Chobits, volume 3

CLAMP, Author, CLAMP, Created by
CLAMP, Author, CLAMP, Created by . TokyoPop $9.99 (184p) ISBN 978-1-59182-006-2
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In 2026, many humans have persocoms, attractive robots designed to make life easier. But when teenage Hideki accidentally acquires Chi, a sexy but exceedingly childlike persocom, his life gets complicated. Chi, who acquires knowledge and forms attachments quickly, soon falls for Hideki and does anything to make him happy—including dance at a burlesque club to earn him cash. Hideki doesn't know what to make of Chi's affections; furthermore, he's appalled by her behavior. Worse, he learns the teacher he adores has run away with his best friend, who leaves in Hideki's care another persocom who's quite shrill. As Hideki struggles through this chaos, Chi takes solace in a picture book apparently written just for persocoms. Things get more complicated when a mysterious couple comes looking for Chi. Might she be more than an average computer servant? Clamp is an all-female manga-creating team whose feminine touch shows in this entertaining, sci-fi soap opera. Besides a plot revolving around personal drama, the art style borrows from the Japanese romance genre, where girls have huge doe eyes and long, flowing hair, and fuzzy, florid backdrops frame sentimental moments. Clamp excels at multiple manga styles, transitioning through realistic establishment panels of urban scenes, the cartoony explosions of facial expressions in comedic moments and science fiction and romance. Presenting the work in original right-to-left format, TokyoPop has also left in the Japanese sound effects that are integral to the art, carefully embedding drawn-to-match English translations within the frame. The result is impressively unobtrusive, if occasionally difficult to read. But discerning young manga fans will appreciate the attention to such details. (Oct.)

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