xxxHOLiC – 02
Yuuko gets visited by a woman who wanders into the store. She gives this woman the speech about being able to grant wishes for a price, and the woman tells Yuuko about her pinky finger, which has recently been unable to move. Yuuko asks if the woman has any bad habits, but she denies it. But after she says that, Watanuki notices that black smoke has started to come from her finger. Yuuko gives the woman a ring, and says that the woman can do what she wants with it, even throw it away. But Yuuko also asks the woman to consider what it means to have a pinky finger.
The next day, Watanuki is at school and is washing up after soccer practice. The classmate that he has a crush on, Kunogi Himawari, hands him a towel and the two start talking about soccer. Himawari mentions Doumeki Shizuka, which gets Watanuki ranting because he doesn’t really like Doumeki. Doumeki shows up to set things straight and to call Watanuki an idiot, which only gets him angrier. Himawari also asks Watanuki about his work and then tells him to do his best before they part ways. Watanuki is ecstatic that he was able to have such a conversation with Himawari, but when he gets to the store, Yuuko ruins his fun – she tells him that his face looks bad, meaning that bad things will happen today.
The woman then returns to the store. Watanuki doesn’t notice any black smoke until she tells Yuuko how old she is. In fact, the more the woman says, the more smoke that comes out. Yuuko touches the woman’s mouth and chest, indicating that those are where the bad habits are coming from. The woman has also noticed that her arm is now also stiff. Watanuki notices that the ring is now dirtier and has developed cracks. Yuuko tells the woman that she’ll be cured if she can figure out what the bad habit is. After the she, Yuuko comments that the woman won’t be returning to the store again.
After departing the store, Watanuki catches sight of the woman leaving a dentistry. After she’s gone, her co-workers comment about how the woman lies about everything – her age, her love life – it’s her habit. Watanuki now realizes that lying is the habit that Yuuko was trying to get the woman to figure out. He follows her and watches as she lies to a person taking a survey and then lies a friend she meets on the road. The smoke only gets thicker and thicker. The woman notices that the ring has gotten dirtier and goes to take it off. Watanuki tries to stop her, but she doesn’t hear him. The black smoke now completely surrounds her, and she’s unable to move out of the way of the oncoming truck.
Fortunately for her, Watanuki helped her and she wakes up in the hospital after he’s already returned to Yuuko’s store with the ring. Watanuki wants to know why Yuuko didn’t tell the woman to stop lying. Yuuko’s answer is that the woman needed to know herself to stop lying. Watanuki then asks if Yuuko knows everything that’s going to happen in the future, since she knew about what would happen to the woman. This time, Yuuko replies by saying that if he thinks so then it might be so. She explains that although the world seems to stretch on endlessly, it’s actually very narrow. There is an extent to which you can see, an extent to where your arm can reach out to, an extent to what you can feel. Worlds do not exist beforehand, you have to create them yourself. Watanuki doesn’t understand what Yuuko means, but she thinks that it’s ok. Watanuki is then sent back to work in the kitchen because Yuuko is hungry.
Bleh, this wasn’t as good as I had hoped. This was definitely missing something – I think it’s the fact that they allowed the woman to live, which really lessened the impact of the story and what Yuuko says. In addition to that, they moved up the volume two chapter with Himawari and Doumeki up and they took out the parts about Watanuki finding Sakura’s wand and completely omitted Himawari from the scene where Watanuki is following the woman. The adding-Doumeki-early part I don’t mind so much since Doumeki brings with him some interesting stories. The taking-out-Sakura’s-wand part seems to further reinforce the fact that there will be no Tsubasa crossovers. And the taking-out-Himawari-from-that-later-scene lessens the impact of that scene even more (in the manga, Watanuki had to shield Himawari from seeing the woman’s body and the bloody ring).
On top of all that, the animation was worse too. *sigh* The episode was rather disappointing on the whole.
Having said all of that, I’m still probably going to stick with the show, at least for a while longer. From the preview, they appear to be doing volume three material for next week’s episode. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it gets better from here.