TSUBASA: RESERVOIR CHRONICLE (VOL 10)

Posted On January - 1 - 2007
  PUBLISHED BY:   DEL REY
  ART/AUTHOR:   CLAMP  
  FORMAT/COLOR:   JAPANESE FORMAT / BW
  PAGES:   186
  RATED:   T+
  RELEASE DATE:   07/25/2006
  REVIEW DATE:   01/02/2007
  REVIEWED BY:   BLAKE WAYMIRE


Ashura, a god in the minds of the people of Shura, has finally won an ongoing war. With Yasha dead, a wish is granted to Shura's ruler, a wish that will change the fate of the future Shara, possibly for the worst. Later, Syaoran and company get themselves embroiled in a brutal race to win one of Sakura's feathers from the hands of nearly everyone in Piffle world.

Like the rest of the Tsubasa series, the primary focus of volume 10 is still the fact that Syaoran is in a desperate search for the feathers that are the key to Sakura's memory, with Fai, Kurogane, and Mokona tagging along. While in this search, the group floats gently through some kind of tragedy in whatever world they happen to be in that normally nets Sakura a new feather and, thus, a new memory. Volume 10 splits its story neatly between the completion of the Shura/Shara arc and introduction of the Piffle arc. In the final battle for the castle of the moon, Ashura faces off against Yasha, and Syaoran goes against the Kurogane look-alike. When Yasha falls, Ashura makes the promised wish, and the castle collapses. Syaoran, pained with regret for having to leave Ashura to die, makes a promise to the dying king to help the future of Shara. After a brief respite from tragedy and travel, Mokona moves the lead characters to a new location, one that is much lighter in tone, called Piffle World. Here, Syaoran learns of the location of Sakura's feather, as well as what he must do to get it: participate in a great aerial race.

This is a CLAMP manga, so the first thing to be expected (and received) is stylish characters presented in fanciful places. The very nature of Tsubasa's story means that the scenery changes often, and can be very dramatic, especially in this volume. The artwork flows well with the setting changes, and sometimes the differences can become very charming, particularly when Sakura acts as a fashion model for Tomoyo once again in Piffle world. The storytelling is, again, in CLAMP's typical style. While the Shura/Shara arc is fundamentally very depressing and melancholy, the Piffle arc comes in full-force with humor and a little bit of fanservice. While such a change would normally be distracting, it works well in the context of the story, and the characters' changing attitudes help them fit within the world they are in, even with many tragedies hanging over their recent past.

Like the other volumes up to this one, the end comes with a cliffhanger that will more than likely provoke another purchase just to see what continues in the great Dragonfly Race of Piffle World.

The typical Del Rey extras are all here. A helpful honorific dictionary helps readers who may be uninformed about the structure of Japanese politeness, and a culture reference dictionary in the back will assist anyone who is unsure about the insertions of Japanese peculiarities. With the nature of the manga, the avid CLAMP fan will find a lot to love in the many cameo appearances that previous CLAMP characters have had. Nearly every CLAMP work, from RG Veda to xxxHOLiC, is represented just within the pages of this one volume.
Fans of Cardcaptor Sakura get a little bit more of their own fanservice when the Piffle arc relationship between Sakura and Tomoyo begins to mirror closely the same one between the Sakura and Tomoyo of Cardcaptor Sakura.

IN SUMMARY:
The interesting art and story coupled with a fantastic English presentation make Tsubasa a must-have for any CLAMP fan, and everyone else, for that matter.

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