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Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle
Tsubasa Volume 1.jpg
The first volume of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle as released by Del Rey Manga.
ツバサ-RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-
(Tsubasa -Rezaboa Kuronikuru-)
Genre Fantasy
Manga
Author Clamp
Publisher Kodansha
English publisher Canada United States Del Rey

Singapore Chuang Yi (English)

United Kingdom Tanoshimi
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Magazine
Original run May 2003October 7, 2009 [1]
Volumes 28 (List of volumes)
TV anime
Tsubasa Chronicle
Director Kōichi Mashimo
Hiroshi Morioka
Writer Hiroyuki Kawasaki
Studio Bee Train
Licensor United Kingdom Revelation Films

United States Funimation Entertainment

France Kaze
Network NHK, Animax
English network United States Funimation Channel
Original run April 9, 2005November 4, 2006
Episodes 52 (List of episodes)
Anime film
Tsubasa Chronicle the Movie: The Princess of the Country of Birdcages
Director Itsuro Kawasaki
Writer Junichi Fujisaku
Midori Goto
Studio Production I.G
Licensor United States Funimation Entertainment
Released August 20, 2005
Runtime 35 minutes
Game
Tsubasa Chronicle
Developer Arika
Platform Nintendo DS
Released December 31, 2005
Game
Tsubasa Chronicle Vol.2
Developer Arika
Platform Nintendo DS
Released April 20, 2006
Original video animation
Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations
Director Shunsuke Tada
Writer Nanase Okawa
Studio Production I.G
Released November 16, 2007 - March 17, 2008
Episodes 3
Original video animation
Tsubasa Shunraiki
Director Shunsuke Tada
Writer Nanase Okawa
Studio Production I.G
Released March 17, 2009 - May 15, 2009
Episodes 2
Anime and Manga Portal

Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle (ツバサ-RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- Tsubasa -Rezaboa Kuronikuru- ?) is a fantasy[2] shōnen manga series written and illustrated by the mangaka group Clamp. It was serialized in the Kodansha publication Weekly Shōnen Magazine from May 2003 till October 2009. It takes place in the same fictional universe as many of Clamp's other manga series including xxxHolic, Cardcaptor Sakura, Legal Drug, Angelic Layer, X, Chobits, Magic Knight Rayearth and Tokyo Babylon.

It was adapted into an anime series, Tsubasa Chronicle (ツバサ·クロニクル Tsubasa Kuronikuru ?), animated by Bee Train, which aired 52 episodes over two seasons during 2005 and 2006.[3] Five OVAs (animated by Production I.G) were also released between November 2007 and May 2009.

As of September 1, 2008 (2008 -09-01), the English dub of the first season was being broadcast on the Funimation Channel in the United States.[4] Another English dub has also been broadcast by Animax across Asia under the title Chronicle of The Wings.

Contents

Plot

Events Before the Series

Before the beginning of the storyline, Tsubasa (known as Syaoran throughout the story, real name discovered later at the end of series), the son of Syaoran and Sakura, is sent into the shop of the Dimensional Witch, Yūko, by his parents because of a vision his mother had seen. Yūko sends him to Clow Country (The Country of the Eternal Tower) for seven days, where he arrives seven days before the birthday of that dimension's Tsubasa (known as Sakura throughout the story, real name discovered later at the end of series), who looks like a younger version of his mother. Over the seven days, the two begin to form a bond. On his final day in Clow Country, the day of Tsubasa's birthday, Fei Wang Reed appears and, in spite of his efforts to stop him, places a seal of death on her that will eventually kill her. He tells Yūko that he chooses to remain in Clow Country at the price of never seeing his family and friends back in Japan again. He returns to Clow Country, and spends years searching for a way to remove the seal, but his searches are to no avail. When the seal is about to consume Tsubasa on the day of her Coming of Age Ceremony, he asks Yūko to turn time back to the day Fei Wang Reed placed the seal of death on Tsubasa in exchange for being Fei Wang Reed's prisoner.

Events During the Series

The series starts several years after Tsubasa wound back time, and it follows the clones of both him and the other Tsubasa, creations of Fei Wong Reed. The male Tsubasa Clone, Syaoran, is a young archaeologist investigating a nearby ruin. Sakura, the female Tsubasa clone, has a vision of a mysterious symbol Syaoran found in the ruins. When she visits Syaoran in the ruins the next day, she stands on the symbol opening a secret room and disappears into it. Syaoran chases after and finds her with a pair of ghostly wings being pulled into the wall. He rescues her, but then her wings disintegrate into feathers that scatter across dimensions. The High Priest of Clow Kingdom, Yukito, immediately realizes that Sakura's "feathers" were the manifestation of her soul; without them, she will die.

Yukito sends the two to the Dimensional Witch, Yūko. There Syaoran meets Kurogane, a rough-mannered ninja who wishes to return to his home after being banished from his world by Princess Tomoyo in order to learn what true strength is, and Fay D. Flourite, a magician who fled his world and wishes never to return to avoid being forced to kill the King Ashura of his home world. In order to gain the power to cross dimensions, each must pay with what he or she values most. Kurogane pays with his family's heirloom, the sword Ginryū. Fay pays with the tattoo on his back that suppresses his magical power. Syaoran and Sakura pay with their relationship; even if Syaoran is able to retrieve all of Sakura's memories, she will never remember him. When the three agree to her terms, Yūko present them with the one of two creatures named Mokona Modoki who holds the power to cross dimensions. The group of five then set out on their journey across dimensions in search of Sakura's feathers.

Production

Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle first began with the inspiration of the four-member team, Clamp, to link their works set in a realistic world with all of their works set in different fantasy worlds.[5] Prior to beginning work on Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, Clamp had created the manga Cardcaptor Sakura, from which the two main characters are taken. Clamp decided to draw Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle using a style first conceived by Osamu Tezuka, named the "father of manga" and often credited as the "father of anime", known as the Osamu Tezuka's Star System where characters with the same name and design are used in different settings, drawing mostly from the vast character pool of its own works and occasionally from others' works. However unlike characters under the Star System, three months prior to Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle release, the Weekly Young Magazine began serializing xxxHolic, a manga whose two main characters, Kimihiro Watanuki and Yūko Ichihara, are identical to the ones used in Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle. It runs parallel to Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle and is another of Clamp's works. Like many of their other works, each member of Clamp had a role different from their other projects as opposed to retaining set roles. For Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, Mokona drew the main characters whereas Tsubaki Nekoi and Satsuki Igarashi drew the side characters and backgrounds; Nanase Ohkawa was the sole person in charge of the storyline and not even the other members of Clamp were told in advance how the plot will unfold.[6]

A special interview with Ohkawa and Kiichiro Sugawara, Clamp's editor from the Shōnen Magazine's Editorial Department, took place after the story of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle had progressed past the Ōto Country arc. Ohkawa has stated that the group is very conscious of the fact that Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle is the title in Shōnen Magazine with the youngest readership and that it is their very first foray into the shōnen demographic. Thus, the members of Clamp ensure that they employ a drawing style and dialogue appropriate for young, male audiences;[7 ] the manga incorporates furigana that makes reading Japanese easier. To aid in this effort, the group holds conferences with Sugawara where they discuss the plot. However, Ohkawa stated during the interview that the only time the story significantly changed was during Country of Jade arc; was from a "horror story with vampires" to a "detective mystery".[7 ]

The members of Clamp had some difficulty adjusting from their typical style after deciding to publish with a weekly shōnen magazine. Because their typical thinner lines did not give the desired impact, Ohkawa expressed the group's desires to make their lines thicker and have simpler layouts similar to the other stories already present in Shōnen Magazine. Furthermore, in regards to the art, she stated that they used their original style to attract initial readers and then slowly transitioned to a new style, however mentioned that since sometime around when the Country of Ōto arc took place, their art style has been gradually changing and that they were thinking of returning to their original style. Also they are still adjusting to a weekly schedule as many of their previous works were on a monthly schedule. When first presenting the idea to Sugawara of running Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle linked with xxxHolic, although he expressed concerns for the strain the weekly pace of such a series would place on the artists, he whole-heartedly approved. In accordance with Ohkawa's desire for each to have a well organized story, Clamp avoids putting references between the two stories too frequently.[7 ]

When thinking about including character goods with the volume releases, Sugawara came up with the atypical idea of releasing a deluxe and normal edition of the manga after contemplating the inconsistency of novels getting both a soft-cover and hard-cover release, but manga not. Because it was a new concept, the group experienced several mishaps such as accidentally placing the illustration on the first deluxe edition they released vertically flipped. The group also decided to use another atypical practice of keeping catchphrases that appeared in the magazine identical to the ones that appear on the frontispieces of the deluxe editions.[7 ]

Media

Manga

Written and illustrated by Clamp, Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle is to date one of the most popular manga ever made,[8] being serialized in Japan in Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine between May 2003[9] and October 2009. As of November 17, 2009, all 233 chapters have been compiled into twenty-eight tankōbon volumes by Kodansha.[10][11] The first volume was released on August 12, 2003,[12] and the last volume was released on November 17, 2009.[13]

Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle has also been licensed for release within several different regions in different languages. Del Rey Manga has licensed the series for release in North America in English, releasing the first volume on April 27, 2004. As of October 7, 2009 twenty-four volumes have been released. Tong Li has licensed the series for Traditional Chinese language in Taiwan. Chuang Yi has licensed the series for release in Singapore in both English and Simplified Chinese. Grupo Editorial Vid has licensed the series for release in Mexico in Spanish. Norma Editorial has licensed the series for release in Spain in Spanish. Vibulkij Publishing Group has licensed the series for release in Thailand in Thai. Editora JBC has licensed the series for release in Brazilian Portuguese in Brazil.

At the conclusion of Volume 23, on the last page of Chapter 182, CLAMP announced that the manga was entering its final arc. A final special chapter was published on October 7, 2009, after a 6-year run.

Anime

The animation studio Bee Train adapted the manga series into a two-season anime television series Tsubasa Chronicle (ツバサ·クロニクル Tsubasa Kuronikuru ?) spanning fifty-two episodes in total. Both seasons were written by Hiroyuki Kawasaki and directed by Kōichi Mashimo with Hiroshi Morioka joining on as co-director for the second season. The music for the series was composed by Yuki Kajiura.[14] The first season aired Saturday nights at 18:30 on NHK from April 9, 2005 to October 15, 2005 and spanned twenty-six episodes.[15] The second season began on April 29, 2006 at 18:30 and concluded on November 4, 2006 and spanned twenty-six episodes.[16] In Japan, Bandai Visual released the series across fourteen Region 2 DVD compilation volumes between August 26, 2005 and February 23, 2007.[17][18]

The anime television network Animax dubbed both seasons and began broadcasting the series under the title Chronicle of the Wings on April 6, 2006 across its English-language networks in Southeast Asia and South Asia as well as its Chinese-language networks in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Funimation Entertainment licensed both season under the title Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle for English-language release in North America across twelve Region 1 DVD compilation volumes.[19] Funimation also released the first season of Tsubasa Chronicle in the United Kingdom through Revelation Films beginning on September 17, 2007 across six Region 2 DVD compilation volumes.[20] Revelation Films had previously confirmed the release of the second season of Tsubasa Chronicle in the U.K. although no release dates were ever set.[21]

A film interlude, Tsubasa Chronicle the Movie: The Princess of the Country of Birdcages (劇場版 ツバサ·クロニクル 鳥カゴの国の姫君 Gekijōban Tsubasa Kuronikuru Torikago no Kuni no Himegimi ?), was adapted by the animation studio Production I.G and premiered in Japanese theaters on August 20, 2005 in conjunction with xxxHolic the Movie: A Midsummer Night's Dream between the two seasons of the anime series. It was directed by Itsuro Kawasaki and written by both Midori Goto and Junichi Fujisaku with character designs provided by Yoko Kikuchi and music provided by Yuki Kajiura. Shochiku released the DVD for the film on February 25, 2006 in Japan in both regular and premium editions.[22][23] Funimation released the film on a single DVD in English on February 19, 2009 in North America as a double feature with the xxxHolic film.[24]

Two original video animation (OVA) series were animated by Production I.G as sequels to the anime. They are directed by Shunsuke Tada and written by Nanase Ohkawa with music provided by Yuki Kajiura. A three-episode OVA series entitled Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations, stylized as Tsubasa TOKYO REVELATIONS, was released between November 16, 2007 and March 17, 2008 across three DVDs bundled with limited versions of volumes 21, 22 and 23 of the manga.[25] A two-episode OVA series entitled Tsubasa Shunraiki (ツバサ春雷記 Tsubasa Shunraiki ?) lit. Tsubasa Spring Thunder Chronicles was released across two DVDs. The first was packaged with volume 26 of the manga, which was released on March 17, 2009 and the second was packaged with volume 27, released on May 15, 2009.[26]

Audio CDs

The original soundtrack for the anime was released in four soundtrack albums entitled Future Soundscape I~IV were released by Victor Entertainment for the anime from July 6, 2005 to September 21, 2006, each in a normal and a limited edition that featured additional merchandise.[27][28] Additionally, a compilation album entitled Best Vocal Collection was released on December 20, 2006 collecting fourteen of vocal tracks from the anime.[29] Each release charted in the Oricon charts, with the highest ranking album Future Soundscape I peak ranking at 39th remaining on the charts for three weeks.[30]

A total of ten music albums have been released, each containing a single piece of theme music for the various adaptations. For the anime adaptation Tsubasa Chronicle, four maxi singles entitled Loop, Blaze, It's, and Kazemachi Jet / Spica were released between May 10, 2005 and July 14, 2006.[31][32] For the anime film Tsubasa Chronicle the Movie: The Princess of the Country of Birdcages, two maxi singles entitled Aerial and Amrita were released on August 17, 2005 and on August 18, 2005.[33][34] For the OVA adaptations, two maxi singles and two studio albums entitled Synchronicity, Saigo no Kajitsu / Mitsubashi to Kagakusha, Kazeyomi, and Everlasting Songs were released between November 21, 2007 and February 25, 2009.[35][36] All of the releases charted on the Oricon charts, with the highest ranking single being Loop peak ranking at 7th remaining on the chart for nine weeks.[37]

Victor Entertainment released a series of three drama CDs entitled "The Matinée of the Palace" based on the anime adaptation featuring the same voice actors. The first, subtitled Chapter.1 ~Coral, the City on the Water~, was released on December 16, 2005.[38] Chapter.2 ~Impossible Goal~ followed on February 1, 2006.[39] The final CD, subtitled Chapter.3 ~Unspeakable Lines~, was released on March 24, 2006.[40] All of the releases charted on the Oricon charts with the highest ranking album being Chapter.2 ~Impossible Goal~ peaking at 161st and remaining on the chart for a week.[39] A spin-off series of four drama CDs entitled "Private High School Holitsuba" have been released between 2006 and 2009, and has also had a one-chapter manga adaptation.

Video games

A video game entitled Tsubasa Chronicle and developed by Cavia, based on the anime adaptation of the same name, has been released in Japan for the Nintendo DS on October 27, 2005 by Akira. Tsubasa Chronicle is an role-playing game whose gameplay requires the player to navigate the world as Sakura and Syaoran in search of Sakura's memory fragments. Additionally, players can compete with each other wirelessly.[41] A second video game was released in 2006, again for the Nintendo DS.

Art and fanbooks

Three different fanbooks have been released for Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle. Kodansha released two in Japan by between 2005 and 2006 containing character illustrations and information, a collection of the theme song videos, and interviews with the seiyū. The second book published was TV Animation Tsubasa Chronicle Official Fanbook (TV ANIMATION ツバサ·クロニクル OFFICIAL FANBOOK ?) on May 17, 2005 bearing an ISBN 978-4063720112.[42] The third book published was TV Animation Tsubasa Chronicle 2nd Season Official Fanbook (TV ANIMATION ツバサ·クロニクル 2nd SEASON OFFICIAL FANBOOK ?) on June 16, 2006 bearing an ISBN 978-4063721614.[43] DH Publishing released one in English on May 25, 2008 bearing an ISBN 978-1932897265 entitled Tsubasa Chronicle Factbook: Mystery, Magic and Mischief, the eighteenth of the Mysteries and Secrets Revealed! series of books.[44]

Two different artbooks have been released in Japan by Kodansha between 2006 and 2007 containing illustrations. The first book published was TV Animation Tsubasa Chronicle Best Selection (TV ANIMATION ツバサ·クロニクル BEST SELECTION ?) on April 17, 2006 bearing an ISBN 978-4063721386.[45] The second book published was Tsubasa Original Illustrations Collection –Album De Reproductions- (ツバサ原画集-ALBuM De REProDUCTioNS- ?) on April 17, 2007 bearing an ISBN 978-4063646863,[46] and containing art from the first 14 volumes. An English version of ALBuM De REProDUCTioNS was released on December 8, 2009 bearing an ISBN 978-0-345-51079-2,[47]. This additionally contained one of the short stories entitled Tsubasa: World of the Untold Story that also featured as omake to the manga volumes. Another artbook, Tsubasa Original Illustrations Collection –Album De Reproductions- 2 (ツバサ原画集-ALBuM De REProDUCTioNS- 2 ?) was released on November 17, 2009, containing art from the final 14 volumes.

Two character guides were released by Kondasha in Japan and then translated and released in North American by Del Rey Manga containing overviews of the worlds, overviews of character, fan reports, illustrations, and interviews. The Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Character Guide (ツバサ CARACTere GuiDE Tsubasa Caractère Guide ?) was released on April 15, 2005 bearing an ISBN 978-4063720013 covering events from the volume 1 to volume 7.[48] It was released in English on December 26, 2006 bearing an ISBN 978-0345494849.[49] The Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Character Guide 2 (ツバサ CARACTere GuiDE 2 Tsubasa Caractère Guide 2 ?) was released on October 17, 2006 bearing an ISBN 978-4063722161.[50] It was released in English on October 13, 2009.[51]

Reception

Initial fan response to Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle was that it was "Cardcaptor Sakura for guys." Fans speculated that the series will put a conclusion to one of Clamp's unfinished series X.[52]

The Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle manga series was well received by English-speaking audiences. After the first volume's English release in April 27, 2004, it sold 2,330 copies in May 2004, placing it at the top end of the top 100 sales of that month.[53] It was consistently ranked in the top 10 on the list of Manga Top 50 for every quarterly release of the ICv2 Retailers Guide to Anime/Manga, based on sales from both mainstream bookstores and comic book shops, since its release in May 2004[54] except for the fourth quarter of 2007,[55] reaching a top rank of number 3.

Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle was fairly well received by reviewers, who described it a treat for Clamp fans due to the large number of crossover characters in the series.[56] Critics described the series as being marked by several points of plot twists. For the earlier half of the series, Mikhail Koulikov from Anime News Network described the series as settling into a "predictable pattern" that Melissa Harper, also from Anime News Network, described as somewhat slow, and "frankly a bit boring."[57][58 ] However, from volume 15 onwards, Clamp unleashed a series of "mind-blowing" plot twists that had been foreshadowed frequently throughout the series. These twists have been described as "stunning", however very confusingly executed due to the sheer number of storylines come together.[59][60][61] While some highlighted felt that the plot went from slow to messy, other critics praised this pacing as letting "the story progress at its own natural momentum," keeping the reader "from being bored by any one literary genre."[62] Critics have described the artwork as "keeping up the standards expected of Clamp" with its high level of detail, though perhaps too much detail, especially during action sequences.[58 ] The artstyle is "stylish" and "dynamic," characterized by a large number of "sweeping lines curlicues that look unlike anything else in the genre," help bring the action scenes to life for exciting experiences that make you hold your breath.[60][61][62] Ed Sizemore from Comics Worth Reading highlighted the fact that each dimension that the protagonists visit is characterized by its very own look and feel such that "no two worlds are even remotely similar."[62] However, the amount of detail and lack of contrast, while beautiful, often render scenes incomprehensible leaving the reader guessing who is attacking.[60][63] Critics have praised Del Rey's inclusion of English translation notes that aid in understanding the plot, espically due to its crossover nature.[58 ]

Critics have described the anime adaptation for having a very slow pace, but having a beautiful musical score. Carl Kimlinger from Anime News Network faulted the director, Koichi Mashimo, for "downshifting the plot's energy" and as having "too many flashbacks, too many slow pans over inexpressive eyes," that create an end-product that is "tediously formulaic."[64][65] However Carl Kimlinger also praised the musical score as being beautiful as Yuki Kajiura's work has always been.[66]

References

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  2. ^ "Tsubasa by Clamp". Del Rey Manga. http://www.randomhouse.com/delrey/manga/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780345470577. Retrieved July 31, 2009.  
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  31. ^ "BLAZE ("Tsubasa Chronicle" Intro Theme)". Neowing. http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/detailview.html?KEY=YRCN-10092. Retrieved 2009-04-23.  
  32. ^ "Kazemachi Jet / Spica". Neowing. http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/detailview.html?KEY=VICL-36059. Retrieved 2009-04-23.  
  33. ^ "aerial (Thetarical Feature "Tsubasa Chronicle" Intro Theme)". Neowing. http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/detailview.html?KEY=YRCN-10108. Retrieved 2009-04-23.  
  34. ^ "Amrita ("Theatrical Feature: Tsubasa Chronicle - Torikago no Kuni no Himegimi" Main Theme)". Neowing. http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/detailview.html?KEY=VICL-35846. Retrieved 2009-04-23.  
  35. ^ "TV Anime Tsubasa Revelations Intro Theme: synchronicity". Neowing. http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/detailview.html?KEY=VTCL-35007. Retrieved 2009-04-23.  
  36. ^ "Everlasting Songs". Neowing. http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/detailview.html?KEY=VTCL-60106. Retrieved 2009-05-12.  
  37. ^ "Loop" (in Japanese). Oricon. http://www.oricon.co.jp/music/release/d/592071/1/. Retrieved 2009-05-09.  
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