In this world, there is no such thing as coincidences. Watanuki is a high school student with an unusual ability: he is able to see spirits and is frequently pursued by them. Watanuki stumbles upon an unusual shop. The shop’s owner Yuko tells him that she can grant any wish in exchange for payment. Somehow, Watanuki gets hoodwinked into working part-time in the shop to pay off his debt. Watanuki, with his friends, enter Yuko’s strange and fascinating world.
Overall, I enjoyed the series. The art is overall very pleasing to look at; it is highly stylized and angular, and that’s what makes it so cool. As a result, I enjoyed most of the character designs. The setting was rich, leading to interesting stories for each episode. The concepts behind each episode were strange and fascinating, and it was a lot of fun to figure out what the different problems represented. Also, it was neat to see Watanuki grow as a person, even if I did find him annoying some of the time.
My one real complaint was that the supporting characters–as well as sometimes Watanuki himself– seemed really flat. Himawari, Watanuk’s love interest, was so blatantly clueless that it drove me nuts. That being said, Yuko was intriguing as I devoted some part of my brain to figuring who/what she represented (and I have theories!), and Watanuki, I think, would be a sympathetic character to many teens. Fortunately, the lack of solid supporting characters wasn’t enough to completely detract from my enjoyment of the show, but I think that fact hurt the quality and kept it from being as amazing. That being said, I think xxxHolic is worth a viewing.