Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles Review (manga)

Ah, the only manga I have ever read and wanted to put down. That's VERY bad as I never like to stop a series midway through (But thank god its coming to a close). Alright, you can guess my overall feel huh? But let's get this review done.

Story: 3
Okay, CLAMP is fairly stereotypical plotwise. They do romance 97% of the time. However, they used to do super horror/ gothic crap until they found out no one likes it and buys it. So TRC starts off with a kid and his princess girlfriend. They go down to a weird temple and some guy tries to kidnap Sakura (the chick) and she loses her memories in the form of feathers. Fine. Syaron decides to chase after her in hopes of recovering her memory and getting her to love him again (they both clearly like each other). So, to do such, he must cross dimensions to find the feathers. And from a cutscene, we meet to other dudes who are crossing dimensions for their own reasons: a ninja fighter (kuro?) and Fai the mage. That is volume one. It's fairly original and okay. Someone once said "Buy the first volume and that's it. The first volume leaves it to have so many interesting possibilities and so much potential". That's paraphrased but I agree. Its an acceptable love story.

But that's not what happens. Continuing, they go to new dimensions, learn new tricks, and fight. Too bad what they learn in one dimension serves no point in the next, so they aren't changing. But its a good way to keep things original. However, it sounds just like a jumble of short stories thrown together. The story is mediocre at best and there isn't that much excitement. Then they go to New Tokyo, a post-apocalyptic Tokyo. This is where the story goes weird and bad. We find out that the real Syaron is in a tube at the main bad guy's lair and this guy currently is just a clone. Through some weird logic we find out how they share the same memory and personality. The clone goes ballistic and eats Fai's magic eye and goes berserk slashing everyone. He escapes and the real Syaron joins the party. You should be confused but I might just be good at explaining. While I love the strangely dark chapter and the intense action, its not appropriate. If you want to change from romantic manga to action thriller, do it gradually. Don't just throw that shit out at us unprepared because we feel cheated. Its a cheap trick, CLAMP. And the rest of the manga makes no sense: the Sakura they are carrying around is killed but its ok, its a clone too. Fai and Kuro meet their past and their weird ties to the main baddie and it makes shit sense and no one cares. But finally, they are going towards the main baddie's lair but the real Syaron has to explain HIS backstory with Sakura. IT MAKES NO SENSE AND IS A WASTE OF SPACE.

Finally, there is a scene were Fei Wong (the baddie) is slashed but its just some other guy and Fei Wong is right behind them and AHHHH! IT MAKES NO SENSE! Plotholes everywhere!

Characters: 4
I don't care for any of them. Fei and Kuro were kinda cool but come on, its not funny when they pretend to be daddy and mummy. Why? Because I just don't get them. If I understood them, I would think its a cute concept. But its not done right at all. And these crossovers? They are not. CLAMP just cant make new characters or personalities. They...just..can't. 4 girls can't do anything original.

Scene: 2
Most chapters and scenes suck. The current (Fei Wong's final battle I assume) and that ballistic chapter were pretty good but only the first was done well. The genre changing one was just random and crap.

Overall: 3

There is no one who would want to read this Its terrible unless you cannot think and just want to say "AWW. I luv Fai and the Ninja! <3". No offense to fan girls but your only Japanese word or only reaction better be kawaii if you want to survive this shit.


  1. Didn't read TRC for some significant time... But it's supposed to be crossed with xxxHolic in reading. May be some holes in plot resolved there?

  2. I have my doubts about that; they should be self-substaining. I talked with some Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles fans and they did help me understand but it still didn't impress.

    I think you have to read it more than once.

  3. Given that hero of xxxHolic is yet ANOTHER Shaoran... I'm highly sure that some plot points are connected. And there are inclusions of holic in TRC and vice versa.

  4. But you don't have to read one to fully understand the other. If they do (and I know they don't), then CLAMP is stealing our money.