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xxxHolic Volume 02: 08/07/11

cover art

XxxHolic Volume 2 by CLAMP is a time to set up the rules for how things work. Watanuki has been living with spirits for as long as he remembers but he doesn't know how the spirit world works or the specifics of Yuko's shop.

The book opens with an expanded scene of Syaoran, Sakura, Kurogane and Fai arriving. This early on they're a distraction from what appears to be the main point (retelling of popular ghost stories and folklore) but they will become an interesting parallel to Watanuki's story. When I first started reading the series I poopooed the back and forth, seeing the the Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle inclusions as a gimmic more than anything else. Now, being nine volumes into the series, I can see that there is more afoot.

Besides the crossover, there are three smaller stories that teach Watanuki how things work: a woman who has a bad habit which ultimately destroys her because she doesn't want to make the effort to change, visits to two fortune tellers: one fake and one genuine and finally the power behind ghost stories.

The butterfly is also introduced as a motif, one that connects Watanuki and Yuko. The butterfly will be expanded upon in later issues and used as a signature by Yuko in notes to the Tsubasa folks.

Five stars.

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