I know this is a day late, but unfortunately my tablet went missing last night and it was much to late to finish my post by the time I found it. In the spirit of Throwback Thursday, every week I share a memory related to a book. It could be my impressions of a book. It could be a memory of when I received the book, or what was happening in my life while I read it, and how the story affected me. If you would like to play along, simply do the same, and post your link in the comments.
Manga and graphic novels are one of my favorite forms of literature. They offer me a reading experience that is both visually and mentally stimulating, and thoroughly different than reading a novel. Instead of relying on my mind to illustrate the world I am momentarily inhabiting, I get lost in the world the author and extremely talented illustrators have created for me. This week, I have chosen a manga for Throwback Thursday; “XXXHolic” by CLAMP. The XXX in the title is misleading as there is nothing explicit about the story. I will preface this by saying that I am not, nor have I ever been, a huge CLAMP fangirl. “Chobits” is the only other manga / anime by them that held my interest. “XXXHolic” is more adult and mature than the other works of theirs I have had the opportunity to glance through, like “Card Captor Sakura” and “Angelic Layer”. Back in 2004, CLAMP was most well known for their shojo (girly) stories. “XXXHolic” was a departure from that, featuring a male lead. The cover art is what caught my eye and the summary sealed the deal.
It is difficult to explain what it is I love about XXXHolic. The word that comes to mind when I think of the story is ‘haunting’. The protagonist is literally haunted by demons and ghosts, but he is also haunted by his thoughts and the plights of the people that he interacts with throughout the story. The dimensional witch, Yuuko, is haunting in her own way. She is mysterious, powerful, and somewhat frightening, as many a fictional witch are. The woodblock print art style with gothic lolita elements and the color palette for those images that are not in black and white further the feeling. “XXXHolic” is dark, beautiful, and emotional. And yes, as with most manga, also a little bit silly. I stopped reading several books in for financial reasons, but the upcoming Kumoricon in Vancouver, WA got me thinking about the mangas I used to read and the animes I used to follow. It is an older story, but worth checking out. I, for one, intend to finish it one day.