“I, Android” – Karakuri Odette (manga) – 10/10 Notebooks


I believe that at the end of the century the use of words and the general educated opinion will have altered so much that one will be able to speak of machines thinking without expecting to be contradicted. ~Alan Turing, 1937

Genre: Sci-fi/School/Drama/Romance

Review Status: Complete (6 Volumes/6 Volumes)

Licensed: Not currently. It was formerly licensed by Tokyopop.

Art: For a shoujo, the art is surprisingly plain. Backgrounds of any sort are minimal. The characters can look awkward and gangly at times.

Summary: Odette is an android created by the young talented scientist Dr. Yoshizawa. Wanting to find the ultimate difference between humans and his android, Odette decides to persuade Dr. Yoshizawa to enroll her in a local high school. Follow Odette’s adventures as she ventures through high school, in search of the true meaning of being a human. (amazon.com)

Review: The idea of an android wanting to be recognized or wanting to be like humans is a common one in science fiction. Manga isn’t very different. This shoujo takes advantage of the idea to approach the subject from the emotional standpoint of the android.

After watching a tv show, she gets the idea that it would be interesting to go to her high school and study humans. She makes friends by obeying her first directive- never to hurt a human. Odette is unusual in that she picks up most social cues very easily, figuring out what friends are and being accepting of everyone. This lands her in interesting situations, such as being a best friend (and potential love interest) of the school delinquent, and befriending other androids that weren’t made with the best of intentions.

Some of the interesting things are comparing how Odette grows and changes through the series in comparison to her companion android Chris. He ends up disappearing for a volume or two, and they are in such contrast with each other that it’s hard to believe that she was like he was a short while ago, or how ingrained she has become with her human friends. Of course, her uniqueness isn’t unnoticed by others.

A protective human guy friend (and potential love interest- but those who are going in for just that might be a tad disappointed by the ambiguous ending), an android that wants to marry her and have their parts mended, a jealous love triangle, and a scientist that only wants and values the best all end up complicating her life. Even so, friendship and family win the day. I think this ended exactly where it should have- a good note.

Overall, this was a sweet story about an android slowly becoming human.

Recommended
: 10+. There was one swear in the volumes I read, the d-word. Some of the robots are assassination robots, and in two chapters you see people disappear in a flash of light. Unless the idea of seeing robot parts scattered over the floor at other parts disturbs you, then this is a very safe read.

Other Titles You Might Enjoy:
Time of Eve (OVA and Movie)
Chobits (manga)
Absolute Boyfriend (manga)
Lovers Doll (manga)

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