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xxxHolic Vol. #07 Manga Review

3 min read
The disturbing revelations of being willing to pay anything for the granting of a wish.

Creative Staff
Story/Art: CLAMP
Translation/Adaptation: William Flanagan

What They Say
Kimihiro Watanuki has a wish on layaway with Yuko Ishikawa, the sultry time-space witch who can grant anyone’s deepest desire . . . for a price! Still, working like a slave in Yuko’s shop hasn’t dampened Kimihiro’s enthusiasm for his cute classmate Himawari-chan, nor his irritation with his too-cool rival Domeki, the guy who always seems to be around during Kimihiro’s most embarrassing moments.

But when Domeki, trying to be a good samaritan, inadvertently becomes the object of a terrible grudge, Kimihiro seeks Yuko’s help. However, the cost for her assistance is steep: Kimihiro would be permanently impaired! Is such a sacrifice worth it for someone he would rather have disappear?

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Watanuki’s infatuation for Himawari is still in full force and now she’s even made her way into his dreams. Of course, his jealousy for Domeki is still there, but Watanuki’s also somewhat begrudgingly realizing his perceived nemesis is generally concerned for his well-being. The character development between the two classmates continues to roll along when Watanuki accidentally causes a curse to befall Domeki. Watanuki is unwilling to allow Domeki to pay for his mistake and he learns from Yuko, for a price, how to cast a spell to transfer the curse back upon himself. It works, but now Domeki is angry about the whole situation and he sets out to find a spell to cure Watanuki.

In the meantime, while Watanuki is living with the curse he is also enjoying his time with Himawari while Domeki is absent. It takes Watanuki a while to determine the reason for his nemesis absence, but then Himawari asks Watanuki to deliver a book to Domeki. This forces Watanuki to interact with Domeki and they begin to work together in hope of finding a cure to Watanuki’s malady. But just as they find a possible cure, Himawari’s book releases a book worm demon that attacks the book containing the cure. Luckily Yuko shows up to help, but what will come of Watanuki’s curse? Why would Himawari’s book contain such a beast? Are Yuko’s comments about Himawari and the book a sneak peek at a larger roll for the high school cutie?

An interesting side story in this volume follows the disturbing revelations of being willing to pay anything for the granting of a wish. A woman comes into Yuko’s shop and says she will pay any price for Yuko to destroy a photo of an unnamed woman. It turns out the photo shows the secrets of a dastardly deed and it requires a great and nearly impossible sacrifice on the woman’s part to free her of the photo. Will the woman be able to keep up her end of the bargain with Yuko?

In Summary:
Nothing much changes in this volume as Yuko continues to drink, bathe, and enjoy the fruits of Watanuki’s cooking labors. Domeki and Watanuki are still having problems accepting each others help, but it’s still enjoyable to watch their relationship progress. It is also nice to see Watanuki come to Domeki’s aid for once, which is a nice reversal from what has been seen thus far. This situation also sets up the question of Himawari’s role in delivering a book containing a demon and Yuko’s comment that Himawari is not a goddess of good luck for Watanuki. This situation is pretty exciting as it provides a glimpse of what may be more information behind Himawari’s character and perhaps her greater involvement in the storyline.

Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: A

Age Rating: Teen 16+
Released By: Del Rey Manga
Release Date: May 30th, 2006
MSRP: $10.95

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