Tuesday, March 30, 2010

[Review] Chobits Omnibus Volume 1

Chobits Omnibus Volume 1 printed by Dark Horse compiles 4 original volumes into 1 hefty book (48 chapters total).

Admittedly, I do not have all of Chobits nor had I planned on collecting it, but this 2-volume set is appealing and hey, 2-volumes!

Firstly, a word about the translations and text. DH has a note about the font choices in the back. They try to distinguish between persocom speak, human speech, and the 'book' narration. The background sfx are translated next to the japanese. DH credits the same translator that Tokyopop used eight years ago, but the editing is clearly different. They keep -san instead of using Mr. or Ms. like Tokyopop did. They kept the reference to Doraemon instead of changing it to 'fairy godmother'. There's also differences in sentence structure in some places. It feels like while Tokyopop tried to make stuff palatable to an American, DH tries to bring it back to a manga fan...who would have some idea who 'Doraemon' is, and also tries to keep it readable in a slightly different style than what was previously presented.

And the printing? Like the Clover Omnibus, all the color splashes are included with 6 extra textless illustrations in the back. Very nice. The paper isn't the same smooth, bright stock that was used in the Clover Omnibus, but is still decent.

The overall presentation is just attractively nostalgic. Everything seems to be closer to the original manga. Even the cover, which has the original layout, signals a closer nod to the original manga...AND the ink color isn't so Tokyopop-garish.

My only wish is that these omnibuses were released in hardback. Which from a business standpoint would be the next step in emptying a fan's pocketbook..though I wouldn't have minded if these current releases had been a few dollars more and hardback right now. It is somewhat awkward holding an 800 page book, and how good is the binding? Maybe an e-book release would be the next money-maker?

Oh right, about the story. Google 'Chobits' and you will probably find spoilers and/or the summary on wiki...and/or the whole manga or anime for download *cough*. Basically, Boy meets robo-loli-girl. Can he live a normal life with her? Sure, it's CLAMP.

The next/last volume comes out in June with 40 color pages. DH's Cardcaptor Sakura Omnibus comes out in July.


Skye said...
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Skye said...

Thanks for this review :). Looks good, and yep just 2 volumes. I will miss each cover's artwork cos' i thought it was some of the best but you said this omnibus edition comes with some colour pages. Still unsure about the binding?? If you have read all or most of it yet can you let me know by email how the binding, ect is holding up? Thanks heaps. - Skye