Kimihiro Watanuki is cursed with the ability to see evil spirits known as Youkai. Due to this power, the Youkai are attracted to him like a magnet, and each time he is close to being devoured. One day, fate drew him to a strange store and there, he met Yuuko, who was dressed in a very exquisite fashion. As destiny would have it, Yuuko has the ability to save Kimihiro from seeing the Youkai, but for a price: Kimihiro must work for Yuuko by performing chores around the store and other odd tasks, until she deems fit. With his “friend” Doumeki, and his secret crush Himawari, they will discover that the world they live in is nowhere close to ordinary!
xxxHolic (pronounced as just “holic”) does a nice job of blending the supernatural with comedy that is legitimately funny. I’m a huge fan of supernatural anime so when this show was picked for me to watch I got kind of excited. xxxHolic starts off pretty quick by getting Watanuki to Yuko’s shop within the first few minutes of the show. I liked this because I feel like this isn’t a series where everything needs to be explained. Part of the grandeur of the show is the unknown factors that it teases you with. The comedy is actually pretty good for a show that you wouldn’t expect it from. It mostly comes from Watanuki’s misfortunes, Yuko teasing him, or his interactions with Domeki. I’ll go into a little bit more detail of those interactions in the character section. xxxHolic’s main theme is addiction hence it’s name. While it’s mostly episodic with separate stories each episode, the main thing that the people who visit Yuko’s shop have in common is they are subconsciously addicted to a bad habit. There’s an exception or two to that but by in large that’s the main theme of the show. My only real problem with the show itself is there doesn’t really seem to be an endgame. Watanuki is working off his debt but not much progress is made towards that end. This may be because the show just wants you to enjoy the ride and not worry about how it ends and in some ways I get that but still. Regardless xxxHolic is a very entertaining series that has a very good story to tell. I loved every episode and am hoping that the next season gets licensed in North America legally.
Now I mentioned it up in the story section of the show but xxxHolic has some great character interaction. That’s what I’m going to focus on here. Watanuki has a unique relationship with Yuko that goes just beyond employer and employee. I found it to almost be like Mother and Son. Watanuki’s parents both died when he was very young so I don’t think he really remembers his mother and I sort of saw Yuko filling this void in his life. She looks after him and gives him advice on different aspects of life much like a mother does. She does keep a somewhat distance from him at times for some reason which is probably explained in either the manga or the 2nd season but we don’t get to see it in the legal part of the show. His next big interaction comes from Domeki. Domeki is kind of unique in the fact that he has the exact opposite power of Watanuki. He actually keeps most spirits away from him since he has the bloodline of a archpriest of a temple. It’s this fact alone that leads Yuko to team Domeki up with Watanuki. They actually make a pretty good team. Watanuki acts sort of like a tsundere towards Domeki actuallly. He actually values Domeki’s help and friendship but outwardly he detests him. This might have something to do with the fact that he considers Domeki a rival for Himawari. Himawari sees this bickering as a comedy routine which is, in my mind, a parody moment because that’s what it’s supposed to be. I wanna go back to Yuko for a minute. She’s by far my favorite character in the series and I think a big reason for that is that we never really learn a whole lot about her and I wanna know more about her. She’s shrouded in mystery and that’s the allure of her character I think. I said earlier that Yuko is like a mother towards Watanuki and I think that’s a fair assessment. Their relationship is something that I want to see more development on. xxxHolic has some of the best character interaction that I’ve ever seen in anime. I really hope there’s more to come because I just fell in love with these characters and honestly I’m not ready for them to be done yet.
I found the soundtrack for xxxHolic to be surprisingly good. I really expected a bland soundtrack going in for some reason but to be honest with you this soundtrack killed it. The opening song is called “Nineteen” by Suga Shikao. It’s a really catchy blues tune that’s nice on the ears. I never skipped this opening because it’s just so catchy. It really sets the easy going tone of the show. It’s not something you’d expect from a supernatural show but the lyrics do sort of describe the relationship between Watanuki and Yuko. The first ending is called “Reason” by Fonogenico. It’s a nice soft tune with soothing female vocals. Again just a nice song that’s easy on the ears and sets a nice tone for the show. Also the dancing Mokona is downright adorable for this ending. The 2nd ending is called “Kagerou” by Buck-Tick. They’re a pretty established band in Japan forming back in the 80’s and you hear that style in this song and it meshes well with the show. It has the eerie feel that you’d expect from a supernatural show but also has a nice rock vibe that provides some diversity to the soundtrack. Overall it’s just a great addition to a fantastic soundtrack. I really loved this soundtrack and just couldn’t skip any of the songs. I highly recommend checking out these songs. The producer of this soundtrack is S.E.N.S. who has also done soundtracks for Kimi ni Todoke and My Love Story.
I’ll admit that I was surprised by the voice cast for xxxHolic as it was a show that I thought was a little under the radar so I didn’t expect such a star studded cast. I’ll start out with the cast and then get into the quality of the voice acting. The main cast goes as follows: Todd Haberkorn(Watanuki), Colleen Clinkenbeard(Yuko), and J. Michael Tatum(Domeki). The supporting cast is: Cherami Leigh(Himawari), Carrie Savage(Mokona), Leah Clark(Maru), and Brina Palencia(Moro). This is such a great cast for a show that I feel isn’t very well known or talked about. I hadn’t even heard of it until it was picked for me to watch. These are all great voice actors and are some of the best in the business. Now that being said the voice quality is there to match. Todd Haberkorn does a perfect job as Watanuki and I don’t think anyone else could play him any better. Colleen Clinkenbeard is so great as Yuko giving her a nice mysterious yet sexy tone that you’d expect out of a character like Yuko. J. Michael Tatum did a great job as Domeki. He doesn’t usually play the stoic characters so it was nice to see that he could pull off that type of role. These 3 were perfectly cast and were just fantastic at their roles. Cherami Leigh was great as Himawari giving her that sweetheart tone that goes great with her character. Carrie Savage displayed great range as Mokona and made him/her a very entertaining character. Leah Clark and Brina Palencia’s characters usually talked at the same time so it was hard to hear them by themselves but I will say that their voices blended well. When they did speak separately they sounded great. They sounded similar but just different enough to be able to have distinct voices for being twins. This is such a great voice cast and the quality of the voice acting reflects that.
xxxHolic is a nice entertaining show that perfectly blends 2 things that you wouldn’t expect to be blended together being Supernatural and Comedy. I loved this blend and I feel this show was a nice change of pace from the shows that I had been watching. The story is episodic but entertaining nonetheless. The characters are great and mesh so well together they almost seem real. The soundtrack is great and each song deserves a listen and the voice cast is out of this world with a quality to match. The art style is a little unique but honestly I think it just added to the quality of the show. It doesn’t try to be like everything else so why should the art style? If you can get passed that then you are in for a great show. xxxHolic has a storyline that crosses over with the show Tsubasa Chronicle so if you watch xxxHolic then you might want to add Tsubasa Chronicle to your list as well. Either way you get a great show with few flaws. That brings us to xxxHolic’s score. xxxHolic earns a 9/10!