Watanuki Kimihiro has been able to see supernatural creatures ever since he was young. To make matters worse, the creatures seem horribly attracted to him.
Whilst Watanuki was walking in a crowd one day, a thick cluster of creatures began to follow him. Watanuki ran as fast as he could, but the creatures eventually caught up and engulfed him, rendering him to roll on the ground. As he was rolling, he touched the wall of an unusual shop. Somehow, he was lead inside where he meets an unusual woman who introduces herself as Yuuko Ichihara. Yuuko is a witch that grants any wish in exchange for something.
Without spoiling the storyline, it's safe to say that from that day on, Watanuki's life has never been the same.
Firstly, I should mention the correct pronunciation of the title. It reads as "Holic" as the "xxx" stands for a variable.
The series has its strong points and flaws. To make this review a more pleasurable thing, I shall begin with the compliments.
Of all the works CLAMP (author) made into an anime, this would so far be the most serious. The story telling is eerie and mysterious with its well distributed silence. Elegant and heart-warmingly admirable with its perfect combination of ambiguity and humor in its dialogue makes it a great anime to watch. One can appreciate the beauty of its creepiness as well as the easiness of its humor.
The anime combines CLAMP's signature childishness and stereotypicality (is that a correct word?) with a brand new atmosphere of maturity and formality. It borders between a work for entertainment and a work of serious literature. In it, you can see factors of stereotypical titles, like the love triangle (Watanuki x Himawari x Doumeki), the rivalry (Watanuki x Doumeki), CLAMPís signature irritating characters (Yuuko, Maru and Moro, Mokona) and catch phrases ("There's no such thing as fate, only inevitability." ; "may your wish be granted!" ).
But even these somewhat typical factors are, in a need of a better term, improvised by CLAMP. The love triangle isn't really a love triangle in the strictest sense, as only Watanuki seems to treat it as such. The rivalry, too, is not accurately a rivalry. In fact, it mirrors the relationship between Shirou Kamui and Monou Fuuma from X, another work by CLAMP.
The characters are an interesting part. It is CLAMP's signature to recycle characters and ideas from previous works. As I have done my research (I haven't read the manga) it seems like Yuuko was actually acquainted with CardCaptor Sakura's Clow Reed, the whole main cast of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles, is aware of the existence of Shirou Kamui from X and Subaru Sumeragi of Tokyo Babylon. It seems like the black Mokona is also based on an original Mokona, the one from Rayearth. You can even see the debut anime appearance of the lead characters of Legal Drug in episode 6, as the two make a cameo appearance.
Yuuko's catch phrases are also quite interesting. The preview of the next episode always ends with "Anata no Negai wa Kanaimashou" (may your wish be granted). Her other catch phrase is, "There is no such thing as coincidence, only inevitability". The word "inevitability" is a rough translation of the word "hitsuzen", a concept that explains the importance of one event to the conception and eventual happening of another. This is again a recurring theme in CLAMPís works.
The cast was quite interesting. I just finished the yaoi OVA series "Okane ga Nai", before I began this series. Knowing that Jun Fukuyama is a cast member of both titles, I was impressed with his versatility. In Okane, I first mistook him for a female seiyuu, as he sounded so feminine when he voiced Ayase, but in xxxHolic, he was quite masculine.
The other cast members too were quite talented. Sayaka Oharaís performance as Yuuko was very impressive, capturing her combination of Sage like personality as well as her annoying but cute quirkiness (that was the first time I used the word "quirkiness" ).
The art, too was good, though there is something I need to comment on about it later. I have known that CLAMP was good at character design, but I must say that Yuuko Ichihara is their most interesting (if not obsession worthy) character yet. Not only is she unworldly beautiful, but her personality is the deepest that CLAMP has created so far as well. The male characters too looked interesting.
Now that the rave part is done, letís go to the ranting.
(background music = Bach Toccata and Fugue in D minor).
There goes CLAMPís one recurring flaw. The charactersí bodies are too long and thin. They looked like matches with arms.
There are also flaws in the details in the plot, like the fact that Doumeki canít enter the shop but in one earlier episode he enters it with Watanuki and Yuuko.
All in all, I liked the series. As you could see, I see more compliments than criticisms, a fact that defies the very definition of the universe (how could that happen!? I donít see anything wrong!?).
I am eagerly awaiting the next season, which is scheduled for broadcast sometime in April 2008.
This is a series for the intellectual, so if you think youíre one, try this series.
Official Website: http://www.productionig.com/contents...43_/index.html
Would you recommend the product? Yes
Price you paid? None indicated
[SIGPIC]I LOVE PUCCA[/SIGPIC]