Sandra's Reviews > xxxHolic, Vol. 1

xxxHolic, Vol. 1 by CLAMP
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's review
May 01, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: books-i-own, fantasy, in-english, comics-and-manga, series-completely-read, read-in-2013

xxxHOLiC is one of those rare stories that have stuck by me for years and years. I started reading it when the manga was just starting to be translated into English (only 3 volumes were released at the time), and I must say, I was hooked from the start.

The first thing that drew me to this manga was the drawing style. CLAMP's work is mostly gorgeous, and somehow I need that when reading a manga: messy drawing styles turn me off. But HOLiC is absolutely beautiful, and for me it's the most stunning manga I've come across. I'm not lying when I say I'd buy all the volumes for the art alone, and I've had tons of fun over the years just drawing HOLiC inspired images. The heavy contrasts used and the intricate details were all I ever wished for.

The story itself was good, too. Of course HOLiC has this overlap with Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE, but I think it mostly works as a stand-alone story, too (though reading Tsubasa as well adds to the fun! ..well, the first half of the series does, anyway). This story was dark from the start, but with a healthy amount of humor. This mix is what gives HOLiC its strength: it gives it an ability to discuss very heavy themes, and yet not turn into a complete melodrama.

The heavy themes were well dealt with, too. Yûko has a very distinct life philosophy that definitely shines through the pages. Over the years I've found myself taking more and more of it to heart. Despite sometimes appearing quite morally grey, Yûko has a lot of wisdom to share, and through representing situations from real life in the magical world of xxxHOLiC, I think CLAMP provides a sort of wisdom that you can hang onto, and apply in real life. I think that's a wonderful thing, and gives the manga just that bit extra oomph.

The characters are especially lovely too. From the alcoholic and wise Yûko, to the far too energetic and tragic Watanuki, the serious and loyal Doumeki, the sweet but unlucky Himawari.. not to mention the magical creatures that make their appearance in the story as well. And in this way, the manga has a well-rounded set of characters, all well written, and all interesting.

Despite the somewhat confusing and abrupt ending, this manga is well worth a read, and definitely very addicting. It being my favourite manga, I would of course recommend it to just about everyone - and if you like darker humour, and/or magic, this one is definitely for you.

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Reading Progress

May 1, 2011 – Shelved
May 1, 2011 – Shelved as: books-i-own
May 1, 2011 – Shelved as: fantasy
May 1, 2011 – Shelved as: in-english
May 1, 2011 – Shelved as: comics-and-manga
March 1, 2013 – Started Reading
March 1, 2013 –
17.0% "Rereading this because of the new Japanese drama. So exciting, after all these years it's still my favourite manga ever. <3 (3/18 volumes read)"
March 2, 2013 –
53.0% "Still the best manga, really. (10/19 volumes read)"
March 3, 2013 –
68.0% "Kohane-chan ;; (13/19 volumes read)"
March 4, 2013 –
March 4, 2013 – Shelved as: series-completely-read
March 4, 2013 – Shelved as: read-in-2013
March 4, 2013 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Mizumi (new) - added it

Mizumi I see you've completed your set, then? ;) (Also, 19 volumes? Damn, I should catch up, three more to go.)

Predictably, I completely agree with your review. This manga is a work of art, gaah. I love the healthy dashes of humor throughout, and all the characters quickly grow onto you. Which didn't make the ending any better to say the least...
(I do wish Ageha had let the others in on her plans regarding Holic and Tsubasa though, apparently most of CLAMP was also confused and had to reread it? We now have 'xxxHOLiC rei' but I'm afraid to read it even though I want some closure. That 'all of 'rou' was a dream' theory sounds so appealing.)

Anyway, yes, Yuuko has some great wisdom. (and fab fashion sense.)

Well this was possibly pointless but eeeee it makes me happy to see you still love it because holic and feels and nostalgia and stuff. Ahem. Sorry. Clearly I shouldn't be commenting after 11 XD;

Sandra Yep, I've completed it. :) And yes, there are 19 volumes, the last 3 mostly deal with Rou which was kind of weird, but also interesting. I love how the relationships between Doumeki and Watanuki develop in those last volumes.. though it just stresses how tragic a fate Watanuki has, I think, even if I don't think he sees it that way.

Nah, the ending was kind of cruel, but it makes sense to me, somehow. Except Watanuki has started doing exactly what Clow Reed did, wishing Yûko to stay around.. I think she was glad to finally be able to die, in a way.

Hahaha, long live Ageha :P As for Rei, it is set before Rou I've heard, as Yûko is back. But I don't want to start reading translations. Guess I'll just rewatch/catch up on the anime.. apparently HOLiC got a season 2 and 2 OVAs and I never knew o.O

Oh yes, I love Yûko so muuuuch <3

You're very welcome to comment after 11 iluuuuuuuuu *snuggles*

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