Tsubasa Vol. #16 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, April 28, 2008
Release Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Translated by:William Flannagan
Adapted by:William Flannagan
What They Say
The five dimension-hopping travelers have stuck together through all sorts of worlds and all kinds of harrowing adventures. But when the group enters the ruined city of Tokyo, two powerful fugitives set in motion a disastrous chain of events that may cause their tight-knit friendship to unravel. Syaoran's mysterious past is finally revealed, and a tumultuous battle leaves one of the friends near death, while another becomes an enemy after a shocking act of betrayal. Don't miss this pivotal volume in the Tsubasa saga!
A vicious fight takes place between Syaoran and Kamui within the reservoir below the Tocho building. However, in the midst of the fray, Syaoran is overcome by a strange change. When Fai and Kurogane come rushing to help, Syaoran turns on his friends! And if Syaoran's bizarre transformation isn't enough, a Syaoran look-alike appears in their midst to take Syaoran on!
After several volumes of feather-hunting adventures on various worlds, Tsubasa takes a major change in tone. The connection between Syaoran and his look-alike in Fei-Wang's tank is revealed, and as it turns out, it is Fei-Wang's "Syaoran" who is the original and the Syaoran that has been traveling with Sakura who is a copy. As the original "Syaoran" comes upon the scene, the Syaoran copy reverts to the single-minded nature Fei-Wang intended, and Volume 16 ends with a decidedly different Syaoran exiting the scene than the one we and his friends have come to know.
The amount of information conveyed in this volume almost feels a bit overwhelming. In addition to learning the origins of the team Tsubasa Syaoran, we also discover the secrets behind the spore-looking thing beneath the reservoir and that Kamui has a connection with Syaoran's old friend Seishiro. While the information regarding Syaoran is long-awaited (and in my opinion, long overdue), getting it at the same time as the revelations about Kamui makes for somewhat confusing storytelling.
Although there is much commentary by Fei-Wang, Yuko, and "Syaoran" himself in order to relay all of this information, there is no shortage of fight scenes in Volume 16 as Syaoran takes on Kamui, Fai, Kurogane, and the original "Syaoran" one by one. However, the fight scenes do make me wonder what kind of being Fei-Wang created because Syaoran sustains seemingly mortal wounds just before turning into an agent of destruction able to take on Kurogane. A warning to Fai-fans: what Syaoran does after defeating Fai is disturbing. Personally, I don't think it makes sense for Syaoran to take over Fai's powers by doing such a thing, but either way, it's gross.
Other details about the plot also puzzled me. For instance, Fei-Wang refers to the original "Syaoran" as Clow Reed's blood heir. But wouldn't Clow's blood heirs be his children, Toya and Sakura? Another thing I find strange is that Syaoran departs for the next world without Sakura. By the end of the volume, his sole concern is collecting and returning Sakura's feathers to her, which he demonstrates with the feather he finds encapsulated in the reservoir. But if he's leaving to continue the search, wouldn't it make sense for him to take her with him? At any rate, Volume 16 concludes with multiple cliffhangers and much more at stake than the retrieval of a single feather.
Translation notes are included as extras in this volume. In regards to production quality, white speckles continue to show up at random intervals throughout the entire volume.
Mania Grade: B
Art Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B-
Text/Translatin Rating: B+
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: Del Rey
Orientation: Right to Left