Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE (Volume 5)

Tsubasa 5The End of a Fairy Tale: Following the trail of the stolen children of Spirit Town, Sakura is captured at the forbidden castle, where she encounters the golden-haired ghost! Syaoran and his friends – the sociable magician Fai D. Flowright, the master swordsman Kurogane, and the odd creature Mokona – must now penetrate the ancient stronghold in order to rescue Sakura and the missing children. Will they finally uncover the truth behind the legend of Princess Emerald? And will they recover another fragment of Sakura’s lost memory?

Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE tells the story of the strong-willed Syaoran, the easygoing magician Fai D. Flowright, the conflict-hungry warrior Kurogane and the strange creature called Mokona, who have all banded together in order to trek across the various alternate planes of existence in the hopes of collecting all of the scattered and missing feathers that make up the soul and memories of Princess Sakura, the former love interest of Syaoran. Of course, in order to gain the ability to make the crossing to all of these new and exciting worlds, each one of the group had to make a deal with the dimension-spanning witch Yuko (from xxxHOLIC), which in turn cost each and every one of them the something that they held most dear. Now stripped of the things most important to them, our heroic trio plus the helpless Sakura must plunge headfirst into dimensional portal after dimensional portal in the hopes that Mokona can lead them to that which they seek the most – Sakura’s magical feathers!

Volume 5 of Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE puts us firmly back on track within CLAMP’s mammoth alternate universe-spanning mega-adventure, with the conclusion of the Spirit Town arc which last left us with a mystery as to the village’s rapidly disappearing children as well as the eventual capture and incarceration of Sakura herself! The plot thickens as Syaoran and the rest of the team scramble to solve the mystery of the missing children and in so doing, rescue Sakura from her unknown captor! Meanwhile, Sakura herself is slowly but surely uncovering just what has been happening in the mysterious castle that taunts them so, including the real truth behind the legend of Princess Emerald!

Following on the Spirit Town story arc, the next location to which our intrepid band is spirited off to is a country known as Oto, a seemingly peaceful paradise that seems to suffer from only one small problem – dangerous shadow-like Oni! And seeing as Mokona does sense the power of a feather somewhere within the city, the group is here to stay for a while – meaning that each and every one of them will need to get a job in order to make some money for living expenses!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE, basically it is currently the longest-running manga serialization from the super popular CLAMP group of mangaka ladies, a project so big that it pulls in characters and situations from throughout their numerous smash hit titles from before. (And if you don’t know what CLAMP is in fact responsible for, take a look at this list: Magic Knight Rayearth, Chobits, Cardcaptor Sakura, Angelic Layer, X/1999 and xxxHOLIC!)

The tone for this volume follows the usual sadness, angst and drama that the previous Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE story arcs have carried, but as usual it is sprinkled throughout with doses of feel good moments, humorous situations and a lot of non-stop action and fighting sequences. This volume fairs better than the previous volume in that it comes across as a more action-orientated journey and because it features the conclusion to at least one story arc, makes it feel a slightly more complete experience. Of course, CLAMP also manage to keep loyal readers interested by introducing some new shadowy figures into the bigger picture and then managing to turn everything around on its head once again by introducing a completely new world for us to explore and makes us salivate in anticipation for the next volume that is to come.

Artistically, CLAMP continues with their distinctive elongated proportions but back these sometimes odd looking poses with some beautiful and heavy line work that adds tons of atmosphere to the proceedings. Despite the heavy line work, CLAMP puts a lot of detail into their characters, especially their rather varied outfits, making for some very fine visuals indeed. Their background scenery on the other hand continues to be fairly sparse, but at least when they do bother to put in some background detail, it does admittedly look pretty damn good.

Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE Volume 5 is a solid addition to this epic storyline that CLAMP are in the process of crafting and manages to satisfy almost all types of readers out there, from action to angst to humour seekers, while at the same time managing to retain that certain something that has made almost all CLAMP works as popular as they are. It looks good, it reads easily enough, and so to sum it all up – what are you waiting for? Go and pick it up already!

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

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About Craig Lotter

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

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