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Chobits [omnibus] Volume 1

May 9, 2010

Chobits [omnibus] volume 1
by:
CLAMP
Published by: Dark Horse
from the publisher: Some people buy their personal computers based on style . . . and in near-future Japan, the hottest style for your persocom is shaped like an attractive android! Poor student Hideki, fresh off the farm and trying to get into a Tokyo university, has neither money nor a girlfriend — then finds a persocom seemingly discarded in an alley. Taking the cute robot home and activating it, Hideki finds her affectionate, but amnesiac, able only to say the word “Chi” — and so he names her.
But who is this strange new persocom in his life? Instead of being his digital assistant, Hideki finds himself having to teach Chi how to get along in the everyday world, even while he and his friends try to solve the mystery of her origins. Is she one of the urban-legendary Chobits — persocoms built to have the riskiest functions of all: real emotions, and free will?
my ramblings: Oh Dark Horse, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways~ But seriously, lets make a list of all the things that are fantastic about this. (And then not so fantastic too.)

The Good:

1) New Translation
As far as I’m aware, this volume uses a new translation from the Tokyopop version (or at the very least, it’s completely re-edited). And it is impeccably edited! I don’t think I saw a single typo, though I did catch one or two misuses of commas (possibly not misuses, but rather  in the wrong place). I commend Dark Horse for doing such a great job with the editing! Also, they’re changed Sumomo’s name back to Sumomo from Plum, which was used in the Tokyopop version (I’m not too sure why they used that, other than one joke about Kotoko being the size of Sumomo/Plum and Kotoko thinking Chi was saying she was the size of the fruit).
2) Different Fonts
One of the first things you’ll notice when reading is that the persocoms have a different, more mechanical font, than the human characters do. This is kind of weird, but I also really like it. It’s not really necessary per-say, but it does add a little something that just one font used wouldn’t have. There’s even a note in the back of the volume about how they used different fonts because in the Japanese version CLAMP uses more mechanical fonts for most persocoms (though not all of them, which Dark Horse tried to do). I especially like the inclusion of the note, because while I’ve seen plenty of volumes of manga use different fonts for different people/accents/languages, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one actually explain it. Again, it’s not something that’s necessary, but it helps the reader and it’s a nice touch.
3) The Price
I’m not sure how you could not love the price on this… It’s a whole lot cheaper now to buy the whole series than it was with Tokyopop’s version (and hey, it’s not their fault, $10 a volume is the norm). To be specific, if you pay MSRP [manufacturer’s suggested retail price] for Tokyopop’s version (US $9.99), you’d pay $79.92 (plus whatever tax there may be). Buying the Dark Horse versions on the other hand (US $24.99 each) is only $49.98. This is of course assuming you don’t buy them from somewhere on sale (like Amazon.com, who has them at $16.49 each right now). To go a step farther, $79.92 – $49.98 = $29.94 in savings even at MSRP.
4) Chi
Chi is just absolutely adorable. Yes, she has a penchant for wearing panties on her head (see The Bad #5), but she’s just so cute, it’s hard to even care. Watching her fall in love with Hideki and not realize it is one of the most adorable things you’ll read in a long time.
5) Psychology
Yes, yes, my SciFi and Psychology class is obviously influencing me, but seriously, the way this series handles the interactions between humans and persocoms is incredible. It’s so hard to know what it is that makes a human and if a robot has those same characteristics, who’s to say that they’re not just as human as you? Androids (persocoms in this case) just blur that line, and it’s incredibly interesting to see how CLAMP deals with the topic.

The Bad:

1) The Paper
The paper is not the same quality as in the CLOVER omnibus, which makes me sad. It’s still better than a lot of other companies, but it’s not what I was expecting. The color pages aren’t on glossy paper either, though admittedly they are on nicer paper than the black and white pages.
2) This Could Be a Weapon
Because of the not perfect paper (and the fact that this isn’t one of those oversized omnibus volumes like the VIZBIG volumes of even CLOVER, it’s just a super-long normal sized manga), this volume really doesn’t weigh very much, but I still feel like I could kill someone with it…case in point, how incredibly wide it is. ( and yes, that’s my dorm room bedspread, isn’t it dorky? xD )  –>
3) The Spine
Dark Horse again didn’t take into account just how big this volume is and didn’t make the spine quite sturdy enough. It would be perfectly fine for a normal volume, but it’s just not enough for something that’s 4 volumes in 1.
4) Kind of Hard to Read
Because of the two above points, it’s just kind of hard to read. I felt like the spine was going to break the whole time (and I despise broken spines, it’s just one of those things). Also, just having such a monstrous book itself makes it harder to read.
5) An Overabundance of Panties
Yes, you read that right. There are waaaaaaay too many panties in this series. It was cute when Chi first put them on her head because she didn’t know what they were, but after that it just got kind of annoying. I know it’s a seinen series and apparently guys like panties, but come on, really?

Bottom Line:

While there are just as many cons as pros here (how did I manage that?), I really did enjoy this volume, and highly suggest it. It’s a great way to get a “classic” manga series from the legendary CLAMP. (On a related note, I suggest the artbook as well, but only if you love the art that much, since the Tokyopop version is not the best quality.)

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. warriorhope permalink
    May 9, 2010 9:12 pm

    The Good
    1. Yeah, it seemed pretty good. I wasn’t really fond of the smartphone reference at one point, but overall it was okay.

    2. That was interesting. I liked their explanation for using different fonts for the persocoms too.

    3. Which is why we need more omnibuses.

    4. Agreed. She’s a good repersentative of what CLAMP characters are like too (since Sakura is too busy being awesome elsewhere).

    5.Pretty much the reason I love Chobits.

    The Bad
    1. Yep. I guess because it was longer than Clover?
    2. The fact that I could go on a killing spree armed only with my small omnibus collection scares me (oh and unrelated, but I see glee~ in the background of that picture.)
    3.I’ve already cracked the spine on mine -__-
    4. The fact that the pages are shorter than the ones in VIZBIG or CLOVER doesn’t help
    5.Heh. I’m sure that’s the reason a lot of (males) people like it. Seriously though, the first volume scarred fifteen-year old me. I didn’t pick up the series again until a year later.

    I think it was worth the money I paid though, and I will continue to buy the Dark Horse releases of CLAMP stuff. Heh, I actually considered buying the artbook today, but bought St.Dragon Girl 6 instead.

    • May 9, 2010 9:37 pm

      Good
      1) I cracked up over the smartphone reference. xD It was a little too up to date, which made it all the more lulzy.
      3) Oh yes~ More omnibus editions can’t be a bad thing (well…in the case of Del Rey it doesn’t seem to be a good thing, but I guess for them omnibus is better than nothing).
      4) yupyup. And I can’t wait to get Sakura later this year too~
      5) I just can’t believe how well Chobits deals with the topic And lucky for me, me and my roommate are doing a talk on love and robots in scifi for class. :3

      Bad
      1) I guess that’s why it’s not the same, but still… I figured I was paying more (well, my parents were) for a longer book of the same quality, not a longer book of slightly lesser quality. But I guess I understand.
      2) haha, I totally could too! xD We could start an army! (and yup, GLEE~)
      3) :[ I made sure I was reading it on a flat surface so I could keep the spine intact, but I know they first person I let borrow it is going to hand it back with a broken spine.
      4) Nope, it doesn’t help at all. :[ It’s actually a tiny bit shorter than my volumes of St. Dragon Girl, which is weird for an omnibus.
      5) haha, it probably is the reason a lot of people like it, which is sad, because it’s so much more than that! I don’t think I read it until I was like 17, so it didn’t really get to me, but I’m pretty sure it would have if I had read it any earlier.

      I agree, definitely worth them money~ (and SDG was soooooo the better choice~ I love Chobits and CLAMP and all, but SDG > chobits artbook from Tokyopop).

  2. vannila321 permalink
    May 10, 2010 2:45 pm

    I Love this anime!=D Maybe this is worthed considered buying =3

  3. June 22, 2010 1:19 am

    I’ve got the old tokyopop versions, which made me giggle quite a bit. (Especially the references to the Angels from Angelic Layer that came up a few times– I like the universe continuity).

    So in this new omnibus edition, they updated the language and translations? Is that the only difference?

    • June 22, 2010 10:35 am

      I really like the continuity too! I love that it’s only a spin-off though and not a full-blown sequel, since Angelic Layer had a nice ending in itself.

      I believe they have updated art as well (I think I remember hearing that Dark Horse was given the original pages or something to that effect) and the color images are a big plus. :]

  4. November 21, 2010 1:02 am

    Thanks for the review :). Gonna kinda miss the individual artwork on all 8 covers but the omnibus ones come with color pages inside so it’s not a complete loss. Oh, some body comented the spine on theirs cracked.. Somebody else said to read it on a flat surface. This in my opinion is the worst part of the omnibus edition.. Don’t want to end up with a cracked spine either, everyone hates that. Anyway, very useful review and picture, thankyou.

    • December 12, 2010 4:20 pm

      And thank you for the comment~ :D

      Yeah, I kinda miss having all the different cover art too, but like you said, it’s all included inside (and in color~ unlike most of the time with omnibus volumes).

      The spines really are the worse part about the Dark Horse omnibus volumes. I tried to read mine by gripping the spine the whole time I was reading it, which made it a little hard to read the inside panels, but it kept the spine from breaking, so…idk. :[

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