"There is no such thing as coincidence in this world—there is only inevitability."
Kimihiro Watanuki is a high school student who is continually plagued by supernatural monsters and spirits which are magically attracted to him, which are invisible to everyone but himself, and usually try to devour him. One day, while running away from and nearly being eaten by some spirits, he finds a mysterious shop that grants wishes.The shop is owned by the Witch of the Dimensions, although she has been known by many other names—even Yuuko Ichihara, the name she gives Watanuki, is only a pseudonym. She offers to grant his wish to be rid of his ability to see spirits, but a price of equal value must be paid. Thus, Watanuki becomes a "part-time worker", which usually involves performing housework and odd jobs for Yuuko, until he has done enough work for his wish to be granted.Chapters/episodes usually involve a customer coming into the shop and asking for their wish to be granted by Yuuko, having usually negative or dubious results, or they involve some (usually risky) task that Yuuko gives Watanuki which requires his ability to see spirits. However, there is also an overarching plotline regarding a set of dark conspiracies and prophecies that becomes increasingly important in the later volumes.One of the main themes in ×××HOLiC is the concept of hitsuzen—probably best translated as "inevitability" or "inevitable fate" (although what is inevitable is influenced by your mindset and past choices, this is more like a slightly fatalistic Chaos Butterfly than the Western concept of destiny)—which affects many of the characters' actions throughout the story. Yuuko told Watanuki when they first met that it was hitsuzen.The Anime has been uploaded in both dub and subtitle formats on Funimation's video portal.This is a CLAMP work and is the darker and more psychologically-driven companion to CLAMP's Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. There are also many crossovers with other CLAMP works within the story besides Tsubasa. The anime has two seasons, ×××HOLiC with 24 episodes (released in English by Funimation), and ×××HOLiC: Kei with 13. Airing on a different channel than Tsubasa, most references to it were removed from the anime. There has also been a feature-length movie (A Midsummer Night's Dream) and a 2-part OAD series, ×××HOLiC: Shunmuki and another OAD, unrelated to the plot of the first one, called ×××HOLiC: Rou.The manga has been completed, with 213 chapters in all. A sequel series titled xxxHOLiC: Rei has started serializing since March 2013.The name is pronounced "holic", by the way. The "×××" basically denotes "insert something here", along the lines of "___holic" in English. It has nothing to do with being addicted to porn.
Himawari, if the fact that she gets married to someone else is any indication, though in a subversion it seems Watanuki both knows and supports her decision, and they both seem to still hold each other dear.
Also worth mentioning, despite the fact their object of affection, Watanuki, never seemed to be completely aware of their feelings and therefore never obligated either of them to "wait for him", is that in the long run, Doumeki and Kohane end up deciding to marry one another.
Adaptation Dye-Job: The Ame-Warashi, being a rain spirit, has blue hair in the manga. In the anime, she has red hair. This is later corrected in the OVA's.
Adorkable: Watanuki before Yuuko's death. The ways he expresses himself tend to be overly-exaggerated as well as hilarious, making him even funnier as well as cute. The adorkableness adds even more with Todd Haberkorn playing him in the English dub.
The Ageless: Yuuko. The shop apparently conveys immortality on the owner, being outside the normal flow of space-time. When he takes over the shop, Watanuki specifically states that he will cease to age. He also clearly states that he will still eventually die, but will have a much longer lifespan.
Air Guitar: Featuring Maru, Moro, and Larg in the second ending (Kagerou).
Anguished Declaration Of Importance: Watanuki goes into near-hysterics when he discovers Yuuko's dying, and starts babbling about how no one else should have the right to decide the fate of "someone who's so important to me".
Aside Glance: Yuuko tends to give these to the audience in the manga. This is one of several traits that Watanuki adopts from Yuuko after taking over the shop.
Become a Real Boy: In a sense. It turns out the whole point of a good portion of this series was for Watanuki to connect with enough people and go through enough Character Development to stabilize his unnatural, distortion-induced existence.
Bishōnen: It's CLAMP. Watanuki might qualify as a manga version of Hollywood Homely, since he's much less popular with (human) girls than Doumeki.
Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Both women who appear in the first scenario of Rei. Despite being friends to each other, behind the other's back they say bad things and feel only spite for the other, culminating in one's boyfriend leaving her for the other and then the women blame each other for it. They both buy a cursed strap off the internet with the intention of it killing the other, with the one who had not suffered since the straps were bought being the one to die.
Blind Without 'Em: Averted. After receiving half of Doumeki's right eye, Watanuki's vision in that eye is better than what it started with and so wearing glasses all the time isn't necessary. He even spends nearly three entire volumes without any glasses. Despite this, he continues to compulsively wear them once he acquires a new pair.
Bloody Horror: In one story a woman makes a wish on a monkey paw and inadvertently causes a man to fall in front of a moving train. His blood sprays onto the platform and onto her shoes.
Butt Monkey: Watanuki. The poor guy never seems to catch much of a break, does he?
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Yuuko. Kiiiinda crazy for being entrusted with keeping time and space in working order. But when she gets serious, she gets serious, to the point that some people wonder if the above is an act.
Can't Stand Them, Can't Live Without Them: Watanuki normally seems to be pretty annoyed with Yuuko, constantly griping about the sheer amount of inane tasks she makes him put up with and about how troublesome she can be. But then Yuuko dies, and we see just how much he breaks because of it. He's so emotionally torn-up by the development he makes a pact to wait for her to return for as long as it takes, without aging and without being able to leave the shop. His personality also changes drastically as he takes on some of her characteristics, such as smoking her pipe and her taste in clothes, basically in attempt to keep whatever part of her he can alive. Doumeki, of course, is less than pleased...
Cat Girl: Subverted twice and played with a bit. The Neko-Musume is the traditional Japanese catgirl—a cat spirit that may take human form and retain some feline qualities, such as cat eyes and agility. Similarly, the shamisen is a cat that takes on the form of a human, only retaining her eyes. On the other paw, Watanuki himself has been pictured with cat ears and a tail a few times, and Himawari thinks of him as a cat so often that she bought him an apron with an angry cat on it for his birthday. This makes the later chapters (involving Doumeki's ideas on the "mating habits of cats") all the more interesting. Although, ironically, Watanuki is often symbolically represented by a bird.
Character Witness: The fox kid from the oden cart vouches for Watanuki in the Demon Parade.
Cheshire Cat Grin: Yuuko makes one of these all the time, and if she's not, it's a bad sign.
The Tube seen at the beginning of Tsubasa is in Yuuko's store room next to Fai's tattoo and Kurogane's sword. It contains people, whose identities are spoilers. Slightly more subtly is what seems to be a replica of Sakura's staff, the existence of which ends up tying into the story in a big way later.
Doumeki's egg provides a variation of this trope—we are told, specifically, that the egg given to him by Yuuko will be useful at some point. We find out in the last chapter that its apparent purpose is to erase Watanuki's memories of Yuuko once he's ready to let go. If he ever is, that is.
Clap Your Hands If You Believe: The Yamainu explains to Watanuki in Rei that Gods will dissipate when they are no longer needed. Thanks to Watanuki's offering, he gets the power necessary to grow wings in order to fly to a place where he is needed, but has to leave his wife Yosuzume behind.
Clingy Jealous Girl: Well, Clingy Jealous Fox more accurately, but what Mugetsu lacks in semantics, he/she makes up for in sheer clinginess.
Cloning Blues: The real source of all of Watanuki's troubles. Yes, all of them. Well, most, anyway. The ones unrelated to romantic troubles, all right?
The Collector of the Strange: Not only does the movie take place at a gathering of strange collectors, but it turns out the man throwing the party collects collectors themselves.
Compulsory School Age: Subverted. Watanuki, after Yuuko's death, decided to take over the shop, and indicated when this trope was invoked by Doumeki that he would no longer be attending.
Contemptible Cover: In Japanese, the title is fairly innocuous. In English it sounds like an addiction to pornography.
The leads from Drug & Drop also make an appearance when Watanuki is sent to the Green Drugstore to buy Yuuko a hangover cure. And the leads from Drug & Drop have wound up going to the wish shop in their own series, though now with Watanuki as the shopkeeper. Watanuki himself indicates that the two respective stores had done business together before. It seems further suggested that Drug & Drop is taking place simultaneously with (but independently of) xxxHOLiC. For example: the urn used by Watanuki to visit the Zashiki-Warashi is the same urn stolen by Kazahaya and Rikuo. Yuuko explains that it was a "special order from the Anything Store".
In a studio in-joke, Maru and Moro can be seen playing with Tachikomas in the second episode of Kei, as Production I.G. animated both shows.
The manga tells one side of the story; the other half is told by Tsubasa, which is in the same continuity as CLAMP's other fantasy-setting series, unifying both major genres of their work into a single continuity. The protagonists are even technically the same person.
Yuuko mentions in the first volume that she's known the Sumeragi twins from when they were very young. Whether they're the same people or alternate selves isn't clarified.
Yuuko makes Watanuki wear a headset shaped like PersoCom ears in the third episode of the anime. She and Mokona also don them at one point.
Cool Big Sis: Yuuko's manner of attitude and looks fits this very well. Extra points in that she seems to be having some Unresolved Sexual Tension with Watanuki...especially after the recent chapters.
Creepy Twins: Moro and Maru, Yuuko's two assistants at the shop. It's revealed early on that they have no souls, and later that they keep the shop grounded between dimensions.
Crossover: The overarching plot is closely tied to that of Tsubasa, with some major events occurring in both series, and objects and characters moving back and forth through the shop and the Mokonas.
Dead All Along: A few people. Watanuki's not always been too good at telling the difference.
Doumeki, and boy does he snark. It also helps that Watanuki makes such delectable Snark Bait.
Yuuko's pretty snarky herself.
Deal with the Devil: Because Yuuko requires equal payment to fulfill the wish, many of the prices seem very difficult or problematic. Also, if someone reneges on their payment, the results tend to be rather nasty. Example — One customer`s payment is that she must never be photographed, video-taped, etc. again in her life. Logically, that would be a very difficult thing to conform to. If she ever is, her crime will be exposed for all to see. It's likely she was a murderer, and the punishment for not adhering to the price would be her exposure as one to the public, so she deserved this.
Disproportionate Retribution: When Domeki destroys a spider's web while cleaning, the spider destroys his right eye. A spider can spin a web in an hour, and does so every day. Humans, with a lifespan of decades, can't regenerate eyeballs—from which we get the vast majority of our sensory input and of which we only have two—at all. Conclusion: spiders are jerks.
Distant Finale: The final chapter is (basically) Watanuki and Doumeki hanging out, except that it's Doumeki's grandson (who still has that egg), and they're talking about how a dream of Yuuko has informed Watanuki that it's safe to leave the shop. Watanuki still chooses to stay, waiting. The closing line states he waited as long as it took and they certainly met Yuuko again. How? It doesn't explain, until then he had a "unique happiness".
Divine Date: One between Yosuzume and the Mountain God Yamainu. Due to the lack of belief he has to leave her behind or disappear.
Downer Ending: Everyone we knew from the series is dead but Watanuki, who is waiting eternally to meet Yuuko again, even though he knows he'll probably never see the "true" Yuuko ever again, and Doumeki's descendant is holding onto an item that will allow Watanuki to forget her entirely when he's deemed ready. While everyone being dead doesn't necessarily have to be such a downer, considering they probably lived out their lives like normal people should. It is however a downer knowing that they all inevitably had to march on with the flow of time, while Watanuki remains unchanging.
Dream Sequence: The beginning of volume 9 starts with a new year In-Universe and with Watanuki's first dream: A giant Mokona with eggplant feet trampling him to death... well Himawari seemed amused at least.
The Dulcinea Effect: Watanuki tends to risk his life and go through a lot of trouble for pretty girls he just met.
Emotionless Girl: Kohane displays very little reaction to how badly people treat her. All this is, of course, building up to a major Cry Cute moment when she reveals herself to be Not So Stoic after all.
Equivalent Exchange: How Yuuko grants wishes; the price must be neither too low nor too high for the wish involved. This often requires some action to get wish and price to line up, especially since Yuuko tries to avoid wishes and prices equivalent to a human life. That would involve taking on the spiritual burden of murder. There are hints that Yuuko has to operate in this fashion in every instance of her life, considering that on Watanuki's birthday she concedes that she can't give him anything other than wishing him well, as "the only thing that can be given freely are feelings".
This has been confirmed, Recently, with Watanuki becoming the owner of the shop, several people commented on Watanuki being injured after customers. Eventually, it's more or less explained to be that this is due to Watanuki being unaccustomed to the job an not entirely sure of what to ask from customers, because if the shopkeeper asks for a payment that is either too low or too high, he or she is injured to compensate.
Even the Guys Want Him: Kimihiro Watanuki. Remember the Love Triangle he thought he was in? Well... he is interested in Himawari Kunogi and she kinda likes him back, but it turns out his "love rival" Shizuka Doumeki isn't interested in Himawari like he believed, but in Watanukihimself.
Oh, and you know Zashiki Warashi, that cute girl that's completely shy and has a huge crush on Watanuki? "She" might not actually be a she. According to a CLAMP interview where they say that her being female is not necessarily the case. Ame-warashi usually says "this child" when referring to Zashiki Warashi instead of actually using a gender; in CLAMP works, other-worldly types are typically without gender (Wish, Cardcaptor Sakura).
Should be noted that at no point has any male character, not even Doumeki himself, actually explicitly expressed romantic interest in Watanuki (everything is inferred based on actions and reactions), only some characters, like Yuuko, seem hellbent on creating a Self Fulfilling Prophecy. This is not The Other Wiki but rampant speculation actually has it's own page.
Even Himawari's husband likes Watanuki — his cooking, anyway, which isn't too surprising.
Everyone Can See It: Everyone except Watanuki, including a fortuneteller, his boss, and even the girl he has a crush on, seems to think that he and Doumeki get along very well. In fact the two of them are inherently perfect compliments of each other because while Watanuki attracts spirits and supernatural powers, Doumeki repels them. Even when this is brought to his attention Watanuki still steadfastly wants to either deny or ignore it.
Evil Smells Bad: Watanuki came across some situations like this, but he's the only one who can sense it. One example is at Himawari's friend's school where the game, Angel, is taking place. Doumeki can't smell it. It's like some sort of spiritual stench that only Watanuki can smell, and it got worse as he got closer to the threat taking hold.
Yuuko is not the first Mysterious Woman with magic powers created by CLAMP to use the phrase "there are no coincidences, only inevitabilities" and provide cryptic advice and guidance to major characters. That honor goes to Kaho Mizuki.
Since Yuuko's death, Watanuki has been actively trying to be a Distaff Counterpart to her, adopting a mysterious demeanor similar to hers and occasionally speaking in cryptic phrases. He's apparently even developed a drug addiction just to get that "lazily smoking" look right.
As time wears on he's starting to become a strange combination expy of not only Yuuko, but also Clow Reed, aka the other all-powerful magician who set the plot in motion, and/or Eriol Hiiragizawa, Clow's reincarnation. Watanuki already physically resembled the latter two, but now he's using their magic circle and his wardrobe's expanded to include clothes similar to the ones they wore. His greatest wish also mirror's Clow's, which is that Yuuko continue to exist. Of course, unlike Clow who literally made Yuuko unable to die, Watanuki's wish is that he one day meet her again.
The most recent chapter reveals that Watanuki has been at the shop for more than a hundred years, though the readers aren't aware of this due to his and Doumeki's seemingly never aging. It turns out that the 'Doumeki' at this point is actually the great-grandson of Shizuka Doumeki who had been Watanuki's friend, and they look EXACTLY like each other. It is also implied that Watanuki didn't notice the Doumekis switching up between generations because of how much they look like each other. (Watanuki's thought that it might be a fact of their family implies the Doumeki line will just continue produce more expies.)
From The Latin Intro Ducere: Watanuki's explanation of "admiration": Watanuki does this to a woman, explaining that she doesn't love Doumeki, only admires him. Admiration, from Latin, Ad - On and Mirare - being amazed. At least, that's how it goes in Portuguese. He then proceeds to explain the Japanese etymology, and proceeds to use said little etymology lesson to make his point.
Gambit Pileup: Fei Wong's gambits interact with Yuuko and Clow's gambits, and both "Syaoran" ( aka Male Tsubasa and Card Captor Sakura try their hand at it at least once or twice.
Doumeki's given name, Shizuka, is more often a girl's name. (He was even dressed in very girly kimonos as a young child, so when Watanuki stumbles on photos of this, he is endlessly amused.)
His grandfather Haruka also has a rather ambiguous name.
Generation Xerox: In the xerox sense. Doumeki is practically the spitting image of his grandfather, Haruka, and both purify using bows. Except Haruka smiles more often and has a more amiable personality than his grandson. And as of chapter 213, Doumeki's great-grandson is a spitting image of him, as Watanuki points out.
The Glasses Come Off: The frequency at which Watanuki is seen without his glasses is directly proportionate to how serious the story arc is until he loses them in the Dreamscape, only to get them back after making a fateful decision. Usually he appears without glasses in the Dreamscape or when recuperating from serious injury.
The Glomp: Mugetsu has absolutely no concept of Watanuki's personal space.
Watanuki does this fairly frequently, and is willing to do so whether its for his friends, acquaintances, Yuuko's customers, or even the supernatural beings he encounters. A major example is when he gives up the sight in right eye not once, but twice, first for Doumeki and then again for good for the Zashiki-Warashi. He actually has to be called out on the fact he's far too willing to let himself be harmed for the sake of others.
Doumeki for Watanuki, many, many times. Notable examples include giving up half of his right eye to restore Watanuki's aforementioned lost sight and what was probably several pints of blood to replenish Watanuki's after he fell from a second story window.
Himawari also eventually pays her own price for Watanuki's sake, taking on all the scars Watanuki would've otherwise received from the injuries he sustained from the falling-out-the-window escapade herself, in part because it was her Doom Magnet powers that influenced the accident to occur in the first place.
Haruka and Shizuka Doumeki look exactly like each other, except that Haruka smiles. This actually saves Watanuki's life once. Haruka says that he was only able to enter the death-dream and pull Watanuki back from the brink because he looks exactly like his grandson.
And now Doumeki's great-grandson looks identical to Haruka, and therefore Doumeki by extension... Still doesn't smile though.
Also, Watanuki looks almost exactly like what you'd expect a young version of his great (or however many generations down)-grandfather, Clow Reed to look like, and the resemblance only grows stronger as Watanuki settles into his own role as a magic practitioner. Which is odd, considering that neither his father nor his (what we shall for lack of a better term call) twin brother look anything like Clow. Apparently Watanuki was made to look like Clow Reed as said by Fei Wang Reed in one chapter. Why, we don't know. And as of Chapter 204, Watanuki receives Clow's glasses, or at least an identical-looking pair.
I Hate Past Me: A very mild case, but in one OVA, set after quite some time has passed since Watanuki took over the shop, he views some of Doumeki's memories which of course include some of Watanuki's old over-the-top spazzing, and Watanuki comments "Was I really that annoying?"
I Know Your True Name: A genuine fortune teller can read a person's fate and gain power over them knowing only their true name and their birthday. Watanuki thoughtlessly reveals both in the first chapter, giving Yuuko the ability to divine his wish and bind him to her service. Although as it turns out, despite what he thought, the name "Watanuki" wasn't actually his real name at all. She, on the other hand, always uses the alias 'Ichihara Yuuko' and, well, it's not polite to ask a lady's age, now is it?
Ill Boy: Watanuki at times. He has a tendency to wind up in situations where he's hurt/sick/in dire need of bed rest. Many of which are caused by his Chronic Hero Syndrome putting him in harms way. It's even lampshaded by Yuuko after he ends up in bed again when the last time was only two volumes before.
Yuuko: This is becoming something of a pattern recently.
Important Haircut: She doesn't cut her hair, but Himawari later changes her default hairstyle so that she can hide the scars she received as the price to save Watanuki's life.
Informed Ability: Yuuko seems to be like this at first; we're told that she's an immensely powerful sorceress, but what little magic she does onscreen isn't very impressive. This is justified by her minimalist 'you-get-what-you-pay-for' approach to granting wishes; most of the time, the wishes she grants simply don't warrant spectacular magic. This is averted entirely in later volumes, when she breaks out the big guns, and it is also revealed that some very powerful magic has been hiding in plain sight from the very first chapter.
This trope is stronger in the anime adaptation than in the manga, as the anime leaves out the magic Yuuko performs for the characters of Tsubasa. Admittedly, much of the real fireworks are still offscreen, but you see truly magical results more often in Tsubasa.
Innocent Innuendo: The opening to one volume has Watanuki asking Yuuko if she's sure about something, and her replying that she is and wants him to "give it to her", all looking very suggestive. They're playing baseball, of course, and Watanuki's about to pitch the ball to her.
Watanuki and Kohane. Possibly Watanuki and Haruka too, though Haruka is dead.
Also with Yuuko, see the comment on Haruka.
Chapter 213 states that the Doumeki at that point is actually Shizuka Doumeki's great-grandson, and Watanuki himself wasn't fully aware of the time that passed, implying that after Shizuka, his son, grandson, and now great-grandson visited Watanuki in Shizuka Doumeki's place.
Watanuki turns out to be an unusual case. His magically induced amnesia made him forget things like good chunks of his childhood beyond their basic facts and even his parents' names. It's also not only partially anterograde (for example, he can't remember the taste of anything he eats, or even remember if he ate it), but it's also done in such a way that he didn't even notice he had it for quite some time. The discovery gave him a tomato-related nervous breakdown.
Later, everyone except close friends and relations forget who Yuuko is when the stopped pocket of time she resides in starts moving again and the universe rewrites itself to be as if she'd died when she was intended to. Actually, one reason why Watanuki seems to develop such a severe obsession with her that he'd adopt her mannerisms and wear her clothes, is because he fears that if he doesn't keep her belongings near him, one day he'll start to forget her too. Which makes the fact that the apparent purpose of the egg Doumeki was given to hold onto is to erase Watanuki's memories of Yuuko a rather painful truth to learn.
Watanuki and Doumeki are almost exclusively referred to by their last names by everyone in the series with only very select few exceptions.
Doumeki seems to call everyone except Yuuko by their last name.
Taken Up to Eleven by Doumeki towards Kohane when it's revealed he's getting married to her and yet he apparently still will continue to call her by her family (soon-to-be maiden) name because "it's what they're used to".
The Lost Lenore: Yuuko arguably functions as a type B for Watanuki, considering how much of the rest of his life became dictated by his reaction to her death, how he continues to mourn her loss, and how her presence remains felt in the story right up to the last chapter. She even continues to be featured in some of the volume covers, if only in the back and without her face showing.
Love Triangle: Watanuki is convinced he's in one of these, competing with Doumeki for Himawari's affections. The truth is Himawari always brings Doumeki along so that Watanuki doesn't get hurt due to her supernatural bad luck, and Doumeki has other reasons for sticking around Watanuki.
Becomes a sort of Love Dodecahedron when its revealed Kohane's also grown to love Watanuki and a romantic subtext begins to emerge between him and Yuuko in later chapters. This isn't even accounting for the fact that otherworldly beings like the Zashiki-Warashi, have a tendency to develop crushes on him.
Man Without a Country: Watanuki is a Man Without a Universe. His "price" for continued existence (or something) is to remain in the shop forever - his "alternate self" Syaoran pays the flipside by never being able to remain in one universe. Both prices are presented as choices rather then punishments- they could pay a different price if they wanted.
Mars Needs Women: Mugetsu seems to like Watanuki WAY too much. So do some other supernatural beings, but they are at least humanoid.
Meaningful Name: Kimihiro Watanuki writes his family name as "April 1st," which also is his birthday. While this alone doesn't mean too much alone, it means a hell of a lot when you realize that April 1st is also Sakura and (presumably) Syaoran's birthday. His personal name is written with the kanji for "prophet". Also, Watanuki names Mugetsu (meaning "No moon"), because of the shape of its eyes.
Yuuko offers an alternate interpretation for Watanuki's family name:
Yuuko: The reading of his name, "Watanuki", comes from the custom of removing the padding from one's kimono on the 1st of April. An ancient sorcery...To prevent children from suffering from diseases or spectres, they would be dressed in the now unpadded kimono, and the removed padding would become their substitute..."
For the lazy, that means his "family name" is a roundabout way of saying "decoy".
Particularly significant when Yuuko is musing that it isn't even really his name. The mysterious item that Doumeki brings to the shop also senses that "Watanuki" isn't his real name.
It's also said that his original purpose was to take Syaoran place so that the world/timeline wouldn't fall apart, though both Syaoran and Yuuko push him to secure his own place and become his own person rather than just remaining the substitute. Think about how unlucky he was at the start of the series, before Yuuko and Syaoran pushed him to value his own existence he subconsciously drew misfortune to himself because he knew he was a substitute and not meant to exist.
Likewise, Kohane Tsuyuri's given name means "Little Feather". This becomes significant when she gives up her power to exorcise spirits, which is caused by one of C!Sakura's feathers. Her family name, meaning May 7th, hasn't been explained to have any ulterior meaning, though as a name that is also a calender date, it serves as one of several parallels she has to Watanuki.
Mind Screw: Watanuki will wait for Yuuko. However Yuuko is dead and the whole plot of Tsubasa was fixing the chaos Fei Wong caused when he tried to revive her. So Yuuko "reviving" would distort the universes and cause another "Tsubasa" crisis. Even so Yuuko said miracles can occur if you wish for them. But still, a reviving+intact universe combo is such a large miracle that even Fei Wong and Clow Reed combined couldn't achieve.
While it's not completely clear yet, the newest chapter (213) implies that Watanuki has been waiting for Yuuko for a hundred years. And that the "Doumeki" that he's been hanging out with in the last few chapters was actually Doumeki's grandson.
Minor Injury Overreaction: While doing some garden cleaning Watanuki and Doumeki break a spiderweb. The spider decides to take revenge by taking Doumeki's eye away. The spider overracted a bit knowing that it takes about one hour for an average spider to make a full web. This is even worse knowing that this act leads to a rather long story arc that has major consequences story-wise.
The Mourning After: Watanuki is so badly affected by Yuuko's death it causes him to undergo a personality change. He clings to her things and adopts some of her traits out of fear he'll forget her, and vows to never stop waiting, no matter how much time may pass, for the day that he sees her again to come.
Mukokuseki: This is a CLAMP manga and this isn't unusual for them, but while Watanuki, Yuuko, Doumeki, and Himawari all at least have pitch-black hair, they have blue, red, yellow, and green eyes respectively, and then there's Kohane who's a strawberry blonde with grayish-green eyes, and they're all supposed to be asian. Although later it seems Watanuki's blue eyes serve to show off his uncanny resemblance to the English-Chinese magician Clow Reed, whom he's distantly related to. Though that ignores the fact that in real genetics there's no way those blue eyes should survive that many generations down.
The Multiverse: Yuuko's shop is the portal between worlds and dimensions.
No Ending: Chapter 213, one more of CLAMP's open ended finales. All that is ever implied is that Watanuki is free to venture outside the shop, having seen Yuuko in a dream after 100 years. Given that a sequel series has recently been announced, this will hopefully be rectified.
Not Good with People: The Ame-Warashi is very hostile to humans in general. The Zashiki-Warashi is more of the absurdly shy type.
Not So Different: After dealing with a customer who had a disturbing obsession with Doumeki and the idea of becoming his girlfriend, Watanuki muses that the hardest wishes to grant are those involving a desire for someone else, only to concede that he shouldn't be one to talk. Cue his eyes shifting to Yuuko's butterfly-shaped incense holder.
Not So Weak: Kohane. It doesn't even occur to her to really stand up against her mother but when she decides her mother needs a good wake up call, for her own good of course, she doesn't hold back.
Obfuscating Obliviousness: Himawari pretends to be oblivious to Watanuki's crush on her and the fact that she uncontrollably causes misfortune to those around her. In fact the former appears to be a side-effect of the latter.
Oblivious to Love: While he's proven perceptive in other areas, Watanuki appears to have shades of this, at least in regards to when the love is directed at himself. Even after he takes over the shop and becomes increasingly like Yuuko in terms of wisdom and demeanor, he never seems to fully catch onto exactly why Doumeki sticks around. And in the OVA, after giving Watanuki an invitation to his wedding to Kohane, Doumeki points out to him that the one Kohane loves the most is actually Watanuki. To this revelation Watanuki gives Doumeki a genuinely shocked look before devolving into a sad smile.
Official Couple: Despite copious Ship Teasing between many different people, the only major ones to get together are Doumeki and Kohane. Their relationship, however, is decidedly unconventional due to them both caring the most for Watanuki.
Omniscient Morality License: Yuuko manipulates and tells half-truths. One of the first clients (other than Watanuki) we see gets condemned by hitsuzen (and proximity to Himawari) to paralysis and death because she told George Costanza-esque tall tales non-stop, which eventually built up to the point that the paralytic effects of the bad juju she was drawing to herself needed a ring to reduce the paralysis as long as she kept it on, and her doom was caused when she kept lying and then either took the ring off or the accumulated curse became large enough to break the ring's protection, so it was mostly caused by supernaturally bad luck while unknowingly taunting Cthulhu-lite. (The story was harsh enough that the anime changed it to let the woman live to correct her mistakes.) Yuuko's machinations do not seem to carry a similar price at first but the fact that she's already dead probably has something to do with it.
Parental Abandonment: Doumeki claims he has parents, but the audience never sees them, and Doumeki only talks about his grandfather. In the anime we see Doumeki's mother once in a flashback of when he asked if he could invite some friends over for the 100 ghost story night, but her face is never shown.
The Plan: Three words: Fei Wong Reed. (Arguably he's got Nesting Dolls going on, the outermost doll being held inside the innermost doll.)
The Power of Hate: Discussed regarding Kohane's mother. She wanted to get back at her husband who abandoned her and her daughter. Yuuko explains that through time, her wish for revenge was so strong it actually not only hurt her target, but also affected herself and her daughter and made their life miserable.
Power Trio: Watanuki (Id), Doumeki (Superego), and Himawari (Ego).
Punny Name: Maru and Moro's full names, Marudashi and Morodashi, literally mean "streaking" and "flashing", and despite Yuuko's insistence that they're "cute", Watanuki vocally disagrees. Maru and Moro are on their own common suffixes to Japanese names.
Put on a Bus: Himawari, who after Watanuki takes over the shop ends up at a university "up north" (presumably Hokkaido). Although in one of the recent chapters we hear a phone call between her and Watanuki, ending in 'I love you' from both sides, though the eventual reveal in Chapter 209 tells us that she's married someone else.
Yuuko is this, on account of the fact she had a close relationship with Clow Reed, who died an untold amount of time prior to when the series takes place and was also several centuries old himself. It's later revealed that Clow accidentally halted her time while she was dying by wishing that she'd open her eyes again, effectively trapping her on the edge between life and death.
Watanuki becomes this after he takes on the role of owner of Yuuko's shop and ceases to age. Indeed, by the series end, about 100 years have passed and Watanuki is still physically a teenager.
Real Men Wear Pink: Doumeki used to wear a girl's kimono when he was growing up, thanks to a customary belief by his grandfather that doing so would make a sickly child grow up strong. Naturally, when Watanuki tries to rub this in his face, Doumeki's response is a simple, "Yeah, what's your point? Do you want one, too?" Although, later it's Watanuki who is wearing kimonos and feminine yukatas.
Watanuki fantasizes that his pinky is connected to Himawari(oh, the irony). Yuuko has said more than once that he's probably linked to Doumeki. And then there's the cover for volume 16, although, the red string is tied around Watanuki's and Yuuko's wrists. See Ship Tease below for further confusion.
Also, episode 9 of the anime revolved around this concept.
Say It with Hearts: Maru and Moro are prone to this, as is Yuuko at times. Mugetsu is an interesting case in that hearts are the only thing it says.
Watanuki also tends to do this when it comes to Himawari-chan.
Schrödinger's Butterfly: Basically the whole point of the dream arc. Haruka even tells the story of the boy who dreamed he was a butterfly to Watanuki, and later likens Yuuko to a dreaming butterfly. Not to mention that butterflies have always been Yuuko's symbol, as well as embodying the concept of hitsuzen.
Possibly invoked in Chapter 187, where Watanuki is visited by the older Kohane who is graduating middle school, and he comments on how good she looks in her uniform. When she states that he always says that, his own response is that he always wants to say it when he's happy. Aww. By chapter 205, it's literal. She's now attending college.
Then, there's Watanuki. In a partial subversion, he doesn't physically age, but after 10+ years his maturity is obvious.
As revealed in chapter 209 Himawari is married. Any chance of Watanuki and Himawari getting together is now dashed.
By chapter 213, we find out that the Doumeki visiting Watanuki at this point is Shizuka Doumeki's great-grandson. Meaning Shizuka Doumeki got married himself and is probably already dead given that Watanuki realizes he's been at the shop for more than a hundred years at this point.
Not that Shizuka Doumeki/Watanuki really needed any more help sinking, but Rou revealed at the end that Shizuka Doumeki and Kohane Tsuyuri got married. Oh, and Kohane loves Watanuki. So that's another ship sunk.
It's almost amazing that by the end, the ship among major characters that is probably sunk the least... is the one involving the long-since deceased witch whose accidentally continued existence screwed over the multiverse.
Doumeki. Good God, Doumeki's been ship teased with Watanuki from even before he was even mentioned by name or seen in-person, when the old fortuneteller woman told Watanuki there would be a "friend that he gets into fights with" that he'd find himself "thrown together with more often". In recent chapters of Doumeki constantly coming over to bring Watanuki supplies at Yuuko's shop after she disappears and Watanuki becomes the new owner, you could hear the collective squeeing of fangirls at the sight of them acting like husband and wife a married couple in a situation that has been the set up to countless Yaoi doujinshi... except Watanuki remains as ambivalent as ever towards Doumeki. Sadistic Lady Mangaka indeed. As the story progresses it becomes easier and easier to accuse them of just doing it on purpose...
Not to mention for all the talk about Watanuki being destined for Doumeki or Himawari, there is an absolute mountain of teasing between Watanuki and Yuuko. Pick any official illustration with the two of them in it, and you can bet anyone who hasn't read the manga will ASSUME something's up between them. And considering that Watanuki is staying at her shop because he knowingly imprisoned himself there in order to wait for her to come back to him after she disappeared, they might not be wrong!
Although, as revealed in Tsubasa, he may have chosen that price because he couldn't come up with anything else quickly enough. He even acknowledged that he knew that the price wasn't quite right. It's true that he had already made his decision to wait for her, but the method might have been less self-sacrificial if Tsubasa had ended differently.
Even so, it certainly doesn't change the fact that he's now developed a tendency to go into moments of melancholy reminiscence over her while whispering her name. Extra points go to the fact that Watanuki now not only resembles Clow Reed, with whom Yuuko was heavily implied to be in some sort of close relationship, but is also increasingly becoming like him.
In chapter 199, Himawari and Watanuki say that they love each other over the phone. However Himawari can only visit Watanuki once a year, so who knows what that means for their relationship...
Regardless of the mutual confession, Himawari does end up married to another man. Although her continued phone calls to Watanuki and her statement in an OVA (that was written by CLAMP member Nanase Ohkawa herself) that she made a promise with her husband that April 1st will always be reserved for her to visit Watanuki.
Chapter 203's cliffhanger of Watanuki presenting Doumeki a ring was only to give him a purification tool, with the caution that Doumeki should not hesitate in using it to destroy anything malicious — even Watanuki. ESPECIALLY if it's Watanuki.
Shipper on Deck: Yuuko, Himawari, and even Larg ship Doumeki/Watanuki, and constantly try to hint and push Watanuki to realize Doumeki's usefulness for him.
To the various classic manga Yuuko enjoys and often references to Watanuki's confusion (such as Cat's Eye, City Hunter, Casshern and Macaroni Horen-so). Watanuki even directly references Star Wars in an early volume.
For one of his errands, Watanuki has to use a wingedbackpackcontaining Larg.
In-story about the woman with the addiction to her laptop, Yuuko references Lupin III by writing "Zantetsuken" on her bat and saying Goemon Ishikawa's catch-phrase, "Once again, I have cut a worthless object".
Watanuki has an even harder one for Yuuko by the end of the series. He throws away his friends, family, and any life in the outside world for the sake of seeing her again. The fact that Doumeki is given a ring for purifying (read: eliminating) evil and is specifically told he shouldn't hesitate to use it on Watanuki, gives one the impression that this obsession of his could possibly take a very dark road. Although considering that CLAMP is planning a sequel series, it's possible Watanuki just may have his wish come true after all.
Smoking Is Cool / Smoking Is Glamorous: Yuuko is smoking tobacco. Haruka is shown smoking cigarettes (although he's mellow enough for it to be a joint). As of Chapter 185, Watanuki seems to be trying to pick up the habit, in order to emulate Yuuko's manner.
Squirrels in My Pants: Watanuki ends up going through this a few times thanks to the Pipe Fox spirit Mugetsu, who has no concept of personal space.
Stepford Smiler: Himawari's happy face only breaks after Watanuki decides to stay by her even after her Doom Magnet status nearly kills him. A few of Yuuko's clients qualify as well, most recently Watanuki's cooking student who smiles politely when she explains that won't eat her own cooking because she thinks she's disgusting. This is because the taste of a person's cooking in the xxxHOLiC-verse gives a sensation of that person's true nature (Doumeki can't seem to get enough of Watanuki's cooking, and Watanuki himself can't remember eating his own food due to the price he paid being the knowledge pertaining to his identity), and she's got a subconscious loathing of herself so she's terrified about finding out how her food tastes. It's really bland and compared to the warmth revealed in Watanuki's cooking drives her to ask her fiance to wait while she develops her own self through more instruction by Watanuki.
The Stoic: Doumeki seems to have about two facial expressions, at best. It comes with being the Tall, Dark and Snarky with a Sugar and Ice Personality. Lampshaded when Doumeki's grandfather Haruka makes his appearance, who is so identical to him that it's pointed out that one of the only ways to tell them apart is the fact Haruka actually smiles.
Sugar and Ice Personality: Doumeki. Also Yuuko - the gentle, affectionate smile she gives Watanuki while celebrating his birthday at the start of Volume 12 reflects this; it is a far cry from her usual Cheshire Cat Grin or knowing smirk.
That Makes Me Feel Angry: Watanuki in chapter 190. This seems to be a joke lost in translation. The way Doumeki says "strike" makes it sort of sound like he's demanding a massage from Watanuki, and Watanuki calls him out on it.
Through His Stomach: How Watanuki pays Doumeki back for favors (such as saving his life). A lot of their bickering is normally over Doumeki making ridiculous requests for Watanuki's cooking.
Time Skip: More than once. About 2-3 times, to be exact. Everyone's gotten older leaving Watanuki behind. Such is the downside of immortality. One specific example is chapter 213 - over 100 years have passed since he inherited the shop. The guy looking like Doumeki is actually his great-grandson. The rest of the original cast is long gone by this time!
Tomato in the Mirror: In one episode, a girl comes to the shop. She thinks her house is haunted, and wants get be rid of the fear. Turns out, she's the ghost.
Tsundere: Watanuki is a complete and total tsundere towards Doumeki, especially during times where he has to thank him for saving his life, which to Watanuki's chagrin is fairly often. To a slightly lesser extent, he also acts this way towards Yuuko. Contrast with his behavior towards Himawari, which is squarely deredere.
Yuuko never appears twice in the same outfit. As in, when she does, Watanuki panics and with good reason, since this suggests she's dead. On the other hand, Watanuki and company usually just wear their school uniforms.
Watanuki since he took over the shop after Yuuko's death. This seems to be yet another way he tries to emulate her.
Urban Fantasy: The Shop itself is placed between the skyscrapers of Tokyo and some scenes take place near well-known landmarks.
Vampire Invitation: Happens in Chapter 194 when Watanuki, at the suggestion of another spirit who is doing a service to him, ends up invoking this — and allowing the Jorogumo (the spider woman who ate his eye) to enter the shop despite its wards.
Wanting Is Better Than Having: The ending. Watanuki is most content to wait for Yuuko even while knowing it's almost certain she's never to return, at least not as he knew her. Whether he wants to avoid all the Reality-Breaking Paradox consequences of Clow's wish or prevent the creation of another Ass-Chin or minimize his own impact on the multiverse, or whether CLAMP just wrote another Gainax Ending, we can't really be too sure. Nothing is sensible by this point. If Yuuko could die and move on to "where Clow was", the guy actually has a much better chance of seeing her if he'd stayed mortal, died and passed on himself.
In hindsight, it's possible that the only reason he didn't choose to let himself die even after all that time passed was to honor Yuuko's final wish that he continue to exist.
Weapon of Choice: Cool, collected, priestly Doumeki does traditional Japanese archery (kyudo) and seems to be a valued member of the school's archery team. (It is also a characterization point that the archery team is a high-status club, while Watanuki has no after school activity besides his part-time job, and is thus much lower in the social hierarchy.)
Weirdness Magnet: Watanuki, and he hates it, although it's his own damn fault for being subconsciously suicidal.
Wham Line: In chapter 213: "You really do look just like him, your great-grandfather". Suddenly the readers have it slammed right in their face the realization that the 'Doumeki' Watanuki's been conversing with for the past few chapters is the great-grandchild of Shizuka Doumeki, that it's been 100 years since Watanuki took over the store, and the fact that everyone we knew in the series save for Watanuki himself has more likely than not already passed away.
Who Wants to Live Forever?: In Chapter 200 the battered lady is revealed to be eternally youthful, which once pleased her lover. Then he became so angry, afraid and depressed that he beat her and killed himself. (Watanuki introduces her to the equally immortal Jorogumo so at least she's got a friend.) So... if Watanuki chooses a lover, they could very well have the same fate. Yuuko sets him free, but after more than a century, everyone he once knew is dead. Even Doumeki isn't really Doumeki, no matter how alike they are in mannerisms and looks. It doesn't look like it bothers Watanuki one bit. He's still waiting.
Wine Is Classy: Yuuko enjoys nothing more than tossing back beer, sake, and anything with liquor in it in the most booze-hound manner imaginable. That she's still creepy, imposing and omniscient at times, is a rather interesting contrast. Not to mention smoking an opium pipe. It could just be tobacco in there, but still...
Work Off the Debt: Watanuki's original wish is almost a MacGuffin to put him in this situation. Technically Watanuki is working off Syaoran's debt to time, space, and fate itself. Both Syaoran and Watanuki will spend the rest of their lives trying to clear up his debts.
Yandere: In Chapter 207, a woman in love with Doumeki comes to Watanuki to try and get him to fall in love with her, and is so desperate that her soul actually detaches from her body.
Also literally, in the first chapter's splash page.
Same could be said for Iron Woobie Doumeki, honestly. He dedicates himself to protecting Watanuki no matter what, even though the latter generally acts like a jerk towards him, and seems to finally be making some headway in getting closer to Watanuki (who actually starts displaying comparatively overt gratitude for all he's done)... and then Yuuko dies and Watanuki shuts himself in the shop to wait for the day he might see her again, distancing himself from everyone as a result. True Art Is Angsty indeed.
Yaoi Fangirl: Yuuko enjoys teasing Watanuki about his closeness with Doumeki, and hints multiple times that maybe Doumeki is the one destined for him instead of Himawari. Heck, to a degree, Himawari herself ships Doumeki/Watanuki, often commenting on how cute they are when they interact. They kind of have to do that to make sure that Watanuki is not alone. Which incidentally brings us to...
You Are Not Alone: The primary reason why Doumeki loyally stays by Watanuki's side turns out be to prove him this, after Doumeki once saw Watanuki standing by a river one rainy day, lamenting on whether or not he'd die alone. Yuuko also has been actively trying to get Watanuki to realize for himself that there are people he's connected with and hold him dear. Later, Kohane also muses that Watanuki has many friends who are there for him.
Zigzagging Trope: The Love Triangle between Watanuki, Himawari, and Doumeki. First, see Even the Guys Want Him. Then it gets more complicated when it turns out that Watanuki seems to care more for Yuuko than the other two. And then comes chapter 199, which has Himawari and Watanuki share a fond phone call after Himiwari has moved away for university. But they can't meet more than once a year... and Doumeki apparently passes on messages, news and presents between the two of them. As of chapter 209, it seems she's married. In the conclusion of the series, we find out that the Doumeki we've been seeing in the latest chapters is actually Shizuka Doumeki's great grandson, meaning that the one who stuck with Watanuki through everything and never really asked for anything in return did eventually have a family. According to someone above via Word of God Kohane and Doumeki got married despite both of them loving Watanuki. Maybe to leave him with people who could stay by his side after them?