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xxxHOLiC Episode 7: Favorites

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xxxHOLiC Episode 7 – Quick Summary

In xxxHOLiC episode 7, “Hydrangea,” a very rude Ame-warashi appeared out of nowhere and smacked Watanuki on the head with her umbrella. Then she announced it was his lucky day, because she was about to give him a command. And what was this command? To take her to Yuuko! Once there, Ame-warashi admitted she needed Yuuko’s help. And by “Yuuko’s” help, she of course meant Watanuki’s. What did Watanuki have to do now? Did it involve Doumeki? And what will Yuuko demand as payment?

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

Favorite Quote from xxxHOLiC Episode 7

xxxHOLiC Episode 7: Watanuki was angry that Doumeki could talk to Himawari so easily -- and her to him!

I kind of feel sorry for the spastic one. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Watanuki seriously does not like it when Himawari talks to Doumeki. As in, he spazzes out every time. This time, Watanuki and Doumeki had to ask Himawari for something personal. Watanuki tried to ask for it, but he floundered. Doumeki calmly explained it to her, and did you notice something interesting? She didn’t ask why! She undid her hair bows and asked if those would do.

As they left, Watanuki was furious with Doumeki for speaking so easily with her. He was angry with her for speaking so easily with him. And most of all, he was angry with himself for not having the courage to speak first. So he did what Watanuki always did in this situation. He insulted Doumeki.

Seeming to think he’d landed a fatal rhetorical hit, Watanuki said that Doumeki shouldn’t feel special because Himawari spoke to him. The reason? She’s nice to everyone. “It’s not just you, right?” Watanuki said (05:51). 

His voice completely unchanged, Doumeki said (05:56), “If you’re following that theory, then it’s not just you, either.”

Watanuki was honest enough to not even try to answer that one.

Favorite Moment from xxxHOLiC Episode 7

xxxHOLiC Episode 7: When the stakes were high, Watanuki came through

This is why Watanuki can function in Yuuko’s world. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Watanuki Is More Than a Spastic Case

This is the episode that made me fall in love with xxxHOLiC. And it’s all because of my favorite moment.

Yuuko sees something in Watanuki. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that she knows something about his destiny. Or maybe both? I don’t think I have a good understand of Yuuko’s perspective, but my point is, she sees something beyond the excitable young man who can barely speak in the presence of Himawari and who flies off the handle at Doumeki.

In my favorite moment, Watanuki demonstrated at least one of the traits I think Yuuko sees in him.

The spirit of the hydrangea drew him into its spiritual realm. There, he found a little girl who was crying. She said she had been there, all alone, for a very long time. She knew she had to keep moving, but she was too scared. If he went with her, she thought she might have the courage to finish the journey.

xxxHOLiC Episode 7: The first thing Watanuki did was ask what was wrong

The first thing Watanuki did was ask her what was wrong. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Watanuki knew the direction she led him was dangerous. It smelled terrible, and the odor got worse the closer they got. The hydrangea itself tried to warn him to stay away from that place. As an aside, the animation of its voice – vertical shafts of light that pulsed as it spoke – was very cool. The scene made great use of stereo, too.

Finally, Watanuki put the pieces together. The first time I saw this, I suspected, but I didn’t know, what he had figured out. The uncertainty added to the scene’s poignancy. He gently put his foot down and said they shouldn’t go that way. Desperately, she asked where she should go instead.

Delivery: Watanuki’s Empathy

That’s when the ribbon appeared. Watanuki knew it was his way out, but the little girl was terrified and ashamed. By this time, the idea that she had died and this was her spirit approached certainty. I’m feeling bad for her. Watanuki asked why she didn’t want to go. She tugged at my sympathy when she responded, (13:58), “Because… I’m dirty. I’m different from before. Everyone will say I’m gross.”

Seeing her in such pain hurt. And this is where Watanuki began to show just the kind of guy he is. Continuing in his gentle voice, he said (14:13), “No, they won’t.” He took her hand and added, “I never will.”

She hugged his arm, and he gave her time to process. Then he grabbed the ribbon said said, “Here we go.”

This is my favorite moment.

He regained consciousness on his back in the rain. The camera was at ground level. He looked to his right and smiled, saying (15:19), “You’re not gross. Being alone for so long must’ve been awful.”

xxxHOLiC Episode 7: He did not shy away from her skeletal remains.

Watanuki stayed with her and supported her until the end. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

He was holding her skeletal hand.

He accepted her. In essence, he was helping her cross to where she should have been. He did that knowing she was dead. He did that – and this is a big deal – knowing she had tried to lead him to his death. But he understood why she did what she did, he met her where she was, and he led her home.

This episode introduced us to Ame-warashi, who is a character I adore. But even she couldn’t hold a candle to that moment. Moments like that are why I hold xxxHOLiC in such high esteem.

What did you think of the Ame-warashi disclosing she wanted to save the hydrangea, and not the little girl? What were your favorite moments? Feel free to share in the comments!

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9 thoughts on “xxxHOLiC Episode 7: Favorites

  1. I’m not entirely sure why, but this is one of my all time favorite episodes of an all time favorite anime. Perhaps you put your finger on it with your favorite moment – Watanuki’s deep empathy and kindness which he shows towards this little girl. This episode nearly brings me to tears every time for that little girl. And yet, my personal favorite moment is the other moment you pointed out, when the AmeWarashi says “Why should we help humans? Humans don’t help us” and for that moment you truly get how alien the inhabitants of the spirit world are. They are not human. And they truly do not give a shit about us. That we find that so gobsmacking speaks to how arrogant humans are, how sure we are that WE are the center of the universe, and everything else that revolves around us. Well, we thought that the Earth – being our home – was the center of the Universe, too. Turns out – not so much. And that’s true in many other realms, including the spirit realm. We just are not the center, in fact, we are no more important to most spirit beings than the ant you stepped on today is important to you. Of course, our lives are so very important to us – and in that realm, Doumecki is exceptional and should be treasured. I’m not sure I have ever had a friend who would stand in the rain 10 hours whether my life depended on it or not. Hell, I’m not sure I’ve ever had a friend who would stand in the rain ten minutes if I was late. Well, maybe one or two. And I treasure them.

    1. Watanuki is a spaze. But he’s a kind spaze. I like that.

      I also like how you those in the spirit realm view us. I think it’s liberating, actually. Knowing we’re not the center a) means we know our place, and facts are always better than make-believe in this context and b) it means we’re not responsible for it all. We play our part with others, but it’s not all up to us. That means we can focus on finding what it up to us.

      1. That means we can focus on finding what it up to us.

        I had not thought of it that way, and that is very wise. We are children compared to so many spirits in the world, and we are always learning. This is something we all learn in this life, or at least, it’s best if we do. It can be very hard for some of us to learn how to seperate what we ARE responsible for, with what we are not responsible for or able to affect – and therefore it would be better for us if we didn’t stress ourselves out over it. I have a vague blog article in mind kind of around this subject…if I ever get a chance to write it! LOL.

    1. Oh, cool! I’m glad you’re enjoying it. It’s among my favorite series. I’ll have to induct it into the Caw of Fame at some point!

  2. Yes, this was such a great episode to show just how special Watanuki really is! We also get a sneak peak at Doumeki’s character. Though he might not say much, he really does care about his friends and went above and beyond to try to save Watanuki.

    1. That’s a good point about Doumeki. He could have just gone home. But he stuck with it.

      Maybe he should have called the police. Or Yuuko, at least. But, that’s just me nit-picking!

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