“Kei” must be Japanese for “20 times better than the first season”

I’m talking about xxxHoLiC Kei, the second season of the deceptively erotic xxxHoLiC franchise. It showed signs of improvement right from the opening, which is all Yuko and sans Watanuki for the first 40 seconds.

[vid]HrCSyToTung[/vid]

Then the show temporarily goes downhill. Watanuki couldn’t wait more than 30 seconds to throw his first bitchy tantrum of the season. Then he lost an eye, which made it all worthwhile. Later he turns into Kaiji.

For a split second, Watanuki almost looked manly.

So Watanuki still sucks, Yuko is still a side character, and the annoying fake lesbian kids are still fake lesbians and still annoying kids. None of my brilliant suggestions bore fruit. How, you ask, can the second season be any better than the first if the characters are exactly the same? The answer is simple: the second season has a much better plot. Attention all plot-doesn’t-matter whores: you may now line up to kiss my ass.

Unlike the episodic first season, the second season contains several threads that give the show a sense of continuity, such as the balloons, the cherry tree, Doumeki’s grandfather, and that emotionally dead little girl who gets abused by her mother and threatened by the general public. And did I mention Watanuki loses his eye?

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25 people love sucking up to me

  1. Michael says:

    xxxHolic is moving towards a conclusion. Despite the fact that a Yuuko and Watanuki ship will never happen, the characters have progressed a damn lot, especially at this point in the manga. As I’m a ‘LOVE POWER WILL SAVE THE UNIVERSE’ kind of guy, I hope Himawari can resolve her feelings, because true love transcends all bad luck. 🙂

  2. Coaxen says:

    It’s easy to make something 20 times better when the first season shows an enjoyment level close to 0.

  3. biankita says:

    i like how it second season was rolled out but there are arcs i hated – just because i know how everything was supposed to go.

  4. digitalboy says:

    things I will never understand

    -Why people hate Watanuki so much, if at all.
    -Why anyone could ever possibly care about plot.
    -Why after marathoning and loving the first 14 eps, I never finished xxxholic
    -Why more characters don’t loose appendages.

  5. LJ says:

    I still can’t bring myself to look past those monstrous eighteen-head-tall noodle people.

  6. I’ve never watched XXXHolic or read the manga, but I wanted to give it a try. Essentially you’ve convinced me there may be some good plot in it. Heck, you were the one who told me Detroit Metal City was good, so there’s a level of trustworthiness had with you.

  7. Baka-Raptor says:

    @Michael:

    @Coaxen: After multiplying by 20, you need to take the absolute value (season 1 got a ~ on my grading scale). I thought about sticking that in the title, but it’s long enough already.

    @biankita: That’s the downside to a plot. Instead of hating each episode, you get to hate entire arcs. In any case, it’s your fault reading ahead.

    @digitalboy:

    – People hate Watanuki because he’s a pussy who’s always screaming for no damn reason.
    – A good plot makes you care about what happens next.
    – I can’t explain it. The second ending is awesome.
    – Watanuki doesn’t do anything cool in Kaiji-mode. He just shrieks, as usual. No violence.

    @LJ: I agree, Watanuki sucks.

    @Asperger’s: Warning – xxxHoLiC and DMC are kind of different…

  8. Coaxen says:

    @Asperger: Well, if you read the manga first, the anime is bound to be at least a disappointment. It was just substantially better, less annoying, and generally the neat clampy graphic design is hard to transfer to a motion picture form without ruining a few things :/

  9. Laguna Loire says:

    xxxHoliC seems familiar with baka-raptors pre-sell out site, i mean, not to mention that this may not apear like a filler post, but in fact, still isn’t an anime review…
    ohhh sorroowwwsss
    Better go back to the pre-sell out area of the site anyway…

  10. kanzeon says:

    Does this show suck that much? Then breathe fire all over them!
    *worships*

  11. biankita says:

    @baka-raptor: great point on plots and arc-hating. actually the reason why i started reading the manga was because i thought there wouldn’t be a second season.

  12. Laguna Loire says:

    @Kanzeon: Sorry to disappoint you, but i’ll tell you a secret (not a secret after all)…but… although baka-raptor claims he can breath fire, actually he can’t. Ops ! What am i doing here ? ended up here again… Better go back to the pre-sellout area of the site anyway…

  13. Baka-Raptor says:

    @Laguna: This is a review of xxxHoLiC Kei, not xxxHoLiC. Completely different. Especially since it doesn’t suck.

    @kanzeon: I already beat up Watanuki and the fake lesbian kids. They got the message and made this season better.

    @biankita: That’s why I started reading My Balls: I didn’t expect it to get a second season.

  14. Sakura says:

    I enjoyed the movie, but I’ve only watched the first 3 eps of the first season, I just didn’t care enough to finish it.

    Maybe one day, but I know I find the character style hard to take. Watching the movie there were times I felt like Watanuki was an Orangutan his arms were so close to scraping the floor.

    Everything I’ve ever learned about drawing and character body proportions just screams ‘THIS IS HORRIBLE’ at me. Arms should be roughly 2 and half head lengths and should end roughly just below the hips…

    I just can’t… handle it… I want someone to fix their proportions!

  15. Michael says:

    But doesn’t love power save the universe?! ;A;

  16. LJ says:

    @Sakura: Monstrous. Eighteen-head-tall. Noodle-people. CLAMP ain’t good with that.
    Or getting through a single series without at least one eye-loss.

    (I really don’t even have to say what I began to expect to happen in Code Geass once I learned that the evil forces of CLAMP were behind those designs.)

  17. Laguna Loire says:

    I’ll put it on hold on my MUST To wAtCh list….
    Has anyone graded it yet ?

  18. Baka-Raptor says:

    @Sakura: I probably would’ve dropped it after 3 episodes if the intro wasn’t so damn awesome. The weird animation style didn’t bother me, but it certainly didn’t help.

    @Michael: You think you’re so goddamn mighty that you know how to save the universe? And save it from what? You hippies are always looking to save something, all too often with the power of love. Get thee to a nunnery.

    @LJ: Lelouch looks like a girl.

    @Laguna: Yeah, I did. The scores here are typically good, but those grades are probably biased upwards. The only people who’d rate xxxHoLiC Kei are the people who saw the complete first season, who are mostly people who liked it and a handful of people who forced themselves out of boredom.

    xxxHoLiC Kei is by no means a must-watch series. You’re better off watching one of these five shows.

  19. C.I. says:

    Wow, and to think I only read the manga.

  20. Laguna Loire says:

    @Baka-Raptor: “Median rating: Excellent”, i doubt this would get a (**) score ?! Those site ratings(like anime news, for example) doesn´t show us the real or true grade of an anime, just show us its popularity and enthusiam of all the anime geeks that likes the series at all, for example, naruto shipuuden in ANIME NEWS got “Median rating: Very good” another (**) score ?? Sorry Baka-Raptor, but since i got to know your baddass rating system, i cannot accept another type of rating, Beleive it !
    Possibility is that a (***) Rated series would be in my memories forever, and without any complains at all, a (**) Rated Series would be a decent show with a complain or too, but in overall very awesome, and a (*) Rated series would have lots of complains but would be entertaining…anything rated below this (~,~~ and ~~~) would not been worth watching…Why everyone can´t see this as a obivious way of classifying animes isntead of giving us a complete list of :

    [Masterpiece,Excellent,Very good,Good,Decent,So-so,Not really good,Weak,Bad,Awful,Worst ever]

    These aren´t even school grades (that ranges between A~F in the US, and A~E here in BRAZIL).
    But those looks like natural mathematical rates (10~0)

    We would go back to an ancient discussion of how those sites classifies them just for showing which anime is the better than another for the famous TOP 10 list… MAAAAAAN this is so boooring….i guess i got caried away…

    Show them some decent grade rating to animes and a reference to us baka-raptor.

  21. Baka-Raptor delivers what he delivers, his reptilian mind has no care for the scorn of mammals!

  22. Baka-Raptor says:

    @C.I.: Watanuki probably sucks slightly less when you can’t hear his voice.

    @Laguna: xxxHoLiC a single + in my system, the only system that has any meaning. These other systems don’t make any sense. What’s the difference between “so-so”, “not really good”, and “weak”? Nobody knows. Three degrees of good and three degrees of bad are all you need.

    @Asperger’s: Except for Maddox.

  23. amayalee says:

    Haha. Lots of people are kissing your ass! ^.^ I could never get past the second episode of xxxHolic. It was to slow, dull and had no real as you said, “PLOT” to it. I have to have plot or my head will explode. (Again) You’re review is great! XD

  24. […] reckoning that Kei was 20 times better than xxxHOLiC’s first season is somewhat hyperbolic but I do agree with the core of his […]

  25. picchar says:

    I dropped the anime and collect the manga.

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