In Circuits and Veins by Jem Yoshioka, the future has arrived: artificial intelligence is a part of the landscape, and it’s common for people to purchase androids who work in their homes.
However, in the backstory of Circuits and Veins, android rights have gotten somewhat complicated: the face of android autonomy is Aiko, an android who had been previously designated to be a company-owned service robot. An aspiring pop star, Aiko possessed the musical talent necessary to secure the assistance of a record company’s legal team and begin leading the charge for the Android Rights Movement.
Against this backdrop, a more personal story unfolds between Ai, an android who is working to establish her independence, and Aki, a human who works as a programmer and struggles with the symptoms of an undiagnosed chronic illness.
The pair meets when Ai moves into the same apartment building as Aki, and a mistake with the holographic pineapple cats Aki is programming causes the fruity felines to fill Ai’s new apartment (if there’s a cuter way to stage a meet-cute than a plethora of pineapple cats, it may just be too cute for me to handle). Can Ai open herself up enough to share romance with someone? Can Aki move beyond the pain she feels from a previous bad breakup to let someone new into her heart?
In addition to the sweet and charming queer romance at the heart of the comic, the world of Circuits and Veins is thoughtfully developed and explores the complications that arise from android autonomy, including the fact that some robots are unable to achieve true independence due to the unaffordable cost of maintenance. Plus, the characters each have very well established senses of style, and the fashion on display in the comic – both in the real and virtual world – is worth uploading immediately!
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