Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE (Volume 2) Manga | My Reviews 30 MAY 2008

Tsubasa Volume 2Syaoran, Fai, Kurogane and Mokona venture to the Hanshin Republic to find one of the missing pieces of Sakura’s memory, transformed into magically powerful feathers. There, Syaoran meets his ‘Kudan’: a fierce wolf-spirit whose fiery power mirrors Syaoran’s personal strength. But with foes like a pop idol who sings words of pain, Syaoran’s hunt for feathers is no child’s game! And even if he finds the feathers, will Sakura ever wake up from her magical sleep? And since Syaoran bargained away their relationship in a pact with a witch, can their love ever return to the way it was?

Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNICLE tells the story of Syaoran a young, focused warrior that witnesses his beloved Sakura’s soul and memories get literally pulled out from her body and dispersed in the form of magical feathers across the different planes of existence, rendering her unconscious and lost to this world. Joined by the enigmatic Fai D. Flowright and powerful Kugane, and with the help of the trans-dimensional witch Yuko and her pet Mokona, Syaoran sets out on his quest to cross into the various dimensions that exist in search of Sakura’s feathers in the hopes of one day restoring her back to the way she was. But to complicate matters, each dimension has its own set of rules and the people (and creatures) have their own set of abilities, making this anything but a walk in the park. And then of course there is the question of the sacrifices that the trio needed to make in order get Yuko to agree to help them in the first place…

Volume 2 sees our group in the Hanshin Republic where everyone has their own familiar spirit, called a ‘Kudan’ and of course, bored as always, certain groups of youngsters have started to organise turf wars using their Kudan as living weapons. The problem that Syaoran and the group face however is far more perplexing: Mokona can’t quite seem to get a fix on Sakura’s feather at the moment! It can sense it appearing sporadically but then it disappears again, making the search even more difficult than what it already is. Luckily the group has met some helpful locals to help out, but to be honest, the search for the first feather is looking more than a little bleak at the moment!

Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNICLE is the work of legendary ,mangaka group CLAMP, responsible for some of the most well known manga titles out here in the West. Previous credits include Chobits, X/1999, CardCaptor Sakura, xxxHOLIC and Magic Knight Rayearth. These four ladies started out producing doujinshi (fan fiction) but soon word of their work caught on and because it was of such a high standard, they quickly began to make a name for themselves in the professional world. As it is, they are currently publishing three ongoing titles in Japan, namely Tsubasa, xxxHOLIC and Gohou Drug.

As with all their other writing, Tsubasa finds that perfect mix of drama and comedy but as an extra bonus, it comes with a more than generous smattering of action scenes as we get to see Fai, Syaoran and Kurogane put through their paces, even if it is with the aid of their Kugan familiars. The writing is pretty simple to follow but does a great job in dragging you in and capturing your imagination. Dramatic and more than a little heart sore in places, there is a clever little twist lying in wait for you as well, so look out for that!

On the artistic front, CLAMP have left their highly detailed style from their earlier works behind and instead gone for a slightly rougher with heavier outlines look, putting a lot of attention in extending their characters’ basic proportions, going for a distinctive ‘lanky’ look which has now become a trademark of their new style. A lot of background detail are also present and to sum it all up, Tsubasa can only be described as a visual treat. Detailed, beautiful and flowing, it is quite difficult to take your eyes for even a second off the work that the girls have come up with here.

In short, Tsubasa is well written, contains loads of action, drama and comedic moments to satisfy any manga reader and to top it all off, looks simply fantastic as well! A great piece of escapist fantasy and easily recommendable to anyone, be it your avid manga fan or a total newcomer to this fantastic genre.

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.