xxxHOLiC: Ep 8 (Finale)

Drama ReviewsJapanese Dramas

This episode did not quite meet up to expectations, but still left me wanting more of xxxHOLiC.  Now I am having xxxholic withdrawals, what will I do without my Doumeki and Watanuki???? :'(

The first thing that really made me smile in this episode was, of course, the BROMANCE.  I think it is really the highlight of the episode considering that overall, this episode was pretty anticlimatic.  But the dialogue and interactions between Doumeki and Watanuki are pure gold! 

One of my favorite scenes is when Doumeki tries to stop Watanuki from going into Jorogumo’s lair alone.  He wants to go with him to help!  Watanuki tells him to go away but Doumeki sets things straight–that Watanuki’s life isn’t only his own, because Doumeki sacrificed his blood for him.  AWWWWW.  And it is so true!  Just like Yuko told Watanuki in episode7, it is stupid and ungrateful to go and sacrifice his life when Doumeki & Himawari paid a price to save him.  Anyways there is a touch of humor when Doumeki very seriously says that Watanuki must make him a bento lunch every single day.  AHAHAHA I love how Doumeki ‘extorts’ bento lunches from Watanuki.  😉  To make it even better, Watanuki makes a joke about how this is the price he has to pay to Doumeki.  HEHEHEHEHE.  I had a huge grin on my face during this moment!

The scene between Watanuki and Jorogumo was SO EPIC.  Jorogumo is still one of my favorite characters, and thankfully the script gave her justice with awesome lines.  I had trouble finding the right word to describe her, but now I think she is a BAMF.  Probably the most climatic part is when Jorogumo sucks the life out of Watanuki.  At least…..that was my interpretation of the kissing scene.  O_O   I didn’t think she is kissing him for the heck of it (or maybe she was, simply to make Himawari suffer?) because it seems like it is hurting Watanuki.  Especially after she stops kissing him, Watanuki is not just gasping for air, he looks like he is in pain.  Anyways that was just my guess, because I thought she was trying to eat his soul that way.  For those of you who were freaked out by this scene, I think that was sorta the point!  It was supposed to put you on your toes and freak you out!   As for the age difference, yeah it does make me feel kinda uncomfortable because Watanuki is a high schooler.  O_O  But if you are freaked out by Sometani Shota & Adachi Yumi’s age difference, I don’t really think that’s an issue.  They are about 10 years apart in age but that is not too bad in the grand scheme of things.  On a random side note, I was wondering how Watanuki learned how to kiss like that, considering he has no girlfriend.. >_>

Oh, and Himawari attempts to be all smiley and creepy-evil.  I am still confused by this because I can’t tell if she’s under Jorogumo’s spell or if she’s consciously acting like this.  The drastic change was a bit too much so I went with the Jorogumo’s-spell explanation but..later on it seems like that is not the case.  O_O  Anyways, Himawari is pretty creepy as she taunts Watanuki and breaks his heart.  Unfortunately the acting was not that great and I found myself laughing at her expression when she tried to sound all tough.  BUT!!!!!!!!  THIS SCENE MADE WATANUKI AGONIZE EVEN MORE!  >:P

And here’s where I began to feel some disappointment.  Yuko & Doumeki enter Jorogumo’s lair to save the day!  I thought there was gonna be an epic show-down between Yuko & Jorogumo but……NO.  Instead they SHINE (literally, they shine and glisten) while talking to each other.  I did like Jorogumo’s awesome line when she says that she tells people they’re fine the way they are because no one can escape their blood.  That was great and well delivered by Jorogumo.  But that is all I liked about the scene.  After that, Yuko GRACEFULLY tosses a bottle (which has something inside that can weaken Jorogumo) into the air, goes “DOUMEKI-KUN!” and then Doumeki BEAUTIFULLY aims his arrow at the bottle and Jorogumo……and Jorogumo is defeated.  THE END.  Me: “………………WHAT?”  Wasn’t that a little TOO EASY?  Maybe they could’ve at least had Jorogumo DODGE or throw one of her needles?   If she is that strong, and if she is that weak to the substance in the bottle, maybe she should’ve anticipated what was going to happen and intervened?  Jorogumo’s defeat was way too quick, way too easy and way too painless.  T_T

As for Watanuki & Himawari, their scene wasn’t any better than Doumeki/Yuko/Jorogumo’s scene.  They struggle over a knife as Himawari tries to commit suicide.  I don’t know why, but I didn’t really feel any suspense in this scene either.  The best part is when Watanuki blows up at Himawari and earnestly yells at the top of his lungs that she shouldn’t die because he won’t die either.  OMG.  It was a moment that made me hold my breath!!!!!!  BUT THEN……..Himawari starts whimpering and sorta crying in a way that totally ruins the scene.  T___________T””

We end with a happy ending, of course!  I am satisfied by this ending scene with all three of the friends joining together once again, to return back to their normal lives at school.  I loved the last bit of bromance that we got to see, when Watanuki gives Doumeki a giant bento lunch.  AHAHAHA.  It is so cute when Watanuki is clearly suppressing a smile whenever he’s with Doumeki.  HEHEHE.  And despite my gripes about Himawari, it is really sweet when she gives him a hug in silent thanks, and then runs to catch up with Doumeki.  AND THE THREE OF THEM WALK OFF INTO THE DISTANCE!  THE END!

“There’s nothing in this world that’s only your own.”

……OH WAIT…….Yuko still has to get in the last word.  *sigh*  For some reason they decided to put in a very short last scene when Yuko talks about hitsuzen yet AGAIN, in an attempt to sound all wise and mysterious.  I think it was really unnecessary because the scene with Yuko before this was all we needed.  Anyways overall, Yuko really pulled through in this last episode.  She did not get many big moments but I feel like Anne portrayed her character very consistently with all of her little smiles and her moments of vulnerability.

Overall
The main problems with this episode was the anticlimatic climax and the script.  All of a sudden the drama tried to flood us with life lessons and big themes of the story, but it failed.  It was like it kept on trying to repeat some life lessons over and over when really, sometimes saying it only once is enough. 

One theme was that of change–that humans change and that Yuko has changed as well.  And that humans change because of their interactions with the people around them.  It is a nice message and all, but they made it way too obvious.  It is like they were spelling it out in big plain letters and trying to hammer in this idea as much as they could.  Also I felt like Yuko didn’t really change much even though Amewarashi & Jorogumo believe she did.  It seemed like Yuko intended to help Watanuki from the very beginning, because after all….IT’S HITSUZEN!  That is just my opinion, perhaps she has changed a lot but I didn’t really see it.  Even if she has, they should have introduced this theme gradually rather than stuffing it all into the last episode.  o_o

Another theme that was MUCH better was the “you’re fine the way you are” theme.  This is an underlying theme throughout the entire drama, because it focuses on the idea that Watanuki and Himawari felt that they weren’t fine the way they are.  Watanuki didn’t want his ability to see spirits and Himawari didn’t want to bring misfortune to others.  Both of them felt cursed and abnormal as though they were not the way they were supposed to be.  In the end though, we see Himawari and Watanuki come to accept themselves for who they are, powers and all.

My overall impression of xxxholic as a whole is that it’s awesome.  The finale may have been a bit disappointing (and I had extremely high expectations for it so O_O) but overall this drama is one of my favorites of this jdrama season.  It is so hard to find a live action that goes beyond the level of mediocrity.  This live action dared to do something different with the original material and it worked.  The drama did an amazing job of creating/interpreting endearing characters and managed to keep some of the original elements while adding in new ones.  I’m sad that the drama is so short but sometimes, brevity is part of the beauty of a drama.

*Update* I forgot to say, thanks to all of the readers who have enjoyed this drama along with me, especially those who are new readers!  It has been a fun ride and it is even better because I got to discuss it with you all every single week!  Hope to see you around, let me know if you find any other great jdramas~  😉

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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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  • They should seriously make a live action movie to follow the events of the manga after this. They should’ve given more closure. But it was satisfactory I guess. So sad, it ends!

  • Agggghhhh. This really did suffer from being only 8 episodes. It felt they tried to cram in a resolution in the time they had, which caused a skimming over some details and not adding ones that probably would’ve helped the narrative.

    Going back to what I said about the last episode, the big reason why Watanuki and Himawari’s conversation ended on such a different note was that in the manga, by the time Himawari confronted Watanuki about her ability, he’d had already learned the lesson about why he shouldn’t think of himself as worthless (which incidentally DID happen in the original version of the Jorogumo story, and it was Jorogumo herself that taunted him about how his soul must be pretty cheap if he’s willing to give it up so easily. You can probably tell that went over a lot more effectively.) and thus he never told her that he’d be willing to give up his life for her. The drama tried to combine the major plot points of the two stories, and the execution wasn’t very good. It also failed to cover a plot point I SWEAR it felt like the drama was foreshadowing, but it just didn’t have the time to cover (and probably could have if the episode were only 15 minutes longer!), it had to do with Watanuki giving Himawari a special gift.

    If you have time, I think it would be good to look at how the original version of the Himawari arc ended. Aside from some references to an event or two, a person who followed the drama could follow the ep with no problem. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUUD8ayxOBw

    I actually think the theme about people changing still held up here though, because it’s about the changing of ATTITUDES. Because as you said, they accepted who they are, and that attitude is a stark contrast to how it was in the beginning. While the drama didn’t have enough time to effectively show it, I do believe Yuko changed, because until she met Watanuki, her job tended to be bleak because so many people would come in and she would have to grant all the selfish wishes that tended to end really badly. She had to emotionally distance herself as a result too, but Watanuki helped her see that it doesn’t have to be that way.

    In all though I still really like the drama, it gave a different interpretation of the story and took the characters in directions I’d WISHED had happened in the original but didn’t, it’s just unfortunate the execution was choppy. I at least got my wish of having it end with my OT3 together and happy and going to share a lunch together ^_^.

    • Yes I think they should have extended the episode time, or at least lengthened the drama. It wouldn’t even have to lengthen the drama by a lot, I would’ve been alright at a 10-12 episode long drama since that is a standard length.

      I think I might check out the original…I think I need me some more manga in my life. I guess my problem with the theme of change (for Yuko, I mean) was that I couldn’t really sense the change that well. I do feel like Yuko is happier in the ending, so I guess she has changed. >_> I felt like they were trying to show that Yuko changed because she was intervening in Watanuki’s situation, saving a human when she didn’t even have to. Almost like she is crossing some sort of boundary that separates her from people. But to me she has always been a mentor figure that is connected to the OT3. Maybe it was possible that she intended to help the OT3 in the first place, because she was the one who took the initiative to bring Himawari/Doumeki/Watanuki together as a ‘team’. So..I felt like she didn’t quite change in her relationship to the OT3? I DON’T KNOW..I’M CONFUSING MYSELF……. T_T

  • So. I’m back! *waves and bows* Thank you, thank you. And for the last time *tear* Before I start, I’d just like to say I seriously enjoyed your reviews, cuz…well, I just love reading people’s opinions on things I love! *squees* If I’m too emotional, it’s because it’s 3:30 in the morning and I’m listening to very emotional music.

    *cough* Anyway….I love what they did with Jorogumo’s character. The casting was AMAZING, and I’m not going into a rant like I did last time, but it just was, okay? She is officially my favorite character in the xxxholic drama, besides Doumeki.

    Speaking of which, I agree, the climax was a bit…un-climaxy. I felt like Jorogumo should’ve been able to avoid that shot, because it wasn’t really that fast…I mean, seriously? It was a bit of a let-down. And yeah, I didn’t understand what was going on with Himawari either. Watanuki yelling at Himawari that he didn’t want her to die was very sweet, I agree ^_^ Although I was hiding my face in my stuffed bunny every time they switched to the two struggling with the knife, cuz I was positive SOMETHING (from the manga) would happen…turns out it didn’t XD I’m not going to spoil it for you in case you do read the manga. And speaking of, if you do read xxxholic manga, I advise you to read Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles as well, because those two mangas tie into each other somewhat…not too much that you HAVE to know what’s going on in the other manga, but it does make you want to find out XDD they both happen around the same time.

    Can I just say, Doumeki is freaking awesome? And the bromance. Ohmygod. Doumeki’s pretty much telling Watanuki he wants him to be his personal cook XD (housewife, anyone?) and I’m glad they brought in Himawari’s “you two are as close as usual”. I was just so sad when I saw Doumeki just waiting outside the spider’s cave. It must be torture for him, knowing his two best friends are in there and he can’t do anything. Poor guy. *patpat* I really like the ending though, I’m glad they’re happy now.

    Anyway, I’ll end the rant now…can’t believe this is the last episode! I’ll go read some more CLAMP manga to cheer me up….or depress me…

    • Hey Jess, great to hear from you again!

      Jorogumo would rank in my top-3 characters in this drama. Doumeki is also one of my favorite characters, he is so loyal and swoon-worthy and AHHHHHHHH. I LOVE HIM!!!!! I just wish he could’ve had more scenes in the finale! Or it would’ve been awesome if he unleashed a new secret move while defeating Jorogumo. Maybe that would’ve made the climax more exciting. I had high expectations for the climax, and even more so because I got really high on the bromance in the beginning of the episode. So the anticlimatic climax only let me down even more. T_T””

      I have read Tsubasa but I didn’t finish it. I also watched all the anime up to the OVA’s. But for the manga it got so freaking complicated in the later chapters that I couldn’t even keep up with it!! O____O

      • Awwww…yeah, Jorogumo is my second favorite character in this drama, but my favorite character will always be Doumeki ^_^ He IS swoon-worthy, and just amazing, considering he’s one of the least angsty CLAMP characters in…well, in all of CLAMP manga. XD I feel as if maaaaybe it would’ve been more climactic to have Yuuko give Doumeki the bracelet in this episode or the last, so he can protect people and all, and it would’ve emphasized his desire to protect the people he cares about even more, but that’s just my opinion. They probably would’ve run out of time. >.>

        Yeah, it’s pretty complicated…it’s definitely worth it though, the manga is awesome ^_^ The anime was quite the disappointment for me, particularly the English dub, but the OVA’s captured a lot of the CLAMP-ness very well.

        • I think for me, it would be 1) Jorogumo 2) Doumeki x Watanuki TIE! 3) Yuko..and maybe Amewarashi?

          I wish Amewarashi got more screen-time too, she was really awesome as well. T_T I think they should have an SP or a movie just so they can show MOAR bromance! And let Doumeki have the spotlight for once???

          • Amewarashi is always pretty awesome, but she doesn’t get a lot of appearance in the manga, so I guess they wanted to follow that.

            That would be awesome! I’d love to have a movie with Doumeki in the spotlight XD the only problem with that would be that Doumeki’s mysterious and calm and doesn’t say much in the manga, and I think the creators would have a hard time deciding what Doumeki would say and do without making him totally OOC.

  • His tight little smile at the end was so adorable! It was definitely a good watch, just maybe on the short side, it would have been nice if the episodes were either extended or the actual series itself was longer, it felt a little cramped for all the moral lessons to fit in.

    I think it would have been nice to see some more character development as opposed to the morality lessons that were given out. There were times I thought Watanuki’s being way too self sacrificing, and it would have been nice to see other sides to his personality. Maybe even more of Doumeki too, who I think we didn’t see enough of, he was always rescuing the other two.

    The drama on its own merits was pretty well done, I did catch some of the anime, which was probably a bit lighter in tone, but I’m glad they went this way with the drama. I’m kind of tempted to check out ‘All Esper Dayo!’ It looks like it has a similar tone and Sometani Shota is in this one too 0_0

    • Hey aehyu, glad you enjoyed xxxholic! *w*

      I agree, there was definitely NOT ENOUGH DOUMEKI! They mainly devoted the character development all to Watanuki and Himawari. Our poor Doumeki did not get enough screentime and he felt more like a supporting character. BUT…I think that whenever Doumeki is in a scene, he always makes every minute count. I love all of his scenes, HEHEHE. I do wish they could’ve been a bit more creative with his archery skills. Instead of having him ALWAYS hit his target maybe they could’ve made it more difficult for him. T_T

      I’m gonna check out Minna! Esper Dayo! FOR SURE. Just haven’t gotten around to it yet. T_T It also has Kaho, who is a good rising actress.

      • I agree, it was almost too easy for him- he aims, shoots, bam and we’re all saved. I hope they have something else planned, an extension of some sort, I liked the way the story was told and nothing tops Anne in her omniscient ways giving sage but totally meaningless advice :p

        Hopefully I’ll get to check ‘Minna! Esper Dayo!’after my exams, actually I also want to check out that drama with Fujiki Naohito that’s currently airing, but I still don’t have enough time! >.<

  • Well, they had been going on since episode one about changing. With the woman with the ring and the cocky guy with the monkey’s paw and all that jazz. Yuko repeatedly told Watanuki that she can only change outer things, not inner, that’s up to the person. So, here at the end the change theme is brought full circle with Domeki, Himawari, and Watanuki changing the way they think. Domeki thought he couldn’t help people, but was happy to learn that he could and would do anything he could to help others now. Himawari…finally accepts herself, I guess. and Watanuki has realized he’s not alone and that his curse really can be a gift.

    As for Yuko at the end…yeah, they could have left that out. Although, even in the manga Yuko was always “hitsuzen” “hitsuzen” “hitsuzen.” Unfortunately Yuko didn’t get enough screen time to show any real change. But Anne’s portrayal of Yuko did grow on me.

    As for the Jorogumo-Watanuki kiss scene…I knew what she was doing, but I still felt it was sooo wrong in a way. I’m not quite sure why. 😛 Kudos to her though. I really enjoyed Adachi’s acting. Miyazaki’s on the other hand when she tried to be Jorogumo-like fell totally flat and stilted and I wanted to slap her crying face for ruining the pretty awesome moment when Watanuki was screaming at her to live because he’s not going to die either.

    I shall miss the bromance, too. I LOVED Domeki’s pleasant surprise at the huge bento and his big grin when Watanuki said he wasn’t doing it just as repayment like Domeki asked, but because he WANTED to. Tear. Watanuki is all grown up. lol. I shall miss this show. Overall, it was fairly decent. Now if only they could clear up the anticlimactic moments that made the show falter a tad, it would have been perfect. And kudos for putting a different spin on the live action from the manga and anime. I’m curious to see what will happen in the Kuroshitsuji live action movie because they say it will be an original plot not from the manga. Will it do as well as xxxHOLIC which rewrote the original a bit?

    Anywho. LOVED reading your reviews and comments for this drama and I’m glad we have more dramas to talk about this season, too.

    • That’s true I totally forgot about that part at the beginning. Nice point, that it really has been brought full circle with our threesome growing from their struggles together. Even though I didn’t see much change with Yuko I also felt like I enjoyed her character more and more as the drama progressed. She was especially good in this episode!

      Ugh I don’t even want to remember Himawari’s crying scene. T_T Jorogumo was really hot even though the kiss was kinda uncomfortable. O_O I loved the scene when Watanuki gives Doumeki the bento all nonchalantly, HEHEHEHE.

      Wow I didn’t know there’s gonna be a live action of Kuroshitsuji. I haven’t read it but I’ve heard about it since it’s pretty popular. :O

      • Yeah, Yuko grew on me with each episode and I was totally over the moon with the bento scene, too! Ah, they worked so well together that they will be sorely missed.
        I like the anime a bit more than the manga of Kuroshitsuji, but I LOVED the musicals with Matsushita Yuya the most 😀 So I was happy to hear a live action in the works and kind of very disappointed to learn that Mizushima took over the role of Sebastian even though I love Mizushima and this is his first film in a long time.

        • I feel like Japan is coming out with a lot of good live actions lately. I like it when they do live actions that are not shoujo or romance because they can be more creative with the fantasy/action ones.

        • Wait wait, Mizushima Hiro? Acting again? No way! I haven’t watched any Black Butler yet (I think that’s what you’re talking about?) but I suppose I’ll have to, now. I think if you see him as a butler in Mei-chan no Shitsuji you will be converted and not nervous about his portrayal at all.

          (I know first impressions of that drama are really negative. It actually took me a few episodes to get hooked, but boy did I. Anyway, most of the reason it works is because Mizushima is great as a dashing, near-magical butler, but with a lot of emotion under the surface. Definitely more than just a pretty face.)

          • Loved Mizushima in Mei-chan. I also liked Sato Takeru. I would love to see more of that boy as a lead in a drama. Yeah, Black Butler is worth checking out. I am really wondering how Mizushima will portray the devilish Sebastian when he goes all demon… It shall be good, hopefully since this is his first project back in the acting world after quite the break.

  • I really liked this drama, maybe because i wasn’t expecting much since it was a live action but it really surprised me, even Miyazaki Karen didn’t bother me that much lol. Sometani Shota, Higashide Masahiro and Anne was the highlight of this drama for me, i love their interactions and it’s a pity they didn’t show us more (although there are rumors about a second season, so let’s hope).

    anyways, thank you for the final recap! i wish i found this blog sooner lol.

    • I think this drama surprised us all! Who knew it would be this good!?!? It is one of my favorite jdramas this season!

      No problem, glad you enjoyed the drama!

  • Ok, I just now made myself watch this. I’m so sad it’s over! Maybe my expectations weren’t as high as yours, but I enjoyed this one a lot. (I have been burned too many times by asian drama endings, be they everybody-dies or just meh, to expect too much! Sad, but true.)

    Please understand that I really liked your review, and I didn’t mean to disagree with everything you said, it just kind of… happened. I had so many thoughts, and I was actually expecting it to be worse, so I was surprised at some of your impressions.

    I agree that the bromance scenes were totally the best. I love how Doumeki is saying “You have to make me bentos every day”, when he actually means “I care about you, don’t die!” Like Buttercup and Westley’s “As you wish”! Those bits of writing are really good. Yay friendship.

    I do think the last battle was a bit anticlimactic, but I think Jorogumo’s domination scene was plenty enough to make her a threat (fabulously, HOLY SHIT), so I didn’t mind. I’m pretty sure they were doing their best to make a tight budget work, so I’ve decided to cut them some slack. Plus Yuko is classy and pragmatic in everything she does, so no fancy fighting moves or messed up hair for her. I was okay with her being sleek and quietly menacing, all the way.

    I know mileage varies on Himawari-chan, but I actually thought her crying was a good representation of the spell breaking and her pent-up emotions coming out. I think her forcibly cheery demeanor has been her way of covering up and hating herself all these years, and with Watanuki’s acceptance, that crying was a release in a lot of ways. At first the actress annoyed me, but in this last one, I think she did pretty well. I thought her happiness seemed less forced in the last scene (since the character was no longer forcing her happiness), and I definitely felt the emotion when she was being tough. I think it was supposed to be jarring because it’s so far from her normal personality, and as a representation of her “acceptance” of the side of herself she hates the most, I thought it was a reasonable depiction.

    Yuko’s last scene actually fit pretty well for me, especially since I started watching the anime and reading the manga. The themes across genres are sort of melding in my head, so I actually had forgotten that they hadn’t really covered that in the drama as much. The butterfly is a recurring motif in the anime and manga, and as a symbol of change I thought it was a good one. I do agree that they were a bit on-the-nose with the moralizing, but I like to have things ended on a finished-feeling note, so I’m glad it ended with Yuko’s shop.

    Thanks so much for reviewing the series! I’m glad I found your site, since there are very few good Japanese drama recap/review sites like Dramabeans is for Korean ones. I’m excited to keep checking in on your next dramas!

    • LOL actually I was being really bitter and cynical over the anticlimatic climax T__T That was my main problem in the episode. As well as the overly preachy parts. (although it was not as preachy as most jdramas, so that is not really a huge flaw in this drama) So don’t get me wrong, overall the episode provided closure but I was disappointed over the climax!

      Aww thanks for sticking with me for all of xxxholic! It was great hearing your opinions on the episodes! *W* Watanuki x Doumeki FOREVER!

  • Sorry, I respect all of your opinions, reviews and comments but I am getting tired of all the rave reviews posted about this adaptation.

    First off I want to say that I’ve been a fan of CLAMP for years. From Chobits to Tsubasa to XHolic to Kobato. I’ve read the manga and watched the anime versions. XHolic holds a dear place in my heart, my hard drives and my bookshelves. I just did a marathon of this live action series yesterday and I must say that I have really mixed feelings about it. I feel that if the show was given a better budget, better writers and a better director they would’ve truly given justice to the source material.

    The original XHolic (manga and anime) is very rich, deep and meaningful. The characters tend to endear themselves to the audience as time goes by. I struggled to watch the actors try to flesh out the characters on screen but end up failing in so many ways. I felt that the potential was there but there were many limits hindering them from blossoming (was it the bad writing? bad direction?)

    Needless to say there were many changes and deviations (Creative license??) that the director and writers took from the original source material which I felt were unnecessary and made things more complicated. The Monkey Paw story in the anime was one of my favorites and I was excited to see how it would be portrayed in live action. Boy was I disappointed. So many things were changed from the story that the essence and meaning of it all was lost. Same goes for the 100 Ghost stories episode. It was the chance to be epic but it was a total letdown.

    One the one hand I started to get a true glimpse of the real essence of XHolic by episode 3. That really made me happy. They did a good job there but it wasn’t enough. Episodes 7 & 8 were good too but ended up lacking.

    In my opinion it would’ve been better to cover 1-3 of the earlier story arcs in Xholic within the 8 episodes rather than try to squeeze so much storyline into the limited run. If they had focused more on quality then maybe the result and feedback might’ve entitled them to a better budget for the 2nd season.

    • Hey catiechan! I can’t really say much about the original vs. the live action since I haven’t seen the original. >_< Maybe part of the reason I enjoyed the live action so much though, is because I don't have anything to compare it to. I think xxxholic did rather well considering its limited budget and I also liked the casting, but yeah from what I've heard it does deviate from the original.

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