This week’s manga review is for Tsubasa, as we move on to a lightly more psudo-Victorian universe.
Title: Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle – Vol. 4
Written and Illustrated by CLAMP
Translated by Bill Flanagan
English Lettering by Dana Hayward
Originally Serialized in Kodansha’s Weekly Shonen Magazine
Cover Price: $10.95 US
Sakura has regained her second memory, and her first which once had Syaoran in it. However, the price that Syaoran paid (Sakura losing all memory of him), is causing some (emotional) pain to Sakura as well. Also, the next universe our heroes come to is more of a semi-Victorian universe, with our heroes pursuing the feather to a village where a mysterious blond-haired woman is magically kidnapping the villager’s children.
Aside from art, CLAMP’s other major strength in their works is their ability to write riveting and interesting interpersonal relationships. This volume is no different, with the side effects of Syaoran’s price he paid Yuko finally becoming evident.
The main story of the volume, the search for the kidnapped children, is also very well drawn, in addition to being well written. It’s like if Hammer Films decided to do a more family friendly project, and decided to use the story of The Pied Piper of Hamlin as their subject matter, but with the Piper as the villain, and being female.
Further, this is the first world in the series where the main characters undergo a costume change to blend in to this world, and the new costumes look splendid.
While it was useful to see inside Sakura’s recently restored memories and get the angst she was feeling over the holes in her mind where Syaoran used to be, the framework they use – a trip to a universe where there were no feathers (a red herring trip), didn’t quite work for me.
No nudity or graphic violence.
Originality: As mentioned, the main story of this volume owes a bit from the Pied Piper of Hamlin, but with some significant tweaks to it. 4 out of 6.
Artwork: The artwork is gorgeous as usual – especially in the little red-herring trip they take. Also, I enjoyed the costumes in the main world here enough that I found myself disappointed that there aren’t that many people wearing it as cosplay. 5 out of 6.
Story: This volume’s story is a little longer then in earlier volumes, so we don’t have an conclusive ending here. Still, what we get is very enjoyable. 4 out of 6.
Characterization: The new characters are very well written, and we get some excellent development for Sakura and Syaoran. 4 out of 6.
Emotional Response: Sakura’s plight has more light shown on it here, and the sense of desperation for the townsfolk is also depicted very well. 4 out of 6.
Flow: 6 out of 6.
Overall: The series continues to be extremely solid. 5 out of 6.
In Total, Tsubasa Volume 6 gets 32 out of 42.