Chobits, Volume 2

Yushiro (Former Staff) — June 2nd, 2003
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Hideki is back for more adventures in the art of nose bleeds in the continuing adventures of Chobits. Though still retaining the innuendo...rather, blatant sexuality...heavy in the first volume, the episodes on this disc spend less time on this aspect, letting us start to see a bit more depth to the character of Chi and the overall storyline. Now that Chi says more than just "chi" (reserved more as a comedic device) and speaks in larger sentence fragments, we are able to view her less as a machine and more as an actual character with personality (albeit an extremely naive and innocent personality, which is ultimately quite endearing).

The first episode on the disc, Chapter Five - Chi Finds, centers around a book that Chi comes across in a bookstore, entitled "The Town With No People". First thought to be a child's picture book - starring the pink bunny that graces the ending animation - the book actually weaves a tale of a search for love and becomes an significant piece of symbolism for the rest of the disc. When Chi finishes reading the book, inklings of greater things within Chi begin coming to the surface. Oh, and Hideki has a test, procrastinates on cramming, blah blah.

The next episode, Chi Weakens, is quite a change of pace, as it is comparatively tame, deals a bit more realistically with Hideki's day-to-day activities, and has our first story of true 'peril'. As the title indicates, Chi becomes weak due to loss of power, as Hideki doesn't take her out often and persocoms apparently charge largely on solar power. Hideki ends up going to great lengths to do what he can for Chi, and though his efforts are unsuccessful, they are far from meaningless.

The final two episodes are a couplet, the one leading directly into the other. As indicated throughout the show, Hideki is extremely low on funds, and this is brought to a head in the last episode with temporary loss of power, phone, and a lapse in rent payments. Chi garners this from his outbursts and ramblings and decides to get a job to help out. (An indication of free will, as Chi continues to develop into something more than just A.I. Even if it is just to make her 'master' happy, she has decided that she wants do what she can to make him happy.) Of course, this being this show, Chi ends up working at a peep-show. Surprised? Didn't think so. These two episodes truly begin to break through the superficial barrier and show a full-out incident resulting from Chi's apparent extraordinary construction/nature. There are some very interesting moments in the eighth episode, and the ending is virtually moving. Oh, and Hideki has an exceptionally naughty dream of the three 'other' girls in the show, stares at his empty wallet for long periods of time, blah blah.

My only major criticism with this set of episodes is how little development the secondary characters receive. They have very specific functions whenever they appear, and disappear once their purpose has been served. A few characters have a small degree of development, mostly Yumi as she cooks a meal for the starving Hideki. In a trade-off, though, the music is appealing to me more and more as I continue to watch. I first noticed this as I found myself noticing the excellent music during moments of tension, which are quite a departure from the normally overly-bubblegum background tracks. But even the background tracks are growing on me. I am looking forward to the domestic release of the soundtrack this July by Pioneer, a company that continues to bring a smile to my face with their releases.

While I was a bit skeptical about continuing the show after the first volume, any reservations have slowly dissolved and my enjoyment of the show has solidified. If you ventured the first disc, I would wholeheartedly recommend the second.

Video Quality: A-
Audio Quality: B+
Presentation: A
Content: B
Overall: B+