This Post Is Dedicated To Chii from Chobits | Unlike Any Other Romance


Hey guys! It’s me, Mari again. Spring is in full swing, and I’m just all revved up to pump daily posts in celebration of winter being over. It’s so good to see the sun again, and the nice, breeze just puts me in a really good mood, so here we are blogging again. 

I know it’s so typical to post about spring and romance together, but I promise you, Chobits is unlike any other romance  you’ve seen. I’m not going to do a deep dive or heavy analysis of why it’s so good and why I love it so much, but if you haven’t seen the manga or anime, please bookmark đź”– this post for a later read. Because I don’t know what will constitute as a spoiler for you in the discussion  points I am going to cover. Thanks for understanding, and you’re more than welcome to come back to this post later on!

I own the Omnibus collection Vol 1 & Vol 2 published by Dark Horse of Chobits on my iBooks collection in English. I hope to read it in the original Japanese version soon. You can also read a hard copy of Chobits, and it’s comprised of 8 volumes. I don’t own any of the images, (I simply Googled any colored scanlations and manga pages; I do own a copy as I’ve said before, but I am just to impatient to rifle through them at the moment). I only edited them as a visual guide to pair with this semi-review of Chobits. I’d also like to note (before I get started with the rest of the post) that I don’t do blurbs. I feel like summaries of work can easily be looked up and it’s been said so many times before that I don’t think it bears repeating. I hope you look up a succinct summary of Chobits and are enticed to read on. While the anime adaptation follows faithfully to the manga, I'd recommend the manga over the anime.  


When I first encountered Chobits, I was ten years old at Barnes & Noble, trying to read more books similar to Sailor Moon and other works from CLAMP. I had no idea that it was supposed to be age 16 and up. But in a way, I was grateful to have been exposed to it at such a young, impressionable age. I was more open-minded and less critical at the time. I can just enjoy a book as I read it, instead of making an incision at every part of the story, trying to decide whether I like it or not. So, I pretty much read this book when I first got my period (I thought my butt was bleeding and I was gonna die but turned out it was my first day as a “woman” o: Whatever the fuck that means). I guess what I’m trying to say is that I know that it looks like I was a child when I first opened this book because of my age, but also my uterus says otherwise. And no one argues with the uterus. 

I don’t know why the anime or manga industry likes to cloak their work under the guise of erotica, but when you get to its core it’s much, much different from that facade. This is why I’m thankful for the timing of when I first got the chance to read this gem. I might’ve brushed it off if I read it now, simply because I had a recent realization that I don’t like erotica as a genre very much. See my explanation here.

If you don’t wanna read that post, I basically went on a spiel about how I’m not compatible with erotica because I’m the kind of reader who likes to absorb details and extract symbolism whenever I can. I can’t just gloss over sentences to read faster. With erotica, I feel like it’s meant to read much slower. And I do appreciate the craft and dedication that goes with creating the tantalizing text, I just have a problem digesting it. And I just feel like it requires too much concentration on my part. I elaborated more on that in the other post. 

So coming off of that tangent, Chobits is labeled as a 17 and up (Mature readers only)  manga. But it’s more than that. Yes, I guess it has shallow, sexy parts so that the manga can be marketable and reach more people. But what I really appreciated about it are these things:

  • Disability Rom-Com (And not even typical at that)
  • Psychology aspects such as the Alter Ego, is handled very well
  • Mini story within the story: “A Town With No People” (Children’s book) 
  • Our relationship with technology and AI in general
  • Character study between the protagonist and main character 
  • Mystery of the Legendary Persocom 
  • It feels and reads like "noir" 

I love how in the final chapters of the book, there’s a taboo topic that never seems to get discussed in romantic books: Is a romantic relationship still real and authentic if you find out that you are not able to sleep with the other person? In other romantic books or films or shows that I’ve seen, as soon as a character is revealed to have some sort of sexual dysfunction, it’s immediately comedy material. It never dives into what really happens in life: Not every organ is guaranteed to be fully functional or if you even get to keep it. It also made me think about people who may have had trauma from rape or other stressful experiences or sometimes just other reasons (transitioning)  or just general chronic conditions (such as vaginismus dyspareunia, etc). Are they just immediately rendered “nothing” or “useless” because they can’t participate in a traditional act of intercourse? I like how Chobits opened up that conversation. This manga basically reminds me of my other favorite film, Theory of Everything (2014). I like how it discusses that there are different ways of being close to someone you care about, and there are ways around intimacy even though there seem to be barriers and stumbling blocks along the way. And I guess this doesn’t apply to LDR or people that have their marriages annulled. I think this is more like when you’re starting a new relationship, and you find out about what someone is struggling with. The question is “Do you abandon them (eventually) or do you not give up on them?” It’s nice to get that visibility within Chobits. To have the message received: You’re loved. No matter what.

There’s a character that’s later introduced named “Freya.” This is Chii’s elder sister, twin, and alter ego. At first glance, she looks like she’s going to be the villain (with her black outfits and icy personality), but her function as a character is to protect Chii. And that’s what’s the real purpose of an alter ego is. It’s not like Gotham villains at all. Alter egos or separate personalities are created by the mind to protect the individual from the memory of the trauma, and the whole point on behavioral counseling is to somehow fuse all of those separate identities together so that the affected individual is able to process the trauma. If you don’t believe me, then watch the hot, psychiatrist explain the psychotic episodes in films.  But yeah, Freya is fantastic. She’s the perfect foil for Chii and I love how they presented this psychological aspect of this show without any distortion. 

If you think about the essence of romance (as I’m sure it’s been said before), it’s essentially a character study between two characters. Which is basically just a longer explanation for the word “chemistry.” I think what makes Chobits so lovable and unique is because of how attached and involved you get as a reader when it comes to Chii and Hideki. You care about them. Their problems are your problems. You don’t feel left out as a reader. You’re seamlessly apart of the work that you enjoy. And I think CLAMP did a great job in showing down to the littlest interactions of Chii and Hideki’s adventure together. In a lot of the chapters, there’s an almost complete blank space, where there are only two simple panels occupying it. I love how CLAMP uses that space and somehow manages to evoke the emotions that the characters are going through. It’s so beautiful. And there are dialogues that are so simple (but not simplistic), they turn you into a mess of emotions because of how directly it was communicated with no bells or ribbons tied around it. 

As with any mystery, once the reveal happens, it all somehow falls apart or disappoints. Because I think the mystery is only sustained by not being fulfilled. But what Chobits offers instead is a simple message. Something that’s not easily forgotten. And I think it makes up for the mystery dissolving in the air. 

I’m not going to cover some of the problematic aspects of CLAMP’s romance. I don’t think this is the post to elaborate on it. But I’ll briefly address it before I go:  I think they take the stance of “love transcends everything.” I personally don’t believe in transcendentalism. But I do agree with the majority of the fans who aren’t comfortable when CLAMP writes love stories with very, very large age gaps or when there’s a suggestion of incest in it. Other than those two, weird anomalies, I do like how CLAMP weaves stories and characters that feel so surreal and real at the same time. 

That’s it for me. I hope you enjoyed this very long post. I’ll see you in the next one! Bye! Take care xx 


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