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DVD Review

DVD cover

Series 1 - Part 2


Starring (voice): Jun Fukuyama, Sayaka Ohara, Hisayo Mochizuki and Kazuko Kojima
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: 12
Available 16 February 2009

Kimihiro Watanuki is your average young school kid who just happens to be troubled with spirits, spirits which he would dearly love to get rid of. Salvation comes in the form of Yuko Ichihara, who promises to rid the boy of his troubles in return for him working in her shop - a shop where he meets Himawari Kunogi, for whom he feels a deep affection, and Shizuka Domeki, who becomes his rival...

XXXHolic (2006) is an anime series based on a Clamp manga, an all female concern, directed by Tsutomu Mizushima and executively produced by Ageha Ohkawa, Clamp's director and main scriptwriter. The first season ran for twenty four episodes with the second season running in 2008. The show also spawned the inevitable OVA.

This three disc set contains episodes thirteen to twenty four, which finishes off the first season. Whilst the mixture of romance, comedy and the supernatural makes for some involving story lines, they pretty much can be reduced to Watanuki works in the shop and investigates odd occurrences, sometimes for himself and sometimes for others. I think I was hoping to learn a lot more about Yuko but she remains an enigma.

Part of the problem is that the manga's storyline was spread over a number of titles, whereas the anime has chosen to follow a more linier path - although stylistically faithful to its source material, this does mean that some of the richness of the manga has been lost. The show was still successful enough that a second thirteen part series was commissioned and aired.

Disc one contains episodes thirteen to sixteen (Transfiguration, Seal, Release and Reunion) in both English 5.1 and Japanese 2.0 with subtitles. Extras are restricted to a textless opening and closing sequence and an image gallery.

Disc two contains episodes seventeen to twenty (Self-mutilation, Ground Cherry, Unreasonable and Atonement) with the same audio options and the same list of extras.

Disc three contains episodes twenty-one to twenty-four (Nail Clipper, Temptation, Choices, and Side Story: Reminiscence) once again with the same options and extras plus some trailers.

Overall, it’s not bad, but not as good as the manga due to its loss of the crossover nature of the manga’s storyline - though the title music does add a certain level of creepiness which only adds to the show.


Charles Packer

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