(Spoilers for all of Tsubasa up to this point, xxxHolic up to chapter 157.)
(Edited a few minutes later because I failed to completely gray-out some CCS spoilers.)
Clow! Goddamnit! Can you stop brainwashing your descendants/self/planet for, like, five minutes. Christ.
People keep saying, “We must trust in the children” and “We must leave it up to the children.” But you know? Clow never does that. He never does that.
At this point, I think Kurogane’s the only character who’s never once been brainwashed. Also, about half the series’ brainwashing has been enacted by the good guys. I guess it’s consensual?
But no one remembers afterwards that it was consensual, which is why Watanuki’s head’s such a mess – he no longer has any idea why the thing that happened to him happened, and so it seems a meaningless and arbitrary source of pain, without the comfort of knowing that he has made a sacrifice, and his suffering serves a purpose.
So, does the act continue to be consensual? Does the sacrifice continue to be a sacrifice? How much of the responsibility for the decision goes where, when one of the two parties is no longer quite the same person as the one who agreed to the deal? Does pre-brainwash Watanuki, whoever he was, have the right to make decisions for post-brainwash Watanuki?
(Except that CLAMP presumably feel that the brainwashed person still is the same person, as they’ve stated the that other-dimension-doubles share the same soul. This would suggest that in the CLAMP-iverse, experience does not define identity, and so my own feelings on the matter probably mean that I have been reading the entire series in a way contrary to that which they intended. (Does this same-soul business also hold true for all those clones, I wonder?))
Also, one of the central tenets of CLAMP’s moral universe is that to take a responsibility or a source of pain all for oneself, and so deny it to others, is sinful and dangerous. So, what do we do with, Yuuko’s other exchanges, where she knows what she’s getting and she knows what the customer’s getting, but the customer only knows what she wants? CLAMP often seems (gleefully) to place the onus of responsibility on the customer, but how much does Yuuko claim for herself?
You know, I kind of don’t think they’re going to kill Yuuko, but they’re definitely going screw her up bad. I think that, the way the work, she has too much blood on her hands to get off entirely.
Dang, Nadeshiko, don’t you ever get to do anything but die?
On the other hand. Please, please don’t have Yuuko turn out to be Nadeshiko, and then die sacrificing herself for someone.
I was thinking, “Fujitaka survived the flashback, it’s not fair!” But assuming that all of Clow Country was, at some as-yet-unspecified-point, brainwashed to forget that Fujitaka had been king, we actually don’t know that he did survive. Maybe Clone!Syaoran never even had an adopted father, and it was all only a memory implanted by Clow/Fei Wang. Oh, god, that’s actually really awful, isn’t it.
Oh, no, wait, Seishirou! Clone!Syaoran definitely did meet Seishirou, so his childhood can’t all have been fabricated by meddling old men. Whew. Seishirou saves the day.
This thing where Real!Syaoran’s Mom is CCS!Sakura still does not appeal to me, no matter what sort of weird stuff you do with their names. Don’t Real!Sakura and CCS!Sakura share the same soul, CLAMP? Hmm?
(Incidentally, I guess both the Syaorans now have confirmed Oedipal complexes – Clone!Syaoran tried to kill father-figure-Kurogane and bit mother-figure-Fai’s-face. You remember. Back in the day.)
Oh, wait-wait-wait – unless Real!Syaoran is somehow, like, (spoilers for all of Card Captor Sakura) Yue? That almost made sense for a second, let me think, let me think – okay! Real!Syaoran is probably, somehow, spiritually Watanuki, correct? And CCS!Yukito is somehow spiritually Yue. And Watanuki’s backstory is very similar to Yukito’s, and their names sound kinda alike, and they look kinda alike, and stuff. So, if Watanuki is Yukito, then Real!Syaoran must be Yue! This is how logic works, people, come on.
No… damnit. If Real!Syaoran were Yue, he’d be making out with Clow Country!Touya, not glaring at him…
It is cute when Touya is small and cranky. There is not enough crankiness in this manga recently, what with Kurogane stuck being the grown-up.