...I swear I was going to use that for my review title even before I learned that the "Rei" in "xxxHolic Rei" means "return" (I'd call it a coincidence, but we all know what Yuuko-san would have to say about that). The story appears to take place somewhere in the middle of the story, before Watanuki encounters the Jurogumo, before he learns the truth about Himawari-chan... before Yuuko-san disappears. She's still the proprietor of the shop here, still helping customers, like two best friends with identical phone-straps who don't know why they keep visiting.
But things might not be what they appear. I'd heard before I read this volume that the story took place in the middle of "xxxHolic," but even then, I had my suspicions that CLAMP might be up to something (because it's CLAMP, they're always up to something). At first, it seemed like I might be wrong. Then, somewhere in the second chapter, I noticed a glaring omission that had been hiding in plain sight the whole time. And the stories here call to mind episodes from the original "xxxHolic." Finally, the second arc in this volume seems to be setting up a plot, a mystery, that will run through the rest of the story. I already have my own theory about what's going on, and I'm hoping this will turn into a resolution for Watanuki (because the ending of the original kind majorly left him hanging). The episodes in this volume weren't as good as some of the ones in the first series, but I'm seriously looking forward to seeing where this goes.