Watanuki, pursued by an elephant-sized spirit when trying to take a walk, tries to get away and ends up near a strange house. When he touches the gate, the spirit seems to disappear and against his will his legs decide to run him into the mysterious house. He’s greeted by an adorable, if slightly creepy, pair of twins, and soon he’s cornered by Yuko, the mistress of a shop that grants wishes. Yuko is a master of persuasion and creating logical reasoning for obeying her, so it’s but a small matter for her to strongarm Watanuki into becoming her assistant in exchange for her helping him to no longer see the spirits that plague his steps. Watanuki doesn’t have any idea what he’d gotten himself into, but he soon begins to see his mistresses habits are more than a bit bizarre è in “helping” a young woman, she lets her own lies cloud her vision so much that she cannot see impending danger. Despite the more esoteric discussions of fate, the soul, and different kinds of prices, the usual CLAMP wackiness is alive and well in amusing interlude scenes including cleaning the shop and caring for a grumpy, flu stricken Yuko.
xxxHolic, vol. 1
Del Rey Manga, 2004