Tsubasa Vol. #01 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: All
  • Released By: Del Rey
  • MSRP: 10.95
  • Pages: 218
  • ISBN: 0-345-47057-5
  • Size: Tall B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Tsubasa Vol. #01

By Megan Lavey     June 23, 2004
Release Date: May 01, 2004

Tsubasa Vol.#01
© Del Rey

Creative Talent
Translated by:Anthony Gerard
Adapted by:

What They Say
Sakura and Syaoran return! But they're not the people you know. Sakura is the princess of Clow - and possessor of a mysterious, misunderstood power that promises to change the world. Syaoran is her childhood friend and leader of the archaelogical dig that took his father's life. They reside in an alternate reality...where whatever you least expect can happen - and does. When Sakura ventures to the dig site to declare her love for Syaoran, a puzzling symbol is uncovered - which triggers a remarkable quest. Now Syaoran embarks upon a desperate journey through other worlds - all in the name of saving Sakura.

The Review
This cover is very muted compared to the xxxHolic one, with a lot of earthtones prevalent through it. It features Sakura holding onto Syaoran while he prepares to defend her. The back has a scene of Sakura falling away from the reader. The author name and the logo is up at the top followed by "Creators of Chobits!" on the bottom. Like with xxxHolic CLAMP is a big enough name now to where I don't think you'd need that "creators of" slogan, but I think if you had to use any of the series, you'd use "Cardcaptor Sakura," especially since the stars of that series are also featured on the cover of this book.

This brings us down to the logo check!

It's a very simple logo, with Tsubasa written out in all caps and the subtitle of the series above it in a brown-colored bar. It fits in with the color scheme well.

Del Rey uses the same type of paper that is used in their novels, so it gives the book a different feeling than most manga you purchase these days. Several people reported that their copies of Tsubasa and xxxHolic had ink fading in the artwork. While my copy of xxxHolic was pristine, Tsubasa appears to suffer from the fading fate. Panels of black have patches of white going through them and once you notice it, it is distracting. Holding up my copy of xxxHolic against my copy of Tsubasa, there is a remarkable difference. It's one I didn't notice at first, but once I did, I kept seeing it.

Like with xxxHolic, the front of the book reproduces the colored panels at the beginning of the series. However, an unusual tone is taken when those same colored panels are repeated in black and white after the honorifics note. I'm not sure if this is a Del Rey thing or something that was in the original manga. It's a bit repetitive. They could have done the honorifics, then the color panels then go into the first black and white pages without repeating. The characters themselves are of a style that fans of Chobits will probably recognize. They're not as lush as Cardcaptor Sakura, but they're not as odd as Suki: A Like Story either. The art is slightly different from xxxHolic as well - enough to where you can tell that there are different art styles used.

The volume is unflipped and the SFX is subtitled, so you get the best of both worlds here. The translation itself is a good read, and it accurately conveyed several references that were easy for me to grasp. Other, abstract references are fleshed out in the excellent cultural notes section at the back of the book. Another thing that Del Ray did was to include a scorecard of sorts, keeping track of the crossovers. It really helped me put certain events in perspective, and introduced me to some characters from some of the CLAMP works that I've not read before. It will be a valuable resource. Del Ray also offers up a sneak peek at vol. 2 of Tsubasa (untranslated) and vol. 1 of xxxHolic, as well as a description of the Cardcaptor Sakura series.

Sakura is the princess of Clow, and Syaoran is her childhood friend in charge of an archaelogical dig. Much of this is covered in the book summary - about how she goes to confess her love for Syaoran and winds up in a coma because her power is drained from her. Desperate to seek help, the high priest of Clow, Yukito, sends her to Yuko, the space-time witch.

Yuko tells Syaoran that she can enable him and the companions that join him - Kurogane and Fai D. Florite - to travel worlds in order to save Sakura. Kurogane and Fai both have their own reasons for coming to Yuko. Kurogane has been sent by his queen, Tomoyo, to learn patience. He just wants to go home. Fai's reasons are unknown, but he seems to wants to get as far away from home as possible.

This takes up the majority of the book, and I don't want to get too deep into the particular spoilers involved in enabling this. The opening chapter is pretty simple love story. While this is an alternate reality, you still see a lot of Sakura Kinomoto in this world's Sakura. Syaoran is different from his Cardcaptor Sakura counterpart - he is pretty open and loving and is willing to do anything for Sakura. Toya and Yukito also retain a lot of their original personalities, especially Toya.

The second chapter deals with the meeting with Yuko, and this is where reading xxxHolic first really comes into play. Yuko's payment for her services remains the same as it is in xxxHolic, and when you actually see her in action in her own series, you realize exactly how big of a sacrifice that Syaoran and the others have to make in order to save Sakura. It's easier to understand why Syaoran impressed Yuko when he agreed to her price.

I'm not quite sure what to make of Fai or Kurogane yet. The scenes involving Kurogane and Tomoyo were hilarious, but I want to slap Kurogane at times. Fai, creator of Chi in this world, is the more interesting of the two. I laughed at all of the times when he kept making puns on Kurogane's name, and those are kept in Japanese. The threesome, plus the sleeping Sakura, really don't gel well yet, and it's mainly Shaoran's personality that keeps me going through the end of the volume. It ends on the beginning of a battle scene, where you start to realize that Syaoran has some sort of fighting power.

The appeal of Tsubasa is the many crossovers, but the overall story itself seems to start and stop. You enjoy seeing familiar faces, but it really did not get interesting until Yuko's appearance when Syaoran reached Tokyo with Sakura. Reading about Sorata and Arashi made me interested enough in them to want to get X/1999, but other than the crossovers, this series doesn't stand out to me at the moment as something special. It is a good read, and one I would recommend in tangent with xxxHolic (thus far, the strongest of the pair.) It's your average quest series CLAMP style. And, it's sad that my burning question at the end of this isn't when is Sakura going to wake up, but it's when are we going to cross back over with xxxHolic again? As this series takes off, I am expecting more from it. I hope that it will come through.


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