Ah, the one that started it all! This was the first manga I ever read: an 8-volume series by CLAMP titled Chobits. I loved the cute girl on the covers with her fancy dresses, but what was even more intriguing was the fact that she’s a computer! In these books, “persocoms” (humanoid computers) are the latest advancement in technology. When poor student Hideki finds Chi (the girl on the cover) tied up and abandoned in the trash, he takes her home, thinking he’s gotten himself a free piece of software. Only, when she boots up, he discovers that she’s not your average persocom – there’s much more to her than meets the eye.
What was so fascinating about this series is how it explored the relationship between human and technology. Computers and other pieces of tech are designed to make our lives easier, and the persocoms in this book are no exception. They function as store clerks, secretaries, personal assistants – all the functions of your laptop or smart phone, but with the ability to walk, talk, and interact like a person. Only it doesn’t end there. Throughout the series, there are examples of “relationships” between the persocoms and their humans. Whether or not an artificial life form can have feelings or fall in love is in fact the crux of this manga.
Eventually, Chi and Hideki come to understand that they do in fact “love” each other. Now, a human having a relationship with a computer isn’t my thing, but finding “that someone just for me” is. Love comes in many different colors. And while I don’t buy the idea that an artificial life form can have its own “soul” (that would be giving mankind WAY too much credit!), I do believe that we put something of ourselves into what we create. There’s a lot of myself in the books I write (perhaps I’ll talk more about that in another post :-P). And I can see where the creator of a humanoid computer might somehow put something of himself in his work, making his creation more like his children (as the case is with Chi and her creator).
But that’s about as far as I’m willing to go ><. I’m actually not a big fan of technology. Sure, I have a cell phone and a laptop like everyone else, but beyond typing documents, sending emails and shopping on online, I could care less. Newfangled machines never seem to do quite what I want them to do (our Google home devices ignore me but respond perfectly to my husband :-/), and I often don’t understand them as well as I should. So while I will *try* to include enough references to technology in my novels to make them relevant, please don’t expect a lot. I’m doing good just to handle my Android! I suppose that if I was good with tech toys, I could write science fiction – but since I’m not, I’ll just stick to paranormal romance ;-).
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
Until the next time, keep reading!
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I have two passions: reading and writing. You can't write good stories without first reading good stories - that's my theory, anyway. So this is where I'll share with you the depth of those passions: background on what and why I write, as well as talking about the books that I read and how they impact my writing.