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xxxHolic Vol. 10 (Del Rey)

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xholic10-header.jpgCLAMP finally resolves one of this supernatural saga's longest running mysteries, but was it worth the wait?

 

 

185 pgs. B&W; $10.95

(W / A: CLAMP)

 

There are no coincidences, only destiny. This simple, yet mysterious concept is at the heart of most stories produced by the all-female manga supergroup CLAMP, and xxxHolic is no exception. In Vol. 10, the tides of fate continue to work their will upon Kimihiro Watanuki, a high school student who constantly attracts supernatural beings. As the indentured servant of Yuko Ichihara, Watanuki is forced to carry out bizarre errands in a desperate bid to be rid of his connection to the supernatural world.

 

The cover to xxxHolic Vol. 10. Click for a larger image.Vol. 10 finds Watanuki serving as a water-bearer, forced to make multiple trips to a strange well. He's upset about the fact that the well is located on private property-particularly since a mysterious woman seems to be watching him through an open window. Along the way, he encounters his love interest and classmate, Himawari, and after making a pinky-swear promise to her that he won't overexert himself, a sudden accident reveals the horrifying truth about his longtime crush.

 

More emotionally charged than recent volumes, xxxHolic Vol. 10 exhibits the gentle, in-depth character development that CLAMP is known for, eliciting considerable sympathy for Watanuki's plight. Still, fans have been waiting a looooong time to find out what's up with Himawari, and considering the ten-volume build-up, the payoff here isn't all that spectacular. There's a general sense that things aren't going to be the same for Watanuki and Himawari, but it's hard to say exactly how things will change. The art, however, is a delight to look at-spectacularly detailed without being too busy, and full of multi-page spreads that elegantly illustrate Watanuki's dream states and supernatural experiences. This series' intricate storyline is not for the casual reader, but followers of Watanuki's adventures should enjoy this bittersweet entry in CLAMP's supernatural saga. | J. Bowers

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