xxxHolic – CLAMP

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For the past two weeks I have been watching CLAMP’s xxxHolic and I must say, I was impressed. I know I’m late in seeing this particular anime, but I wanted to share my opinion with you all about it. I am a CLAMP fangirl, and I love all of their work, including those in which they only illustrated like the amazing Code Geass series.

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xxxHolic has a supernatural/mystical feel to it. I don’t know about you all, but some of the episodes actually made me take an introspective look at myself and it also made me think of whether or not I’d have done the same thing as the main character in different situations he encountered.

For those of you who haven’t seen the series, here’s what it’s about…

Plot

The main character, Watanuki Kimihiro (Japanese name order) has a problem that he’d like to get rid of. He can see spirits while those around him cannot. He might be fine with it if all he could do is see them, but the grotesque apparitions actually attack and try to eat him because he looks “tasty”.

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One day he passes a shop and is dragged by unseen forces and made to enter. There he meets a witch named Yuuko and her two soulless companions who tells him there are no coincidences in life, therefore his presence was predestined. Yuuko claimed that her shop was one that granted wishes for the price of that which was equivalent to what was asked (like equivalent exchange in the rules of alchemy). Her shop is not visible to those who have no desire. She proceeds to have him work in the shop as payment for granting a wish he had.

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The anime then goes through various adventures Watanuki has while working for Yuuko, including getting closer to his long time crush Himawari and frenemy Doumeki Shizuka.

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Doumeki lives in a temple and because of his strong spiritual abilities, he can unconsciously drive away the spirits that plague Watanuki.

As for the theme songs, my favorite is 19Sai by Suga Shikao.

When you read the translation of the lyrics in English, the meaning is something you might not expect (I sure didn’t), and you might find it a little weird, but strangely enough, they fit Watanuki’s character perfectly. Initially, I thought the artwork was off because the characters’ legs and torsos were out of proportion to the rest of their bodies and the space around them. But by the fifth  episode, I had already gotten over that.

What I Loved About the Show

Overall the show was amazing. It had a cohesive plot with actual depth. There were also a lot of abstract concepts, and I love abstract concepts because they make me think. Over the span of roughly forty episodes, the CLAMP creators showed Watanuki’s growth in maturity, slowly changing the way he viewed things or ways he reacted in certain situations. That’s a hard thing to do for a character. The bonds he was able make were heartwarming, though he never really managed stop being annoying until the end.  There were also some funny moments splashed about here and there.

What I Didn’t Like

I absolutely hated the ending! No, not really, lol. It wasn’t all that bad, just a bit jarring. Two characters I didn’t expect to even be all that close ended up having a deep relationship and getting married, and it came out of the blue. The pairing was creepy to me and it completely killed any fantasies I had of a yaoi pairing ever being canon. To be honest, it totally sucked for me in that respect. It would have been better if they had left those relationships ambiguous and let us the fill in the blanks of the ending. Some of the theme songs for later seasons also didn’t sit right with me.

But all in all, the things I disliked about it were not reasons to avoid watching it. You never know until you try it…

I recommend that if you haven’t seen it, you should take the time to see it! CLAMP is amazing and so is xxxHolic! Thanks for reading! ^_^

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2PM (투피엠) – Korean Pop Band

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This was a band that really impressed me. They’re not just a bunch of androgynous real-life bishies. I know you may be asking “why is she doing an article on a Korean pop band on an anime blog?” Well bear with me please, I do have a point with this.

These guys are lyrical geniuses that are adept at multiple languages. In my opinion, they are fantastic in the things they can do. Their first studio album was released in 2009 called “The First Album 1:59 PM”. One of my favorites out of their Korean songs is “Hands Up” which was released in 2011. Later in 2011, they made their Japanese debut. These artists have amazing voices and they are also great dancers. Check out some of their music videos on Youtube sometime.

Believe it or not, the first time I found out about 2PM was when I heard “Take Off”, a Japanese song used as the first ending theme for Ao no Exorcist.

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That song ended up being one of my favorites, but it wasn’t until one of my friends who was a Korean drama fangirl talked to me that I was informed they were actually a Korean group. They also have other Japanese songs, so feel free to check them out. Their music is off the chain, man! I just wanted to inform all those who also didn’t know much about this band and their effect on the anime/manga community. Hope you enjoyed it! ^_^

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