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xxxHOLiC Episode 4: Favorites

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xxxHOLiC Episode 4 – Quick Summary

In xxxHOLiC episode 4, “Fortune-Telling,” Yuuko wanted Watanuki to experience a fortune-teller. However, when they arrived at the place of business, Yuuko could tell without entering that the establishment had changed ownership. Going inside to check out who was telling fortunes now, they met a very nice woman who told Watanuki many things – much to Yuuko’s barely veiled disgust. Why did Yuuko react that way? Why the the fortune-teller make Watanuki feel so good? And what happened to the fortune teller that Yuuko knew?

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

Favorite Quote from xxxHOLiC Episode 4

xxxHOLiC Episode 4: Watanuki has strong feelings for Himawari

Watanuki has very, very strong feelings for Himawari. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Watanuki was having lunch with both Doumeki and Himawari, his least and most favorite persons (respectively). Every time Himawari would talk to Watanuki, he would become ecstatic and weep with joy. I’d say “practically weep” with joy, but no, the guy actually wept.

He has it that bad for Himawari.

Unfortunately, when she spoke in a friendly way with Doumeki, Watanuki’s spirits crashed. He actually collapsed on the ground. As in, prone. He considered his life at an end. That is, until Himawari spoke next. She said that his Zodiac sign and his were both fire signs, so they were “compatible.”

In the funniest moment I remember from this series, the shot gave us flames in the background. Watanuki, a serious expression on his face, sat straight up and thought (03:41), “I am revived.”

I’ve seen this series a dozen times, and I laugh hard every time I see that scene.

Favorite Moment from xxxHOLiC Episode 4

xxxHOLiC Episode 4: The real fortune teller had comforting news for Watanuki

The honest fortune teller’s words comforted Watanuki – in an honest way. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Cold Reading Is Scary

Have you ever seen a cold reader in action? Even now, after I’ve studied their techniques and know what to look for, they can be so good at their trade that I feel the superstitious part of me recoil. They’re scary to watch. And if they’re using their powers to coerce someone? That’s even scarier.

The first fortune teller that Watanuki met showed great cold reading technique. She asked if his father had died, meaning she didn’t know. When he answered in the affirmative, she could infer that he had a rough childhood. When she knew he lived alone, she could tell him that he was good at domestic chores. Watanuki felt recognized and acknowledged, but she merely played the odds – if he lived alone, then he was responsible for his own chores, and she could see that his school uniform was in good condition.

xxxHOLiC Episode 4: Cold reading can be terrifying

In the right settings, cold reading can seem supernatural. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

After they left, Yuuko asked Watanuki what he thought. He described how he felt great. He spoke about how much she could tell about him. It was only after Yuuko explained her techniques that Watanuki understood – she had wanted to make him feel good, so she could get his money. She had, when all her words were carefully considered, told him precisely nothing.

At first, he had felt elated. Now, he felt disappointed. The experience left him feeling empty.

Compare that to what came next. Yuuko tracked down the fortune teller who was her old friend. Yuuko’s method of searching, turning a handkerchief into a tracking butterfly, was both beautiful and cool. Based on her day-to-day interactions with Watanuki, it’s sometimes easy to forget she’s… well, we don’t know that yet, do we? It’s only the fourth episode!

Delivery: Watanuki Takes Another Step into Yuuko’s World

They tracked down the woman, and even her greeting set her apart. She knew things she shouldn’t. Watanuki even asked Yuuko if she’d had time to brief the real fortune teller – a sign that Watanuki put up his guard, which is good, given the world he’s entering.

This real fortune teller didn’t need to ask about his father. Nor, his mother. This fortune teller knew both had passed away when Watanuki was young. This moved him; he knew of no way she could have known. She even told Watanuki that they had died to protect him.

Her words blew him away. While he was in this state of shock, she told him (18:14), “But they say they don’t hurt anymore. They are both at peace and happy that you have become such a fine young man.”

xxxHOLiC Episode 4: The real fortune teller's words moved Watanuki

The real fortune teller had a very different impact on Watanuki. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

The words overwhelmed him. At first, he could barely acknowledge them. Then, he showed the tiniest smile and said (18:25), “Is that so? I’m glad.”

The real fortune teller brought him words of comfort from those who could no longer speak directly to him. We’re talking about a fictional world, of course – a world where real fortune tellers exist. Yuuko taking the time to show Watanuki the difference between a fake and the real thing was yet another step into Yuuko’s world. This time, she made sure to talk him through it, so he could tell the real thing from a scam.

He’s going to need that skill. Because even when I watched this series for the first time, I could tell Watanuki was going to be in for a wild ride.

What did you think of Watanuki’s conversation with Doumeki and Himawari? What were your favorite moments? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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5 thoughts on “xxxHOLiC Episode 4: Favorites

  1. I must sound like some kind of fashion weirdo, which I certainly am not, but my first thought on the start of the episode is “another AWESOME Yuuko outfit I would die to have”. I also would not mind having the body to carry it off but that is besides the point. Well, we already know I’m more than half in love with Yuuko anyway. And her closet. I did love the conversation with Himawari. I hate to say it but there were points in my life (a very long time ago) when I had a crush that bad. A word would send me to heaven. A look could pound me. Lucky for me, my crushes barely knew I existed, and I learned early to hide my emotions so I wasn’t crying, collapsing, or on fire – except in my heart. Sigh. LOL. I was also waaaaaaaaay younger than Watanuki but I think maybe that’s a cultural thing? This episode is a great lesson – in RL as well as in Yuuko’s world. Some people are almost natural cold readers, and use their skill to manipulate. We call some psychopaths, abusers, and others politicians. 😛 I couldn’t resist. Anyway – it’s a good thing to know how to carry a healthy dose of skepticism when you meet someone who lays it on like that. I have to say my favorite moment was the spell that turned the handkercheif into a butterfly. Just beautiful. Also a small aside as the fortune teller just mentions that the butterfly is a sort of symbol Yuuko uses for herself, and then some explanation of how butterflies are symbols of transformation. Her words of comfort to Watanabi about his parents were priceless. This episode is quietly deep and important as the series unfolds, even though it doesn’t seem like much at the time.

    1. “I was also waaaaaaaaay younger than Watanuki but I think maybe that’s a cultural thing?”

      It might be a Watanuki thing! I mean, he doesn’t strike me as the early-bloomer type.

      “We call some psychopaths, abusers, and others politicians. ”

      It’s amazing how important context is, isn’t it?

      Moments of quiet beauty, like the handkerchief’s transformation into a butterfly, are what make this series special to me. They happen without fanfare, Watanuki looks on with quiet astonishment, and the story continues. Kind of like life, I guess!

  2. Watanuki is always pretty funny anytime he’s around Himawari! I always really enjoyed this episode because it kind of includes an important life lesson about how sometimes the people that make you feel the best aren’t actually the best to be around. Kind of like the old saying, “Not all that smile at you are your friend.” It’s not one of the most fun sayings, but it is important to learn.

Please let me know what you think!

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