A few months ago I was talking to a friend of mine on the phone, and he mentioned that he and his girlfriend had recently begun watching xxxHOLiC. He told me he wasn't sure if they were going to finish the series because it seemed to lack a centralized plot. I didn't really know what to tell him since I didn't know anything about this series, except to just give it time. We all know how so many anime take their sweet time with plot development after all, right? So shortly before finishing Air TV, I started looking for something new to watch after wards, and remembered that brief conversation.
I have no previous experience with titles from CLAMP (I know, I know. Weird.), so the first thing I noticed was how...different the animation is. All of the characters are drawn in a very elongated style. I wondered at first if this would get annoying, but it really doesn't. In fact, it actually helps to facilitate some of the more comedic moments.
Getting used to the character designs didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would, and that is because the story (and I use the term rather loosely) is really entertaining, especially for someone who is already interested in myth and legend, and paranormal phenomena in general. Some might say xxxHOLiC is just a bunch of filler episodes, however, the lack of a centralized plot isn't as bothersome as you'd think. Early on it is hinted at that Watanuki is destined for some kind of greatness of some sort, but the anime itself never gets that far. Considering this, I did a little research, and I found that the latest version of the xxxHOLiC manga was released just this past March (2010), and the synopsis indicates that Watanuki is to, at the very least, become Dimensional Witch Yuko's "student" if you will. And really, that's what I figured after watching volume one of the anime. It actually reminds me of the open endedness of Fruits Basket or Inuyasha. I noticed listings at ANN for two DVDs labeled as sequels to xxxHOLiC, but after a brief search at Amazon I see they have been "discontinued by the manufacturer." All this being said, I personally would love to see a sequel to the anime, but I won't be holding my breath.
I really just adored these characters right from the start. They're all very funny, smart, observant, which is a key element in many, if not all of the series, and very well rounded over all. It's very easy to identify with pretty much all of them, most especially, Watanuki (imo), but also many of Yuko's clients as well.
Just a brief side note, there are no extras on these DVDs to speak of. There are trailers for other Funimation releases, textless songs, and artwork if I'm not mistaken. Gone are the days of voice actor commentaries apparently.
I highly recommend xxxHOLiC. It's really so much better than any plot synopsis out there. It's weird, it's Gothic, and sometimes a little on the frightening/disturbing side, but what a great series! ^_^
What did you think of this review?
Fun to Read
What's your opinion on xxxHOLiC: The Complete Series Box Set?