Chobits Volume 1
Chobits is set in the near future, where computers are encased in humanoid forms, known as Persocoms. Persocoms come in all shapes and sizes from hunky men to young girls and can perform a multitude of tasks like word processing, spreadsheets and web browsing.
Hideki Motosua is a 19-year-old student at the local cram school with a low-paying job, sound familiar? Hideki is convinced a Persocoms would solve all his problems...but he can't afford one. So when coming across a Persocom that seems to have been thrown onto a garbage heap, Hideki takes it home...only figuring where the "on" button is several hours later. Upon turning the Persocom on Hideki tries to perform some basic tasks, but nothing happens. Hideki begins to wonder if Chi (he names her) is defective, and tries to find out what kind of operating system she uses, but he is presented with no information. Hideki asks his friend Shimbo for help Shimbo is shocked, as Chi shouldn't be able to even move without an operating system. This is the first of many mysteries surrounding Chi.
Separated into twelve chapters the first volume is very entertaining. The plot is trickled slowly; this makes for quite addictive reading as upon solving a plot point another larger one is dropped. A number of people I have talked to who have also read this series started with the first volume and just kept buying the next one, as the story was so addictive. There are light comedic moments throughout the book and on a first read one could be forgiven for thinking that this was primly a comedy. However it still keeps a serious edge with secondary characters full of emotions over Persocoms, which are revealed through out the series in a similar way to the main plot.
Visually it is very clear, and excessive speech bubbles or sound effects making it easy to follow do not taint the artwork. Emotion is easily expressed in characters with out the use of over the top symbolism, they do appear but in the comedy elements heightening the humour.
Coming back to volume one after just finishing volume 7 in the series of 8 some of the comedy feels old due to it being surpassed by later volumes. There is more to be found however in the secondary characters looks as more story has been revealed in later volumes and you can see the anguish in their faces more clearly as you know the reason for it.
The first volume of Chobits is a great start to a romantic, mysterious and funny series.
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