xxxHolic: Omnibus 2

“A wet man does not fear rain.” – Russian proverb.

The second omnibus edition of CLAMP’s supernatural series continues to feature more unusual activity in witch Yuko Ichihara’s shop, assisted by troubled spirit-seeing student Kimihiro Watanuki.

In this collection of three volumes, Watanuki has some trouble with Valentine’s Day chocolates when one consumed by his bitter rival Domeki is taken from him by a spirit; Watanuki learns about the devastating power that words can have due to the complicated relationship between a pair of identical twins; and he and Ichihara meet up with a rain god, a girl growing wings on her back and a pipe fox spirit. Plus Watanuki learns that sometimes superstitions can come true, and becomes sick after meeting a lonely spirit.

While some might be worried about the cross-referencing between other CLAMP series such as Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, there does not appear to be anything that makes the plots of both series too confusing. The only real section I could spot is when Ichihara sends some Valentine’s Day chocolate to the parallel dimension Tsubasa is set in, and gets very annoyed at not getting any White Day chocolate in return.

I personally prefer this collection of stories to the first. Probably the best story is that of the pipe fox spirit and the girl who has been growing a pair of wings, which we discover are slowly destroying her soul and making her mean.

Of course the main thing that always gives CLAMP its appeal is the look. The art of the series is always appealing, especially the costumes that Ichihara wears, although this could be extended to the title cards, where all the characters are dressed up wonderfully.

The only real criticism is that what I would prefer to see are some longer storylines. Most of the stories seem to be self-contained in each volume. You could buy each volume separately and enjoy them on their own. This is OK if you like that way of storytelling, but personally I would like a plot that would last a bit longer.

8 / 10

Ian Wolf

Ian works as an anime and manga critic for Anime UK News, and was also the manga critic for MyM Magazine. His debut book, CLAMPdown, about the manga collective CLAMP, is available now. Outside of anime, he is data specialist for the British Comedy Guide, is QI's most pedantic viewer, has written questions for both The Wall and Richard Osman's House of Games, and has been a contestant on Mastermind.

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