Last post I said I’d keep up with the episodic review + impressions, but with some feedback and reflection on feasibility, it’s much easier to just post my impressions and reflections without reviewing episodes.
The journey was mostly dramatic, although most of the drama occurred around Hideki, with the supporting cast providing a conduit for the writer’s views on the implications of androids in society. There was also some comedy – Hideki’s naivety made him the butt of many jokes. Ignoring the horrible episode 4, we are treated to consistent entertainment.
Above I mentioned the Chobits has the typical pair, but I also felt it lacked some interaction between them. Most of the events involving both Hideki and Chii are either about solving the mystery of what Chii really is; or something happens to Chii, Hideki freaks out, runs around town, enlists the help of friends, and all’s well that ends well. The message here is cardiovascular fitness is essential (j/k). There were some moments between the two, but Chii’s devotion was there from the start, it was more about Hideki accepting Chii.
Which brings me to my thoughts on the series. Chobits brings forth mostly negative anecdotes concerning androids, but if we abstract, we could also say that Chobits is about loving someone(/thing?) for who they are, devoid of expectations. Maybe Hibiya’s infertility was there to provide a supportive comparison that love wasn’t just about procreation, or that the children created in love don’t necessarily have to be biological? Unlikely, but thinking like that can be fun sometimes. Of course, one shouldn’t take it too far, I mean, I could go a bit nuts and even say something like:
“Chobits is a reflection on class struggle in a modern day setting! Persocoms are serfs, and the regular people are the nobles (who are the owners as well). Serfs were uneducated, assigned menial chores, and considered lower than nobles – just like persocoms! And this is a bittersweet love story about breaking those class and societal boundaries.
Hideki might ultimately face being ostracized from society, as the Bakery owner did, but his love develops and persists, regardless of consequences…”
While the previous paragraphs bring up the positive side of Chobits that I like to focus on, I still cannot get over the fact that persocoms are machines and even if they pass the Turing Test, a programmed love is not real.
The negative side is a bit obvious – there is not much to say that has not already been said. We see some breakdown of society and interpersonal relations, as throughout the series people are more often seen with persocoms than not, expunging real people with more “ideal” machines. Kokubunji and the kidnapper guy are also a bit amoral (Kokubunji’s maids?) and they are huge persocom maniacs (but correlation does not imply causation!). Etc. (I could go on, but it’s tedious.)
Ultimately, Chobits succeeds in provoking the watcher and providing quality entertainment. I also had a huge amount of fun bantering with zaitcev about the technical aspects of persocoms and Chobits.