I’ve been reading the last several volumes of xxxHoLic, impatient for the series to end. Now, when it arrives, they include a pair of stories (the one about the Hei-gushi, and the one about the serpent’s-eye talisman) that I could happily read a dozen more of: CLAMP should write a spin-off manga that is an encyclopedia of Japanese folklore.
But otherwise, this volume continues the elegy of the last few volumes: Himawari appears only as a disembodied voice on the phone, Kohane-chan has grown to an adult woman, the Ame-warashi appears, and through her words we get a brief glimpse of the Zashiki-warashi.
The only constant is Doumeki — or is he?
And there are a few loose ends — one of which is mentioned in the last two stories, but never resolved. I suspect CLAMP of holding onto it for use in a cross-over manga some day in the future.
When you finish this book, seek out an image of the cover of the Japanese volume: it’s different in an interesting way. To go into more detail would be something of a spoiler (so I recommend you hold off on seeking out the image until after you’ve finished the book).
And here is a puzzle for you: in the final chapter, Watanuki smokes on the verandah and talks to someone. Who is it? There are at least two clues that suggest Watanuki’s visitor is not the person you think he is.
I think I’ll wait a short while, then start the series at the beginning, and read it through entirely, without the four-month-long interruptions between volumes.