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.