Chobits 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 some persocoms look like cute or hot guys but only one of those plays any significant role in the plot the rest being relegated to background eyecandy 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 backstory 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.
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.
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.
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?
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."
Many clues about what happens in the second half of the series are more apparent after one sees the ending and then rewatches the earlier episodes. Miss Shimizu asks Hideki if it's more fun being with a Persocom than a human just one episode before it's revealed her husband has rejected her for the one they bought.
When Shinbo and Motosuwa play an MMORPG together with their persocoms, Shinbo's avatar looks exactly like Takako Shimizu , which is not a coincidence, like Shinbo claimed, but a hint at that Shinbo is having an affair with Shimizu due to her husband forgetting her over his persocom.
Also during the episode where they play an MMORPG, they come across another player who takes on the appearance of a young girl with long pigtails and giant bell decorations in her hair, but has the voice of a man who talks smack to Minoru, thoroughly weirding Minoru out. Long pigtails and giant bell decorations are signature features for custom built persocoms created by Dragonfly and that's him talking. His taunting Minoru over his fame on the net also ends up foreshadowing how Dragonfly found out about Chi and eventually kidnaps her.
Gratuitous English: In at least one On the Next in the Japanese version (with a strange, slurred Japanese accent that sounds like it's maybe trying to be an Italian accent). Though given the context, it might just be Hideki studying English.
Hideki: The word "parasol" is Italian. note Actually, it's French. The Italian word is "parasole".
"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'
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.
Pimped-Out Dress: When Chi and Dark Chi see each other during the story, they are wearing various fancy dresses, especially on Dark Chi's part. Even more appear in the Omake artwork.
Pinocchio Syndrome: The driving force of the plot is Hidedki teaching Chi how to behave like a human would. The climax is Chi granting all Persocoms true sapience.
Power Glows: Chii begins glowing brightly whenever she is levitating, doing intense introspection, and especially when she is threatened in any way. If she is glowing while looking at you angrily, it is already too late to run away.
Rapunzel Hair: With an odd habit of flying around of its own volition (in the manga.)
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Sumomo and Kotoko definitely have this going on; the former is pink and cheery and engergetic while the later is blue, snarky and more lethargic.
Replacement Goldfish: A big part of the series: "since It is not a person, It can be a person's dream." Persocoms can be molded to be whatever a human wants, up to and including dead relatives. The drama of the later half of the series is a debate on whether or not persocoms can truly replace others, or if they themselves can truly be replaced.
Yuzuki, Minoru's persocom, was based on his dead sister and he is extremely protective of her.
Ueda refused to replace his persocom's hard drive when her memory was slowly shorting out, since the procedure might not be 100 percent effective. He also refused to get a new persocom because the previous one was irreplaceable.
The Town with No People's premise is humans replacing the other humans in their lives with Persocoms. That's why it's called "the town with no people".
Ridiculously Human Robots: Debated — one robot explicitly states in the manga that even the Chobits of legend do not "feel" because they are only machines. It is interesting to note that she says this to Hideki after having told her sister mere hours before that being trapped in her own body, alone with her sorrow, felt like dying. Chii reminds her that because they are not technically alive, they cannot die. She says that it doesn't matter, because it feels like they can. It doesn't seem like something a non-sentient android would be discussing, let alone experiencing firsthand.
Shout-Out: Mod The Sims, a Downloadable Content site for fans of The Sims, has one of its download manager bots named Chii. The site's Chii bot also used to perform various functions in the chat room, such as "gets you coffee" when the command "!coffee" was typed.
Show Within a Show: A City Without People, a manga drawn by Chitose lampshading all of the problems that Persocoms are causing and Foreshadowing key plot points.
Spell My Name with an S: Chi or Chii? Doesn't help that both are basically official, the former for the manga and the latter for the anime. Her name is literally spelled "Chii" when written in Japanese characters (using the character for "chi" and the character for "i"), but written out in English letters as "Chi Motosuwa" in one episode of the anime (on her paycheck).
Super Prototype: Elda and Freya are legendary 'chobits' whose specs are higher than the standard issue persoms. They were also the first.
Why call them Persocoms? Why not just call them "Robots"?
Ah... my husband didn't want them to be bound by the Three Laws of Robotics.
Flat out inverted with Kojima (AKA Dragonfly). Not only does she telekinetically restrain him with the cables attached to her (which would have been pushing the absolute limits of tolerance for a "Three Laws Compliant" robot), but she then proceeds to knock him unconscious, ruining his house in the process and spraying shards of broken glass everywhere.
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.
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.