Saturday, September 8, 2007

Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle v14 Review

Reviewed by Dan Polley

It’s hard to not hear or read about CLAMP, the collection of female manga-ka. But “Tsubasa: Resevoir Chronicle,” volume 14, was my first foray into their manga world.

The title is a collection of their characters from other books, but “Tsubasa” posits those characters — with a little revamp, of course — into an alternate structure. In that structure, Princess Sakura has powerful memory feathers. After the group, which consists of Syaoran, Kurogane and others, collects one of those feathers, they are able to transport to another dimension, where the process starts anew.

Together the group needs to master its magic and martial arts mastery in order to take down those who stand in the way of them collecting another one of the princess’ feathers.

At first glance, it’s quite odd how the characters are drawn: Humanly un-proportionate and gangly, almost like a spider with half as many appendages. However, all pretenses to the seemingly unrealistic art configurations were soon forgotten once the first page cracked open.

The plot was whimsical and fun. It also felt new — at least in part — which helped to push the volume forward.

However, the characters felt as though they lacked originality. For groups, they seemed to fit in with niches that had been worn out long before. There was the princess who was key to the journey, but was hardly able to fend for herself. There was also a dark and mysterious man who filled the hero’s position, but who still seemed to be holding back.

The 14th volume of “Tsubasa: Resevoir Chronicle” was good, not great. There were some interesting points, and those outweighed the non-interesting points, which is always good. Yet there were parts that seemed to be a retread off of group fantasy adventures, which didn’t help the volume elevate higher than a moderate flatness.

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