The series reaches its conclusion as Hideki discovers the truth concerning Chi’s origins. Is she really one of the “Chobits’ series? Meanwhile Chi realises that she must decide on who is “the person just for her’, a decision that will have serious consequences for both her and all other persocoms.
In some ways the series finishes in a manner that isn’t unexpected: the gradual change from light and jovial to emotional and serious continues steadily and the secrets concerning Chi’s past are revealed. What these things actually tell us are far from expected however. As the connections between the various characters are become clear at last the full scale of the Chobits story is plain to see and it makes for an emotional and heartfelt conclusion.
We learn how Hideki’s workmate Yumi knows the shopkeeper Hiroyasu, and the things that happened to them in the past are finally revealed. Their relationship (or rather, hints concerning it) crept in occasionally before but because it becomes an important part of how the story wraps up it doesn’t feel rushed or out-of-place; in fact it emphasises the “role of persocoms in society’ subplot very well indeed.
Hideki’s neighbour Shimbo and their teacher Ms Shimzu make an appearance again and seem to have taken their own relationship one stage further. As those around him make sense of their lives the central theme of Hideki’s and Chi’s relationship is finally resolved. Without giving too much away and spoiling things I felt it to be a resolution that is satisfying and fitting so most viewers shouldn’t feel short-changed or confused.
I don’t normally mention the bonus features on DVDs these days but in this case the extras are worth a mention on their own. In addition to the usual credit-free op/end themes, art gallery and trailer reels there are three “recap’ episodes that take a format of various characters discussing the events so far. In the original TV run these were broadcast at intervals as part of the series itself but for the UK DVD release they are instead part of the final volume’s extra features. Tucking them away in the extras menu like this is a pretty good compromise since they are still included but don’t interrupt the continuity for those who are not interested in them.
Another bonus is Chibits, a comical short film in which Hideki leaves the house without his wallet and results in Chi taking off after him to hand it over. On one hand it’s just another excuse to get an underpants-related joke in but no doubt fans will be pleased to see this light-hearted skit included.
The conclusion to Chobits is one that many viewers will probably find emotional, well-written and fitting in terms of the story’s themes. The major questions are answered, the issues surrounding the main characters are addressed and when the credits roll for the last time there is a definite sense of closure.
I was initially less than enthusiastic about Chobits due to the frivolous fan service and “cute’ gothic-lolita artwork but by the end the storyline had built up enough mystery and empathy for the characters to keep me interested in the events that played out. Numerous questions are asked during the show’s course such as the meaning of love and the role of technology in everyday life in addition to ordinary day-to-day drama so it turned out to be a lot more thought-provoking than it first appeared. On reflection I still consider the original manga to be more enjoyable but Asaka and his team have done the story, visuals and characters enough justice for any fans of CLAMP or romance in general to make it worth their while.