Manga Review – Tsubasa Vol. 9

Well, after a long hiatus, I have another manga review for you, as I move on to Tsubasa Vol. 9

General Information

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

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The Premise

Syaoran and Company are whisked from the land of Shara, which is a land torn apart by a war between the leaders Ashura and Yasha. Separated from Fai and Kurogane, Syaoran, Sakura, and Mokona must find their feather and their friends before its too late. Meanwhile, the forces manipulating our heroes try to regain control of our heroes.

High Points

The references to RG Veda from last volume go full on into the real of an overt crossover in this volume, which makes for some interesting possibilities for future volumes of the series.

Low Points

Wong-Fei Reed, the series’ big bad, shows up more or less out of nowhere here, after being absent for several volumes. While I like having a villain who is subtle, and isn’t in your face all the time, there’s a difference between having him working in the shadows off screen, and having him sitting in his trailer playing solitaire.

Content Notes

There’s some minor bloody violence towards the end, but no nudity or gore.

The Scores

Originality: This takes a hit this time, as we’ve gone from alternate interpretations of characters from other CLAMP series to straight-up crossovers. 3 out of 6.

Artwork: Still looks great, and the fight scenes here in particular look fantastic. In general, manga, with the smaller page sizes, tends to handle one on one fights better than larger battles, and while there are some larger fights here, CLAMP really gives the individual fights more attention. 5 out of 6.

Story: The story goes downhill some here. While earlier stories did a very good job of fleshing out the worlds our heroes ended up in, here there isn’t as much development as I’d like. I’m not sure if this is because CLAMP is assuming that you’re familiar with RG Veda, or if it’s simply an oversight. Whatever reason, the story is harmed by this. 3 out of 6.

Characterization: Because the story focuses almost entirely on Sakura, Syaoran, Mokona and Ashura, we get little development for Yasha nor interplay between Kurogane and Fai. That said, everyone is written well, and we do get a little development for Wong Fei Reed and Yuuko. 4 out of 6.

Emotional Response: With our heroes separated, and with most of the attention on Sakura, Mokona and Syaoran, most of the emotional focus is on the relationship between Sakura and Syaoran, with Mokona as our sole comic relief. 3 out of 6

Flow: 6 out of 6

Overall: While this volume isn’t bad, it isn’t as good as last volume. We have no payoff to what was set up in the last world, and the interplay between the characters is extremely limited. 3 out of 6.

In Total, Tsubasa Vol. 6 gets 27 out of 42.