xxxHOLiC Episode 1 – Quick Summary
In xxxHOLiC episode 1, “The Inevitable,” Kimihiro Watanuki had a problem. He could see spirits. What’s more, he could interact with them. In fact, he had to interact with them, because they frequently tried to pile on top of him. Of course, this drew the stares of the rest of the population, who could not see them. All of that changed, though, when he touched the fence around a strange little shop nestled amid the city buildings. Whose shop was it? Why did its fence give him some relief? And does Kimihiro yell as much as I remember?
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
Favorite Quote from xxxHOLiC Episode 1
Mokona didn’t seem to mind being compared to a black dumpling. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Yuuko Ichihara wanted to throw a party to celebrate Kimihiro accepting a part-time position. Well, that’s what she started out saying. To Kimihiro’s credit, it only took him a few moments to figure out she just wanted to eat delicious food and get drunk. He was just the excuse.
She sent him into her warehouse, which was impressive. He was a little confused. She had asked him to get her drinking buddy from the warehouse. Not wanting to make a scene, or maybe just wanting a little quiet time (he seems quite excitable in social situations), he wandered the aisles until he found something.
He had thought he had found a plush toy, but it talked. Not knowing what else to do, Kimihiro took the little creature, which had introduced itself as Mokona, to Yuuko. She prompted welcomed it back from its nap (about three years) and said they were going to drink until all the drink was gone.
“This black dumpling is your drinking buddy?” Kimihiro asked in a disbelieving voice (12:46).
I guess after you’ve lived with spirits only you can see, seeing a talking black dumpling was no big deal.
Favorite Moment from xxxHOLiC Episode 1
Kimihiro did not like his first taste of wish-granting — if that’s what it was. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Setup: A Glimpse of a World Not of Our Making
I didn’t realize how much I needed to rewatch this show until I cheered seeing Yuuko again. Everything about this show works, even the profoundly tall and lanky characters. It just adds to the mystique. I’ve always loved Clamp’s work, and it’s on full display here.
The OP is also one of my personal favorites. It’s such a perfect fit for the series – the vibe, the visuals, everything.
This is one of three other works of fiction that I think are so close to how I see the world that I almost consider them real. Those three are The Ancient Magus’ Bride, David Brin’s Uplift novels, and The Lord of the Rings. When I watch each episode, it feels so plausible that I half expect to meet Ame warashi after a rainstorm – and I expect her to read me the riot act since I’m a human.
Heaven knows I’m nowhere good enough to meet Zashiki warashi.
This series gives Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood competition for the title “Most Dedicated to the Concept of Equivalent Exchange.” Yuuko is all about requiring the proper payment for her services. This is one of the more subtly terrifying aspects of the show, as Kimihiro began to understand in my favorite moment.
Does Yuuko know how to make a first impression or what? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
He wanted to be rid of the spirits. They dogged him day in and day out. Yuuko said she’d grant that for the proper payment. Kimihiro went out, and he heard a girl talking to her friends. This girl said that she felt besieged because she could see spirits, and others couldn’t. Her friends seemed very concerned about her. They tried to console her.
Kimihiro is a spastic case. Every little thing sets him off. But under that veneer, he’s a decent human being. He knew what it felt like to be so afflicted. Kimihiro went up to her and tried to reassure her. He told her everything would be okay.
Delivery: The Cost of Entry
But she wasn’t really besieged by spirits. She just wanted the attention. Her friends defended her against the confused Kimihiro. He really didn’t know how to respond. He knew what it was like, and all he had wanted to do was reassure her.
She said to him (17:24), “I don’t know who you are, but I don’t think a normal-seeming person like you could understand my pain. So, please, leave me alone. How happy they are, those who can’t see.”
Think about that. She tried to lecture Kimihiro, who lived in that world, day in and day out. When they left, to his horror, he saw one of the spirits that had followed him attach itself to her. He could not understand why she would want such a thing.
This girl wanted the horrors that Kimihiro wanted to get rid of. Whether she understood what she wanted was another matter. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
He went back to the shop. Yuuko could tell he was pissed off. She didn’t even pretend not to know why.
“What’s the matter?” she asked lightly (18:58). “They’re gone, aren’t they?”
“You knew, didn’t you?”
“Like I said, knew what?”
This was Kimihiro’s first experience of what it’s like in Yuuko’s world. When she pressed him about it, he admitted he didn’t feel good about it. This is how human contact with the supernatural really is. It’s why I got so excited about that episode in Mieruko-chan during the episode where we met the shrine attendants and their god. The supernatural is Other. It’s not like us. If we enter that world and take one false step, we’re dead – or worse. This show captures that sentiment with outstanding clarity and nuance. And I love it because of that.
xxxHOLiC Episode 1: Other Posts
Other Anime Sites
- My Anime List (need to be logged in): xxxHOLiC Episode 1 Discussion
- Random Curiosity: xxxHOLiC – 01
- Star Crossed Anime: Some quick first impressions: Utawarerumono, Makai Senki Disgaea and xxxHolic
This Site (Crow’s World of Anime!)
- xxxHOLiC Episode 01: The Inevitable
- xxxHOLiC Episode 02: Falsehood
- xxxHOLiC Episode 03: Angel
- xxxHOLiC Episode 04: Fortune-Telling
- xxxHOLiC Episode 05: Game of Letters
- xxxHOLiC Episode 06: Indulgence
- xxxHOLiC Episode 07: Hydrangea
- xxxHOLiC Episode 08: Contract
- xxxHOLiC Episode 09: Pinky Promise
- xxxHOLiC Episode 10: Lamplight
- xxxHOLiC Episode 11: Confession
- xxxHOLiC Episode 12: Summer Shade
- xxxHOLiC Episode 13: Transfiguration
- xxxHOLiC Episode 14: Seal
- xxxHOLiC Episode 15: Release
- xxxHOLiC Episode 16: Reunion
- xxxHOLiC Episode 17: Self-Mutilation
- xxxHOLiC Episode 18: Ground Cherry
- xxxHOLiC Episode 19: Unreasonable
- xxxHOLiC Episode 20: Atonement
- xxxHOLiC Episode 21: Nail Clipper
- xxxHOLiC Episode 22: Tempations
- xxxHOLiC Episode 23: Choices
- xxxHOLiC Episode 24: Side Story: Reminiscence