|xxxHolic Rou Adayuma|
Picking up some years after the events of xxxHolic Rou, Kimihiro Watanuki is asked to grant a wish of Doumeki's grandfather, which takes him on a harrowing jaunt into the world of dreams. Once there, he is to decrypt the dream, using all the skill he has at his disposal, as he follows a thread of dreams through the past moments of his life, and that of the dreamer.
Once again the OAD is produced by Production IG, and despite the swiftness of the episode, it sports some of the most impressive visual effects in the xxxHolic franchise since the movie; A Midsummer Night's Dream. The score is first rate as always, and the dialogue is well crafted, allowing the fans not familiar with the manga to still follow along, despite the obvious major leap-frogging and gaps between OVAs, and OADs.
I was somewhat bittersweet at this latest OAD, as I am a huge fan of the franchise, and while I know how the manga ends, this episode seemed like a un-spoken fond farewell. Doumeki makes his usual appearance, but this time there was no Kohane Tsuyuri, and only brief moments with the supporting cast.
Some revelations in this installment were disappointing, and others leaving me despondent. It's not enough that Watanuki is the shop owner, but at the price he paid, to live forever, it means washing his hands of any sort of normality, and the burden is one that I think he shoulders well.
I would have greatly preferred this OAD to be twice as long, and maybe it's better that it wasn't; as that might have only given me more of a sadness to deal with afterward. Nevertheless, I personally feel that this is the end of xxxHolic, and if there are to be any future OVAs, or OADs; then they probably will only be side stories, and take the series in a direction that I don't want.
I won't compare this OAD to the manga, since I am a firm believer in letting the anime and the manga develop into their own unique life-forms, but as an anime, this one could have gone out with more of a bang. Instead it let you walk away sadly, wishing you could turn around and say goodbye before hanging your head and leaving for good.
If I had to recommend this, I would suggest it only to those that are true fans of the series, otherwise this is not something most fans would even be interested in seeing, despite it's creation by CLAMP.
This is the OAD that happens when we just can bear to part with a series, and while it may have been sad to see it go, wrought with pangs of frustration, it still gave me an opportunity to say my farewells to one of my favorite franchises in the past several years.