Posted on 23 May 2008 with categories: xxxHolic


Another very solid episode from xxxHolic. This one too goes back to the first one, and is another one in the collection of “stories about girls and women with mysterious problems” that were featured in many of the episodes of the first season. It’s episodes like these which are especially important for this series, because they take the focus away from Watanuki and instead are all about their characters. This makes the viewer both enjoy the character in question more, and look forward to seeing the next serious story about Watanuki. Besides, I love it when main characters end up taking the roles of mere spectators.

The case this time is about a girl whose house is being haunted. She can hear sounds, as if people were living there. What’s actually happening is that she’s the ghost, and doesn’t realize that she’s dead. In the end, Yuuko gives the girl a number of bells that would amplify her presence in the house. In this way, the real residents would be so freaked out that they’d call an exorcist.

I must say that that was a very interesting way to exorcise the ghost. Yuuko refused to let the girl know that she was a ghost, and she refused to exorcise the ghost herself, and I wonder why she did that. Is this called “thou should never kill thy customers”, or something? Or did she decide to just leave things to the professional exorcists, who know how to properly get rid of a ghost?

Posted on 16 May 2008 with categories: xxxHolic


Finally! A catgirl who doesn’t end her sentences with “-nya”. She also doesn’t have any of the nervous tics to make her seem excessively cute either. I like that.

In any case: I really must praise the second season by fixing about the only thing that was wrong with the first season: the fact that the stories had no connection to them. The second season so far has been really good at foreshadowing its future stories. It’s a small touch, but it makes this season feel more as a unity than just a collection of random short stories, while avoiding to become a series with a continuous storyline.

The current story was about said catgirl, and it was delightfully close to the horror-stories that we saw in the first season of xxxHolic. The interesting thing is that it never tried to be anything big. The story was just very simple with hardly any unnecessary twists. A really good example of the simple, yet effective episode, and at the same time it foreshadowed Himawari’s arc some more. I suspect that the creators will save her arc for the end of the season.

I’m a bit iffy on the explanation the creators gave, on how the body of the dead girl has sat in her chair for years now, due to the fact that her body won’t decompose due to the chemicals that are in the food we eat. Even preserved meat goes bad if you don’t seal it to prevent outside air from reaching it, so why should a human suddenly become entirely immune to the process? Still, I admit it’s a freaky thought: perhaps the technology to completely preserve our bodies in the future.

Apparently, the creators also seemed to have cut out Tsubasa Chronicle references in this episode yet again. In a way, I’m glad that they did so. xxxHolic is basically a series about modern folklore, not some kind of back-up series for Tsubasa Chronicle. I’ve also heard from various sources that the Tsubasa Chronicle Manga is starting to get more ludicrous with every single volume, so it’s good that the creators have decided to keep things simple. I can imagine how there was a bit of collaboration between the teams that worked on the xxxHolic and Tsubasa Chronicle movie, but I can imagine how with so many references, trying to manage these crossovers will be near-impossible.

Posted on 9 May 2008 with categories: xxxHolic


Okay, here’s something I didn’t expect: instead of developing Kohane, this episode decides to ignore her for now and instead focuses on taking care of the spirit we saw in the previous episode that came to live in Doumeki’s sakura trees. It’s basically one big Mah-jong-game (with obvious references to Akagi). While it doesn’t beat the epic snowball-fight of season one, it was quite fun to watch.

There’s nothing much to say, really. This is one of these episodes you need to watch for yourself. While the rain and vestal sprite came rather from out of nowhere, their chemistry with Watanuki was really enjoyable. This is really the beauty of xxxHolic: you’ll never know when it’s going to be serious or laid-back, and it’ll be enjoyable either way.

I do want to use this opportunity to say something about the nature of parodies, though, because I felt that the appearances of Akagi were rather useless. I personally really lke parodies, but they only work when they make the thing they parody look ridiculous. Just including a reference to another series here and there gets boring, especially when overused (yes, I’m talking to you, Lucky Star). Take Master of Epic for example: it did an excellent job in creating an entire setting out of a parody. Or take Ooedo rocket with its FMA-references. It’s quite humorous to see the voice-actors of FMA playing completely different roles, and that’s why these “Nii-san!”-references worked so well. Watanuki’s Akagi-face was actually one of the least funny jokes in this episode, and I see more series that try to just include a reference in an attempt to be funny.

Posted on 2 May 2008 with categories: xxxHolic


The big improvement, aside from the increased graphics-budget, of the second season is the inclusion of foreshadowing. The first season was very good, but the stories all felt a bit disconnected from each other, aside from the occasional appearances of the Rain and Vestal Sprite. The second season however has cleverly been inserting small introductions of the upcoming arcs in the past few seasons. My guess is that this second season will feature three major arcs: the spider-queen, the current one with the psychic girl and the final one will be Himawari’s background, with in-between small stories like in episode four. It really gives the viewer something to look forward to, and brings more unity to the whole series.

This episode mostly introduced the young girl, and her relationship with her mother. The mother is a typical case of a parent who’s become too obsessed with how famous her daughter has become, and starts seeing her just as a tool, and she’s clearly suffering from a lot of stress. The atmosphere about this episode was just perfect.

In this episode, she was asked to remove the spirit of a dead woman from a sakura-tree. I believe that with the help of Watanuki, she managed to move the spirit to one o the sakura-trees around Domeki’s house. The big questions for the next episode are of course: why does Watanuki feel so drawn towards her and why does she feel so drawn towards Watanuki?

Posted on 24 April 2008 with categories: xxxHolic


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.

Posted on 17 April 2008 with categories: xxxHolic


Before I start with the regular entry: I’ve decided to not blog Toshokan Sensou this season. I just couldn’t find anything to praise it for that other series this season didn’t do better, and the female main character already got annoying after the second episode. I don’t know, but it feels a bit too mainstream for Noitamina.

In any case, back to the latest episode of xxxHolic, and what an excellent episode it was! The second season of xxxHolic is really much darker than the first one, but it makes full use of the fact that the first season fully fleshed out the different characters. The Vestal Sprite was kind-of a strange character in the first season, who never really got anywhere, and yet her character developed so much during this episode.

Watanuki also really shined in this episode. His show-off against the spider queen had me on the edge of my seat. One thing that I do hope gets explained in the next episodes is what it means to lose half of your eye. Does your vision get blurry? Can you only see one part of it? What are the disadvantages of giving away half of your right eye that made Yuuko take so much time in suggesting that option?

Posted on 10 April 2008 with categories: xxxHolic


I am so glad that this series is back, if only for the banter between Watanuki and the different members of the cast. And to make things even better, this arc promises to be among the best, if not the best arc of xxxHolic yet. It’s also the longest one yet, as the original one never went beyond two episodes per arc.

Also, here’s an interesting link, with some interesting news, for those who haven’t seen it yet: http://www.xxxholicanime.net/2008/04/xxxholic-kei-13-episodes-long.php – It’s a bit disappointing to see that this series just has thirteen episodes to work with, but at least in this was it’ll be short and sweet, and there’ll be no way for it to get boring, as there seems to be enough inspiration to fill these 13 episodes.

On a side-note, I never understood why people hated the long limbs of this series. It’s not like anime-faces are the most realistically drawn anyway, with their exaggerated eyes and all, so what’s wrong with exaggerating the limbs as well? In my opinion, it’s much better than just going with character-designs in the same style of every other series.

Posted on 4 April 2008 with categories: Allison to Lillia, Kurenai, Some Quick First Impressions, xxxHolic

Allison to Lillia

Ah, the first good series of the season. This episode was pretty solid; it started out as not anything special, but as it went on, it became more interesting by the minute, and this is just the first episode. You can really see the influences of both Mokke and Kino no Tabi, and yet this series goes into its own direction. It turns out that this series will be about two couples: Allison and Will, and Lillia and Treize, who have yet to be introduced. My only point of critique would be that Will’s voice-actor sounds a bit too young for his age, but that should be easy enough to get used to. Another interesting thing is that the female lead likes to ignore rules if necessary. It never really came to me, but you don’t often see people that break rules as easy as she does in anime. One thing I’m hoping for the future episodes is to explain a bit more about the politics of the country that the two main characters live in, but with 26 episodes there should be plenty of time for that.

Kurenai

Whoa! Here’s a contender for the best first episode of the season. You can really see that Brains Base (who did the animation for Baccano!) worked on this series, and the result looks absolutely gorgeous. There are hardly any still frames, characters make subtle gestures, the 7-year old girl really sounds like a young girl instead of a squeaky 30-year old voice actress and the OP has been done entirely in flash. The art style is a strange combination between that of Red Garden and Baccano, which only makes things better. The scriptwriting also is quick and witty. Here’s a potential classic, if the creators can keep up this level of quality, at least.

xxxHolic Kei

What an awesome episode to start off the second season! This episode was exactly the reason why I fell in love with the first season. Watanuki is downright hilarious, and stands miles away from your “typical high school boy”. On top of that, this series has always featured thought-provoking cases, and this episode was no exception. I won’t spoil anything, but if you liked the first season, you just have to watch this episode. Really, this series makes coming up with an entertaining storyline look so incredibly easy.

Posted on 11 August 2007 with categories: Random Posts, xxxHolic

Kacpy reports that Moonphase announced the second season of xxxHolic! I really hope this is true, and I’ll definitely be blogging it. It’s great to see that after Wellber no Monogatari, xxxHolic will also recieve a continuation. I’m looking forward to see Watanuki’s antics again. :)

Posted on 7 October 2006 with categories: Anime Reviews, xxxHolic


xxxHolic is a case-based mystery drama. Every episode, a different case gets investigated. All these cases have something to do with supernatural events in Japan, though this time, they’re for real. This is the concept, the anime throws in a couple of main characters who get involved in these cases and you’ve got your recipe for success.

First of all, these cases are fascinating to see. They range from computer addiction and superstition to ghost stories and rain sprites. Some times, our main character follows a human who has some kind of supernatural problem. He then acts as a bystander, who sometimes offers to help. At other times, he meets supernatural beings himself, and at other times, he becomes victim of these supernatural events himself. This series consists out of 24 episodes, and somehow the creators succeeded in making each of these episodes and cases unique and interesting.

Second of all, xxxHolic has been blessed with a cast of amazingly likable characters. They both work in comedy as in serious scenes. Our main character is very easily annoyed, (after which he starts acting hyperactive) and he’s surrounded by characters who annoy the hell out of him. At the same time, He’s also very curious about the things he runs into, and often does things that he knows are bad for him. He works at a very peculiar shop: a shop who grants wishes. The woman who runs the shop, Yuuko, has a huge affinity with supernatural events, and often has to explain the things that happened during the course of the episodes. That’s another good part of xxxHolic: the dialogue.

At first sight, the graphics look very low-budget. Though that’s just something that you need to get used to. It doesn’t really hurt the anime. In fact it does give it its own style, if you combine it with the character designs with extremely long limbs. Unfortunately, there are others who don’t share this opinion. The bad-looking graphics are one of the biggest reasons for people to drop this show.

Overall, xxxHolic was a very interesting watch. Some episodes were amazing, other were just good. It’s not among the best anime ever, but definitely worth the watch.

Shoutbox

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, Aug 30. 2015 09:30 PM)
    I get to cheat and say those Rodriguez films are westerns =)
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, Aug 30. 2015 09:20 PM)
    What I can’t forgive Genesis for though is kiddifying terminator.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, Aug 30. 2015 09:18 PM)
    @Bam: Though I think Cameron may have gone mad after 1997.
    Ah-ha, but Miller is a true Aussie, they live through volcanic, Venus/Mercury summers there. =P
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, Aug 30. 2015 09:16 PM)
    @Bam: No, no avatar, my Alita movie, done right, done now. =P
    Terminator 3 and salvation were very very mediocre. T3 is fun to laugh at at least, salvation wasn’t very good but it did show the whole dark future schtick.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Aug 30. 2015 08:52 PM)
    I’ll torrent it later just to see how they attempted to make sense of this fucked up chronology.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Aug 30. 2015 08:51 PM)
    I haven’t seen Terminator Genisys, since I refuse to drop a penny on what is clearly a monument to artistic compromise. How Cameron lets these idiots desecrate his legacy for the money he doesn’t even need is beyond me. He should get his head out of his ass and either finish that 7 years-in-the-making Avatar 2 and make a good Terminator and set it right, or just live and let it die.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Aug 30. 2015 08:38 PM)
    I also wanted to see a bit more of Max’s character, but I think Hardy did good with the little he had to do. I mean he spent the first act of the movie tied to a pole with a muzzle on his face. Guess we have to wait till the sequel. It’s crazy to have this 70+ years old man directing movies in the dry extreme heat of the desert. Mad props to Miller for keeping it real.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Aug 30. 2015 08:35 PM)
    @Kaiser: see you updated the list. I’ve unfortunately have only seen Fury Road and what We Do in the Shadows from your 2015 lineup; I also liked both.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Aug 30. 2015 08:32 PM)
    @Kaiser: pretty comprehensive list, just add High Noon, The Wild Bunch (another Kurosawa rip-off but done well), Once Upon a Time in the West, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and that Brad Pitt Jesse James movie and you pretty much have the important Westerns covered.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, Aug 30. 2015 08:30 PM)
    =< Terminator genesis! why God why God why!

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