xxxHOLiC Live Action Dorama – 03

xxxHOLiC Live Action Drama Review Episode 03

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Watanuki wakes in an empty classroom from a nightmare to see Himawari-chan there to eat lunch with him. Her bento proves to be store bought, so Watanuki asks if she’d like to make her a bento. She says she would, but he has to make one for Doumeki as well, much to Watanuki’s displeasure. That evening at the shop, Yuuko-san discovers that Watanuki is making a bento for Himawari-chan, but since she knows he’s too timid to do anything like ask her out on a date, she suggests a group date and 100 Ghost Stories. At school, Watanuki mentions this to Himawari-chan, who’s excited at the idea of seeing ghosts. Despite Watanuki not wanting to do it, he caves to Himawari-chan’s wish after Doumeki offers his temple as the place to hold the event.

On the designated evening, Yuuko-san arrives with Watanuki, where Himawari-chan is already waiting. She and Yuuko-san exchange greetings and Doumeki acknowledges Yuuko-san from the door of the temple. After proper preparations have been made, the group take turns telling stories. Himawari-chan’s final story speaks of a girl for whom every time she sits in the front seat of a bus, the bus runs over someone, ending up by running over the girl’s dog. Watanuki tells a tale of a boy who saw spirits and was led to the roof of a hospital where his sick mother was by one. His mother, realizing Watanuki was gone from the room, goes to the roof and saves him at the cost of her life.

Yuuko-san finishes by saying that they now have a guest. A spirit of some sort attempts to enter the room, which is sealed by four candles. However, as it reveals itself by opening one of the internal door panels to the room, Himawari-chan’s fearful reaction causes the candles to go out. The spirit takes the form of Watanuki’s mother, but it is in fact the same spirit he’d seen as a child. The evil spirit takes advantage of Watanuki’s grief to try to strangle him, leading Yuuko-san to direct Doumeki to take a bow and shoot the spirit even though he has to arrow. A spirit arrow forms and Doumeki nails the spirit, exorcising it. Now saved, Yuuko-san explains things to the group and suggests Watanuki stick close to Doumeki. Watanuki goes to leave in disgust, but is stopped by Himawari-chan, who asks a favor of him.

Thoughts/Review:

The 100 Ghost story was in the manga (chapters 13, 14, and 15 of volume 2), but the live-action adaptation makes some significant but acceptable modifications.

The general aspects of the adaptation are the same. In the manga, Watanuki has an encounter with Himawari-chan at the outdoor water faucets during PE, during which Doumeki shows up. That allowed Watanuki to be his flailing, screaming self to amuse Himawari-chan. In the dorama, Himawari bringing her lunch to the classroom that Watanuki is in helps push the romantic angle between the two, suggesting that she might be a little interested in him.  I liked that.

I was also amused by Watanuki’s apparent disbelief over Himawari-chan bringing in store-bought bentos. In the manga, he always assumes that the food Himawari-chan brings in is her own, but here, he knows what it is, and I rather like is reaction, especially since it meant making food for her (and Doumeki, at her request).

When it came to Yuuko-san setting up this group date thing, the manga had her be a bit racy by dropping the strap of her dress and teasing Watanuki. This episode did something similar, having her drop her overshirt and approach Watanuki in a somewhat suggestive fashion. The result was the same, and possibly more fun in the live-action version.

I was disappointed that Himawari-chan did not wear a kimono as she did in the manga. Actually, Watanuki wore one as well in the manga, so both should have been wearing them in the adaptation. At least they had Yuuko-san and Doumeki in kimonos.

In addition to the actual ghost stories being changed, the thing that stood out for me were the final stories Himawari-chan and Watanuki told. While it was made VERY clear that Watanuki’s story was about his mother, I felt that it was also clear that Himawari-chan’s story was about herself, giving us the first taste of her being cursed.

While the reason for the evil spirit wanting to kill Watanuki was never clear to me, the scene itself had a much greater horror aspect to it.  I didn’t mind that at all.  However, I did not like the fact that as Watanuki is under attack and being strangled, Yuuko-san seemed to just be taking her time in getting Doumeki to fire a spirit arrow at the evil being.  I kept thinking, “Get on move on, will you?!” *lol*

Still, I did like this episode, and I liked how the issue of Watanuki’s mother was handled. I’m liking the romantic aspects between Himawari-chan and Watanuki as well. So, when I get the chance, I’ll watch more.

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6 Responses to “xxxHOLiC Live Action Dorama – 03”

  1. Ten says:

    Random question, from a random person: How does taking away the humorous characters quirks modify the atmosphere in jdrama?

    I am very interested in viewing the series but it is a concern.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      > How does taking away the humorous characters quirks modify the atmosphere in jdrama?

      For this series, the feeling has a darker, more horrific feel to it than similar moments in the manga.

      At the end of this episode when Yuuko-san is telling Watanuki that he’ll need to stick close to Doumeki, he has a more realistic, negative reaction to this than Watanuki in the manga having his humorous reaction. Ditto Watanuki’s reaction to Himawari-chan’s request that he make a bento for Doumeki as well as her.

      So while the quirky, comedy stuff is gone, thus far, I feel the TV series captures things in a more realistic manner, considering the paranormal aspects of the series.

    • Ten says:

      Thanks for the feedback.

      And you, sir, just pushed me to a binge-watching session.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Hopefully, you had fun. ^_~

  2. Lulu says:

    This is cool! I like XXXHOLIC. You should write a review of Tsubasa Chronicles. It’s by the same author, CLAMP, but I like it a bit better.
    Thanks.

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