xxxHoLIc graphic novel 19: ending with a bang-up whimper

by dm00

Those butterflies are there for a reason

The end.

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.

4 Responses to “xxxHoLIc graphic novel 19: ending with a bang-up whimper”

  1. 1 Mushyrulez March 5, 2012 at 12:07 am

    Y’know, I don’t think there’s one manga out there that won’t give us cause to marathon through it after it ends. Sometimes, I wish I could just read through it all at the very start, but if I did that, I’d probably wish I could read it chapter-by-chapter, slowly instead of devouring the chapters like bacon.

    Not sure where I’m going with this comment, but just some thoughts…

    • 2 dm00 March 5, 2012 at 1:03 am

      I guess I’m a little different, in that I’ve made my choice on a lot of manga by passing the books on to my local anime club for their library, instead of holding onto them for a marathon re-read (of course, I may come to regret having done that). Of course, a lot of those series I’ve just stopped reading. xxxHoLIc is a series I’ve held onto. Also, there are some books I hold onto just to dip into them here and there (like Mushishi).

  2. 4 TheBigN May 12, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    I can’t marathon things just yet because I still have the first couple of volumes stuck in storage. As you’ve said, I wish I could see more of these short vignettes about aspects of Japanese folklore that most of us in abroad from Japan would probably not get much of the chance to hear about. I think I only wish that they would have shown more of the growth that Watanuki had achieved as time went on. And to be honest, now that he’s progressed to this point, it would have been fun to see his adventures from then on. I expected a bittersweet ending, so this wasn’t a surprise. Many slipping in some mono no aware (I thought) was. 😛

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