What I’m Watching 05

Always look out for SPOILERS!

Kanon 21 — Yuuichi and Ayu-chan are shown as kids when Ayu made her second wish to him — that the field in the middle of the woods with the giant tree she loved to climb would be their “school” and in addition to no test, homework, or the like, taiyuki will be served daily. Back in the present, Yuuichi has lost his appetite and spends time going to the placed Ayu-chan used to hang out. Nayuki does her best to cheer him on including a stop at a sundae shop and doing homework together. In another flashback, young Yuuichi is seen with young Ayu as the go through the woods and she finds a jar for a time capsule. She then places the angel figure Yuuichi gave to her in it with its one remaining wish and they bury it alongside a pathway outside of the woods. Back in the present, Nayuki and Yuuichi see a partially destroyed snow bunny which Nayuki wants to repair and does. After school, she, Yuuichi, and Kitagawa-kun search the pathway that Ayu had been desperately digging at in episode 20. After much searching, they find Ayu’s time capsule. The following day, Nayuki is relieved to see the snow bunny is still there with the new eye she gave it. While at school, Yuuichi remembers a young Nayuki offering a snow bunny to him, but he destroyed it in his grief. Before he can talk with Nayuki about it, they learn that her mother was in an accident and in the hospital.

Lots of stuff going on here and Nayuki got more screen time than I expected. It seemed like the writers were going to blow her off, but they haven’t. It was tough seeing Nayuki’s snow bunny get destroyed. And the accident provides a convenient vehicle to get Yuuichi to the hospital again.

Mai-Otome Zwei 02 — Terrorist have taken over a bus in Aries and Brigadier General Haruka Armitage is prevented from doing things her way (after a blustery appearance) because Meister Arika (also known as “Meteor Breaker”) is on the bus and without her Robe powers. Since there is a presidential election, candidate Ishigermin arrives on scene to take advantage, only to be upsurped by his “girlfriend,” the former Otome and Valkyrie Tomoe Marguerite, who lets the terrorist know whom Arika truly is. President Yukino Chrysant exchanges herself for the hostages, save Arika, while Haruka and the Otome Delta Squad along with Meister Sara initiate a rescue plan. It goes well until a child comes, which the Delta Squad eventually dispatches. The “shadow figure” attacks and is seen to be the Shinso-sama, the respectful title of the first Otome known as Pure White Diamond, Grand Meister Fumi Himeno. Haruka battles the Shinso-sama, forcing her to retreat but at the cost of Haruka’s own body turning to stone. Later, Headmaster Natsuki and Arika visit Nagi in an Aries prison while in Artai, Nina pays Juliet a visit.

I found this to be somewhat more interesting than the first episode for some reason, though we still don’t know much and only have two episodes to go.

xxxHOLiC 22 — Yuuko-san and Mokona are off somewhere doing something, meaning Watanuki is by himself at Yuuko-san’s store. A woman in a kimono stands at the gate and talks with Watanuki. They are interrupted when Yuuko-san calls saying that she’ll be delayed and that he has a few days off. She advises him to be careful. During his time off, Watanuki attempts to make some progress with Himawari-chan while at the same time, befriending the woman in the kimono, whom he learned has lost her son. Doumeki-kun advises Watanuki to keep the Kudo-kitune (pipe fox) with him, but that doesn’t happen. Meanwhile, as time goes on and Watanuki’s friendship with the woman continues, he begins to get ill and gets another phone call from Yuuko-san about not listening to her warning to be careful.

This story is mostly directly from the manga (sans the elements about Yuuko-san “making gods”) with the anime writers adding a bit more showing Watanuki at his apartment and a photo of himself with his parents (faces obscured). Otherwise I have no comments to make.

xxxHOLiC 23 — Watanuki’s condition worsens and Maru and Moro are forced to carry him to the borders of the yard and toss him out to a waiting Doumeki. Doumeki takes him to his residence (at his family’s temple). At school the next day, he doesn’t bring lunch but eats it in the cafeteria with Himawari-chan. He gives her a White Day gift (which we aren’t shown) before returning to the park that afternoon to see the woman again. The woman knows she’s causing him pain and states that maybe they shouldn’t meet again as his condition grows worse. Sometime later, Watanuki heads out again and meets the woman because she’s lonely. She’s at the park bench and while Watanuki grows worse, Doumeki arrives with his long bow. He can tell the woman isn’t human since he can see through her and using his powers, fires a chi arrow which strikes the woman. She is sent to the beyond, but not before assuring Watanuki that she is no longer lonely. He passes out to awaken at Yuuko-san’s store, where she tells him he’ll be OK and that the woman’s final words were true. The next day at at school, Watanuki brings lunch and actually invites Doumeki to participate with himself and Himawari-chan.

This was never a favorite manga story of mine and the anime 2-parter, while adding tiny bits here and there, doesn’t make it any better. That’s not to say it is a bad story, just not my favorite. The end of the episode was clever with the viewer being the customer at Yuuko-san’s store.

xxxHOLiC 24 — Watanuki is several years younger (in 6th grade). After doing some shopping, he finds himself being chased by hands in the ground. He runs up a tree and a boy his age tells him to throw salt at the hand/arm. He does and it disappears. The two become friends since both can see the odd things such as the arms with hands that chased him. When April 1 comes around (Watanuki’s birthday), he learns his friend is a ghost and that April 1 was the day he disappeared 7-years before. Before the boy leaves for the beyond, he give Watanuki a bone fragment of his. In the present, Yuuko-san, Doumeki, Himawari-chan, and Mokona have a party under the falling sakura to celebrate his birthday.

Another manga story that was interesting in that it showed a bit about Watanuki’s troubles earlier in life and how he’d been able to deal with some of them. As usual, the anime expands upon this greatly since it is only one chapter in the manga. However, it is a fitting (and somewhat pointless) end to an anime that took the point of the xxxHOLiC manga and tossed it in the trash. The anime should have waiting until the manga was done or was many more volumes along.

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