Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE (Volume 3) Manga | My Reviews 03 APR 2008

Tsubasa Volume 3Can pure determination defeat a master magician? Sakura is awake, but she remembers almost nothing – certainly not Syaoran, who has sacrificed everything to help her. Accompanied by the happy-go-lucky Fai, the intense Kurogane, and the strikingly odd creature Mokona Modoki, Sakura and Syaoran make their way into a new universe where a traveling magician has suddenly become frighteningly powerful and is terrorizing an entire town. Only a few independent-minded stragglers remain to battle for control of their own lives. Fai, the lone magician in the group, traded his magical powers to the dimension witch, xxxHOLiC’s Yuko, before the journey started. Without a weapon with which to fight, can the extraordinary group of friends defeat a master magician who can control the Earth’s elements?

Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle is the longest running manga serialization from the super popular CLAMP ladies whom basically anyway who calls themselves a manga fan should know about. Volume 3 of Tsubasa continues the adventures of the unlucky Syaoran who is continuing on his heartbreaking quest to try and help retrieve Sakura’s feathers, the embodiment of her soul and memories that have been scattered across countless dimensions. Their latest dimension jump lands them thick in the middle of trouble and before long Syaoran and the rest of the team get dragged into that’s world’s politics as they befriend a young woman and end up taking on the corrupt self-imposed leader who may or may not have one of Sakura’s feathers at his disposal.

As per usual, the writing style for CLAMP constantly switches from high drama, to heady romance, to action, to quirky one-liners, to all out humour. The storytelling is as touching as what it is humorous and still manages to switch up gears into all out action mode. Volume 3 ends up being a thoroughly enjoyable volume that covers all the bases and pushes Syaoran and the gang headfirst into yet another trans-dimensional action adventure and leaves you waiting in anticipation for the next volume thanks to the cliffhanger at the end.

Visually, Tsubasa carries the trademark elongated character models and it is a style that marks it distinctively as being a CLAMP creation, even if it takes a little while to begin appreciating their unique take on proportion. That said, the line work is as fluid and detailed as always and the entire manga oozes skill and hard work. The fighting scenes in particular are rather well done, and the artists go to great lengths to depict fairly accurate stances and techniques – which is particularly nice if you consider the story is taking place in a fantasy realm.

As always, the highly detailed “normal” artwork gets injected with a lot of deformed characters for the humour sake, but the meld between story and art is so good that the deformed sequences feel completely as if they were meant to be there in the first place.

Tsubasa continues the great work laid out in the first two volumes and seeing as it still continues today, you know it is going to continue growing and evolving into something special from this point onwards. It is a touching, action packed story that contains more than enough humour to prevent it from being dragged down to being just a plain, emotional action drama story and instead gives you something light and fluffy but at the same time substantial enough that you will fall in love with the characters and enjoy a thoroughly entertaining escape from reality.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsubasa_Reservoir_Chronicle

About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.