Tuesday, August 4, 2009

xxxHolic 185 and TRC 226

Wow, I never thought I would come to say this, but at the moment, I am more in anticipation of the new xxxHolic chapter than the Tsubasa Resevoir Chronicles chapter. Truthfully speaking, I was never that into xxxHolic in the beginning. I was nostalgic of CLAMP's old style of drawing, and I read xxxHolic for the tie-ins with TRC.

Watanuki is a reluctant hero, and starts out as a crabby, whiny and ungrateful high school student. He is always grumbling, he is silly with his crush for Himawari-chan. Over the course of xxxHolic, he has matured greatly starting with the spider incident and the eye-swap with Doumeki. We can see how far he has grown as a person in Chapter 185, when he claims he will take over the shop. That last shot when he takes a puff out of Yuuko's pipe will remain one of the most poignant CLAMP images to date because you see a gravity in his persona, a sense of dignity, sadness, determination and responsibility all in one panel.

I find the relationship dynamic between Yuuko and Watanuki a fascinating one. They are not exactly mentor and student, they aren't friends, they aren't lovers. You wonder what was the significance of her existence to Watanuki. Watanuki has a strong pillar system going with Doumeki by his side, but you can clearly see that "Yuuko" is the one who has left an imprint on Watanuki, changed him for better or worse. On the contrary, I find Himawari a rather shallow character, and I can't figure out her significance in the bigger pictures of things, but CLAMP may surprise us yet. Yuuko reminds me a bit of CC of Code Geass with her will to die.

In TRC 226, I found Fei Wong Reed's reaction to Yuuko's disappearance funny. You can't tell if he is angry or sad that Yuuko is gone, declaring she must be revived. I wonder if Fei was bishounen like Zagato, would he be more likable. He is possibly the most despicable character in all of CLAMPdom, but that can still be overturned. Who knows what inner demons he suffers from. TRC has come to a full loop now with the explanation of the glass cylinder scene in Chapter 225. I am glad to know that they were the clones after all aka the "original" S+S that we start off with, that we weren't cheated of the main characters, that the story is indeed the clones' story. It was jarring to see Clone with Son though, same age. I wonder if Ohkawa-sensei shed some spoilers to Maaya Sakamoto when Maaya wrote the lyrics for the Tsubasa anime ending 2 "Yunagi Loop."

Either way, I look forward to the conclusion of both mangas. It will really feel like the end of an era to me. At least we can look forward to the Kobato anime!


  1. For me, TRC has been kinda silly in the recent chapters. Just weird ( *spoiler* especially the part where Syaoran(child) tries to grab little Sakura's hand as she gets engulfed in the black thingy (it must've been like, a dozen of shots of him reaching his hand yet not yet grabbing her, and at the end, CLAMP drew the wrong hand that caught her lol)*end*
    And we get to see older Syaoran and Sakura! A-ma-zing

    As for xxxHolic, the story is getting way better! Can't wait for the next chpt! I wonder if he'll get to see his "parents" one day...

  2. Haha... does he really use the wrong hand? I must go back and look. I guess CLAMP has been overcommitted lately.

    I do feel so sorry for all the CLAMP characters who are sort of "displaced" without parents or any sort of background as a matter of fact. They all deserve a family.