xxxHOLiC Live Action Dorama – 04 Review

xxxHOLiC Live Action Drama Review Episode 04

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Himawari and Watanuki visit her friend Chikage at home, where she has barricaded herself in her room and has carved タスケテ (tasukete — help me) into her arm. When Watanuki touches her, he enters a dream state, where Chikage points to a sheet on the piano in the school’s music room. Watanuki gets slashed across the hand, so later at school, Himawari bandages it up for him. He says that although he can see spirits, there’s nothing he can do for Chikage. Himawari-chan takes Watanuki’s hand and asks him to ask Yuuko-san for help.

Watanuki does this, leading Yuuko-san to wonder why Himawari-chan didn’t come herself to make the request. She denies Watanuki’s request since he’s not allowed to pay for someone else’s wish. Angry, Watanuki leaves to return to the school that night. Yuuko-san summons Doumeki over, explaining the situation and makes a request of him, giving him a bracelet as payment. She wants Doumeki to follow Watanuki, but he’ll have to make the decision on what to do from there. Doumeki expresses doubts in his newly discovered powers, but Yuuko-san is sure he has them, as demonstrated during the 100 Ghost Stories.

Watanuki makes it to the school, slowly and quietly making his way through the halls. He’s startled when Doumeki shows up, but when asked, he explains that he thinks the answer to Chikage’s Angel-san curse is in the music room. Watanuki enters the room alone and finds the piece of paper used in the Angel-san game while Yuuko-san uses her magic to observe what is going on. Three spirits in the forms of Chikage and two other girls appear, but quickly turn on Watanuki, revealing their true nature. Doumeki enters, but is unable to see the spirits, whom are hurting Watanuki physically.

Turning their attentions to Doumeki, the spirits launch psychic attacks, causes cuts and slashes on Doumeki as well as slamming him into the wall. With Doumeki in a stunned state, the trio return their focus on Watanuki trapping him against the wall with a piano. Doumeki regains his wits, causing Watanuki to ask him to leave. Instead, a furious Doumeki causes a bow to appear, thanks to the bracelet, and shoots the Angel-san paper, dispelling the spirits and freeing Chikage from the curse. The next day, Himawari-chan pays a visit and asks what she can do for the injured pair. Doumeki wants a cake, irritating Watanuki. However, he calms down when Himawari takes his hands and thanks him.

Meanwhile, Ame-Warashi stops by the shop to make a request of Yuuko-san that only Watanuki can fulfill.

Thoughts/Review:

The Angel-san story came from manga chapters 15 & 16 of volume 3. While the core of this story is the same as the manga version, the live action version is much different, and in my opinion, weaker on the whole.

I didn’t mind the change having Watanuki see her cursed friend. I also didn’t mind Yuuko-san giving Doumeki the mystical bracelet that summons the spirit bow for him to use.  Since she made the request of him to help Watanuki, it made sense that she would pay a price.

However, I wasn’t that happy with the change whereby Himawari-chan gets Watanuki to ask Yuuko-san to grant her wish. In the manga, Yuuko-san wouldn’t meet Himawari-chan at the shop, but did meet her and the others at the kids park. She then assigned the job to Watanuki (and Doumeki) who does it to keep Himawari-chan out of Yuuko-san’s clutches.

I also wasn’t happy with how the confrontation with the evil spirit came about. In the manga, Watanuki is nearly overcome by the evil and even Doumeki can sense it. In the manga, the “girls” turned into a youkai-type entity of some sort with a massive body. Doumeki gets beat up while holding Watanuki’s arm to keep him from falling off the roof. Here, Doumeki and Watanuki are like wusses allowing themselves to be beaten up. Yeah, Doumeki got thrown across the room, but the way the scene plays out, it comes off like two guys getting beat up by three high school girls rather than two guys facing a powerful entity.

I do still like the romantic air between Watanuki and Himawari-chan. In the manga, it was fairly unrequited until much later, when it was too late. Here, Himawari-chan appears very much interested in Watanuki in a romantic fashion.  Frankly, I wouldn’t mind seeing the live action version have those two hook up.

So, while weaker than the manga version of the Angel-san story, this episode was still OK. Next episode is Ame-Warashi, and I am pretty excited to see how that gets played.

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