Friday, June 1, 2007

Tsubasa - Reservoir Chronicle vol. 1 Impression

Say hello to anime at it’s finest. Clamp, the manga studio behind such great series as X and Chobits, brings anime fans Tsubasa, a story of love, sacrifice and self discovery. Sounds like a Lifetime move of the week, but it’s anything but. When you put the Clamp name on a series, be it anime or manga, there is a quality delivered that few studios can match, a quality that continues in TSUBASA – RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE distributed by Funimation.

Sakura is a princess, one with a destiny tied to her one true love, Syaoran, the son of an archeologist. They met at a young as when Syaoran’s father requested permission from the king, Sakura’s father, to excavate ruins in his land. It was in these ruins that Syaoran’s father lost his life, and the son picked up the mantle of the father, and over time grew closer and closer to Sakura. From childhood friends to young adults with deep love for one another, love not yet expressed and in danger of never being realized. Sakura’s destiny begins to unfold in the ruins and as they do, and Syaoran rescues here she loses all her memories, scattered to numerous words in the form of feathers that must be recovered or else she will die. This is just the beginning of a story that is shaping up to be as grand as any anime I’ve experience, and that includes Lodoss War.

While the story may sound basic, it’s not. In the first episode you learn what the twist is. In order to find these lost memories Syaoran must traverse many worlds and face many challenges, but he must give up that most dear to him, his relationship with Sakura. As she regains memories, those of Syaoran will not be present, he will be a stranger. Talk about a raw deal, but not every story is Sleeping Beauty where there’s a Happily Ever After. Also on this journey with our lead duo is Fay, a wizard, and Kurogane, a warrior, each from their own worlds, each with their own reasons for traveling, each making their own sacrifice. All are tied to the same path.

When is comes to character design, settings and overall visual feel all I have to say is its Clamp. Top quality, gorgeous design that draws you in, and it’s enhanced with such an excellent story that I was not done with volume 1 that now I’m feeming for volume 2. For Clamp fans this series is a no-brainer, for anime fans, both Shonen and Shojo alike, this series will please each, and for action movie fans, give it a try. I’ve not recommended a series to such a broad audience before, but I feel Tsubasa is that one rare series that offers the action, romance and heart touching moments that everyone will find something to love, and a few new anime fans will be created.

Her Soul, His Sacrifice, Your Joy … give Tsubasa a try, its well worth the dime.

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