The xxxHolic reviews continue, with this volume including another significant plot development.

General Information

Title: xxxHolic Volume 7
Written and Illustrated by CLAMP
Translated by William Flanagan
Lettered by Dana Hayward
Originally serialized by Kodansha’s Weekly Young Magazine

Available from Amazon.com and RightStuf.com

The Premise

(Story titles are of my own invention)

“Kimihiro and the Spider” – After Doumeki frees Kimihiro’s hand from a spider web, Doumeki finds himself blind in one eye. Yuuko can restore Doumeki’s vision, but only at the cost of Kimihiro’s sight.

“Kimihiro and The Picture” – A woman comes to Yuuko’s shop with a photo she’s frightened of, containing an image of a beautiful woman. What sort of power possesses this picture and what cause does the woman have to be frightened of it?

“Kimihiro and the Books” – While delivering a book from Himawari to Doumeki, he discovers that Doumeki is working on trying to find a cure to Kimihiro’s blindness. Kimihiro doesn’t want any harm to come to Doumeki, but 20/20 vision is nice too. And what about these odd visions that Kimihiro’s been having in his blind eye?

The High Points

“Kimihiro and The Picture” is a good stand alone story, and returns the series slightly to the “shop of horrors” themes we’d had in earlier volumes of the manga.

“The Spider” and “The Books” do a really good job of forwarding the Kimihiro and Doumeki storyline from earlier volumes in the series.

The Low Points

If you’ve warded an evil spirit that eats the words on books into a room, then why put books in the room. Why not put junk mail and old newspapers in the room or something.

Content Notes

No violence or nudity here. We do see Yuuko in the bath, but most of her is obscured by water and steam.

Scores

Originality: All of the stories here felt very original, while still working in the framework of xxxHolic. 5 out of 6.

Artwork: Still wonderful, particularly the full page spread of the photo in the frame in “The Picture”, where we first realize that something is off. 6 out of 6.

Story: All three stories are very well written, and provide some excellent development for the (platonic) relationship between Doumeki and Kimihiro. 6 out of 6.

Characterization: The plot for this volume provides a lot of wonderful character development for Doumeki, as well as for Kimihiro. 5 out of 6.

Emotional Response: We get some horror/dread in the “The Picture”, and the interplay between Kimihiro and Doumeki is particularly good in “The Spider” and “The Books”, and really highlights how their relationships have changed. 5 out of 6.

Flow: 6 out of 6.

Overall: This is my favorite volume of xxxHolic thus far. 6 out of 6.

In Total, xxxHolic Vol. 7 gets 39 out of 42.