the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘CLAMP’ Category

xxxholic omnibus 1xxxHolic, omnibus #1

published in 2007 (I think?)

where I got it:  have owned it forever.






I’ve been reading Manga on and off for probably ten years. I don’t mention manga much, because there are very few series I’ve liked enough to invest in.  One of the early reviews on this blog was for the first volume (or first few? I can’t tell) of xxxHolic, by CLAMP. The Manga section of Barnes and Noble is full of 3 volume omnibuses these days, but back in the old days, a three volume omnibus was an oddity. No one planned to make more than one of these monsters, so sometimes there wasn’t even a  number on the spine.  And speaking of “way back when”, xxxHolic has been floating around in one form or another since 2004 or there abouts.


I wrote a halfway decent review of this back in 2010, it’s nice to see I did a decent job of writing a plot based review!   It’s interesting to see what I got out of xxxHolic then, and what’s I’m getting out of it now. The surface stuff is always the easy stuff – Yuko’s hidden “shop”, the crossover plotlines and funny little jokes from other CLAMP works, the “monster of the week” episodic feel of these first three volumes, the gorgeous artwork.   If you’re used to American style graphic novels, Japanese manga, CLAMP works especially, may be a shock to you – everything is in black and white, there is far less dialog per page, motion is depicted very differently, and the human body is drawn differently than you might be used to.

are you the spacetime witch

Back in the day, I stalled out six or seven volumes into xxxHolic, I felt the story wasn’t really going anywhere.  At the time, seven volumes was a pretty big investment to make in a series if I wasn’t going to continue.  Yuko might be the space time witch who offers to help Watanuki get rid of his spirits problem, but I needed more than just urban fantasy slice of life.  I didn’t continue reading it, but my husband did, eventually trading in our single volumes for these hefty 3-volume omnibuses. And he let me know the story gets deeper, deadlier, and darker. So now I want to give it another try, because I like all of those things!  Watanuki might be getting dragged on Yuko’s errands, but it’s important later for him to have safely been exposed to all this urban fantasy type stuff. Even at the ghost story telling ceremony with Domeki, Watanuki might might not feel safe, but if Yuko is in the room she’ll never let anything permanent happen to him. Or at least I don’t think she’d let anything happen to him . . .

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not only was yesterday National Buy a Book Day, but I also had it as a vacation day from work. Which meant hubby and I had plenty of time to make it to two bookstores and the library before realizing that maybe we had indeed picked up enough books to hold us for a little while.  sleeping in + buying tons of books? Sounds like the perfect day to me!

here’s what we got:

Diviner, by Melanie Rawn – looks like an epic fantasy that doesn’t take place in fantasy-Europe. Sign me up!

Fool Moon, by Jim Butcher – hubby really liked the first book, and i’m interested in reading more in this famous serious too.

Embassytown, by China Mieville – one of my favorites is finally in paperback!  I’d hoped Embassytown would take the Hugo for best novel, but alas it wasn’t to be.

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Because I just can’t get enough of this stuff, here are some other wonderful folks saying wonderful things about wonderful graphic novels and manga.   Celebrate GraphicNovelNovember by clicking on something that looks interesting.

Graphic Policy and Manga Maniac Cafe have good things to say about the new Superman graphic novel.

I’ve been meaning to get my hands on the first volume of Y The Last Man, and Wolfshowl over at Opinions of a Wolf thinks it’s pretty cool too.

Interested in learning about another culture? check out Heather’s review of Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea over at Book Addiction, Boing Boing talking about Tonoharu, and Sarah talking about Persepolis at So Many Books, So Little Time. I dare you to get through both volumes of Persepolis without crying.

Tasty Manga reviews abound as well!

I read the first few chapters of Vampire Knight, and cheesy title aside, I loved it. Dark, funny, creepy, sexy, good stuff. I’m happy to see the critics at The Discrimnating Fangirl are enjoying it as well.

The ladies of CLAMP always deliver, so I was thrilled to learn Darkhorse is reprinting the original Cardcaptor Sakura. Thanks to Sean at A Suitable Case for Treatment for the news & review.   I garuntee Tsubasa will make much more sense after you read Cardcaptor.

House of Five Leaves also looks really cool.

And then there are the books about comic books. Well, there is the book about comic books, and that book is The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon. Everytime I try to talk about this book I just turn into a blabbering blob of goo, so I’m gonna give it up to Book Bloggy Blogg and Vegetalian (now, with more Mac & Cheese!) to convince you to go read The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay right now.

in closing, if I haven’t blown up your To Be Read pile, I am doing something wrong.

first things first, the xXx in xXxHolic (sometimes known as triple ex holic, or just “holic”) has nothing to do with anything adult or dirty, and even less to do with Vin Diesel. The “xxx” is a way of saying “anything can go here”. And we’ll get to what that’s all about in a bit.

Somewhere in the city, there is an old house. Surrounded by skyscrapers and the noise of the city, the walled yard keeps some people away, and invites others in. Sometimes, people who have never even noticed the house are drawn to it, something telling them they need to stop in, right now.

High school student Watanuke tries so hard to be a normal student. But it’s tough, when spirits and ghosts plague him day in and day out. How is he supposed to take the adorable Himawara out on a date with spirits chasing him down the street? Walking home one day, Watanuke can’t help but explore the old fashioned house in the walled yard.

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.