Thursday, February 10, 2011

xxxHOLiC Rou Final Chapter: Chapter 213... The End?

Well, following the route of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, xxxHolic seems to an abrupt end. I wasn't expecting it at all. I actually haven't been following xxxHolic that faithfully these past 8 years though I think it might be one of CLAMP's most unique works. I finally caught up with the last couple chapters. Spoiler warning...

So, I think that xxxHoliic ended along the lines of what I expected. The last chapter was very symbolic with minimal dialogue. The artwork was beautiful as usual, with great use and of black and white space, and I think I never found Yuuko more beautiful before. I am glad we are able to see her again, even in a dream state. Truthfully, I was pretty sure Yuuko will never come back. Watanuki would have been able to come to a new level of growth if he was able to "let go," but I think it's poignant how he shoes not to let go and continue caging his heart up. I was wondering who Yuuko reminded me of this chapter, and I realized it was Ruby Moon, especially with the butterfly obi tied in the back and the hime-haircut. Also, Watanuki looked strangely more like Eriol this last chapter, especially with the Western clothes in the dream, the Clow magic circle and the strangely more round glasses.

I think xxxHolic Rou has tragic yet somehow poignant in that Watanuki is stuck in the same spot as the world around him changes. I was a bit shocked when I heard that Himawari has married. And the most shocking part about this chapter was the fact that a century had lapsed and Doumeki is not Doumeki. I had been counting on xxxHolic to tie up the loose ends of TRC, but so much for that. Time flows differently in the TRC-verse, and since Watanuki is finally released from being bound to the store, I wonder whether Tsubasa!Syaoran can finally return to Tsubasa!Sakura. Or maybe they're all dead already as well. The last time we heard of the TRC crew, it had been 520 days since Tsu!Syaoran had returned back to Tsu!Sakura in xxxHolic Chapter 204.5 whereas over a decade has passed for Watanuki. So almost two years to every ten, if time is constant, which I doubt it is. Twenty years to get back to Sakura, if he ever did make it back. Poor Syaoran. Poor Watanuki, watching all his loved ones grow old and die, leaving only him behind. And he's still stuck in an infinite loop; it's the makings of a great sorcerer *coughClowReedcough*

I followed Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle and xxxHolic less for the plot and more for the characters, and as with TRC, xxxHolic was a good study of Clow Reed for me. Why Clow Reed? I know that Clow doesn't equal Watanuki as many people theorized earlier on, but I do believe that the analogy between Clow Reed's wish/obsession to keep Yuuko alive with Watanuki's desire to see Yuuko again is pretty blatant. It's sort of the trinity of Tsubasa!Syaoran, Clone!Syaoran and Watanuki with the trinity of Clow Reed, Fei Wong Reed and Watanuki, with Watanuki Kimihiro being the intermediary force between the two entities. He's sort of like the Void Card of the Card Captor Sakura Movie 2, the null between space and time dimensions. And I think he is the loneliest of all CLAMP-dom characters. He's not even angsty or angry at his fate; he just is. Doumeki-Watanuki shippers shouldn't despair though; I see their relationship sort of in a Shuichiro-san Kohaku sort of way. Obviously, in the CLAMP world, if you reproduce, your offspring is a clone of you. And Himawari turned out to be just about the most insignificant CLAMP heroine ever. Anyhow, it's obvious that after Watanuki finally dies, they'll all be reincarnated into Horistuba Gakuen. Or maybe Horitsuba Gakuen is heaven. 

Fanart is a quick doodle I did of Yuuko after I finished reading Chapter 213. If xxxHolic had a happy ending a la Card Captor Sakura...


  1. I don't actually know what to say about the HOLiC ending.

    I'm extremely disappointed that absolutely nothing was resolved. Not for HOLiC and not for the overreaching story of both it and TRC.

    Then there's the whole 'Watanuki has been in the shop for over 100 years and is talking to Doumeki's great grandson' thing.

    So, after all that time he spent learning to value himself before Yuuko's death snapped back to her was utterly wasted. Everything she tried teaching him about living for himself and for those who care about him was worthless.

    I'm a little mollified by the fact that CLAMP have said that HOLiC is over 'for now'. But the reveal of the time skip has completely ruined my hope for a satisfying ending for HOLiC. Especially for Watanuki, who wormed his way into my favourite character list before Rou.

    At least they may have time for Gohou Drug or, dare I say it, X now.

  2. @Selenityshiroi

    X is never going to end, is it? >.< I actually haven't read Gohou Drug. CLAMP's not very good at finishing their "pet" projects, it seems. Perhaps they'll bring everything to a close in another alter-universe project ten years in the future. Heck, I never thought I'd see Sakura and Syaoran again, but I did. Alter-universe Doumeki, Yuuko and Wata FTW.

    I think if I read xxxHolic 7 years ago, I might have been more shocked about the ending. But I think my heart has hardened a bit. Or else, I'd be wallowing in pity for poor Watunuki. I sort of have my own theory of the meaning of TRC and xxxHolic and came to terms with it; but if they mess up Kobato, I really will cry. But seeing how the anime ended, I'm going to think Kobato will be a happy ending with Fujimoto. Though Angelic Layer anime pulled an opposite ending from the manga, which also peeved me. If xxxHolic ended "for now" is the same way TRC ended "for the time being," then I'm not expecting much more.

  3. So I finally went ahead and caught up with the past 6 chapters - the only reason I had been continuing on with Holic's pointless meandering was to find out what the Egg was for. And that all came down to nothing - I was shocked that the Egg has been passed down 3 generations and was never used - what was the whole point? >.< So in the end, everyone's dead in Holic-verse save Watanuki - I wonder if Mokona and Maru and Moru are gone as well? What an utterly meaningless life for Watanuki - and in the end, Yuuko shows up in the dream saying Watanuki should leave his cage. Right, so that's another wasted 100 years. Ugh. Can you tell I hate the ending? Why can't CLAMP come up with a "normal" manga series? I've become a bit disillusioned with them recently - CCS might have been the only normal series, which is why it was so popular. Sadly, I don't have much initiative to start reading Gate7 for now. -_-

  4. If CLAMP mess up Kobato. then I don't know what I'll do!

    I love that manga so much! (I've even got a subscription to Newtype for it, despite knowing so little Japanese!)

    I actually don't think TRC needs more-the open, bittersweet (sweeter than most) ending suited the manga and left it easy to imagine all the characters getting a happy, fulfilling ending. But HOLiC doesn't feel finished and I do think that CLAMP have more to say with it. But I think it got a bit too stale and Ohkawa wasn't sure what to do with it. I think some time away is what's needed for the manga. But I'm not holding my breath for a speedy return!

    There are far more CLAMP manga I want to see more of, besides HOLiC, right now, though. Other than X and Gohou Drug, I would love to see more of Chun Hyang. And Clover is still unfinished, too.

    (One point on TRC, though...I wouldn't say no to an omake on the Vampire Twins and the Hunter Brothers, though! This may have everything to do with OPTing Seishirou and Subaru!)

  5. hey wish-chan or any of wish-chan's fans,
    can anyone help me with sth?? does anyone kno da Japanese of "good food"?
    or can any of you suggest me a good name for a resturant?!!

  6. I completely agree. I can't say I expected a happy ending (or a resolution at all, really) from CLAMP. I gave up on that a long time ago. The story is entirely too complex to even begin to neatly package/wrap up. I am glad that we got some answers though. At least we weren't left completely hanging. I was a little - very - upset when I read the chapter, but now I just feel really depressed for Watanuki. Poor baby is just stuck and he's so okay with it. It's heartbreaking.

    In any case, at least we got an ending right? It could be on permanent hiatus like CLAMP's other manga (whose name will not be mentioned). Here's hoping the next ending will be a little more beat.

    Kawaii Girl

  7. I think its endearing how Watanuki kept with his longing. Besides, his not from that world, his just a strange creature popped out of nowhere it seems fair he wants to be with someone like Yuuko, who is also a strange creature amongst normality. And what great he will get if he took off and live a normal life? He will forever be not a part of the world around him, he will never be 'alive'
    I freaking love the ending, it kind of remind me of Twilight Zone, its beautifully construct but I wish they gave an explanation about the egg Domekis great grand son was holding.
    XxxHolic is by far the best CLAMP series EVER!