Finally, my Tsubasa reviews are catching up with xxxHolic, with Tsubasa Volume 8.
Title: Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle – Vol. 8
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
Syaoran and company arrive in a forested world where they discover a small village of anthropomorphic woodland creatures that are being terrorized by a mysterious creature that can control the wind, and which may be empowered by a feather.
Then Syaoran and company travel to another world, the country of Shara, where the party is split-up between the country’s two factions: an circus troupe that has a guardian statue of Ashura, and a religious group with a statue of Yasha (both from R.G Veda).
The shout-out to R.G Veda with Ashura and Yasha making up the guardian gods of the two factions was nice. Also, the cross-dressing joke with the acting troupe dressing up Sayoran was particularly good.
Also, the dine-and-dash omake was pretty cute.
While this volume does a decent job of setting up the factions, nothing really happens with the second story in this volume – though this might be a matter of our little 3 chapter story that opens the volume. Yeah, the first story is kind of cute, but still – it’s a whole big run-around brought about by what is essentially a game of telephone.
No violence or nudity here, though there is some underage drinking.
Originality: This is probably the most original chapter of the series. Earlier volumes were homages to Japanese chambara TV series, and JRPGs and gothic horror, and so on. However, with these stories I’m not having “they based this story off this” moment. 5 out of 6.
Artwork: Still looks great, though I’m noticing more and more that they tend to (if you’re familiar with animation terminology) “stretch” a little too much when Syaoran does what I’d describe as a “helicopter kick” here. It’s not quite at Monkey D. Luffy (One Piece) levels, but still. 4 out of 6.
Story: The first story is a little underwhelming, but the start of the Country of Shara story serves as a good setup for whatever will happen next volume. 4 out of 6.
Characterization: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – Kurogane and Fai have great chemistry as written, and putting them together here is excellent. 5 out of 6.
Emotional Response: The omake is funny, and the first story is cute, but I really don’t get any response from the second story, as aside from setting up the factions, we don’t get much this volume. 3 out of 6.
Flow: 6 out of 6.
Overall: After doing incredibly well for the last few volumes, I’m not too surprised by how this volume turned out. It’s not terrible, but not great either. 3 out of 6.
In Total, Tsubasa Vol. 8 gets 30 out of 42.