|Also Known As||Vestal Sprite|
|Residence||Reizan (Spirit Mountain)|
|Powers||floating in air, immortal, good luck|
|Volume 4, Chapter|
Zashiki-warashi (座敷童子) is a spirit girl who lives on a sacred mountain filled with pure spiritual energy along with the Karasu Tengu, that serve as her guardians and protectors. In traditional legend Zashiki-warashi's are prone to mischievous thoughts, though this humanoid spirit is extremely shy to the point of blushing madly and crying out of joy / sadness, but she's sweet.
One of her most prominent characteristics is that she developed very strong feelings for Kimihiro Watanuki as his exploits become known among spirits, though this may eventually have developed into full out love (depending upon individual interpretation).
When she first meets Watanuki she accidentally steals Dōmeki's soul whilst attempting to get a good Valentine's Day gift for Watanuki. She usually acts without thinking as illustrated when she unintentionally grabbed Doumeki's soul when removing the food from his stomach, but these side actions are completely unitentional on her part. Watanuki himself later sees her on her home mountain in order to give her a White Day present, and later rescues her from Jorougumo who captures her after a failed attempt on Zashiki-Warashi's part to recover Watanuki's eye.
Very little is known about Zashiki-Warashi's background. Whilst her chronological age is unknown she takes the form a pale skinned human girl in her mid to late teens, and is usually seen in the company of the Karashu Tengu who are very protective of her. Through unspecified means she came to hear about the exploits of Kimihero Watanuki and as time passed developed a prominent crush on him. This evidently took place she first appeared before Watanuki and before Ame-Warashi partitioned his services, because as she parted following the Hydrangea incident (in both the manga and the anime) the Rain Sprite could be heard specifically saying "Why does she think this guy is so good?", she being Zashiki-Warashi.
It should be noted that in the anime, Ame-Warashi meet Watanuki before Zashiki-Warashi where as in the manga it was the other way around.
In the anime
Zashiki-Warashi first appears on Valentine's Day determined to find the perfect chocolate to give to that special
someone. Her actions nearly results in the death of both Dōmeki when she accidentally took his soul and Watanuki who nearly ended up falling to his death whilst trying to pursue her. Ultimately both instances were resolved with no lasting damage done to either of the men.
She next appears when Watanuki is sent by Yūko to a place of pure chi in order to return the Kudakitsune (Pipe fox) to its small size. Whilst there ("there" being a mountain named reisan), Watanuki finds Zashiki-Warashi playing her flute on a small rock where he is able to give her a White Day present (a pair of hairpins with an angel wing design) as a token of appreciation for the Valentine's Day chocolate (despite the fact he couldn't eat it). Their reunion is interrupted by the Karashu Tengu, who as a result of Zashiki-Warashi's tearful crying for joy, show up thinking that Watanuki is making her upset again thus forcing him to flee.
Her third appearance is when Watanuki agrees to go rescue her from the clutches of the evil Jorō-gumo. Zashiki-Warashi was revealed to have been captured when she attempted to recover Watanuki's eye from the Jorō-gumo in order to give it back to Watanuki, ignoring any potential advantages it might have given her. The encounter left her unconscious (owing to the effects of Joro-guno's evil aura). Following a failed bartering attempt, and even going so far as to threaten the spider lady, Watanuki was able to use cunning and deception in order to finally rescue Zashiki-Warashi but at the expense of losing his right eye forever. When Watanuki subsequently collapsed from exhaustion, Zashiki-Warashi brought him to her mountain, a purifying pool where she protectively cradled him and held his hand as she cried over him.
In what would be her fourth and final physical appearance before Watanuki (to date), both she and Ame-warashi came to visit Watanuki, who'd recently been severely injured after falling out of a second story window. Although she is just as shy around Watanuki and fearful as she ever has been Watanuki notices a change in her voice, identifying it as more grown up. Ame-warashi explained that this was the effect of Zashiki-warashi's feelings for Watanuki, which were causing her to change and grow-up.
She made a brief cameo in manga edition 208. In this sequence Watanuki desires Chrysanthemums with morning dew growing on them in order to make a special wine. When Ame-Warashi delivers the flowers to him, Watanuki notices a particular aura surrounding the bouquet, which he recognizes as Zashiki-Warashi's. After explaining that she planned to beat Watanuki if he didn't notice, Ame-Warashi tells him that although the request was made to her, it was Zashiki-Warashi who personally picked the flowers when she heard that it was Watanuki's wish and that it was her love for him which allowed the flowers to fully bloom. She also adds that Zashiki wanted to deliver the flowers herself but was unable to owing to the concentration of the sun light on that particular day, which would have been toxic to her.
In anime vs In manga
Zashiki-warashi appeared a bit more frequently in the anime than she did in the manga and was usually seen in the company of Ame-Warashi.
Her first appearance was during Ochugen (a Japanese festival), which she misunderstood for Valentine's Day. Events similar to Zashiki-warashi's first appearance in the manga played out with Dōmeki nearly dying although at the end it was revealed the sprite confused the festival for Valentines day (as was so politely pointed out by the Rain Sprite).
Her second appearance is when Watanuki visits her to thank her for the aburage (deep-fried tofu) which she gave to him in order to help him with the Kudakitsune. Again once Watanuki hands her the hairpins, the pair are interrupted by the Tengu but this time a brief chase ensued through the forest during which Watanuki and Zashiki-Warashi actually held hands. After the Tengu's pursuit was halted by Ame-Warashi, human and Vestal Sprite were able to exchange a proper goodbye before Watanuki departed.
She appeared at the demon parade, where she was able to save both Watanuki and Doumeki from falling to their deaths after the demons tried to devour them. She then appeared along with Ame-Warashi to compete in Yuko's snowball fight, and stayed behind to join in the festivities afterwards.
In Season two; like in the manga Zashiki-Warashi was captured by Jorogumo and held hostage, until Watanuki came and rescued her. She made two subsequent appearances in episodes 6 and 13 respectively along with Ame-Warashi.
In the former she showed up during a four way Mahjong match between Yuko, Mokona, Doumeki and Watanuki during which she unintentionally announced that Watanuki was close to achieving a winning hand. She was overjoyed when she thought that Watanuki had won, and later offered to help him prepare food for Yuko following the games conclusion, though Ame-Warashi noted that things like that often ended in disaster.
In the season finale both sprites where drawn to the gathering by the smell of Fox Oden, with Zashiki-Warashi urging Ame-Warashi to stay given that Watanuki was also present. She cried when Watanuki offered her some food drawing in the Tengu, who proceeded to punish Watanuki though Zashiki-Warashi (whilst being physically restrained by Ame-Warashi) pleaded with them not to. The group were later shown to be enjoying the festivities.
She made her final on screen appearance in the second episode of xxxHolic Shunmuki, when both she and Ame-Warashi showed up at Doumeki's temple. Having heard about Watanuki's recent accident, Ame-Warashi took her to the human world in order to check up on Watanuki. In typical fashion she became extremely nervous and fearful around him but this ultimately worked to the men's advantage as she was able to help Watanuki and Doumeki in their quest for items sent to them by Doumeki's grandfather. This revelation brought Zashiki-Warashi to the verge of tears (all be it happy ones) meaning that both she and Ame-Warashi were forced to depart before the Tengu showed up to exact vengeance on Watanuki. Zashiki-Warashi told Watanuki to be careful and the pair parted with a smile.
- She is based on a spirit from Japanese folklore, the zashiki-warashi, accounting for her childlike naiveté and innocence.
- Evil auras and certain sun intensities are poisonous for her.
- Within the anime and later in the manga, she is shown to be close friends with Ame-Warashi.
- In the first two seasons of the anime, she is pictured to have blue hair. However, in the OVA she has black hair, which matches her manga drawings.
- She has a tendency to cry even in the smallest of moments whether they be happy or sad.
- Her recurring outfits are pink in the first two seasons.
- However, in the OVA, she has a white Sunday outfit.
- The name Zashiki Warashi is a reference to her kind so her true name (if she even has one) is unknown.
- It should be noted that there is a continuity error here in the anime, as Watanuki's
accident took place in Season 2 and that Zashiki-Warashi saw him following this incident at the Oden festival, both of which proceeded the events of the xxxHolic Shunmuki. This was likely an oversight on the story boards part (though it could have been an attempt to link this scene in with a canonical sequence in the manga) or an indication that Zashiki-Warashi didn't hear about the accident until much later on.
Zashiki Warashi is an instrumental background song in the anime xxxHolic.
Zashiki Warashi (the song) is Zashiki's theme and is played whenever Zashiki makes an appearance in the anime, no matter how small or for how long. The song reflects Zashiki Warashi's personality: it is gentle and caring and even a bit shy but it can be listening when Himawari is crying becuase Watanuki told her that is glad to meet her.