Keywords: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: FUKUYAMA Jun
ITOU Shizuka
NAKAI Kazuya
OHARA Sayaka
Original Concept - CLAMP
R1 License - FUNimation

Kimihiro Watanuki is a man who sees strange things such as spirits and the like. These spirits take on various forms and most are unpleasant to look upon. Wishing to not have to see such spirits, he stumbles upon the house of one Ichihara Yuuko and her two young helpers Maru and Moro. Yuuko-san tells Watanuki that his arrival at her home is hitsuzen, meaning he was destined to come there. Yuuko-san will grant Watanuki's wish, but at a price; he must now work for her where he now does things like cook, clean, and run errands for Yuuko-san, especially making runs to buy her sake and other such beverages. Watanuki complains, but does a good job and dreams of hooking up with the very cute Himawari-chan.

But Yuuko-san has plans for Watanuki which will transform him. Watanuki must learn many things including how to tollerate the presence of the school-mate he hates, Doumeki-kun, and the fact that he may never hook up with Himawari-chan. What is Yuuko-san planning for Watanuki? Will he ever pay off his debt?

Animation by Production I.G, Clamp, TBS and others
R1 Licensed by: FUNimation Entertainment.
Legally licensed streaming episodes at HULU.

[24 TV episodes based on the manga of the same title by CLAMP. The series is linked to Tsubasa Chronicle in the manga as there are certain crossovers between the two series. However, the anime flushes nearly every reference to Tsubasa Chronicle, except for one small indication to a staff wielded by a certain female character.
[edit] An anime series inspired by the ↗Clamp created manga series by the ↗same name.
There is also a splash-over (tie-in) with Clamp's Tsubasa Chronicle anime series.
1:29min Series Opening - YouTube Video
Episode Details 
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 6 5 5 7 5 5 Ggultra2764 [series:1314#1552]
This was as underwhelming as I recalled from my earlier watch of the series from a couple years ago, and also had wasted potential. xxxHolic focuses on the episodic developments of Watanuki and Yuko who get entangled in some type of spiritual happenings throughout each episode of the series. These developments either involve some kind of moral being presented with Yuko helping out a human client affected by a spiritual problem or Watanuki having an encounter with differing spirits. Despite any hints that are dropped of Watanuki and Yuko's bond having some sort of stronger significance, the anime never bothers to develop or expand on this element and instead relies on its episodic stories throughout the course of its run. This makes the show rather dull to watch as episodes progress because there is no diversity offered in the types of stories offered, the gags it pushes get tiresome as episodes drag on and there are no changing developments with the characters. Watanuki remains his obnoxious self and obsesses over love interest Himawari. Yuko gets her fun teasing the boy and becoming serious when she has vague warnings to tell about human desires and spiritual phenomena. Domeki assists Watanuki on some of his cases, with the latter having a large dislike for him. Himawari remains oblivious to Watanuki's romantic interest in her. About the only praise I can give xxxHolic's choice of storytelling is its effective use of mood during the title's darker storylines, as the series makes great use of subdued color and suspenseful music during moments when something ominous is coming along. The visuals to this also felt quite cheap with character designs almost looking like stick figures in distant shots, details being quite simple on said character designs and animation being fairly choppy in elaborate animation sequences such as Watanuki's encounters with groups of spirits in some episodes. I am guessing that the manga for this series expands on developments with the characters that this anime adaptation is lacking in. You might be better off tracking that down instead of this subpar anime adaptation to xxxHolic.

Last updated Wednesday, December 04 2013. Created Wednesday, November 02 2011.
Buy 9 8 8 7 6 9 Anonymous #3097 [series:1314#3097]
Art: I can understand how some people might dislike the art style, but I love it, personally. A little like Mushishi, very simple character designs. It is very stylized.

Animation: There are some very beautiful scenes, as well as action. The opening is one of the best I've ever seen, even if you don't want to see the anime, watch the op.

Character design: Well. I love everybody. So. Yoko is fantastic, she has a great character and a fantastic outfit. Everyone is very human (ironically)and are rounded people, unlike most animes.

Music: love the op song. Don't remember much else.

Series story: Meh. Nothing very special. At least there is an actual constant plot. There are some absolutely fantastic ideas, though. If you read/watch CLAMP, you must see this. There is an ongoing crossover with Tsubasa, and you will also recognize a few other characters. /Slight/ shonen-ai undertones with Doumeki/Watanuki.

Episode story: Very like Mushishi, in that every day is a different person to help. Like I said, concepts are in-fecking-credible.

Bottomline: Certainly doesn't stand up to the epic on-going plot of the manga, but a good enough watch on its own.

Last updated Friday, March 06 2009. Created Friday, March 06 2009.
Watch 8 7 7 7 7 7 Dreamer [series:1314#2279]
At first, looking at the artwork, I was fascinated at it's ugliness. At that, I decided to pick it up to see what it was about.

Art, Animation & Character Design
At first, I was turned off from this style of artwork. It was unusual. The characters were oddly drawn... in that they were really skinny and lanky. The art itself was almost pastel-like. It might take a few episodes to get use to it, but once you do, you might actually like it. There's some notable characters.... rather, there's some characters you might recognize from another anime..... namely Tsubasa Chronicles.

The OP was interesting. It was bearable but nothing really catchy. The music throughout the anime were of an "eerie" style... sometimes kinda haunting.

Series and Episode Stories
There's really no plot to speak of here. The story telling is pretty much on a per episode basis. However the episodes were still fun to watch and had a handful of silly moments that might make you chuckle a bit. Character development is next to nothing.

Overall, it makes a decent watch but that's about it.

Last updated Sunday, February 22 2009. Created Sunday, February 22 2009.
Watch 4 6 4 5 7 7 Xenoknight [series:1314#2967]
final review soon...

I think I can make this work somehow. I now understand what type of show this is so I know things will work out later on.

There is some crazy foreshadowing in this show. It's painfully obvious that things are going to get really ridiculous any moment now.

The situations are extremely slow to pick up speed, but once it gets moving, things start to get interesting real quick. This isn't my "cup of tea" genre of anime, but i'm loving the story right about now. It's very twisted, sinister, and dark as hell. Every episode is better than the last.

Ep 13 was the best yet even though ep 12 was left unfinished. This is one interesting title indeed.

Ep 14 changed (ruined) the end credit music thereby reducing it's 6 score to a 4.

Ep 16 had a little romance and I wished that the story could take that direction with that girl instead. Oh well...

Ep 22 is the stuff i've been waiting for. Too bad season 1 is almost over though...

Ep 23 almost made me get teary eyed for a moment there. If only there were just a few more eps of this caliber, than I would have enjoyed this anime way better than I do now but, the last string of good episodes can't make up for the "slightly better than normal" story and so this series will just remain a watch.

After watching the sequel, xxxHOLiC Kei, I decided to buy this title as well to complete the collection but this title overall is still just a watch. Can't have season 2 without season 1 now can you?

Note from myself (a "non-manga" anime buff):

There is a heavy focus/comparison to the manga of this title and I would like to mention that even though the manga is the original concept behind the xxxHOLiC universe, there is always new and different ways to express the same story. Though some may view this as a "double edged sword", others who never read the manga, will take this anime for what it's worth. The prime example of this case would be with the "never-ending" series of Naruto. The argument of the anime vs. manga case is still an "on-going" battle. Some say the manga is better because that is where the story was first written, while others say that the anime is the "extended/improved" version where the manga could never go. Whichever the case maybe, they both are of the Naruto universe and ultimately, one media form cannot trump the other. Such is the case with xxxHOLiC I believe. Just my own thoughts...

Check out my award list to see some of the best anime titles in the world!

Never forget Xenosaga.

Last updated Tuesday, October 21 2008. Created Thursday, October 16 2008.
Unevaluated Jan-Chan [series:1314#967]
I will agree with Forbin and Astro-boy, the manga is much better than the anime, but dern!!

Yuuko is very sultry!!

In any case, the anime series is very entertaining and well worth a watch.

Last updated Sunday, October 19 2008. Created Sunday, June 04 2006.
Unevaluated Forbin [series:1314#1573]
I agree with ANB

Damn what an EXTREMELY dark episode. Watanuki learns the price of what he wishes for.

I like the character design over the Movie except I do NOT like the 2 girls. They look always perpetually asleep instead of happy.

Last updated Wednesday, April 12 2006. Created Wednesday, April 12 2006.
Watch 7 7 7 7 5 6 AstroNerdBoy [series:1314#436]

I've started coming to the conclusion that anime adaptations of manga that are done too early are going to be awful. That's because things that make the manga special get tossed in favor of a anime writer modifications to accommodate a series that will be wrapped up in a single season or series. Such is the case with xxxHOLiC

The first story was a non-manga story, but I found it interesting just the same because the writers appeared to be taking a manga that is sorta dark and sinister at times and made it seem more so. However, I was immediately disappointed that there would be no linkage with the Tsubasa Chronicle anime, though to be fair, a good adaptation of xxxHOLiC could be done without it (but not a great adaptation). With the second episode, I saw that the writers were not going to make things darker or more sinister, but rather less so as the ring story from the manga was softened.

With the third episode, I realized that the anime writers had abandoned the main arc of the manga, "Watanuki Transforms," in favor of just telling stories from the manga (or making up their own stories) in any way they saw fit. This lead to bizarre changes in the story from the original manga that didn't improve things but made them worse. So the sweet Valentine's Day story (with a dangerous element) that introduces the Zashiki-Warashi is cheapened because the writers decided not to have it take place on Valentine's Day. Yuuko-san is changed from an all-knowing powerful seer/witch with the power to grant wishes for those who need it to someone less in control at times. Indeed, in a non-manga story (episode 17), the writers had Yuuko-san do something so out of character that I just wanted to scream.

I could go on and on about the things I didn't like and the random way the episodes were told (and sometimes retold with some changes to setting and guest characters). I'll just say that if you loved the manga, the anime isn't going to do it for you. If you've never read the manga, it will be a much more enjoyable experience.

That's not to say everything was bad. The end of episode 23 was clever in that the viewer is the customer of Yuuko-san's shop with Watanuki greeting you in the yard, Maru and Moro greeting you inside the house, and all three escorting you to Yuuko-san's chamber. I liked that. I also liked the ED animation where (mostly) SD Maru and Moro jam out on air guitars to the ED theme before Mokona joins them on air drums. Its cute and made me enjoy the ED theme a bit more.

Bottom line: No link to Tsubasa Chronicle, random story telling that removes the big arc about Watanuki (and the sub arc about Himawari-chan), and other changes to the manga story will make fans of the manga none to pleased with this adaptation. If you've never read the manga, watch this first because I think you'll like it better without knowing the manga story. Then you can read the manga and see just how superior the manga is to the anime without going through the frustrations of that revelation as you watch the anime.

Last updated Tuesday, February 27 2007. Created Tuesday, April 11 2006.

Other Sites
Official Japanese Series Web Site
DEL REY manga series (English language)

Community Anime Reviews

anime mikomi org