xxxHOLiC Manga Chapter 166

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis: After Watanuki hears that the woman he is teaching to cook won’t eat her own cooking (because she finds that idea disgusting), Watanuki heads home with Mokona. Passing Doumeki’s place, Mokona convinces Watanuki to stop by. Doumeki asks if Watanuki should be wandering the streets at night, but Watanuki hasn’t been bothered by spirits and stuff lately. They discuss the woman, her refusal to eat anything she’s cooked, and Doumeki’s turning up his nose at the food she made. Doumeki explains that his reasons for not liking her food is that it had no “heart” and as such, he could not get a feel of the person who made it.

After their conversation, Watanuki decides he’d like to get the woman to eat her own food. With that, Mokona and Doumeki decide that Watanuki needs to make them some food. He’s annoyed but as usual, agrees to do so. Once he goes into the kitchen, Doumeki asks Mokona if it is OK for Watanuki to be there since Yuuko-san would be of greater assistance to Watanuki than Doumeki would. Mokona answers that Watanuki needs to keep moving forward.

Thoughts/Review: This story arc has been kind of strange, though that’s not unusual for xxxHOLiC. While certainly having a feel for earlier stories (someone with a problem gets their wish granted for a price), I gather from Mokona’s final statement that we should see some character development for Watanuki. I hope so since we know so little about him other than he’s somehow tied to Syaoran and Sakura from Tsubasa.

Still, the whole idea of not eating ones own prepared food is so bizarre. Does that include sandwiches? Technically, you aren’t preparing anything, just slapping some stuff between two slices of bread.

I think this concept of not eating food one has made, while even weird in Japan, is going to be harder to grasp in the U.S. In the city in Japan, you are never that far away from a vending machine (or rather a vending machine center) and there’s usually some sort of convenience store in the neighborhood. As such, one could quite easily never cook a meal in their whole life. You grab something to eat on the way out, eat out at lunch, and eat out or pick up a prepared something on the way home. If worse comes to worse, you grab something to eat from a vending machine (and yes, you can even get hot food from a vending machine in Japan).

It will be interesting to see where this all leads.

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