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Manga Review: Chobits Omnibus Volume Two by CLAMP

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Chobits Omnibus Volume Two collects the final four volumes of CLAMP’s manga series into one volume. This release, along with Omnibus Volume One, was put out by Dark Horse Manga in North America after Tokyopop lost the rights for the series. This omnibus edition of Chobits was released in 2010.

Dark Horse didn’t print a rating for the series on this omnibus release; however, I would go with Tokyopop’s rating of “OT” for Older Teens, due to the female nudity, the sexual undertones and the situations that are presented in this series.

A major theme that runs through the volumes included in this omnibus has to do with how Persocoms, human-looking androids that can be used as personal computers, affect relationships with humans and other Persocoms. Hideki also finds himself questioning how he really feels about Chi, his Persocom; as he learns how Persocoms have affected his friends, this only adds to his confusion.

When the reader reaches Volume Seven in this omnibus, a lot of information comes out concerning the truth about Chi. Most of this volume focuses on a conversation between Hideki and his landlady, Ms. Hibiya. Ms. Hibiya admits to her role in the story, and also tells Hideki about Freya, another Persocom who looks like Chi and is essentially Chi’s sister. At the end of Volume Seven, Chi declares that Hideki is the one “just for her.”

In the final volume of Chobits, Hideki has to make a decision as to whether or not Chi is the one “just for him.” Whatever choice Hideki makes will not only affect Chi, but it will affect all Persocoms. Hideki receives the last pieces of information he needs to know, and delivers his final answer.

There has been a bit of criticism directed at Chobits over the years, and the criticism usually revolves around the series being sexist. The sexism charges come from the fact that many of the Persocoms shown in the series are female with male owners, so this depicts men controlling women. It should be noted that there are male Persocoms with female owners that appear in the background; while none of them are main characters, the fact is, they do exist.

I’m not sure how far these critics have read into the series. To me, Chobits starts out as a light and fluffy comedy, but new layers are added to the series that not only add a darker and more serious tone, but these layers also deepen the story. The relationships between humans and Persocoms that are examined in these series are actually thought-provoking and make the reader think about the ramifications of these relationships. The reader also gets to see the world of Chobits through Hideki’s eyes, and starts to wonder about the same questions that Hideki raises about Persocoms over the course of the series.

Just like with Chobits Omnibus Volume One, I overall prefer this release to the corresponding manga volumes that Tokyopop released when they had the license. My only real complaint has to do with the size of this omnibus, because I think it’s rather big and can be unwieldy to read. I would have preferred it if Dark Horse has released four volumes of two-in-one omnibuses instead.

Even with my complaint about the size, I would still recommend both Chobits omnibus volumes to fans of the series, whether or not they already own the original Tokyopop releases.

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About Lesley Aeschliman

Lesley Aeschliman is a freelance writer who began writing on a full-time basis in 2007. She has served as the Anime editor at BellaOnline.com, and she also writes and maintains two blogs: Lesley's Musings... on Anime and Manga and AeschTunes.