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Title:
  XXXHolic: The Complete Series (region 1)*

UK Distributor: Manga Entertainment

BBFC Certificate:  PG

Suggested Retail Price (SRP): 30.99 (from PlayUSA)

Running Time: 600 minutes

Audio Options:  English 5.1, Japanese 2.0

Subtitles:  English

Reviewer:  Amichan

 

XXXHolic is a story about Kimihiro Watanuki, a high school student who is constantly haunted by spirits. He one day comes across a shop owned by Yuko Ichihari.  She is a powerful witch who has the ability to grant wishes to people.  However, all of her wishes come with a price and for Watanuki he must work for her in her shop.  Through completing this task she will grant his wish so that he can no longer see the spirits which haunt him on a daily basis.

The first couple of episodes introduces Himowawa Kunogi as the main love interest for Watanuki.  There is also the anime staple of a love triangle with Shizuka Domeki.  This though is mostly one sided throughout the series as it is only Watanuki who wants to compete.  Domeki himself, makes for a interesting character as he has the power to send away evil spirits. However, he lacks the ability to see them as Watanuki does.  This leads to the two of them being forced to worked together on occasions, as their abilities complement each other.


Most of episodes follow a similar format where a variety of different people "stumble" across the shop to make wishes.  Often these stories have a moralistic tone to them. For example, a lady who is a compulsive liar who does not realise the damage that she is doing to herself and her life.  Through visiting the shop she is shown the consequences of her constant lying.

The artwork and story is done by the famous manga-ka group CLAMP and their distinct art

 style is certainly present here.  In recent years the art style has changed to make all the characters look overly tall. While in most cases this works, when the style is viewed from a distant point this particular style becomes awkward.  As the cast begins to look like twigs which may bend and break at any point. This is also a series which is linked to many other works which CLAMP own, such as Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle.  However the anime series does not point to this heavily at all, with only a subtle references to Fai's staff in one of the episodes.  This is good as its means that the viewer does not have to watch both series in order to follow what is going on.
 

Most anime and manga fall into one of three categories.  They are either character driven, story driven or a bit of both. XXXHolic would fall into the character category.  The character development throughout the series is very limited with you knowing little more about the characters than from episode 1.  With the format of the series being mostly one off episodes with an occasional two parter, it is hard to keep interest in the series.  It's a real shame as the ideas used in the series are really promising.


Extras:

The usual with clean openings and endings and image galleries. 

Ratings

Feature: Extras:

*please note that the complete series boxset is not available in the UK.  The UK release was released in two boxsets - Series 1, Part 1 & Series 1, Part 2
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