Before watching this OVA, I had heard from people that xxxHolic Rou would be very confusing. But Bloody Nora, I never thought that it’d be this extreme! The non-manga readers who have yet to see this episode: STAY AWAY FROM THIS POST! MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD.
Because of xxxHolic Shunmuki, I was expecting something Tsubasa-related as well. Instead, the Tsubasa-cast doesn’t make an appearance at all. Instead, we get a time-skip of who knows how many years, in which A TON has happened: Yuko is dead, and Watanuki has now taken her place. This episode asked a whole tidal wave of new questions: what the heck happened to Yuuko? What caused her to come back? Why did Doumeki’s name change? Why does it seem that Watanuki can’t leave the shop? And taht’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Even for xxxHolic’s standards, this episode was dark. Watanuki has changed a lot. The visual comedy around him and Doumeki is completely gone now. Instead, the jabs he takes to Watanuki are short and subtle. Also, this episode never left the shop: everything we see is from Watanuki’s perspective, who somehow doesn’t leave the shop. Doumeki also lost the wise-cracking part of him: he now really doesn’t fool with Watanuki anymore. He’s actually graduated university at this point.
I guess this episode was all about Yuuko’s… rebirth or something, but what got to me the most was that phone-call at the end of this episode. After all that build-up! After all that time that was spent on the relationship between Watanuki and Himawari to make them like the perfect couple… she actually ended up marrying someone different and the two have grown apart!
I must say, Clamp: you did it again. This episode really was amazing in its character-development. It’s such a stark contrast from what xxxHolic used to be. Including the time-skip was a brilliant idea.
Rating: *** (Awesome)