Jan. 30th, 2016

nanakah: (watanuki)
I had way too much fun today browsing LJ for old TRC and holic theories, raging and shenanigans. I won't be the black sheep and say I'm completely satisfied with how things turned out, but then again I can't really identify with the several people that dropped out of the fandom during the big HOLIC to Rou/TRC finale abyss. Rather the contrary, it was the change brought by it that got me to come back and care again.

Many disliked Watanuki's characterization from there on for "in no way being like him at all/what did they do my son" or "throwing 200 chapters worth of development outta the window" just like he once was? lol sorry which I can't really agree with. Sure, it was a big shock at first (a time skip was involved after all) but I came to love it, specially somewhere along the seven year gap (As in, he was finally more comfortable in his shop keeper shoes, less brooding, messing up less as far as hurting himself went) I thought he was so great, and everything I thought holic was leading up to. Wasn't holic always filled with Watanuki frowning at Yuuko and despairing at the thought that she somehow knew what was in store for his future, or Haruka seemingly preparing him saying there was a "grand path ahead" or, you know, what about Yuuko always being so set on explaining the clockwork of the shop to him, even though that seemed so useless and against the cryptic nature of her character back then?

I don't know, I get a special kind of aggravated whenever I read "Watanuki failed to do everything Yuuko tried to teach him!!!!11!11", because holic's appeal to me in the first place was defending broken aesops and bringing about the relativity of morals, happiness and human behavior in general (By which I mean, idk why people still try reading Yuuko through stuff like "she must be so mad at his decision!!!" when we're talking about a woman that constantly encouraged people on doing whatever the hell they feel like if that's what they truly desire, as long as they were aware of the consequences. Why on earth would she condemn Watanuki for staying in the shop? Yes, she cared about Watanuki, she wouldn't let him go on his merry way of offing himself, and in fact she put effort towards not letting him do so by surrounding him with people to change him. But that doesn't mean she taught him not to follow his heart.)

Damn, Watanuki lived off his days nurturing his powers in order to take care of Doumeki, Kohane, Himawari and everyone he cared about. This was literally spelled out in the Jorogumo chapter in Rou. His price to meet Yuuko again was staying in the shop, the whole becoming the shop *keeper* was his own decision to make himself useful to others. In the end, Yuuko's ultimate lesson to him - and to everyone else - was "Follow your heart's true wish with decision and sincerity". It -is- what he did. The fandom is kinda dead nowadays, but I'd love to discuss this at length with someone. I really can't fathom why his staying the shop for the majority of the fandom boils down to "he failed to learn, he abandoned his friends, poor Yuuko" because that's not how it went.

As fun as it was in the old school days, I never expected Wata to stay spazzy forever (much of it derived from his, very much justified, paranoia of being followed around by spirits that wanted him dead) and I love how he turned out. Down to the cynicism and sneakyness he developed, he is still very much Watanuki, bending the rules of the shop far more than he should for the children that come by his shop because he is kind and cares about others - people, spirits, whatever comes. The pinacle of that is probably his Drug&Drop cameo, in which he has a "such are humans" attitude we had never seen quite so strongly before...but then again, it makes sense after all he has seen doesn't it? I for one think his personality fits the shop restraints better than Yuuko's ever did, she is such a free spirit and a "moved by boredom" type of character that it did always come off as odd to me why would she stay in a single place doing what she did. I guess I want to see her free, or see what both of them being together *and* free would be like. Reading the Soel and Larg book and how she loved having stray cats and dogs on her porch had me forever bitter by realizing that in the HOLIC verse the shop was technically "not there" so that sort of thing could never happen again...it is hurtful to have someone like her caged away, even if she did get to have more mobility than Watanuki does nowadays.

TL;DR I loved Watanuki in HOLiC and I love him now even more as shop keeper. Yes, there is some confusion and questionable writing on CLAMP's end. His character still is A+ to me. The one thing I wanted from the day we learned his wish of "not wanting to see spirits any more" was for things to develop in a direction that the "other world" no longer terrified and threatened him, but rather expanded his world and became part of him, and indeed that's what we got in the long run.

Whooo, that went on for longer than I expected. I guess I'll split my actual speculation on what's next for Rei into a separate post altogether. Guess that's what happens when you bottle up the despair CLAMP brings.
nanakah: (bishop)
I don't like how cuts work in DW and always end up accidentally deleting my crap, so I'll just post it normally. Lotsa spoilers for xxxHOLiC Rei and TWC!

Anyway, I gotta jot down my thoughts for the latest chapters/the series in general if only to keep myself from going insane since rei 47 has been on hold since...December...
IMHO, TWC is doing a nice job at being as maddening as TRC and proof that we can never expect fluffly family happiness from anything that outright involves the multiverse. Yes, I do mean that in a good way.
What bugs me right now is that TRC was, plot and earthling logic aside, fairly wrapped up. In a way it ended the same as CCS, "Sakura" stays and "Shaoran" has to leave because of plot!!!1! but they promise to reunite someday. Save for the liiiittle detail that story wasn't on the legendary CLAMP shelf of happiness and fluff where the holy triad of Wish-Kobato-CCS rest, thus there was no magic reunion two pages later with hugs, tears and happiness. So if it's even being serialized again, clearly the only possible reason is to set stage for HOLiC Rei.
Watanuki seeing a Yuuko-ish figure in a dream while Shaoran gets repeatedly kicked in the gut by being basically forced to kill his own father of sorts doesn't bode well, and CLAMP seems to be having a hard time dealing with whatever that is supposed to imply for holic's story, if the repeated delays of rei 47 are any indication.
I can't even attempt to guess what 47 will be like given we are never told enough info to go by, but TWC has been fairly direct at establishing what the overreaching theme probably is....
  • The dead can't be brought to life unless you are Sakura or Kobato because God luvs u and screw the rules I'm the boss in the literal sense, as in, no -resurrection- allowed, but one can reincarnate the same "essence"
  • A person reborn is a different person because they will never get to repeat the same things they did in their past lives ( which was discussed at length in Kobato via Kohaku - that he chose to stay by Shuichiro's reincarnations sides not because he expects them to be the same person he was, but because they all had the ~something~ that had him falling in love)
  • Watanuki admits a reincarnated person is not the same, but he hopes they can continue old vows. And that the dream Yuuko he met wasn't "the one he met", but if he could he would stay by her side. HMMMM.
  • If Nirai Kanai has an utaki, and the excuse for Clone!Shaoran not being able to be revived by it is because he was not from that world could it be there are...more utakis? As in, each world has something similar to a..."dead people land" coexisting with that dimension? Meaning, Yuuko would be somewhere "waiting" to reincarnate...? And then again, we are not told where she is actually from since she was introduced as a "dimension leaping" witch, therefore depending on how monstrously lazy Ohkawa decides do be, she could actually get away with bringing her back this time
If this really is setting...anything up...at all, I can only see it as "Reincarnation for dummies". I don't know if it's a good thing, but I'll stick around to see it anyway. What's for sure is that rei won't resume any sooner than tsubasa. Let's just pray for poor Jr. for now.