xXxHolic 17

January 19, 2012

CLAMP – Del Rey – 2011 – 19 volumes

The main story in this volume is about the Jorogumo returning to the shop and asking something of Watanuki. It requires him to leave the shop, but we learn how exactly he handles such a task when it arises. The object of the Jorogumo’s desire also parallels Watanuki’s situation in several ways. It’s an interesting story, and the premise uses one of my favorite pieces of Japanese folklore. It reminds me a lot of the beginning of the series, save for the fact that everyone speaks in riddles and it was way less fun and more sad.

There are also lots of asides about Watanuki’s life in the shop. He’s getting better about his powers, he seems relatively aware of all the various goings-on and protocols in the spirit world, he doesn’t need glasses anymore, Domeki still comes over every day to take care of him, et cetera. Basically, the gist is that his magical power is growing within the shop while time passes outside the shop.

One thing that is bothering me about this later part of the series is that everyone seems to avoid talking about any subject directly. It can be an easy dodge, such as the Jorogumo constantly declaring “You aren’t as cute as you used to be!” when Watanuki side-steps her attacks, or it may be the general feelings and themes being conveyed through song. There should be a subtle air to such things… but I’m not really feeling it in Holic. It’s a little maddening to have to sit and decipher conversations, only to realize that, no, there’s not really a deep meaning to any of it. Watanuki loves Yuuko, and will wait as long as he has to at the shop, because it’s where he can be closest to her. Other little side-steps elude me, such as the reason why it’s bad news for Himawari to come to the shop, but I’m sure a re-read of the earlier part of the series would tell me why this is.

Sigh. I’m waiting for some major plot to start up, something exciting with Domeki and Watanuki to end the series. I’m not sure where it’s going from here, but hopefully something major will get underway next volume. While I haven’t been that impressed with the recent era of shopkeeping, I still enjoy this series immensely, and am looking forward to its ending.

3 Responses to “xXxHolic 17”

  1. meronichan Says:

    Sorry to disappoint, but jack happens. The whole series is pretty bland. It’s like they put all the action in Tsubasa and Holic had the leftovers.

    Also, why is every customer to Watanuki/Yuuko’s shop female? They never explain that.

    On a side note, Watanuki reappears in Drug and Drop, sequel to Legal Drug which CLAMP picked up again.

  2. Connie Says:

    Aw, that’s a shame. I loved the first half of this series, but I haven’t really been into it since Yuko stepped out (actually, a few volumes before that, too, some of the later Watanuki chores were boring). I’ve tried really hard, but it’s just not that interesting with Domeki and Watanuki, which is a shame. It ought to be. It’s kind of a waste that it isn’t.

    I’d agree with you that Holic got the leftovers, though. It blows my mind that all sorts of important explanations, with bearing on the plot, were left out of Holic and included in Tsubasa instead. Maybe because Watanuki wasn’t supposed to know what was happening? I don’t know. Not that the explanations in Tsubasa were anything more than crazy rambling, but still.

    But the Drug and Drop story sounds tempting. I didn’t really like Legal Drug, but I do like Watanuki, and I hope that the two together can form something better than the end of xXxholic has been.

  3. meronichan Says:

    Yeah, Holic and Tsubasa are definitely CLAMP’s weakest (well, Kobato’s not all that great, either). I just think that CLAMP is losing their edge. Either that, or their nostalgia factor is wearing off as we age, and now we’re seeing the problems more than we used to. I don’t know. I feel like buying anything else from them is a waste of money.
    And we have no more Eroica to look forward to. Sigh.

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