Watanuki arrives at a mysterious location with the Pipe Fox Spirit and the Kurasu Tengu after being teleported by Yuko in the previous episode, Left Eye.
Watanuki stands up and immediately senses a strong power nearby. The Pipe Fox Spirit begins to react and move towards a dark spooky mansion on the horizon. The Kurasu Tengu explain that the energy is too strong for them to pass which is why they couldn't rescue the Zashiki Warashi by themselves.
Watanuki tells them that he will try his best and begins walks up to the entrance of the building. He stops however and can't move any further as an invisible force is preventing him from entering. The Pipe Fox Spirit then transforms into it's larger form and blasts the building with a giant fireball. They both sense the field is down and enter the building.
Moments after entering the powerful force begins to overpower Watanuki, causing him to lose conciousness. He quickly picks up a shard of broken glass and holds it tightly, cutting his palm in the process, hoping the pain will keep him awake.
Back in Tokyo, Maru and Moro see Yuko off as she leaves the shop on an errand. As she exits the grounds she sees Domeki waiting for her. The camera then pans back and reveals a desolate empty lot where Yuko's shop just was. Domeki tells Yuko that he can't enter her shop as all he sees is an empty block of land. Yuko explains that only people who need the shop can see it and because he's the kind of person who likes to solve his own problems he has no need for it.
Domeki then asks Yuko if Watanuki will ever get his eye back as as the other day at school he overheard Watanuki muttering to himself that something like that may be the case.
Meanwhile, Watanuki has made his way to the source of the energy he felt. A sensuous woman greets him and the Pipe Fox Spirit and reveals that she has his eye and that the spider he had offended was a kinsmen of hers, making her the Queen of the Spiders. She then goes on to explain that the Zashiki Warashi had come to get his eye back but had been overpowered by the energy in this place and is now a victim caught in her web.
At that moment at Yuko's the Ame Warashi arrives and find Yuko, Mokona, Maru and Moro all at work building a Ghost in the Shell model. Yuko tells her that they're busy waiting and that she can wait with them if she wishes.
Back at the mansion, the Spider Queen tries to capture Watanuki and throws several strands of web at him. The Pipe Fox Spirit defends him however by blasting them with fire. The Spider Queen then raises a talon to the Zashiki Warashi and threatens to kill her if he doesn't call off the Pipe Fox Spirit. Watanuki commands the spirit to stop and allows himself to be captured.
Watanuki begs for her to free the Zashiki Warashi and that she can take his other eye or any body part she wishes in exchange. The Spider Queen responds that if he doesn't value his own body then it has no value at all to anyone else.
Watanuki then grabs the shard of glass he had picked up earlier and slices the spider web freeing himself and the Zashiki Warashi. He then commands the Pipe Fox Spirit to attack and it does with several massive fire attacks. The Spider Queen then swallows his eye, forever stealing it from Watanuki and departs as her lair is destroyed.
Watanuki the passes out as the Kurasu Tengu enter.
Later on, Watanuki wakes up in the mountain springs where the Zashiki Warashi resides, in her arms. She begins to cry as she thought he would never wake up. She apologises profusely for putting him in danger, but he quickly tells her that he should be the one to appologise for not taking responsibility for his actions and realising that they affect the people close to him.
Eventually Watanuki is transported back to Yuko's via the spring water to Yuko's bath. Yuko welcomes him back.
That night, sitting on the shop's verandah, Yuko tells Watanuki that he can no longer get his eye back and reveals a shiny Ying / Yang ball of energy which is apparently a half of Domeki's right eye. She explains that Domeki wanted to share responsibility and has offered him half of his own eye. Watanuki looks at it for a second and accepts it.
Yuko tells him to swallow it. He does so. His right eye turns a shade of orange / brown and he collapses.
The next day on the way to school, Watanuki runs into Domeki and they exchange their usual dialogue of lunch orders, their appreciation for each other being unspoken.
A bizarre non-CLAMP crossover happened in this episode as Yuko and the others were seen building a tank model from Ghost in the Shell. For those that didn't know, the Ghost in the Shell anime is produced by Production I.G. who also makes xxxHolic Kei.
My Original Impression
Friday, April 18, 2006
This episode really impressed me on all sides. The story was great with a very fast pace but also lots of character moments and developments especially concerning the Zashiki Warashi, Watanuki and Domeki. A major plot development happens by the episode's end that really moves the whole series forward which just makes xxxHolic Kei that much more exciting.
The animation was also top notch featuring some great battle scenes with Watanuki and the Pipe Fox Spirit (Kitsune). Speaking of the fox spirit it was great to see it's fire blasts portrayed with such energy and vibrancy. Last time we saw it's fire in episode 13 of the first season it really did fail to live up to expectations. Here it really impressed.
Something else that I really dug were the several new music themes that were introduced towards the end of this episode. xxxHolic has always been a celebration of Japanese culture and the new music seems to really enforce this with a very strong Asian influence. I can't wait to hear more!
(Also, was that a Ghost in the Shell cameo?)
The next episode looks to be dealing with the dream balloons from the manga though something really surprised me... Watanuki has two blue eyes in the preview! But at the end of this episode he had an orange and a blue one! Is this a mistake on Production I.G.'s part or did the eyes revert back to blue in the manga as well? Anyone?
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