I’ve seen a couple of comments here and there about choosing to roundtable just the first three volumes of xxxHolic.
Since I’m the person who suggested the roundtable and the three volumes, I thought I’d explain a bit. (Or at least raise my hand and say, “Blame me!”)
We’d been talking about what to do for the next roundtable and someone suggested the manga Lone Wolf and Cub, but that one is mighty long. I suggested it would be fun to do a manga and suggested xxxHoLic because I think it is less inherently long-arc-y. I mean, yes, it does have a lovely long arc, but you’re not just reading an unfulfilled part of a story (which I felt would be unfair to the manga to be roundtabled).
I have long loved it. I adore Yuko and I really, deeply, truly love the art. (The ink! The ink!) I’ve read a whole lot of xxxHolic but not all of the releases in scanlation. When trying to decide on a manga to suggest, I looked for one that I liked and which I thought others would enjoy (best laid plans! and sorry to make anyone cry!) but which could be purchased for a reasonable amount. I’d hate to ask people to drop three hundred dollars on a series only to hate it. I know that’s kind of a real-world-y reason to not suggest something, but that’s just part of the reality of not being Publishers Weekly or whatever. I also find that some people who don’t like ‘manga art’ can enjoy xxxHolic.
So those were my reasons. Sometimes intentions don’t matter, but sometimes they do, and it was not my intent to set up a roundtable that was inherently unfair to the work in question. For the record, while I do enjoy some of the long-arc stuff, it’s the shorter episodes that I enjoy most, partly because I tend to read manga in a catch-as-catch can fashion, often with long lag times between chapters.
Now, of course people are absolutely entitled be bored silly or to hate it, or what have you. I’ve, uh, certainly said exactly what I thought about a roundtable item in the past, so I don’t expect any of my fellow hoods to enjoy xxxHolic. However, I did want to make it clear that I suggested the three volumes, rather than all of them, and so if there’s fault to be had in the criticism for not reading the whole thing, then it lies with me.
Which brings me to my next point. I can see that several commenters have read the whole manga so far (as well as Tsubasa, which I admit I haven’t read) and so I thought, well, why not open up the discussion a bit more? I’d love to hear some other thoughts about the manga and about the longer arcs from folks who have read long into it. I didn’t want to get into a whole lot of the later plot in my intro (also, obviously, I am madly obsessed with the art) since I didn’t know what everyone else had in store and also because I think it’s kind of sucky to put series-long spoilers in intro posts.
So those who have read more, what did you think? What would you like to see addressed or discussed?
Update by Noah: The whole roundtable is here.