If you’re interested in participating in the Geek Out Challenge, read this post here! Each day I will be posting a question for that day for the next 30 days. When I reach day 31, I will release all 30 questions in a single post with links to all of my answers. Follow along each day with your own post or feel free to wait until the entire challenge has been released and take it on when you like! Be sure to link back to the master post at the end or link back to each post for each day.
Day 11 – Favorite manga or comic book series?
I remember browsing the manga shelves at my local big bookstore, waiting for something to catch my eye. Finally something did. It was the cover of CLAMP’s Chobits manga. It was pretty; I adored the art style. The colors were soft and romantic. I scanned the back and excitedly grabbed two more of the manga before making my way to counter to buy my first ever manga series.
After discovering InuYasha and finding my middle school friend group, I was introduced to far more than just more anime TV shows. I discovered manga and was recommended several other manga series by my friends. We’d pass each others’ books around, each taking a turn to read it thoroughly, then discuss them at length with everyone. We’d debate in a fun way about the characters, decide which characters reminded of us others in our group, and find more manga similar to it to compare the themes.
Thinking back now, it sounds pretty nerdy, but the fact was, we were just kids trying to piece together things we didn’t understand yet. Whether it was an inner conflict or love or friendships, we were all just trying to figure it out. Chobits turned out to be much more than I expected for my first manga. Picking up Chobits was a step forward for me to discovering more of who I was and who I wanted to become.
I can’t talk about Chobits without talking about the creators: CLAMP, an all-female Japanese manga artist group. Their works often contain themes about choosing or changing your own fate and soulmates or people being tied together by fate. They don’t shy away from love interests that disregard gender though love is never meant to be the central theme for their manga. CLAMP also enjoys exploring chaste or pure love like in Chobits.
Needless to say, Chobits was way more than a pretty, romance manga.
We meet Hideki, a country boy just trying to get into college in a place he can barely afford the rent and expenses. He definitely can’t afford the newest personal computers, persocoms. Persocoms are computers who look just like humans. He sees them everywhere, from the grocery store to the bus. To his surprise, one night he finds an abandoned persocom.
Upon getting her home, he realizes she may be defective. She can only say a single word: “Chi.” Chi becomes the persocom’s name. Chi also can’t download information to her hard drive like normal persocoms so Hideki decides to teach her about the world the old fashion way. Along the way, Hideki uncovers an urban legend about persocoms who have human emotions and thoughts called Chobits. He becomes incredibly close with Chi which brings up that age old question… Can a persocom and a human fall in love? — A Geeky Gal
After grabbing the first three books from the shop and binge reading them between classes at school, it wasn’t long before I realized that looks were deceiving. The covers of the books are beautifully crafted pieces of art, and between the pages is more artwork but deeper than that is the story of different types of love and finding someone for you.
While it’s full of comedic moments and a bit of fan service, Chobits is deeper than your average romance manga which I realized pretty quickly. This wasn’t a fluffy love story between robots (persocoms) and humans. These weren’t love stories with happy endings. Chobits was teaching me things I hadn’t expected. Through Hideki’s friends and other characters, Chi’s picture book “A City with No People,” and Hideki and Chi’s flourishing relationship, Chobits explores being loved for who you are, the issues with persocom-human relationships, reciprocated love, and soul mates.
Without spoiling any more of this fantastic manga, Chobits was a heavy first read for a beginner manga enthusiast but remains one of my favorite manga of all time. The artwork is beautiful and detailed. The story itself is deeper than most romance stories I’ve ever read, diving into themes I had never considered before. Backed with a team of all female artists, Chobits kicked off a love in myself for bittersweet story-telling and a deep look into love and romance.
What is your favorite manga or comic book series? Let me know in the comments below OR take on the challenge yourself and link back to this post so I can see your answer!
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