Manga Review: Tsubasa: Those With Wings Volume One

Tsubasa: Those With Wings Volume 1 is a manga with the story and art by Natsuki Takaya. Tokyopop held the rights to distribute the series in the United States until the company went out of business in May of 2011. As of this writing, no other manga publisher has acquired the rights to this series. The first volume of this series was published in the United States in 2009. This English adaptation, which is presented as an “unflipped” release, was adapted by Stephanie Duchin; the translation was done by Kinami Watabe. Tsubasa: Those With Wings is rated “OT” for older teens ages 16+.

Tsubasa: Those With Wings Volume 1
Written by: Natsuki Takaya
Publisher: Hakusensha
English Publisher: Tokyopop
Release Date: March 17, 2009

The manga is set on Earth in the 22nd century. There had been many wars, and they left the fields withered. Only the upper class, such as the military and the politicians, got to have the nicer amenities. Many live in poverty, and criminals run rampant in the cities.

The main character of Tsubasa: Those With Wings is Kotobuki, an ex-thief who is trying to give up her criminal past and start an honest life. She is joined by Raimon, a man who is a former military commander; he quit the military in order to spend his life with Kotobuki. Kotobuki uses her criminal skills toward trying to find a “normal” job. However, she and Raimon keep encountering two groups who are trying to find a legendary object called the Tsubasa, which grants its owner any wish he or she wants. One of the groups looking for this object is the military, and they are also trying desperately trying to get Raimon back into the military. The other group consists of several criminals who also wish to acquire the Tsubasa. The series follows Kotobuki and Raimon’s adventures and mishaps that they find themselves getting embroiled in.

If you are already familiar with Natsuki Takaya’s work from Fruits Basket, then you would definitely recognize the art style in this manga relatively quickly. It’s not so much that any of the characters look similar between the two series, but Takaya has a distinctive way of drawing her characters’ faces and their expressions. If you enjoy the art style in Fruits Basket, then you should also enjoy the art style of this series.

When I finished this volume, I thought it was an interesting read, and I’d probably be willing to check out future volumes of the series if I come across them at the library. However, I don’t think that Tsubasa: Those With Wings is quite as strong as Fruits Basket.

I wrote this review after checking out a copy of this manga volume through the King County Library System.

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