Japanese cover of xxxHolic manga, volume 1, published by Kodansha
Genre Supernatural, Horror, Psychological, Comedy
Written by CLAMP
Published by Kodansha
English publisher Tanoshimi (United Kingdom)
Del Rey Manga (United States)
Kodansha USAWestern reissues
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Young Magazine (2003–2010)
Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine (2010–2011)
Original run 2003February 9, 2011
Volumes 19 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by Tsutomu Mizushima
Produced by Toru Kawaguchi
Shuichi Machida
Junji Seki
Tetsuya Watanabe
Tsuyoshi Yoshida
Nanase Ohkawa
Written by Nanase Ohkawa
Michiko Yokote
Music by S.E.N.S. Project
Studio Production I.G
Licensed by Madman Entertainment (Australia)
Manga Entertainment (United Kingdom)
Funimation Entertainment (United States)
Network Tokyo Broadcasting System
English network Animax Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan)
FUNimation Channel (United States)
Original run April 6, 2006September 28, 2006
Episodes 24 (List of episodes)
ANOTHERHOLiC Landolt-Ring Aerosol
Written by Nisio Isin
Illustrated by Clamp
Published by Kodansha
English publisher Del Rey Manga (United States)
Published August 1, 2006
Anime television series
xxxHolic: Kei
Written by Nanase Ohkawa
Michiko Yokote
Studio Production I.G
Network Tokyo Broadcasting System
Original run April 3, 2008June 26, 2008
Episodes 13 (List of episodes)
Original video animation
xxxHolic: Shunmuki
Directed by Tsutomu Mizushima
Written by Nanase Ohkawa
Studio Production I.G
Original run February 17, 2009June 23, 2009
Runtime 27 minutes
Episodes 2 (List of episodes)
Original video animation
xxxHolic: Rō
Directed by Tsutomu Mizushima
Written by Nanase Ohkawa
Studio Production I.G
Released April 23, 2010
Runtime 45 minutes
Original video animation
xxxHolic: Rō Adayume
Directed by Tsutomu Mizushima
Written by Nanase Ohkawa
Music by S.E.N.S.
Studio Production I.G
Released March 9, 2011
Runtime 28 minutes
xxxHolic: Rei
Written by CLAMP
Published by Kodansha
English publisher Kodansha USA
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Young Magazine (2003–2010)
Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine (2010–2011)
Original run March 13, 2013Ongoing
Volumes 1
xxxHolic: A Midsummer Night's Dream

xxxHolic (xxxホリック, Horikku), pronounced holic, is a seinen manga series planned and presented by Clamp. It has been serialized in Kodansha's Young Magazine periodically since 2003 and published in volumes under the KC Deluxe label. It is currently published in the United States by Del Rey Manga.

The animated movie xxxHolic: A Midsummer Night's Dream was released in Japan on August 20 2005. The DVD of the movie was released on November 24 2006 and a TV animation series began airing on TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System) on April 6,2006 in Japan. Both the movie and TV series have been licensed by FUNimation for the USA. A second season for the TV animation series entitled xxxHolic: Kei started airing on April 3 2008.

Similar to the announcement in its sister publication Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle months earlier, on April 28, 2008, in chapter 157 prior to beginning a five week hiatus, it was announced that xxxHolic is approaching its conclusion.

Clamp have returned to the xxxHOLiC title with a new title named xxxHOLiC: Rei.

Plot summary

Kimihiro Watanuki is a high school student plagued by yōkai, spirits with a strong attraction to him. The spirits are invisible to others and encounters with them are extremely troublesome. When he stumbles into a shop that grants wishes, however, events in his life promise to become more unusual.

The shop is owned by Yūko Ichihara, a mysterious and beautiful witch of many names and esoteric renown. For a price, she offers to grant Watanuki's wish to be rid of the spirits. The price, according to Yūko, must be of equal value and so, as payment, he temporarily becomes Yūko's part-time employee.

Watanuki's job consists of small errands dealing with the supernatural and household chores. His love interest, Himawari Kunogi, and "rival," Shizuka Dōmeki, occasionally join him in his work as per Yūko's request. The three become increasingly close despite Watanuki's annoyances with Dōmeki.


Kimihiro Watanuki (四月一日 君尋 Watanuki Kimihiro) is a typical high-school student living on his own. He is down-to-earth and selfless, but also very irritable, especially when it comes to Yūko's lavish demands and Dōmeki's stoic attitude. Watanuki begins working for Yūko in exchange for the fulfillment of his wish: to never see spirits again. 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. Apart from Dōmeki and Himawari, Watanuki does not seem to have any friends at school; in fact, Yūko teases him about being unpopular.

Yūko Ichihara (壱原 侑子 Ichihara Yūko) is a very powerful witch, mostly known for her ability to send people to other dimensions and times, and for her ability to grant any wish in exchange for an equal cost. She knows many different people, including Clow Reed together with whom she created the Mokonas. Despite her seemingly immature and free-spirited attitude, Yūko is also sage-like and serious when the time calls for it.

Shizuka Dōmeki (百目鬼 静 Dōmeki Shizuka) is Watanuki's classmate and one-sided rival. He is part of the school's archery club and often participates in school competitions. He lives in a shrine owned by his late grandfather. Dōmeki's personality sharply contrasts with Watanuki's, as he is calm and often sarcastic. Dōmeki has the ability to rid evil spirits and be immune to most curses, mostly due to his ancestry and how his grandfather taught and raised him in a temple.

Himawari Kunogi (九軒 ひまわり Kunogi Himawari) is Watanuki's main love interest. She is a kind and caring girl, but inadvertently brings bad luck to everyone she comes into contact with, with the exception of her parents and Dōmeki.



A movie adaptation titled xxxHolic: A Midsummer Night's Dream (劇場版 xxxHOLiC 真夏ノ夜ノ夢, Gekijōban Horikku: Manatsu no Yoru no Yume) premiered on August 20, 2005. The subtitle is a reference to William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.


Yūko Ichihara, as seen in a screenshot from the movie.

In the film, Yūko receives a request from a woman to help her back into her mansion which for some reason does not allow her to enter. Yūko says since Watanuki was the one who brought the client to her, Watanuki should be the one to grant her wish, and therefore brought along. Dōmeki is also brought along to help and Yūko attends not only to grant her client's wish but also because she is invited to the mansion where many famous collectors were also invited with the same letter. Inside the mansion are strange rooms and mysterious letters telling its guests what do to in place of a host. Though the collectors think up the theory of a mysterious auction being held like in an urban legend, it becomes apparent that something more sinister and mysterious going on. One after another, each collector disappears and a number of other strange occurrences happen during the night. The real reasons behind the invitations must be discovered in order for Yūko and company to get to the bottom of this mystery.

The film was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Annecy International Animated Film Festival 2006 in the Feature Films category with other four nominees: Asterix and the Vikings, Origin: Spirits of the Past, Wallace and Gromit, and the award winner, Renaissance.

TV series

The first season of TV anime adaptation of xxxHolic began airing on TBS on April 6, 2006 in Japan and ended on September 28, 2006, with 24 episodes in total. Both the movie and the anime series are directed by Tsutomu Mizushima. Ageha Ohkawa, Clamp's director and main scriptwriter, is executive producer of the TV series. Due to differing studios licensed for the anime, the plot is not as complete as the manga, mainly with the Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle and Cardcaptor Sakura references being removed (though Sakura's staff from CCS and Fay's staff from Tsubasa are seen in episode 18 when Watanuki is in the storage room, and Fay's staff is also seen in Episode 8 being used as a rug beater).

The second season, xxxHolic: Kei (xxxHOLiC◆継, Horikku - Kei), began airing on TBS on April 3, 2008 in Japan and ended on June 26, 2008, with 13 episodes in total. "Kei", (継, けい / ケイ) in Japanese, means "sequel" here. The main staff and cast remains the same as in the first season.[1]. In Chapter 154 of the manga release, there is a section offering readers preview of the second season. It shows episodes correspond to both the anime and its manga arc counterparts like the Spider Grudge arc, Kohane Tsuyuri and Haruka.

The first season of the xxxHOLiC anime was loyal to the manga time line, whereas xxxHOLiC Kei had episodes that concentrated on the backgrounds of some of the smaller arcs in the xxxHOLiC manga. The most notable change that came from xxxHOLiC Kei and its comparison to the manga timeline is the Kohane Tsuyuri arc, as she was introduced earlier in the anime and she was able to enter Yuko's shop without having a wish. Episode 10 of the anime changed and closed the Kohane arc in which Kohane was able to resolve her differences with her mother on her own while in the manga Kohane's role is still active to the ongoing series.

As connections between Tsubasa Chronicles was seen in the last series. In episode 7 of xxxHoLiC Kei, connections with the Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations OVA series were shown with the water containers, the same ones used to fill the underground reservoir in the Tokyo Government Building. As Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations is the arc to the next season of Tsubasa Chronicles.


xxxHolic: Another Holic Landolt-Ring Aerosol, a novel based on the series and written by Nisio Isin, was published in Japan in August 2006. The first chapter of the novel formed the basis for episode 17 of the anime. The novel includes original xxxholic artwork by CLAMP. Del Rey have announced that they will be publishing the novel in English October 14, 2008.[2]



Because xxxHolic partly serves to unite Clamp's works together, some recurring themes from their previous works are prominently featured.

Watanuki's growth and change caused by his experiences from meeting one person is a recurring theme. According to a fortune teller in volume 2, Yūko is the one that will change Watanuki. However, it is implied that he will be linked to both Yūko and Dōmeki and that all their connections were foreseen.

Recently in the story, adding to the theme of change, there is a reference to X/1999, as Yuuko mentions something similar to what Kakyou Kuzuki says in a certain part of the story: "To change the world, you have to change yourself".

One such theme is the concept of hitsuzen (必然), first introduced by Yūko. Hitsuzen has no direct translation into English (which is why Del Rey has opted to keep the Japanese term whenever it appears in Tsubasa or xxxHolic), but can be interpreted as referring to "inevitability", destiny, or fate.

Interpreting hitsuzen as "fate" is not inaccurate, but in the context of the story, "fate" is implied as something that is immutable and definite, giving the idea that whoever is bound by fate is nothing more than its puppet. Instead, hitsuzen is the idea that an action is inevitable because without it, other related events in the future could not happen. Therefore all decisions and actions are related, and there can be no coincidence, only hitsuzen.

Hitsuzen has been mentioned in Cardcaptor Sakura by Kaho Mizuki as she remarks that "there are no coincidences, only hitsuzen".[3] Other English translations of the remark have rendered hitsuzen as "inevitability". It could also be interpreted as a form of determinism or a more pro-active form of the Butterfly Effect concept. More probably it might be an amalgam of those concepts.

Another theme present in xxxHolic and other Clamp works can be observed in the first volume of the series. When Watanuki introduces himself to Yūko, he gives her his real name as a common courtesy. Because his name is also an obvious reference to the date of his birth (April 1, shared by Cardcaptor Sakura's Sakura Kinomoto, the incarnations of herself and Syaoran in Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle), he has given her two key bits of information that will inevitably give someone the power to discover everything about him (based on his birthday) and control his destiny (from his name).

This theme has previously appeared in Tokyo Babylon, where Subaru Sumeragi made a similar mistake revealing his true birthdate to Seishirō Sakurazuka. It can also be noted when "Syaoran" meets Yuko the scene is amost identical to her meeting with Watanuki (Yuko's outfit, Maro and Moro's behaviour etc) except in that "Syaoran" gives a fake name.

Relation to other series

Clamp related

One major factor in xxxHolic is the connections between Clamp's other manga; many of Clamp's characters outside of xxxHolic appear in this manga. In Chapter 2, Yūko tells Watanuki about a girl living in this world with her boyfriend, Sakura Kinomoto, the protagonist of Cardcaptor Sakura. In the 12th and chapter, characters from Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, one of Clamp's other series, make their first appearance in the story. xxxHolic character Yūko Ichihara likewise appears in a corresponding chapter of Tsubasa. In the 13th chapter, Watanuki meets Mokona which Yuuko says was created as a model using the original Mokona from Magic Knight Rayearth. In Chapter 8, when Watanuki goes to a drug store, he meets Kazahaya and Rikuo, characters from Legal Drug. A fortune teller friend of Yuuko's appears in Kobato and also appears in Chapter 16 of xxxHolic, though the old lady has a bigger significance in xxxHolic. In addition, various items, like headphones resembling Persocom ears (from Chobits), or Sakura's wand from Cardcaptor Sakura in Chapter 167, and also the first book Chi reads in chobits appear. The link between other series is one of the focal points of xxxHolic, and the two series Tsubasa and xxxHolic are intimately linked and frequently crossed over.

Additionally Yuuko makes references to other characters from different works of Clamp but rarely calls them by name.

Clamp has stated that Tsubasa and xxxHolic are meant to tie all of their works together, yet still stand alone as their own stories.

Non-Clamp related

Other, non-Clamp anime and manga series are often referenced by various characters, usually Yūko. These works tend to be older anime.

In Manga

In chapter 11, she uses a marker to write Zantetsuken (The Sword That Cuts Iron) on a baseball bat. She then goes through a bunch of action poses and cuts a laptop ending with Goemon Ishikawa's trademark phrase from Lupin III by Monkey Punch. Other references include Urusei Yatsura by Rumiko Takahashi]] in chapter 46, etc.

In Animation

In Episode 1 of the 2nd season anime of xxxHolic, xxxHolic Kei, Yūko is seen reading an issue of Ōkiku Furikabutte (おおきく振りかぶって), a baseball manga, earlier in that episode when they were watching Baseball the player had the same uniform as the characters of that manga. There were two common points between two animation. This Baseball manga was published by the Kodansha which was the publisher of xxxHOLiC. At the same time the director of two animation, Ōkiku Furikabutte and xxxHOLiC, was the same person, Tsutomu Mizushima (水島努).

In Episode 3 Maru and Moro were playing with a Tachikoma plamo, a spider-like mecha from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex while the other played with Yamamoto battleship plamo, both built by Yūko and company while waiting for Watanuki to return. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and xxxHolic anime franchise are both under Production I.G.

xxxHolic Kei episode 4, Yuuko is seen holding a copy of Weekly Young Magazine (In which the xxxHolic manga is serialized).



Several fanbooks have been released in Japan.

  • 劇場版xxxHOLiC OFFICIAL FANBOOK (Gekijōban xxxHOLiC OFFICIAL FANBOOK) (ISBN 9784063720495) Release date: August 17, 2005
  • TV Animation xxxHOLiC Extra Official Guide (ISBN 9784063721515) Release date: May 17, 2006
  • XXXHOLiC読本 新版 (xxxHOLiC Shinpan Dokuhon) (ISBN 9784063722260) Release date: November 17, 2006


A game adaptation by Marvelous Interactive was released for PlayStation 2 in Japan on August 9 2007, named xxxHolic: Watanuki no Izayoi Sowa (xxxHOLiC 四月一日の十六夜草話) (while written as "shigatsu tsuitachi", it is pronounced "Watanuki")

Story Arcs

xxxHolic contains many different internal stories. These are referred to as story arcs. These arcs are attributed and used throughout all of Clamp's various anime and manga, such as Tokyo Babylon.


  1. Production I.G, Release Info "xxxHolic second season announced!", August 17, 2007
  2. Del Rey announces xxxHolic novel
  3. Toya: There are no coincidences... Mizuki:...Only "hitsuzen." Cardcaptor Sakura, Episode 44