Chobits is printed by Tokyopop (mixx) and is priced at $9.99, or around £7.50. It is part of their growing "100% Authentic Manga" range. This range is printed in the Japanese right-to-left format, eliminating the need for flipping. So far only the first book from a range of three (or more) is printed.
The cover art is wonderful, illustrating Chi, one of the main characters of the story. Typically Clamp in style, hair flowing elegantly around Chi, who is curled up in a white negligee, peering at the reader with her innocent amber eyes. In contrast to this wonderfully feminine picture is the small metal and plastic node in the place of an ear, and the wires and cables that run from the electrical box Chi is seated on.
The novel contains 12 chapters. The first chapter briefly introduces the concept of persocoms, "Beautiful, obedient, fully functional. They're perfection." Taking the concept of personal computers to the extreme, pc's made in human (or sometimes animal) form. Hideki, obviously would love his own persocom, but whatever he earns at "club pleasure" is invested in his education at a tokyo cram school. On the way home from work, Hideki finds a girl tied up in a pile of rubbish, worried he approaches only to find she is a persocom. Obviously she must be broken, old and unwanted. Nonetheless Hideki can't resist taking the persocom home, after all, in Hideki's words, "one man's trash is another man's treasure"
Chobits When Hideki finally locates the power switch the persocom emerges from her bindings, a small and beautiful computer. She utters the word "Chi", which Hideki takes to be her name. Chi hugs Hideki, and he realizes how lucky he has been.
The rest of the book details how Hideki, a technophobe, comes to learn more about Chi. Personally, my favourite part is at the end of the Chapter 10, which lays the foundation for future plots. I hope they are as intruging, involved and apocalyptic as this chapter hints they could be.
Of course, this is Clamp, so I could be disappointed, but I'm not going to stop reading Chobits.