xxxHOLiC: Ep 3

Drama ReviewsJapanese Dramas

This is definitely my favorite episode so far, it pulls everything together very nicely!  Oh, and I must add that I am liking Yuko & Doumeki’s characters much better now!  Double win!

So I don’t want to spend every single post talking about Anne’s acting and all but………SHE IS SO MUCH BETTER IN THIS EPISODE!!!  Her funny moments fit in well with this episode because it seemed to take a slower pace to build up the characters a bit more.  I suppose this is because there was no new character that they had to develop for a story arc.  Anyways, I especially like the scene when Yuko teases Watanuki about how to court Himawari. 😛  It really shows her more playful side, but also shows that underneath her funny words there is always some sort of hidden motive.  AND……….in this episode I thought of the possibility..would Yuko become some sort of mentor/older sister figure to Watanuki, in place of his deceased mom?  I know she would not quite be a mother figure, but maybe an older sister figure would work.  This is just my speculation as I don’t know what will happen, hehe.

On a side note, her outfit this episode was made of a very thick material but even that looks good on her.  My favorite part of the outfit is the fur fringe, so luxurious and exotic!  There is also a nice touch when she wears a butterfly hair stick in her hair in one of the scenes. 

Most of my time watching xxxholic is spent freaking out over how creepy it is, ANNND…swooning over Sometani Shota.  WATANUKI~~ I LOVE YOU~~~  And do I have to say it again……HE CAN COOK!!!!!  Even more so than episode 2, ep3 gives him moments to grumble and insert dry remarks.  It is really funny because he is the kind of character that will complain but will end up doing things he doesn’t want to do anyways. 

I really liked the character development of Watanuki in this episode because we get to see more of his past.  He is burdened with guilt over his mom’s death because she tried to save him when a ghost coerced him into jumping off the roof.  (or hypnotized him or something..it seems he was in some sort of trance)  The way the drama tells this story is absolutely perfect–it shows a flashback to the young-Watanuki crying “mom” over his mom’s collapsed body……and then it switches back to the present, showing the current Watanuki completely caught up in his memory and crying “mom, mom” over and over.  :(((((((( So sad!   To make things even more intense a ghost pretending to be Watanuki’s mom appears and guilt-trips him even more, which leads him to apologize to her over and over again for her having to die in his place. 

^bottom right pic:  yeahhhh I cut out Himawari.  Doumeki & Watanuki are enough. 😛

I take back what I said about Doumeki in my last post.  I am now warming up to Doumeki, who wears his awesome traditional clothes and SHOOTS MAGICAL ARROWS.  o/o/o/o/o/o/o/o/o/o/o/o/

Yuko urges Doumeki to shoot the ghost with his bow, even though he has no arrows.  He obeys and a MAGIC ARROW appears out of no where and exorcises the ghost.  AWESOME moment, I really liked the arrow effect!  The only problem I had with this moment is that Doumeki is all, “but I don’t have an arrow”. Yuko: “You can do it!”  Doumeki: “oh, ok.” *shoots arrow*  Didn’t Doumeki believe her a bit too easily?  I mean, wouldn’t logic make him want to tell her again, I DON’T HAVE ANY ARROWS?

Unfortunately I cannot say the same for Himawari.  I just cannot like her character at this point.   To me she is just this really annoying ditzy character that gets to have Doumeki & Watanuki all to herself. (LUCKY GIRL)  I really do not understand the purpose of her character except that she is the one that brings together the threesome.  Times that absolutely annoy me about Himawari:  When Watanuki is all, oh I can make you lunch and she replies, CAN YOU MAKE DOUMEKI ONE TOO?  Or when she’s goes, yay let’s go tell ghost stories! Me: GIRL, can you even handle ghost stories?   AND the most annoying part of the episode is after Watanuki is almost killed by a ghost, Himawari goes “can I ask you a favor?”   T___________T  Himawari..now is not the time……

Overall

^Credit linked.

I have no idea how Watanuki is coping with all of these traumatic events. O____O  Hopefully Yuko can help him heal emotionally by resolving the issues of his past.  It seems like Doumeki will play a more significant role with the upcoming episodes which is a big plus for me!  HEHEHE.  I am looking forward to the possible Doumeki & Watanuki bromance! 

So, what do all of you think about the adaption of this 100 Ghost Stories episode?  For those who can compare it to the anime or manga, did it live up to your expectations? 

 

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heisui

I'm heisui, an Asian drama blogger and the creator of My Drama Tea. I love stories and writing, so I watch dramas and blog. I especially have a penchant for Japanese and Chinese dramas, and those hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. Oh, and I'm Legend of Zhen Huan-obsessed!
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  • Agreed that this is my favorite episode to date! I couldn’t dislike Domeki because we didn’t have enough of him, but now that we are seeing more of him, yay! He’s doing a great job and Sometani’s Watanuki is just plain awesome. This boy really knows how to act with feeling and with very subtle facial expressions at times. Plus, Anne’s acting is growing on me. I think you’re right as they got to slow down and show more about our leads since they did not introduce a new “client.” As for Himawari. I liked her more in the manga than I do in this drama. There’s something about the actress’s portrayal that I’m just not getting into.

    Ah Yuko. My friend Chani-chan has a crazy theory/fan girl obsession with Watanuki and Yuko that has NOTHING to do with motherly/sisterly love 😛 The relationship is more ambiguous at the moment, but I hope they really do showcase Yuko’s affection and desire to help Watanuki even more. Her expression when Watanuki was sobbing and calling out for his mother was so…you could see both her and Domeki hurting with Watanuki.

    • Yes it is a nice change of pace. I do not necessarily want a short customer story in every episode. It is better to change things up a bit, hehe! 😀

      WHAT are there Yuko x Watanuki shippers or something? O___O

      • Me neither about the customers as I really like to see the personal development, but at the same time, certain customers do help aid to the development of our main cast.
        Yes, my friend was a diehard WatanukixYuko shipper. The majority of people tend to be WatanukixDoumeki shippers, tho. CLAMP and their yaoi undertones 😛

        • Yes, it is nice to see that they don’t need the customer sub-plots in every episode though. 😀

          Ahaha I’m not sure if I can ship those two. O_O The bromance on the other hand..

  • I REALLY enjoyed Anne’s acting in this ep too, like the teasing moment you mentioned above, as well as when she hit him with her bag when he commented on her selfishness XD. I really love Yuko and Watanuki’s relationship in the manga, which IS rather mentor-y, but also has a bit of something more personal (though still ambiguous) than just that. But since the series is 8 episodes I wasn’t holding my breath for too much development in that area, with it instead focusing on the Doumeki-Watanuki-Himawari trio (which I AM seeing), but now I’ve got hope for some affection developing between them

    I thought the 100 ghost story was adapted quite well, especially the ghost-story telling atmosphere and Doumeki’s “spirit” archery…. Although I totally didn’t expect them to go over Watanuki’s backstory so soon XD. I’m glad that despite the fact they changed his backstory from the manga, they preserved the guilt aspect of it. Whether or not that aspect has the same ramifications here though remains to be seen, I hope they delve into that.

    Himawari’s request will lead into what happens in the next ep. I’m really curious as to see how that story will be adapted… it’s actually interesting as a person familiar with the story when you can pick up changes from the previews cuz’ it keeps the guessing going.

    • Ahhh ok! Seems like there is more to them than what meets the eye! *will wait for secrets to be revealed later on* HEHEHE. It is great to get your perspective since you’ve read the manga! 😀 I am glad to know that the 100 ghost story was done well!

  • I agree with pretty much everything you said 😀 Although not so much about Himawari – at least in the manga/anime she turns out to be a fairly complex character. I’m not sure how they will adapt that in the live-action, but if they’re going where I think they are going, then they’ve already dropped several hints along the way. If this is true than Himawari’s attitude will (probably/possibly) make more sense. In addition, there’s another female character in the manga/anime later on who also has a trio-dynamic with Watanuki and Doumeki, but perhaps in the live-action (in the interest of time and space) they will give some of her characteristics to Himawari, so that might also have an effect on her character. I’m not too sure.

    As a side note: Sometani Shota seems to only be able to improve with each episode 😀

    • Maybe my opinion of Himawari will change once I get to see deeper character development. At this point I only have a very shallow sense of who she really is. You are definitely making me curious about how her character will turn out!

  • I liked this episode a lot compared to the first two, I’m sad they did alter the story a bit maybe to give more plot or more hints to the character because in the manga, it took a while to fully reveal everything, Himawari is the girl in her story, but I won’t spoil more than that, and I really liked how Doumeki’s story was portrayed, it was the only story that stayed true to the manga.

    • Hmm so it seems like the live action is going at a much faster pace than the manga. I think there was pretty good build up for Watanuki’s mom’s story but not so much for Himawari/Doumeki.

  • This sounds really interesting, I was quite curious about it, especially since it’s produced by WOWOW and has received a general decent response.
    So many dramas, so little time.

    • Yes it has gained a pretty good following! I tend to have high expectations from WOWOW and so far so good. I think it also helps that a lot of people already have some familiarity with CLAMP or xxxholic.

  • I did love this episode as well! I was all *squee* at Domeki having more development, cuz he’s my favorite character in the manga (besides Yuko of course). Just one thing, I’m not sure if it’s been mentioned already, but: Domeki does take the bow without complaining in the manga as well. He’s supposed to be expressionless and endlessly calm in all situations, and he’s also apparently very observant and smart. I’m thinking he sensed that Yuko knew what she was doing and that he didn’t really have any other choice, so he didn’t argue. Watanuki was getting choked by a spirit anyway XD Where Watanuki would be like, “WTF woman?”, Domeki would just be like, *shrug* “Oh, okay”, and do it. They’re the complete opposite of each other, it’s lovely.

    Sorry about the Domeki rant, I promise I’m not trying to be patronizing.

    • Ah I see, so it is more to do with Doumeki’s personality. I think maybe since he also had background knowledge of ghosts (through his family) maybe he didn’t think it was that out of the blue. Personally I would’ve just stared dumbly at Yuko wondering what she meant, hehe! 😀

  • Yay this episode! Scooby Gang, unite! I know I’m late to the party, but I had to weigh in. Note: I’ve seen the first few episodes of the anime, haven’t read the manga, know nothing but synopsis stuff about Tsubasa Chronicles.

    I, too, am amazed by Sometani’s ability to communicate wide sweeps of emotion with a few facial ticks. His stinkeyes at the dumbass teacher in the last episode were especially awesome. I pretty much agree with everything you’ve said about the actor and character.

    I actually have enjoyed Anne’s Yuko from the beginning, but I think she’s coming into the role even more with this episode. In trying to think of other people who might have portrayed Yuko, I find myself skewing older in my suggestions, like Amami Yuki or Maya Miki. Yuko has to look young, but seem Galadriel-ageless (read:really old) and wise, so I think they’ve done the best they can. I do wonder what my heroine Amami Yuki would have done with it, though.

    Himawari annoyed me at first, but I recognized pretty early that her strained cheerfulness is a cover-up for Deep Emotional Trauma, especially after she’s all “Hey buddy, I totally did not scream and push you away after the freak death that by the way, totally didn’t happen, what are you talking about? Tee hee!” I hope they get her out of that box pretty fast.

    Last but not least, all the love for Doumeki. I can see why you’d think he’s just a terrible actor. He may very well be, since it is tough to portray an expressionless character and still convey the emotion, but… wait, what were you saying? He sat down all elegant and traditional after shooting arrows and I was lost.

    Also also,8 half-hour episodes??? Mother eff-er, guys, it’s not even halfway and I know I’m gonna want MOAR.

    • Yes join us!!! >:D

      Hmmm I cannot quite picture Amami Yuki in the role. (although her tall height would rival Anne’s!) I think she would go into BOSS mode. O_O Someone mentioned Nakama Yukie might be a good Yuko. Do you think she would work? lol I think now that I try to think of alternate actresses I end up coming back to Anne.

      That is a good point to make, at first I didn’t catch on that Himawari was hiding her painful past through her exaggerated happy-happy behavior. As for Doumeki, yes I was sold when he wore his traditional clothing and showed off his archery skills. *w*

      • Hee thanks!

        I do think Nakama Yukie would make a good Yuko, although I don’t know that she has as much depth in her acting as Amami Yuki. I like her best in comedic roles (although I’m biased for Gokusen, since that was my first drama ever). And I am liking Anne more and more as Yuko.

        I see your point about Amami Yuki, because she has a lot of boisterous personality (I LOVE BOSS). Still, if you go back and watch The Queen’s Classroom (Jyoou no Kyoushitsu), she does a fantastic inscrutable and mysterious authority figure, and she doesn’t need a lot of facial movement to convey deep emotions. Plus she can make a tiny mouth-quirk and be funny, a combination that would make a great Yuko. Unfortunately, I do think she is a bit old for the part, even though I hate saying that and she looks about fifteen years younger than she is. And too, like Nakama Yukie, they probably couldn’t afford her. I mean, this drama is pretty obviously on a tight budget, since they’re doing so few episodes. I will say they’re making great use of the resources they have, because it’s wonderfully moody and well-shot, to my untrained eye.

        It’s a common trope for overly happy characters to be hiding something (see: Tamaki in Ouran (sort of) off the top of my head, but there are others), but it was still pretty annoying, especially since Watanuki pretty obviously lurves her, and she’s all “Doumeki! Tee hee!” And Doumeki… the pretty… heavens. I just wish they had more time to grow on us. Maybe there will be a sequel series? We can hope.

        • Ah I haven’t seen Jyoou no Kyoushitsu so… O_O Maybe I should watch it! But yes Amami Yuki is too old for the role. :'( Nama Yukie would work more age-wise than Amami Yuki.

          I think the drama is doing very well with its budget! The set, costumes & cinematography are all great. Leave it to WOWOW!

          • Pro-tip: everything Amami Yuki does is fantastic. I haven’t watched all her shows by far, but I enjoyed Boss, Around 40, and what I’ve seen of Jyoou no Kyoushitsu. GOLD seemed to melodramatic so I didn’t watch it, but she’s got that Takarazuka Revue background that really gives that extra punch.

            • I wouldn’t say everything she does is amazing but I am a fan of hers. My favorite is BOSS but I think I should try out some of her more serious dramas for a change. *w*

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