Vol: 19; Ch: 213
2003 - 2011
4.224 out of 5 from 2,886 votes
Rank #729

At first glance, Kimihiro Watanuki appears to be a normal high school student; but little do people know that not only is Watanuki able to see spirits, but he's also a magnet for them! One day, after being chased by one such spirit, Watanuki happens upon a strange building. There he meets a mysterious witch named Yuuko, who claims she can get rid of his ability to see spirits - for a price: Watanuki must work as her housekeeper until he has paid off the cost of granting his wish. Now Watanuki's eyes are being opened to an entirely new side of the world as he assists Yuuko in her work, all while balancing the housework, his schoolwork, and most importantly, ensuring that Yuuko is never out of sake!

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xxxHolic is one of my all-time favorite manga out there. So much so, that I have 2 complete collections at home: the original Japanese and my country's version. Story: The story follows Watanuki Kimihiro, who has always lived a rough life due to being and orphan who is able to see spirits. He chances upon a mysterious store where wishes are granted by the owner, Yuuko, and starts working there in exchange for a way to drive the supernatural away. His school friends and many supernatural beings are also a part of this journey. --- Of course, being from CLAMP, the level of detail of the art and story is absolutely rich and endearing. The art style is a bit strange at first if you've never read anything from them, but it is delicate and ethereal, and it grows on the reader. This first reaction is the reason I scored it as a 9/10. There is plenty of comedy, but the story is very much centered in the supernatural world, drama, and the characters' journeys. Kimihiro is shrouded in mystery almost as much as Yuuko, Himamori and Shizuka both also have incredible backstories and development, and Mokona is a whirlwind of fun times and cuteness. The way every single one of the characters interacts with each other is beautifully written, and it is delightful to see how the young teens grow as people together. This is also a universe very closely related to the CLAMP-verse, having direct cross-overs with Tsubasa Chronicles. If you love learning more about Japanese culture and folklore, if you love artistic manga, and if you are already a CLAMP fan, this is a feast for you. But know that, if you only like happy endings, you might want to skip this one.


The story line for the most part is the same as the anime, with little things here and there that change which is rather normal for going from print to anime. A couple things though seem to of been changed. The first one is that Watanuki doesn’t feel like he is a total spas from what I have read. He seems a little more put together then the anime series. Yuko on the other hand seems to speak even more and says things that could probably go without saying like for instance, saying that Watanuki’s face looked mad when you could tell right from the picture that it did. Moro and Maro were not as annoying as in the anime (Or else, I could just decide weather or not I read their repeats of other’s words…) Yuko is even more cryptic in some of her answers then the anime, and rather seems to cut herself off once in a while.  It really pisses me off that way. Now I do have a problem with how they put some of the story lines. In the anime, it seemed to be much better placed then in the books. There are times when they talk about Domeki even though we have pretty much never met him before but they talk about some rather special things about him. The animation seemed to be much better in bringing him into the story and explaining more about him. On contrary, when it came to Himawari, we got a lot more information even if it was cryptic in the manga instead of the anime.   The artwork is rather striking, just like the anime. Unfortunately, it does have a couple of downsides. Because of how dark the manga is, the characters become masses of black blobs when we see them far away, and the details sort of fade off until you can’t tell who it is. The characters have the same problem as the animation where the bodies feel stretched and heads a little too small for the bodies. This does give the manga its on style away from most of clamps work even if it is a bit creepy. A downside to it having its on feeling is how stringy some of the characters hair seems to be. Yuko’s hair flies around like spiders legs or smoke even when there doesn’t seem to be much wind. It is always getting ‘stuck’ on something as well leaving fine lines on the page. Sometimes the images become too crowded with elaborate designs of smoke that although give the feeling of shop and some places around it a rather mystical setting, it takes away from much of the detail that should be shown or left blank. I normally don’t see any actual shading being done but when they do use it, its pretty much jet black blocks. There aren’t really any halftone patterns that I can see, and if there are, it’s very few using more of pen shading. There is also the little matter that they have no shin in there eyes, making them look a bit dead sometimes.

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