Saturday, March 31, 2012

XxxHolic: Volume 19

by CLAMP, 180 pages

Watanuki has been waiting for Yûko and selflessly running her wish-granting shop for decades, but now he's suddenly dreaming of a butterfly and doesn't know what it means. Dômeki and his other friends stand by him and do what they can, but the ultimate choice to stay or go is his own. So they wait along with him and watch for the signs. But not even Watanuki knows what the future holds.


This might get a little spoilery, so skip it if you like.

This is both another lovely addition to the series and a sadly disappointing final volume. The wishes that arrive on Watanuki's doorstep are as thoughtful and unique as ever and his companions are as watchful and loving. But that's the problem. I knew, this being CLAMP, that the creators were not likely to outright answer anything and would probably build up to some open-ended, cryptic yet goosebump-inducing, beautifully drawn climax that the reader is happy to believe makes sense in some alternate universe. But there is no climax at all; no action on Watanuki's part to resolve his wait, no opportunity for Dômeki to use the mysterious object he's been holding onto for years now. Instead, Watanuki just decides to continue to wait, even though he's been given permission to go by a dream sent to him long before his vigil began. I was ready to accept incomprehensible conclusions, but not the complete lack of one, comprehensible or otherwise. It makes me sad. Did they run out of ideas? Write themselves into a corner? Lose interest in the characters and story? I still love these characters. I still love this story. But it will live in perpetual limbo now unless CLAMP have plans to tie it back into some future series, which I doubt is the case. I'm more content with this state of affairs now than I was when I first read this volume, but I wish I didn't have to resign myself to it. Unfortunately, that's one wish Watanuki isn't going to be able to grant. Still, lovely. Also, grrr. And, as always, a wee bit of hmmmm. *sigh*

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