Chobits Vol. #2 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 15 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: MVM Entertainment
  • MSRP: £19.99
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Chobits

Chobits Vol. #2

By Paul Jacques     June 17, 2005
Release Date: May 16, 2005


Chobits Vol. #2
© MVM Entertainment


What They Say
While Hideki studies for cram school he also learns many things about Chi. Some books have a strange effect on her, she requires charging, and keeping a chobit unit can be expensive! Chi decides to get a job to help out with the bills, but when her “good job” turns out to be in a peepshow, the shocking outcome will be more than anyone can handle! How will Chi’s dark side affect their future?

The Review!
This is a promo only disc with no box or insert.

Volume 1 got off to a great start, so let’s see if they can keep the pace up.

Audio:
I listened, alternating between Japanese and English audio with each episode change. Both provided a solid 224K stereo, but not much is the way of left or right directional sound, it all comes from the front. Either sound track is good, so you pays your money and takes your choice as it’s a win-win option.

Opening song is called Let Me Be With You and is a really great track, lots of toe tapping beat. The closing song is called Raison D'etre (Reason to Be) which is OK.

Video:
Video was very good, and the 16:9 aspect looked very good on my TV with decent colour. The characters are drawn well, although not as sharply as say a Gonzo production. The only problem I found visually was that the very top line was slightly corrupted when played back on the PC…… TV was perfect. I don’t know if this was transferred over from the master or it’s an R1 translation but nothing appears to have been lost in the process, and no artefacts were seen although the characters are a little soft around the edges.

Packaging:
This is a promo only disc with no box or insert.

Menu:
The menus have a bit of Mac feel to them, and they are presented as though one is viewing a computer screen. All the links worked quickly and whichever option you chose always got you a picture of Chi (s’no bad thing).

Extras:
We get a clean OP. A stills gallery, but this is just 15 scenes from the anime itself, so I don’t really see the point in it. Usual promo trailers (Haibane Renmei & ROD TV) and that’s your lot.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
Episode 5 finds young Hideki getting down to some serious exam cramming, as he has a mock exam coming up very soon. This self imposed revision torture is ably shadowed by Chi’s ever vigilant, yet nave, mimicry. It’s during these endeavours that Hideki finds himself in need of a translation dictionary, so it’s off to the book shop with Chi in tow.

At the bookstore Hideki buys a Chi an interesting book as a present. Later while reading the book Chi begins to glow and act in a strange way, although we are not sure why, it is obvious that the book is effecting her. As to what sinister long term effects this has we shall just have to wait and see. All I can say is that the story develops a little as the word “love” enters Chi’s consciousness, and from this point forward Chobits becomes a love story.

The next episode starts with Chi not her usual self, in fact she seems subdued and lethargic. In contrast Hideki is his usual bumbling self, causing hilarity at school and embarrassment with Yumi- yup, a few laughs to be had in this episode.

The mystery surrounding Chi’s languid state is finally identified, but the solution causes Hideki even more problems. Only this is Chi, and no amount of obstacle is going to stop Hideki making Chi better again- those of a mushy disposition may indulge in a sniffle on this bit of the story ^_^

Episode 7 starts with Hideki having an interesting fantasy dream about all the women in his life, this leads to a chuckle or two- oh those raging hormones. But the main thrust of this episode is that Hideki is permanently broke; Chi hits on the idea of getting a job to help out, only the job she gets is in the porn industry!

The final part of this episode finds Sumono and Hideki make a desperate rush to find Chi before she suffers “a fate worse than death”.

The last episode continues the search for Chi. Only Chi is in quite a desperate situation, not least because the porn man who is exploiting her is also re-awakening sub programs buried deep within Chi’s kernel (yay for moral sub routines). This in turn causes Chi to go a little hairwire and she begins to network with other PCs in the street, causing turmoil in the vicinity. Only when Hideki finally finds her does her strange behaviour subside. What’s interesting is that the experience Chi went through seems to have improved her emotions.

Chi finally finds a good job, and this also leads us to find out that Yumi has an old flame (who looks a lot like Hideki). How this gets mixed into the storyline remains to be seen, but a little additional sub plot wouldn’t go amiss in this series.

In summary-
The first two episodes are a little repetitive with it’s plot devices, but the advancement of Chi’s emotional state helps make up for this by presenting something new for us to observe.

I didn’t laugh as much in this volume, but the story unfolds nicely and the touch of mystery around Chi’s abilities keeps you watching for more revelations.

Features
Japanese Language 2.0,English Language 2.0,English Subtitles,Art Gallery,Clean opening

Review Equipment
JVC 28" Pure Flat Wide Screen TV, Pioneer 454 Progressive Scan code free DVD player, Logitech Z-680 THX DD/DTS receiver & Speakers. Secondary equipment, 21” Sony Trinitron monitor, ATI 9700pro & PowerDVD v4, Creative Audigy 2 & headphones and a duck.

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