Chobits Vol. #1 (of 7) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, March 28, 2005
Release Date: Monday, March 21, 2005
What They Say
This is a promo only disc with no box.
Finally we get a series that was first released almost 2 years ago in the R1 format. Has it been worth the wait? And what’s caused it to gain a certificate 15 rating from the BBFC? Read on McDuff….
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.
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 deter Raison D'etre (Reason to Be) which is OK.
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. There was also black secondary subtitle which came up very fat and unsightly, but it’s the only one I saw. I don’t know if this was transferred over from the master or R1 but nothing appears to have been lost in the process, and no artefacts were seen.
This is a promo only disc with no box.
The menus have a bit of Mac feel to them, as they are presented as though one was viewing a computer screen. All the links worked quickly and whichever option you chose always got you a picture of Chi.
We get a clean OP. A stills gallery, but this is just 15 scenes from the anime itself. Usual promo trailers and that’s your lot.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
The story starts with the main male character (Hideki) getting some rather bad news that he has failed his entrance exams to college. Aghast at the prospect of a life as a country bumpkin he vows to move to Tokyo and enrol in Prep school to ensure he makes it into college next year. And that’s when his problems really start…….
Moving into a small apartment in Tokyo Hideki finds everything about the city exciting and expensive. And what he wants most is a walking computer called a Persocom, although he knows nothing about computers. These android computers are used as walking\ talking organisers by those people who can afford them. They also just happen to have been made to look like beautiful girls, plus most of the working accessories ;-)
In his new digs Hideki meets his new landlady (Chitose), who is very young and quite a hottie herself (it was never like this in my student days). And his next door neighbour is a young man called Hiromu who warms to Hideki immediately.
Hiromu welcomes Hideki and this meeting affords Hideki his first close up examination of Hiromu’s miniature Persocom Sumono. And what does one use a persocom for? Well, you get email, Internet, phone and porno sites…… some things never change ;-)
During the evening Hideki is walking home from the grocery store, wishing that he had a persocom, but realising he’ll never get the money. Then low and behold he finds a persocom cast aside in the rubbish bins. So, being the good citizen he is, he decides to recycle the persocom to his bedroom. And this of course leads to the infamous boot-up sequence, of which I will say no more, suffice as to say it’s all done in the best possible taste.
And so by the end of episode 1 we meet Hideki’s new persocom Chi, only she doesn’t say a lot, has only a basic OS and no understanding of what to do, say or wear. Queue a couple of embarrassing, not to mention funny, situations for our viewing pleasure.
Episode 2 has Hideki trying to find out what Chi is and how she works. In order to do this Sumono introduces him to a young expert named Minoru Kokubunji. Its from Minoru investigations that we begin to suspect that Chi isn’t just an ordinary persocom, but a special series of persocom called Chobits. Rumour has it that Chobits have free will and are self learning in their nature. Is Chi just such a model?
The next episode Hideki settles down to the working out his cost of living issues; electricity, water, food etc. So he decides to find a job to cover the bills. And just by chance he stumbles into a job at a Pub (My Pleasure), where he meets the owners cute daughter Yumi.
Meanwhile it’s first day of prep school, and so Hideki and Hiromu go to their new school and meet their term teach Ms Takako Shimizu (who looks fit).
The final episode on this disc finds Hideki trying to work his way through his worst nightmare- buying women’s underwear (for Chi). This had me ROTFL, as his inability to walk into the lingerie shop always leaves Hideki outside panting (literally) with indecision. Of course to everyone else he just looks like a pervert ogling in the window. As a solution to this problem Hiromu suggests that his Tiny PC Sumono guide Chi to the lingerie shop, so that she can buy her own underwear. Anyway, this is one funny episode, so I’ll leave it there for you to enjoy on your own. As a final episode on the disc it will leave you with a smile on your face for sure.
Plenty of humour in this series, and not all of it relies on embarrassing situations, which is good, because I dislike humour derived from awkward situations. It looks good visually and the script is very good at times. Sure we get some cliché situations, but it’s done so well that I can forgive them.
As to why it’s got a 15 from the BBFC is beyond me. We see no breasts, nipples, groin, violence or even kissing- 12 certificate tops! I’ve seen more nekkid~ness on TV, in a Carry-On movie, on a Sunday afternoon. I can only assume that the boot-up sequence is the cause, but even that is only an inferred action. Still, the BBFC are there to protect my tiny fragile little mind so I can’t complain too much.
This series got off to an excellent start and I look forward to the next volume.
Japanese Language 2.0,English Language 2.0,English Subtitles,Art Gallery,Clean opening
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.
Mania Grade: A-
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
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2