I’ve been a bit stressed and over-taxed lately, and I keep sitting down to try to write something vaguely intelligent about manga for this blog, but as I’ve been pretty wrapped up in Nana lately, everything seems to come out as, “Ode to Nobu.” Heh. This is why I don’t write reviews. I can write passionately about certain aspects of a manga, but I fail at well-rounded, critical writing.
In lieu of brilliant reviews or scintillating commentary, I instead offer up a photo of my husband’s (early) birthday present. It will slay you all with its cuteness and make you forget what this entry sorely lacks.
Her name is Kino.
This also does not amount to “scintillating commentary,” but I guess I will talk a moment about Tsubasa chapter 201 and xxxHolic chapter 167 since they are receiving a sound thrashing in most corners of the internet I frequent, and I’m a bit perplexed about that.
So, the big news is that Watanuki is a substitute for Syaoran, put into place to fill the void for Syaoran to go back in time, a fairly major consequence of his wish. Watanuki, therefore, is a person who should not exist. Fei Wong Reed has proclaimed that there will be pain for the substitute child, and for his parents. We found out all of this in Tsubasa. Then in xxxHolic (of which I’ve only seen an English translation of the Chinese scanlation, so I’m sure I’m missing nuances) we discovered further that both Yuuko and Watanuki’s parents have gone to pretty elaborate lengths to hide Watanuki from Fei Wong (I’m assuming this is the purpose of Yuuko’s shop), which is kind of amazing and wonderful.
I’ve been perplexed at all the anger over this, because to me, it just makes the story more interesting, makes Watanuki’s plight even more dramatic and sympathetic, and launches us firmly back into the main plot of xxxHolic, which I’m grateful for. Why complain? I’m just not sure what all the rage is about. In my opinion, the story just got better, the stakes got higher, and that can never be a bad thing.
What I really love about it, actually, is that we’re about to find out just how much everyone cares about Watanuki, and how far they’re willing to go for him, and I’m guessing the answer is “pretty damn far.” Yuuko already has, and we know more about that now. And do you think Doumeki is going to take this lying down? I don’t think so. The end of chapter 167 has been translated to suggest that Watanuki, though he can’t remember his past with his mind, remembers in his body and heart, and that he feels strongly that he should not exist. Everything is about to fall apart, and I am on the edge of my seat. Good stuff, if you ask me.
That’s all for tonight. Now I must return to being stressed and over-taxed. Goodnight!
Cat saysOctober 14, 2008 at 2:52 pm
Kino is incredibly precious!
(Jan mentioned your blog when Dr. Horrible came out this summer, so I’ve been following, enjoying your writing so much even though I am ignorant about manga. You’re piquing my interest!)
Melinda Beasi saysOctober 14, 2008 at 3:00 pm
Well, thank you so much for reading! Of course I’m thrilled to be piquing anyone’s interest in manga. Let me know if you’re interesting in sticking your toe into the medium, and I’ll try to give you some specific recommendations!