|Relations||Haruka Dōmeki (grandfather, deceased)|
|xxxHOLiC manga 13|
|xxxHOLiC episode 2|
|English||J. Michael Tatum|
Shizuka Dômeki is Kimihiro Watanuki's classmate and considered a rival by Watanuki. He is part of the school's kyūdō club and often participates (and tops) school competitions. Also because of his cool and calm composure he is very popular with the girls.
He lives in a shrine owned by his late grandfather, a priest in which during his childhood told him a lot of stories about folklore and shinto practices. However, despite his heritage, Dômeki has a nearly null ability of seeing ghosts or spirits, though he can still exorcise them. He does seem to be able to feel spiritual "pressure" and have a vague sense of their presence. One spirit he did see was the Lady in the Park that Watanuki often visited.
Dômeki has a pure or refreshing scent as noted by the Ame-Warashi. Kohane noted that Doumeki was a 'beautiful' or 'pretty' person, most likely referring to his spirit or aura. Naturally, Watanuki is bewildered (and rather agitated) by this. Dômeki cannot enter Yuuko's Store, the explanation why is later revealed on volume 8. His technique of exorcising spirits is by shooting them with an invisible arrow made of pure energy, as first revealed in volume 2.
Originally Dômeki could not see the spirits/ghosts that Watanuki could see (like that of the oden shop owner and the Ghost Girl who haunted a scary home) but after he shared both his blood and half his eye with Watanuki he was able to eventually see and experience what Watanuki goes through.
Dômeki's personality is a total opposite of Watanuki's. He has a cool, calm and often sarcastic demeanor. He barely speaks unless explaining folklore or asking Watanuki for impossible bento lunches (such as asking for food that is out of season or hard to find). He also has a deadpan sense of humor that is often dark and somewhat fatalistic. Much to the annoyance of Watanuki he seems to pop up everywhere, especially when Watanuki gets a chance to be with Himawari. He often replies in a one word phrase like "Hn" or "Oh". He is also very observant, and even though he does not show it he seems to be very protective of Watanuki, such as in Volume 5 where he stood for hours in the rain to make sure Watanuki was safe and in Volume 6 during the incident with the spirit in the park. Volume 9 of the manga through Dômeki's New Years dream we find out he looks like his late grandfather Haruka. His grandfather also knows more about Dômeki's past, and bears an uncanny resemblance to his grandson (though Watanuki points out that Haruka smiles much more).
Role in the story and relationship with Watanuki
It has been sighted multiple times by various characters that Watanuki will be linked to someone that will make a major contribution to his life. The clearest citation of this all is the phrase "someone he (Watanuki) will constantly fight with." This is believed to be Dômeki and was later confirmed. Dômeki is constantly seen throughout the series as an annoyance to Watanuki. Dômeki often has a sarcastic way of making Watanuki help out with his chores as well as make lunches for him. Yuuko has advised Watanuki to stay close to Dômeki, since his mere presence drives away evil spirits. Thus because of this Yuuko always asks Watanuki to bring Dômeki along his "assignments".
Even though Dômeki may seem sarcastic around Watanuki and is sometimes annoyed with his eccentricity, Dômeki does hold a large amount of concern for him- as shown in the following instances:
- Angel San arc: When Watanuki fell over the school rooftop, he caught him and held on to his hand despite the fact that his arm was injured.
- Volume 5 Hydrangea arc: Where he dug up a hole and waited for 10 hours in the rain for Watanuki to re-emerge from the Ajasai after Watanuki disappeared.
- Volume 5 Wings arc: In which he stood up for Watanuki against the irate girl and caught the box cutter she wielded in his fist before she could stab Watanuki.
- Volume 6 Lady in the Park: Or, also known as lady who lost her son. After much concern about Watanuki’s decline in health and rescuing him after he collapsed at Yuuko’s shop, Dômeki made a choice of shooting the Lady (who appeared transparent to him) with his arrow. Later on in the story, Yuuko explained that Dômeki did this because he did not want to lose Watanuki.
- Volume 7 - 8 Spider Grudge Arc: In volume 7, Dômeki invokes the wrath of a spider when he destroys its web and in revenge, his right eye is sewn over with a spider web. Upon learning that Dômeki will eventually lose the sight in that eye, Watanuki finds a way to transfer the spider’s grudge (making Watanuki lose his eye to save Dômeki's) to himself. In response, Dômeki becomes very agitated and concerned- even losing his self control by shouting at him and pushing him towards the wall. He starts researching ways to get Watanuki’s eye back. In volume 8 Watanuki goes to see the Spider Queen to save the Zashiki-Warashi but in the process he completely loses his right eye's sight. Dômeki then decides to give half of his right eye’s sight to Yuuko so she can transfer it to Watanuki. Currently, he and Watanuki sometimes share visions since they share half an eye. This is only one of the many situations in which the two lend each other a helping hand; it's obvious that their futures are tightly intertwined.
- Volume 9 Sakura Tree and Kohane in the rain Chapter: After Watanuki gives his umbrella to Kohane at the park, Dômeki appears shortly after, and in a very awkward yet touching moment, says that he had an umbrella ready for Watanuki so he wouldn't catch a cold. He also prepared ginger tea for him at his house.
- Volume 10 : In chapter 118-119 of the manga, he saw Watanuki falling from the schoolbuilding and was the one who brought him to Yuuko's shop. Because of this, he now became a client of Yuuko and was able to finally enter the shop, for in order to save Watanuki, he gave his blood as a replacement for the amount of blood Watanuki lost.
- Volume 11 Chapter 139: Where Kohane's "Mother" tried to hit Watanuki after she saw Kohane speaking and drinking tea with them. Dômeki was able to pull Watanuki out of the woman's way. Dômeki seems to be sensing something different about Kohane's mom and her violent nature. Also in this chapter Yuuko and Mokona stated that Dômeki and Watanuki are both changing in the inside (part of the eyes they both share and blood he donated) and that Dômeki will indeed be a part of the final " battle" or challenge that Watanuki has to face.
- Volume 12: The manga introduces Sakura entering the dream world in which she and Watanuki would meet. At these time Watanuki would just blank out from time to time, causing much concern to Dômeki especially after Kohane's mother splashed Watanuki with hot water, when Watanuki blacked out to dream state and barely got Haruka's warning before going conscious.
- Chapter 149-155: Domeki helps Watanuki as he tries to break into a television studio doing a live psychic broadcast involving Kohane. When Watanuki holds Kohane and shields her from her mother's blows, Domeki physically restrains her so she can stop hitting him. Later at Yuuko's store, he expresses concern over both Watanuki and Kohane's situations, repeatedly questioning Watanuki about his motives.
The relationship between Watanuki and Dômeki is growing stronger with Watanuki gradually beginning to accept Dômeki's presence. It is clear that Watanuki is of significance to Dômeki but as little is known of the latter's past beyond his interaction with Watanuki, it is unclear how or why Dômeki makes an effort to associate himself with Watanuki. He prefers to address Watanuki as simply 'hey', 'you', or 'idiot' and on the rare occasions where he does speak Watanuki's name he does so without any of the normal suffixes of '-kun' or '-san'.
Dômeki shows that he cares only through actions. Whenever Watanuki thanks him or, such as chapter 155 case, says that he wasn't worried because Dômeki would be there for him, Dômeki states how he has hit his head on something, avoiding giving an answer.
In chapter 159 Domeki reveals to Kohane why he stays with Watanuki. He tells of one day he saw Watanuki standing in the rain, holding a dead animal tenderly. He hears Watanuki say, "I'll die like this too. Alone." After telling Kohane this she asks him to take care of Watanuki and not to hesitate when the moment comes that he'll be needed.
In chapter 213, it is revealed that Domeki has long since passed away, and that his grandson has taken his place as Watanuki's assistant. Domeki carries the egg with him that was given to his grandfather. It is hinted that the egg's purpouse was to allow Watanuki to forget Yuuko, and that neither he nor his descendants could bring themselves to use it, because of their appreciation and respect for him.
Dômeki and Yûko's Shop
Early on in the manga Dômeki and Yuko Ichihara separately stated that Dômeki could not enter Yuko's store. This was finally explained in volume 8 of the manga; since he does not need her store, he does not see it. To Domeki, the area where the shop is supposedly standing is just a huge empty lot with old posts. In the lady in the park episode where Yuuko calls him to wait for Watanuki after he collapsed, Watanuki seemingly appears out of nowhere.
However in Volume 10 of the manga, after Watanuki's near death experience from falling, upon Yuuko's orders he sent Watanuki to Yuuko's shop. He was able to enter because this time he and Himawari needed to pay the price to Yuuko in order to save Watanuki.
- The kanji of Dômeki's given name, Shizuka ("静") means "quiet or calm" and is likely meant to reflect his character. In conversation the word is often used in a command that literally means "be quiet" (shizuka ni), something often said to Watanuki. Likewise, the kanji of his family name are individually read as "numerous" "eye" and "ghost or spirit" likely referring to the role of members of his family as exorcists as well as his ability to protect Watanuki from harm, as well as a possible inside reference to the incident when the spider took his eye.
- He is a heavy drinker.
- Dômeki's birthday is on March 3rd, which is also Hinamatsuri, a fact that Watanuki has once teased him on.
- In volume 9 when Watanuki first saw Dômeki's grandfather Haruka, his style of exorcising spirits was also shooting a bow and arrow.
- Archery is occasionally used in Shinto ceremonies; Dômeki happens to live in a Buddhist temple and his grandfather was a Shinto priest. The concept of exorcising spirits with a bow and arrows is not uncommon in pop culture in Japan; this idea appears in Rumiko Takahashi's Inuyasha, where two of the female leads (Kagome Higurashi and Kikyo) both employ arrows channeling their own spiritual power to cleanse and eliminate enemies.
- It is revealed in the OVA titled xxxHOLiC Rou Adayume that Domeki married Kohane. He hands Watanuki an invitation to their wedding, even though he knows that Watanuki cannot attend. He states that despite their upcoming union, the one Kohane really loves is Watanuki.