After class one day, Himawari asks Watanuki if he believes in the red string of fate. He gets the idea that maybe it’s a confession, but Doumeki knocks him out of the illusion. On the way back from school, Watanuki sees what appears to be a guy harassing a girl. When he goes to investigate, they break up and both leave the scene quickly. At the shop, Yuuko shows him the Kudakitsune (pipe fox) that she got from the Amewarashi for Watanuki’s help – it has incredible spiritual powers. It wraps itself around Watanuki’s neck, and then entwines itself around Yuuko and Watanuki’s pinky fingers. This reminds Watanuki of the red string of fate that Himawari had mentioned, so he asks Yuuko. She says that it exists, but it doesn’t necessarily connect with only one person
At this point, someone enters the store – the same girl Watanuki saw being harassed on the street. The girl doesn’t have a wish, but tells Yuuko that lately she hasn’t been able to move her pinky finger. This triggers Watanuki to remember the similar incident from previously. Looking closely, he sees that this girl also has black smoke coming out of her finger. Yuuko apparently senses it too and asks the girl if she has a bad habit. The girl says that she doesn’t understand and prepares to leave because she has an appointment. When Yuuko asks her about that appointment, the girl says that with it’s someone she’s dating who’s very important to her. Watanuki sees smoke coming out of her finger again after she says this. Yuuko gives her the ring and warns her about her habit.
After the girl takes the ring and leaves, Watanuki goes after her. The Kudakitsune, which joined him, leads him towards the girl, who is now talking on the phone. Her attitude seems different from before. It changes again when she meets up with the guy she is going out with. The girl makes the guy promise for a date at an amusement park by entwining her pinky finger with his, saying that they’re tied by the red string of fate. Watanuki suddenly starts hearing a young girl singing the yubikiri song, but the song stops short of the final line (about cutting the finger). When he looks around, there’s no one there. He tries to follow the couple across the road, but almost gets run over by a car. He’s saved only thanks to the Kudakitsune pulling him out of the way. Watching from across the street, Watanuki sees black smoke envelope the girl and her boyfriend.
The next day, the Kudakitsune is still with Watanuki, and he shows it to Doumeki. After school, the Kudakitsune pulls Watanuki towards a cafe where he sees the girl, this time with a different guy. She’s got a different attitude again too. After chatting with him, she tells him that she has to leave to go to the amusement park with her friends. The two make a promise on another date by hooking their pinky fingers together, just like how the girl had down with the other guy. Watanuki starts to year the yubikiri song again, but again no one is around and the song again stops before the final line. The woman leaves with Watanuki and Doumeki following her, but she had taken off her ring and forgotten it on the table. She goes to the amusement part and meets the guy she had a date with.
Her boyfriend eventually suggests they go into a test of love booth, which has a small guillotine under which the lovers are supposed to put their fingers to test their love. The woman becomes deathly afraid and black smoke starts coming out of her finger again. Watanuki hears the yubikiri song again, and this time the final line is said. The guillotine crashes down, but the Kudakitsune springs into action and goes straight for the woman’s finger. When she opens her eyes, her hand is still intact and her pinky finger seems to be able to move again – the Kudakitsune saved her. However, the boyfriend from the cafe suddenly appears with the ring she forgot. In fact, all of her boyfriends (and there are many) appear and confront her. She had made the pinky pledge with all of them and talked about being connected by the red string of fate with all of them.
After the incident, Watanuki returns to Yuuko’s store and tells her about what happened. Watanuki remains determined about believing in his fate with Himawari. Yuuko holds up her hand and reads Watanuki’s fate, saying that his red string of fate is tied with…Doumeki.
Yes, I’m back to blogging xxxHOLiC; the results of last weeks polls convinced me to start watching again. No guarantees on filling in the posts I missed though.
Today’s episode is all about the red string of fate and the Kudakitsune. It started off with an interestingly colored title screen. The story is reminiscent of the second episode, except this girl has tons of boyfriends and lies to all of them. The other theme connecting all of them is the red string of fate and the yubikiri song that Watanuki hears. Incidentally, in case anyone was wondering, the girl today was voiced by Kawasumi Ayako. It sounded really familiar to me, but I couldn’t quite place it until I saw the credits.
I was hoping that the Kudakitsune would transform this episode, but it didn’t happen. We’ll have to wait for a future episode for that.
Next week seems to be the story from the end of volume two of the manga, the 100 ghost stories.