|Date(s):||2 April 2002 – 24 September 2002 (anime), 2000-2002 (manga)|
|Country of Origin:||Japan|
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Chobits is an 8-volume manga and 26-episode anime series by CLAMP. It was a sci-fi romance series about humanoid computers called Persocoms and how they impacted the lives of the humans who owned them.
The series is about a held-back cram school student named Hideki Motsuwa who finds a Persocom in the trash and takes her home. From there, the naive and computer-illiterate Hideki learns more about the world of Persocoms while building relationships with their owners, as well as a complicated one between himself and his Persocom Chi.
The series begins as light-hearted, silly fanservice antics due to Hideki's cluelessness and country-mouse nature in a big city. Chi was naive and childlike and spent a good chunk of her page time naked, half-naked or exposing her underwear. However, the fanservice aspect faded into the background once the story grew deeper, going into the history of the Persocom and the backstories of the characters.
Differences between the anime and manga
The anime was more slice of life and fanservice, including a few vacation episodes and one dedicated entirely to Chi learning words from Hideki. The major plot didn't really kick in until the last few episodes. When the anime came out, the magazine Newtype mistakenly thought "Dark Chi" was an antagonist bent on hurting Chi, when in reality she was the spirit of Chi's long-deactivated sister Freya who held all their memories of the past. This was likely due to the manga volumes concerning this plot point did not come to the United States until 2003, and the anime did not address them until near the very end.
The series itself and its fandom were surprisingly het considering CLAMP's penchant for same-sex relationships and subtext. Fans took note of this, but seemed more or less fine with it nonetheless. Chi and her "darker half" were commonly shipped at one point due to the scenes of hugging and touching one another constantly, but the ship somewhat petered out when it was revealed they were sisters.
The fandom is generally quiet, but a huge point of controversy is the reveal of where Chi's creator placed her reset button and the logic behind doing it. The reveal that Chi and her sister did not have real emotions also made a lot of fans see Chi's angst over finding her special person as a "shaggy dog story" that felt pointless in the end.
Chobits is a fandom where the canon pairs are the most commonly shipped. There are a few scattered yuri and yaoi ships, however; Hideki/Ueda is common on fanfiction.net, and there were a few scattered yuri fics here and there (Chi/Yumi and Chi/Plum). Chi/Hideki is extremely popular, as fans liked to speculate on how their romance developed after the end of the series, or what should happen to Chi when Hideki grew old and died.
Connection to Angelic Layer and fan contention
- Angelic Layer's anime had set up a romance between Ichiro Mihara and Misaki's mother Shuuko. Chobits, however, established Mihara as being married to Chitose Hibiya. In addition, he was said to have passed away.
- Kaede Saito was revealed to be the deceased sister of Minoru Kokubunji, which saddened fans of the popular Kaede/Sai yuri pairing in Angelic Layer.
It's possible that Chobits is only one prospect future for Angelic Layer, however, as Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle set in motion the possibility of alternate continuities within the CLAMP universe.
- Imperfections by MusedMoose, a "what if" AU where Yumi found Chi instead of Hideki
- Chobits Ending 2 full - Ningyo Hime - Rie Tanaka featuring Ueda and Yumi's story.
- Chobits AMV - My Immortal
- Every Time We Touch
- The Story of a Girl
- Dita and Zima - Angel with a Shotgun