Follow TV Tropes


Headscratchers / ×××HOLiC

Go To

What's the point of the "xxx" at the start of the name if you're not supposed to pronounce it?
I mean, this is just annoying! This isn't a Lucky Charms Title, it's just meaningless letters! '
  • It stands for the unknown; "fill in the blank". Lots of characters addicted to various things.
  • Whoa! I never connected "holic" to words like "alcoholic" or "shopaholic." So, why shouldn't we pronounce the "xxx" again? "X-aholic" seems like a perfectly valid name to me.
    • Because CLAMP are Japanese, which gives them a -4 penalty to sanity checks, are not native english speakers, which gives a significant penalty to language checks, and are CLAMP, which gives them another -4 to sanity. That is to say, its written by lunatics who are not entirely fluent in the nuances of the language they named it in. It may be close to x-aholic, which is what a native speaker would name it, but its impressively close.
      • Actually, this "xxx" is how you write "fill in the blank" in Japanese, and you don't read it, you just put some other word in this place. It's quite common in language coursebooks. And since CLAMP are Japanese, it's only natural for them to use this.
    • Advertisement:
    • This was actually kind of explained in the 'movie' A Midsummer Night's Dream, in which Yuuko explains that when a person who has an addiction to or obsession with some object or activity they're described with the word -holic (or -aholic) What exactly, Yuuko/Watanuki or any of the other characters are obsessed with, who knows. It could be that Watanuki is obsessed with trying to establish his existence, or that Yuuko is addicted to collecting strange and supernatural objects (or alcohol).
  • The point is that it means ____holic. You wouldn't pronounce that "underline-holic." It's supposed to be a blank spot for whatever you might want to fill in.

How does Yuko pay for everything?
Yuko has lots of nice clothes and can afford to buy plenty of gourmet food and massive quantities of fine alcohol. She also never seems to accept money for any of her wishes, nor does she sell off anything she accumulates. I suppose the clothes might be payment for various wishes, and Watanuki is talented enough to make delicious food from simple ingredients, but she still has to pay for the base ingredients. Also, she regularly sends Watanuki to pick up expensive wine or sake. So where does the money come from?
  • Offscreen Villain Dark Matter? While she'd probably be morally opposed to using her ample magical powers to magic up money from nothing, she must either have a less glamorous for-money clientèle (ooh, auto spellcheck knows French!) that she gives advice to, or she sells replaceable trinkets from her travels for money.
  • A Wizard Did It, probably literally. Clow might have left her part of her estate, and given that her shop only appears to people who need it tax collectors would have a hard time finding the place.
    • And she could probably do nasty things to tax collectors. I would, if I had her powers and looks.
      • Keep in mind the fact that we the readers in no way, shape, or form know exactly what Yuuko is, or where she comes from, literally (not to mention still not knowing ANY of her life story, motives, or goals). We don't know how long she's been alive, with the gist this troper got as very, VERY long. There is heavy hinting throughout the manga that she isn't even completely Human, if at all. She's journeyed through and lived in multiples 'Worlds' and dimensions of the CLAMP'Verse, and we don't even know how long she's set up shop and conducted her "business". Heck, I wouldn't put it past her (and good ole' make intricate plans hundreds of years in advance Clow) to reveal that her "shop" and entire business front were established for the SOLE purpose of taking in and training Watanuki one day. Likewise, the idea that she just creates material goods out of thin air, at least clothes and such that are "part of her body" doesn't seem out of character for her. She created soulless LIFE (Maro and Moro) because she wanted helpers/familiars and companionship.
    • Advertisement:
    • Actually she and Clow created Maro and Moro as living anchors for the shop. They were a necessity. I think she'd probably view clothing and money the same way: necessities. Personally I think it's a little bit of all of the above. She barters and sells as she needs to, and when necessary, creates what she can.
  • Maybe she never actually wears clothes, and it's just bits of shell that she can shed and reabsorb? And most of the wines don't actually get drunk, just the wines/beers/etc that Watanuki, Doumeki, and whoever else might have been there (ghosts in alcohol-related ceremonies?) got on Very Special Occasions and visits used as excuses for parties parties/ceremonies, respectively? This is pretty much Wild Mass Guessing, though.
  • Long term investment. Very long term investments. Even at one or two percent increase over the inflation rate, given that she's been undead for a minimum of three hundred years, and likely more...
  • Prostitution.
    • ಠ_ಠ
  • Remember that this series crosses over with Tsubasa and their Mokona is always sending stuff over to Yuuko. The group go to different worlds with different money. It's not unlikely that Mokona takes any extra money and sends it to Yuuko, who then may trade some of it (keeping some for her collection) to some sort of collector for the cash. And since this money can't be found anywhere else in her world, she can probably get a boat load of cash for it.
  • Near the end of the Infinity Arc in Tsubasa, in exchange for going after Sakura to Celes, they give Yuuko their prize money for winning 'Chess'
  • I think the best answer would be that she trades her services for her clothes. I mean in one story she took a small chair as payment, why would it seem weird that she would charge clothes for wishes?

Why are all the customers women?
Seriouly, other than Watanuki and Domeki all her customers are women. Why can't she have a young man with compulsive risk taking, a completely ordinary Salaryman who is depressed at being ordinary, or a grandfather who is frustrated at his estranged family? Most of the plots could have easily had a man instead of a woman, and as is it implies that only women have such dangerous problems they require her help. It's gotten to the point I've made my own fan theory that there's a yYyholic out there somewhere with whom she has a non-compete clause.
  • CLAMP prefers drawing women?
    • Heck, even more than that, have you looked at CLAMP's manga trends for over the past decade since, gee, I guess X/1999? Rayearth, Card Captor Sakura, Angelic Layer, Chobits (to say nothing of more minor titles like Clover, etc.)...all their manga have focused primarily on women as much as possible even when you'd suspect otherwise or when there's one main male protagonist. The sole exceptions to this are Tsubasa, which gets a pass for its essential nature as the CLAMP Crossover Crisis, and Gohou Drug, which they cancelle...I mean, put on Clamp-Hiatus before it got anywhere.
  • Well, it is a Seinen title...
  • The magazine serializes in a magazine directed to young men, who would prefer less Ho Yay and more cute girls in their manga. Everybody else is just Periphery Demographic.

Is true altruism possible?
If everything has a just reward, can you truly be altruistic in the ×××HOLiC world if you know your good acts will be rewarded?
  • This notion actually turns up in Buddhism - is a good deed truly good in you know good karma will come form it? Presumably, a deed done for genuinely altruistic reasons would garner greater reward than one done for reward.
  • Nowhere does Yuuko (or ×××HOLiC) say that everything has a just reward. She says that she HERSELF, and the mysterious set of rules that govern her shop/line of work and the 'WISHES' she grants (which might be instated by some 'higher power' like The World or which might be self-philosophy) must operate on a basis of equal compensation. We have seen that she can ignore or at the very least not adhere strictly to this if she so chooses, prompting the latter of the above options. She has also taught Watanuki the lesson that a murder caused in cold blood carries a bad-karma with it that screws over the holder (although even here keep in mind that the few times we've seen this in action it was either (a) caused directly by Yuuko herself, or (b) fell onto people who already had significant supernatural issues and weren't 'normal'). As a good example, Watanuki has done a boatload of good deeds, and the Universe (and Yuuko in not so subtle ways) continues to shit all over him and his life.

Watanuki's living situation
Before Yuko took him in, he was living alone. Why? We know that his parents were, er, "indisposed", but where's his maternal second cousin Tomoyo? His uncle Touya? His grandfather, Fujitaka? ''The entire very wealthy Li clan over in Hong Kong? Did they all, like, abandon him (or remember doing so, fuck you Timey-Wimey Ball) when his parents were captured?
  • The above here. The implication this troper got was that EVERYONE who knew anything about or was in any way connected to the Li-Kinomoto's, or at the very least about Watanuki/ Syaoran Jr., was mindwiped or given a specific amnesia rewrite that believes he "died in the car accident" or whatever. This Troper is also still pissed that ALL this came about, and Watanuki suffers so much basically because Clow Reed needed a 10 year old girl to watch over his magical card friends which he'd completely irresponsibly created and loosed on the world. That's how many lives you've irreversibly screwed up for your own selfish reasons?
    • Er, in Clow's defense, Sakura wasn't just 'watching over' them. If he hadn't set it up so Sakura became their new master, Keroberos, Yue, and all of the Clow Cards would have faded out of existence, effectively dying. The question of 'true altruism' aside, I still wouldn't call attempting to save the lives of 21 different entities (54 in the anime, and 22/55 if you count Yukito) 'selfish'. Especially given the implications that the TRC group would be even more screwed than they already are otherwise.
  • He probably couldn't stay with any of his living relatives. Yuuko was trying to protect him from Fei Wang Reed and you know the first place Ass Chin would look would be Watanuki's family.
    • On top of that, the fortune teller says that the world Watanuki came from is not the one that he is in. Syaoran Jr. was sent to Yuuko's shop from the World that Watanuki came from, so his family would be in a different world.
  • Alright, if I've interpreted the new chapter of Tsubasa Chronicle correctly, it would seem that Watanuki's parents were actually the clones of Sakura and Syaoran and thus he does not have and has in fact never had any extended family whatsoever, unless we start counting Fei Wang Reed or something. So yeah.
    • They may be the clones in mind, soul, and body (body since reincarnations have the same phenotype and presumably genotype as their original), but they're reincarnations of the clones, born to parents and everything. Its just that they don't care very much about their reincarnated lives, but it can be assumed that the reincarnated lives care about them.
    • I am pretty sure that the Clone Sakura mentioned that she had Toya as her brother in this world so she had at least one brother.

Who is Kindoo-chan and what is Tuukokoro Yamitdasa?
At one point in time, Yuuko mentions that her favorite character from Tuukokoro Yamitdasa is Kindoo-chan. Perhaps this doesn't belong here, but does anyone know who/what Kindoo-chan from Tuukokoro Yamitdasa is? I have searched everywhere for this character and/or manga, and I just can't find it. Is this an inside joke from Clamp?
  • Yuuko tends to mention obscure manga and tv shows (maybe not really obscure, just too old for most of us to remember) a lot. I don't know where you got that title from, but the Del Rey versions say Kindo is from Macaroni Horenso.

I know kanji is weird...
...but how on Earth does "四月一日" get pronounced "Watanuki?" None of the kanji have any reading that fits into that!
  • Don't look them up separately. According to my dictionary, those four dictionary, when taken together, have exactly one meaning: "Watanuki (u)"
  • It may also not be a literal alternate pronunciation, but a reference to the Watanuki ritual that takes place on that date (again, that whole "creating a substitute" business).
  • There are 2 ways in which a word made up of multiple kanji can be pronounced. The first and more common method is to combine common pronunciations of the individual kanji, which is what you're looking for. The second, which is being applied in this case, is a word which these kanji together in this order specifically indicate, referenced by their meanings rather than individual pronunciations. A common example is 五月蝿い (pronounced "urusai," the kanji literally mean "May cicada," and the word means "noisy"). It's like how "ea" in English is usually pronounced one way, but not in words like "thread."

On a more bitter note...
Why can't anything ever *happen* in a given issue? Three chapters now we get, "So I'll know when to use it?" "Yes." "Fo real?" "Fo shizzle." *cut to Watanuki* "ANGST." The other day I read both this and Bleach back to back and was heavily reminded of Mc Chris' review of KHII as opposed to RE4...
  • If I had to guess, I'd say that the current slowness is stalling for Tsubasa to reach a certain point. Whatever is scheduled to happen next in ×××HOLiC, it is probably linked with an event TSR, and so they have to wait for the latter series to get out of subspace, flashbacks and backstory and back into realtime events or else one series will spoil the other.
    • In other words, its an unfortunate consequence of the temporally confusing order of Tsubasa.
      • Confirmed. TRC chapter 231 takes place within ×××HOLiC chapter 184, which reveals that Watanuki KNOWS! About himself, his parents, and about how Yuuko's actually been there for him from the very beginning. And in the latest chappie, Mokona's earring is gone. At this point, it's pretty unnecessary, don't you think? Watanuki knows and c!Sakura has disappeared. It makes much more sense now. Surprisingly, though, the egg wasn't mentioned at all...
      • TRC has ended and Doumeki is still walking around with the egg in his pocket trying to figure out what it's for. My theory is that it will end up being the key to letting Watanuki leave the shop again but that's just my wishful thinking.
  • And now nothing will ever happen. Yuuko tells Watanuki he can leave now by way of a dream. We find out that Doumeki still has the egg, but it's not Shizuka. It's his great-grandson. Surprise, surprise, he still can't use the egg because Watanuki still wants to see Yuuko. The egg will erase the memories of Yuuko from Watanuki. Oh, and since the Doumeki of the last chapter is Shizuka's great-grandson, it's probably safe to assume that everyone else is dead. Even most of the ones in TRC. We will never find out what happened to any of them, why any of it happened, or how it all happened in the first place.

Watanuki's decision
  • Yuko's final wish was for him to live his life. How does he respond? By surrendering his freedom to leave the shop, ensuring that the rest of his life will be just as miserable as her unlife was. She was only doing it for the clones, after all, not of her own will. So, he's denying her final wish by ensuring that what he does won't really be living his life per se. I know he came from rather thickheaded impulsive Syaoranian stock twice over between his ancestry and his time travel duplicate nature, but, I mean, come on. His sudden stupidity irks me. I know he's grieving, but this is just stupid. Its one step short of pulling a Romeo and Juliet, and killing himself to join her.
    • Okay, so Watanuki kind of lied to Doumeki about the true reason he's stuck in the shop, as he was trapped in the other world and the only way he could've gotten out was by paying his freedom.
    • But now what I don't get is why Watanuki would lie about why he is staying in the shop in the first place. Sure, it's a really long explanation, but what's to be gained from it? Or did I just miss something?
      • The Main Reason would be for the Tsubasa manga to catch up with ×××HOLiC and not spoil anything. I think.
      • Watanuki lied probably because Doumeki would likely pay a price. If it's Watanuki's choice, then he respects it, but if it was forced, as this was the case, he'd search for something to give on return and hurt himself.
      • This fits the narrative really well so far, but my problem is the same as it was when he was staying to see Yuko again. What pissed me off was that Watanuki spent the series learning about how he should let others help carry his burden. Supposedly. He apparently hit his head and forgot the entire eye incident off screen, as this plot/character point keeps getting drop kicked out a window every time I turn around. It isn't even as though he's sparing his friends of hardship, either. They're going through hell, and not being able to do anything only makes it worse for them.
      • My explanation is because, mainly, it makes sense to him (and me). Fans tend to forget that Watanuki has no life because: a)He paid memories as Syaoran's price. b)The universe is literally trying to erase him. You will notice that he has very little interaction to 'normal' people, no money or at least decent resources (going to the university isn't cheap after all) and no desires for his own future. Domeki, for all his stoicness, is a brilliant student and probably the heir to the temple. It makes sense that he actually pays the price; he helps people, he might see Yuko again and Domeki doesn't lose an eye or leg trying to pay for his freedom. But most importantly, I think, is the fact that he feels responsible and he has learned the value of it. Asking for Domeki's help to avoid paying it goes completely against the decision to pay the price for, well, breaking reality and bending the universe laws (killing Gods knows how many by it).

Incredibly minor, but silly.
  • There's one scene where Watanuki hears the phone ringing, and as he walks over to it he says "I'm coming." What the foog?
    • Maybe he just wants everyone to know that he's getting the phone?
    • Watanuki has always talked to strange things. In the new Rei chapters he's seen responding to a television that never said a word.

How does Kakei remember Yuuko
  • This is more of a Drug & Drop question, but the way Kakei talks in the chapters featuring Watanuki make it clear he still remembers Yuuko (he knows Watanuki is waiting for her, at the very least). I thought Yuuko was supposed to be forgotten by all save maybe 5 people who Yuuko wanted to help Watanuki?
    • Recent events have strongly hinted that Kakei is in fact the Angel of Wind Hisui from Wish. This would explain why he still remembers Yuko. He's a divine being and not human. Not to mention Doumeki also remembers Yuuko as well.

  • In the anime opening, why does it look like Moro and Maru are about to kiss, when they don’t have that kind of relationship in the tv show?
  • There is a second season called ×××HOLiC: Kei. In one of the first few episodes, which focuses on dreams, Watanuki and Yuko travel to another world where they meet a creature who deals in selling and buying dreams. I remember seeing, shortly before they meet the dream merchant, that Yuko was holding a porn magazine. I don’t even remember seeing her pick it up or do anything with it.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: