What They Say
Kimihiro Watanuki’s after-school job working for the mysterious witch Yûko Ishikawa has taken a dangerous turn. A recent assignment cost Kimihiro his right eye to a spider with a grudge. Now the missing eye has become the latest must-have item in the spirit world. Even the Zashiki-Warashi, the pretty spirit who has a crush on Kimihiro, has become entangled in the mess . . . and she’s being held captive by an unknown evil! Can Kimihiro save both the girl and his eye–without getting himself killed by beings more powerful than he can imagine?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
I have to say that with this volume, xxxHolic remains in my top three all-time favorite manga series. The storytelling continues to be enjoyable as it draws on the occult and Japanese mythology to create a world in which the authors can investigate the intricacies of human behavior. This particular volume does this well with Watanuki taking a major step towards sharing a mutually beneficial relationship with someone. Unfortunately, the truth behind Himawari’s motives falls to the wayside after some tantalizing possibilities were shown the light of day in the last volume.
In this volume, Watanuki is still suffering from the loss of his right eye, which he sacrificed in order to save Domeki’s right eye from the curse of a spider. Yuko warns Watanuki that as things stand, he will forever lose his eye if he doesn’t retrieve it from the spirit world soon. Before Watanuki can put too much thought into the matter, the Karasu Tengu appear and beg Yuko for her help. The Zashiki Warashi girl that has a crush on Watanuki has been captured by an evil force, and even the Karasu Tengu are powerless against it. Yuko agrees to help and Watanuki, with the aid of the pipe fox spirit, volunteers to rescue the Zashiki Warashi. I really can’t go into more detail without spoiling both Watanuki’s character development and the surprise ending, but let me just say that there is a catgirl and spiderwoman in this volume. Aside from this volume feeling a little short the story is well worth the read.
The quality of the packaging for this volume shot right back up. The color pages are still included and my copy has solid black tones throughout the book, which gives the art the strong black/white contrast it deserves. The translation and adaptation continue to be of the highest quality.
Content Grade: A
Art Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: A
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: Teen 16+
Released By: Del Rey Manga
Release Date: December 26th, 2006