ANOTHERHOLiC: Landolt-Ring Aerosol

anotherholicAuthor: NisiOisiN

Companion to: xxxHOLiC by CLAMP

My rating: 4.5 of 5

Anyone who has read CLAMP’s manga xxxHOLiC will be familiar with high-school student Kimihiro Watanuki (who sees spirits) and his boss, the amazing (read childish, demanding, and unpredictable) Yuuko Ichihara. (If you haven’t read the manga, please do; it’s an incredible story.) In ANOTHERHOLiC, author NisiOisiN tells three original stories involving these two. I found it fascinating to see these characters in a light novel format, since I’m accustomed to only seeing them in the manga. NisiOisiN does very well at keeping the characters true to CLAMP’s original, although it’s pretty obvious that these stories are set early in the xxxHOLiC timeline, as the character and relationship development haven’t progressed particularly far yet.

I found it interesting that, while a majority of the cases Watanuki and Yuuko-san end up dealing with in the manga involve the paranormal, all three of these stories are primarily involving human issues. Although these human issues may initially appear to be the work of spirits, they are in actuality more studies in psychology and human nature, which Yuuko cleverly deciphers. These are really more detective stories than paranormal stories, which is consistent with NisiOisiN’s other work that I’ve read. One other feature that I appreciated in the English edition is the excellent work of the translator in providing explanatory notes; the text is infiltrated with references to Japanese culture, language, and literature. This story will be enjoyed most by those already familiar with the manga, but really, I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good mystery in short story format.

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