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Manga Review

Book Cover

Volume 9


Author: Clamp
Artist: Clamp
RRP: £6.99, US $10.95
ISBN: 978 0 099 50488 7
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, with whom he shares an eye..

xxxHolic is a manga from Clamp, the all female collective who produced the very sweet Chobits. Clamp now consists of four artists, Satsuki Igarashi, Tsubaki Nekoi, Mokona and Ageha Ohkawa, though there is no indication as to which artist does what. The presentation of the book is so uniform that there is no way to tell that it is produced by more than one person.

One thing that should be pointed out is the very beautiful cover for this series; the quality really does make the book stand out from the crowd. Like most manga books apart from the central story you get an explanation of the honorifics, and translation notes explaining Japanese cultural references, presumably created by William Flanagan who translated the book into English.

Book nine opens with another of Kimihiro’s weird dreams about a monster, a dream that quickly gets out of hand ending with Kimihiro having to be saved by Domeki, who is able to do this as he can see what Kimihiro sees through the eye he gave him. Worse than that, according to Yugo the dream is destined to come true as he had inadvertently purchased the dream off Himawari - that girl just continues to bring bad luck to everyone around her. His only hope is to sell the dream to a dream buyer.

The second half of the book is a rather sweet little tale about Kimihiro’s attempt to save a benign spirit living in a cherry tree.

The book remains engaging, though this last book feels more like two stand alone stories rather than part of a larger narrative. The artwork remains great with nice character designs which mean that you don’t get lost as to who is who. Another book from Clamp that is well worth a look.


Charles Packer

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