And this episode is exactly why I fell in love with the first season! This episode features Watanuki and Yuuko, exploring a certain concept again, just like many episodes in the first season did. Now that I’m watching this series raw, I have even more respect to the fansubbers of this series. Not only do they have to translate, they also have to find out the different jargon that’s used to denote all the different spirits. It took myself quite a while that “Zasshiki Warashi” basically means “Vestal Sprite”.
There aren’t many series that take an in-depth look at their own themes, but the ones that do nearly always turn into real gems. Jigoku Shoujo, Ghost Hound, Mushishi, just to name a few. At first sight, the episodic format of Jigoku Shoujo, Mushishi and xxxHolic might seem distracting, but it’s much easier this way to explore your theme from different angles, rather than through one continuous storyline. That’s also another reason why Ghost Hound deserves so much credit with its looks at psychology.
This episode is about dreams, and about transferring the dreams of others to yourself. In this way, the creators also manage to slip in a bit of foreshadowing about Himawari’s upcoming story-arc (I have no idea what’s up with her, but the manga-readers seem to love her background). There must be at least something wrong with her, if she’s dreaming of giant one-eyed spirits that swallow her. We also manage to see for the first time Domeki’s grandfather, who reveals something interesting about Domeki as a child: he used to dress in girly kimonos. I can’t wait for the next episode to see Domeki’s reaction when he finds out, and even more to Watanuki’s reaction to Domeki’s reaction.