XXXHolic (Vol. 13) – CLAMP
Published by DelRey
The bulk of XXXHolic‘s thirteenth volume keeps its focus on Kohane, the young pychic driven to perform despite the relentless hounding of skeptics by her Mother. While previous volumes with Kohane have disappointed slightly in their deviation from focus on Watanuki, here in the eleventh book all the tension that’s building surrounding Kohane and her Mother comes full circle in a climatic resolution.
Kohane herself is an adorable character and one that invokes a great deal of sympathy for her rushed maturity and daily emotional hardships. Despite Watanuki and Domeki rushing to her aid, everything collapses when she exposes her Mother on live television leading to some violent confrontations. From these moments of uncertainity to Kohane’s later reflection and tears, there were no pages that didn’t make me feel something, be it the want to shake the book in hopes of detaching Kohane’s Mother from her vice-grip on an already injured daughter, to wiping away a tear when Kohane finally has a chance at happiness.
But it isn’t all deviation from Watanuki, especially after previous events have left him in flux with his own perception of existence. Here he truely begins to understand his position, or at least give it more considered thought, and it leads to him realizing just what exactly in life is important to him, including his faith in Domeki. It was a little sad seeing Watanuki’s melancholy expressions lamenting what he stands to lose, but then the moments where Domeki’s intentional badgering to get a distracted rise out of him becomes all the more appreciated.
All of this combined with some exquistely delivered plot revelations guaranteed to keep readers eagerly awaiting future volumes, and the gorgeous stylized simplicity of CLAMP’s artwork, XXXHolic continues to be one of my favorite manga series currently running. The mystisism remains suspenseful, the characters entertaining and the emotions never short of moving.