Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Spotlight!
Translation & Adaptation: William Flanagan
Letterer: Dana Hayward
Publisher: Del Rey
When Tsubasa first started back in 2004, I picked up volume 1. Del Rey was a fairly new company and I wanted to see what they had to offer from one of their first manga titles. I really thought that the concept was an interesting one. Taking all the characters from the CLAMP universe and putting them together in one book was a great idea that had worked on such titles like Exiles in the Marvel Universe. If you didn’t know CLAMP is a four member group of manga creators that have been around for almost 20 years. Being a big fan of all their manga, I figure I would love the idea of all their characters coming together, but for some reason the first volume didn’t hook me and I lost interest. Fast forward three years later and Del Rey released a Tsubasa Omnibus edition that contained the first three volumes. I gave it another shot and I couldn’t put it down, but it wasn’t just that volume, it was all 15 volumes that are released in America that I couldn’t put down. That is why last week there was no Monday Manga Review. So what’s the story about? Who are the characters? Why should you buy this? Well here is a recap as best as I could put together with everything that has happened so far.
First of all let’s start with the cast of main characters in Tsubasa. Syaoran and Sakura are from Cardcaptor Sakura manga, but in this version they seem to be older. Sakura is a teenage princess in the land of Clow, which is ruled by her older brother Touya. Syaoran is her friend who is following in his father’s footsteps to become an archaeologist. Both are attracted to each other and have known each other since childhood, but Syaoran feels uncomfortable with the idea of being involved with a princess. When Sakura’s powers mysteriously awaken one evening, she sprouts wings which then disappear taking Sakura’s memories and leaving her unconscious (but only for a couple of volumes). The High Priest of Clow Country, Yukito, immediately realizes that Sakura’s wings were the manifestation of her soul and memories. Without her wings, she will eventually die.
Yukito sends Syaoran and Sakura to another world to meet with the witch Yuuko. There they are joined by two new characters, the wizard Fai D. Flowright (who created Chi from Chobits in his universe) and the ninja-warrior Kurogane, who serves the Princess Tomoyo. Each has a reason to see Yuuko and the need to travel to other worlds. Each of them must pay with what he values most in order to gain the power to cross worlds. For Kurogane, it is his sword Ginryuu, and for Fai, it is the tattoo on his back which allows him to use his magic. Syaoran has to give up the greatest gift of all. He must pay with his relationship with Sakura. Even if he is able to retrieve all the rest of her memories, she will never remember anything about him or their relationship. Of course they will need a guide for their adventure and no one is better than Mokona Modoki for that job. Thus Syaoran and his new companions begin their journey to other universes.