XXXHolic Kei works as the continuation of the fisrt season. It spreads on 13 episodes instead of 24 like it's predecesor. It develops manga chapters from volume 8 to 13. And again, like the first season before it, it completely put aside the links with Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. In the paper version, both series have important links to each other. It is startling that in the anime version you do not feel at all this important aspect of the original material.
The story continues right after the conclusion of he first season. It continues with the same developpement, same characters and aura. Once again, the manga chapters were well used. But, in terms of writing the series is not as brilliant XXXHolic. The first few episodes and last episodes were utterly brilliant but I can't say the same about half-series episodes who just felt down. let me say that the end of the Kohane ark was disapointing. It was a lame end compared to the one in the manga related to the Tsubasa universe. I just felt the director hadn't thought this well and presented this to close the ark. A bit lame.
The animation here is not surprising. Still, it manages to be WAY better than the lame animation of the first season. It was a surprise here. Still, it is not perfect. It is still way to go before eye candy but an improvement is an improvement no less.
Sound is top notch as in the first season. No point to add. Nakai Kazuya voices here a second character, Doumeki's grandfather and he did perfectly well. It contrasts with the actual Doumeki and the way their attitude is completely different (a chiery and talkative Haruka with a silent Shizuka). Other voices actors were good. The main two characters were terrific as figured.
Opening section: Another song by Shikao Suga. In exactly the same way of thinking than 19 sai, the song fit perfectly well with the series atmosphere.
Ending section: A random J-Pop song with a random slideshow. Disapointed.
The soundtrack was good. I think it is the same one than the first season with few improved tracks.
The characters were already developped in the first season. It added almost nothing to their chemistry. The end though with Himawari's revelation added the last touch of salt. A well- thought move.
Overall, if you liked the first season then I suggest to watch this second season. It is slightly the same quality so you won't be startled. In my part, I thought the first season was a bit better. It was bolder than this one. Still, I enjoyed it a lot and I still think is it one excellent adaptation. The animation got better but the scenario slightly fell back.
Score: 4.1/5. I can't give it higher than the first season because I felt something XXXHolic had that Kei didn't. Really good in the image of it's predecessor.
NOTE: It is sad that Funimation didn't license this one out. Truly a shame.
Next! XXXHolic Rou and Rou Adayume along with Darker than Black