xxxHOLIC Live Action Episode 5 Recap

I am happily anticipating this episode as the Ame Warashi (rain sprite) story arc was a favorite of mine from the manga. Thankfully, me reading xxxHOLIC at the end of the year last year prepared me for enough of a background for this drama without having me recall all that happened and constantly compare the two.

Episode 5: Hydrangea

We open with Watanuki helping Himawari bake a cake. Got to love that she as the one who made the promise to make a cake as a reward, but it is Watanuki who has to make it. He doesn’t mind this, of course, because he’s willing to do anything for his beloved Himawari-chan. Domeki is also present and he steals tastes of the strawberries earning him a scolding from Watanuki. Domeki just blandly reminds him that it’s his kitchen. LOL. Their bickering makes Himawari smile.

 

Outside stand Yuko and the Ame Warashi (played by Morikawa Aoi). Even though the sun is shining, it is pouring rain. The three run out and Himawari asks what brings them their. Yuko tells them that the Ame Warashi has a request of Watanuki. The Ame Warashi tacks on that he should be grateful since it’s a “fun” job. Trust me, if you knew the job, you’d know that “fun” is definitely not the right word. Yuko does follow up with a “so she says” remark. It’s a little hard to hear the audio over the sound of the rain.

 

In the house, Yuko introduces her friend as the “god of rain” known as the Ame Warashi in the human world. Watanuki gives her an odd look and asks if that means she’s a ghost. The Ame Warashi takes offense at this and slaps him with her umbrella. She then turns to look at Yuko and asks if he can really do the job. Yuko reminds her that she needs Watanuki’s skills and the Ame Warashi turns and says she needs his power to help a member of her family. This surprises Watanuki. His power is to see ghosts, but he can’t do anything about them. Yuko says that they will just bring Domeki in on the job as well. Domeki is quick to agree (in his bland, Domeki manner). This, as always, annoys Watanuki. Yuko then whispers that a price has already been agreed upon. What?

  

The Ame Warashi then gets up and grabs Watanuki’s hand and begins dragging him to the door. I love how she calls him “part-timer” just like Maru and Moro. Poor Watanuki’s name will forever be “part-timer.” 😛 Watanuki shakes himself free and tells her that he has not agreed. The Ame Warashi says that since his boss has already accepted the job, then he cannot defy Yuko’s orders. Watanuki then says he can’t because he’s busy. Busy with what? Baking a cake! This makes the Ame Warashi laugh.

Himawari breaks into his argument with the rain sprite and says that somebody needs his help, right? She then promises to finish making the cake and will wait for his return. This pleases Watanuki very much. The Ame Warashi’s nose turns up at Himawari and her expression darkens. She coughs and heads over to Yuko and asks what is wrong with Himawari.

 

Watanuki, Domeki, and the Ame Warashi are out together and it is raining yet again. The Ame Warashi wonders aloud how Watanuki can even use his powers in Himawari’s presence. Watanuki doesn’t understand what she’s talking about, but before he can ask what she means, they arrive at their destination. The Ame Warashi says that the person who needs help is in the abandoned factory. Domeki comments that it looks like no one has been there for a long time. Regardless, that person has been suffering for a long time already. She requests again that the two boys help. The Ame Warashi can go no further and vanishes in a prism of colors, thus stopping the rain.

 

The boys head into the factory where they see a blood red hydrangea plant. This is odd as it is not the season for the plant to be blooming. Both have also never seen a red hydrangea plant. The two’s faces get pretty close together and when Watanuki notices this, he quickly backs off and asks why Domeki is there. The taller boy says at first its because he can’t make a cake. Is that really the reason? No, he has the powers and would like to help people. Isn’t that why Watanuki strongly protested, but yet came to help? Watanuki quickly replies that he could not say know to Himawari’s smiling face. Domeki gives him a knowing smile. Yep, Domeki knows that its not just because of Himawari’s smiling face—Watanuki, too, wishes to help people.

   

Watanuki touches one of the hydrangea’s leaves and an odd expression comes over his face. At Domeki’s house, Yuko’s smoking her pipe when she gets a strange feeling. We then cut back to Domeki looking back and seeing only Watanuki’s umbrella. He starts calling out for his missing friend.

Right now Watanuki is in a clinic with a little girl named Aida. A nurse keeps calling for Aida Saori and Watanuki asks if that is the child. Aida confirms that it is she, but she doesn’t want to go. Where is her mother? She went back home because Aida was a bad girl. Aida then goes over and sits by Watanuki. She clutches his sleeve and says that she’s afraid of going alone. Can he come with her? Without hesitating, Watanuki quickly agrees.

   

The two go in to visit the doctor (played by the prolific Takenaka Naoto). He asks Aida where it hurts and the little girl points at her throat. The doctor touches it and for a second, Watanuki sees a red mark on the little girl’s neck. It quickly vanishes and the doctor tells the girl not to worry as she will be fine shortly. Aida then asks if her mother will come and get her when her neck has healed. The doctor quickly says that she will. Watanuki wears a very subtle sad expression as he stares at the scene.

  

Aida is led away by the nurse and the doctor gets up to leave as well. Watanuki calls out to him and asks where that place is. The doctor smiles and calls Watanuki a stranger person before exiting through a different door. Watanuki slowly goes to the door and opens it. On the other side, Aida is being chained down by the nurse and doctor. Watanuki calls out her name and when the doctor turns his eyes flash black. A ghost! Watanuki quickly picks up a scalpel and Aida breaks free and rushes to hide behind him.

  

The doctor wonders just who this onii-chan is. He tells Aida to leave the evil boy alone and to come and finish this. The doctor comes closer and Watanuki slashes at him. The doctor jumps back and the two kids rush out the door into a hallway covered in ivy and bathed in a red light.

Meanwhile, Himawari is doing her best to bake the cake. It didn’t turn out looking all the best and she is very disappointed. She takes the cake and dumps it in the trash. Yuko comes in and says it is the feelings of the maker and not the appearance that is important. Himawari responds by saying she is just plain useless. Yuko comes into the room and says outer appearances of a person can change, but what is inside can’t. At least, that is what Yuko once believed. Yuko then says that if she has strong feelings about someone, she can then change them inside. Yuko smiles and says that she started believing this idea because of a certain someone who seems to be in danger at the moment. This scares Himawari—is Watanuki in danger? Yuko says that he is, but that Himawari can save him. The girl backs off scared and quickly says that she cannot. Yuko comes closer and closer and tells her that she can as long as she is willing to share some of her power. Yuko pulls one of the ribbons out of Himawari’s hair and says that it is, of course, completely up to Himawari. Just like it was completely up to Domeki in the last episode.

  

Watanuki and Aida continue running. When the little girl falls, she tells Watanuki to go one alone, but the boy won’t leave her behind. He helps her up and when the go to continue, there is the doctor and nurse. The doctor demands that Watanuki give Aida to him. Watanuki asks what the doctor will do and the doctor says that he will, of course, eat the girl as children’s souls are delicious. He comes closer to the two kids and asks that Watanuki not mistake him. He is not a killer. He points out that Aida is already dead, however, the child doesn’t know it yet…or maybe she knows, but doesn’t want to acknowledge the fact.

  

The doctor then asks Aida if she remembers “that day.” She saw the purple and green hydrangeas and leaned in to look at a snail. At that time, her mother strangled her. This makes Watanuki recall his mother’s death. He gets angry and lunges at the doctor with the scalpel, but the doctor catches the blade and again asks just who Watanuki is. Watanuki and Aida are brought back into the office where the nurse answers a phone and the doctor sits at his desk.

  

Yuko arrives at the factory and sees Domeki sitting alone by the hydrangeas. He immediately gets to his feet and goes to tell her about Watanuki, but she replies that she already knows. She then gives him Himawari’s ribbon. She tells him to keep one end in his hands and bury the other in the hydrangea’s roots. Domeki looks up and sees Himawari enter. Her hair is completely down for once and she has a resolute look on her face. She’s decided to help of course.

 

Back in the doctor’s office, the doctor tells Watanuki that he now knows who he is. He’s heard of Watanuki’s name before in the spirit world. The doctor says again that he does not kill and tells Watanuki to go back home and leave peacefully. Watanuki refuses as he will not let them take Aida. This angers the doctor. The girl is already dead and is a stranger to Watanuki—why is he doing this? Watanuki holds onto the child and says it is because he promised her.

  

The doctor gets angry. He had wanted to end this peacefully, but he won’t be able to know thanks to the meddling human. He takes the scalpel and starts advancing on Watanuki and the child. The two are then backed into a corner. The doctor talks, but I can’t catch anything he’s saying. A black hole opens up on the ceiling and Himawari’s ribbon drops in. The doctor and the nurse back away. Watanuki picks up the ribbon and goes to the little girl. It’s time to go home now. He takes her hand and when he opens his eyes, he’s in the factory with Domeki and Himawari.

    

Watanuki immediately goes to get up, but finds his hand is bound. He looks down and there is the skeletal hand of the child. He gently touches it and tells her that she is no longer alone. Yuko watches this all with an unreadable expression. The blood red hydrangeas are now back to their normal purple color.

  

Back at the shop, Watanuki tells the little girl’s story. She went missing six months ago. The police are now questioning Aida’s mother. Yuko puts down her pipe and says the girl’s soul was trapped between the world of the living and the afterlife. The ghosts kept their eyes on her. Watanuki says that Himawari saved them. He looks at her yellow ribbon and says that he had no idea that Himawari had such power.

 

Enter the Ame Warashi. She asks Watanuki how things went and he replies that it’s all okay since he was able to save Aida. Say what? This surprises the Ame Warashi. Watanuki misunderstood, but it’s okay since the task was accomplished. The Ame Warashi then tells him that the hydrangea is a symbol of the Ame Warashi. It is pure and very rare in this day and age. It turned red because of human blood. The Ame Warashi wanted Watanuki to save the hydrangea. But what about Aida Saori? Since humans don’t care about the supernatural world, then why should she care about that little girl?

  

Yuko then interrupts and asks about the Ame Warashi’s promised payment. The girl tells Yuko not to rush or worry. She will bring it next time. She only came today to give her greetings. She then catches a glimpse of the ribbon and her face turns dark. She then takes her leave.

  

Yuko lounges on the couch drinking her beloved sake when Watanuki comes in in saying he has finished doing the dishes and will be leaving. Yuko bids him farewell, but Watanuki isn’t leaving quite yet. He wishes to know if Yuko feels the same way as the Ame Warashi—that helping humans is pointless. Watanuki was happy that his eyes and his powers were able to help save someone. Yuko sits up with a serious expression on her face and listens. Watanuki says that it is thanks to her that he now knows its possible. He then turns and asks if he decides to help people, is it really his decision or does that mean it’s hitsuzen? Yuko gets up and says that if that is the case, then his wish will be canceled and he would have no reason to be at the shop. She holds out her arm and the shop slowly begins dissolving. Then she turns into butterflies before his eyes and disappears as well. Watanuki screams for her to wait and that’s where this episode ends.

  

I can’t wait for the next episode when the Jorogumo (I think) comes in. With the pace and the scenes for the next episode, I can very well believe they’ll end everything with a possibly satisfactory ending in only 8 half hour episodes.

This wasn’t a bad episode and I know that it’s important as it leads up to the next more important episode, but like episode 4, the pace seems slow and slightly dull. I would have liked some of the parts from the manga that were not showcased, but since it wasn’t totally important, I suppose it doesn’t matter that it was all cut out. However, I think certain aspects could have remained—i.e. Domeki kneeling in the rain with a death grip on the ribbon not being able to move an inch until Watanuki was safe. But…oh well.

And on a completely different note—who knew that Sometani Shota looks sooooo different with glasses than without. I never knew before how much glasses can transform a person’s face. I nearly didn’t recognize him in the scenes for episode 6 sans glasses.

6 comments

  • Thanks for the recap it cleared some things up for me. But I am still confused about some parts..What exactly is Himawari’s power? O___O What do the yellow ribbons have to do with it? Also at the ending when everything disappears, is it that Yuko is now preventing Watanuki from being able to go in the shop? *confused*

    Anyways I also thought this episode was a bit slow. I REALLY liked the ending part though, when Watanuki questions Yuko.

    Oh and isn’t Morikawa Aoi the lead actress in Sprout?? I totally did not recognize her in this episode!! O___O

    • One of the reasons I try not to answer some of your questions is 1) I don’t want to spoil anything and 2) I’m not sure if the drama will be sticking strictly to the manga plot. But I shall do my best to explain.

      Okay. So… I wouldn’t call it a power but rather a misfortune or curse. You’ll learn more about Himawari in the next episode it looks like, but you might as well just say she’s bad luck. If Watanuki wasn’t with Himawari, he wouldn’t get hurt as much, etc. That’s kind of what her “power” is.

      In the manga, the ribbons symbolized a connection between Watanuki and Domeki (that connection being their friendship with Himawari). Without having that connection, Domeki would not have been able to lead Watanuki back into the world of the living.

      If you recall, the only people who can enter Yuko’s shop are those who NEED it. Thus, if Watanuki does not need her services, he will not be able to enter. Hence why Yuko and Watanuki always had to meet Himawari and Domeki outside (although this later changes in the manga when both of them have their own wishes). So that is why the shop dissolved and disappeared.

      I hope that helps 😛

      Ahhh! That’s why the Ame Warashi seemed somewhat familiar to me! You’re right, she was the leading lady in Sprout. Yeah, she does look quite different in this drama compared to her previous one.

      • LOL I was wondering if I was supposed to catch on to what her power was just from that episode O_O Ok I will sit tight and wait for it *w* Thanks for the hints :3

        Ahhh I never thought about Watanuki not wishing his wish anymore!!! HMMM so if he wants to get in touch with Yuko..he can wish another wish? O_O I feel like Watanuki needs Yuko, not to get rid of his powers, but to help him use/strengthen his power…

        Yeah she looks totally different, I wouldn’t have known if you hadn’t mentioned who the actress was!

  • Great recap/review. Being new to the Jdrama scene, I am excited to read blog posts and yours is one of the best i could find. I also appreciate that you are not revealing the more important points of the story for us (the viewers) so that we can find out ourselves. I often get the feeling that drama bloggers find it hard to resist revealing key elements of the episodes.

    I really like this episode. It has a lot of elements – great thrills with the ghosts, and some funny moments with the friends, and with the newcomer.

    • Thank you. I’m glad you liked it 🙂 I am always afraid that I go into too much detail and reveal too much about an episode.

      I really liked the interaction between our three high school friends at the beginning of the episode and Watanuki’s interactions with Ame Warashi were priceless.

      • Yes, the high school friends interactions are the best, maybe because these are fantastic actors! I was a bit annoyed/irritated with Himawari, and could think of others to play her part, but I’m slowly beginning to like her. Higashide and Sometani are topnotch! They can be funny and dramatic at the right moments.

        Some viewers/fans are complaining about the pacing and keep on comparing the anime/manga with the live action version, which I find to be unfair and unnecessary. It’s like expecting a book’s movie adaptation to be followed to the letter – where is the thrill to that? I am expecting some deviation from the source, since this is not anime, but a TV series.

        Cheers!

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