xxxHolic volumes 1&2
xxxHolic is one of the most recent releases from CLAMP studios, and is quickly becoming a fan favourite. This series crosses over with another of CLAMP's current releases Tsubasa that follows Sakura and Syaoran as they quest within the land of Clow. To follow the full story you can pick up both series but neither series suffers if you only follow one. (Also, I may just be being cynical, but it seems like a shameless marketing ploy.) As with all of CLAMP's work this series is nothing if not pretty to look at. The artwork of these highly stylized, languid looking characters is really easy on the eye and draws the reader into this bizarre world of talking rabbits, withes, fortune tellers and high school love stories. The story that the pictures tell is truly engrossing as well. In these first two volumes very little is explained as we are kept bombarded with more and more mystical happenings and magical events and through the use of Watanuki's gullibility and inexperience we are constantly kept shocked and inspired by these wondrous events. But the longer this series goes on the further doubts are cast upon Yuko's true intentions. She does not appear to be evil, but she is certainly not without her hidden secrets.
So Del Ray have a quality title on their hands here (and by releasing Tsubasa as well a monopoly on the full story being told here) and appear to be treating it well. Left unflopped for that: reading the manga the correct way vibe, the panels are not confusing, the script appear to have been translated well, in fact it's all good. Del Ray are also including articles in the back (or front of the book if you're reading the wrong way) with information about CLAMP studio's, previous CLAMP releases, all the little in-jokes that this series makes with other CLAMP series, info on Tsubasa, and translation notes. These are pretty hefty extras for a manga release and really help to give the uninitiated to CLAMP some background on the fantastic work of this studio.
All in all this is a really enjoyable read and I'm pretty much decided on continuing with the series and picking up Tsubasa. The artwork is great. The story is exciting. The characters are mysterious. This gets two thumbs up from me!
OK, what are really the odds of this being really fully participated in by Steven Spielberg? Sure his name is on shows like Tiny Toons and Animaniacs but just how much did he do past cashing the ch...
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