xxxHOLiC Manga Volume 14 Review

xxxHOLiC Manga Volume 14 Review

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Note: This volume will be included in Omnibus volume 5.

xxxHOLiC Manga Volume 14 ReviewWith volume 14, CLAMP gives us a nice, lengthy aftermath to the K0hane-chan story. I like how she is now living with the elderly fortune teller and that Kohane-chan will learn those skills from the fortune teller to augment her own supernatural gifts. CLAMP took the opportunity to show us how Watanuki and Doumeki first met as that aspect has never been seen in the story. We also get a glimpse into their odd friendship from Doumeki’s perspective. So even if small, it is a nice little bit of character work there.

There was one bit about the fortune teller that CLAMP did which I did not care for. The fortune teller was very specific about Watanuki’s fortune and her accuracy early in the series is part of Yuuko-san’s training Watanuki on the difference between a real psychic and a fake. However, because CLAMP revealed that Watanuki is a copy of Syaoran (Tsubasa) with a different form thanks to a wish Syaoran made at some point in the past, this made the fortune teller’s words to Watanuki complete bonk. So CLAMP had to address this issue and make the fortune teller say, “Ooops! I made a mistake.” *_* That makes this wise woman now look old and befuddled and I find that very unfortunate.

CLAMP resumes the adult female cooking student arc, which is one I found bizarre from the start. Her weird phobia about not eating her own cooking combined with Watanuki’s determination to make her eat her own cooking somehow, someway did not really grip me. I suppose because the story is so ordinary (meaning it isn’t dealing with the normal supernatural elements), Doumeki’s instantly knowing the woman’s cooking from Watanuki’s despite preparing it the same way made me roll my eyes a bit. Seriously, how does Doumeki eat out if he can’t get a sense of the person cooking the food? I rather doubt you get a sense of the machine when eating processed foods or restaurants where things are pre-packaged for making. *_*

The chapter of great interest is the one where Yuuko-san walks through the shop and communes telepathically with Maru and Moro. Before that part happens, CLAMP has Yuuko-san spill a great deal of exposition to lay out the connection between Syaoran and Watanuki but unless you’ve read Tsubasa, I’m sure there will be a great deal of confusion as to everything Yuuko-san is blathering about. CLAMP also seemingly retcons Watanuki’s fall out of the school window due to Himawari-chan’s curse. While not removing the cursed element, suddenly CLAMP shifts the whole event to one of Watanuki wanting to kill himself. I remember reading this chapter and thinking, “that sucks and ruins the whole Himawari-chan curse element.”

However, as I mentioned, Yuuko-san’s conversation with Maru and Moro reveals not only that her two creations care a great deal about Watanuki, but things are being established for what’s to come (I say this without spoiling anything). At least here, it appears CLAMP prepared for future storytelling that is now playing out in the current manga chapters in Japan.

Finally, there’s Yuuko-san’s meeting with Haruka-san as the dream meets reality (or whatever you want to call it). Again, this meeting comes into play in the current manga, specifically chapter 193.

On the whole, I found this volume of xxxHOLiC to be OK despite everything. The Tsubasa crossover stuff has the unfortunate effect of muddying the waters and because of that, CLAMP appears to have retconned Watanuki’s accident to tie it with Tsubasa rather than Himawari-chan AND they make the old fortune teller look dumb so that the Tsubasa stuff trumps what had been stated in xxxHOLiC. The aftermath of the Kohane-chan arc and the table setting for future stories trump the negative for me.

 

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