xxxHOLiC Vol 10 (Ch 118-120) *SPOILERS*

Well, time to wrap up Volume 10, which is a good one. Too bad Del Rey isn’t releasing this one until September 25, 2007. ^_^;;; Thanks again to eXeXeX HOLIC for the scans.

Chapter 118

Summary: The injured Watanuki, laying in bed at Yuuko-san’s shop/house, is surprised to see Himawari-chan there and wonders why. Yuuko-san answers simply that she is needed there. Watanuki apologizes for worrying Himawari-chan because he’s fine. Her serious answer is that he’s fine this time.

As Watanuki observes her, he notices the dark aura around her. Himawari-chan notices this and asks him what is wrong, but he denies that anything is wrong. As he does, he remembers being told that he won’t be able to go back to the time when he didn’t notice anything wrong with Himawari-chan. He decides that maybe denying the truth is the same as lying to her, so he to confess to her the fact that since he met her bad things have happened. She already knows and finishes his sentence for him.

She explains that because she had touched his shoulder in the hall, it caused him to fall out of the window. She’s relieved that he finally noticed — every bad thing that happened from the death of the woman in the accident early on, to the Hundred Ghost Story event where Watanuki was attacked, to the Angel-san event, to the dead woman in the window, to the present happenstance were all because of her.

She knows that Watanuki can see things like youkai and this was confirmed by Yuuko-san. However, she is not a youkai or any other creature that Watanuki has encountered. She is human, howbeit cursed. She was born with the ability to cause bad luck to happen to those she comes in contact with. Only her parents are immune, having created her. She goes into great detail some of the events that happened when she was a child and even how Shinto priest had confirmed her curse.

And so, Himawari-chan having confessed her secret to Watanuki, thanks him for all of the bento meals he’d prepared and says goodbye.

Thoughts: Wow. Just wow. This was an amazing confession on the part of Himawari-chan and shows how much thought CLAMP has put into the creation of this title. Often, characters Watanuki meets have a story that gets resolved right away, but has some impact on Watanuki’s growth. Himawari-chan has been there from Volume 1 of the manga and now in Volume 10, her story has come to a head. She too has played a part in his growth, and it is sad that she is so cursed.

Chapter 119

Summary: Having heard Himawari-chan’s dark confession, Watanuki again apologizes for making her worry and offers to make her something to eat. She wonders if he even was listening to what she said. He did hear, but for him, seeing smile, hearing her say his name, receiving snacks from her, and just being able to meet her makes him very happy. She’s not convinced, stating he could die next time. He assures her that won’t happen. He has no proof, but his belief is based on teh fact that he likes Himawari-chan the best and that he won’t make her cry.

In the end, Himawari-chan decides to accept his offer of food by telling him that a strawberry cake will do. Leaving the room Watanuki is resting in, she slides the doors shut and tells a blood-soaked Doumeki-kun that he has to pretend not to know about the cake as it is a secret between herself and Watanuki. Doumeki-kun agrees but states he’ll have to eat the bento with her and Watanuki, something she agrees to.

After Himawari-chan leaves, Yuuko-san immediately tells Watanuki that the price for getting rid of that curse contains a huge price — it will cost her all of her happiness. She further reveals that Doumeki-kun paid part of the price for Watanuki’s life as did Himawari-chan. The third party that paid a price for Watanuki’s life was they guy that recently stopped in who looked like Syaoran-kun. He asks why, but doesn’t get an answer.

Finally, before he goes back to sleep, Yuuko-san states that she was unable to heal the pinkie finger that he made the yubikiri with Himawari-chan. He’s OK with that and wants Yuuko-san to never tell Himawari-chan this, seeing how he likes seeing her smile. He thing inquires about the price Himawari-chan paid for his life. That is a secret. As for the price Doumeki-kun paid, it was in the amount of blood Watanuki lost. As such, both became customers of Yuuko-san and thus both now have access to the store.

As she leaves Yuuko-san’s place, Himawari-chan is crying because someone had told her for the first time in her life that they were happy to have met her. As such, she’s glad she took his scars as payment for his recovery.

Thoughts: Another incredible chapter, though in slightly different way. Having learned the secret of Himawari-chan, Watanuki’s reaction was not unexpected. After all, he only has eyes for her and that comes through very clearly, much more so than if he’d done the old traditional anime/manga love-confession. Though I still want his and Zashiki-Warashi to end up together, this was the chapter that made me think that I wouldn’t mind Watanuki and Himawari-chan being together. I don’t think it will happen because I don’t think she’ll ever let him know about her scars. We’ll see if I’m right.

Now, as for Himawari-chan and Doumeki-kun now being customers of Yuuko-san — Himawari-chan’s only request of Yuuko-san was in the Angel-san story and that was done outside the store. Further, Watanuki and Doumeki-kun did the work with Watanuki paying the price for Yuuko-san’s assistance. However, Doumeki-kun did have Yuuko-san come over to the temple in chapter 108 when that ghost that Watanuki and Kohane-chan needed to be sent on. So technically, he’d been her customer before, only he’d not seen her house much less been in it (remember, the time’s he’d come by, all he saw was a vacant lot). It seems like a small plot-hole to me, but the manga had made me think that Doumeki-kun would never see Yuuko-san’s store because he didn’t need her services. Oh well, it doesn’t make this any less enjoyable.

Chapter 120

Summary: Watanuki awakens to discover that Yuuko-san is sitting in the room with him. Upon being asked, she tells him he’s been asleep for six days, and she’s kept Doumeki-kun and Himawari-chan informed. Initially, Watanuki has ideas of making his own payments for to repay Himawari-chan, but on his own realizes this would actually hurt her and he doesn’t want to cause her any more pain. Yuuko-san agrees. He decides to work hard so that at the very least, he can cause Himawari-chan to smile, even if a little bit.

Yuuko-san calls him a good child and encourages him to go back to sleep. He’s reluctant to since sleeping means he can’t do anything to help Himawari-chan. So, Yuuko-san gives him an egg as payment for the water he retrieved for her. She tells him to sleep with the egg and raise it any way he wants.

Watanuki does just that and has a conversation of sorts with the egg. He pours in his wish for Himawari-chan to be happy and the egg responds by agreeing to this and stating that it will be born so that this wish can come true. When Watanuki awakens, a strange little bird is there. It is what emerged from the egg.

Yuuko-san comes in and sees what became of the egg. She tells Watanuki that the bird will not be affected by Himawari-chan’s curse, just as (apparently) Doumeki-kun had not been affected. Yuuko-san continues by stating that Himawari-chan has changes as has Watanuki, and she will continue to change. Further, Yuuko-san states that Himawari-chan will become strong.

Thoughts: And so Volume 10 ends with this little bird being born for Himawari-chan. So that means she has a gift coming her way, not to mention that she and Watanuki have a date of sorts where they will eat cake without Doumeki-kun being there. It will be interesting to see where CLAMP takes Himawari-chan. I’m glad they finally went ahead and resolved the storyline of who she is, but I suspect they may have needed to do so for whatever future plans the team has.

This was a great volume, highlighted by the resolution of Himawari-chan’s story. I look forward to reading the chapters from Volume 11.

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