Rating: Teen (13+)
Released: June 2008
Synopsis: “Lately Kimihiro Watanuki’s dreams have been pleasant escapes that have given him the chance to talk to his new friend, Haruki Domeki. But now he’s falling asleep a lot – and starting to think that his entire life with the witch Yuko might be talking place in some kind of dreamworld. Then one night his dream is visited by a pretty princess name Sakura…”
If volume eleven left you craving more, than twelve will leave you begging. Watanuki’s life is unravelling, along with his grasp on reality, as his dreams begin overlapping into his consciousness.
Wow, what a book! Tsubasa overlaps a lot with XXXHolic in this volume as Sakura appears in Watanuki’s dreams, speaking to him of horrors she seeks to prevent. While Watanuki sympathizes with her, his thoughts are also on his future, or more specifically his past. In a rather sudden turn of events, he makes a lot of horrifying realizations that leave him questioning his own existence.
Kohane-chan also returns and things are no brighter for the young psychic. Rumours are swirling about the validity of her powers and it’s a heart wrenching experience seeing the relationship she and her Mother share. Watching Kohane ponder the love she’s receiving from, and feeling for, her new friends is very sweet, albeit bitter sweet that those feelings are so foreign to her.
Fear not that’s it all down and depressing however. There are breaks for the usual friendly interactions and perhaps most momentously is a look of surprise on Yuko’s face with touching sentiment behind it. The happy is few and far between in this volume but when it’s there, it’s undeniably charming.
Not much to say about CLAMP’s lovely artwork that hasn’t already been said (which is that it’s brilliant, by the way) but I’m happy to say DelRey’s job was much more satisfactory here after some of my quips with them in volume eleven. No complaints about either from me for sure this time!
Overall, XXXHolic twelve is one of those can’t miss volumes for fans of this series, or its parallel, Tsubasa. Revelations that bring as many questions as they do answers makes this a powerful piece of a much larger puzzle.