******This review/summary will contain spoilers!******
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Alex + Ada
By: Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn
In a world completely dominated by technology, people are looking to customize able androids to fulfill their loneliness and needs. Alex, however, does not feel that he needs an android to fill the void that his fiancee left when she decided to leave him without giving any reason. His grandmother feels differently.
After returning home from work one day, Alex enters his home to find a Tanaka X-5 female model waiting for him. He turns her on and is disappointed that she does not have any will or thoughts of her own and her personality is developed completely upon what he wants it to be with what he teachers her and allows her to do.
Alex decides to do some research on how to make his android sentient. He finds that it is possible and all androids have the ability to become sentient if they are unlocked, however it is highly illegal under the A.I. Restrictions act that was put in place after androids were given artificial intelligence due to the Nexaware Massacre. The Nexaware massacre occurred when around 100 warehouse robots were given A.I. for the very first time. They were uncontrollable and 34 humans were killed before SWAT was able to make it in to deactivate the program.
Alex finds through a secret forum online that all androids still have A.I. capabilities within them but they were suppressed due to the law. He meets an android in the chat forum who tells him that he can unlock Ada and make her a sentient being with the possibilities of Ada dying because it doesn’t work, Ada forming her own choices and deciding she doesn’t want to live with Alex anymore, or the both of them being caught and punished for breaking the law.
Alex now faces an extremely tough decision. Does he leave Ada the way she is and form her to what he wants or does he choose to let her be her own person and make her own life decisions as well as giving her the ability to feel emotion and become awakened to her senses of taste and touch as well?
Alex decides that it isn’t fair for Ada to have the ability to be sentient without actually utilizing it. He has her unlocked.
After Ada has been awakened all of her senses introduced to her at once, she has an outburst almost causing Alex and the assisting android to be caught. Alex is able to convince the manager of the motel that they are in that it was only the television that was turned up too loudly and that he had tripped trying to turn it down quickly. The manager decides to take his word for it with a warning that he will call authorities if there was to be any more trouble.
Ada then goes into “Post-hack isolation” causing her to curl up on the floor trying to suppress all of the emotions that are suddenly raging through her.
Alex calls her using Prime Wave (a device that allows the user to call people, search the internet, read, watch movies/television, etc. without actually having to speak or turn on a television/computer/open a book). Alex talks Ada through the isolation and together they decide to go home.
This was a very interesting read. There are 2 more volumes to this series as well.
The idea that everyone is completely connected to technology in almost every way is not too far off at all. For instance, I mentioned androids and Prime Wave already (think of Prime Wave almost like Google Glass) but there are many other things within this comic series that are completely possible or already exist, such as: self driving cars, smart houses that will wake up you, that you can speak to in order to turn on your shower and change the temperature, or a small robot that can prepare your meals. (The technology reminds me very much of something you would read in a Ray Bradbury story.)
The art was different than most things that I have read. Lips are very prominent in this comic, they aren’t huge but they are prominent unlike in a lot of anime and manga. They also seem to give the characters personality through the style of the eyes. For instance, Alex is somewhat depressed and lonely and his eyes are darker and beady, whereas, Ada is young and learning about the world so her blue eyes just seem much more open and innocent.
This collection of comics 1-5 kept me wanting to read more and I was glad I had the second one available when I finished the first because I just wanted to read more.
If you like the anime series and/or manga series Chobits, I highly recommend this to you.