Chobits News

Chobits is a franchise comprised of 2 anime series, 1 manga series
From Anime Vice
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Heya! The name's John. I'm not much of an anime junkie, but there are a few I like.

I'm not one of those anime enthusiasts who cosplay as fat versions of their favorite characters and learned Japanese and shout out to everyone that watching anime in its original language is the only way to watch it and will eye-roll at anyone who thinks otherwise. In short, I watch anime the way I want to.

That's about all for now. Not sure how often I'll be on the site, but if you want to hear more from me lemme know.

Thanks!

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It took me awhile to write and edit, but I have finally gotten my content all together and have wrapped up writing most of my experiences at this year's FanimeCon 2011 in San Jose, Califorina. In this first of two segments that highlights my four days of wandering around, taking photos, and interviewing people for this feature, I will discuss what I saw at FanimeCon cosplay-wise, from the basic cosplayers to the elaborate cosplays that left people standing there in amazement. In addition, I have two of the interviews that I conducted for this feature, as well as some cosplay photos that I took during my travels around the San Jose Convention Center over the four-day duration of FanimeCon. I hope that you enjoy reading this feature as much as I did writing about my experiences.

One of many awesome, elaborate cosplays that I came across at FanimeCon 2011 xD
One of many awesome, elaborate cosplays that I came across at FanimeCon 2011 xD

Introduction

This year, I was able to make the pilgrimage from my hometown of Chico, California down to San Jose for FanimeCon 2011, which ran from Thursday, May 27th until Monday, May 30th at the San Jose Convention Center in downtown San Jose. From the moment I first reached the Convention Center at roughly 11:30 AM Friday morning until I got on the 12:50 PM AMTRAK train back to Sacramento on Monday, I was amazed and thrilled to be surrounded by roughly 15,000 or more fellow anime/manga fans doing what they do best: partaking in four days of Con madness. I was surrounded by a horde of people, ranging from photographers to cosplayers to members of the media and everything in between as FanimeCon 2011 officially got underway at 2:00 PM Friday with the Opening Ceremonies. Armed with my 2009 Canon Rebel XSi D-SLR camera, a pair of 18-55mm and 55-250mm lenses, and two 8GB memory cards that could hold 1,350 images apiece, I set forth into the masses and began my 4-day adventure at FanimeCon 2011, taking cosplay images, conducting interviews, and helping my new friend (and fellow photographer) Sam Lau with his photoshoots outside of the Convention Center with dozens of cosplayers.

Two of the many Black Butler-related cosplays seen at FanimeCon 2011 (Grell and Ciel)
Two of the many Black Butler-related cosplays seen at FanimeCon 2011 (Grell and Ciel)

Cosplay at FanimeCon: From the Basic to the Amazing!

When I attended the opening day of FanimeCon 2010 last year (from 8 AM until 2:30 PM), I managed to walk around the Convention Center taking images of various cosplayers that were making the rounds of the area before I had to leave. This year, I decided to employ the same strategy that I had used for the 6 hours of the previous year, by making constant loops of the 1st floor, 2nd floor, and outside of the Convention Center, taking images of any cosplay that captured my attention or was worthy of being captured with my camera. This year, I began to notice after several hours that there were a ton of VOCALOID, One Piece, Black Butler, and various Final Fantasy cosplays (ranging from FFV all the way to FFXIII) at FanimeCon to behold, and they seemed to be the most popular series/franchises to cosplay as this year. I lost count of how many different cosplays from different series that I came across, but I am quite sure that it was quite a high number in the end. Some of the best cosplays that I came across were from the VOCALOID, Eureka 7, One Piece, Black Butler, Final Fantasy, Puella Magi Madoka★Magica, Code Geass, Street Fighter, Rozen Maiden, and other franchises that I could not name (not familiar with them)

One of the many cosplayers participating in a photoshoot (Cosplaying as Luka Megurine of the VOCALOID franchise)
One of the many cosplayers participating in a photoshoot (Cosplaying as Luka Megurine of the VOCALOID franchise)

In addition, the types of cosplay that I came across at FanimeCon were quite amazing, from the basic cosplays that new cosplayers or low-budget cosplayers donned for convention all the way to the elaborate, high budget cosplays that had photographers swarming them like flies, all trying to capture images of their amazing cosplay from whatever series/franchise it was from. There were dozens of scheduled cosplayer gatherings being held at FanimeCon, which allowed for a large number of cosplayers dressed as the characters of their favorite franchises to participate in mass photoshoots and to interact with each other under the leadership of the leader of their gathering. I managed to attend 5 gatherings (VOCALOID, Pokemon, K-ON!, Valve, and Black Butler) at FanimeCon this year, taking image of the large number of cosplayers that participated in each of their respective gatherings. One of the people that I managed to interview for my feature was the leader of the VOCALOID gathering that was held on Friday at 5:30 PM, and our brief interview is as follows:

Here is Chirstina, cosplaying as Hatsune Miku and leader of the VOCALOID gathering at FanimeCon 2011.
Here is Chirstina, cosplaying as Hatsune Miku and leader of the VOCALOID gathering at FanimeCon 2011.

ShadowKnight508: So, what got you into cosplaying at FanimeCon?

Christina: Just going to the convention and seeing the cosplays and like "That looks like fun!" *laughs*

ShadowKnight508: So, what got you into cosplaying as VOCALOID?

Christina: Um, I dunno...I just love Miku, she's a great character. Um, I'm not really sure...she is just like my favorite, so....*laughs*

ShadowKnight508: So, what was your budget and what was the effort needed for your cosplay?

Christina: Um...budget was about...I wanna say around $200+. Um, it was originally about...maybe I think $75 for the wig and like $80 for the cosplay itself plus shipping, so and then I added on props later, so that total is around $50 or so.

ShadowKnight508: Thanks for participating, Christina! Enjoy the rest of your Con!

Working with Sam Lau (Cosplay.com)

Around 2 PM on Friday afternoon at FanimeCon 2011, I came across a Sucker Punch photoshoot that featured a Babydoll and other cosplays from the film. As one of the cosplayers posed with a rifle on a bike, the wind began to swirl quite strongly, sending one of the reflector screens that one photographer had set up flying. I grabbed onto it and put it back in place, holding it still until he was finished. After the shoot was over, he introduced himself to me as Sam Lau, a photographer from Toronto, Canada who was attending FanimeCon 2011 to take images for his profile on Cosplay.com. I decided that he was a neat guy to hang around with, so I asked if I could become his assistant/partner for the day. He agreed, and from that point on, I was assisting him with his photoshoots for the remaining three days of the convention. We took many images as a team, with me assisting him in his shots by holding/angling the light reflecting screen or holding the screen with a Pocket Wizard-enabled flash for additional lighting. While he packed up after he had finished, I would take my quick shots of the subject and then proceed off with Sam to find the next cosplayer to shoot. We spent the most time with a Sailor Mercury cosplayer (Sailor Moon), taking her images at the fountains at the Cesar Chavez Memorial Park and in the one fancy area of the hotel that Sam was staying at.

His images (which turned out much better, due to his impressive Nikon camera and incredible lenses), can be found on Cosplay.com under Baron Karza, his profile name.

Over the 4 days we worked together, we took images of at least 60 different cosplayers, most of which had some stunning outfits or amazing props to go with their cosplay. Below are some of the many cosplay photos that I took at FanimeCon 2011 this year. The rest (meaning the other 150 or so) can be found on my DeviantArt profile (which will be linked down below the images):

Overall, my experience at FanimeCon 2011 was a great one, for spending almost four days engulfed by all things anime/manga with over 15,000 people is nothing short of epic. I took roughly 500 images at FanimeCon, with around 280 of them turning out to be the best of the bunch, so those 280 or so are being uploaded onto my DeviantArt account (around 70% of them are loaded up as we speak). In part two of my feature on my trip to FanimeCon 2011, I will post the other three interviews that I managed to conduct, more cosplay images, photos from several of the gatherings, my Con pass, the FanimeCon 2011 guidebook, and show the band of religious protestors that show up and heckled the con attendees (which led to some funny moments with cosplayers mocking them, horsing around them until the cops showed up, and ended with a Jesus cosplayer walking in front of their group, arms spread wide and looking towards the heavens as the crowds cheered him on).

ShadowKnight's DeviantArt Profile: http://www.shadowknight508.deviantart.com

*ShadowKnight508 is a frequent user of AnimeVice, with almost 24,000 Wiki points worth of work to his name and many blogs to his credit. You can find him watching anime, taking photos, gaming, or working on the Honey Blonde/Maid Bride wiki pages.*

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 Hmm, what wiki task should I do?
 Hmm, what wiki task should I do?
For the next couple weeks we're going to change gears and not focus on a specific anime or two.  Instead I'll be scanning the News and Blogs pages to see what people are posting about.  I'll specially focus on Sora_thekey's weekly Quick Picks article.  In order to be the best community wiki we need to make sure we've got article pages for the new releases and anything that is significant to the anime culture that week.  So head over to the task queue when you have time.  I also hope this approach broadens our wiki editor base by offering more variety in wiki tasks.
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Super Duper Mini Review


 Kimihiro Watanuki and Yuko.
 Kimihiro Watanuki and Yuko.


xxxHolic is an anime adaption of the on-going manga, created by CLAMP.  Both seasons were directed by Tsutomu Mizushima and produced by Production I.G.
 

Genres: comedy, drama, fantasy, horror, mystery, psychological, slice of life, supernatural
Themes: ghosts, occult, spirits
 

Plot Summary via ANN

Kimihiro Watanuki is a young boy with a cursed gift. He has the ability to see evil spirits, and somehow they seem attracted to himself. One day he meets a misterious woman who names herself Yuuko. She claims to have the means to end his torment, but she never works for free, and she wouldn't help him until he works for her enough to pay for her services. Thus he starts to work in her shop and discovers that in that place, nothing is what it seems.


Pros and Cons (Covers both seasons.)

Pros:
  • A fantastic cast.
  • An entertaining world.  All the spiritual/mystery/supernatural stuff make the world great.
  • Surprisingly, the show is funny for a show that can be dark at times.
  • The the spiritual/mystery/supernatural stuff is great.
  • A very unique art style.  Fits with the show well.

Cons:
  • All the comedy is great, but it goes for some gags a little too often.

Who is it for?

If you are a fan of mystery/supernatural/psychological type shows with some comedy thrown in, definitely check out this show.  Also, if you are a fan of CLAMP's work, it say it's worth checking to see their other work.
  
If you live in the US and want to check it out, the first season is available on Hulu in subs.     (Might be available in other regions.)
 

 Yuko, such a strange woman.
 Yuko, such a strange woman.

Sources *SPOILERS*

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XxxHolic  
http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=6052

 
Don't forget to check out my ongoing blog for my Super Duper Mini Reviews and my written reviews.            :)
 

What's a Super Duper Mini Review? Well, since I'm taking a break from written reviews, I decided to put a short list of what I liked and didn't like about the shows I watch.  For some info about the show like genre, plot summary, etc., I borrow (mainly copy and paste  :P) some info from Anime News Network, Wikipedia or the Anime Vice wiki.

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 Chii and Hideki.
 Chii and Hideki.
Next on the review front it Chobits!  Chobits is a science fiction romantic comedy created by Clamp, which also made Cardcaptor Sakura, another major title they made.  Of course this is based on a manga of the same name.
 
Chobits is a story about Hideki Motosrwa.  Hideki is a ronin trying to get into college.  Besides being a ronin, he wishes to have a persocom, an android used as a personal computer.  One day on his way home he finds a persocom in the trash.  Hideki then moves it to his room and turn her one with the switch being between her legs.  When she wakes up she sees Hideki and adores him.  Upon waking up all she can say is  "chii" thus making Hideki naming her Chii.  Hideki assumes there is something wrong with Chii because that's all she can say.  The next day Hideki's neighbor Shinbo Hiromu tries to analyze her with is mobile persocom Sumomo.  During the analysis Sumomo ends up crashing and they find out that Chii is custom made.  After they have failed Shinbo introduces Minoru Kokubunji, a twelve year old genius who specializes in custom persocoms.  Minoru tries to analyze Chii with his persocoms.  The first attempt fails and they try again with Yuzuki, a custom made persocom made by Minoru.  Yuzuki tries to analyze Chii, but she fails as well.  After all these failed attempts Minoru starts to suspect that Chii might be a legendary persocom called "Chobits", but it's just a speculation for now.
 Sumomo
 Sumomo
 
A big part of the show is Hideki teaching Chii many things.  One of the first things he teaches her is his name.  At first when Chii learned his name, she called everything "hideki" from his ceiling lamp to his porn.  Another major part of the show is trying to figure out Chi's past.
 
That's a brief summary of how the show starts out.  During the course of the show we do find out about Chii and about her past.  Now it's time for my thoughts.
 
 Shinbo
 Shinbo
It was a fun and enjoyable show.  There were tons of sexual jokes, which were good.  Tons of jokes about okazu which has to meanings.  One is a side dish that goes with rice and something used for masturbation like porn.  There are also so pokes towards Hideki for being a virgin.  There are other goofy moments as well.
 
If you are looking for a romantic comedy with science fiction elements, give this one a shot.
 
My Score - 4.5/5
 
I'm actually going to read the manga for this series.  Crazy huh?  The last manga series I read was Love Hina and that was way back in late October.  It's been two months since I read some manga besides Naruto which is still going on.  To go along with it, I'm going to check out Negima!? as my next anime series.  See you guys later and thanks for reading.
 
Once I have finished the manga series for Chobits, I will edit this blog post and throw it in here.
 
 
 

EDITED ON JANUARY 14, 2010

 

CHOBITS MANGA REVIEW:

 
Chobits Vol 1
Chobits Vol 1
After I watched the anime for Chobits I decided to check out the manga.  Chobits was written by Clamp, a company mainly made of four women, and is published by Tokyopop in the US.  Just like the anime, it was fantastic.  Since a lot of the basics of the manga and the anime are the same, this going to be a brief review.  If you want some of the basics, check out my review of the anime HERE.
 
Like I said, the basic story is the same as the anime.  The story is about Hideki, a 19 year old ronin (in the anime he is 18, 19 in the manga).  Even though Hideki wants a persocom, he can't afford one because he doesn't have enough money.   One night Hideki finds a persocom and the trash and he decides to bring it hope.  Trying to turn on the persocom, he looks all over her for the turn on switch.  He has looked every for the switch on her until he realizes the one spot he actually didn't look, right in-between her legs.  After turning her on all the perscom can say is "chi" and the persocom is named Chi.
 
Just like the anime, a big part of the manga is Hideki teaching Chi things from the basics like names of things to more complected things like happiness.  To go along with that Hideki is trying to find out if Chi is called this so called legendary persocom "Chobits". 
 
Now it's time for the differences between the manga and the anime.  While the core story is the same, there are some differences.  Wikipedia has a nice list of the differences between the two.  Since there spoilers involved, proceed with caution.  (Finally get to use the spoiler tag feature.  w00t!)
 
 
 
 
Now it's time for my thoughts.  Since most of the key major parts of the manga are in the anime, I kinda felt that I wasted my time a little on the manga.  If I read the manga first and seen the anime second, I probably would have a different opinion.  On the postive
Hideki Motosuwa - Our main character.
Hideki Motosuwa - Our main character.
side it's nice to see the differences between the two.  The manga had more adult content like more language and nudity.  Plus the manga is just as funny as the anime, which is great.  Also, no filler.  In the anime it takes Hideki a whole episode to buy Chi a pair of panties.  In the manga it takes him like 2 pages, but it's still pretty funny in the anime though.
 
If you love reading romantic comedies, I easily recommend this to you.  It's one of the best on the market.  If you have seen the anime and want to read the manga, you are basically getting the "director's cut" of the anime with a few things changed here and there.  If you have NOT read the manga, I easily recommend this over the anime.
 
My Score - 5/5
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