Ten years after the events of xxxHOLiC Shunmuki, a melancholic Kimihiro Watanuki has taken over the shop formerly run by the mysterious Yuuko due to a promise he made to her. His companions Maru, Moro, and Mokona live together with him in relative contentment, and some familiar faces arrive every now and then: former rival turned-steadfast friend Shizuka Doumeki, and the former psychic prodigy Kohane Tsuyuri. While Kohane studies folklore under Doumeki at university, they encounter a case that is perfect for the master of the shop.
Eventually, Watanuki receives a visit from Doumeki's grandfather, Haruka. He requests that Watanuki investigates his grandson's dreams. While inside the dream world, he discovers how their past adventures played out from Doumeki's perspective of view, leading Watanuki to discover truths from 10 years ago and secrets about the ties that bind their friendship.
“xxxHOLiC Rou” continues the intriguing narrative from its predecessors, “xxxHOLiC” and “xxxHOLiC: Kei”. It takes place ten years after Yuuko Ichihara, the mysterious time-space witch, disappears, and it follows the life of Kimihiro Watanuki in his new duty as the owner of the “Shop of Wishes”. Now, the “Shop of Wishes” grants people’s desires, but they always come with a price – often a lesson learned. Our protagonist, Watanuki, having inherited the shop from Yuuko, remains within its boundaries, waiting for her to return.
The atmosphere in “xxxHOLiC Rou” takes a darker, mature, and more serious tone than the previous seasons. It tackles deeper topics surrounding life, death, desires, dreams, and their impacts on the human psyche. While primarily maintaining a focus on Watanuki’s existence, it also explores the lives of his clients and the repercussions of their wishes.
The Anime Critic Review: xxxHOLiC Rou
Prepare to be sucked into an enchanting world of desire-induced catastrophes, ghostly apparitions, and heartbreaking human stories. “xxxHoliC Rou” has taken an impressive leap from its preceding seasons, stepping up from light-natured comedy to an intellectually stimulating piece brimming with insightful life lessons and existential musings.
The artwork and animation remain consistent with the distinct noir style that initially set the series apart. Character designs, backdrops, and the supernatural entities continue to be extraordinarily detailed, giving the viewers an immersive visual spectacle. The composition adds a sense of surrealism to the anime, perfectly aligning with the supernatural themes of the narrative.
The character development, particularly Watanuki’s, is a definite standout in the series. Viewers witness a dramatic transformation in the protagonist’s demeanor and attitude towards life, depicting the stark contrast in his character’s childhood and adulthood. His commitment to his promise to Yuuko gives a touching depth to his character, adding a layer of tragedy and longing that is beautifully conveyed throughout the series.
Admittedly, “xxxHOLiC Rou” delves more into episodic tales involving Watanuki’s customers than overarching plotlines. However, it doesn’t hamper the narrative’s engaging aspect, allowing the characters to take center stage. The interconnectedness of everyone’s tales, including the nuanced way each story circles back to affect Watanuki, is incredibly well done, making even the episodic plots enjoyable and important to Watanuki’s development.
Auditory wise, the soundtrack is as brilliant as its predecessors, remaining ambient and reflective. The opening and ending themes, particularly add a suitable melancholy touch, pulling viewers deeper into the show’s narrative.
Summing up, “xxxHOLiC Rou” is a fascinating exploration into the metaphysical aspects of humanity affixed with an appealing supernatural background. It is an anime that delves deep, leaving behind a wealth of conversation starter topics, making it a must-watch! And quite honestly, whether you decide to rent, buy, or stream, every penny and second invested in it will leave you feeling more thoughtful and perhaps even a little more introspective about life and our desires.
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