xxxHolic – the anime

June 22, 2006 at 2:19 am 7 comments

I was updating my book list and I guess I didn't read 10 books last week after all.  It was only 7, as far as I can remember.  Huh.  I did spend a whole day catching up on anime, though.  I finally watched episodes 9-11 of Ouran (since I watch the raw versions when they come out I don't always get to the subbed ones right away), and I also made my way through about 5 or so episodes of xxxHolic.  I'm almost caught up on that one now and I think it's grown on me. 

At first I was a little disappointed that the quality wasn't as good as I wanted it to be – the movie was amazing, and while I wasn't really expecting the same quality since movies are usually better anyway, I don't think it's close to Tsubasa as far as production goes.  That said, the stories are pretty good, and just different enough from the manga to avoid being completely boring for me.  In an anime/manga smackdown though, the manga would win, no question.  One thing they've done in the show is remove all references to Tsubasa so it stands alone, unlike the manga.  (Not that you need to read them both, but the little overlaps are a nice way to tie the two together.) 

One oddly helpful fact I learned from the anime is that they say the title as "Holic" which makes sense.  I tend to shorten it to xHolic, but don't feel right leaving all of the x's off, especially if I'm talking about the manga with someone who's never read it.  How are they going to find it if they're looking in the "H" section??  :P 

Here's a (very) brief breakdown of the episodes, and I'm sorry but it'll probably make more sense if you've read the manga.  That's kind of where I'm looking at it from.  And yes, I guess there are little spoilers as well.

Episode 1 – Hitsuzen – Watanuki meets Yuko and gets stuck working in her shop in order to pay off his wish.  That would be to avoid seeing spirits anymore, btw.  (Am I alone in thinking this wish isn't going to be granted?  Yuko seems to be grooming him for something big…)  Mokona gets pulled out of storage to celebrate the arrival of the new part timer, so that covers it's appearance.  The arrival of the Tsubasa crew is replaced by Watanuki running into a girl on the street who claims to have psychic powers of her own.

Episode 2 – Angel – Himawari-chan asks Yuko and Watanuki for help.  Her friend's school is being plagued by strange events after the students there start playing the Angel game.  Watanuki and Domeki go to the school together to see what they can do.  This episode is pretty similar to the manga, though I don't remember Domeki showing up in the anime before Yuko mentioned him.  It seemed a little abrupt to me. 

Episode 3 – Deceit – The story of a young woman who comes to Yuko complaining of a stiff pinky finger.  Yuko queries her about any bad habits she might have, gives her a ring and sends her on her way.  Watanuki runs into the woman on the street and discovers that she's a compulsive liar and it's that habit that's slowly poisoning her.

Episode 4 – Divination – Yuko takes Watanuki to a medium friend of hers to have his fortune told.  He learns the difference between a fake/surface reading and the real thing when they find a new fortune teller where Yuko's old friend used to live.

Episode 5 – Shiritori – Watanuki comes across an Oden stand run by fox spirits on his way to Yuko's one evening.  A return trip to the stand the next night proves to be a little more hazardous as he and Mokona are chased by a nasty spirit.

Episode 6 – Indulgence – A housewife addicted to the internet asks Yuko for help in breaking the habit.  There's a lot of Yuko lecturing in this episode and looking intense.  Also, for any frustrated Legal Drug fans out there, there is a wee little drugstore crossover at the beginning.  :)

Episode 7 – Hydrangea – A rain spirit arrives and asks for Yuko's help.  Watanuki and Domeki are sent to a giant hydrangea (plant? bush? tree?) in the park and Watanuki is pulled underneath.  He arrives in a dark underworld where he meets a sad, lonely little girl who asks him to accompany her as she tries to leave.  This has been my favorite episode so far.  I was wondering how they were going to translate the, um, "drippy" dialogue from the manga, and they did a fabulous job by giving each drop it's own separate voice.  I thought it was a good mix of comedy above ground and both the sadness and creepiness of Watanuki's encounter with the little girl was captured perfectly.

Episode 8 – Contract – The Monkey's Paw episode.  A student wanders by as Watanuki is cleaning out Yuko's storeroom.  She spies an odd cylinder and asks Yuko if she can have it.  The answer is yes, but only if she agrees to never open it.  Of course it inevitably opens and the woman discovers that she can make wishes on the mummified hand she finds within, ignoring all warnings about the potential consequences.

Episode 9 – Pinky Swear – I actually confused this with episode 3 as they both involve women who lie and involve their pinky fingers.  :)  Seriously though.  A woman wanders into Yuko's shop complaining of a stiff pinky finger.  Yuko gives her a ring.  Then she turns out to be a serial dater, changing her appearance and personality for each guy.  Is it any wonder I was confused??  What exactly was the point to having two episodes that are so similar, especially since I don't think this one was in the manga.  (Watanuki does comment on the similarities at one point.)  I don't remember it anyway, and I've reread my xxxHolic books fairly recently.  This episode also features the arrival of the pipe fox though, who is adorable.

Episode 10 – Lamplight – Summer has arrived and Watanuki is on vacation.  Yuko suggests having a 100 Tales of Horror ceremony at Domeki's temple so that he can see Himawari-chan, but things take an odd turn when some real spirits crash the party.  This was interesting since the stories they tell are actually different than the ones told in the manga.  Even more horror!  Kidding.  I liked the manga stories a little more than the anime ones, but I'm glad they changed them.

Episode 11 – Confession – The Zashiki-Warashi from the Valentine's Day chapter of the manga shows up, but instead of it being Valentine's Day, or giving chocolate, she has an Ochugen gift for Watanuki.  I haven't actually watched the whole episode yet, but it looks fairly similar despite the gift substitutions. 

Here's the opening theme song, which is 19sai, by Shikao Suga. 


Entry filed under: anime.

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Emi  |  June 25, 2006 at 10:39 pm

    It’s weird how I didn’t start to seriously watch xxxHolic until it was released in widescreen. XD

  • 2. pajcat  |  June 25, 2006 at 11:17 pm

    It’s widescreen? Huh. I totally didn’t notice that… It’s fullscreen on my computer when I watch it. Maybe it has something to do with how my viewer expands it to fill the screen. Weird.

  • 3. akane2040  |  July 2, 2006 at 1:27 am

    I want to watch the anime now too…
    Happy Belated Canada Day!
    Let me know when you want the next 2 Harlem Beat graphic novels.

    ttyl/take care

  • 4. pajcat  |  July 2, 2006 at 1:34 am

    Well, THAT can be arranged – I have some discs here with your name on them! :) I’m back in town now – I’ll email you about a new day to meet up. And I’ll bring you my new Drama Queen books for you to check out.

    Somehow it didn’t seem like a holiday today. Probably because I had to work. Monday I have off as a lieu day so that’ll be better…


  • 5. NatsuhiPhobia  |  April 18, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    hey can i jst ask if u can give me a site where i can watch the anime itsef cuz all the sites ive been using have licensed it… >__> and i wanna hear the pinky swear song badly..

  • 6. pajcat  |  April 18, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    Gosh, sorry I’m not sure. I usually just download unlicensed stuff, which is how I originally saw this one. It might still be online somewhere to download if you go to a torrent site.

    Not that I’m saying you should download licensed anime… (ahem!)

  • 7. Rin  |  July 5, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    you could watch it online here

    question, can someone plz tell me where I could read Harlem Beat other than have to buy it from Amazon???


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