A multidimensional tale written by and drawn by CLAMP. First and foremost, I have yet to completely read this story but my reasoning for writing a review without completing this is simple. Tsubasa is a very large story, I haven’t read other works by CLAMP before and after doing some research I learned a few things. I learned that Tsubasa is in fact a story that ties in with xxxHOLIC, another story written by CLAMP. Another thing to take note, Tsubasa being a multidimensional tale, of the many universes which are present within the story are also other stories written by CLAMP. Although I am not quite sure how many of them are. It is a fact to take note before you continue reading this story. There you have it and that’s the reason for not completing it. As for why I am writing this review. Its simple, the story’s amazing.
With that being said, after reading other reviews on this, its not an issue. What I mean is that even without reading the rest of the stories, you can still enjoy Tsubasa. Reason being, most of the characters don’t seem to show up after they leave that dimension. Of course, those characters that do. Well you might just get more out of their development or it might help you uncover their motives. So take this into account if you want to get the most out of the story; and for the record, I read only 53 chapters. Therefore, I will base the review on that.
Tsubasa has an ominous begining. The first pages appear to be foreshadowing a calamity of sorts. With two of the main characters (Syaoran and Sakura) being held prisoners(?) behind glass. Something which is apparent since the same characters meet each other subsequently after the intro pages. Besides the first pages, foreshadowing is very prevalent throughout Tsubasa. I didn’t expect such great writing along with such consistent story. Furthermore, I can say with certainty, that Tsubasa is a very difficult series to follow. Foreshadowing aside, you really need to pay a lot of attention to the conversations and art. For what reason? Well, the writers are very clever. They will often put inconsistencies within the conversations and art. Without getting into to much information. The inconsistencies are often alluding that what the characters believe to be false or just misinformation.
Anyways, the story is about four travelers bound by the fate cast upon them by the Witch. Sakura, being the princess of Clow Country, is in possesion of a strange power that can change the world. Sayoran is an archeologist and her childhood friend. After the villain captures Sakura, he scatters her memories between universes. Forcing Syaoran to take Sakura on a journey to recover them with the help of a Witch. When they arrive to see her, they meet their new companions, Fai and Kurogane. The witch knowing why they are there, asks them to pay the price to travel the multiverse. That price is whats most precious to them. Kurogane gives up his sword, Fai his tattoo and lastly Syaoran is asked to give up his relationship with Sakura. He accepts and they are finaly allowed passage to the worlds.
My favorite part of the series. This series has such a diversity between characters because of the multiverse mechanic. Some of the characters have similar relation ships from what our main characters. Meanwhile, they don’t exactly hold the same positions, they still act somewhat the same. This presents a transcending feeling between the characters. Besides the differences/similarties, Tsubasa is a very complex story with deeper meanings between character interactions. Many of the conversations or motions the characters have really make you think twice about what they might be thinking. I got this feeling quite a few times throughout the chapters I had read. Often rereading the sequence and returning with a different outlook on their character. Like “why did he behave that way?” or “what was that look”. To “maybe he felt this” or “he’s really lonely”.
Besides the character diversity, the character development is great. All of our main characters Syaoran, Sakura, Kurogane and Fai have development. Sakura and Syaoran being the main focus while Kurogane and Fai the latter. Sakura and Syaoran share a lot of history together and when Sakura loses her memories. It marks a big change for Syaoran and his life. For she was his everything. Thus, he struggles often with the feeling of being forgotten. Still, Sakura can’t shake the feeling like she knows him. Whenever she recalls a past time she notices the empty chair or missing person. Alluding to Syaoran maybe being a part of her life but because of the sacrifice she can never recall those memories. Bittersweet.
Tsubasa’s art style gave me different emotions. Firstly the good. Clamp did a great job with its world design. Every location within every universe all have different qualities. Some locations are drawn gloomy, to express the depressing times the country or town might be feeling. Often with use of black colors or the use of trees without leafs. Meanwhile other locations are bristling with lights, people and an overall fantastical feeling. Signifying the overwhelming comfort those that reside in it feel. Expect lots of locations, varying from modern looking cities to castles and towns resembling the medieval eras. On top of that, there’s a ton of detail put into each city or town. From the windows to the roads, Clamp put a ton of effort into its world and their hard work really pays off.
As for the character designs, they are solid. Not many issues in the character designs. Each have distinct features and they all have different emotions. Some will express sadness in a different way than the other. Others will express anger or loneliness only through their actions. Such diversity in not only emotions but body language puts this story above many others. However, the problem within the character design solely lies within the action. How do I put this, Tsubasa’s action looks noodly. Think of One Peace where Luffy extends his arms/legs. Those noodles right there serve as good examples of what to expect. Its not bad but something to keep in mind if you enjoy some realistic fighting.
Lastly, the is very little comedy within Tsubasa. Usually its in the form of the interactions between the main characters Kurogane and Fai. Other times its the goofy facial expressions. So don’t expect much.
I didn’t expect the next level story telling from Clamp. I haven’t read their past stories at all and this marks the first. Although I have yet to complete this, I can still stand by that fact that I was utterly impressed. The way the foreshadowed was amazing. Sometimes its in your face like conversations feeling inconsistent. Other times its through its artwork and specifically shading. Meanwhile their character designs are so bittersweet. All of them want to get along but you can’t help feel that something is terribly off. I highly recommend reading this story.
Final note, I read somewhere that Clamp likes to build bubbly stories only to destroy that and create a depressing story. So be warned.