Kimihiro Watanuki

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Kimihiro Watanuki
xxxHolic
Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle
character
WatanukiKimihiromanga.jpg
Kimihiro Watanuki as illustrated by Clamp
First appearance xxxHolic chapter 1, Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle chapitre 2
Created by Clamp
Voiced by Jun Fukuyama (Japanese)
Todd Haberkorn (English)
Portrayed by Shota Sometani

Kimihiro Watanuki (四月一日 君尋 Watanuki Kimihiro?) is a fictional character created by the group of manga artists Clamp. He is introduced in the manga xxxHolic as a high school student plagued by his ability to see spirits. In order to lose such powers, Watanuki starts working for the witch Yūko Ichihara who will grant his wish once he pays the price for her services. Besides appearing as the main character in xxxHolic, Watanuki is also featured in the crossover manga Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle which explores his connection with a teenager named Syaoran as well as his origins. Outside the two manga, Watanuki has been featured in their animated adaptations, spin-offs as well as other works by Clamp. Watanuki is voiced by Jun Fukuyama in Japanese and Todd Haberkorn in English.

Watanuki was created by Clamp following their need to have a main character who would observe Yūko's work and learn from her supernatural activities. His character has been well received by publications for manga and anime due to his role in the series and character development. Several positive comments also focused on his role in the series' last arc where he succeeds Yūko as the person who grants people's wishes.

Appearances[edit]

In xxxHolic and Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle[edit]

Watanuki is a high school student who has the ability of seeing spirits and is disturbed as a result. One day he stumbles, seemingly by chance, upon the wish-granting shop of Yūko Ichihara. She promises to remove his ability to see spirits if he works part-time in her shop until his work equals the worth of his wish. Since he lives by himself, he is experienced in cooking and cleaning, much to Yūko's pleasure.[1][2] Besides doing domestic tasks for Yūko, Watanuki also often completes jobs of a spiritual or magical nature. He generally gets enraged at the often insane requests of Yūko, though he pays close attention whenever she is serious with him.[3] Watanuki is known for being both volatile and caring. While around his crush, Himawari Kunogi, he is usually cheerful and excited,[4] whereas around Shizuka Dōmeki he is much more irritable.[3]

During his work, Watanuki encounters spirits who take his right eye for the destruction of a web. He then starts sharing Dōmeki's eyesight which allows him to detect evil spirits.[5][6] When nearly dying while falling from his school's second floor, Watanuki learns he is related with a teenager named Syaoran who paid Yūko for his health alongside Himawari and Dōmeki.[7] Watanuki is unaware he was used to fill the gap left by Syaoran after he decided to turn back time and accept imprisonment by sorcerer Fei-Wang Reed as payment. Watanuki became the child of Syaoran's parents and filled all of the relationships Syaoran would have made.[8] Before the series' start, Watanuki gave up the memories of his past as a price to find Fei-Wang and help Syaoran. As he then could not remember his parents, Watanuki developed a strong sense of guilt, thinking his parents died due to his fault, and this guilt led to his ability to attract spirits.[8][9] Across the story, Watanuki manages to overcome his selfessness and becomes concerned about granting Yūko's wish.[9] Watanuki's origins and interactions with Syaoran are also explored in Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle.[10]

When Yūko dies, Watanuki resolves to take care of the shop so he can wait for her return.[11] During the climax of Tsubasa, Watanuki and Syaoran have to pay a price to survive Fei-Wang's dying curse with Watanuki's price being able staying in the shop. From this he becomes the new master of the shop and takes up Yūko's job of granting wishes to the shop's customers during the last volume from xxxHolic subtitled xxxHolic Rō. His personality changes as he adopts some of Yūko's quirks and habits.[12][13] He works with Domeki's aid who brings him materials from outside. Over the next years, Watanuki's powers become stronger since he never removed his ability to see spirits.[14] His lifespan also increases, though he retains the appearance of a teenager. Over a hundred years after taking over the shop, Watanuki's powers grow strong enough to allow him leave the shop, but he decides to remain there and continue to fulfill the promise he made to Yūko.[15]

Other appearances[edit]

Outside the xxxHolic and Tsubasa manga, Watanuki has appeared in the film xxxHolic: A Midsummer Night's Dream where he visits a collector's mansion and he investigates the mystery behind multiple disappearances.[16] In the original video animation (OVA) xxxHolic Rō, Watanuki, as the new shop's owner, receives a tape with Yūko's voice.[17] In the second OVA, Watanuki is requested by the spirit of Dōmeki's grandfater, Haruka, to investigate his grandson's dreams.[18] Watanuki appears as the protagonist of the manga xxxHolic Rei where is featured as Yūko's assistant. While seeing several of Yūko's cases, Watanuki realizes that his boss is waiting for him to make an important decision.[19] Eventually, he learns that he is living in an alternate dimension where Yuko is not dead. After saying goodbye to his boss, Watanuki returns to reality to give Syaoran a group of items. In Tsubasa World Chronicle he meets Syaoran and gives him his items. Shota Sometani plays Watanuki in the live action TV series.[20] The video game xxxHolic ~Watanuki no Izayoi Sowa~ also features Watanuki.[21] He is also a prominent character in the novelization Another Holic by Nisio Isin.[22]

He also appeared in other works related with Clamp including the seventeenth episode of the anime adaptation of Kobato where he receives a package from one of the series' characters.[23] In the book Soel and Larg: The Adventures of Mokona Modoki he is seen awakening the two creatures known as Mokona Modoki with one of them staying in the shop and the other being used by protagonists from Tsubasa.[24] Yūko tells Watanuki how she created the two Mokonas alongside a sorcerer named Clow Reed in the xxxHolic Kei CD drama.[25] In the manga Drug and Drop he hires its two protagonists for a job involving the encounter of a supernatural being.[26] In the Blood-C anime he appears as a dog contacting the protagonist Saya Kisaragi who he meets in person in the feature film where he grants her wish of obtaining a new sword.[27][28] In the Holitsuba CD drama series Watanuki appears as a high school student from the titular school.[29]

Creation and design[edit]

After creating Yūko, Clamp believed her character was so interesting she could be the only main character in the series. However, they then wondered it would more interesting if they created another character who, like Yūko, would also be connected with the spirits and across the story would see Yūko's life and often asked her about the supernatural events. They compared Yūko and Watanuki with Doraemon and Nobita Nobi, respectively, from the manga series Doraemon.[30] Unlike Yūko, Watanuki's personality and design were not difficult to write and illustrate. He was based on a real beautician who has not been identified by the authors.[31]

Although the authors noted that Domeki and Yuko were the series' most popular character, Clamp illustrator Tsubaki Nekoi found that Watanuki was very popular within female readers. Nekoi believed this was due to his kindhearted personality rather than his appearance while headwriter Nanase Ohkawa believed it was due to his multiple skills.[30] When reaching the series' conclusion, Clamp received multiple letters from fans who were saddened with Watanuki's decision to stay inside the shop even after one hundred years. The authors were pleased with the readers' comments and clarified that for Watanuki staying in the shop made him.[32] In Japanese Watanuki is voiced by Jun Fukuyama.[33] In casting Fukuyama, they made him try a more innocent tone in contrast to other roles he played.[31] In the English dub of the anime series, Todd Haberkorn voices him.[34]

Reception[edit]

Watanuki's character has been well received. In a xxxHolic poll, Watanuki was voted as the most popular character from the series.[35] Director Tsutomu Mizushima referred to Watanuki as his favorite character from the series due to his personality and commented that he identifies himself with him.[33]

Critical reception to the character has been generally positive. Although Watanuki was initially seen as "a little bit weak to be the lead character" by Polley Dan from Manga Life,[36] his interactions with other characters and his development across the series has been praised.[37][38] Ed Sizemore from Comics Worth Reading that while Watanuki was introduced as a "selfish, self-centered, but not very self-aware" character due to his origins, his growth across the series has made far more likable as the changes allowed him to "mature into adulthood." While at this point Watanuki started undergoing existencial vertigo, the way it was presented was well received by Sizemore.[39] Matthew Alexander from Mania Entertainment liked the development of Watanuki and Yuko's relationship as across the series Watanuki starts caring about his boss' true desire since he realizes how much she cares for him.[40] Writers from Manga Bookshelf compared Watanuki with Tokyo Babylon '​s main character Subaru Sumeragi based on how both deal with supernatural being and society but found that Watanuki acted more as a normal teenager than Subaru due to his habit of getting irritated.[41]

Similar to Manga Bookshelf's writers, Rebecca Silverman from Anime News Network compared his development in the series with Subaru's due to how both characters start behaving like close people to them.[42] Matthew Alexander also compared Watanuki's new characterization with Yuko's as it shows that besides maturing as he no longer throws angry tanctrums, Watanuki is unwilling to forget the witch.[43] Carlo Santos praised Watanuki's role as the shop's new owner due to how he manages to replace Yuko by taking some of her traits such a calmer demeanor as well as wearing multiple outfits.[44] Leroy Douresseaux from Comic Book Bin liked Watanuki's calm demeanor when dealing with clients which helped to build an appealing atmosphere.[45] Todd Haberkorn's work as Watanuki's English voice actor has been criticized by Santos for making the character sound annoying rather than funny.[46]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Clamp (2004). "Chapter 1". xxxHolic, Volume 1. Del Rey Manga. ISBN 978-0-345-47058-4. 
  2. ^ Clamp (2004). "Chapter 2". xxxHolic, Volume 1. Del Rey Manga. ISBN 978-0-345-47058-4. 
  3. ^ a b Clamp (2006). "Chapter 49". xxxHolic, Volume 8. Del Rey Manga. ISBN 978-0-345-48336-2. 
  4. ^ Clamp (2004). "Chapter 3". xxxHolic, Volume 1. Del Rey Manga. ISBN 978-0-345-47058-4. 
  5. ^ Clamp (2006). "Chapter 50". xxxHolic, Volume 8. Del Rey Manga. ISBN 978-0-345-48336-2. 
  6. ^ Clamp (2006). "Chapter 51". xxxHolic, Volume 8. Del Rey Manga. ISBN 978-0-345-48336-2. 
  7. ^ Clamp (2007). "Chapter 64". xxxHolic, Volume 10. Del Rey Manga. ISBN 978-0-345-49683-6. 
  8. ^ a b Clamp (2009). "Chapter 90". xxxHolic, Volume 14. Del Rey Manga. ISBN 978-0-345-51843-9. 
  9. ^ a b Clamp (2009). "Chapter 84". xxxHolic, Volume 13. Del Rey Manga. ISBN 978-0-345-50566-8. 
  10. ^ Clamp (2009). "Chapitre 168". Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, Volume 22. Del Rey Manga. ISBN 978-0-345-51038-9. 
  11. ^ Clamp (2010). "Chapter 95". xxxHolic, Volume 15. Del Rey Manga. ISBN 978-0-345-52112-5. 
  12. ^ Clamp (2010). "Chapitre 233". Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, Volume 28. Del Rey Manga. ISBN 978-0-345-52164-4. 
  13. ^ Clamp (2010). "Chapter 96". xxxHolic, Volume 16. Del Rey Manga. ISBN 978-0-345-52412-6. 
  14. ^ Clamp (2010). "Chapter 101". xxxHolic, Volume 16. Del Rey Manga. ISBN 978-0-345-52412-6. 
  15. ^ Clamp (2011). xxxHolic, Volume 19. Kodansha. ISBN 978-4-06-376039-2. 
  16. ^ Clamp Double Feature: Tsubasa Chronicle and xxxHOLiC (DVD). Funimation Entertainment. February 2008. 
  17. ^ xxxHolic Rō (DVD). Kodansha. June 2010. 
  18. ^ xxxHolic Rō Adayume (DVD). Kodansha. March 2011. 
  19. ^ Clamp (2013). xxxHolic Rei, Volume 1. Kodansha. ISBN 978-4-06-376897-8. 
  20. ^ "Clamp's xxxHolic Gets Live Action TV Adaptation". September 6, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Characters" (in Japanese). Marvelous Entertainment. Retrieved November 9, 2013. 
  22. ^ Isin, Nisio; Clamp (2008). xxxHolic ANOTHERHOLiC Landolt-Ring Aerosol. Del Rey Manga. ISBN 978-0345505187. 
  23. ^ Madhouse, Clamp (February 9, 2010). "…謎の生命体、2号。 [...Mysterious Life-Form II]". Kobato.. Episode 17. NHK-BS2.
  24. ^ Clamp (2004). ソエルとラーグ―モコナ=モドキの冒険 [Soel and Larg: The Adventures of Mokona=Modoki]. Kodansha. ISBN 978-4-06-364595-8. 
  25. ^ xxxHOLiC◆継」第一巻 [xxxHolic Kei Part One] (Media notes). Clamp. BMG JAPAN. 20068.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  26. ^ Clamp (2013). Drug & Drop, Volume 1. Kadokawa Shoten. ISBN 978-4-04-120487-0. 
  27. ^ Production I.G (August 26, 2011). "うかりける [As Pitiless as the Storm]". Blood-C. Episode 7. MBS.
  28. ^ Blood-C: The Last Dark (Blu-ray). Funimation Entertainment. October 2013. 
  29. ^ 「私立堀鐔学園」第2話・堀鐔祭準備中にドッキドキ! [Private High School Holitsuba' Episode 2: Heartpounding Preparation for the Holitsuba festival!] (Media notes). Clamp. Kodansha. 2006. 
  30. ^ a b xxxHolic: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Clamp interview. Shochiku. 2005. 
  31. ^ a b Clamp (2005). Clamp no Kiseki, Vol. 10. Tokyopop. p. 5. 
  32. ^ "CLAMP :「想像以上に大変でした」"×××HOLiC""ツバサ"異例の並行連載7年を振り返る" [CLAMP: "It was hard to imagine more "×××HOLiC" "Tsubasa" looking back on an unprecedented 7 year simultaneous serialization] (in Japanese). Mainichi Shimbun. March 5, 2011. Archived from the original on March 7, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2011. 
  33. ^ a b "xxxHOLiC> STAFF & CAST". Production I.G. Archived from the original on January 17, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2011. 
  34. ^ Beveridge, Chris (January 3, 2011). "Tsubasa OVAs English Cast Revealed". Mania Entertainment. Retrieved January 4, 2011. 
  35. ^ Clamp (2009). The Official xxxHOLiC Guide. translanted and adapted by William Flanagan. New York: Del Rey Manga. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-345-51000-6. 
  36. ^ Polley, Dan (November 25, 2007). "xxxHOLiC v10". Manga Life. Archived from the original on November 27, 2007. Retrieved November 18, 2010. 
  37. ^ Kim, Joy (August 13, 2008). "xxxHOLiC v11-12 Review". Manga Life. Archived from the original on August 15, 2008. Retrieved November 18, 2010. 
  38. ^ Morton, Bryan (November 5, 2008). "Xxxxholic Vol. #1". Mania Entertainment. Retrieved November 7, 2013. 
  39. ^ Sizemore, Ed (August 11, 2008). "xxxHOLiC, Vol. 12". Comics Worth Reading. Retrieved November 4, 2013. 
  40. ^ Alexander, Matthew (September 6, 2008). "XXXHolic Vol. #12". Mania Entertainment. Retrieved November 4, 2013. 
  41. ^ Melinda Beasi; Michelle Smith; Danielle Leigh (July 25, 2012). "Off the Shelf: Tokyo Babylon". Manga Bookshelf. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  42. ^ Silverman, Rebecca (October 29, 2011). "xxxHOLIC GN 17". Anime News Network. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  43. ^ Alexander, Matthew (September 29, 2011). "xxxHolic Volume #17 Manga Review". Fandom Post. Retrieved November 7, 2013. 
  44. ^ Santos, Carlo (November 4, 2010). "xxxHOLic GN 16". Anime News Network. Retrieved November 18, 2010. 
  45. ^ Douressaux, Leroy (January 4, 2011). "xxxHOLiC: Volume 16". Comic Book Bin. Retrieved November 7, 2013. 
  46. ^ Santos, Carlo (August 16, 2009). "xxxHolic DVD Box Set (Hyb)". Anime News Network. Retrieved November 18, 2010.