Monday, April 21, 2008

Review | Anime | Tsubasa Chronicle

TSUBASA CHRONICLE : Syaoran, a young archaologist, and
Princess Sakura have been friends since their childhood, sharing many memories
of their adventures together. One day, Princess Sakura is hypnotically drawn to
the ruins Syaoran is excavating, and she is given a set of strange glowing
wings. When a force begins to draw Sakura into the ruins, Syaoran quickly
rescues her, and her wings disappear. The city's priest examines unconscious
Sakura and reveals that the wings that appeared on Sakura were fragments of her
soul, and without them she will die. Syaoran is sent with Sakura to the
Dimension Witch for instructions on how to restore Sakura. Also wanting to see
the Witch, a fierce warrior named Kurogane and a placid magician named Fai D. Flourite. The Dimension Witch instructs them to join forces, and in order to grant what each of them wants, The Witch must take something precious from each of them. In order to save Sakura, Syaoran is forced to give up his memories with Sakura. Syaoran now must travel between dimensions with his new teammates and their jumpy teleport creature Mokona Modoki to recover Sakura's feathers, even if it means losing their friendship forever.

There are few things CLAMP can't do. One of Japan's leading shojo industries brings CardCaptor favorites Syaoran and Sakura together again to create Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. Combined with Yuki Kajiura's music, which is every bit as enchanting as the mystifying worlds the group visit, Tsubasa provides a tale worth staying tuned for.

CLAMP, who is famous for revamping characters from their other shows, includes characters from xxxHolic as well as the shojo hit CardCaptor Sakura. Another well-known but rarely seen character is the popular Chii, who would later go on to lead her own series in Chobits. I look forward to seeing the gang in other upcoming projects by CLAMP.

There isn't a massive flood of new characters as many animes are known for; there are no new additions to the travelers and the new characters we're introduced to support the show long enough for Syaoran to locate Sakura's feathers and teleport with his friends to the next world. His loveable fellow travelers add their own comic relief when they need to. One especially memorable character is grumpy tough guy Kurogane, whose new friends prove to be more of a thorn in his side than a help; especially when he is given cutesy nicknames by blubbery rabbit-like Mokona Modoki and the merry-weathered and almost complacent Fai D. Flourite.

After the first season ends, we move into the three-episode Tsubasa: Tokyo Revelations, which is a huge crossover from the bubbly Reservoir Chronicle, and provides a forceful sock to the stomachs of people who are used to the colors of the show. The setting is the bleak future of Tokyo, scraping by on scarce water and the meat of mutated insects while living in a fortress protected by Sakura's feather as a defense from the acid rain that eroded the rest of the once vast Japanese city. The characters' eventual desperation sends them to the Dimension Witch for assistance, who isn't exactly a shoulder to cry on with her demanding payment in return for favors. The chaotic atmosphere and the grim conditions of the favorable travelers are proven enough to send even happy-go-lucky Mokona Modoki into a heavy-hearted tailspin. Though the animated series ends there for now, I'll definitely be consulting the mangas for the rest of their tales.

At times the show seems slow and dragging, but you definitely have to be paying attention; during crucial scenes there is a lot of information thrown out that a lot of the time is useful in later episodes. Despite Kurogane's cursing that evolves from Fai's "Kurorins" and "Kuropipis", this isn't objectionable for a child to watch, except for the fact that it can easily get complicated beyond a small child's comprehension. Any manga fan will be appreciative of CLAMP's gorgeous art style and careful attention to detail. Definitely worth a rental.

Overall Rating:
/ 5

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