anime with stories that do not appear in the manga. The first “filler” episode is number six, where Hideki needs to recharge Chi but is unable to due to not paying his electricity bill. The next “filler” is the episode, “Shinbo and Sumomo Chat,” which is ultimately a clip show that recaps the important events in the first eight episodes of the series. Three episodes later, there is a string of three “filler” episodes that involve a ghost story, an online game story, and an episode where the characters go to the beach. After Chi is kidnapped there is another recap episode titled, “Minoru and Yuzuki Chat.”

The episode “Chi Buys” has a section about Chi needing to learn how to bathe at the public baths, but this never appears in the manga. I never really did understand the whole bathing the Persocom story in the anime, because to me, it just didn’t make a lot of sense. While Persocoms may look like humans, they are still technically machines, and last I checked, we don’t need to bathe our computers and other electronic devices.

The way Hideki learns about Ms. Hibiya being someone who worked on Persocoms is different between the manga and the anime. In the anime, Sumomo falls onto some wires and is electrocuted, and Ms. Hibiya repairs her. In the manga, this information comes out closer to the end of the series, when Hideki asks Ms. Hibiya point-blank about a picture Minoru had received from an anonymous sender.

The endings of the anime and the manga are the most radical difference between the two mediums, especially how the story resolves. I’m sorry for being so cryptic, but saying too much more wanders much farther into “spoiler” territory than my other observations have.

A major thing that was in the manga that wasn’t in the anime is a scene where Chi buys two rings. This was a very nice symbol in the manga, and it’s a shame that the writers for the anime couldn’t find a way to include this.

One thing that was in the manga that wasn’t in the anime was a scene of Ms. Hibiya in the office of the publisher of The City Without People books. I kind of wish this scene had somehow found a way into the anime, because it helps to enforce the idea that Ms. Hibiya was involved with the books.

Since there had been quite a gap between when I last saw the Chobits anime and when I read the manga series, I hadn’t entirely realized just how much difference there was between the manga and the anime. While I do still enjoy the Chobits anime series, I have to say that overall, I think that the telling of the story in the Chobits manga was a little stronger.

Anime Soundtrack Review: Chobits Original Soundtrack 002

Chobits Original Soundtrack 002 is the second of two soundtrack CDs released for the Chobits television anime series by Pioneer in 2002. The front of the CD is designed to look like a 7” record, which might be better known as a 45 RPM record. The “record label” on this CD is blue. The liner notes for this CD include the English and Japanese lyrics for “Let Me Be With You,” “Play in the Early Afternoon,” and “Mermaid.”

This 20 song soundtrack focuses more on the “rock sounding” background songs from the series. There are occasional spots between tracks where some of the Japanese dialogue from the show is placed between songs.

This soundtrack features a shortened version of the song “Mermaid,” a shortened version of “Love of Babble,” and the original version of “Let Me Be With You/” The shortened version of “Love of Babble” was used in the background during the preview of the next episode. This disc also includes another version of “Play in the Early Afternoon”; this version of the song includes lyrics.

This disc opens with “Better,” which is actually a slower song that features strings. “Happy-Go-Lucky” is an uptempo number, and it sounds like it shares some similar musical themes with “Love of Babble.” “Something Funny” is a more midtempo sound; in some respects, the keyboard part kind of sounds inspired by music from the mod era of the 1960s.

“Fast Forward” is another uptempo track that has a stronger emphasis on percussion and guitar, and this is a song that I recognize right away as being background music from the series. “Cause and Effect” slows the disc down, and seems to have a stronger emphasis on acoustic guitar.

“They Come and Go is more of a midtempo track, and it’s one of the tracks on this disc that more jazz-leaning than rock. “On the Double” features bongo drums and is a rather uptempo track. “Touchy Subject” is a slower song that focuses on piano. “A Fly on the Wall” is a little under two minutes in length, and has more of an electronic sound to it than most of the material on this disc.

“Company” is a slower song with a bit more of a jazz influence. “You Never Know” has almost medieval renaissance feel to it musically. “A Piece of Cake” is a more uptempo track, and it has more of a playful feel to it. “In a Brown Study” slows the tempo of the soundtrack back down, and it’s a rather laid back track with piano.

“That Was Then” is another slower song, which focuses more on strings; however, there is some piano in the background. “Spilling Salt” is a slow-to-midtempo track that has both a jazz influence and a rock feel. “Midnight Voyage” slows the disc back down again, and this track has piano and what potentially sounds like a harmonica.

This CD is probably best listened to if you need music in the background while you’re doing other things; this really isn’t a disc that you can just sit down and listen to. This makes a lot of sense, since these songs were composed with the purpose of being used as background music in the series. The music composed for Chobits was very well done, and fit the mood of the series quite nicely. If you are a fan of background music soundtracks, then this disc is for you.

I wrote this review after listening to a copy of Chobits Original Soundtrack 002 that I purchased for my husband as a gift.

Anime Soundtrack Review: Chobits Original Soundtrack 001

Chobits Original Soundtrack 001 is one of two soundtrack CDs released for the Chobits television anime series by Pioneer in 2002. The front of the CD is designed to look like a 7” record, which might be better known as a 45 RPM record. The “record label” on this CD is yellow. The liner notes for this CD include the English and Japanese lyrics for “Let Me Be With You” and “Raison d’etre.”

While this 12 song soundtrack features music from the anime series, this particular soundtrack has a stronger emphasis on jazz-inspired songs. There are occasional spots between tracks where some of the Japanese dialogue from the show is placed between songs.

What I found kind of interesting was the fact that on Chobits Original Soundtrack 001, a decision was made to include a remix version of “Let Me Be With You” on this disc instead of the original version. This remix version not only features a different music track, it also features a different female vocalist. Personally, I didn’t think this remix version of “Let Me Be With You” was as strong as the original version of the song.

However, the first soundtrack also includes “Raison d’etre,” one of the songs used for the ending credits; this helped to make up for the fact that the original version of “Let Me Be With You” wasn’t included on this disc. This soundtrack also includes one of the versions of “Love of Babble.”

“Morning, Morning” is a very mellow piece that runs for a little over a minute in length. “And the World Also Starts Today” is more of a midtempo track that’s almost four minutes in length.; in some respects, the horns included in this track almost give the song a 1970s feel.

“Men’s Club” is a very uptempo track that’s a little over three minutes in length, and it has a guitar intro. “Portrait of Tenderness” is a piano-only track that’s on the slow and mellow side.

“Touch’n Go” picks the tempo of the disc back up, and it’s one of the tracks that I remember vividly as being background music in the series. “Breathless” has a strong focus on keyboards, and falls more in the mid-to-uptempo range. “Tedious Scribble” is another slower song, which has an emphasis on piano and saxophone.

“Play in the Early Afternoon” picks the pace of the CD back up, due to being more of a midtempo track. “Two of Us” is another slower song. Fortunately, the disc ends with the uptempo “Raison d’etre.”

This CD is probably best listened to if you need music in the background while you’re doing other things; this really isn’t a disc that you can just sit down and listen to. This makes a lot of sense, since these songs were composed with the purpose of being used as background music in the series. The music composed for Chobits was very well done, and fit the mood of the series quite nicely. If you are a fan of background music soundtracks, then this disc is for you.

I wrote this review after listening to a copy of Chobits Original Soundtrack 001 that I purchased for my husband as a gift.

Anime DVD Review: Chobits Collection

In 2005, Geneon Entertainment released the Chobits Collection box set, which includes seven DVDs and a music CD. The first six DVDs in the set include the main episodes of the series, while the seventh DVD has three “clip shows.” The first six discs each contain four episodes and bonus features, while the seventh disc has the three “clip shows” and bonus features. For language and subtitle options, the discs have English with subtitles, English without subtitles, and Japanese with subtitles.


Chobits is set an alternate present day, where a popular item for people to own is a Persocom. A Persocom is an android that looks like a realistic human and can be used as a personal computer. The protagonist of the series is Hideki Motosuwa, a student attending the Seki prep school in Tokyo because he’s had a hard time passing the test that’s required in order to qualify for university. He dreams of owning a Persocom, but he’s a poor student and can’t afford one.

One evening, Hideki comes across a female Persocom that’s been abandoned amongst a pile of garbage. Since the Persocom seems to be abandoned, Hideki struggles to carry the heavy android back to his apartment. When he gets home, Hideki realizes he doesn’t know how to use a Persocom. After some experimentation, he finally figures out how to turn the Persocom on; after she’s activated, all she can say is “Chi.”

Hideki decides to name the Persocom Chi, and through a couple of acquaintances, Hideki discovers that Chi is a custom-made model and could even potentially be one of the legendary “Chobits” series. During the series, Hideki has to teach Chi about the world, while at the same time, Hideki has to try to focus on his own studies and work. The series follows what happens to Hideki and Chi.

When it comes to the DVD set, I have to complain about the extras menu on the first two discs in the set. In order to make your selection on these menus, you have to highlight green text with green; when a selection was highlighted, it was very hard to read what it said. Fortunately, the extras menu on the remaining DVDs highlighted yellow text with green; this made reading these menus a lot easier.

On the first six DVDs, the bonus features include either a textless opening or closing, an art gallery, trailers, and DVD credits. The art galleries generally include five to seven pictures from Chobits, whether they’re stills from the series or promotional art. Unfortunately on the later discs in the set, some of the pictures in the art gallery are repeats from previous discs in the set.

Disc seven has the bulk of the set’s bonus features. This disc includes an art gallery, production art, previews for two of the “clip shows,” a Chibits special, trailers, and DVD credits.

The Chibits special features the characters of Sumomo and Kotoko, who are small and portable Persocoms. At the beginning of the special, Hideki leaves the apartment and accidentally leaves his wallet behind. Chi discovers the wallet and tries to catch up with Hideki. Meanwhile, Sumomo and Kotoko believe that Chi never put her panties on, so the two little Persocoms have a humorous adventure trying to find Chi and deliver her panties to her. Personally, I thought that some of the things that Sumomo and Kotoko had to go through were funny, making the panties be a catalyst for the adventures just came across as a little strange and kind of forced.

The production art on the seventh disc included 53 pictures; unfortunately, the pictures didn’t seem to be arranged in any kind of logical order. As I went through the production art, I felt like I was jumping all over the place.

The audio CD included in the set is called Chobits: Character Song Collection. The characters with songs on this disc are Chi, Hideki, Minoru, Yuzuki, Ms. Hibiya, Shinbo, Sumomo, and Yumi. On this disc, I recognized most of the songs from the show, except for three of the vocal songs and one of the instrumentals. Unfortunately, the theme song from the opening credits isn’t included on this disc; however, this can be found on one of the Chobits soundtrack CDs that was released by Geneon.

Unfortunately, since Geneon has gone out of business, this particular DVD pressing for Chobits is now out of date; however, there may occasionally be used copies of the set for sale on sites like Amazon.com. FUNimation Entertainment has acquired the North American license for Chobits, and released the series on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in 2011. However, I have not seen the FUNimation release of Chobits, so I can’t comment on how the FUNimation sets compare with this DVD set.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of the Chobits Collection that my husband and I purchased.

Anime Spotlight: Chobits

Introduction
Chobits is an anime series based on a manga series written by CLAMP. The manga was serialized in Japan between February 2001 and November 2002. The anime adaptation began airing on Japan on April 2, 2002; the final episode of the series aired on September 24, 2002.

Geneon Entertainment originally held the North American license for Chobits, but the company lost the license after it went out of business. FUNimation Entertainment during their panel at Anime Boston in 2010 that the company had acquired the license for the series. FUNimation released the entire series on DVD and Blu-ray in 2011; as of this writing, FUNimation still holds the North American distribution license for Chobits.

I first heard about Chobits when my sister was telling me about the series. When I became the Anime editor for BellaOnline, this was one of the titles I checked out through the King County Library System when I was first starting to write for the site. My husband and I were impressed enough by what we saw that we later purchased our own copy of the Chobits Complete Collection DVD box set before Geneon went out of business.

About Chobits
Chobits is set in an alternate present day, where a popular item for people to own is a Persocom. A Persocom is an android that looks like a realistic human and can be used as a personal computer; while the majority of Perocoms appear to be female, there are a few male Persocoms that are occasionally seen in the background.

The protagonist of Chobits is a young man named Hideki Motosuwa. He’s a student attending the Seki prep school in Tokyo, and has had a hard time passing the test that’s required in order to qualify for university. He dreams of having his own Persocom, but he’s a poor student who can’t afford one.

One evening, Hideki comes across a female Persocom that’s been abandoned with a pile of garbage. He decides to take the Persocom back to his apartment, since it doesn’t seem to belong to anybody. Unfortunately, when Hideki gets home, he realizes he has no idea how to use a Persocom. After some experimentation, he finally figures out how to turn the Persocom on.

When the Persocom is activated, all she can say is the word “Chi,” so this is what Hideki decides to name her. Hideki’s neighbor, Hiromu Shinbo, tries to help Hideki figure out how to make Chi work; what Shinbo discovers is there is no operating system loaded into Chi.

Shinbo asks his friend, Minoru Kokubunji, to take a look at Chi. Kokubunji determines that Chi is a custom-made model and is different from other Persocoms; in fact, Kokubunji wonders if she may be one of the legendary “Chobits.”

During the series, Hideki must teach Chi about the world. At the same time, Hideki has to try to focus on his own studies and on work. Hideki finds himself interested in three women that he meets in Tokyo, while Chi seems to develop feelings for Hideki. It turns out there’s more to Chi than most people realize, and the series follows what happens to Hideki, Chi, and to the people they know as more information about Chi’s past is revealed.

My Impressions of Chobits
During the early episodes of the Chobits anime series, I was given the impression that the show was simply a light and fluffy comedy. But as the series progressed, new elements were introduced which added new layers of complexity to the story. However, these new elements don’t feel forced, and they make sense for the universe that’s established in the series. One of the things I really liked that came out of the story’s evolution is how Hideki’s feelings toward Persocoms change, and how the story examines the affect Persocoms affect relationships with both humans and Persocoms. The series progresses from a light comedy to one that makes the viewer think about the relationships that appear in the series and the ramifications of these relationships.

Since seeing the anime, I have read all eight volumes that were released for the Chobits manga series. Overall, I was rather impressed by how faithfully the anime followed the manga. Admittedly, the ending between the two mediums is drastically different, but that’s really the most radical change between the two mediums. The anime also included some filler episodes with stories that were not in the manga; however, the amount of filler episodes really wasn’t large enough to distract from the overarching story.

Admittedly, there is some “fanservice” included in the series, especially in regards to Chi. Fortunately, the “fanservice” is just one of several elements that are used in the show, and it isn’t too terribly “in your face.”

Chobits and Controversy
Over the years, there has been criticism leveled against Chobits for being sexist. I believe a lot of this stems from the fact that Chi looks like a teenage girl or a grown woman, yet acts like and is treated like a young child.

Maybe as a woman I should be offended by the portrayal of Chi; however, I’m not. Let’s be honest for a minute: if the story was about Hideki trying to raise a young child of either gender and teach them about the world the way he teaches Chi, I don’t think you would see many people batting an eye at it.

If you’re familiar with my work at BellaOnline’s Anime site, you might be sitting there thinking, “But wait a minute! Didn’t you criticize The Pet Girl of Sakurasou for a similar kind of idea?” Yes, I did criticize that series as a story “basically perpetrating the idea that she’s [Mashiro] a female who can’t do anything for herself, and that she needs to rely on a man to do things for her.” However, I do see a distinct difference between The Pet Girl of Sakurasou and Chobits. In Chobits, Chi’s memory was completely wiped, so she basically has the mind of a child and is rather naïve; therefore, there’s a reason why she needs to have someone taking care of her in the manner that Hideki does. However, in the first episode of The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, there is no reason given for why Mashiro acts the way she does (being unable to choose her own underwear, needing help to tie her shoes, and needing someone to clean up after her), and needing to have Sorata do everything for her. Perhaps if an explanation had been given for Mashiro’s behavior, maybe I wouldn’t have had quite a problem with it. So while I do see some similarities between Chi and Mashiro, I can at least understand Chi’s situation and accept what is going on without being offended.

Another criticism I’ve heard in regards to sexism is the fact that the Persocoms who are focused on are female, and that the Persocoms are generally treated like possessions and as if they’re inferior to their owners. Like I said earlier, there are some male Persocoms shown in the background, even if none of the main Persocoms themselves are male. Since male Persocoms do seem to exist, even if they are in the minority, this kind of dilutes this sexist argument to some extent.

Conclusion
Chobits may not be a perfect series, but it does a good job of examining the relationship between humans and electronic devices shaped as people. While Angelic Layer, another manga series by CLAMP, tried to capture this dynamic, I think Chobits did a better job by going deeper into the relationships and their ramifications.

References
Funimation Adds Chobits, Eden of the East Films. Anime News Network. April 3, 2010.
Carpenter, Christina. “Chobits.” THEM Anime Reviews. 2002.

Manga Review: “Chobits” Omnibus Volume Two

Article first published as Manga Review: Chobits Omnibus Volume Two by CLAMP on Blogcritics.

Chobits Omnibus Volume Two collects the final four volumes of CLAMP’s manga series into one volume. This release, along with Omnibus Volume One, was released by Dark Horse Manga in North America after Tokyopop lost the rights for the series. This omnibus edition of Chobits was released in 2010. Dark Horse didn’t print a rating for the series on this omnibus release; however, I would go with Tokyopop’s rating of “OT” for Older Teens, due to the female nudity, the sexual undertones and the situations that are presented in this series.


A major theme that runs through the volumes included in this omnibus has to do with how Persocoms, human-looking androids that can be used as personal computers, affect relationships with humans and other Persocoms. Hideki also finds himself questioning how he really feels about Chi, his Persocom; as he learns how Persocoms have affected his friends, this only adds to his confusion.

When the reader reaches Volume Seven in this omnibus, a lot of information comes out concerning the truth about Chi. Most of this volume focuses on a conversation between Hideki and his landlady, Ms. Hibiya. Ms. Hibiya admits to her role in the story, and also tells Hideki about Freya, another Persocom who looks like Chi and is essentially Chi’s sister. At the end of Volume Seven, Chi declares that Hideki is the one “just for her.”

In the final volume of Chobits, Hideki has to make a decision as to whether or not Chi is the one “just for him.” Whatever choice Hideki makes will not only affect Chi, but it will affect all Persocoms. Hideki receives the last pieces of information he needs to know, and says his final answer.

There has been a bit of criticism directed at Chobits over the years, and the criticism usually revolves around the series being sexist. The sexism charges come from the fact that many of the Persocoms shown in the series are female with male owners, so this depicts men controlling women. It should be noted that there are male Persocoms with female owners that appear in the background; while none of them are main characters, the fact is, they do exist.

I’m not sure how far these critics have read into the series in order to determine whether they come to this conclusion only after reading the early volumes of the series or after reading the whole series. To me, Chobits starts out as a light and fluffy comedy, but new layers are added to the series that not only add a darker and more series tone, but these layers also deepen the story. The relationships between humans and Persocoms that are examined in these series are actually thought-provoking and make the reader think about the ramifications of these relationships. The reader also gets to see the world of Chobits through Hideki’s eyes, and starts to wonder about the same questions that Hideki raises about Persocoms over the course of the series.

Just like with Chobits Omnibus Volume One, I overall prefer this release over the corresponding manga volumes that Tokyopop released when they had the license. My only real complaint has to do with the size of this omnibus, because I think it’s rather big and can be unwieldy to read. I would have preferred it if Dark Horse has released four volumes of two-in-one omnibuses instead.

Even with my complaint about the size, I would still recommend both Chobits omnibus volumes to fans of the series, whether or not they already own the original Tokyopop releases.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Chobits Volume Two that my husband and I purchased.

Manga Review: “Chobits” Omnibus Volume One

Article first published as Manga Review: Chobits Omnibus Volume One by CLAMP on Blogcritics.

Chobits Omnibus Volume One collects the first four volumes of CLAMP’s manga series into one volume. This volume was released by Dark Horse Manga in North America; Tokyopop lost the rights to Chobits, and Dark Horse acquired them. This omnibus edition was released in 2010. Dark Horse didn’t print a rating for this series on this omnibus release; however, I would go with Tokyopop’s rating of “OT” for Older Teens, due to the female nudity that appears in the series, the sexual undertones to some of the humor, and situations that are presented in this series.


The main character of Chobits is Hideki Motosuwa, a “loveable loser” who’s attending a cram school in Tokyo in order to pass the college entrance exams. His parents have cut off his allowance, and he doesn’t have much money; however, Hideki really wants a Persocom, which is a human-looking android that can be used as a personal computer. On his way home from work one evening, Hideki finds an abandoned female Persocom among a pile of garbage. With some effort, Hideki manages to get the Persocom back to his apartment, and after several hours, finally figures out how to turn her on.

When the Persocom is activated, the only word she can say is “Chi,” so this is what Hideki names her. Unforutnately, Hideki is rather computer illiterate, so he reaches out to his friend Shinbo for help to try to better understand how to use Chi. After Shinbo’s portable Persocom, Sumomo (known as Plum in the Tokyopop translation) crashes while trying to run a diagnostic on Chi, Shinbo directs Hideki to a young Persocom genius named Minoru Kokubunji.

While Minoru examines Chi, he comes to the realization that Chi has self-teaching software, and he encourages Hideki to teach Chi. Minoru also speculates that Chi could potentially be a “Chobit,” an artificial intelligence that can think and act on its own; however, no one really knows if the “Chobits” really exist. Hideki tries to teach Chi, while at the same time, trying to juggle his own studies and his work schedule.

As the story progresses, the issues of how Persocoms affect relationships between people is delved into through several storylines. In addition, Hideki also finds himself questioning not only the relationships between humans and Persocoms in general, but how exactly he feels about Chi. Hideki’s feelings are really put to the test near the end of this omnibus volume after mysteriously disappears.

Another major thread that shows up in the series revolves around a picture book series called A City With No People. This is a book series that Chi begins reading, and over time, Hideki realizes that there’s more to the series that what appears on the surface.

When you compare this Dark Horse omnibus with the original Tokyopop releases of the Chobits manga, I overall prefer the Dark Horse release. I appreciated how this translation keeps all of the original names intact; for whatever reason, when Tokyopop translated the series, they decided to use the English name for Shinbo’s Persocom instead of her original Japanese name. Another difference I also appreciated is the fact that the Dark Horse translation uses the original Japanese honorifics (e.g. Shimuzu-sensei and Motosuwa-kun); this helps make this feel more like an authentic translation. There are also some jokes in this translation that I don’t remember seeing in the Tokyopop releases.

Another noticeable change is the different font styles that are used for many of the Persocoms, as well as a different font for the words in the A City With No People books. A note in the back explains that CLAMP had used different fonts in the Japanese version, and that different fonts were used in this release to reflect the differences in the original Japanese version.

This omnibus also includes some color pages, primarily to mark the beginning of each manga volume that is included in this omnibus. There are also a few bonus color pictures at the back of the book. I also thought this was a nice touch for this release.

However, for all of the positive things I have to say, I do have one gripe with this release. Since four volumes are included in this omnibus, this makes this a rather large volume; as my husband griped, the size of this volume is the manga equivalent of a Robert Jordan book. This large size also makes it a bit unwieldy for a reader as they are reading this volume. In order to read this large volume, a reader has to hold the book in such a way that creases end up being created on the spine. Personally, I think this would have been a little better if they had split the series up into four two-in-one volumes, rather than two four-in-one volumes.

Even with that gripe, I would still recommend this Chobits omnibus to fans of the series, whether or not they already own the original Tokyopop releases.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Chobits Omnibus Volume One that my husband and I purchased.

Manga Review: “Chobits” Volume Seven

Article first published as Manga Review: Chobits Volume Seven by CLAMP on Blogcritics.

Chobits Volume Seven is a manga written and illustrated by CLAMP. It was published in North America by Tokyopop in 2003. This series is rated “OT” for older teens who are sixteen and up, and I agree with this rating.


This volume of Chobits focuses very heavily on backstory, and very little actually happens to advance the plot. However, the information revealed in this volume is so compelling, that you don’t even realize just how little plot advancement is taking place.

Volume Seven opens with Minoru, Hideki’s genius friend, coming to terms with the fact that his Persocom, Yuzuki, can never truly replace his deceased sister. This revelation comes to him after discovering Yuzuki on the ground and not moving after she tried to access the National Data Bank without Minoru’s knowledge. As Minoru goes through Yuzuki’s activity log, he discovers some important information about Hideki’s Persocom, Chi. Minoru shares what he learns with Hideki.

The vast majority of this volume focuses on a conversation between Hideki and his landlady, Ms. Hibiya. Over the course of this section, Hideki learns the truth about Chi, and how Ms. Hibiya fits into everything. He also learns about Freya, another Persocom who looks like Chi and is essentially Chi’s sister. At the end of this volume, Chi finally declares who the “someone just for me” is; however, Chi’s answer doesn’t come as a surprise to the reader if they’ve read the previous volumes of the series.

One scene that I really liked in this volume is a meeting between Ms. Hibiya and the publisher of the A City With No People book series. This scene not only confirms that Ms. Hibiya is indeed the author of the books, but the reader also gets confirmation as to why Ms. Hibiya has been writing the books. This was my first time encountering this scene, because it was left out of the anime series. Personally, I liked this scene, and think it’s a pity that the studio that produced the anime couldn’t find a way to work it into the anime adaptation.

There are some close-up panels of some of the characters that included some of the best art I’ve seen in this series. These would include Ms. Hibiya on page 67, Freya on page 116 and Hideki on page 171. These drawings on these particular panels effectively convey the emotion of the character, and they have a little more in the way of detail in comparison to many of the panels in this volume. These particular panels really jump out at the reader and leave a strong impression.

By the end of this volume, it’s abundantly clear that the story is about to come to an end, regardless of whether you already know that there’s only eight volumes in the series or already know what’s happening because you’ve already seen the anime adaptation.

If you enjoy the Chobits manga, then you’ll find that as you read this volume, you won’t want to put it down until it’s finished.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Chobits Volume Seven that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Manga Review: “Chobits” Volume Six

Article first published as Manga Review: Chobits Volume Six by CLAMP on Blogcritics.

Chobits Volume Six is a manga written and illustrated by CLAMP. It was published in North America by Tokyopop in 2003. This series is rated “OT” for older teens who are sixteen and up, and I agree with this rating. Visually, the only real thing of note in this volume is one panel that shows some female nudity.


This volume of Chobits opens with Hideki listening to his co-worker, Yumi, explain about her relationship with Hideki’s former boss, Ueda. The plotline that revolves around Yumi and Ueda is also resolved in this volume.

Another major plot development sees Hideki wanting to learn more about his mysterious Persocom, Chi; this involves Hideki’s genius friend, Minoru, teaming up with the guy who had abducted Chi back in Volume Four. I really enjoyed seeing Hideki’s reaction when he came face-to-face with Chi’s abductor, and I also thought that it was a natural reaction for him to have. That scene really illustrates just how much Hideki has come to care for Chi.

The reader also gets to see Yuzuki, Minoru’s Persocom, talk to Chi about how she was created to look and act like Minoru’s deceased older sister. I thought that this was a really good scene between Yuzuki and Chi, and it really emphasizes how different Chi is from other Persocoms.

Throughout the volume, there are subtle clues dropped about Chi’s past. The reader is also treated to learning some information regarding two mysterious characters who have shown up occasionally in some of the previous volumes of Chobits.

Since I was first exposed to Chobits through the anime series, there was a scene in this volume that surprised me, because it doesn’t appear anywhere in the anime. Chi wants to buy something for Hideki with the money she made working at the bakery, and she ends up buying a pair of rings. After reading this scene in the manga, I was a little disappointed that this scene didn’t make it into the anime, because I think this would have added a little something to the story. It will be interesting to see whether or not these rings show up again in the remaining volumes of the series.

I’ve been rather with impressed how the Chobits anime stayed rather faithful to the manga that it was adapting; the omission of the rings in the anime has definitely been the most glaring difference. With only two more volumes of the manga left to go, I’m really curious to see if there are any more differences between the manga and the anime adaptation.

If you’ve read and enjoyed the Chobits manga up to this point, I think you’ll be satisfied with how the story continues.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Chobits Volume Six that I checked out through the King County Library System.