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A.I. Love You #1
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Written by maehara   
Tuesday, 03 August 2004 00:00
A.I. Love You - Volume 1Take one part manga, one part Weird Science (80's teen movie where kid creates an artificial woman) and the 'perfect girlfriend' aspect of Ah! My Goddess, mix well, and you get A.I. Love You. Shame it doesn't come off as well as it sounds...

1 - The Program Goes Haywire
Hitoshi Kobe is your typical anime/manga loser type - nice enough guy, but with zero personality and zero chance of ever getting a woman. Little wonder, then, that he spends most of his free time coding Artificial Intelligence personalities on his computer - it's the nearest he'll ever get to speaking to a real woman. A freak electical accident brings his latest creating, Program Number 30, to life, giving Hitoshi his dream woman - but he's about to discover that Thirty's limited experience of the real world is going to cause him problems.

2 - Wake Up at Hotel Ryuuguujoo
Hitoshi's trying to find a way to spend more time with Saati, and hits the books to find out the best way to impress her - the 'how to date women' books. Finally, the opportunity comes for him to take Saati out for the day, and he's determined to make sure his dream date goes as planned. Fortunately for him, Saati's been reading the same books, although there are one or two points she hasn't quite gotten her head around yet...

3 - Join the Club!
Hitoshi has never really bothered with any of the clubs at school - too many opportunities there for embarassment, really. There is one activity that could count as a club, but he's not about to share it with anyone. Saati, on the other hand, is keen to get involved & finally manages to persuade Hitoshi to join a club - which just leaves them to decide on which club, but that's easier said than done...

4 - Take Me to the Ocean!
It's Commemorative Day at Hitoshi's school - so since that means a day off, Hitoshi decides to take Saati to the beach for the day. The day doesn't start off too well, though - one of the beach's resident kids has gotten fed up with visitors littering 'his' beach and has started taking action against anyone who dares to step onto the sand, so Hitoshi decides to help him out, using technology to find a way to clear up the beach...

5 - The Laughing Invader
Hitoshi's happy life seems to be coming to a premature end when Saati is infected by a computer virus. His first attempt to remove the virus only makes things worse, and it looks like Saati's program is in danger of being erased...

The virus is working its way deeper and deeper into Saati's system, taunting Hitoshi all the way. Can he manage to clean Saati's program before it's too late, or will he lose her forever..?

7 - Money Troubles?!
Hitoshi's running low on money - he's got bills to pay, and at least a week before he gets the next money transfer from his parents. Saati tries to be helpful, as usual, but her methods of solving Hitoshi's money problems aren't remotely legal. When she transfers a large amount of money into his bank account, some careful hacking is needed to get it back where it came from without the bank noticing...

I picked this up mostly out of curiosity - Ken Akamatsu's more recent works (Love Hina and Negima!) have both entertained me, so I figured the odds of A.I. being worthwhile would be quite good. It would also be good to see his first major work.

A few hours later, and I have to say I'm disappointed. There are too many clich├ęs in this story for it to hold together well and work, and it's far too predictable. Add in that the main characters are both sadly lacking in any sort of personality, and you get a manga that's a chore to read.

Visually, it's not bad - it's quite different in style from later Akamatsu manga, but it's nicely detailed & easy to follow. It's just a shame that the story falls a long way short of being fun to watch. Pass...

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