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Manga Review

Book Cover

Reservoir Chronicle
Volume 8


Author: Clamp
Artist: Clamp
RRP: £6.99, US $10.95
ISBN: 978 0 099 50496 2
Ages: 13+
Available 05 June 2008

Sakura, princess of Clow, has an unusual experience when her friend Syaoran, a renowned archaeologist, has to rescue her when she finds herself growing ghostly wings. When the wings dissipate Yukito, Clow’s high priest, realises that they contained Sakura’s memories and soul, without which she will die. Unwilling to let this happen her friends set out on a quest to retrieve what she had lost...

Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle is the sister manga to xxxHolic, the story also crosses over with a number of their other titles including Cardcaptor Saura. That is not to say that you need to have read any of the other books, but it does make for a richer experience. The female collective Clamp produces all the books. Like most of Clamp’s output the book was translated into an anime as well as producing a couple of OVA’s.

Once again we are subject to the rather odd practices of PR companies sending out mangas, which do not start with volume one, therefore my first experience starts with Volume Eight: Into the Mouth of the Beast, which starts with Chapter Fifty: The Country of the Totems.

Well whatever strange adventures have happened to date, its all a bit of a mystery, still, the group of Sajura, Syaoran, Moko, Fai and Kuro-Gane arrive in another world. The action kicks off with Syaoran being capture by a load of bunnies, I kid you not, who are intent on using him for their ceremony and, as these things tend to play out, they set fire to him. Before the group can rescue him Syaoran negotiates his release when he realises that the beast, which demanded the sacrifice, appeared suddenly. Its power would indicate that it might be one of Sakura’s missing feathers.

Next the group are whisked away to the country of Shara, where the they are separated and Sakura and Syaoran are captures by the Owner of Yuka-Ku - I sense a pattern here - meanwhile the remainder of the group find themselves in Jinja sacred ground, which starts a fight until The Master turns up to intervene.

It's difficult to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the narrative, having jumped into the story so late. At first glance Tsubasa seems very episodic and, if the other books are like this, more than a little repetitive. Of course this may be an unfair appraisal. For all I know books one through seven were riveting reading. The artwork ranges from great to okay, though the differing styles sometimes clash.

The story does have potential, if it stays away from a kind of rescues of the week, though to be honest so much has been lost that the book does not work as a stand alone product. But then it was never meant to be.


Charles Packer

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