xxxHOLiC:Rei hiatus ending in Spring 2023: CLAMP manga returns with a new story arc after a 7-year wait

Special announcement about the return of xxxHOLiC:Rei manga in Spring 2023, in Koshiki Comic Guide
A special announcement about the return of xxxHOLiC:Rei manga in Spring 2023. Pic credit: Koshiki Comic Guide

On Wednesday, April 20, 2022, the Koshiki Comic Guide xxxHOLiC: Rei book was shipped in Japan. Inside was a special announcement from CLAMP, a manga creator circle, that after 7 years (if you count the release of Volume 4) they will be resuming their xxxHOLiC:Rei manga in Kodansha’s Weekly Magazine with a new story arc in Spring 2023!

The series’ 20th Anniversary is in February which would mean that if the manga starts up again in January, it will be just in time to celebrate this special day.

XxxHOLiC: Rei is the latest installment in CLAMP’s xxxHOLiC series, which launched in Kodansha’s weekly Young Magazine in 2013. The manga went on hiatus in July 2014 and returned in April 2015. Its manga releases have been irregular and new manga chapters were published in June 2016 and March 2017. The third compiled book volume was released by Kodansha in October 2016.

Yuuko and Watanuki from xxxHOLiC by CLAMP
Yuuko and Watanuki from xxxHOLiC. Pic credit: CLAMP

The manga and anime’s story follows Kimihiro Watanuki, a high school student who is cursed to see ayakashi (ghosts and spirits) that are attracted to him because of his enormous spiritual powers. One day, Watanuki stumbles upon a shop that grants wishes run by a mysterious witch named Yuuko Ichihara.

When Watanuki discovers that Yuuko grants people’s wishes in return for something the person considers precious – Watanuki wishes to be freed from the spirits that plague him. Yuuko tells Watanuki that the price must be equal to Watanuki’s wish and that as payment he must become Yuuki’s helper and also assist her in granting people’s wishes.

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Fans continue to speculate whether or not Yuuko is really dead

Given what we know now about Yuuko’s sudden ‘disappearance’, she probably planned to train Watanuki as her apprentice knowing all along that she would soon disappear. In xxxHOLiC: Rei he is currently running the shop in Yuuko’s absence. This makes sense since Yuuko increasingly sent Watanuki on errands of a supernatural nature.

Yuuko and Watanuki from xxxHOLiC manga, by CLAMP
Yuuko and Watanuki from xxxHOLiC manga. Pic credit: CLAMP

CLAMP had an interview in April with Da Vinci Magazine and stated that although xxxHOLiC was still on hiatus they did plan on continuing the story eventually. Unfortunately, CLAMP stated that they consider xxxHOLiC to be less of a priority than their other works, such as Card Captor Sakura: Clear Cards.

All CLAMP stories are interconnected leading to interesting speculations

In Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle it was revealed that Yuuko was actually on the verge of death but the powerful wizard Clow Reed accidentally froze her ‘time’. As this magic began to fade Yuuko’s ability to maintain the shop’s magical existence disappeared and she disappeared or died – this is made purposely unclear.

Her final words to Watanuki were that he would finally be freed from the ability to see ghosts. Watanuki decides to keep his powers, however, so that he can continue to run the wish shop in Yuuko’s absence.

In Tsubasa it was revealed that the hero Syaoran was a client of Yuuko’s and that the wish he made removed him from his own timeline. Watanuki was born to fill the ‘void’ in Timespace that Syaoran left behind.

As Tsubasa reached its conclusion, Syaoran and Watanuki were trapped in a void by the villain Fei-Wang and forced to pay a price to continue to exist. Syaoran decided to travel to other dimensions indefinitely without a place to call home while Watanuki decided to stay inside the wish shop, act as its owner, and grant wishes until he could see Yuuko again.

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Watanuki depicted as the owner of the wish shop in xxxHOLiC, by CLAMP.
Watanuki now the owner of the wish shop. Pic credit: CLAMP

In xxxHOLiC: Rei, 100 years have passed and an immortal Watanuki continues to wait for Yuuko, accompanied by the descendant of his best friend, Doumeki. Fans of the manga have been hoping and waiting for 7 years to see Yuuko revived and reunited with Watanuki, so we can feel his pain.

Since Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle and xxxHOLiC go hand-in-hand perhaps Tsubasa will return with an update as well.

With Card Captor Sakura: Clear Card’s arc coming to an end before spring it’s possible an interesting connection between xxxHOLiC and Clear Cards will be revealed. This seems elementary, My Dear Watson.

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