xxxHOLiC Rou

OVA (2 eps x 40 min)
2010 - 2011
4.39 out of 5 from 4,141 votes
Rank #264

It’s been ten years since Yuuko disappeared from this world, and true to his word, Watanuki still remains at the shop waiting for her return. One day Doumeki – who is now a professor of ethnology at a university – pays a visit to Watanuki; he informs the man of a house he was sent to appraise. While there Doumeki found various old artifacts such as books and charms, plus a mysterious girl acting strangely since her grandmother died a month ago. When the young granddaughter proceeds to ask for Watanuki by name, can the bespectacled boy get to the root of the problem and help her return to who she once was?

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Reviews

delolmo
9

It took some time for me to finally decide to watch xxxHolic. I have liked CLAMP stories for the most part and my interest sparked somewhat with Tsuabasa which includes some of this animation. Anyway, I just finished watching all seasons and OVAs so I decided to offer a review for the overall franchise. Read at your own risk! Story The plot is very intriguing and unique. Although it is not uncommon to see anime where the protagonist is able to see the supernatural, CLAMP was able to develop a very nice story line with the spiritual topic as it relates to the main character’s “gift” to see the spiritual world and his journey working in a shop meant to grant people’s wishes. The theme that is present in all of CLAMP’s work is seen here as well-there are no coincidences, just the inevitable. The plot also deals with a great deal of personal growth for all main characters and it does play with your emotions quite a bit. The first season was good in the sense that the introduction of the premise is stated right off the bat and the characters’ roles are made clear from the beginning and remain somewhat consistent throughout the story. The pace of the episodes is pretty good and it has a very good balance of story development, comedy and thriller/drama. Episodes built from one another but there are MANY unanswered questions left in the open. I would say this season focuses in character development the most. I liked the second season best. This one is much shorter but the story continues to be interesting and makes you wonder about many things that seem to have a purpose which are not immediately clear. The animation improves a bit in this season in comparison with the prequel.  The ending of the second season was very sweet and leaves you fulfilled. The Rou OVAs (if that is what they are) were amazing, but VERY dark. It was quite an emotional rollercoaster to come from such a beautiful end of the second season to watch these two OVAS that had so much sadness in them. I think part of my disappointment with this anime was the ending. I do not often come across a story with such sad ending. I felt misled in thinking of the beautiful relationship that Watanuki and Doumeki had developed to the depressing ending hinting at loneliness.  Granted I did not read the manga, it was very evident that there were a lot of loose ends as well. I am assuming a lot of the questions that were left unanswered may have been addressed in the manga, but as far as the anime version goes, this was not the case. Animation I was not a fan of the animation from the start. The appearance of the characters with the long legs was a bit bothersome for me as well as the backgrounds where people are just “drawn” on white as bystanders. It’s almost as if they did not want to take the time to provide better quality in the animation. Another thing that upset me was the inconsistency of the design, including the eyes of Watanuki after the first season. For the eye thing being such a huge part of the series, I was surprised it was very much ignored during the second season. Sound Loved the music used for the opening and ending themes. The voices of the characters were amazing. I loved Mokona’s voice best along with Watanuki’s. Characters This aspect of the anime was by far my favorite. I did not immediately fell for Watanuki even though he was the main character, but he was able to grow on me as the story continued to develop. Watanuki has very unique characteristics but he has a lot of goodness in his heart that is very apparent. Despite his sad past, he has a positive outlook of life.  His good nature and funny demeanor were definitely good points to his character. I do believe he changed drastically after the second season which was very sad and disappointing. Doumeki was another main character and a personal favorite. His stoic personality is rather unique for a main character but it was very well developed so you are left with no choice but to love him.  Even though it is shown that he has family, I always wondered why he was always seen alone in his temple. His relationship with his grandfather was also very sweet but his evident (although not explicit) love for Watanuki was the best! There are other mayor characters in the story along with many other ones that have unique stories themselves. I think there is a little bit of everything to like for each character that was shown. The interactions between the main characters were entertaining and their personalities remain somewhat consistent too. Overall If I could do this all over again, I may have chosen to watch only the first two seasons and avoid the OVAs. The reason being that this is a very dark part of the series. I think that people may enjoy its’ unique plot and characters. While the animation is not the best, the story itself makes up for any faults. Overall, this anime is a very good one to watch and I do recommend it for those seeking a good/different story with a hint of comedy. There are many funny moments and just as many serious ones. All in all, a very entertaining anime to watch!

Clannadia
9

THE POETIC CONCLUSION OF A MAGNIFICENT SERIES ANd finally here it is: the conclusion of a sublime series. XXXHolic universe reaches its end after 9 years of pure joy and entertainement. Let me remind you ; the manga started in 2003. To mark the finale, the producers decided to realease a two episode OAV ( or should I say OAD) spamming on one year. These animations were released as a bundle with the final volume of the manga (in it's limited edition). Before going on the review, I have to make it clear. if you only watched the animated two seasons, I suggest you pass on this one because it follows the manga logic and scenario. If you havent read it yet, you'll most likely feel left out. It is just a simple warning. Furthermore, my review is splitted in two; the fist part on XXXHolic Rou and the second part on XXXHolic Rou-Adayume (because Anime-Planet didn't separate it in its form and I do not feel any connection between them). XXXHolic Rou It starts hard as rock. Better read or reread the manga up to volume 15. And again if you only saw the anime, do not bother. As I said, it starts really hardly with that scene. I will not spoil. The episode features some scene that could have happened as a side story after that moment. Just a side story though.It folds and refolds some undersaid developpement. You see the transformation of Watanuki in what he is now. It is described with excellent artsitry. I felt resentement and sadness in this pictured new life. Exactly as in the manga. Superb. The little story about the some sort of fox-spirit didn't hook my interest much. I say the highlight of this episode were the characters and their interaction between each other. XXXHolic Rou-Adayume This time where the first was not a complete success because of some loose ends, the second one, Adayume, blasted everything ten thousand miles away. It was a complete surprise. Specially the emotions wide open. It is after all the long awited finale; sweet-bitter is the word to describe Watanuki at this point of the story. you really feel his deep hidden sadness. This OAD was not really on the action side but more on the emotions and poetry. The lineout for the episode is simple: Watanuki decides to grant the wish of his friend Haruka Doumeki. Simple but how poetic and well produced. I will not spoil it any further.     The animation is beautiful. Not perfect but it fits well with the darkness of the story. It improvement significantly from XXXHolic Kei before it. It uses a lot of contrasts of black and vivid colors. Simply beautiful. No loose ends and perfectly executed. the meanings are well expressed. Truly Holic-ish. As in the the two seasons before it, the sound is perfect. The voice actor here is Fukuyama Jun-sama. He voices a grown and now mature Watanuki. His loud voice gestures are completely gone and part of his silliness too but he is so now refined and if I may say sexy. Yes sexy, ladies and gentlemen. My heart was melting for him in those two episodes. The others voices were perfectly executed. I was slightly disappointed with Kohane's voice. I mean she is a university student now and she still have the same voice she had when she was at primary school! Other than this infortunate error, everything was perfect. Opening section: XXXHolic Rou didn't have any opening. Adayume featured a nice slideshow of what the characters became. And everything on a catchy song by Shikao Suga no less. Ending section: Both had a normal credits presentation as the one presented in common movies ( you know the one on the black screen and names defiling it) with good songs that fit the series atmosphere. I will let you savor those interactions between those beloved characters and say no more. I will just add than Watanuki had a complete transformation^^ Overall: I absolutely adored it beginning to end and enjoyed every single minute of it. There is still tiny flaws but still. If you love the manga and read up to this point then it wouldn't hurt you to give these two a try. I did and absolutely did not regret it one single bit. A true Holic experience. Score:4.5 / 10. Exceptional. It was a while since one show did score this high... Next! Darker than Black  

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