Home > Manga Reviews, Reviews > xxxHolic Rei, Vol. 3

xxxHolic Rei, Vol. 3

AX is behind us and we’re eyeball deep into Comicon, so there’s a ton of manga and manga related news to catch up on.

And now, onto the featured review of xxxHolic: Rei, Vol. 3!

xxxHolic Rei, Vol. 3xxxHolic Rei, Vol. 3
Created by Clamp
Kodansha Comics, 208 pgs.
Rating: Older Teen (16 +)

All good things must come to an end as Watanuki is about to discover within the pages of Clamp’s xxxHolic Rei, Vol. 3. The little mysteries and oddities that have been plaguing Watanuki throughout the previous volumes of the series have been building this moment, when Watanuki is forced to make a choice…

On one hand I really enjoyed this volume. It does a great job at driving home the immensity and emotional impact of Watanuki’s decision and how it’ll affect him and his life and the life of those around him. It’s a weight that you feel even after he’s made it, with the scene of him waking and being forced to live with the consequences of the decision being a strong and haunting one. Unfortunately, much of the decision and the mechanics of it are based in aspects of the series and the universe it inhabits, which are more thoroughly detailed and established in the original series, xxxHolic, leaving me wondering just what happened and why? While the importance of the decision is palpable, the reasoning behind it and why it has to occur ultimately felt a little shaky. Presumably if xxxHolic Rei wasn’t my introduction to this world, it’d all click properly, but alas that’s not the case.

A page from xxxHolic Rei, Vol. 3

One of my favorite pages from xxxHolic Rei, Vol. 3

As usual Clamp’s artwork is absolutely gorgeous to look at. The heavy use of black produces some rather stunning panels and splash pages. While the slender and lanky character designs are generally rather lovely, every now and then there’s a scene that highlights just how freakishly long their limbs are. Watanuki in particular seems to possess legs that are almost three times the size of his torso in a few places. That said, whenever Yuko’s on the page the artwork is positively dripping with a languid sensuality that is palpable. The continued use of the smoke effect to draw and pull readers eyes along in a few sequences, while also highlighting a character or object touched by the supernatural, is still a lovely little design touch that I never get tired of seeing.

xxxHolic Rei, Vol. 3 definitely felt like a coda to a previous story and was a bit impenetrable at times. Sure, people who just came on board get the reveal to a mystery that’s been brewing since the first volume of this series, but it’s so tied into a larger continuity that they might be a bit lost at times, I know I was. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when the series returns for a fourth volume and whether it provides a clean jumping on point, or whether it will still be tangled in threads from the previous series.

xxxHolic Rei, Vol. 3 are available now from Kodansha Comics. Review copy provided by the publisher.

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