xxxHolic (live-action)

I remember talking to people when the subject of this week’s article was airing on television, and how shocked we all were that one of the stories from the manga circle CLAMP had been adapted for live-action.


I’m talking this time about xxxHolic, based of course on the manga and anime of the same name. Starring Shota Sometani (Minna Esper Dayo, Bakuman (movie, 2015)) as the awkward Kimihiro Watanuki, and Anne Higashide (Propose Kyoudai, Samurai High School) as the mysterious Yuko Ichihara, the production company stayed amazingly faithful to the spirit of the source material, no pun intended. Sadly, since each episode was only half an hour, they had to drop most of the comedic elements of Watanuki and classmate Shizuka Domeki’s rivalry, but they more than made up for it through the retelling of a few of CLAMP’s stories, along with the addition of some new material.

The first episode begins with Watanuki explaining the strange power he has, to see demons and spirits that are generally otherwise invisible to human eyes. On his way home from school, he discovers Yuko’s shop, and is pulled inside mostly against his will. Yuko’s attendants, Maru and Moro greet him, and take his hands to drag him further inside so that Yuko can be given the opportunity to decide whether to fulfill his wish.

Fans of the series will likely also recognize Watanuki and Domeki’s classmate Himawari Kunogi as they’re watching. Even though the production budget probably only allowed for a certain level of special effects, the absence of the black-furred Mokona was inconsequential. One thing I particularly appreciated was that they brought back Shikao Suga to write the opening theme song, since I’d come to associate his music with the animated series.

Please keep in mind that this show isn’t really for the faint of heart. Having the horror themes amplified by the missing comedy made for a rather scary offering. In fact, I may not have chosen to watch it, were I unfamiliar with the source material. That being said, if you are a fan of CLAMP and/or scary stories, you should definitely check it out.

Rating: 4th Gear

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