xxxHOLiC: Ep 6

Drama ReviewsJapanese Dramas

AHAHAHA THIS EPISODE IS SO GOOD!   It has brought back the same suspense and intensity that we had in the earlier episodes!  No more slow pacing!  BWAHAHAHAHAHA. 

As you can tell I am pretty much on cloud nine right now.  I thought this episode was pretty epic.  Episode 6 can rival episode 3 in terms of intensity and I may even like it better than episode 3.  O_O  I think it’s because this is the episode that gives us the big reveal about Himawari’s power!!!  At first I thought Himawari was really annoying but now I can see that she is actually quite similar to Watanuki.  She feels like she is cursed with her power and that nothing good will ever come out of it.  She is conflicted over whether she should be friends with Watanuki or push him away.  In this case she decides to push him away because she knew she should’ve done this sooner.  :'( 

It seems like Doumeki already knows about Himawari’s powers because she talks to him very candidly about it.  She doesn’t say it outright but the way she talks, she implies that Doumeki has already known.  And OMG I love the moment when Doumeki reaches out to Himawari (and calls her by her first name!!)……either to pat her on the shoulder or HUG HER, it is hard to tell…..and then she TURNS AWAY.  Yes, this girl has guts. 

^OMG WITHOUT THE GLASSES…………

So…I think you could say that this pretty much equals Himawari breaking up with Watanuki.  Not like they’re dating, but Watanuki probably felt the pain equivalent to a break up.  Which, of course, results in the most angsty broody despairing Watanuki that we have seen yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I feel bad for saying this but we all know that we like seeing Watanuki brooding.  >____>””

We have the introduction of a new villain, Jorogumo.  I am kinda glad I didn’t know anything about her before watching this episode because it kept me guessing about her identity.  At first I thought she was like the opposite of Yuko..so some sort of witch.  But then it’s revealed that she is a..spider.  That explained the whole web barrier/trap and such but…I am still confused.  Does that mean she is some sort of spider spirit?  Or that she is a spider creature in human form?  Huh?  O_O””

ANYWAYS I LOVE LOVE LOVE the part when Jorogumo reveals the truth about Himawari.  (a part of me wonders just how much of what she says is truth though?)  Every word pierces into Watanuki as he realizes that Himawari was the cause of his misfortune.  I understood that Himawari was like the bringer of bad luck but……I never realized that that means she is also associated with all of the bad events that happened in the previous episodes!!!!!!!!!!!!  Another nice touch in this episode is that Himawari’s hair ribbons end up protecting Watanuki.  Kinda ironic that even though Himawari brings misfortune, she can also protect Watanuki!!!  I thought it was really sweet when Watanuki explains why he loves Himawari…..and therefore why he refuses to let go of the ribbons! 

“And my world isn’t only for those who know about it.”

Yuko makes only a couple appearances in this episode.  She takes a very hands-off approach to this whole situation, and I have to say, I actually enjoyed it!  I like how Yuko has already prepared Doumeki to survive on his own.  He doesn’t need her to intervene in this situation because he is capable of helping Watanuki on his own.  Of course Yuko still does some stuff in the background and gives Doumeki a hint, but it is all up to Doumeki to save Watanuki. 

The suspense in this episode is great, especially with Doumeki running around trying to find Watanuki.  I was totally rooting for him to find Watanuki, whereas in episode 4 I was just all like “well..he’s gonna find him anyways….”.  I think the thing is that Watanuki is in even MORE trouble than he was before, so I felt like it was more urgent.  O___O

Overall
I still have a lot of questions but this episode has cleared up a lot.  The ending is a total cliff-hanger and I can’t wait for episode 7!!!!  In the preview it shows that Yuko slaps Watanuki so maybe Watanuki does not revert back to his old self after he is saved??  I am mainly wondering how he will resolve his conflicting feelings over Himawari.

WAIT………….COULDN’T HIMAWARI WISH FOR HER POWER TO BE ERASED???????  MAYBE SHE COULD ENTER YUKO’S SHOP SOMEDAY??? *GASP*

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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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  • Yes, this episode rivaled episode 3 indeed. I found myself enjoying it. It was suspenseful and big secrets were revealed. I don’t think you can 100% blame Himawari for all of Watanuki’s misfortunes as he’s been seeing and attracting ghosts since long before. The thing is that with Himawari-chan around, her presence takes things to extreme.

    I thought it was really interesting that Watanuki reveals that he basically knew there was something else about Himawari, although he probably didn’t know the whole story or extent and that is why he’s in denial about all the evil things our spider lady says. And yes, Jorogumo is NOT being 100% honest as she wishes to devour his soul. Notice she keeps telling Watanuki that the people have rejected him. Sure, Himawari pushed him away and Yuko “disappeared” but what about the bromance? Domeki kept searching furiously for him in this episode.

    What a cliffhanger to have that needle stabbed into Watanuki’s heart and Domeki running headlong into the dark cave towards the scream. That’s friendship right there for you. I’m also anxiously awaiting Yuko’s scolding of Watanuki in the next episode and what happened to cause it.

    • I guess Himawari amplifies Watanuki’s ghost encounters then. O_O Yes I loved the scene when he talks about his first ‘meeting’ with Himawari and how he felt that he and her were the same. This goes way deeper than a mere crush.

      GO DOUMEKI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I looooove Watanuki’s awkward crush and friendship with Himawari, and it is indeed well done that it’s not shallow puppy-love. The common traumatic bond portrayed here is one of the strongest, and simultaneously the most painful, there is.

      GUH what a cliffhanger! I can’t wait to see what happens. I hope they keep this momentum through the finale.

      • Yes! I think it’s better in the drama than in the manga where he didn’t have a full idea of her problems and just had that adulation of her that was a bit annoying.
        Here, it’s tangible and potent. Sometani does an excellent job with the emotions in the scene.
        It looks like the momentum can continue through at least the next episode. Fingers crossed 😛

  • Yup! Agreed, tis episode had me tense while watching it, because I had very little idea on what was going to happen. As I suspected, the episode was almost entirely original, even though the character of the Jorogumo did originate from source material (she is a spirit that presides over spiders btw), so I was kind of on the edge of my seat, so to speak… and the fact it ended on a cliffhanger did not help! I think from here on out, the material will be almost entirely original with sprinkles of plot points and aspects from the manga, rather than the other way around as it had been in the beginning. I’m excited to see how things play out.

    I can’t say the way that they revealed Himawari’s nature was better than in the manga, but I think I can say it was just as effective, although in a different way and for different reasons, mainly because of how they’ve been leading up to it; the steady progression of hints, coupled with her visible reluctance because she doesn’t want to hurt people. Also, in this case you could actually say that Watanuki’s reasoning for wanting to be Himawari’s friend is more compelling (compared to the manga where he didn’t really suspect anything at all about her until not long before he was told to his face). However, the fact that Watanuki decides to think dearly of her in spite of it at least remains the same, and it’s one of the things I love about him.

    From the moment Himawari mentioned she and Doumeki were childhood friends, I figured that he knew about her “nature”. I remember during the ghost story episode when Himawari was telling her story, Doumeki had this stilted look on his face, like he knew exactly what she was talking about, because as her childhood friend, he had to be there for her when bad things happened. That’s the thing about Doumeki, he doesn’t say much but he really looks out for the people he cares about. I also loved that Yuko and he got to have that chat, touching upon the point that Doumeki is the kind of person who doesn’t need her shop, because he can, and will do, whatever he can to make things happen without help.

    I’ve always found it interesting, how Watanuki is surrounded by these two people with powers opposing his ability to see and attract spirits, with Doumeki repelling them and Himawari, rather than to herself, induces the chances of bad things happening to others. Doumeki really is the perfect in between for them XD. Gaahh, I had so many OT3 feelings in this episode, and I can only imagine it increasing next ep!

    • So would that mean that Jorogumo controls spiders in the natural world or she controls other spider spirits? *still confused* It seems like the..spirits are mainly in connection with nature? (like Ame Warashi)

      Anyways I am happy that the live action is sorta giving you a new experience with xxxholic. I really love how the drama balances its dark vibes with more uplifting themes of friendship and loyalty!

      (I WISH I WERE CHILDHOOD FRIENDS WITH DOUMEKI……)

      • Hard to say when literary license is in play! In the manga at least, she definitely had reign over natural spiders. In traditional folklore, Jorogumo are supposed to be spider spirits that can change to the appearance of a woman and do so to seduce their victims (kind of like what’s happening to poor Watanuki! Eep!). And yeah, lots of spirits, especially ones of Japanese origin, have a sort of an affinity with nature.

        I love that aspect of the drama too! I feel like despite my quibbles here and there it really is making good use of its time.

        • Ahhhh ok. I do not have any background knowledge with the Japanese folklore so it is good to know! Haha maybe in the drama they have all Jorogumo’s minions in human form since they didn’t want to CG a lot of spiders. O_O

          • I’ve barely scratched the surface, but Japanese folklore is really interesting. You should watch yourself some Princess Mononoke, or even the Great Yokai War, for a small crash course, if you haven’t already.

            I liked the parallels between Eastern and Western folklore, with the druggy wine stuff they were giving him- probably meant to be spider venom. It reminded me of Hades’ pomegranate seeds, or food in the Fae world, that makes it very difficult to leave once you’ve consumed them. I love fantastical legend stuff like that.

    • Whoa great observations! I also love how Domeki is given agency as a character. Although, really, Yuko, maybe you have friendship issues, too? Can’t your friends/foster children just come hang out, without needing to have a wish? Have you made some sort of deal for power?

      I especially agree about all the friends having complementary abilities that sort of stabilize each other. Given that, I also feel like separating from each other isn’t the answer, Himawari. I know you are trying to protect Watanuki, but I think this will ultimately destabilize both of you. And look at Domeki! You were friends with him and he turned out (really) fine! Didn’t Yuko say in an earlier episode that being around Watanuki awakened Domeki’s power? I can’t remember. I wonder if we’ll see an earlier instance of Watanuki causing Himawari’s power to intensify.

      The spider spirit is too awesome! I was cringing gleefully the entire time she was on screen. Obviously I don’t want Watanuki’s soul taken, but she was pretty damn effective. I wonder if her minions are humans she’s drugged and metamorphosed, or spider spirits themselves?

      I find it really interesting that most of the spirits/creatures have been female, except for the evil doctor demon dude. I wonder if they mean to say that nature magic is naturally female, or if they just haven’t had time to explore the flip side, yang side of things.

      Aaaah cliffhanger! Hurry up, Sunday! Aaaaah except the subtitles. Noooooooo

      • Ahaha “cringing gleefully” is a good way to put it! I think her minions are probably spider spirits because she eats people so……… >_>

        Yeah now that I think about it, where are all the guy spirits!?!?

        • the fact that there are only 8 episodes and therefore there isn’t really much chance for too many spirits to show aside, it was obvious in the manga there was a disproportionate amount of female side/oneshot characters, human OR non-human, compared to male. It was a little strange ^^;. There WERE male spirits shown, but they weren’t in the stories that have been portrayed in the drama, and nearly all the ones I can think of that had more than a mere background appearance would’ve been difficult to portray anyhow because they tended to be anthropomorphic animals or just outright creatures

          • Iiiiiinteresting. I wonder if nature energy in Japan, or in the Shinto tradition, is considered female in some way? But then, CLAMP is an all-female group, so maybe their talents and interests just skew that way.

      • Nah, I’m just drawing from the information I do know and making my comments based on how the drama is playing around with it or adding its own twists. it’s YOUR observations that are great, given since you aren’t as familiar with the source material as I am! Like your observation about Yuko’s behavior, because there IS an existing reason in the manga for why she’s so hands off, good call ;). Now, I’m not sure if they’ll actually end up mentioning it in the upcoming last two eps, or if you don’t like spoilers or something, so I’ll just leave you with this: The shopkeeper of the wish shop has to follow certain rules, no matter how powerful they are, no matter what their feelings are.

        Now, it’s true that Doumeki turned out fine, but you have to admit, Doumeki’s a special case. He’s always had a latent ability/aura that basically made him a living protective ward, and it’s why he’s been able to stay by Himawari’s side. Maybe the exact reason for why at the time was unknown, but Himawari or Doumeki probably noticed at some point that bad things didn’t happen when they were together. If you look back at the first ep, back when Watanuki was just getting to know them, she screamed and backed away from Watanuki after the accident, I think that was her realizing that “Oh no, I’m going to affect him too!”. But that didn’t stop her desire for his friendship, but from there she was more careful and hesitant, and tried to make sure that Doumeki was involved (“you make a lunch for Doumeki-kun too okay?”). It’s true that I wouldn’t want them separated, because meeting each other was important. It wasn’t until Doumeki met Watanuki that he became consciously aware he had power, and having friendship with Watanuki has caused Himawari to have to be more confronted in the face about her power. Just as Yuko said, when people meet there is a tie between them that is formed, and from there people will affect one another, and that’s exactly the kinds of bonds that have formed between Watanuki and Yuko, Doumeki, and Himawari.

        • Yeah, that makes sense, with the shopkeeper rules. It is a pretty common trope with those Galadriel types of characters. Yuko keeps The Balance through the wishes, but you can tell she’s unhappy when things are about to go south, like with the first two eps. Plus, powerful people have to have rules, or the story’s no fun.

          I loooove how the friendship is being strengthened between everybody, and Himawari’s seeming two-timey attitude with the boys makes more sense, too. I like that Yuko is part of the circle in her way, as well. We see glimpses of her thoughts and opinions, even though she’s mostly mysterious. Although sometimes I wonder if, like Himawari’s forced optimism, her drinking masks her angst over the rules she has to follow. I thought she was just a bad-ass, potentially inhuman witch, but maybe she is a prisoner.

          • Yup. You got it. Yuko cannot refuse to grant a wish (unless it directly involves killing someone), and she also cannot take more or less pay than its worth. Unfortunately this bleeds into her personal life, as she’s limited in what she can do for others without there being a need for compensation (in the manga, we even saw her charge Doumeki for the information she gave him about how to use Himawari’s hair ribbons in the hydrangea story). She sometimes plays it up as coldness or selfishness, but really, she’s not happy that this is how she has to operate. And augh, it’s so hard to not just blurt a ton of info (that probably isn’t relevant to the drama) when reading your observations! Because “prisoner” is actually a really good description of Yuko… in more ways than one >.>

            The connection between the trio is why I’ve found myself unable to ship any of them with each other without the third person being there. I guess some might find it odd to be an OT3 shipper but I feel like they compliment/balance each other too well. Something I really love about the drama is how they’re putting more emphasis on their relationship to each other, whereas in the manga, while I still loved their relationship, it was more imbalanced and the focus was sporadic. Perhaps that is one advantage to having a more condensed story.

            • You’re doing a great job not spoiling! Thanks for being considerate. I actually just finished volume 4 of the manga, so I’ll get the full story eventually.

              I feel like I’ve consumed so many stories that it’s no longer the plot-specific whats that happen, because a lot of times I see it coming. It’s more the how that I enjoy. I do think condensed dramas, especially from such a sprawling episodic medium like manga, enable the makers to reflect how to tie everything together more coherently. When the artists are in the middle of manga-writing, half the time they probably don’t know how it’s going to end, so the drama guys have the benefit of hindsight.

              I feel you on the OT3 thing. I do want something to go right for Watanuki on the Himawari front, because he’s always so hilariously bent up about it, but I feel like Doumeki could still be friends with them. Maybe at the very end, though, because it’s way more fun when you don’t know for sure what’s going to happen with those things. I had similar feelings for the main foursome in the K-drama Sungkyunkwan Scandal (highly recommended).

  • I love your thought about the drama,It is really hard to find good review and thoughts out there .I agree all with you ;I just want to add a little info:Anne is in fact not only model but she was the top super model of Japan before transforming into an actress:)

    • Thanks for pointing that out, I didn’t know that Anne was a real model in real life!! Haha it explains why she pulls off all these gorgeous outfits!

  • Not gonna rant much this time cuz there’s not really much to rant about, but…I really, REALLY love the casting they did with Jorogumo. She’s amazing. She’s just so sneaky and spider-y and totally HOT, which makes it even better, soooo…yeah.

    Plot-wise, it was alright, not one of my favorite episodes because not much action happened. I did get all *squeals* when Doumeki’s looked for Watanuki for ten days…the emotional suffering was touching, though. The look on Watanuki’s face when he realized Himawari was “bad luck”…and then the needle pushing into his chest…*grimaces* Ugh, that made me wince just watching it. So painful.

    (forgive me if the needle was in the next episode, I can’t exactly remember cuz I just watched the last four episodes in a row.)

    • Yup lots of agonizing in this episode for Watanuki. Although he agonizes throughout the entire drama, this is one of the climaxes of his suffering. :'(

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