CHOBITS is another one of those series that’s left plenty of lasting impressions in anime fandom without necessarily maintaining an active presence. Its name has come up enough times that I feel like it was a bit controversial when it first aired - - but I can’t tell which side of the ROCK/SUCK scale that controversy leaned to.
I want to be nice and just throw my hands up, saying, “This just isn’t for me.” But this is a commentary column, after all, so I’m pretty well obliged to say something qualitative.
Well… if there ever were a show that seemed more-or-less designed for group viewings at cons or clubs, then this would be it. If I saw this with a bunch of other people, the ribald slapstick about inconvenient nosebleeds, vaginal power switches and bumpkins eagerly looking forward to internet porn might play a little funnier.
Watching it alone, on my laptop, in my dark office, however? I can say that not one of these gags connected. More so, the sex humor seemed to be on the order of some awful 80’s sitcom where even the word “sexy” would be taboo enough to get some “Ooooooooooh’s” out of the audience.
Maybe CHOBITS is just missing a laugh track, then? Out of all the harem I’ve watched (or whatever you want to call these shows about neebish dudes constantly kvetching over the hotties that’ve literally dropped into their lives), this honestly has the least going for it. Even something like TENCHI - - which isn’t that great, anyway - - still feels like it’s got a mess of lunacy of layered on its sexual repression.
CHOBITS feels like it cut that craziness off like crust off of some much white bread, leaving us with next-to-nothing to even taste. And yes, that’s how I really feel.
Watch this episode, "Chi Awakens" here and decide for yourself.