xxxHOLiC Manga Chapter 204 Review

xxxHOLiC Manga Chapter 204

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis: Watanuki gives Doumeki a ring made of peach wood, only it isn’t a ring but a thimble. Further, it is not for sewing, but as a weapon. Doumeki senses something outside the barrier of the shop, which Watanuki says is something akin to an ayakashi.

Watanuki instructs Doumeki to place the thimble on his index (“pointing”) finger even though it would not fit on Doumeki’s ring finger earlier. Doumeki finds that a large bow forms in his hand. With that, Watanuki silently gestures and makes a small opening in the barrier. The ayakashi immediately rushes through the tiny opening and attacks Watanuki. Doumeki uses the bow and an arrow forms, which he launches into the ayakashi. The creature is destroyed and the bow disappears again.

Watanuki explains that this thimble is payment from the Jorô-Gumo. Since Doumeki can sense evil presences, the thimble is something he can carry around with him since he couldn’t carry around a real bow. Watanuki advises Doumeki to shoot if he feels in danger, even if it is from Watanuki.

Watanuki returns inside with his broken glasses and is about to place them in a jewelry box when he opens it to find another set of spectacles inside. He senses magic coming from them and that these will protect him. Upon putting on the glasses, he sees Yuuko-san’s mandala and her butterfly symbol in the lid of the box. Watanuki wonders if she foresaw his need for new glasses and placed these here since there are no coincidences, only hitsuzen.

xxxHOLiC Manga Chapter 204
Thoughts/Review: After the rather ho-hum chapter last time (not that it was bad, it just didn’t really do anything), things took a rather interesting twist this time. Now, Doumeki has a weapon that will be on his person at all times, providing he wears the ring-thimble. Doumeki with a spirit bow is something we’ve not seen in a while. As Watanuki said, Doumeki could use his power with a regular bow (and he has done so in the past). Taking that into consideration and Watanuki’s semi-ominous words, one tends to think that CLAMP is about to bring some more action into the manga. More on this in a bit.

We’ve also not seen those strange youkai “spirits-things” in a while. I wonder why it has been hanging outside the shop’s barrier (I know it couldn’t enter due to the barrier). Interesting that as soon as Watanuki gave it an opening in the barrier, it immediately rushed in and attacked him. Watanuki sure put a lot of confidence in Doumeki’s ability to make a quick decision and exorcise the critter. It is ironic that Doumeki still has not made a choice regarding that egg of his (I assume that’s what Doumeki was referring to).

Also, it is interesting that the creature was called an ayakashi by Watanuki, though he did qualify that statement with not being sure it could be called one.

Finally, there are the new glasses that Watanuki found in the box. Again, CLAMP implies they have a magical, defensive purpose. I get the strong impression that Yuuko-san’s mandala in the box lid was not seen until he put the glasses on, meaning they may help Watanuki see even better than simple regular eyesight. Did Yuuko-san know Watanuki would need the new glasses? Very possible since she could read the future to a degree.

I mentioned earlier that it seemed like CLAMP is setting up xxxHOLiC to become a more action-filled title. Chapter 204 marks the end of the series as a seinen manga as it will no longer be published in Weekly Young Magazine. Instead, xxxHOLiC is moving to Bessatsu Shounen Magazine, a monthly shounen manga magazine. xxxHOLiC was always a mild seinen manga, just a bit above Ah! My Goddess on the mild scale due to some of the subject matter in xxxHOLiC (I’d say Ai Yori Aoshi is somewhere in the middle due to the nudity and a title like Futari Ecchi is at the wild side of the seinen manga).

As such, I don’t see xxxHOLiC becoming any milder. CLAMP showed that they could (and did) push the limits of a shounen title with how dark and bloody Tsubasa became before it ended. The magic thimble-ring that Doumeki has as well as Watanuki’s new magical glasses do suggest to me that the manga will shift to an action-oriented title. If true, then cases brought to Watanuki for resolution may not be like the ones we’ve seen brought to Yuuko-san, or even the ones Watanuki has been shown to do to date. We’ll see what happens though.

One thing I do expect is that there won’t be any more extended breaks for xxxHOLiC as there will be 12 chapters a year come out. I expect the chapter lengths to be about the size of 204 — maybe 20 to 24 pages. That means two tankoubons a year at six chapters each. I can live with that if the stories are entertaining.

One final thought — I see I was wrong about the passage of time. Since the thimble was a payment from Jorô-Gumo, that confirms that we haven’t jumped forward any more in time. I was definitely reading things that weren’t there. ^_^;

So, a long chapter that seems to be setting the table for a more action-filled shift in the manga. Considering the series is now a shounen manga, I suppose it isn’t surprising that we might see more action.

xxxHOLiC Manga Chapter 204

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2 Responses to “xxxHOLiC Manga Chapter 204 Review”

  1. Hughroe says:

    Oh my, the “If I turn, kill me” bit.

    But it is Watanuki

  2. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Yeah, it is. *lol*

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