xxxHoLic manga volume 17 continues the sense of winding down the story. Watanuki’s encounters are so interesting that it buoys the story despite being weighed down by his sad-sack sense of fate. I think CLAMP are getting tired of this series. The art is getting simpler, with page-layouts and backgrounds becoming less crowded and the images less complex. Even though Watanuki may wear a lot of Yuuko’s kimonos, he doesn’t have her flair for fashion. Characters from the past are appearing, and only one new character this volume. The series is saying farewell, but it’s a long goodbye.
Wikipedia (and amazon.co.jp) tells me there are two volumes to go.
Not a whole lot happens. Himawari calls. A rabbit drops by the shop to fix Watanuki’s pipe. An old foe drops by to give Watanuki a commission (a disturbing one that involves a passive victim of abuse).
I’m looking forward to the end of this lovely, melancholy series, mostly because I want to put down the last volume only to pick up the first, and read it through from beginning to end all at once, without the four-month delays between volumes. There are so many threads from the past running through these volumes, that I feel the series would work better in a more concentrated reading.
I never got into Tsubasa chronicles (I might if I could get it on my e-reader), though I did pick up a few volumes late in that series where the crossover seems to really get significant to the xxxHoLic plot.