xxxHolic Shunmuki OAD – Part 2
Heh! I got this episode down and proper at long last. (‘O’)
Watanuki-kun: “If you have a dream that you wish for, and if it’s within my powers, I’ll work towards it”.
xxxHolic Shunmuki Kouhen is the continuation of Zenpen which I featured here back in early March of this year. The episode continues with Watanuki’s endeavour to look for the 5 items that Doumeki’s gramps Haruka, had entrusted him to find when they had met in a dream previously.
Thus far, Watanuki has found the creepy bird book which is supposed to lead him to the next item. And it did because a note with the word ‘pond’ slip out from the book. It just so happens that there is a pond behind the place where Haruka used to live. As they head to the pond, Doumeki wonders if the thing they’re looking for is in the pond. Right on cue, a strong gust of wind blew off the note from Doumeki’s grasp and landed in the pond. Lo and behold, a swirl/gush of water burst forth from the pond revealing the sudden appearance of Ame and Zashiki.
Ame had wanted to visit Watanuki after having heard rumours that Watanuki was injured. After reassurances from Watanuki and lots of blushes from Ame, our protagonist accidentally fell into the pond which thus led him to the mystery item lying beneath a green stone. The item he recovered is a compact mirror.
So now, Watanuki has found two items and is wondering if the mirror will reveal anything. While soaking in an overly huge bathtub, Wata-kun studied the compact mirror and an image of a bird shows up on its reflection. What did he do next but to seek Yuuko-san’s advice. This led Watanuki to try an odd method to find what he is looking for next.
In the midst of the harmonization ritual, Himawari appeared to return a book she borrowed from Doumeki and to give a box of cream puffs to Watanuki. Of course, this made Wata-kun ultra happy and over the moon. In return, he gave Himawari a packet of cookies that he had baked.
After Himawari left the place, the boys noted that the darken sky seemed like it’s going to rain. This led them to the umbrella shed. While looking around the umbrella shed, Wata-kun spotted the engraved figure of a bird that looks exactly like the image he saw on the compact mirror. A push on the figure reveals a hidden compartment with a shiny key inside. Both Wata-kun and Doumeki are puzzled by the key. Doumeki then recalled that there was a wooden box which was beneath the bird book that they found in the storeroom. He remembered that the box couldn’t be opened because there was no key. So Wata-kun tried to open the box with the key and it works. The box opened and Wata-kun found himself being transported to the Dream World where Haruka-san awaits him.
Haruka-san revealed that the dream is the fifth item after the book, the compact mirror, the key and the box. The four items were essential for Wata-kun to find the fifth thing. He explained that the order in which he progresses to find each item was a spell to break a seal that would eventually allow him to meet in the world of dreams. What happens in the Dream World next is that Watanuki met with the soul of cloned Sakura who’s trapped there. It’s where they get to know each other somewhat and that Sakura found out how much alike Watanuki and Syaoran are. And if you followed Tsubasa Shunraiki Zenpen and Kouhen, you’ll know what happened next. Watanuki and Sakura came face to face with the two Syaorans. The real Syaoran sends a confused Watanuki off, telling him to do what he needs to do because he’s the other him.
Much to his surprise, Wata-kun ends up back at the Sakura tree where he had met Haruka-san earlier on. But instead of Haruka-san, it was Yuuka-san who stood beneath the tree. Yuuko-san tells Watanuki that there are two types of dream, one where you’re awake and one that you experienced when you’re asleep. Both can become reality if one strongly wish for it. This happens to be my favourite part of the episode. Watanuki felt really moody and sombre here. He has yet to comprehend what’s going to happen but yet felt strongly that he needs to do something for Yuuko-san that is of utmost importance. And he stress with all his heart that he’ll grant Yuuko her wish no matter what it takes, taking Yuuko by surprise with his earnestness. Of course, the situation here foreshadows the eventual *spoiler* event in the recent manga chapter.
This was a pretty slow episode that developed the main characters and prepares them for what’s to come and how things are in relation with the Tsubasa portion of the story. It drives home the friendship element and establishes who Watanuki can count on when the inevitable difficult situation occurs later. I guess most viewers, regardless of whether you follow the manga or not, will find kouhen a tad on the boring side. Admittedly, zenpen was the more exciting and humourous of the two OAD episodes. However, I still enjoy watching Watanuki and Doumeki’s bantering. Doumeki’s conversation and reassuring words to Himawari came out really well. Moments like these prevented the episode from falling into complete doldrum. But of course, hearing Fuku-Jun voicing Watanuki again is such a bonus. Hopefully there’ll be another OAD/OVA release to close out HOLiC when it finally ends.