Xxxholic: Anotherholic by NisioisinXxxholic: Anotherholic by Nisioisin

Xxxholic: Anotherholic

byNisioisinIllustratorClamp

Hardcover | October 28, 2008

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Introducing the thrilling first novel set in the exotic, mysterious world of xxxHOLiC! Written by bestselling author NISIOISIN, and spectacularly illustrated by CLAMP, this original story features the ever-excitable high school student Kimihiro Watanuki, the mystifying time-space witch Yûko Ichihara, and a host of fascinating new characters.

Nothing could have thrilled Kimihiro more than stumbling upon the bizarre wish-granting shop of the beautiful but unnerving Yûko Ichihara, who solemnly promises to make the spirits plaguing Kimihiro go away just as soon as her fee–rendered in daily afternoon chores at her shop–is paid in full.

Of course, the thrill wears off as soon as Kimihiro realizes that his payment plan bears a disturbing resemblance to indentured servitude . . . eternal indentured servitude. Still he soldiers on, ready for whatever number of adventures lie ahead. But in Kimihiro’s case, three may not be the charm!

His first assignment–to procure a pair of fake eyeglasses–is exceptionally pointless, even by Yûko’s standards. Or at least it seems that way, until Kimihiro watches a woman throw herself into traffic. He soon discovers that the doors of bespectacled perception can swing both ways.

Next, when a classmate seeks help solving a mystery involving text messages from the dead, Kimihiro is glad to play Sherlock. But he must turn to Yûko to determine whether the root of the riddle is otherworldly shenanigans, deceit, or murder.

Finally, however ready, willing, and able Kimihiro thinks he is to face the most unusual of circumstances, he still finds himself completely bewildered by the stranger who chases away his darkest spirits, condemns Yûko as a craven charlatan, and offers Kimihiro a way out of his preternatural predicament–and a fortune besides.
Born in 1981, the prolific NISIOISIN has already revolutionized the Japanese literary world with his fast-paced, pop culture-fueled novels. He debuted with The Kubikiri Cycle in 2002, beginning his seminal Zaregoto series, and Bakemonogatari was published under Kodansha’s popular Kodansha Box imprint. In 2007 came the magnificent concl...
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Title:Xxxholic: AnotherholicFormat:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 8.75 × 6.25 × 1 inPublished:October 28, 2008Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345505182

ISBN - 13:9780345505187

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—heartless eyes.My first impression of the black-haired woman, Yûko Ichihara, settled on that phrase.—frightening eyes.—cruel eyes.—bewitching eyes.—hard eyes.—eyes that looked at you as though you were less than human.—eyes that looked at you from the other side.—eyes that looked right through you.—eyes that appraised you.—eyes that measured the world in reverse.—eyes that denied the way of the world.That sort of eyes.Unable to stand having those eyes focused on me, and unable to continue staring back at them, I consciously dropped my gaze.It settled on the cup of coffee in front of me.That boy, Kimihiro Watanuki, had made it for me; he had asked if I wanted coffee or tea the moment I sat down, and I had said coffee.Even though I wanted tea.I refused milk and sugar.Even though bitter coffee is undrinkable.The same coffee sat in front of her. She had said nothing except to give me her name, just sat there staring at me. But I was sure that Ichihara-san had wanted to drink coffee, and did not require either milk or sugar.Steam rose from the black liquid.Pitch-black liquid.Ooh . . .If I flung this liquid at her, how would her expression change? What kind of eyes would look at me then?I knew I should not do that.She would be angry—and I had only just met her.I was here only because Watanuki-kun had been nice enough to bring me. I wasn’t sure if she could provide counseling or what, but there was absolutely no connection between me and Ichihara-san . . .“Call me Yûko,” she said.Just as my fingers had touched the cup’s handle, absently seeking a way to fill the silence, Ichihara-san corrected me, even though I had never said her name aloud.“And—that thing you were about to do? Don’t,” she snapped.I looked up, surprised.Her eyes were the same.Still staring fixedly at me.Then Yûko Ichihara smiled faintly. “Or perhaps . . . this way of putting things would work better with you, Nurie Kushimura-san.“Go ahead. I dare you.”n n n nThere are a great many strange things in the world.But no matter how odd . . .How incredible something may be . . .If a human does not touch it . . .If a human does not see it . . .If a human is not involved with it . . .It is simply a phenomenon.Simply a matter that will fade with time.Humans.Mankind.Homo sapiens.Humans are the most profoundly mysterious living things in the world!n n n nKimihiro Watanuki was perceptive.Not in the sense that he possessed any superhuman penetrative insight. He did not have a knack for reading personality and character, and never said anything along the lines of “He might act thuggish, but he’ll grow into a strong leader eventually. But that may well mean he becomes a powerful enemy.” Or “You can trust her. The rough way she talks is just a pose, and deep down she’s really very docile. It would help if she could learn to forgive herself.”He was not insightful, merely perceptive.He did not see people, but spirits.Spirits: Things which are always around but cannot normally be seen.Things not of this world.Things that, perhaps, were not meant to be seen.But Kimihiro Watanuki could see them clearly.This was a problem for him.It was not an ability, simply a faculty, innate and not acquired, resulting not from conscious thought but from the flow of blood through his body. It was a vision that was always with him—a problem that nothing he did would ever solve. Seeing alone was bad enough, but there were also spirits that came to him, drawn by his blood, which always caused an unholy mess.A mess he had to clean up.He had done everything he could, but there had never been anything he could do in the first place. It would have made sense just to give up, and that might well have been the best thing he could do. But even so, even in full knowledge of that, there was not a day when he didn’t wish.If only I couldn’t see.That wish went through his head every day.But it was less a wish than a prayer.A few months ago, someone had promised to grant his wish.“This has got to be a joke,” Kimihiro Watanuki muttered. No, the way he spit out the words was closer to a snarl, and his shoulders were shaking with rage. He was standing in front of the coin lockers outside the gates of JR Glass Station, about a ten minutes’ train ride east of the station closest to his high school, Cross Private School. The people around him had collectively decided to go out of their way to avoid his vicinity.He was holding a letter in his hand.A very short letter.Fake glasses (not an eyepatch).Perhaps more of a memo than a letter.Watanuki glanced up again at the locker in front of him: No. 45.The memo had been inside the locker.“She could have just said this! Why does she always have to be so roundabout—and what the hell does ‘Fake glasses (not an eyepatch)’ mean? Nobody in the universe would mix those two things up! Oh, wait, she’s talking about Date Masamune, who founded that place where they make the Zunda Mochi . . . Sendai. Aggh! That’s such a reach I can’t even think of a comeback!”It was evening, rush hour.Kimihiro Watanuki’s very audible fury directed at someone who was not even there sent people moving swiftly away from him like an ebb tide, but he was in no mood to notice or care.The day before, his employer had given him a key. The number 45 was inscribed on the key—the key to this locker. His employer—although besides Watanuki she oversaw only a paiyukimir of girls who may or may not have qualified as employees and a sort of pet thing like a black Yukimi Daifuku—had given him no details or instructions beyond, “Go open that door for me.”“All that work I put into figuring out that this key came from the lockers outside Glass Station, and all I find is another order!? Is this a game for elementary school kids?”No amount of screaming in rage could heal the frustration.All of his effort boiled down to his employer ordering him to find a pair of fake glasses. He did not venture to dream that things would end with the acquisition of said phony spectacles; that quest would soon be followed by some new order, which would in turn be followed by another, and another . . .“She’s just toying with me. . . . This has absolutely nothing to do with my actual job.”His shoulders stopped shaking, and he slumped.He appeared to have come to terms with it.Indeed, no matter how absurd, no matter how obviously the request served her own amusement, as long as the orders came from his employer —Yûko Ichihara—Watanuki had no choice but to obey.Absolute obedience.Why? Because it was a fair price.The price he had to pay before his eyes would stop seeing.“Hahhh . . .”Yûko Ichihara’s shop, where Kimihiro Watanuki worked, was a shop that could make wishes come true. As long as one paid a reasonable price, no matter how extravagant or fantastic the wish—even if you wished to not see spirits, to not have blood that attracted spirits—this shop could fulfill your request.A shop that granted wishes.“Except the way she’s working me, it might just be faster to go out collecting dragonballs. Does she actually mean to grant my wish?”Watanuki had worked for Yûko for several months now and was quite sure that she had the ability to grant wishes in return for that fair price. He was well aware of the extent of her power.But he had his doubts about her intentions.“As much as she goes on about fair prices, she can’t possibly expect me to work for free . . . but what does she want with fake glasses? She gonna wear them? Yûko-san in fake glasses? Or is there some massive Warashibe Chôja–style success lurking in my future? Will I end up rich? Gosh, what an exciting prospect. Damn it. Anyway . . .”He could not stand here fuming forever.With that in mind, Watanuki forced himself to think. He had never bought a pair of fake glasses before, or even entertained a fleeting desire to do so, and literally had no idea where he could purchase such a thing. “Fake” meant that the lenses were just glass, so they could hardly be as expensive as functional spectacles. If she wanted sunglasses, he was sure the message would have said as much, so he should avoid tinted lenses. Which meant, in short—“I don’t know this area well, but surely there’s one around. They would have it.”—the obvious first stop.A hundred-yen shop.