xxxHOLiC Manga Volume 11

xxxHOLiC Volume 11

SPOILER Summary: The now recovered Watanuki is paid a visit by the annoyed Ame-Warashi and the very much in love Zashiki-Warashi to see how he’s doing. Zashiki, wearing western clothing and Watanuki’s White Day gift, it a little too bashful to say much and ends up trying to hide while Ame irritatedly remarks on how Watanuki is the cause of the changes to Zashiki.

After they leave, Watanuki meets up with Himawari-chan and Doumeki-kun. It is here that Watanuki gives the little, yellow bird to Himawari-chan as a present. Ultimately, Himawari-chan has Watanuki name the bird, so he choses “Tanpopo,” which is the Japanese word for dandelion. He choses this because the bird is yellow, like the tanpopo, and Himawari-chan likes the name because she too is named after a flower (sunflower in her case). At school, Himawari-chan and Watanuki have the desert he made and as promised, Doumeki does not show up for that, but waits until the bento is being served.

Sometime later, Yuuko-san wants Doumeki to come by her shop. The Kudakitsune is apparently upset that Watanuki gave a name to the bird while it does not yet have a name. Watanuki tells Yuuko-san he doesn’t own the pipe fox spirit and so could not name it, but she counters, saying that it very much wants to be named by him. So, it becomes “Mugetsu,” the Japanese term for “moonless,” which the animal likes very much. Yuuko-san uses this as a reason to celebrate and has Watanuki get some find adult beverage which is also known as Mugetsu. After he leaves, Yuuko-san hands Doumeki a gold egg, the twin to the one she gave Watanuki, as payment for the water he delivered to her. While it is not a magical egg like the one Watanuki hatched into Tanpopo, Yuuko-san does state it is special and that he should keep it with him at all times.

During the celebration, Yuuko-san is paid a visit by a girl wearing the uniform of Watanuki’s school. This customer is afraid of her home and the presences she feels inside, so Yuuko-san gives the girl a small bell to grant her wish of her home no longer being frightening. The next day, Watanuki and Doumeki discuss this with Himawari-chan and when he goes to Yuuko-san’s place, the girl is there, upset that the bell didn’t work. So Yuuki-san gives her two. This continues with the girl getting more and more upset.

One night, Watanuki sees Haruka-san, Doumeki’s grandfather, in his dream again. The two talk about this girl and so pay a visit to her dreams. It is there that Watanuki witnesses what she’s experiencing. However, there are two girls in the home. The girl Yuuko-san is helping hears footsteps while the other girl keeps hearing bells. Both are afraid and can even feel each other when they bump into each other, but can’t see each other. The other girl screams to her mother about getting an exorcist and it is then that Watanuki realizes that Yuuko-san’s client is a ghost. After talking to Yuuko-san, he understands that the girl will not return because of the exorcist and in the end, got her wish because in leaving the house, her fear went away.

Watanuki is walking to Yuuko-san’s shop one afternoon when the Odenya-san’s young kitsune son’s paw appears with a bento for Watanuki as thanks for the dream balloon. The young kitsune cannot make his whole body appear, but wants Watanuki to have the oden he made. He shares the bounty with Yuuko-san. He’s not sure about the thank you gift for a thank you gift, but he makes a wish of Yuuko-san, who grants it, the price being the oden she has consumed. Doumeki and Watanuki head into the night street and just at a certain time, the Odenya-san appears with his cart and son. Watanuki gives the young kitsune a pair of mittens, which the fox spirit loves. All of this is seen by Doumeki.

Another day, a 2-headed black bird tries to fly into Yuuko-san’s yard, but is dispelled by Yuuko-san as it hits the gateway. Mokona remarks on how the barrier that protects the shop is getting weaker, despite the efforts of Maru and Moro. Apparently, the Tsubasa crew have something to do with this.

Meanwhile, Watanuki, with Doumeki tagging along, sees Kohane-chan and they talk. Watanuki sends Doumeki to get some warm, canned coffee from a vending machine and Watanuki learns that it was Kohane-chan who sent Yuuko-san’s ghost customer to the other side. Kohane-chan had sensed Watanuki’s presence in the home when she did her thing. Watanuki gives Kohane a pair of gloves as a present, which she really loves. When Doumeki returns with the coffee, Kohane-chan remarks on how Watanuki and Doumeki are now “mixed together.”

At her shop, Yuuko-san provides commentary on that very topic, noting that Watanuki has changed, but so has Doumeki, who can now see the spirits and youkai that Watanuki can see.

Back with Kohane-chan, she hastily gives whats left of her coffee to Watanuki as her mother approaches, angry that Kohane-chan went out on her own. She never calls her daughter by name and in her rant, she is only concerned for Kohane’s TV appearances and the money those bring. She’s terrified of Kohane losing her gift by eating or drinking something “impure.” Watanuki decides that he’s going to see Kohane-chan again and make her a dish she really likes.

The following day (or so), Watanuki is walking home with Himawari-chan and Doumeki when suddenly he can’t move and finds that as Doumeki and Himawari move away from him, they seem to take the light with them. He wakes up in Yuuko-san’s shop, in bed, where she informs him that Himawari-chan and Doumeki brought him to her. Yuuko-san razes Watanuki a bit, but as she turns away, she has a moment of seriousness where she tells him to spend the next few nights in the shop. Her official reason is so he can prepare meals for parties she’s planning but in reality, it is because the final moment is approaching.

Thoughts: The return of the Ame-Warashi and the Zashiki-Warashi was good stuff, even if brief. Ame is a delight because of her “why must I deal with fools” nature and Zashiki is just such a sweetheart. I remember when this came out originally in Japan that I noticed she was wearing western clothing instead of the kimono that she normally wore. Plus, she wore Watanuki’s White Day present, the twin barrettes. It was then that I really felt that I wanted Watanuki to somehow end up with Zashiki romantically. I doubt it happens, but you never know.

This was also the chapter that made me get caught up to the then current story of Tsubasa in Japan with Mokona’s remark about crying and some terrible thing happening in that storyline. Sure, I didn’t have to know that story to enjoy this volume of xxxHOLiC, but it did help a lot.

When I initially read about the “final moment,” I figured that maybe CLAMP would end the manga sooner rather than later. To be sure, the stuff out of Japan feels like it is moving to a conclusion (howbeit slowly) but its still ongoing so I guess this is the “beginning of the end” as the story moves into some sort of final phase.

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