"XXXHolic" Vol. 1
by CLAMP, William Flanagan, Anthony Gerard, Dana Hayward
Pub. Date: April 27th, 2004
Publisher: Del Rey
Synopsis: Watanuki Kimihiro is haunted by visions of ghosts and spirits. Seemingly by chance, he encounters a mysterious witch named Yuuko, who claims she can help. In desperation, he accepts, but realizes that he’s just been tricked into working for Yuuko in order to pay off the cost of her services. Soon he’s employed in her little shop—a job which turns out to be nothing like his previous work experience!
Most of Yuuko’s customers live in Japan, but Yuuko and Watanuki are about to have some unusual visitors named Sakura and Syaoran from a land called Clow. . .
This manga was really awesome. XXXHolic combines a witch, philosophy, a medium, some annoying children, and a bit of romance to create a fascinating storyline. Yuuko is really interesting because she is seemingly trying to help people by fulfilling wishes, but her methods seem pretty depraved. She is a complete seductress, I picture her having a husky voice, and everything from the artwork to the dialogue creates her vibrant character. Even though Yuuko works Watanuki like a slave, it is pretty funny to see the chores she makes him complete. It should be annoying that there are two kids mocking Watanuki throughout the manga, but it makes it even more amusing. Watanuki is just one of those characters you can’t help but love seeing him suffer, even though you want good things for him!
I love the situations that Watanuki finds himself in. I like the idea that people are pulled around life by a force they can’t describe or even begin to comprehend. Yuuko spouts all these really interesting philosophies and some seem to even conflict with one another, but it is still really interesting. I found myself stopping and thinking about what she was saying a couple of times while I was reading, but then I wanted to find out where the philosophy would take them next!
This manga is very fast paces and I read it in one sitting. I think it only took me an hour and a half to read it. I like the fact that it is a crossover by having Sakura and Syaoran crash the story. I used to watch Cardcaptor Sakura when I was a kid, so I was excited she made an entrance. I have already started “Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles” to see how the stories intersect! I definitely recommend this manga to people who enjoy the kooky aspect of manga and people who have a bit of cynicism.