So, to get Manga Mondays started again, we’re going to move right along with the xxxHolic Reviews with volume number 4.

General Information

Title: xxxHolic Vol. 4
Written & Illustrated by CLAMP
Translated by Bill Flanagan
Lettering by Dana Hayward
Originally serialized by Kodansha’s Weekly Young Magazine

Available from Amazon.com and RightStuf.com.

The Premise

A spirit steals chocolate that Kimihiro made for Valentine’s Day – and which Domeki had eaten, leading to Domeki’s soul getting stolen with it. Kimihiro has to chase down the spirit to save the life of his arch rival.

Then, Kimihiro, Domeki and Hinamori encounter twin girls – one assertive and outgoing, the other painfully shy. Kimihiro senses there’s more to these girls personalities than meets the eye.

High Point

The story with the twins is an excellent story that manages to be dramatic without being as grim as some of the stories in the past few volumes were, which makes for a nice change.

Low Point

The Valentine’s Day story feels like it’s there because they had to put a Valentine’s Day story in there, and it’s not fit in as organically as some other series have fit in Valentine’s Day stories.

Content Notes

Minimal blood, no nudity or even any suggestive dialog.

Scores

Originality: The first story was definitely a different take on the standard Valentine’s Day story though it was shoehorned into the series. The second story, though, felt like it fit in more organically. 4 out of 6.

Artwork: The art is almost as good as last volume, with a few added effects for the twins story that worked nicely. 4 out of 6.

Story: Aside from a couple of jokes, the Valentine’s Day story is almost totally forgettable. I really liked the twins story though. 4 out of 6.

Characterization: The characters in the twins story are interesting, though they’re not as fleshed out as the woman in the Monkey’s Paw in the last volume was. 4 out of 6.

Emotional Response: While I got a little invested in the twins case, it couldn’t quite provoke the same degree of involvement some of the past few stories did. 4 out of 6.

Flow: 6 out of 6.

Overall: This volume is a step down from last volume, but it’s like it’s not good. It’s just not great. 4 out of 6.

In total, xxxHolic Vol. 4 gets 30 out of 42.