Chobits Vol. #6: My Only Person - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
  • MSRP: 29.95
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Chobits

Chobits Vol. #6: My Only Person

By Chris Beveridge     January 06, 2004
Release Date: January 13, 2004


Chobits Vol. #6: My Only Person
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.


What They Say
Is Chi a Chobit? Minoru dedicates himself to investigate the truth behind the Chobits series and suffers dealing with unsavory people and working to the point of exhaustion to uncover Chi's relationship with those Persocoms of legend. For Hideki, his feelings are the true question - what can he truly feel for a Persocom? The answer proves to be far more important than either Hideki or Chi realizes and will impact the fate of every Persocom!

The Review!
Chi’s life comes to a crossroads where it comes down to an all or nothing moment.

Audio:
With so many of my favorite actors in the Japanese cast, it’s certain that I took in this show in its original language of Japanese. With this being such a recent show, the stereo mix for the track is very well done with lots of nice subtle movement around the forward soundstage and some excellent placement. Dialogue was nice and clear throughout and there’s some good depth to things in a few key areas that make it quite enjoyable. We noticed no dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Much like a dream transfer, Chobits looks gorgeous here. Utilizing the existing anamorphic print combined with the lush color palette of the most current digital painting systems, this is one of the most subtly vibrant looking transfers I’ve seen in the past year. The background palette is done up in a mostly real-world style but during certain key sequences, usually comical, they bring in almost day-glo colors to accentuate the wackiness of the situation. It’s these areas that would normally be of concern with bleeding and over saturation, but they look spot on here. Cross coloration doesn’t exist and I’m hard pressed to find any real problematic aliasing moments throughout the program.

Packaging:
With a heavy accent on the pink coloring that blends into the white, the front cover has a gorgeous image of Chi surrounded by and holding small flowers in a white outfit. It works so well on a pure adorable level but also provides something of a sensual nature to it as well. The front cover, spine and back cover all provide volume numbering while the back cover also provides episode numbers and titles. The artwork from the front is reworked here nicely and several small shots from the show are used. The production information and basic technical points are all clearly listed here. The insert has a really nice image of Chi holding onto a star in one of her regular dresses. The insert opens up to a cute image of Chi and Sumomo together by the cherry blossom trees while the back of the insert has an image of “light” and “dark” Chi. The reverse side of the cover isn’t a reversible cover but uses the image from the insert and provides the entire scene.

Menu:
A nice simple layout works best here with the style of the show being expressed in the background colors with Chi in the foreground while the more somber and wind oriented music plays along. The selections are all along the bottom with a play all feature alongside episode specific selection, which I believe is fairly new for a Pioneer release. Access times are nice and fast and we had no problems navigating the menu or any of the extras.

Extras:
For this volume, we get the third ending sequence done in its Japanese form with the original credits presented. There’s also a really good looking five page art gallery that’s in full color that showcases pieces that are used for the interior package artwork.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
While Chobits is a seven volume series, it’s the sixth volume that wraps up the actual storyline and brings everything to its conclusion. With the final four episodes here, Chi’s life and the lives of those around her begin to change after various revelations come to light and most of the characters do something not seen in a lot of series – they become different than they were when it first started.

One way that a series tries to fake out an audience is by having the secondary cast members change instead of the lead characters, allowing for things like romances and rivalries to go on forever while creating the illusion of growth. Chobits isn’t exactly guilty of the same thing since the leads do change, but they do allow most of the secondary characters to bring some sense of resolution to their stories instead of leaving it dangling for the viewer to come up with on their own.

While Minoru has come to some sense of reality in regards to Yuzuki and her not really being a replacement for his sister but something else entirely, the light is shone upon Shinbo and Yumi a bit more for the opening here. While we haven’t seen too much of Shinbo’s relationship with his teacher, even though we got to know her better when Hideki thought she was hitting on him, Shinbo makes the final move in that relationship by moving out of the apartment complex and starting his new life with her. There’s a touch of sadness to his leaving since there’s nobody else in the complex but the manager as well as Shinbo being the first (and only?) friend that Hideki made upon coming to the big city.

More importantly is the resolution brought to the relationship between Yumi and Hiroyasu. Having learned his story before with the marriage to the persocom and the tragic ending to it, as well as the humiliating and awful questions asked by the reporters and presumably people he knew, we get to see the other side of it from when Yumi first started with him in the store and the way their relationship grew. This all comes from a mistake made when Chi wears the uniform that Hiroyasu made specifically just for Yumi and Yumi sees her wearing it when she’s spying from across the street. It’s amusing in one sense because Chi points out that Yumi is constantly watching from there but nobody else seemed to notice.

Yumi’s side of the tale provides the details that were missing, which mostly come down to the problem of believing she couldn’t live up to his first wife due to a mixture of things. Though the way things are resolved here come fairly fast, it ends up because of one important reason – Hiroyasu and Yumi actually talk. It’s amazing how many things get fixed when people simply sit down and talk.

As for the relationship between Chi and Hideki, which is the focus of the series after all, I find I’m of a mixed mind with it, mostly because I’m likely colored by the manga ending that I had read previously. This ending is indeed different and the focus of it (I believe at least) is different as well, though it all comes down to Chi trying to find The One Just For Me and realizing the happiness that can come from it. Those who are trying to stop Chi from this, as there is supposedly a program that will run when she achieves this level that will impact all persocoms, become more key during the final episodes here but they mostly remain ciphers.

Hideki’s revelation of love for Chi isn’t unexpected, as we know he obviously cares for her throughout the series and we’re given people around him who have experiences with both the technical end and the emotional end of persocoms. The leap to that next level though, from caring to love, isn’t expressed as well as it could be (in both the manga and anime I think). But from personal experience, I know how strange and sudden that leap can be for some people, where it can be a sudden realization that literally blinks into your mind. With that in mind, the revelation doesn’t bother me but the remainder of it plays out in a way that sort of left me… not cold, but impassive. Certain elements from the manga where it was a more adult issue, such as never being able to consumate their love, added a layer of pain to the love but made it all the more interesting because it became a more pure love in that sense. Here, it’s simply a pure love without that reasoning included.

There’s a lot revealed in the final episodes that’s been hinted at and the apartment manager finally comes clean with a lot of it. The stories from the past come gushing forward and we see the various motivations that have pushed certain people to where they are now. To some extent, I still dislike it when it’s all revealed like this instead of gradual bits here and there, but this is a good adherence to the original so it’s not something I let get to me too much.

In Summary:
Chobits has been a very entertaining series with a few uneven episodes slid into the middle. From a visual perspective, it’s a lush show that makes great use of the expanded scope of the widescreen format by presenting characters in new ways and playing with how things are viewed. I absolutely adored all the sequences that took place in the book, something that gave this more of a fairy tale feel than I think may have been originally intended. Chobits is not a series that challenges the genre its in much, but it’s a show that proves that CLAMP can competently execute a storyline there. What I’m waiting for is how they’ll follow it up and attempt to twist it around to their own liking.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Japanese Ending #3,Art Gallery

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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