Translated by: William Flanagan
Adapted by: William Flanagan
What They Say
BATTLE AT DEATH'S DOOR!
In mere minutes, Fai will be dead, and Kurogane's only hope to save him is to make a deal with Y�ko the witch, a woman he has never trusted. The deal sends Kurogane-alone-into the worst danger he has ever faced.
It’s a life or death situation! Mortally wounded from his fight with Syaoran, Fai only has minutes to live. And without the protective power of Sakura's feather in the reservoir, the people of the Tocho face certain death. The only hope any of them have is Yuko's magic. Kurogane, Subaru, and Kamui strike a deal with the Time-Space Witch to save Fai's life and allow the Tocho inhabitants to survive, but it is Sakura who unexpectedly steps up to pay Yuko's price. Will the gentle princess survive Yuko’s dangerous mission?
As mentioned in the review for Volume 16, Tsubasa's tone has changed so radically it hardly resembles the almost carefree, world-hopping tale it was before. In Volume 17, one of the most drastic shifts is Sakura's role in the story. Up to this point, she's been good luck charm, encourager, and spirit medium, but she's always been more of a damsel in distress than a fighter. Now, instead of Syaoran fighting for Sakura's sake, it's Sakura fighting for Syaoran's soul. Also, the search for Sakura's feather seems to be diminishing in importance, even as Sakura tells the people of the Tocho to keep one for their protection.
Given the current character relationships, it's not surprising that Sakura would volunteer for Yuko's task. However, while Sakura's spirit is willing, I don't think her capacity to fight and defend matches her determination. She's always been cast as a "gentle and sensitive princess" while the men of the group hone their fighting skills. So watching her take off alone to fight the monsters of post-apocalyptic Tokyo seems just -- well -- unbelievable.
There are some other complexities and oddities to the story in this volume. Admittedly, I am unfamiliar with the xxxHolic story (I tried reading the first volume and couldn't get into the story), and perhaps the story would make more sense if I was. However, from the lens of a Tsubasa-only reader, the congregation of characters in this post-apocalyptic Tokyo is bizarre enough without having to add twin vampires to the mix (Subaru's and Kamui's slicing finger action is extremely freaky). However, their presence works out conveniently enough for Yuko's purposes, and thanks to them, Fai is not only one-eyed but is now blood bound to Kurogane.
CLAMP hasn't revealed much about Fai's past so far, only that it is a huge burden to him. The events of this volume seem to weigh down his soul even more, and at this point, waiting to have his secrets unraveled is what's keeping me interested, even more so than the Sakura-Syaoran dynamic.
Translation notes are included as extras in this volume.