First, a few meaningless words so that my twitterfeed will not spoil anybody… okay now it’s safe!
What can I say? It’s not over, so I practically can’t say much about it.
I was expecting an open ending, but that expectation only started a few days ago when Nekoi posted a very dubious post in her Private Board, implying that while “Rou” was over, there are still more things planned. That suspicious arose even more after seeing reports from the CLAMP Talk Show at the @MOBiLE Fes! 2011 where CLAMP stated that XXXHOLiC was over for the time being.
It’s Tokyo Babylon all over again xD
All in all, I’m “relieved” XXXHOLiC is over, after 8 years of following it weekly and later monthly, it was time to put an end to it. I was expecting a more solid closure, but if you think about it, I have always thought that XXXHOLiC is the kind of series that can go on forever. It can always be that work which connects all the other CLAMP works. The shop is the bridge between all dimensions and it can prove to be pretty useful in other CLAMP works.
Overall, XXXHOLiC is another CLAMP masterpiece which had its own merits. It was the first CLAMP work in which screentones were not used in its art. That alone is a remarkable feat, considering how it lasted for 8 years and 19 volumes. It’s amazing to see what resources CLAMP used to give shape and depth for the drawings. That must have been challenging.
It was also the first CLAMP work in which Mokona and Nekoi shared the drawings of main characters. Up until then, main characters were drawn by only one of them. Nekoi would draw the mascots and creatures in some works, but never human characters along with Mokona.
I’m proud of CLAMP for what they done with the art of XXXHOLiC, I think they reached a new level artistic-wise.
Story-wise, I always thought that XXXHOLiC was never that strong. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the arcs a lot, but I think the series lacked some plot line. We know it’s all about Watanuki’s journey in order to “belong”, but we only learned that in the latter volumes. During the middle of the storytelling, you can’t really tell where the story is going or where it’s taking you. I think it lacks a “goal”. For example, I’ve always felt more “hooked” reading Tsubasa than reading XXXHOLiC. But that is just my opinion, of course =)
I don’t think Watanuki’s so-called “change” is that notable prior to Rou. His big change happened after Rou, in my opinion. And still, prior to Rou, they kept saying about how Watanuki has “changed”, but excuse me, I don’t see that change XD
Yuuko is definitely one of the greatest characters ever created by CLAMP. It’s that character that you hope CLAMP had created before, it feels like she had always been there, it is hard to imagine the CLAMP world where Yuuko doesn’t exist.
It’s a shame that she had to go, but I think it was necessary for the story, and I’m sure we are going to see references to Yuuko in future CLAMP works.
I certainly changed after reading XXXHOLiC. The subjects explored in it and the questions raised about mankind and their behavior, it certainly made me reflect about certain things and change my point of view about them. For that I am grateful and again, proud of CLAMP.
Now I wonder if the “sequel” of XXXHOLiC will be something straight-forward like “Magic Knight Rayerath 2” (a direct sequel) or something more subtle such as “X, featuring the characters of Tokyo Babylon” (a new work where the XXXHOLiC characters are part of and we learn what happens to them).
What are your thoughts? =)
Update: Okay, so after reading some translations, it doesn’t look like a sequel is as close to happen as I first imagined. So 100 years or so have passed? And that is not Doumeki, but his great-grandson? That makes things a little more complicated for a sequel (how would they deal with the 100 years time skip? It would be XXXHOLiC meets Chobits xD). But still, they left the egg without an explanation… the door is open…