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xxxHolic

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Details
Watanuki Kimihiro is haunted by visions of ghosts and spirits. Seemingly by chance, he encounters a mysterious witch named Yuuko, who claims she can help. In desperation, he accepts, but realizes that he`s just been tricked into working for Yuuko in order to pay off the cost of her services. Soon he`s employed in her little shop - a job which turns out to be nothing like his previous work experience!

By Clamp (xxxHolic)

Characters
Main Characters

Kimihiro Watanuki
Voiced by: Jun Fukuyama (Japanese), Todd Haberkorn (English)
An orphaned boy cursed with the ability to see yokai (spirits), Watanuki entered into an agreement with Yuko to work for her in exchange for the fulfillment of his wish to never see spirits again. However, despite the fact that he hates his ability, Watanuki often goes out of his way to help people that he comes into contact with because of his power, even when he is not required to do so by his job. He is also very independent, because he has had to live alone for most of his life, and is an excellent cook and housekeeper.

Watanuki is infatuated with his classmate, Himawari, and frequently tries to impress her in any way he can. He looks on his other classmate, Domeki, as a potential rival for Himawari, even though the other boy has never really expressed an interest in her. Because of Domeki's ability to repel spirits, Watanuki must spend increasingly more time in his presence, and this has begun to alter their relationship to a sort of grudging friendship. Despite this, Watanuki outwardly reacts in a very hostile way towards Domeki, though his actions towards him often speak differently than his words.

Even though Yuko is strikingly beautiful, seductive and often a tease, Watanuki seems to be unfazed being around her and his romantic attention still revolves around Himawari. In fact, Watanuki seemed to be more irritated than anything else when Yuko teases him. But, further, it seems that they develop a very strong and affectionate relationship.

When Watanuki was critically injured in the manga, forcing Himawari and Domeki to make a wish of Yuko to save his life and make payments for her services (Himawari by accepting Watanuki's scars & Domeki by giving an equivalent amount of his lost blood); a Syaoran from Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, whom Watanuki saw briefly when he arrived to make a wish, also paid for his life in advance. Watanuki's relationship with this Syaoran has not been revealed yet.

Yuko Ichihara
Voiced by: Sayaka Ohara (Japanese), Colleen Clinkenbeard (English)
Being one extremely experienced in her industry, Yuko is not foolish enough to give away her real name like Watanuki. That aside, Yuko has served as a major catalyst for Watanuki's transformation, acting somewhat as his mentor. She loves to drink and eat Watanuki's wonderful cooking and dragging Watanuki on crazy outings at the drop of a hat.

Despite this immature and free-spirited attitude, Yuko has been known to be sage-like and serious when the time calls for it. Yuko seems to know the true hitsuzen that Watanuki will follow, and has often offered cryptic messages to warn him of impending danger or a folk tale that he should take a bit more seriously. She also seems to truly care about him, making sure he is safe at night, sending the Kudakitsune (pipe-fox) with him for extra protection, or calling Domeki when he needs saving.

Yuko is very powerful when it comes to magic and knowledge and is highly respected within the spirit realm. However, she doesn't often appear to get directly involved in things beyond whatever contact she has with those making wishes. Sometimes, she sends Watanuki to do jobs for her, such as when she granted a wish from Himawari. Yuko seems to take the role of someone playing chess when it comes to the big picture of things that are going on.

Shizuka Domeki
Voiced by: Kazuya Nakai (Japanese), J. Michael Tatum (English)
Domeki is Watanuki's classmate and one-sided rival. He is part of the school's archery club and often participates (and tops) school competitions. He lives by a shrine owned by his late grandfather.

Domeki's personality is a total opposite that of Watanuki's. He has a cool, calm and often sarcastic character. Much to the annoyance of Watanuki, he seems to hang around him especially when Watanuki gets a chance to be alone with Himawari.

While Watanuki is monster bait, Domeki is monster repellant, due to his grandfather's exorcism abilities that were passed down to him. The fortune teller from volume 2 foresees Domeki's arrival into the story, stating that Watanuki will gain a friend that he'll constantly fight with, but their relationship will "run deeper".

Yuko advises that Watanuki stay close to Domeki because his very presence drives away the spirits that attack Watanuki, but Watanuki's jealousy and general annoyance with Domeki's mellow, laid-back demeanor keep him from liking Domeki or at least admitting that he does. The fact that on several occasions Domeki has had to come to Watanuki's rescue doesn't help, especially since most of these situations involve Watanuki passing out and Domeki having to carry him somewhere to rest, or Watanuki falling from a building just to have his wrist caught by Domeki at the last second. As payment for his services, Watanuki makes him bento lunches (sometimes with Yuko's nudging, sometimes without), and Domeki often demands really difficult or impossible lunch requests for the next day just to irk him.

According to the way he holds his bow, Domeki is right-handed. Also, after having his right arm injured while saving Watanuki from falling off of a building, Himawari comments on this being a shame, considering he's right-handed.

Before chapter 119 of the manga, Domeki could only see a vacant lot where Yuko's store was supposed to be. Yuko explains in volume 8 of the manga that since Domeki does not need anything from her, the shop does not physically or visually exist to him. However, after Watanuki falls out of a window in chapter 117 and is seriously injured, Domeki is able to enter Yuko's shop in order to wish to save Watanuki's life (because Domeki and Himiwari now have a "need" for the shop.)

Himawari Kunogi
Voiced by: Shizuka Ito (Japanese), Cherami Leigh (English)
Watanuki's main love interest. He has been infatuated with Himawari ever since the beginning of the series and even some cryptic remarks from Yuko like "are you sure she's good luck?" haven't deterred him.

Himawari is caring and kind towards Watanuki, but she has her own reasons to avoid him to become closer to her, as for some reason she was born with the power to cause serious misfortune (although unintended) to those around her, an issue that even brought death to her grandmother and sometimes put her friends in trouble.

All who have been close to her have had some kind of misfortune befall them (except her parents - for if they did have bad luck - she would have never been born.) This is why she always tried to avoid walking home with Watanuki ("I have errands to run"), not wanting to cause him any more bad luck.

In chapter 117, Himawari touches Watanuki's shoulder, and thus indirectly causes him to nearly fall to his death from a window. Not wishing to cause him any more harm, she tries to say a final goodbye as Watanuki is recovering, but when he finally confesses his feelings for her, she finally begins to open up.

She used to wear her hair in loose ponytails, but now after the wish - she changes her hairstyle to cover the scars now covering her back.

Minor Characters

Zashiki-warashi
Voiced by: Sumi Mutoh (Japanese), Brina Palencia (English)
A spirit girl (Vestal sprite) who has a crush on Watanuki. In the manga, the Zashiki-warashi first appears at Valentine's Day determined to give the perfect chocolate to Watanuki, which nearly results in the death of Domeki. She next appears when Watanuki is sent by Yuko to a place of pure chi to return the Pipe Fox to its normal small size. While there ("there" being a mountain named reisan), he finds the Zashiki-warashi on a small rock where he gives her a White Day present (a pair of hairpins with an angel wing design) as a token of appreciation for the Valentine's Day chocolate (even though he couldn't eat it). Her third appearance is when Watanuki agrees to go rescue her from the evil Joro-gumo. She was captured when she attempted to recover Watanuki's eye from the Joro-gumo. Her fourth appearance is when she and the Ame-warashi come to visit Watanuki, who'd recently been severely injured.

Zashiki-warashi are prone to mischievous thoughts, though this one is actually quite shy and sweet and very prone to crying (those who make her cry will be attacked by her guardians, a group of tengu-karasu). She lives on a mountain with pure spiritual energy and, as a result, is vulnerable to evil energy.

In the anime, Zashiki-warashi's first appearance was during Ochugen (a Japanese festival), which she misunderstood for Valentine's Day. Events similar to Zashiki-warashi's first appearance in the manga with Domeki nearly dying ensue and at the end it is revealed the sprite confused the festival for Valentines day (as so politely pointed out by the Rain Sprite). Watanuki visits her to thank her for the aburage (deep-fried tofu) which she gave to him to help him with the Kudakitsune.

Later in the manga Watanuki notices the change in her voice, identifying it as more grown up. The Ame-warashi explained that this was the effect of the Zashiki-warashi's feelings for Watanuki, causing her to change and grow-up.

She is based on a spirit from Japanese folklore, the zashiki-warashi, accounting for her childlike naivete and innocence.

Ame-warashi
Voiced by: Akiko Yajima (Japanese), Kate Oxley (English)
The Ame-warashi is also known as a rain sprite or rain maker. She is a proud, high ranking spirit / sprite who has a very hostile attitude toward humans due to the fact that "humans have no care or regard whatsoever with living nature". She comes to Yuko to ask for the service of Watanuki to save someone at a park containing hydrangeas. In the anime, she is portrayed as a good, protective friend of the Zashiki-warashi.

She also has the ability to detect differences in characters and likely special abilities, as implied by her ill feeling of Himawari and the "refreshing" or "pure" scent she detects emitting from Domeki. She appears again with the Zashiki-warashi to see Watanuki and remains hostile towards him, though she also makes a cryptic remark as to Watanuki's true nature.

Her hair in the anime is red, however there are colored Clamp pieces that show her hair as blue. The concept of an Ame-warashi is based on a spirit from Japanese folklore.

Kudakitsune (Mugetsu)
The Kudakitsune, a pipe fox spirit, later named Mugetsu by Watanuki, was the payment given to Yuko by the Ame-warashi for Watanuki's help. It became attached to him right away and often accompanies him on trips of the more dangerous type, but will go with him anywhere if he lets it. It used to annoy him at first, but Watanuki has warmed up to the wormy furball. The Kudakitsune has two forms: a snake-like mini version, and the traditional Kyubi when it reveals its true power. It is able to create gigantic fireballs, also known as Foxfire or streams of fire, and can detect evil beings like the wing parasites and the spider lady in volume 8. It takes a large amount of pure spiritual energy to revert the traditional kyubi back into its portable snake-like form. When that happens, Watanuki is forced to take the Kudakitsune to Zashiki's mountain. Watanuki later names it Mugetsu (moonless or no moon) for the way its eyes seem to disappear when it transforms, because the Kudakitsune became upset that Watanuki named Himawari's bird but left the Kudakitsune unnamed.

In the anime the Kudakitsune's favorite treat is deep-fried tofu, but too much of it is bad for him. If he eats too much in his larger form the markings on his head will disappear one by one and soon he would not be able to return to his pipe form, as Yuko informed Watanuki.

Tanpopo
A cute yellow bird hatched from an egg Yuko gave Watanuki while he was recovering from a near fatal injury as payment for retrieving water from a well. Actually that was the same egg that Sakura got from their visit to Kamui's world in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. According to Yuko, the bird was born for the sake of Himawari, and after Watanuki gives it to her, they are always seen together. Watanuki, at her request, names it Tanpopo (dandelion).

He was introduced in the last chapter of volume 10 of the manga. His name was given to him by Watanuki in volume 11. Tanpopo is unaffected by Himawari's unlucky jinx and thus can keep her in good company.


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