We’re continuing with Tsubasa, and with this volume we get our first character from Tokyo Babylon to get an alternate universe version in the series.
Title: Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle – Vol. 6
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
In the land of Oto, based on Japan’s Taisho period, our heroes are continuing to search for Princess Sakura’s feather. To make money, and get leads, Sakura and Fai are running a coffee shop, while Sayoran and Kurogane working as Oni (demon) hunters, as it is suspected that the feather may be in the possession of a demon. While investigating, they meet with more demon hunters, and another dimension hopper, one from Sayoran’s past – an alternate universe version of Seichiro Sakurazuka (From Tokyo Babylon and X/1999 – one of the Dragons of Earth).
Seichiro’s reveal is very well done, and does a good job of setting up that he is a sinister figure (and props for CLAMP for foreshadowing his presence through cherry blossom petals regularly appearing).
Also, the continuation of the Sayoran/Kurogane training sub-plot is very well done. There was some serious thought given to how Sayoran’s lack of vision in one eye, both in terms of peripheral vision and depth perception, would affect his fighting style.
While it’s nice to see some alternate versions of characters from RG Veda introduced in this volume as well, I can’t help but feel like they’re extraneous characters at this time. Maybe this will play off later, but at the moment I can’t be sure.
No graphic violence or nudity in this volume. There is some alcohol consumption by minors though, if you care about that sort of thing.
Originality: The story for this universe feels a bit like a shonen monster-of-the-week combined with an action RPG like the Monster Hunter games. Actually, if someone adapted this universe into a Monster Hunter style of game, it would actually work, though it would still be a little cliché. 3 out of 6.
Artwork: The artwork still looks good, and we get some more inventively designed Oni this volume. 5 out of 6.
Story: CLAMP is really willing to take their time with this arc of the story, and to use this to develop the relationships of our heroes more, and the addition of a possible recurring villain (and one who fans of CLAMPs earlier series would be somewhat familiar with) is really helpful as well. 5 out of 6.
Characterization: Aside from the usual bickering between Fai and Kurogane about the names of the Oni Hunting team (Big Puppy and Little Puppy), the relationship development between Sakura and Fai and between Kurogane (Big Puppy) and Sayoran (Little Puppy) is also extremely well written. 5 out of 6.
Emotional Response: The comedy in this volume worked really well, and the fights with the Oni were kind of interesting. The volume was pretty short on melodrama, which was probably for the best, considering the last few volumes were moderately well stocked in that regard. 4 out of 6.
Flow: 6 out of 6.
Overall: The Oto arc is still looking good, and if they keep it from getting dragged down in Oni hunting then this could be a fantastic arc. 4 out of 6.
In Total, Tsubasa Volume 6 gets 32 out of 42.