So I watched it, and I liked it! ^^
Detailed comments behind the cut.
I really liked it. It follows the same strategy of Season 1’s. NOBODY KNOWS is very nice, I still like 19 Sai better, but I also liked this one a lot (as expected from Suga Shikao), can’t wait to have the full version. I specially liked the fact that they used a lot of splash pages from the original manga to base on, and a tankoubon cover too. I also enjoyed that we can get a quick glimpse of the many arcs that are to come, just like Season 1’s OP. Oh and one last thing, great to see Ohkawa is still credited as Executive Producer *loves*
– Jun Fukuyama is absolutely great. And he was worried because he hasn’t played Watanuki in a long time? It seemed like he had played Watanuki only 5 minutes ago.
– Black Mokona irritates me xD
– I actually liked that they introduced Kohane here, in the TV. I thought her appearance was so out of the blue in the manga, and I didn’t think she would last more than an arc. This is one of the few negative points of the manga. This way, we’ll know who she is when she actually appears.
– Yuuko’s TV is OLD. Where is she, in 1955? xD
– Now I get what director Mizushima meant in that Dengeki event report when he said this Season would be very faithful to the manga, even more than Season 1, and that they would consider every frame from the manga (and what he said about the effects too!). Now I get it! If you look in the manga, not just the angles and speech but also those nice and stylish background effects are in the anime too! I think Season 1 lacked those kind of effects.
– Yuuko is reading Afternoon magazine? She should be reading Young Magazine, right? Maru and Moro are reading the Chobits book, The Empty City xD
– I don’t like the effect from Yuuko’s smoke.
– Haha, the angry cat is there xDDDD I’m so happy they kept it, it should be like that xD
– Yumegari’s book is there~ Hope they show its title *crossover freak*
– The Alice in Wonderland part was really stupid. They changed it just because it’s not summer in Japan so Yuuko can’t eat in her yard? It looked completely out-of-place. Really bad idea.
– Black Mokona irritates me.
It’s stupid xD I think they should have introduced the patterned Mokonas earlier. Kagerou still remains being my favorite ED sequence. As for the theme song, Honey Honey, well, it’s definitely not the kind of song I would have in my playlist.
Overall, I think it was a very nice episode. I had a good first impression of it. The character design looks much better and closer to the original, specially Yuuko (thanks, CLAMP). As I mentioned above, this episode was close to the manga not only in its script but also in its visual appeal. I just loved the patterned backgrounds, it’s so nice to see them in color, I missed those in Season 1, they are part of XXXHOLiC’s trademark xD. Thumbs up to Watanuki’s weird and exaggerated deformations, too. Together, these elements help to build the XXXHOLiC atmosphere.
I was hoping to hear a new soundtrack, or at least new tracks, maybe they’ll introduce some in later episodes.
The animation looked slightly better too, at least it looked pretty constant throughout the entire episode. I don’t think we’ll be getting anything better than this.
Anyway, it was like a new episode of Season 1, only improved (which is great xD). I just hope the animation level will be equal for all episodes, and not only to those directed by Mizushima. If they treat all episodes like they treated this one, Season 2 will be great.
Now… where are Ohkawa’s episodes?