xxxHolic #17, 18 & 19 (Manga Monday)

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com by express permission of this reviewer

Title: xxxHolic #17, 18 & 19

Series: xxxHolic

Author & Artist: CLAMP

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Genre: Manga

Pages: 165-185’ish

 

Synopsis:

The series wraps up with several clients showing up and showcasing how powerful and comfortable Watanuki has become as the shop owner.

And it all leads to one final dream, Yuko’s dream.

 

My Thoughts:

During the whole time that I was reading these 3 volumes, I was simply shaking my head in wonder and amazement. Gone are the silly arguments between Watanuki and Domeki, gone are the times of Watanuki making a complete fool of himself for Himawari’s sake and gone is Watanuki’s self-effacing timidness.

Time is the main casualty in these volumes. We never know how much time has passed and while CLAMP sometimes shows things [Himawari &  Watanuki talking on the phone about her marriage for example] happening that take time, nothing is truly concrete.

CLAMP does try to show changes in some of the characters, Kahone-chan for instance, but the art style doesn’t lend itself toward subtle changes and so everyone pretty much looks like their starting ages.

One thing that I REALLY liked was that Watanuki grants a wish to the Tsubasa crew so that the quest they began at the end of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles appears to be near the end.

Speaking of endings, another thing that I really liked in this series was that things were wrapped up. Himawari gets married to someone else and is actually happy. Domeki and Kohane-chan, who is no longer really a “chan”, are on course to get together and are happy. Mokona is still drinking like a sponge and is happy. Maru and Moro are still sustaining the shop and are happy.

And most important of all, Watanuki sees Yuko’s last dream and hence gets to see her for one last time and sees how she has confidence in him. And he is happy. I am satisfied with how this series has ended. I am seriously considering reading xxxHolic: Kei now.

To whit, this series is one of the best manga I’ve read to date. It has some action, enough humor, is supernatural, a tiny bit of terror, awesome characters, a convoluted plot and most of all, it has Yuko the Time/Space Witch.

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xxxHolic #15 & 16 (Manga Monday)

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com by express permission of this reviewer

Title: xxxHolic #15 & 16

Series: xxxHolic

Author & Artist: CLAMP

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Genre: Manga

 

Synopsis:

Volume 15 is all about Watanuki saying goodbye to Yuko even though he doesn’t realize it at the time. However, we the readers do and that makes it all the more poignant.

Volume 16 is about Watanuki taking over the shop and dealing with his first real customer on his own.

 

My Thoughts:

This series continues to impress me [I hesitate to say “astound”, but honestly, it is really reaching that level].

The emotion between the characters, the emotion from the situations they are in, I have a hard time believing that a manga can do this to me.

In vol 15, Yuko explains to Watanuki why she must leave and yet at the end of the chapter, he ends up making the very same type of promise to wait for her return that set the events in motion that we read about in Tsubasa and xxxHolic. And it does seem that Yuko is now dead, but not truly gone. But it does seem that if anyone knew the dangers of making such a wish, it would be Yuko and she’d warn Watanuki against it. Maybe I’m mis-reading his wish however?

Watanuki takes over the shop in a pretty smooth transition from Yuko. He inherits her weird fashion sense, smokes her pipe and in many ways seems to be trying to emulate her actions and how she ran the shop. Time is another thing that isn’t quite the same for us the readers now, as Watanuki has stepped outside of time and into the shop and so we don’t see much what is happening outside or how time is flowing.

Very much looking forward to the final 3 volumes of xxxHolic!

xxxHolic #13 & 14 (Manga Monday)

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com by express permission of this reviewer

Title: xxxHolic #13 & 14

Series: xxxHolic

Author & Artist: CLAMP

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Genre: Manga

 

Synopsis:

Watanuki helps out Kohane-chan and gets her to a safeplace away from her mother.  In volume 14 the story takes on the over-arching idea of who and what Watanuki is, the price he has paid in the past without realizing it and how he, Li and Sakura are all tied together.

 

My Thoughts:

I almost cried at the Kohane-chan story. Seeing a young girl attacked by her own mother because the mother hates her ex-husband is just sad. Thankfully, with her wish to be happy and her giving up her powers, which turn out to be based on one of Sakura’s feathers, Kohane can start to have a normal childhood. Surrounded by friends, she can learn what love really is.

Volume 14 was a little more esoteric and non-plot centric. Lots of little conversations between various people that advance what is happening to Watanuki and Sakura and Co over at Tsubasa.

And we are getting little hints that not everything will be ok with Yuko. She has not been so rambunctious and we keep seeing bits of melancholia in her expressions.

xxxHolic #11 & 12 (Manga Monday)

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com by express permission of this reviewer

Title: xxxHolic #11 & 12

Series: xxxHolic

Author & Artist: CLAMP

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Genre: Manga

 

Synopsis:

Watanuki has several dream times with various people, does alot for Kohane-chan, gets attacked by various things and people and in general is well on his way to replacing Yuko.

 

My Thoughts:

Where Tsubasa tended towards “lets couch everything in as mysterious terms as possible”, xxxHolic seems to be a bit more straightforward.

I also find the pathos to be much more endearing, heart-wrenching and “real”. I care what is going to happen to Watanuki, Yuko and the others in a way that I simply didn’t about the Tsubasa group. I also have to admit that the stories dealing with Kohane-chan really get to me. A little girl should be protected by her mother, not exploited. I’m just glad Watanuki and Domeki are around.

A lot of what is talked about in Watanuki and Sakura’s dream really helped me understand what was going on.

The artwork continues to amuse me. Yuko,for example, can be this totally voluptuous vixen in one panel and then you see in another and she is a stick. CLAMP certainly has fun just portraying people however they want.

xxxHolic #9 & 10 (Manga Monday)

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com by express permission of this reviewer

Title: xxxHolic #9 & 10

Series: xxxHolic

Author & Artist: CLAMP

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Genre: Manga

 

Synopsis:

Watanuki has several adventures, but is introduced to a young psychic girl whose mother is keeping her under lock and key to keep her ‘pure’ so her gift doesn’t go away. Seems she can sense and instinctively know what to do about dead people who haven’t passed on

At the same time, he is forced to accept that really bad things happen to him around Himiwari but Watanuki being Watanuki, he refuses to allow that to change how he thinks about her or acts towards her.

 

My Thoughts:

I found these 2 books to be very melancholic and yet at the very end, hopeful.

Meeting the little psychic girl was just sad. Her mother is using her for her own profit and not thinking about the girl at all. Watanuki just sees a little girl who is alone and has to deal with the spirit world on her own and he simply reaches out to her and is her friend. He gives her a dream balloon, goes on a picnic date with her and generally connects her to humanity. It was kind of heart breaking.

The second main thing was dealing with Himawari and Watanuki almost dies [falls out a second story window at school]. During his recovering we find out that it isn’t just Watanuki who has bad luck around her, but everyone, except for her parents and Domeki, who seems to be immune to most things spiritual. Himawari attempts to give up her friendship with Watanuki to save him, but he rejects that and tells her she makes him happy, even when things go bad and that he won’t give up their friendship.

Yuko makes a gift that he can give Himawari that won’t be affected by her, so that she’ll have some companionship and be reminded of Watanuki.

I am finding this series to be deep in developing characters, funny with humor and interesting, creepy, sad and lovely with all the little stories. Definitely glad I own this series.

xxxHolic #7 & 8 (Manga Monday)

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com by express permission of this reviewer

 

Synopsis:

Watanuki gets in trouble, has Domeki help him out, complains out it and then turns around and helps Domeki and the circle of helping continues.

Watanuki’s eye is the main issue and it turns out to be an object of power and he loses it. Only to have Domeki give up half his eye so they both can kind of see. Teaching Watanuki that he isn’t a lone and his life impacts others, for good and for bad.

 

My Thoughts:

This was a light enjoyable read, as always. We have it confirmed that Watanuki is of great interest to the other world in so many different ways.

Domeki proves that he is a true friend indeed and Watanuki reacts like he always does, with bombast and insults. Himiwari is right, they are truly a comedy team.

Speaking of Himiwari. Watanuki’s continued fascination with her, while being warned again and again by Yuko that she isn’t for him and his completely ignoring the young beautiful spirit who loves him, is so typical of youth. Can’t have what it wants and doesn’t want what it can have.

The whole situation makes me grin and reminds me of my college days. So I have some sympathy for Watanuki, but not very much 🙂

I enjoy the little chapter stories where Yuko grants a wish, usually to the detriment of the wisher.  They are deliciously macabre, sometimes humorous and always complete in and of themselves. You need that in a longer running series sometimes.

 

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Artist & Author: CLAMP

xxxHolic #7 & 8

xxxHolic #5 & 6 (Manga Monday)

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.com by express permission of this reviewer

Synopsis:

Watanuki has several adventures, most with Domeki saving his butt, some by himself and all with Yuko making fun of him the entire time.

 

My Thoughts:

The whole tone of xxxHolic is so different from Tsubasa that it is hard to compare them. xxxHolic is darker while at the same time being funnier. Watanuki and Domeki have the perfect comedy vibe between. So much so that even when they are both in terrible danger they are constantly bickering and making the audience laugh.

Watanuki does seem to have an unhealthy fascination for Himiwara, even though it is obvious she doesn’t like him. Tie that in with the fact that the Rain spirit is nuts about him and you have to wonder what is going wrong inside his head.

The overall plot. Having read Tsubasa to the end I am now aware of what is going on, so little things are jumping out. But they are so little that if you didn’t know the end of the story they wouldn’t mean anything.

 

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Artist & Author: CLAMP

xxxHolic #5 & 6