Moving right along with the reviews of some of CLAMP’s less apocalyptic work, and now in its own Mokona-approved category, with xxxHolic Volume 8.

General Information

Title: xxxHolic Volume 8
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 of my own invention)

“Kimihiro and his Eye” – Kimihiro discovers that the flashes he’s been occasionally getting where his missing eye should be, are from his own eye… just in time to find out that the Zashiki-Warashi who he’d given chocolate to on White Day had been abducted while searching for his eye.

“Kimihiro and the Refrigerator” – Yuuko’s fridge has stopped working, so she’s dragging Kimihiro along with her when she goes to buy a new one. However, there’s a spirit present in the electronics store, and they have to find a new one.

“Kimihiro and the snow day” – The first snow of the year has come, and Yuuko drags Kimihiro and Doumeki to a park to build snowmen.

The High Points

“The Eye” does a wonderful job of building off of every Youkai story we’d gotten earlier in the series that I mistakenly dismissed as throwaway chapters.

“The Snow Day” also is a great little gag story after the heavier fare in “The Eye”.

The Low Points

I found the griping by the Lightning Spirit in “The Fridge” about how modern technology only harms people, blahdyblahdy blah to be obnoxious and tiresome – and reminded me far too much about why I stopped reading urban fantasy entirely a few years ago.

Content Notes

There is some blood in this story, but nothing major. No nudity, harsh language, or even particularly mature themes either.

The Scores

Originality: The main chapter of this volume builds off of a lot of earlier plot threads in the series in a fashion that isn’t totally original, though it puts some nice twists on it. 4 out of 6.

Artwork: Still very well done, and the design for the Spider Matron is particularly nice. 5 out of 6.

Story: The “Kimihiro Interacts With Youkai” arc of the series has really redeemed itself in my eye(s) with this volume. 5 out of 6.

Characterization: Kimihiro gets a lot more character development here, hopefully bringing his character in a more assertive direction. 5 out of 6.

Emotional Response: Considering what happened in earlier volumes, I found myself wondering what sort of harm would come to Kimihiro in this volume, but I’m a pleased that they found a resolution that brought him to a slightly better place than he was then at the start of the volume, but without restoring the status quo – and full vision. 5 out of 6.

Flow: 6 out of 6.

Overall: Reading Hanako and the Terror of Allegory last week reminded me how much I really like horror manga, and made me wish the series would try to fit in at least one of the creepy shop-of-horrors cases into each volume. However, “The Eye” really compensated for that. 5 out of 6.

In Total, xxxHolic Vol. 8 gets 35 out of 42.