Sunday, August 29, 2010

[Review] xxxHolic: AnotherHolic novel


xxxHOLiC: AnotherHolic by Nisioisin is a 2006 novel inspired by CLAMP's manga, xxxHOLiC. This was released in English by Del Rey in 2008. I did want to include more reviews on this blog, so here goes...

Del Rey's production is pretty lovely. The book is a hardcover with metallic-printed dust cover. It contains the full color splash and the three CLAMP-illustrated splashes for each of the three stories. The paper and ink quality seem good, and translator uses plenty of footnotes to explain Nisioisin's numerous cultural and pop references. I love footnotes and wish more jp-to-eng novel publishers would use them instead of endnotes. It's an annoyance to get at the end of book and finds notes that reference back to what was already read, or find a reference number and flip back to the notes. Footnotes = a good thing.


The story isn't written exactly for someone who is not familiar with xxxHolic. Or rather, it is probably a richer (or more disappointing) read for someone who is familiar. It's also not written for the fan who wants a fluffy anime/manga story. The three stories are interwoven by the concept of sight. As any CLAMP fan knows, eyes and eyeglasses are sometimes important to their characters. Landolt Ring Aerosol is the Japanese subtitle to the novel and refers to a visual acuity test. There's an afterward by the author that explains the title.

As mentioned, Nisioisin likes cultural references and visual wordplay A LOT. It's slightly amusing that the characters are more verbose on one page of the novel than they ever were/are in a whole chapter of the manga. Though parts of the story mimic the manga, the style of the story is definitely the author's. On the other hand, there are certain parts to the story that foretells what recently happened in the manga a few months back; *spoilers* Yuuko's disappearance, the fact that she wasn't living, and Watanuki extended length of life. I can't say that I liked the book, but it was an original take on CLAMP's manga. It's not quite your average fanfic.
Find the novel at Amazon.

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