Now that Watanuki and Domeki share portions of their physical selves (no, it's not as bad as it sounds, really!), they are developing similar psychic abilities as well. The several supernatural events in this book - some disturbing, some rather cute - give them a chance to show their growth. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the boys, Yuuko is preparing for something dire that threatens both the shop and the larger world.
I've finally fallen for Watanuki. He used to drive me nuts because he was such a spaz, but in this volume, he's showing both grit and compassion - even Domeki is impressed a couple of times. Several favorite supernatural characters return as well. All in all, this is a strong volume.
I love Domeki's grandfather so much, so I was really glad to see him here, although he didn't do much but act as a psychopomp - Watanuki's guide in the incident with the ghost girl. I had to read through that whole thing twice before I realized why it was there at all - Domeki could see the ghost, but Himawari couldn't. I also really like the father-and-son fox spirits, so it was nice to see them again.
Actually, this was a really good volume for the supernatural people/critters in general. The little bird that Watanuki gave up to be Himawari's is killingly cute, and we get to see the pipe fox again. Mokona was far less annoying than usual: its odes to oden were sweetly loopy, and its worry over its counterpart and over Maru and Moro was very affecting.
I think the best things for me were the whole mittens/gloves thing, with Watanuki having to admit that he specially went and bought yarn to suit Domeki, and then the scene with Kohane. Watanuki's determination to make this over-protected yet exploited child happy, and Domeki's - and Kohane's - recognition of it were very, very special for me ... although I can't really say why!