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xxxHOLiC Episode 12: Favorites

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xxxHOLiC Episode 12 – Quick Summary

In xxxHOLiC episode 12, “Summer Shade,” Yuuko took Watanuki, Himawari, and Doumeki to a vacation house near the ocean. Guess who had to carry most of the baggage? Yep – Watanuki! Though Yuuko and Doumeki both seemed oddly hopeful that Watanuki would ask for help. They got settled in. That night, Watanuki heard odd scratching sounds on the other side of his bedroom’s wall, where another room should not have been. What’s making those sounds? Will he investigate? And if he does, will he finally ask Doumeki for help?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from xxxHOLiC Episode 12

xxxHOLiC Episode 12: Even the sound of Doumeki's voice can send Watanuki on a tirade

Couldn’t Doumeki give him a moment? Though I doubt Doumeki could actually see what Watanuki was thinking. Probably. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

It was sunset, and they’d just finished eating another of Watanuki’s culinary creations. I’ll give him credit: he’s not only good at it, but he seems to enjoy serving his food to others. He shares that trait with Kimihito Kurusu.

Yuuko said it was time to go to bed. They had a big day planned for tomorrow. As she was heading inside, Himawari said that it was finally time for them to swim together.

You can imagine the level of bliss that this triggered in Watanuki. As she walked away, he even imagined a peacefully colored pastel background with merry-go-round horses. That is, until Doumeki spoiled it by trying to ask him something.

“Don’t cut in on my merry-go-round of happiness!” Watanuki said (10:30).

There are times I think Doumeki times his questions on purpose for maximum effect.

Favorite Moment from xxxHOLiC Episode 12

xxxHOLiC Episode 12: Yuuko gave a passable imitation of Himawari

Her expression might have been a little exaggerated, but Yuuko’s imitation of Himawari was really good! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Conventional Horror Done Right

In terms of foreshadowing and pacing, this episode borrowed a lot from more conventional horror series. I mean that in a good way. There were some shots, like Mokona manipulating the faux-ghost, or the actual (?) ghost at the end, that felt genuinely startling and creepy.

Watanuki is a stubborn fellow, isn’t it? At least, that’s what I thought as I sat down to write this. Even as the formed on the screen, I wondered: is he stubborn, proud, or both?

He feels inferior to Doumeki in ways he can’t quite articulate. At least, he thinks Doumeki is stronger, more popular, and probably occupies a bigger place in Himawari’s heart. That last bit is interesting, though. At this stage in the series, I don’t think that Himawari is romantically inclined toward either Doumeki or Watanuki. Though as my favorite moment shows, at the very least, she emphasizes with Watanuki.

xxxHOLiC Episode 12: Himawari looks so judgmental here!

Himawari looks so judgmental here! Or maybe she’s just disappointed that Watanuki won’t ask for help even if a ghost attacked him. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

The whole extra room setup was partly Himawari’s idea. And by the way, isn’t architectural horror creepy? The idea that you can’t trust the walls around you is more than a little distracting! Anyway, Himawari gave Yuuko a bottle of champagne in exchange for renting the vacation house. 

Here’s the cool part: she knew Watanuki wouldn’t be able to swim with all the spirits in the water. So she asked for Doumeki’s help. In true Yuuko fashion, he agreed – on the condition that Watanuki asked for his help, even once.

Delivery: Himawari’s Kind Gesture

But Watanuki didn’t ask for help. Instead, he was sitting on the beach the day after the fake wall incident. He fumed on the sand beside Yuuko. I can’t blame the guy. The whole event had to be embarrassing. Having to sit on the sand why Himawari and Doumeki played in the surf had to be really frustrating.

After he complained, bitterly if justifiably, Yuuko said it was Himawari’s idea. She knew he wouldn’t be able to swim, so she tried to figure out how to create the conditions where he could. My favorite moment is how Yuuko described Himawari’s plea.

“And she was all, ‘Isn’t there something we could do!?’ with all her might,” she said (18:13).

xxxHOLiC Episode 12: Watanuki was happy. Briefly.

For a brief moment, Watanuki felt happy. The moment did not last. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

That snapped him out of his bad mood. Right up to the point where Yuuko explained that it was his fault he was standing on the sand and not in the surf – because he refused to ask Doumeki for help.

This moment reflected realistic relationships between people who, most of the time anyway, feel real themselves. It’s refreshing not to know how a scene’s going to play out just because of the mix of genders! Or a mix of humans and spirits!

What did you think of the entity in the blue dress at the end? What were your favorite moments? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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4 thoughts on “xxxHOLiC Episode 12: Favorites

  1. But of course Yuuko rented a haunted house for summer vacation. 😀 Ah, that vision of her in the swimsuit stretched out with a drink in her hand. That’s probably my favorite visual (not surprising for anyone who knows me, I know). The more you prod Watanuki to do something, the more determined he becomes not to do it. That’s stubborn AND contrary. Kinda reminds me of someone I won’t name (but I am glancing at my hubby). I’m kind of surprised Himawari doesn’t know this, I’m sure Yuuko does. And thus perhaps she let this all play out as a lesson to Watanuki that being contrary just to be contrary might deprive him of something he really wants – swimming with Himawari. I’m sure Yuuko was chuckling inside at the elaborate scheming when the real ghost was there all the time. Now about that last moment of the ghost saying “now I am free to go”… what does that mean? (cue suspenseful music)

    1. I think Yuuko played Watanuki like a fiddle! Assuming she knew how to play a fiddle, of course. I’ve always wondered about that saying!

      I’m still not sure what the ghost meant — I wonder if it means that it had fulfilled its contract with Yuuko? But that doesn’t make sense, I guess, because Mokona pretended to be the ghost. Hmmm…

  2. Yes, I loved the twist at the end that was so old school ghost story! I wonder if Yuuko secretly knew that the house could be a little haunted?

Please let me know what you think!

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