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Kori's xxxHOLiC Ova Review

xxxHOLiC xxxHOLiC Screenshot Yuuko xxxHOLiC Screenshot "Don't scare me like that!" xxxHOLiC Screenshot "Something's wrong with this house!" xxxHOLiC Screenshot The creepy house

xxxHOLiC ova Review

Kimihiro Watanuki sees youkai and ayakashi spirits. Seeking to get away from the spirits who literally haunt him, he finds himself one day pulled by a force into a shop; there, he meets Yuuko Ichihara, also known as the Dimension Witch, who tells him that this meeting was Inevitable (Hitsuzen).

Yuuko grants wishes for the appropriate price. Sensing that Watanuki's dearest wish is to stop seeing spirits, she promises to take the spirits away in exchange for Watanuki working in her home as a cook and cleaner. Bound perhaps by the inevitable, Watanuki agrees.

However, this is only the beginning. Watanuki beings to participate in 'jobs' with Yuuko, and his unique powers are often the reason for the job itself. In order to complete these jobs, Watanuki must work with his hated rival, Shizuka Doumeki, who possesses exorcist powers. But under these jobs hides a plot, and unbeknownst to Watanuki, Yuuko is using his help in order to stop it...

Description: twinklebyte

Story & Playability

This is a review of the xxxHOLiC movie, called Manatsu no Yoru no Yume or in English, A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Watanuki is an average normal student, or at least that's what you would say if it wasn't for that he has an ability to see things other people can't see. He sees this as a curse, though, because the things he sees are more than often, if not always, monsters that follow and bother him in various ways. To get rid of this curse, a woman named Yuuko has promised to help him, but like everything, it comes with a price. In his case, he has to work for her.

One day while he was working outside, dusting old things Yuuko has collected, a girl asks for help. She has a house, which she can't get inside even though she has the key to it, and she's willing to pay whatever price Yuuko asks for. And so, Yuuko, Watanuki and Doumeki, a friend of Watanuki, goes to this house to investigate what the problem is. They will soon find out that the house is far from normal...

The story isn't very deep, but very entertaining and interesting. It starts off being a bit confusing, and it gets confusing as the story progresses, instead of the other way around. In spite of that, when watching it, it didn't bother me at all that things were confusing, the show was still enjoyable. Fortunately, things are being explained in the end so there is no need to worry.

As for the characters, there aren't much development. But the characters themselves have charming personalities. Yuuko can change from being fun-loving and teasing to serious to seductive. She's simply an enigma. Watanuki is very impulsive and loses his temper very often, especially when it comes to Doumeki. Whatever Doumeki says, Watanuki counters it with an aggressive attack. But in spite of that, Doumeki stays calm, almost nonchalant of how Watanuki is.

Rating: 8

Graphics

When it comes to the art, Clamp has always been kind of special.

The background is rich in details, most of the time it's in 3D. A large part of the show is in 3D, and quite often you're being led through paths and such, seeing from the character's perspective. It has the same feeling of opening doors or walking on stairs in the older Resident Evil games (those of you who have played them, will know what I'm talking about).

As for the characters, they are in unrealistic proportions. They look like they've been stretched and become tall and thin. However, as odd as it may seem, I find this charming. Normally I would complain but in this case it actually works for me. It doesn't bother me at all. Unfortunately, unlike the background, there aren't much details. Normally, there aren't much than just two shades of a colour at the same time. For example, the hair is just pitch black with no trace of lighter colours. I guess this could be count as a part of Clamps special style, but personally I wish that there would be little more details.

Rating: 9

Sound

To be quite honest, there aren't much background music. When there are, they succeed in delivering the atmosphere of the scene in question. Most of the time it consists of orchestral-like tunes, but there are also some piano pieces. All of them are very subtle and they usually give a mysterious feeling and so succeed in matching the show.

When it comes to the Japanese voice actors' job, they couldn't have done it better. Yuuko's voice (Sayaka Ohara) matches her personality very well. The voice is both playful and seductive at the same time, as well as mature and wise.

Watanuki's voice (Jun Fukuyama) is very passionate and portrays his emotions very well. Usually there's a just a lot of screaming, most of the time at Doumeki, but whenever he does it, it feels real.

Rating: 9

Fun

xxxHOLiC - A Midsummer Night's Dream is a very nice supernatural-horror anime with a successful creepy atmosphere, and in that, humour has been baked in it. However, it doesn't explain the background to those who haven't read the manga. I, for one, haven't, and so I have absolutely no clue why Watanuki, for example, have the ability to see things. In spite of that, you will still be able to enjoy the movie, that is if you don't get stuck to 'why' this and 'why' that. Maybe it'll be explained in the TV show, and if not, and you still want to know 'why', then you simply have to read the manga.

Rating: 8

Final Verdict

8.33 (good)

Reviewed by Kori, Apr 20, 2006

Comments

  1. Mabui Apr 21, 2006

    Nice review. ^^ Even though I don't agree with everything. Like the art. It's splendid in the manga, but it's just horribly ugly in the anime. The first scene made two of my friends turn the video off(you know, when he comes walking down the street). One of them said he wouldn't even give the tv-show a shot because of the movie's art. :/ I, myself, continued watching it all through, but it was while shivering from disgust and thinking "Omg... Even I can draw better than this." But sure, I guess some people find it charming... ^^; Also, the 3D annoyed me, cause it didn't mix well with the animation.

  2. Kidder Apr 21, 2006

    the xxxHOLIC film was my first taste of the xxxHOLIC world. My first impressions were good. I'm always on the look out for anime shows that don't stick to conventional character designs and animation (like the sci-fi Noein). I'll admit that the art in the film and the anime won't be too everyone's taste since all the chars seem to be stretched with heads that seem too small ^^ but I found that the film built some great spooky atmosphere and there were moments when I actually laughed out loud. IMHO everyone should check out this film just because it is worth it. The film basically convinced me to check out the anime when it came out.

    My impression of the first episodes of the anime weren't as good as the film. It's been quite slow and the Kimikiro character is too panicky all the time and overreacts a lot... so far not much has happened but it's only the beginning of the show so I'll give it a few more episodes a chance.

  3. shoujoboy Apr 21, 2006

    I have to say that even if your review were negative, I wouldn't believe you. After having the huge influx of CLAMP goodness a few years back, only to be left dry as of late has done it's damage to me. But now with this and Tsubasa coming to the US (thank you Funimation) I'm more excited than ever that more CLAMP is making it's way on to this side of the pond. Thank you for at least easing my fears.

  4. Lucciola Apr 22, 2006

    Englisch tranlistation:
    I loved thier kind "Clamp" the arts..., which is different to other art. "xxxHOLiC" I read manga, many... Time I explain to people determine, which like supernatural stories this like. This film is not confusing to me. I read manga, I waived of manga. I am exicited, if "Clamp", which forms better animes..like "Tsubasa Chronicle" or "xxxHOLiC" this, should not be missed. Or better word ingored! I loved it! I wish see more of this!

    sadly over my bad English language


    Ich liebte die thier Art "Clamp" künste..., die zu anderer kunst unterschiedlich ist. "xxxHOLiC" lese ich manga, das viele... Zeit ich erklären Leuten festsetzen, die supernatural Geschichten mögen dieses mag. Dieser Film ist nicht zu mir verwirrend. Ich las manga, ich aufhob vom manga. Ich bin exicited, wenn "Clamp", die besseres animes..like "Tsubasa Chronicle" oder "xxxHOLiC" dieses bildet, nicht vermißt werden sollte. Oder besseres Wort ingored! Ich liebte es! Ich wünsche sehe mehr von diesem!

  5. Rassvetnaya Apr 22, 2006

    I haven't read the manga, so i can't compare its art with movie, but i really liked it. xxxHolic movie completely absorbed me from the very beginning till end, to make long story short i'll say that it was quite enjoyable. I like the plot and visuals. looking forward the tv-series

  6. Heroin Apr 26, 2006

    manga was good story was a but predictable for my liking but that just might be me. Anyway good review i enjoyed reading it

  7. ahjin91 Jun 28, 2006

    thier presentation midsummer night;s dream really a good work... quite gives me the creep cuz i watched it at night XD... clamp works is always the best

  8. SanzosSaru Aug 31, 2006

    I really liked the movie. I like the art for the most part, and some of it's scenes really stand out in my memory(the scene with the constelations). The plot was good, and the light humour bits and the dark humour unlying the story(with poor Wata being the victim, as always) was excellent.
    Two things i didn't like. The whole explaining-the-plot scene; it wasn't up to my expectations. And the fact that Yuuko accompanied them; if Yuuko is around, you can be sure that everything's going to end well.

    The movie was good(specially compared to TRC's movie, what a piece of crap). The manga is, of course, much better^^
    (kudos for Doumeki/Watanuki in latest chapters, and Clamp's first real cliffhanger...)

  9. fdrake Sep 09, 2006

    I saw a mention of Holic in a magazine (Amine Insider, I think), and kind of ignored it. Then I found the scans and walls here on MT and was quite intrigued. I managed to pick up the first volume of the manga, and it was a lot of fun! I'd definately going to be reading the rest of these, and keeping my eyes open for the movie on DVD.

  10. mce7 Sep 20, 2006

    you know what, you should really make a review on the anime version because it is already released. I like both the manga and anime version. Most especially the scenes when Watanuki and Doumeki are together ^-^'. You know, they really make a great "couple".

  11. Cinderalla Dec 14, 2006

    Ooh...xxxHolic is so cute...Yuuko and Watanuki are a beautiful couple...They're always fighting but it's because of love...

  12. ealpha-scorpio Feb 26, 2007

    Jeez I was adviced to buy the DVD just before Christmas and I thought it would be useless! I think now I have to go back and buy it coz from what I read it must be really interesting story. The Artist works on MT is also another reason that I'm eager to watch this anime. The character's are a bit differently designed compared to common animes. Very interesiting indeed! Thanks for the review, I guess I won't be much confused with your directions! lols*

  13. pigmypuff Jun 03, 2009

    yuuko..so mean

  14. rukasu04 Mute Member Aug 09, 2009

    Yuuko Rolez o/

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