Posted by psgels on 24 June 2009 with categories: xxxHolic, xxxHolic Shunmuki

Well, in case you haven’t heard yet: they’re planning to make the next xxxHolic OAD, to air in 2010. Aand I guess that this episode is the point where xxxHolic stops being xxxHolic, and starts becoming Tsubasa Chronicle’s back-up show (which I assume to have its next OVA announced soon as well). I expected this episode to deal too much with TC, but in the end there was only a small bit about Sakura, and thank goodness there was still lots of WatanukixDomekixHimawari.

The way in which Domeki kept waiting for Watanuki for about six hours was a bit repetitive, but on the other side we can finally see Himawari’s development kicking off. There is this unique triangle between the three of them, in which Himawari is finally ready to crawl out of her shell. The scene with Sakura was also surprisingly solidly done, and neatly answered some questions that Tsubasa Shunraiki left hanging.

But yeah, there were continuity issues as well. Was I the only one surprised at the Rain Sprite’s sudden change of hair-color, and nobody noticing it? That’s really the big problem with the xxxHolic and Tsubasa anime series: the really bad management. When the decision was made to animate these two series, nobody really bothered to look at the big picture. There was nobody who took charge and thought about how they could make this work best. Instead there were too many parties that took too much assumptions: Bee-Train assumed that CLAMP wouldn’t mind it if they went with their own story since the manga hadn’t finished yet, CLAMP assumed that Bee-Train would simply follow the manga’s storyline for three seasons, Production IG assumed that there were not going to be any Tsubasa Chronicle references, so they left all of those out. And so the continuity became a complete mess when they tried to recover these mistakes. For people who haven’t read the manga like myself, anyway.

In any case, I’m not in the mood of writing a review for all of these different series, OVAs, et cetera, but I will provide this list of my opinion on the various adaptations of the franchise:
– Tsubasa Series 1: solid manga-adaptation with strong characters, although it moved really slooow.
– Tsubasa Series 2: lots of fillers that were really fun to watch at times (my favourite being the chibi-episode), and just okay at others, but really ruined the continuity of the series, up to the point at which Clamp made Bee-Train return to one of the previous worlds to show that dead people can’t be brought back to life.
– Tsubasa Movie: for some reason I rated it really highly, but thinking back it was just a boring filler that really wasn’t anything special.
– Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations: Awesome visuals, though tried to cram a bit too much story in too little time.
– Tsubasa Shunraiki: blatantly skips two very important manga-arcs, making it impossible to follow for non-manga readers like myself, and the chapters that were animated were rather boring and hardly anything developed.
– xxxHolic Movie: awesome mystery-movie that even though it has nothing to do with the continuity, stands out with really imaginative visuals and very naturally evolves and lets the viewer guess what the heck is going on.
– xxxHolic Series 1: excellent series about modern folklore, discussing a wide range of thought-provoking topics.
– xxxHolic Kei: while still about modern folklore, the characters become much more central and this series was an awesome character-study of the three main leads.
– xxxHolic Shunmuki: the weakest part of xxxHolic to be honest, but that’s mostly because the others were simply that good. Mostly building up for future OVAs.

Rating: * (Good)
The plot didn’t really interest me, though I really liked Himawari’s growth.

17 Responses

  1. DmonHiro says:

    “Tsubasa Series 1: solid manga-adaptation with strong characters”….that is the largest portion of bullshit I’ve read in a while. They took out all the comedy, all of Sakura’s personality, stayed in the SECOND FREAKING VOLUME for 5 episodes, removed all the comedy, took out most of Sakura’s personality, advenced the story with the speed of evolution, and worse of all they took out all the comedy, and pretty much all of Sakura’s personality, and in doing so, LOST 50% of the manga’s charm. I DREAD to think what you think a BAD adaptation is, let alone what you consider WEAK characters. FUCK YOU BEE TRAIN

  2. James says:

    I agreed, this es the weakest part of xxxholic, but it´s still a good one, in my opinion. Now, about eh mess in terms of continuity I´m also agreed with you, but, it´s not too hard to follow, even if you don´t read the manga.
    I´m just wondering about what will be the plot in the next xxxholic OAD, I just hope they´ll show the TRUE kohane arc THAT would be VERY interesting, but again, if that happens there´s will be references to tsubasa, but interesting ones!

  3. lialiakicks says:

    Tsubasa series 1 & 2 were absolutely dreadful. BeeTrain did a horrible job adopting the series IMO. To add to what DmonHiro said, they basically 4Kids’d the show. Tsubasa isn’t really kiddie stuff. I would have preferred it if Production I.G did BOTH Tsubasa and xxxHolic first series at the same time. >_

  4. Nomus says:

    This is funny. You state, that you are NOT a manga reader. But before it you write, that “Tsubasa Series 1: solid manga-adaptation”. lol How can you know? I can understand, that reading the same thing you just wathced can be boring. Listen, you are making good reviews, people listen to your opinion. But from time to time you start to loose objectivity, because you don’t want to read manga. Sometimes adaptions are better, sometimes – originals are. To know this you must look at both. At least a little.)

  5. miken-chan says:

    Eh, the first season of the TV series of Tsubasa was…bearable at best. After 3 episodes into the 2nd, I just dropped it. What really got me back into the series was the Tokyo Revelations OADs, though the new OADs aren’t really helping me get into the series any more. Since, from here, everything in Tsubasa gets more and more confusing. Plus, the plot twists in the skipped-over Infinity and Seresu/Celes/Whatever were both surprising and changed the mood of the story just as much or even more than Tokyo Revelations.

    As for xxxHolic, it’s managed to stay at least decent if not better throughout all of its forms, so I can’t really complain there. XD;;

  6. chan says:

    The problem for you is that you don’t read the manga, so that makes your review lose a lot points based on your lack of knowledge of the original work. How can you tell weather or not the crossover between xxxHolic and Tsubasa is bad when you don’t even read the manga? How can you tell how much they crossover if don’t read the manga? Your quote alone that xxxHolic is just the dumping ground for Tsubasa storyline is incorrect as the crossover is pretty much equal in terms of shared information.

    The whole problem with xxxHolic cannot be blamed on Production I.G. but again on Bee Train, as because Bee Train decided to do the Tsubasa anime they didn’t allow I.G. to put in any references for Tsubasa, because Tsubasa was slated as a young children’s show, and xxxHolic is not. That was also the reason for the lack of crossovers in xxxHolic Kei, a bit of research can go a long way.

    Oh and in the manga Ame Warashi’s hair is blue, its just that when the anime was made they didn’t know this. Before you do anymore reviews you really should just try to read the manga for both series, as well as do a little research. Otherwise your review will be littered with inconsistencies, or you’ll just look like you don’t know what you’re talking about, to readers who have read the manga.

  7. kagura says:

    Seriously, some people commenting here shoud realize that if they want to criticise something, they should be less rude and more constructive in their criticism, otherwise no one will care much about their opinion, if not consider their comments flaming and trolling :/

    As for the Bee Train’s anime, I have similar opinion to psgels (before you start bashing me: yes, I HAVE read the manga). I’m pretty sure that when BT started working on the anime, they had no idea in which direction the manga would go. They were probably expecting something like the second Cardcaptor Sakura, which you really can’t blame them for, since the TRC manga WAS rather light and innocent before the Acid Tokyo arc. So, since they probably weren’t expecting the gouged out eyes and cut off limbs that follow later, they decided to direct their anime at a slightly larger audience, kids included. Taking all this into consideration, I think they DID manage to do a fairly good job.

    And here’s the last piece of advice for all those anime haters and manga worshippers out there: go and read/watch Cardcaptor Sakura – you’ll see how a REALLY good manga/anime by Clamp should look like; ’cause, as much as I love TRC, I’m still far from being unable to see its numerous faults, which I wish also for you all :P

  8. DmonHiro says:

    Number 7, your argument about them not knowing what direction Tsubasa would go fails. They took out the humor….what possible reason could they have for doing that, except for “Bee Train doesn’t do comedy” BS. There is no way to defend the Tsubasa anime and not look like a moron, especially if you’ve read the manga. There is NO excuse for what the did to Tsubasa, and I hope they pay for it (financially). I have NEVER heard of a manga creator SAYING that they disown the anime. There was Bokurano (another piece of shit adaptation),but at least there the anime director told the manga director he didn’t like the story, and was going to change it. The manga artist told him “ok, just don’t revive the children”, witch he didn’t. He also told the manga readers to not watch the anime. Bee-Train fucked up, and there is no good excuse for it. The only thing good anime the anime was the music, and we all know who to thank for that.

  9. kagura says:

    Number 8, I’m sorry, but I don’t agree with you about the whole “taking out the humor” thing, since, as far as humor goes, the only thing I noticed them taking out, were the drinking sessions the main cast happened to have from time to time, and that’s the only thing I can’t forgive them ;) If you could give some more explicit examples of what they supposedly took out, then maybe I would reconsider your arguments…
    As for Clamp not liking the anime adaptation… well, they have every right for that, but it’s partially their fault for not talking it over with the animators beforehand and not stating it loud and clear as for what they expected from the anime. As far as I know, Bee Train doesn’t specialise in anime for kids, so they could’ve done something entirely different with TRC, if only Clamp had talked it over with them, right? Why did it take them so much time to actually do something about it if they didn’t like the anime so much? They should’ve intervened after the end of the first season…

    Anyway, I’ve no idea why I’m actually talking to someone, who calls me moron so blatantly, but oh well, it’s not like I have anything important to do at the moment…

  10. chan says:

    1) They took out that comedic world where. the characters were about to be sacrificed.

    2) They tried to make Sakura’s wings into a positive thing (FYI she can’t fly with her wings)

    3) They took out most of Shura’s scenes, as well as a lot from Piffle.

    4) Oh and it was pretty obvious from see Seishurou that the series would become very dark. Bee Train just decided that they wanted to make it into a children’s show depsite this fact.

    5) Giving Sakura powers which she doesn’t have in the manga.

    6) Making incorrect assumptions about Faye’s past

    7) Making incorrect assumptions about his relationship with Chii

    Also when Tsubasa was originally slated to come out CLAMP literally had several projects going on at the same time you can see from chibi Yuto’s livejournal account. Bee Train actually offered to do Tsuabasa CLAMP didn’t ask them to do it.

  11. kagura says:

    I agree with you about taking out that one world and those scenes with Sakura – I also think they should’ve just left them as they were. But then again, it’s only common sense that anime adaptation will NEVER be 100% the same as manga. Some scenes will be left out and some will be added. And taking out a few scenes isn’t what makes a bad anime, at least in my book.

    As for Seishirou, he definetely WASN’T the reasone why Tsubasa would become very dark in the later chapters. On the other hand, he definetely was FAR FROM the original Seishirou from Tokyo Babylon. In my opinion, Clamp pretty much butchered his character in TRC, sorry :/

    About giving Sakura powers she didn’t have in the manga or making incorrect assumptions – well, as I already said, if Bee Train and Clamp had actually talked things over, they would’ve probably avoid some of the misunderstandings. The argument that Clamp had several projects to work on and that they didn’t ask Bee Train to do Tsubasa just isn’t enough for me. If you want the anime adaptation to live up to your expectations, then you have to at least talk some things over with the anime creators. If you leave them to do whatever they want, then you have no right to complain later.

    I’m not trying to say that the Bee Train’s anime is the best thing invented since Christmas or anything, I’m far from it. I’m actually quite aware of its faults. But I can also see its good points and don’t think it deserves even half of the criticism it gets from the manga worshippers. The manga itself isn’t that great either. I’d been Clamp fan long before Tsubasa, and I can tell that TRC is rather… mediocre among their other works (but I love the characters – they are pretty much what saves the manga for me)…

    Anyway, trying to persuade me any further would probably be useless. I already have my opinion concerning Bee Train’s anime, you have yours and let’s just leave it at that :)

  12. Nomus says:

    To kagura:
    “flaming and trolling”? Not much of it here. Just some TRC fans.) Of course everyone can have his own opinion. But you can compare manga and anime version. And psgels said it’s “solid manga-adaptation” after stating a few times, that he doesn’t read manga. I don’t get it.( As much as I like this blog, I have to critisize it from time to time.)

    Anyway, yes, it’s hard to follow TSR-anime without reading manga now. But CLAMP like to release random animations based on their works!) Take Clover or CLAMP in Wonderland for example. So, maybe it will be better to read the original or drop this series.

  13. chan says:

    Kagura: The reason I used Seishourou as an example is because his appearance was a sign that the characters from X and/or Tokyo Bablyon were going to be involved and if you know anything about those two series you would realize why it such a dead giveaway

    Again CLAMP didn’t have the time to do this. And since Bee Train volunteered for the project it should be their responsibility that the series follow the manga, as they were the ones that offered to do it in the first place. In fact the simple fact that CLAMP took away their rights to the Tsubasa is kind of an insult, as it means that they couldn’t do the job that they volunteered to correctly. Try as you might, at the end of the day Bee Train is still to blame. Oh and by the way CLAMP did give Bee Train some pointers, and instructions from time to time on what they should and should not do, and apparently Bee Train didn’t follow them. For instance if you look on the web you can find storyboards drawn by CLAMP for the Tsubasa anime. That was one of problems with the Bee Train adaptation is that CLAMP did tell them the direction that Tsubasa would be heading in, Bee Train just didn’t want to go there. They voluntarily did the Tsubasa anime knowing the direction it was going in, and yet still went along with the idea of making the anime G-rated. That’s actually not CLAMP’s fault.

    Also its not that you’re opinion is different from mine that’s the problem its just what you’re opinion is based on.

  14. kagura says:

    Nomus: when I said “flaming and trolling”, I was referring to the first comment only. Maybe I overreacted a bit, but I felt that “that is largest portion of bullshit I’ve read in a while” or “fuck you (whoever/whatever)” weren’t exactly the expressions you should use in a civillized conversation ;)

    About psgels not reading the manga and then stating that the anime was “a solid adaptation” – well, I’m sure that he based his opinion on what he’d heard from people who actually read the manga or the info he’d found on the net. He probably meant that most of (yes, MOST OF, not ALL) the events from the manga were included in the anime, in almost exactly the same way as they were in manga (plus some fillers and stretching some things out – sadly, an inevitable thing in most of anime adaptations), which is basically true. OK, I shouldn’t really speak for him ;)

    Chan: Yes, I’m aware of why you used Seishirou as an example, but it was kind of funny to me, since, sadly for me, he was HARDLY the reason of Tsubasa becoming darker in the later chapters…

    I don’t agree that it was Bee Train’s “responsibilty” to follow the manga. As far as any adaptation goes, it’s always up to the people adapting to decide on which approach to take with the source material. The adaptation can be either 100% faithful or 100% different (or everything in between), all depending on the visions in the heads of the animators and their feelings about the original.

    First you said, that Clamp hadn’t had the time to deal with TRC anime adaptation, then you said they actually DID give some directions. As for me, I think it was probably one big misunderstanding on both sides. After all, if Clamp had indeed hated the anime so much, they would’ve already taken the rights from Bee Train right after the season one. But they did it only after Bee Train had blatantly changed the original storyline and it’d become clear that they were going to take an entirely different approach on the series. Since their views on TRC grew too far apart from each other, further Clamp-Bee Train cooperation became impossible. But it DOESN’T MEAN that Bee Train’s anime was bad as a whole. And, to be honest, I’m glad that Clamp took the rights at the point when it looked like the anime actually had every chance to really get bad in the future (those last fillers were undeniably the weakest part of the entire show).

    OK, so now I already forgot what my original point was :P I probably just wanted to say that anime isn’t as bad as many picture it to be or something like that, but it got lost somewhere along the lines. But don’t worry, that’s pretty much all I had to say :)

    Seriously, and it was supposed to be a post about xxxHolic :P
    Sorry, psgels >_

  15. chan says:

    @ Kagura
    Anime adaptations do not need to follow their manga. However in cases such as this one when the animation studio volunteers for the job, and promise to make the series follow the manga.

    I also think that the flaw in pgsels xxxHolic Tsubasa OAD reviews are that pgsels doesn’t read the manga versions which is the target audience for the OADs, and then complains about being confused. When part of his confusion actually comes from Bee Train adaptation being outright adaptation decay, yes even the first season which outright nerfed Sakura, and Faye’s personality.

    You do know that CLAMP writes the scripts to some of their animes right? In fact they wrote the script for the xxxHolic anime. During that time they also admitted to not having the time to review the Tsuabasa anime, which is why they didn’t take away the rights during season one.Simply put they didn’t even watch season one when it originally aired. They didn’t catch up to the series until it was in the middle of the second season which is when they confronted Bee Train about the anime adaptation, and Bee Train stated that they would make the Tsubasa anime follow a different route. After that Bee Train lost their rights to the series.

    However, in this doesn’t change the fact that CLAMP in the Bee Train anime adaptation’s initial stages had told Bee Train the direction the series would be headed, means that Bee Train was not naive of Tsubasa’s dark nature.

    I tend to like pgsels reviews and I agree with the vast majority of them. However, this one I cannot if only for the fact he himself is ignorant of the necessary source material needed to understand the OADs, and yet still insists on reviewing it, even though he knows that he isn’t the target audience. Because these OADs are not for people who only watched the anime. In fact watching the anime will do nothing more than make you even more confused.

  16. Ebod says:

    Just a small correction, while CLAMP did write the script for some of xxxHOLiC’s anime episodes, it was only SELECT episodes, so around 70% of the scripts were still done by the animation group.

    Also, Cardcaptor Sakura is not exactly the best example of a good manga adaptaion as nearly all of the episode scripts were written by CLAMP and all the character designs and clothes that Sakura wore in each episode was designed by CLAMP as well.

  17. shamu_orka says:

    “the chapters that were animated were rather boring and hardly anything developed.” True, nothing really special happened in Tsubasa Shunraiki: SPOILERS – Kurogane understood the meaning of true strength; Fay stops being angsty; we learn that Fay still wishes to resurrect his dead twin; FWR’s true wish is revealed; we learn Sakura is a clone; Sakura seems to die; Sakura confesses her love to Cloney; Cloney finally shows some emotions; we learn Watanuki is Syaoran’s “other self”; Fay says he knew Sakura was a clone the entire time; Tomoyo says she never buried the Ginryuu with Kurogane’s mother; Fay doesn’t want to die anymore. That, if you ask me, is not much of character developement. We do not learn anything that will be important in the later episodes, right?

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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 09:02 PM)
    One-Punch Man’s pilot was almost adapted flawlessly. It straight up uses the manga panels as it’s main storyboard, but added just enough new touches to improve the action instead of ruining it. Now let’s see how they animate the mosquitos and all the lasers for the next episode.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 08:57 PM)
    And that’s why Madhouse is one of the few respectable studios left. I thought that they will be seriously diminished after Masao Maruyama took some of its key members and funded MAPPA, but One-Punch Man showed that they are still one of the best in the business.
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 08:51 PM)
    @Kaiser The anime industry isn’t advanced enough in CG to make it look good, is all it is.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 05:51 PM)
    @K-off: Your not wrong, it certainly looks poor but some of the old gonzo animated stuff was far more woeful looking. Stellvia, which was done by xebec was another example of old anime cgi which was quite ugly to look at. Just as I prefer traditional effects in film I also prefer traditional animation techniques to cg.
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 05:42 PM)
    Lately, the use of badly integrated cgi have been making my eyes sore,from the obviously cgi background characters in Asterisk to the overly fluid mech movements in Aldnoah. I still remember the shitty cgi piano hands in Kimi no Uso.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 12:04 AM)
    On the note of good balance between humor and drama- I think BoJack Horseman is an example of a show that executed that almost perfectly in both seasons. You are laughing one minute and amused by the hijinks and silliness and the next minute you are actually moved and shocked by the honest introspection. Too be honest BoJack is more a tragic character then a goofy one, and his struggles are deeper and more existential than they have any business being in a show with anthropomorphic animals.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:56 PM)
    The changes in the setting actually made me more excited for season 3 then what I felt the past few weeks, since now the plot needs to move forward from the cliffhanger and hopefully this translates to more cohesion and refocusing on what mad the show great in the first place. I’m pretty sure S3 will also be a blend of episodic and arch story elements tho. Overall a few ups and downs but still a great show.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:52 PM)
    The finale also had some of the most overall arch story elements featured in the season. Earth joining the Galactic Federation is a big deal story-wise from now on. Also the use of a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” (not the Nine Inch Nails one clearly) was a nice fitting yet surprising touch. The throwback to Mr. PB after the credits was a good idea, but felt flat in it’s actual execution.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:49 PM)
    I thought R&M had a pretty good finale. The episode achieved what was missing from most of season 2, and that was a balance of randomness and meaningful bits. What made Rick Potion #9 and the previous season’s finale and general tone great was a sense of humor that was combined with more sincere drama and character developments; a sort of sweet melancholy.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 09:51 PM)
    @K-off, not having too much trouble with the interface but I still cannot create categories.

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