XXXHOLiC (2005– )
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Using superstitions and other paranormal aspects, xxxHolic conveys messages and morals with humor and some actual frights. xxxHolic presents a look at life from a very unique perspective. A must-see.
This series was a lot of fun with great characters; enjoyable stories and a very distinctive look to it. The characters are all drawn in a way that makes them look very tall and thin; this somehow adds to the atmosphere of the show. The episodes are mostly stand-alone stories that vary in tone from dark, where people might die to the more comic where events are played for laughs. More often than not the amusing scenes involve Shizuka Domeki; a boy who Watanuki seems to need but dislikes. If you have yet to see this series from Studio Clamp than I recommend checking it out.
These comments are based on watching the series in Japanese with English subtitles.
The story follows a fail of a boy named Watanuki. Pretty much everything he does, he messes up with and is always hunted down by spirits. He is the only one who can see them which makes him look like a fool most of the time when he runs around the town from spirits that seem to not exist. Now here is where some of the inconsistencies that I found. Almost every picture I have seen of him has two different eye colors but yet, the anime has given him both blue eyes. I am not sure exactly which is true but it's what I've seen from the manga, it's supposed to be the later.
Yuuko is an interesting character and from what I've seen, they are actually alike between the manga and anime at least in looks. She has a way of getting what she wants with no worry as to what will happen to the other person although I believe she always knows it will work out. I never once saw her worried that something may happen.
If Watanuki wears his emotions on his sleeve, Domeki is the exact opposite. Maybe that's why they make a great pair. Domeki cancels all of Watanuki's crazy antics, giving mostly a base monotone as he speaks. I wish he was actually in the show more often and given a bigger role because it was really fun to see the conversation between him and Watanuki (and the idea of them being a yaoi pair makes my fan girl in me scream for joy...) In fact, all the characters are pretty memorable as main characters except for one. Himawari is a little two plain and cheerful all the time. Sometimes I want to smack her hard because she just gets so annoying. There are many times that Yuko gives cryptic statements about her but it is never explained what is going on with her.
I somewhat understood all that was being said but then some of what they talked about, I felt would only make sense to a Japanese person such as the game 'Angel' which seems to be a Japanese version of Ouija Board or Wigi Board. When they first talked about it, I thought that it was something else. Another thing that is bothersome to me is that no one takes her advice, which I understand, some of the reasons for it but then they get into problems and suffer for it and I just have to roll my eyes at it.
The animation is alright but all the characters are much too thin and long limbed which makes it hard to watch sometimes. Even fluid movements would never make the shows good to me. There are many times when the artwork pretty much sucks for an anime, and really makes me wonder. It surprises me that such a low design could come from Clamp. In fact, the fact that there are references to other Clamp manga's in the show is interesting if you take the time to pick them out. Sadly, the only details with this seem to be in the background except one or two things the characters end up wearing and the characters themselves are poorly lacking in detail and actual proportions with arms and legs going everywhere during freak outs. I also don't like how their eyes are all blank. They have no high lights what so ever so it makes them look dead.
I really like the English Voice acting, which to me, it's much better then the Japanese. The English has more fluid movement in fact then the Animation and feels like a cloud of smoke to the ears. At least for most of the things Yoko says. The other actors are pretty good for them going with Shizuka's monotone to the crazy way Watanuki's voice gets with some of the things he gets in to. Really I do feel sorry for the boy. The music is also really well done, giving it a really nice mystic feel to it and the opening is rather fun. I would watch this for the story line but pretty much not much else.