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×××ホリック (xxxHorikku, xxxHolic) is a seinen manga series planned and presented by CLAMP. The storyline of xxxHOLiC crosses over with that of a number of other CLAMP series; the most notable of which are Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE which was written in tandem with it, and Cardcaptor Sakura whose history it draws on at several points. xxxHOLiC is also connected with the series Blood-C though not shown in xxxHOLiC due to the time difference.
xxxHOLiC has been serialized in Kodansha's Young Magazine periodically from 2003 until March 2010 before moving to Bessatsu Shonen Magazine in June 2010. The manga is published in volumes under the KC Deluxe label. It is currently published in the United States by Del Rey Manga and in the United Kingdom by Tanoshimi. The art style of the manga draws on the influence of ukiyo-e wood prints. Starting volume 16, the series is retitled xxxHolic Rō (×××HOLiC ◆ 籠, lit. "xxxHolic Cage"), but the number of chapters follow the previous ones. The first volume was released on July 25, 2003, and the last volume, the nineteenth, was published on March 9, 2011.
Although not actually confirmed on the Manga Entertainment website, the first television series is to be released in the United Kingdom by them, and not Revelation Films. It is however confirmed in the August Edition of the Manga Entertainment Newsletter, with the first part of the series to be released on October 27, 2008. It is unclear if Manga Entertainment plan to also licence the movie for UK release.
Kimihiro Watanuki is a high school student plagued by youkai, spirits with a strong attraction to him. The spirits are invisible to others and encounters with them are extremely troublesome. When he stumbles into a shop that grants wishes, however, events in his life promise to become more unusual.
The shop is owned by Yuuko Ichihara, a mysterious and beautiful witch of many names and esoteric renown. For a price, she offers to grant Watanuki's wish to be rid of the spirits. The price, according to Yuuko, must be of equal value and so, as payment, he temporarily becomes Yuuko's part-time employee.
Watanuki's job consists of small errands dealing with the supernatural and household chores. His love interest, Himawari Kunogi, and "rival," Shizuka Doumeki, occasionally join him in his work as per Yuuko's request. The three become increasingly close despite Watanuki's annoyance with Domeki.
|四月一日君尋, Watanuki Kimihiro|
|壱原 侑子, Ichihara Yuuko|
|百目鬼 静, Dōmeki Shizuka|
|九軒ひまわり, Himawari Kunogi|
|Mokona Modoki (Larg)|
The series has sold well in Japan with its thirteenth volume being 43rd in the top 50 manga sold in Japan in 2008. In April 2010, Kodansha announced the series had sold over eleven million volumes in Japan with seventeen volumes released. The series' debut in North America was also successful with its first volume ranking sixth in Nielsen Bookscan's list of bestselling volumes during its first week. Volume 13 also hit No. 6 on the New York Times list of bestselling manga shortly after its launch in April 2009. According to the New York Times, xxxHolic was the sixth best-selling manga in the United States in 2009. In Mania Entertainment's "Best Manga Awards For 2005", xxxHolic was the winner in the category "Best Mature".
The xxxHolic manga series has also been well-received by various publications with Mania Entertainment's Megan Lavey praising its focus on the people's thoughts, as well as its comedy. She also found its connection with Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle appealing due to events being depicted from different points of view, persuading readers to read both series. Michael Aronson from Manga Life stated the series' introduction had potential to be worth reading due to its episodic nature and found some of its characters to be "gripping", though Dan Polley, also from Manga Life, commenting that Watanuki "does seem a little bit weak to be the lead character". On the other hand, Matthew Alexander from Mania Entertainment stated that Watanuki's character was well developed across the series, becoming more appealing. Joy Kim, another writer from Manga Life, praised how despite its episodic nature, the narrative brought by Watanuki's interactions with other characters made every panel "loaded with significance". Carlo Santos of Anime News Network liked how later volumes of the series "[outdid] itself by breaking into the world of dreams", compared to initial volumes that focused on the interaction between humans and spirit. Active Anime found its emotional tension as well as its connection with Tsubasa some of the main reason why the series is worth reading. Not having read Tsubasa, Matthew Alexander felt that the addition of elements from the series into xxxHolic was well-made, as it started to suggest a connection between the two series' protagonists. However, Santos found the series' connection with Tsubasa to be confusing to the point that only readers from both series would understand some explanations.
Regarding events happening from volume 15 onward, Active Anime's Holly Ellingwood called them "tragic, inspiring, and beautifully, breathtakingly sad", enjoying the way Yuuko's fate was revealed, but wondering how it would continue. Carlo Santos stated that although the series lost its "star performer", it kept being appealing due to the fact that Watanuki replaced her and found most of volume 16 as "an exercise in getting back on one's feet after a heartbreaking loss, and it is all the more inspirational for that." Matthew Alexander from Mania was more critical to these events due to the how it became "an ultra serious downer" due to Yuuko's loss and the lack of its recurring comedy. Additionally, he cited the events regarding Yuuko's disappearance and later death were not explained in xxxHolic, stating that only readers from Tsubasa would understand such events. The artwork has been praised because of its "striking designs and patterns built into the images", various notable traits from Clamp, as well as for being "equally memorable and evocative". On the other hand, it has also been criticized for being "less visually busy than Tsubasa" due to some pages lacking backgrounds, though critic Michael Aronson for Manga Life stated that the panels' composition is able to make up for such issues.
The anime adaptation of xxxHolic has received mixed reception from different publications, with Anime News Network's Casey Brienza liking how its first season is faithful to the original material. However, she found that some of Funimation's subtitles in its first episodes to be confusing, advising people to watch the English dubbed version instead. In a bigger overview of the first season, Carlo Santos found issues with the animation's unintentional "super deformed" moments in which the characters' limbs became notably longer. He also criticized some of its episodes' storytelling as it "falls flat" due to trivial issues discussed. Holly Ellingwood from Active Anime called the series "one of the most distinctly imaginative" because of the combination of supernatural elements and comedy. Pointing to the animation quality, Ellingwood found each character distinctive and the animation issues to be comical. DVD Talk's Todd Douglass Jr. gave praise to the themes touched upon in the anime series. Despite giving disapproval to its episodic nature, Douglass found the characters appealing due to their development over the series. IGN writer Jeff Harris found its start "tolerable", stating that fans from action series may not be interested by xxxHolic despite its potential. Like Santos, he commented on its animation, citing similar issues with the design, noting some moments lacked the fluidity seen in other parts of the series. He also criticized the blank background choices, questioning if they were truly artistic decisions or done to save on animation costs. Chris Beveridge of Mania gave a mixed review for the animation, agreeing with Santos and Harris, but still enjoyed the animation style, concluding that "everything about the visual design of the show is very appealing." Analyzing its episodic nature, Beveridge enjoyed the format, and praised the series' ability to strike a balance between light and dark parts of its stories.
Written and illustrated by Clamp, xxxHolic has been serialized in Kodansha Kodansha's journal Young Magazine periodically from 2003 until March 2010 before moving to Bessatsu Shonen Magazine in June 2010. A one-shot chapter of xxxHolic was also published in Weekly Shōnen Magazine in its June 2010 issue featuring a crossover with Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle. It ended serialization on February 9, 2011 in the Bessatsu Shonen Magazine. The 213 chapters are collected and released in tankōbon format by Kodansha. The numbers of chapters for such release was reduced by combining the ones from the original serialization. Starting volume 16, the series is retitled xxxHolic Rō (×××HOLiC・籠, lit. "xxxHolic Cage"), but the number of chapters follow the previous ones. The first volume was released on July 25, 2003, and the last volume, the nineteenth, was published on March 9, 2011.
xxxHolic was one of the first four manga series licensed for English release in North America by Del Rey Manga, and was acquired together with Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Negima!: Magister Negi Magi, and Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE in January 2004. Del Rey published its first volume on April 27, 2004, and as of October 26, 2010, sixteen volumes were released. The series has also been licensed for an English-language release by Tanoshimi, who released the first nine volumes in the United Kingdom with the first one on August 3, 2006.
There is also a oneshot manga called "Shiritsu Horitsuba Gakuen" (私立堀鐔学園, lit. Private Highschool Horitsuba). It is based of the drama CD of the same name, in which all of the main characters of xxxHolic and Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE are placed in an high school, alternate universe setting.
The anime adaptations of xxxHolic were produced by Production I.G. The first season of TV anime adaptation of xxxHolic began airing on Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) on April 6, 2006 in Japan and ended on September 28, 2006, with 24 episodes in total. Both the film and the anime series are directed by Tsutomu Mizushima. Ageha Ohkawa, CLAMP's director and main scriptwriter, is executive producer of the TV series.
The second season, xxxHolic: Kei (xxxHOLiC◆継 Horikku: Kei, lit. "xxxHolic: Sequel"), began airing on TBS on April 3, 2008 in Japan and ended on June 26, 2008, with 13 episodes in total. The main staff and cast remains the same as in the first season. The first season's episodes were also collected in eight DVD volumes published between July 26, 2007 and February 21, 2008, while two DVD boxes were released on August 25, 2010 and October 27, 2010. The second's ones were released in seven DVD volumes between June 25, 2008 and December 17, 2008, a DVD box was released on January 26, 2011.
The first season was licensed by Funimation Entertainment in July 2007. Six DVDs were released between March 25, 2008 and October 21, 2008 featuring the first season while a DVD box was released on July 28, 2009. On January 26, 2009, the series made its North American debut on the Funimation Channel.
The animated movie, xxxHOLiC: A Midsummer Night's Dream, was released in Japan on August 20, 2005. The DVD of the movie was released on November 24, 2006 and a TV animation series began airing on TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System) on April 6, 2006 in Japan. Both the movie and TV series have been licensed by Funimation Entertainment for distribution in the United States.
There are three OVAs created for xxxHOLiC: xxxHOLiC Shunmuki, xxxHOLiC Rō, and xxxHOLiC Rō Adayume.
A two-DVD original video animation, entitled xxxHOLiC Shunmuki (xxxHOLiC 春夢記, lit. "xxxHOLiC Spring Dreams Chronicle") was also released by Production I.G. The first DVD for this OVA was released on February 17, 2009 with the 14th volume of the Japanese manga. The second one was released alongside volume 15 on June 26, 2009. Its story focuses on how Haruka Doumeki tells Watanuki and Doumeki to search for four items, which lead Watanuki to enter into the Dream World. This also crosses over with the Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE OVA, Tsubasa Shunraiki.
Another OVA titled xxxHolic Rō (×××HOLiC・籠, lit. "xxxHolic: Cage") was shipped with the 17th volume of the xxxHolic manga on April 23, 2010. It is set ever since Yuuk's death, and follows Watanuki's life as the new shop's owner.
xxxHolic: Rō Adayume (×××HOLiC・籠 あだゆめ, lit. "xxxHolic: Cage Selfish Dream") was released on March 9, 2011 as included with a special edition from volume 19. In the OVA, Watanuki sees various parts of Domeki's life, including his childhood and the events that happened across the series.
A novel titled ×××HOLiC ANOTHER HOLiC Landolt-Ring Aerosol (×××HOLiC アナザーホリック ランドルト環エアロゾル Horikku Anazāhorikku Randoruto-Kan Earozoru), was written by Nisio Isin and published in Japan on August 1, 2006. It features four stories with the first one being an adaptation of the series' first chapter. The novel includes original artwork by Clamp. Del Rey published an English translation of xxxHOLiC: Another HOLiC released on October 28, 2008.
Several fanbooks have been released in Japan. The first is Gekijōban ×××HOLiC Official Fanbook (劇場版, lit. ×××HOLiC OFFICIAL FANBOOK) and was released on August 17, 2005. TV Animation ×××HOLiC Extra Official Guide was released on May 17, 2006, and focused in information from the anime adaptation. Another manga guidebook is Shinpan ×××HOLiC Dokuhon (新版 ×××HOLiC読本, lit. "Brand New ×××HOLiC Reading-book"), which was released on November 17, 2006. It was released in English by Del Rey on October 27, 2009 as "The Official xxxHOLiC Guide".
On March 17, 2011, Kodansha published another guidebook titled xxxHolic Complete Book (×××HOLiC全書, lit. ×××HOLiC Zensho). Another related book is Soel and Larg: The Adventures of Mokona Modoki (ソエルとラーグ モコナ＝モドキの冒険, lit. Soel to Larg: Mokona=Modoki no Bōken) which was released by Kodansha on July 17, 2004. It is set prior to the events of xxxHolic and Tsubasa and tells the lives from the two Mokona Modoki ever since their creation by Clow Reed and Yuuko Ichihara.
An adventure game by Marvelous Entertainment for the PlayStation 2 video game console was released in Japan on August 9, 2007, named ×××HOLiC ~Watanuki no Izayoi Sowa~ (×××HOLiC 〜四月一日の十六夜草話〜, lit. "Watanuki's Sixteen-day-old Moon Grass Story").
Two soundtrack albums were released for the franchise. The first one was xxxHolic: A Midsummer Night's Dream Original Soundtrack which was released on August 18, 2005 by Pony Canyon. It contains over twenty tracks from the series' film. The second soundtrack, titled xxxHolic Sound File, was released August 22, 2008 by S.E.N.S.Project. The CD includes thirty-four soundtracks, various of them from the PlayStation 2 game as well as from the TV series.
xxxHolic made a crossover-alternate-universe with Tsubasa in the drama CDs series Private High School Holitsuba (「私立堀鐔学園」 Shiritsu Horitsuba Gakuen) which was released in three volumes.