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Chobits - volume 1 | volume 2
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Chobits - volume three:
Darkness Descends
voice cast: Rie Tanaka, Tomokazu Sugita

director: Morio Asaka

100 minutes (12) 2004
widescreen ratio 16:9
MVM DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 8/10
reviewed by John Percival
Continuing the story of one shy teenager and his robot friend, we have five more episodes from the slightly naughty side of anime. Charting Chi's speeding development we witness more clues to her hidden past.

The first episode of this release called Chi Buys, sees the cute persocon off to the shops to buy a present for her owner who she respects so much. She goes to the bookshop and buys something she feels she knows Hideki will like, after he has a collection of them, she buys him a porn magazine! Hideki is embarrassed at the gift but also happy that Chi bought something for him and secretly chuffed that his porn mag collection has received a boost. Chi also bought something for herself a sequel to the book Hideki bought several episodes ago about a creature looking for love. The rest of this episode provides us with our next lesson in 'persocon care 101', which is that persocons need to bathe just like humans do. Apparently android computers are waterproof and not only do they look like people they wash like them and get a cheaper rate at the local baths.

The next episode has Hideki following one of his four objects of affection, Yumi and going on their first date. Hideki is painfully na�ve about most things female and generally embarrasses himself repeatedly. It is also odd to note that even though Yumi is supposed to be younger that Hideki she seems much more mature and even the more dominant in their relationship, suggesting places for them to go and even paying. However Hideki's diverted affections are having an effect on Chi and she starts to question if Hideki is the love she is looking for and a voice inside her answers her question. Another personality of Chi reveals that she was once a hi-tech persocon but it is obvious from Chi's current state that she remembers nothing of this. It is also obvious that this other Chi personality is going to return.

In Chi Confirms, we see a whole episode dedicated to one of Hideki's more annoying traits, his almost superhuman ability to take things too far. Hideki has heard a ghost story about a killing in a room numbered 104 where a ghost apparently flicks the lights on and off. Hideki sees a light flicking in his apartment block and his mind goes into over drive. Needless to say Hideki makes a complete fool of himself not least because there is no room 104 in his block.

The fourth episode initially plays on Hideki's interest in porn, when his boss lends him a DVD player to watch x-rated movies. Hideki goes to rent one when rich boy Minoru catches him in the rude section. Minoru having just bought a computer game suggest that Hideki plays one with Chi using the DVD player. The problem is Hideki being a country boy has no idea how set up these games but is spurned on by Chi's interest in the two of them doing something together. Immersed in the game Chi never appears with him and along with the other members of the gang, they kill the game monsters until they get to the unbeatable boss-monster. At which point Chi appears and defeats the monster. Minoru surmises that Chi is an incredibly powerful computer that may even surpass the supercomputers that run that games. The intrigue deepens.

The final episode on this volume Chi Goes To The Sea has the gang enjoying a few days at the beach; actually at Minoru's own beach. Hideki appears to be have a great problem seeing all the women in life walking around in swimsuits, including Yumi, his teacher Shimizu, the landlady Hibiya and of course Chi. Basically everyone has a good time until non-swimmer Hideki dives in after a sinking Chi, only to be rescued by Chi herself. Also questions are raised about how Chi can survive in salt water that would normally destroy a regular persocon. Hideki is generally untroubled by this and is more interest in Shimizu offer of a late night lesson in her room, which Hideki takes as an offer of something else. On arrival at her room he finds that is really a school lesson after all. It would appear that in many ways Chi is overtaking Hideki in the emotional and intelligence stakes. Driven by this other character inside of her, Chi, is seeking a higher goal of someone to love her, while Hideki seems to still be motivated by baser teenage urges. It seems possible that a time will come where Chi uses sex to get love and Hideki will use love to get sex.

The progress made by Chi has been amazing and mostly the humans around her have elevated the robot's status away from simple appliance to something akin to a child. However the presence of this black clad alternate personality suggests that she may become superior to her human counterparts in a number of ways. How Chi will act when she realises this will be interesting to see especially if she integrates with or assumes the alternate personality.

Extras on the disc include a credit-less closing animation, a Japanese opening sequence, an art gallery and trailers.

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