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Manga Review

Book Cover

Volume 8


Author: Clamp
Artist: Clamp
RRP: £6.99, US $10.95
ISBN: 978 0 099 50487 0
Ages: 13+
Available 05 June 2008

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. However, his rival now owes him a debt when Kimihiro gave up an eye to release Domeki from a curse...

xxxHolic is a manga from Clamp, the all female collective who produced the very sweet Chobits. Unusually, this story runs concurrently with a sister publication, Tsubasa, which whilst it is not necessary to read both book to understand either, together they expand and enrich both stories.

Like most Clamp mangas xxxHolic was made into an anime series, currently into its second season, as well as a film and a novel.

Book eight takes up the story in Domeki’s house. Domeki is still trying to find some way of lifting the curse off Kimihiro thereby returning the eye he lost. Having gotten into a spot of bother, with a book, the pair find that they need to be rescued by Yuko. This is not something which Domeki is particularly comfortable with, especially as he now finds her in his house.

Before the boys can get back into their mutual recriminations over Kimihiro’s lost eye, Yugo send him off to help the Karagu Tengu, little spirit guys free the Zashiki Warashi from the Joro-Gumbo; well I started at Volume Seven so I have no idea who the Warashi is apart from a cute girl like the Gumbo.

In the midst of the rescue Kimihiro discovers that Gumbo is a Matron of the Spider, so of course she has his eye. In order to free the Warashi he offers another part of his body, a deal which she rejects. I’m with the Gumbo here, Kimihiro seems to have little care what parts of his body he trades for others. She rightly points out that, as he does not appear to value himself, it's not much of a deal.

This part of the story resolves itself with the rescue of the Gumbo and Domeki’s gift of half of one of his eyes to Kimihiro - a gift that is not exactly gratefully accepted. Book eight ends with a challenge to make the best snowman, which Domeki wins.

The book hints at something deeper going on. Hints about Kimihiro’s role in the story come often but are usually infuriatingly cryptic. There is certainly enough mystery going on in the book to make me want to read more.


Charles Packer

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