xxxHOLIC Live Action Episode 4 Recap
This episode takes xxxHOLIC live action to a truly horrific level. I am using “horrific” to mean this episode plays more like a horror movie than the previous episodes believe it or not.
Episode 4: Angel-san
We open this episode with a girl huddling in the corner of her room asking “angel-san” to go away. She has her bedroom door blocked off. Watanuki and Himawari manage to open the door to Chikage’s room and work their way in. Himawari introduces Watanuki and tells Chikage that he is Himawari’s friend and is there to help Chikage. When Himawari reaches out to the other girl, she screams and rushes up to the top bunk bed where she takes a pen and starts digging it into her skin. Watanuki tells her to stop, but when she doesn’t, he grabs her hand and sees what she has carved into her leg.
Seeing this causes Watanuki to see a flash of something. He is in a classroom with a piano. On the opposite side is Chikage. She holds out her hand and taps a piece of paper lying on top of the piano. On it is a series of numbers and letters and the word “die” scribbled over it. She then asks for Watanuki’s help. When Watanuki holds out his own hand a scratch mysteriously appears.
Or rather, Chikage went crazy in real life and used her pen to gouge Watanuki’s hand. Watanuki draws back and Chikage has a royal fit. Himawari rushes over and tries to calm down the other girl. Creepy. I had shivers running down my spine during the whole pen part. Just thinking about it still makes me shiver. Gory without being overly disgusting and I can still hear the sound of the pen digging into the skin. Oy.
We cut to Himawari tending Watanuki’s hand on his usual rooftop haunt. She explains that Chikage is a friend from a different school who was really into a popular game called “Angel-san.” One day when Chikage was playing the game with friends, she started yelling. Since that point in time, she has been the mess that Watanuki has seen. So that’s why Himawari asked for his help? Watanuki gets up and says that while he can see ghosts, it’s not possible for him to help Chikage in any way. If that is true, then Himawari wishes to ask Yuko for help. This surprises Watanuki. Himawari then says that when she saw Yuko at the 100 Ghost Stories ceremony, she had a feeling she could do something. Himawari then takes Watanuki’s hands and asks him once more to help her save Chikage.
At Yuko’s store, Yuko explains the game Angel-san originate from Kokkuri-san (Table-turning). Even though the name isn’t bad, it’s still a dangerous game. Watanuki asks if Yuko will take on Himawari’s wish. Yuko says she has no problem doing it, but Himawari will need to pay the fair price. Watanuki quickly says Yuko can add it to his tab, but the woman says that it is impossible for him to pay for anyone else’s wish. Plus, if Himawari is serious, then she will come and see Yuko in person.
This angers Watanuki. Is Yuko doubting Himawari’s sincerity in wishing to help Chikage? As he goes to assure Yuko of Himawari’s sincerity, Yuko notices something and comes close to the kneeling Watanuki. She takes a puff of her pipe and blows the smoke in Watanuki’s face. She then says he’s ugly. Face palm. The two girls then join in teasing Watanuki. He angrily springs to his feet as Yuko tells him his physiognomy is bad today which means something bad just may happen to him. Watanuki shakes off her hand and says he will do it himself. The girls are sad that Watanuki left. Will he be okay? Yuko just smiles and blows a smoke ring.
Watanuki stands outside the girl’s apartment and recalls the vision he had where Chikage asked him to help her. What exactly is he planning on doing by himself? Meanwhile, Yuko pays a visit to Domeki’s house and explains the situation. Domeki asks what Yuko wishes for him to do. Her reply is that Watanuki sees and attracts ghosts while Domeki has the power to drive them away. Of course, Domeki still has his doubts about possessing such special powers. He looks at the boy hanging in the temple and then flashes back to the moment where he drew the spiritual arrow and let it fly at the ghost trying to kill Watanuki. Domeki says he is surprised to learn that he has the same power as his grandfather.
Yuko then explains that Domeki was able to discover this newfound power thanks to his ties. Ties? Domeki has just made Watanuki his friend, but the impact of the action is significant. Ahhh. Interesting. It’s kind of funny because Domeki may consider Watanuki his friend, but does Watanuki consider Domeki his friend yet?
Anywho. Watanuki is in Chikage’s school all by himself. He hears a noise and jumps. He then cautiously starts walking once more. Just as he turns a corner, Domeki shouts “Boo” at him. LOL. Ah, Domeki. That seems slightly uncharacteristic of Mr. Stoic Charisma. Domeki then teases Watanuki for being such a scaredy cat. Watanuki asks how Domeki got there and Domeki glibly replies he got in through the back door. That, of course, was not what Watanuki was asking. Right. Domeki then tells Watanuki about Yuko’s visit. This surprises Watanuki. Domeki then reminds our young hero that he may be able to see ghosts, but he can’t do anything about them, thus Yuko wants Domeki to protect him.
Watanuki says nothing to this and begins heading upstairs. Domeki follows and asks what Watanuki’s plan is to break Angel-san’s curse. Watanuki says that his plan is to go to the music room as he saw a vision of the game on top of a piano, thus the music room must be a key point. He continues his climb, but Domeki pauses and calls this idea irresponsible. Watanuki pauses and turns back to yell that it isn’t as this is what Chikage told him herself. Watanuki then says that Domeki won’t be able to understand since he can’t see ghosts. The taller boy says nothing and watches Watanuki head upstairs. Domeki then pulls what looks like a bracelet out of his pocket.
We flashback to Yuko handing the item over to Domeki telling him that she doesn’t expect him to help Watanuki for nothing. Domeki takes the item and asks what it is. Yuko, the always cryptic Yuko, tells him he’ll discover what it is later. She does tell him that he can do whatever he wants. He can choose. She smiles at this and Domeki looks rather confused as he stares down at the bracelet. Is the choice part referring to him helping Watanuki or referring to how to use the amulet?
Yuko sets up her water mirror so she can keep an eye on the boys. As she gets it set to the music room, Watanuki enters and sees the game sitting on the piano. He then see three girls with a pen crazily drawing circles begging Angel-san to go home. Watanuki calls out to Chikage and she looks up and says that Angel-san refuses to go home. Watanuki tells her to take her hands off the pen. The girls don’t listen. He comes closer and says it louder. Another girl says that they can’t since Angel-san hasn’t gone home yet. Watanuki finally goes over and grabs the pen and the four then struggle for control over it.
Yuko watches on and we get a brief history of the games Angel-san and Kokkuri-san which are a type of witchcraft used for communicating with the dead. Amateurs are generally unsuccessful at it. Real ghosts probably came to the school to try to say something, but the girls soon grew bored with the game as it was too tame.
Watanuki manages to win the pen war and swats the game to the floor. The three girls quiet down and when Watanuki looks up their faces go back and forth between human and ghostly masks. Watanuki then feels a stab of pain and is sent flying backwards. One of the little girls asks Yuko what happened and Yuko says that the teenage girls in the music room are not humans, but rather ghosts created from the malevolence of the humans playing the game (they thought it would be more interesting if something weird would come or someone died). Yuko looks really sad as she says that.
We then cut to one girl playing the piano while another puts the game on the chalkboard. She then walks over to Watanuki and hits him with a chair while another girl bends Watanuki’s arm. Domeki finally finds the music room, but can only see Watanuki on the floor with his arm bent at an odd angle. What is going on. This surprises little girl #1—he can’t see ghosts. No, Yuko explains that he can’t see them, but can repel them. The sharp noise is hear again and this time Domeki goes flying across the classroom.
Watanuki yells out Domeki’s name as the other boy struggles to his feet. The three ghosts gather and soon cuts start appearing over Domeki’s body. He then recalls his conversation with Yuko about how he thought he didn’t have the power to save anyone like his grandfather. Domeki then collapses. This angers Watanuki and he gets up and flings the chair at the ghosts. However, they manage to overpower him and pin him against the wall with a piano, squishing him. One of the ghost girls then whisper in his ear that it is fun. Domeki stands up and Watanuki yells at him to run away.
Maru and Moro watch in worry and Domeki recalls Yuko’s words about “choosing.” He clenches his fists and lets out a scream of rage. The bracelet around his writs glows and out pops a bow. Domeki takes it and draws an arrow, aiming it at the Angel-san board. He looses the arrow and nails the board, evaporating. The three ghosts turn to look and disappear as well. Domeki collapses to the ground as Watanuki pushes the piano back and collapses himself. He crawls to Domeki who says that he did not come back because of Watanuki. Bravado? Domeki says that this is just what he chose.
At Chikage’s house, the young girl wakes up in the rat next that is her room. She goes over to her window and starts ripping the paper off that was covering it. Looks like the curse is officially broken.
At the shop, Watanuki asks why Yuko told Domeki before wincing in pain from the girls’ medical treatment. Yuko tells him its because he’s an excellent part-timer who can cook and clean well. You’re kidding right? Nope. She will even make sure to add this to his bill. Yuko then grabs his face and says his physiognomy is bad as usual. She then leans her chin on his head and says a person’s fortunate changes depending on whom they come across. She then says that the person closest to Watanuki is definitely not lady luck.
We then see Himawari happily up on the roof until she sees both Domeki and Watanuki’s appearances. Watanuki smiles and waves as she says it’s awful. Watanuki assures her he is fine and Domeki cracks a smile as he says that Watanuki made a pitiful show. Watanuki snaps at him to shut up as Himawari keeps asking what she should do. You mean it didn’t occur to her that crazy psycho ghosts would hurt her friend after she asked him to help her save Chikage? Silly child. Domeki then asks for cake as he wants something sweet. This brightens Himawari up. If that’s what Domeki wants, she’ll make it. This annoys Watanuki. How come Domeki is getting the reward—shouldn’t it be Watanuki? Domeki smiles and asks if Watanuki likes class. Watanuki begins to repeat what he said before, but stops when Himawari turns and grabs his hands. She smiles broadly and thanks him. Chikage will soon be able to return to school. Watanuki smiles and replies that is good news.
Ahhhhh. The next episode. I can’t wait. She’s here!
We end this episode with a woman in lolita clothing coming to Yuko’s shop in the pouring rain. Once inside, the woman coughs and complains about the filthiness of the human world. She also complains about the board Yuko is making her kneel on. Yuko explains that she has no choice since the girl would flood the shop otherwise. The girl tells Yuko to not be rude to an old friend. Yuko smiles brightly for a bit and then demands to know why the girl is there. The girl has a request for Watanuki. Is it something that only he can do? That is correct.
End episode. I’m excited. I loved this story arc in the manga, so I’m curious to know how they will play it out in the drama.