Reviewed by: Azure
Released by: Tanoshimi
Publishing Country: UK
Age Rating: 13+
Page Count: 208
It’s night before Valentine’s day and Wantanuki is stuck making chocolates for Yuko. The person who’d he’d really like to give chocolates too is Himiwari. Dare he try even though Yuko warns him things go badly? There’s also the little matter of Domeki who always seems to show up when he’s least wanted, though perhaps not when he’s least needed.
In Japan it is customary for girls to hand make chocolates for the objects of their affection and give them as presents on Valentines day. Then if the guy wants to reciprocate he gives her a return gift on white day one month later. Sadly for Wantanuki, Yuko is determined to change things around a bit and makes him come to her shop late at night and make her some fondant au chocolate. He ends up with one left over, Yuko tells him he can give it to the one he most wants to eat it but warns him that it might not go as he imagines. The story is told with a mixture of sentimentality and wicked humour which makes you want to pity Wantanuki as much as you laugh at him.
The second story which covers the bulk of the volume concerns a set of twins who share a dangerously close and extremely unhealthy relationship. On the surface one is extremely positive and outgoing, the other is shy and very negative. The negative sister is always having strange accidents, and Wantanuki feels strange waves emanating from the sisters which means once again something odd is happening. This arc provides an excellent opportunity to see Domeki and Wantanuki interact with each other, without Himawari acting as peace keeper. The story is extremely engrossing and as with other xxxHolix cases has a moral at the end.
The characters have really developed well especially Wantanuki and Domeki. Whilst Wantanuki and Domeki appear not to get on both are actually soft hearted and each tries to help the other in his own way. Yuko is also extremely funny, whilst it’s clear she has her own agenda CLAMP skilfully drip feed hints as to what her true history and intentions are. It’s this clever working of a larger sub plot into the main story that keeps things interesting. The main supernatural cases are interesting, but without characters the reader cares about the impact would be seriously reduced.