is a manga and anime series by CLAMP
that starts out as a Magical Girlfriend
comedy and transitions to a Contemplate Our Navels
debate on the relationship between humans and Persocoms, machines programmed to serve humans. It takes place many years after Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer
, although the only canon immigrants
are of the "dead with an impact" variety.
The main character of Chobits
is Hideki Motosuwa, an Ordinary Cram School Student
who lives in a Japan where almost everyone has his or her own "Persocom" to do common tasks, ranging from household chores to surfing the Internet. Hideki would very much like his own Persocom, but there's no way he can afford one... unless he finds one lying in the trash. Like all Persocoms, this one looks just like a cute girlnote
except for the obligatory distinctive ears
. He starts her up, only to find that she has no memory or info on her hard drive, and can initially only say the word "Chi." Who is "Chi," and why was she left out in the trash in the first place? Could Chi possibly be a "Chobit," a rumored brand of robots capable of sapience and real emotion?
After several episodes of Hideki helping Chi to adjust to the real world with comic results
, the plot shifts in a more serious direction when it is implied that Chi may be developing feelings for Hideki. But is it actual feelings, or just programming? Hideki, despite his constant reminders to himself that she is only a machine, seems to have some degree of affection for her. He also learns that Persocoms can have unexpected effects on humans, hearing one story from his cram school teacher Takako Shimizu, whose husband rejected her in favor of his Persocom, his up-to-then housemate and best friend Shinbo eloping with said teacher out of sympathy, and another from baker Hiroyasu Ueda, who was the first to wed a Persocom. This happens despite having been warned by Minoru Kokubunji, a Persocom expert, "not to fall in love" with her. Meanwhile, Chi's Back Story
begins to gradually unravel... and Hideki finds that he may be falling in love with Chi...Dark Horse Comics
has re-released the series in an omnibus
version, with two volumes each containing half the series.
Compare with Kowarekake no Orgel
- Arc Words: "A person just for me..."
- Artificial Gravity: Chi weighs significantly less when she's turned on, and it can't be entirely explained by the difference between dead-weight and live-weight. She floats at one point.
- Artificial Human: The persocoms were created to be human-like and look human except for the Unusual Ears.
- Beach Episode: Beacball, sand castles, fireworks at night etc.
- Berserk Button:
- If you harm Chi, Hideki and Freya (while possessing Chi) will kick your ass. Badmouth Chi and Hideki will be very angry.
- If you illegally try to access Zima, Dita will fry your brain. Literally.
- Big Good: Ms. Hibiya is a co-creator of the Chobits, Chi's "mother", and the one writing the books that Chi reads which develop the "person just for me" plot thread.
- Bodyguard Crush: Dita (bodyguard) for Zima (charge). In the anime this is more apparent Chi after gives persocoms true sapience. In the manga, her program just isn't executed because Zima already has feelings for Dita before that incident.
- Broken Bird: Poor Takako has the tragic part down, but unlike most examples, she hides it behind her chipper demeanor.
- Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": "Persocom" is simply the Japanese equivalent of the abbreviation "PC", but the English translation uses "Persocom" to exclusively refer to android-computers.
- Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": The Japanese version, see above. For something that's supposed to be a "Personal Computer", they are more like ridiculously human robot buddies, usually a Robot Girl, than the beige or black colored boxes, All-in-ones or even laptops that our world is familiar with.
- Canon Immigrant: Ichiro Mihara and Kaede Saito are not in the manga.
- Can't Have Sex, Ever: Chi's reset button is down there.
- In the anime, it's a case of If It's You, It's Okay with The Person Just for Me.
- In the manga This is especially true with Hideki. In the final chapter, Freya informs him that if he and Chi ever became one, Chi will be rebooted and all of Chi's memories of Hideki will be erased completely.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: Zima didn't seem particularly troubled when Yuzuki attempted to hack into him.
- Child Prodigy: Minoru is a pint-sized computer whiz.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Again, Hideki is a pervert but doesn't really want to be one.
- Chosen One: The One Just for Me who can bring a new age to the Persocoms, either happiness or something dreadful.
- The Chooser of The One: The Me is Chi.
- Contemplate Our Navels: Can persocoms feel, even though they only act out of human programming? Can a human and persocom love each other? Does such love mean anything if it's just programming? Whether they can love or not, what do such relationships mean for society as a whole?
- Continuity Nod:
- Some background persocoms are modeled after characters from CLAMP's other works, especially Cardcaptor Sakura. (For an example, look in the back of volume 1 of the manga. There's a persocom being advertised that looks like the Fiery card.)
- Angelic Layer, the company that made Angels went on to make the first persocoms. The game is mentioned as being popular some time ago.
- Conveniently an Orphan: "Didn't your parents object [to marrying a persocom]?" "Both of my parents had passed away."
- Costume Porn: Chi's outfits, especially in the artbooks.
- Cute Machines: Shinbo's miniature Persocon, Sumomo.
- Cute Mute: Chi, who initially can't talk.
- The Cutie: Chi is unbelievably adorable. She's so adorable that you may die of cuteness.
- I Have the High Ground:
- Zima and Dita spent most of their time in high places.
- Chi also does this herself on numerous occasions.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: Chi, since having no memories also means she has No Nudity Taboo. Also she wears a Naked Apron without having any idea what it means, because she thinks it would make Hideki happy.
- "I Want" Song: Raison d'etre, the song during the end credits during the first half of the show, describes Chi's search for happiness and attempts to understand what she feels. It starts with the English words "Yes I need and I want."
- Kawaiiko: Sumomo is cute and cheerful and says things like 'Wakey wakey excercises'
- Little Miss Snarker: Kotoko, a snarky loli robot.
- Meido: Yuzuki works as a maid and wears the usual outfit.
- Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher: Takako Shimizu wanted to be a kindergarten teacher, but her husband thought there was more money in teaching older students. Then he threw her out in favor of the persocom...
- Nice Guy: Hideki is friendly and mild mannered but being a Large Ham scares some people off. He's only overtly bothered by his girlfriend-less virgin status when other characters talk about how tragic it is that "such a good guy can't find himself a girlfriend".
- Nosebleed: Hideki is a frequent sufferer of these in the anime.
- No Social Skills: Chi, having no memory, has no initial awareness of etiquette.
- Twist Ending: The last anime episode uses a viewer's knowledge of the manga ending to create shocking, then moving twists. Unlike the filler, the last episode was written by Ohkawa herself.
- Two Siblings In One: Chi and Freya living inside her.
- Unusual Ears: Persocoms have odd metal constructs around the ear area that contain various cables; this is the only visual difference they have from humans. The newest models that go on sale about midway through the story have human-like ears.
- Verbal Tic Name: Chi says "Chi".
- What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: In-Universe. The storybooks Chi reads are incredibly profound for something seemingly aimed at children!
- What Is This Thing You Call Love?: Chi has to figure out what love means before she can choose "the one for me and only me".
- What Measure Is a Humanoid?: "WILL YOU STOP TALKING ABOUT HER LIKE SHE'S A MACHINE?! CHI HAS A NAME! DON'T LUMP HER IN WITH ALL THE REST!!" Originally said by Ueda, when asked about his deceased wife. Hideki did not mean to quote Ueda's words on purpose and only realized it after he said them and also understood the implications of these words.
- You ALL Share My Story: Let's plot it out shall we?
- Hideki finds Chi in the trash.
- Chi was created by Chitose's husband. Chitose is also Hideki's landlady who is monitoring movement in the area.
- Zima and Dita are watching out for a possible End of the World as We Know It, which can be caused by Chi...
- Who works for Ueda at Tirol, replacing a persocom he was married to, and another girl who now works with Hideki.
- Hideki is doing cram school with Takako and Shinbo, and learning about Persocom obsession on the side.
- Finally, Minoru is searching for Chi's background.
- Zettai Ryouiki:
- Kotoko wears them in addition to Twin Tails. She's also the only Persocom known to snark at her owner.
- Freya and Elda too in a pic, possibly to extend the color scheme and/or add Moe.