xxxHOLiC Book 2

So much for the hope raised by the first book. Book 2 emphasizes everything I disliked and eliminates what I liked.

xxxHOLiC Book 2 cover
xxxHOLiC Book 2
Buy this book

It opens with a Tsubasa-focused chapter, introducing a variety of characters and plots only to send them off again. I don’t care. One of the things I found attractive about manga, as compared to corporate American comics, was the ability to read a story without having to worry about universes and crossovers and guest appearances. This series brings in all that I was trying to avoid.

The next chapter is soap opera with Watanuki and his schoolgirl crush. She’s definitely cute, but there are a bunch of other series that already fill my need for young love stories, and he becomes an idiot in those sections. I liked him better when he was just confused. A boy learning to accept his ability to see spirits through guided experience with them is interesting. A boy tripping over himself when meeting the girl he likes is common.

The first major story in this volume has Watanuki and Yuuko busting a fake fortune teller, which gives Yuuko many opportunities to lecture on what divination should be. What I want to know, though, is where are the addicts? Where are the customers who are either helped or taught a lesson through Yuuko’s intervention? It’s as though I started watching a hospital show whose second season turned into a situation comedy.

So I guess I won’t be following this series after all. I took a very brief glance at Book 3, in hopes it got back to what I liked, but based on what I saw, no go. Ah, well.

8 Comments

  1. Jake Forbes

    I disliked volume 2, as well, but it gets better! Not my favorite Clamp series, but I do love the designs and the core character relationships.

  2. How soon? Or a better question, when should I try the series again?

  3. Jake Forbes

    Well, the first half of volume 3 ties up some of volume 2’s ghost story arc, and has a overly-intrusive Tsuabasa crossover, but by the second half of chapter 3, it’s back in top form, starting with a monkey’s paw story that I think you’d like. Plus the spirit foxes introduced at the end of volume 3 are just about the cutest things Clamp has drawn.

  4. Ed Sizemore

    Johanna, It deeps on what you’re looking for. If you want the manga to focus on customers who come and make wishes that have unintended consequences then you will be disappointed. From vol 3 on, the story focuses on Watanuki’s training. Yuki is preparing him to become something, but what hasn’t been revealed yet (as of vol 7).

    This is the way I understand the story. Because he was orphaned young, Watanuki is selfish, self-center, but not very self-aware. These traits may have served him well as a young boy living on his own, but now he needs to abandon these bad habits to mature into adulthood. Watanuki still hasn’t realized that he is Yuki’s apprentice and not simply a part-time worker saving up to pay for his wish. He isn’t aware that his hatred for Domeki comes from his jealously to be like him. Also Yuki keeps dropping obvious warnings about Himawari. It amazes me that Watanuki has yet to ask himself why Domeki hangs around him, given all the abuse Watanuki heaps on Domeki.

    We do see changes in Watanuki. In vol 5, he admits a growing respect for Domeki. In vol 6, he shows incredible kindness to a lost spirit girl and helps her pass over to the next world. He also learning that the universe in not anthrocentric. Spritual beings have their own agenda and don’t care what happens to the humans who get caught up in its fulfillment.

    Go occult comics are hard to find and I think this series ranks up there with the best. What I like about the series is seeing Watanuki and Domeki growth into maturity. I also like seeing how their relationship is being to grow and develop. Watanuki is a slow learner, but he does catch on. Plus his learning curve is finally beginning to speed up. I am interested to learn more about Domeki and what he sees his connection to Watanuki is. Plus I have a crush on Yuki. She has all the wonderful sensualness of a 30’s and 40’s hollywood leading lady.

  5. The story is AWESOME! You just need to follow it a little further and align it with Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle (because it is deeply related to each other). The story’s problem is very complicated. Believe me. If you’re finding a book that need a deep thinking, you’ll gonna like this.

  6. [...] I don’t think I’ll be trying any more xxxHOLiC, but I still like Othello, and I’m thinking I should try Genshiken again, since I keep hearing good things. [...]

  7. [...] by CLAMP Publisher description Previous review of Book 2 [...]

  8. [...] some of the things I’ve said here have appeared in the comments sections to Johanna’s reviews of previous volumes. [...]

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.