xxxHOLiC 11 by CLAMP: A-

From the back cover:
Kimihiro Watanuki has been saved from death by the sacrifices of his friends, but his recovery time is cut short. His special connection with the spirit world is needed to investigate a terrifying haunted house, placate annoyed Warashi spirits, and face the growing threat of a shadowy figure called Fei-Wang Reed.

This volume was interesting. It was liberally sprinkled with hints about something coming down the line—”the final moment,” as Yuuko called it—and preparations being made for its arrival. There were also more references to the travelers in Tsubasa than heretofore and suggestions that their decisions are affecting Watanuki’s fate in some fashion.

All of that was cool, but some of the episodic chapters weren’t exactly riveting. There was one cool tale about a girl who was frightened of sounds she heard in the house in which she lived that I liked, but it ended kind of abruptly. There were also a couple of appearances by Kohane, who is a child with abilities similar to Watanuki’s. I have no idea what her deal is, but find her fairly boring so far.

There were several cute scenes where Watanuki showed kindness to a creature and made it very happy. At one point, he was tasked with naming a magical bird he’d given Himawari for a pet. As he mulled, we got a panel of the bird in question, all sparkly and adorable with “Great Expectations” written in the background. Later, the pipe fox spirit was sulky on account of not having been named yet, and repeated the same pose when Watanuki deliberated once more. It was extremely cute.

On a final note, there are some visual spoilers for Tsubasa volume 16 and slightly beyond, so if you’re following that series and aren’t up-to-date, you might want to get caught up before reading this volume.

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