Reviewed by: Azure
Released by: Tanoshimi
Publishing Country: UK
Age Rating: 13+
Page Count: 208
Two strangers Syaoran and Sakura appear at Yuku’s shop desperate for help. Wantanuki is still being forced to work for Yuko, doing all her cooking and cleaning as well as being dragged off on mysterious errands around town.
Volume 2 of xxxHolic starts off with a direct cross over scene from Tsubasa Chronicles, and sees the arrival of Sakura and Syaoran. Since this is xxxHolic though the scene this time focuses on Wantanuki’s reactions and thoughts as he meets them for the first time. Whilst this chapter will be poignant for readers of Tsubasa, in terms of xxxHolic it feels like more of an interlude. It also serves to explain the presence of the mascot characters the Modaka’s. Each of the rabbit like creatures is present in each series allowing each group to communicate and send items to each other.
The rest of the volume focuses directly on Wantanuki’s story. After coming to the shop in a state of pure joy after Himawari tells Wanatanuki that their horoscopes are compatible Yuki decides what Wantanuki really needs is to have his fortune told by a competent professional. Whilst a lot of the chapter focuses on comedy there are some maddening hints about Wantanuki’s fate as well as the roles other characters have to play in it. In the final story of the volume Yuki forces Wantanuki to invite Himawari and his rival Domeki to a ghost story night. This turns out to be a major turning point in the series as it sees all the leading characters gathered together officially for the fist time.
xxxHolic is extremely engrossing whilst Wantanuki’s problems provide a strong backbone for the series, Yuko’s dominating personality really drives the story. On the surface xxxHolic appears to be another supernatural horror adventure like Ghost Hunt, but it’s much cleverer mixing one off supernatural encounters with a greater plot line. The quality of storytelling is high and extremely consistent and to be honest xxxHolic strikes me as something a little bit special, whilst I enjoy Tsubasa I can’t quite say the same about it.