Tsubasa Chronicle

Title:Tsubasa Chronicle
Tsubasa
Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-
Overall:Buy
Keywords: , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - BEE TRAIN
INADA Tetsu
IRINO Miyu
KIKUCHI Mika
MAKINO Yui
Music - KAJIURA Yuki
NAMIKAWA Daisuke
Original Concept - CLAMP
R1 License - FUNimation

In the Land of Clow, a teenaged Syaoran returns from archaeology dig where he is working. He is greeted by his old childhood friend, Princess Sakura. Sakura wants to confess her feelings for Syaoran, but gets interrupted before doing so. Later, she meets Syaoran at the ruins where her latent powers become active and wings (tsubasa) appear as a mysterious person attempts to kidnap her. Syaoran prevents Sakura from being taken, but now Sakura is unconscious and her memories appear to be gone. She will die unless she can get help from the time-space witch Yuuko. The priest-mage Yukito sends Syaoran across space and time to another universe where Yuuko resides on Earth in Japan (this Earth is where Sakura from Cardcaptor Sakura resides). There, they not only meet Yuuko, but also Kurogane, a powerful ninja who was sent there by Princess Tomoyo from her universe to learn the true meaning of strength. And finally they meet Fai, a powerful mage and creator of Chii in his world. He's on the run from a sleeping ruler named Ashura.

Yuuko agrees to grant all of their wishes for a major price. For Kurogane, he must give up his sword in order to travel through dimensions in the hopes of returning home. For Fai, he must give up the tattoos that his magic comes from so he can stay on the run. For Syaoran, he must give up his current relationship with Sakura to travel to the dimensions to find the feathers of her wings which contain her memories. And Sakura, though unconscious, must give up her memories of Syaoran.

Together, the four set off with the critter Mokona, who can locate Sakura-chan's feathers, who can open doors between universes, and who can communicate with Yuuko when needed. Will Kurogane be able to return home? Will Fai stay on the run? Will Syaoran-kun find all of Sakura-chan's memories? Will they fall in love again?


[52 TV episodes based on the manga of the same title. At this point, it is not clear how many episodes/seasons will be in the series. Produced by Clamp & Bee Train. Assuming this follows the manga, expect MANY crossovers from CLAMP's other titles like X, Miyuki-chan in Wonderland, Chobits, xxxHOLiC, Cardcaptor Sakura (obviously), and more. The seiyuu for Sakura and Syaoran will be different from the ones in CCS.]

[edit] An anime series inspired by the ↗Clamp created manga series - ↗Tsubasa Chronicle.
There is also a splash-over (tie-in) with Clamp's xxxHOLiC anime series.
R1 license by Funimation
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 10 9 10 9 9 8 Anonymous #3161 [series:957#3161]
This anime is the best. Nuff said.

Last updated Thursday, September 17 2009. Created Thursday, September 17 2009.
Buy 8 9 9 9 9 9 Dreamer [series:957#2279]
Wow, this is by far one of the best anime I've seen to date. Not only did the music score high, but the plot was unbelievably good.

Art, Animation and Character Design
The art and animation was good! It wasn't spectacular but it was nearly good enough to compare it to a few anime movies. However, at times, it seemed it dropped in quality but marginally so. Character designs were well done and if you have any recollections of past anime, you might catch a few "known" characters from other well received series. The introduction of our main sidekicks (Kurogane and Fai), and how they get involved was well done.... not to mention, the accompanying background music adds some dramatics.

Music
The OP was excellent! Wow, I loved it. The minute I heard it, I HAD to pick up the OST. Never in my history of anime watching had I literally sat through every episode's opening credits just to listen to this piece. The music throughout the rest of the anime was just top-notch. Very dramatic! It was a mix of opera-ish, epic-like pieces all throughout the episodes.

Series and Episode Story
The opening scene of the first episode had me by a strangle hold! The way the view panned out on a desperate situation between two characters and the dramatic chanting vocals of the music made it breathtaking! Wow!! I just had chills running up my spine. The story... no, this grand epic is what story telling should be measured by. In reality, the core plot itself is pretty strait forward. I mean, our group of heroes has to travel between worlds to recover lost feathers.... simple right? Well, there's more to it than that. What you have are interwoven plots, some great, some small and the way they interact with each other. The idea of having to travel to various worlds in itself was interesting.... and then to add unique characters between worlds on top of that made it even more intesting. The one minor... very minor complaint I have was the fact that some character's backgrounds aren't really explored. But that's such a small price especially when they wouldn't really add to the overall plot. You still end up loving many of the characters and their abilities. By the end of this series, I was almost in tears because I wanted to continue watching.... and waiting for season 2 was more than I could bear. As well, it left so many things open ended that you couldn't help but feel a bit of disappointment. But.... thank god there's season 2.

Overall, a BUY+ for this one. This is one of those that you should make a point to watch.

Last updated Sunday, February 22 2009. Created Sunday, February 22 2009.
Buy 8 9 8 8 9 8 nikkuchan [series:957#1946]
Sorry for the long review! I got a bit into it.

Let me start by saying something: There is no need to use the word "seiyuu." It means "voice actor," and there is nothing special about the word "seiyuu" that would merit using that word over the English equivalent, which is what we speak, by the way. Also, you don't need to add "-chan, -kun, -san" to people's names either. Just because you watch anime doesn't mean you know Japanese, and even if you could speak Japanese, using Japanese words or adding Japanese titles for no reason when speaking English is just pretentious (it also sounds really stupid). "I like the Japanese word better" isn't a good enough excuse.

Now, onto the review: I have only seen the first 3 episodes. The 4th episode is not out yet, but 3 episodes is enough to know if you're gonna like the show or not.

The story is set up nicely within itself. No knowledge of any other CLAMP works in necessary, but if you are a fan, you will be delighted to see characters from many of their mangas appearing in some form. I was doubtful of this amalgamation idea, but it works out very well with the story. The main character is Shaoran (spelled many ways, I use the Japanese spelling as I have not seen this subtitled and don't know how they spell it there). While he is from "Card Captor Sakura," this is very different. This is an alternate reality very fantasy-like where he is a humble archeologist, and Sakura is the princess of the kingdom (They are also in love, which is important). One of the ruins he was exploring apparently contained some weird power, because it drew Sakura too it, put her into a trance, and made her grow wings. When Shaoran tries to save her, her wings disappear into many little feathers and fly away. He is told by Yukito, the kingdom's high priest, that her memories are gone, and she will remain uncouncious until they are returned to her. The feathers that flew away are those memories. The problem is that the feathers flew into various other realities, so Shaoran is sent to Yuuko, the demension witch, to travel between realities to find Sakura's missing memories. At the same time, two others from different realities also arrive at Yuuko's place (they become his companions). Kurogane, a (seemingly) powerful fighter whose goal is to become stronger, so Tomoyo, the ruler of his world, sent him to Yuuko in order to make him more powerful. There is also Fai (someone may have spelled it differently), a more mysterious person. He went to Yuuko himself because he doesn't want to go back to his world for some reason (though not mention, the reason has something to do with Ashura). Yuuko tells them that they should all travel together to seek their goals, and gives them Mokona, who has the ability to send them to other worlds. Here's the kicker: In order to travel to other worlds, they must first surrender something important of theirs to Yuuko. Kurogane and Fai give away a sword and tattoo respectively (not sure what their importance is yet), Shaoran had to give up his relationship with Sakura, meaning that she would forget about him when her memory is returned. Seeing as she would die if her memories would not returned, Shaoran excepted that fate in order to save her.

Here is where the amalgamation thing works out. It is explained that in each reality, they may encounter people they know, but they may be completely different. Due to that, various CLAMP characters appear, but they may be nothing like they were in their original mangas/animes. This works because if you were thinking something like "Mixing xx with xx would be really stupid/not make sense," they can just change either of the characters around (alternate reality and all), allowing for almost any mix of characters without detracting from the fact that there's a story going on. Rayearth and Celes have appeared as spirits granting power to Shaoran and Kurogane (in that world, many people seem to have such spirits). I'm still waiting for some of my favorite CLAMP characters to appear sometime (Rayearth and Celes satisfied me a lot though).

The art, while nice, seems to lack detail (a lot of animes now do this), and it doesn't look very CLAMPish at times, but you can still recognize your favorite characters right away. The animation is nice and fluid, even though I didn't see much high-action yet that would show how far the animation budget went. The music works (I guess) for this kind of show, but it sounds decidedly different from other CLAMP anime soundtracks. Also, I know people are going to have issues with voice actors. It's no big deal. I heard compliants like: "Sakura and Shaoran have different voices! Oh No!" Considering they're in like grade school in CCS, and they're (what looks like) young adults in this, it's fine with me. I will have to admit that I do miss Mokona's old "puu" from the MKR series (this voice actor doesn't "puu" very well, I guess they were trying to go for the voice, since it talks in this one).

All around, I like this show alot, mostly because I'm a CLAMP fan, but it's hard not to be one. I may be sounding weird, but I feel that this show smacks of MKR a lot. you may think I'm weird, but consider the story and circumstances (3 unknown people appear together in an alternate world and being told they have to complete a long, tough journey together (And thye have Mokona with them). They also (as it seems) aquire powers of fire, water, and wind (along with the 3 mashin to go with them). I do think Rayearth when I watch this, they just use guys instead, and use multiple worlds instead of just one). Anyway, this series is probably being fansubbed now (I wouldn't really know, I watch them straight off TV). Definately a show worth watching.



Last updated Tuesday, May 10 2005. Created Monday, April 25 2005.
Watch 9 7 8 9 7 6 AstroNerdBoy [series:957#436]

One problem anime writers have in adapting a manga or novel is the fans of that original work. Fans of said work want a faithful adaptation for the most part. However when it comes to a long-running series, sometimes the anime, which can eat through as many as 3-chapters per episode, can catch up to what has been written and be forced to write their own stuff. Plus, I've no doubt that some writers would prefer not to be held down by the creative restrictions coming from an original work and so will go off on their own when they can. So, which route would Bee Train take?

Bee Train has a notorious reputation, based in no small part for their work on .hack//SIGN. The complaint there had been the extreme slowness of the pacing in the series, with episodes filled with interesting musical interludes. Bee Train takes the same approach with Tsubasa Chronicle. However, this starts to cause problems for the series. If you know the manga story and love it, after a while you begin to go, "Get on with it already!" To slow down the pace further, Bee Train's writers would add stuff to the different manga stories. Sadly, this would often place continuity issues within the story they were presenting. This could result in confusing the issues of a story or countering something that was said earlier.

For example, one of the better stories in the manga is the exploration of Kurogane's past (SPOILERS TO FOLLOW). The group arrives on world with a lot of libraries and as they hunt for clues to Sakura's feather's whereabouts, Kurogane finds a blank book, hands it to Syaoran, who upon opening it, finds himself viewing Kurogane's childhood as if he were an unseen 3rd party on the scene. Syaoran can advance pages to advance time in the memories. It is a very fascinating story. Since their book is only a copy of the original, which appears to have Sakura's feathers, they need to go see it and get it if at all possible.

However, the anime writers flushed the entire introduction and tried to make this Kurogane back story mysterious by renaming him Haganemaru. When Syaoran comes out of the book, the writers follow CLAMP's story to get to the main library. After writing the CLAMP stuff about not being able to check out the book, the anime writers then add a scene where the group CAN be allowed to have access to the book providing they go through a special detector. However, once through, the writers go back to the CLAMP story and WHOA! The book is hidden behind a magic wall! So what was the point of the detector to see the book if the book was hidden so that people would never find it?

It gets worse. After they get the book and "escape," the writers decide to avoid the Acid Tokyo arc (with all its blood and violence) and keep our travelers in the library world. They magically have the group find yet another copy of the Book of Memories so Syaoran can experience more of Kurogane's memories. Only this time, they do it the way CLAMP had done it in their original setup stories, which the anime writers had initially flushed. Heck, they even have Syaoran act like he has no clue where he's at or what's going on when this is in fact the 2nd time he's been inside Kurogane's memories.

I'm sorry to provide spoilers, but I needed to provide an example of some shoddy writing which causes problems with the story.

As I said, the writers avoid the Acid Tokyo arc (which means the OVA series covering this from Production I.G takes place after episode 42), so everything after episode 42 is basically made up by the writers. It is here that the story basically just gets tedious. The writers were already very enamored with a few CLAMP characters and so bring them back as well as have their characters return to previous places for further adventures. But because the pacing is so slow, it became mind-numbingly tedious. You know it is bad when a supposed action scene has the characters standing around not attacking (or pausing their attacks) while the Bee Train music roars or thumps (or both) in the background.

Musically speaking, the series sounds very much like .hack//SIGN. I do like the music so its not a bad thing, but it can get repetitive at times though, even the songs that the Japanese actually record in English.

Seiyuu-wise, if you are used to the voices from Cardcaptor Sakura, it will take a bit to get used to the voices of Sakura-chan or Syaoran-kun. They do the job they are supposed to though. Of note, HISAKAWA Aya did return to do the voice of Kero-chan in episode 44, which was cool to hear. The other CLAMP characters were from series I've yet to watch and since I didn't bother doing any research, I don't know how many seiyuu changed.

Bottom line: Fans of the manga are going to be disappointed to varying degrees at the changes made to the story. The slow pacing of the series and obvious filler (some of which even non-manga readers will spot) will also put people off. The Bee Train music is always pretty good but that's not enough to ever make me want to suffer through this again. There was enough good in it to warrant a "Watch" though.

Additional: While I'm thinking about it, let me address nikkuchan's 2nd paragraph, which was targeted at me. I get slammed for using honorifics and the term "seiyuu" but this person is going to use "chan" in their alias? lol Also, how can someone give an honest review of a 52-episode series based on 3-episodes? Obviously they can't, but there you go. I've ignored the slam for over 2-years a/o this statement, but now that I've finally written my final review, I thought I'd make a rebuttal, whether childish or not. ^_^;

Last updated Monday, January 07 2008. Created Saturday, April 09 2005.


Other Sites
NameURL
NHK's Official Japanese SIte http://www3.nhk.or.jp/anime/tsubasa/
DEL REY manga series (English language) http://www.randomhouse.com/delrey/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780345470577
FUNimation's Official Site http://www.tsubasaonline.com/
4min (Youtube Video) Opening Song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_BioioaDMU
Tsubasa chronicle - A song of storm and fire
Tsubasa Crossover Characters http://en.anime-wiki.org/wiki/Tsubasa_Crossover_Characters
A list of CLAMP crossover characters in Tsubasa on Anime Wiki's site.

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