Manga Review: Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 16

Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 16 is a manga by CLAMP, and it was published in North America by Del Rey Manga in 2008. The series is rated “T” for teens 13 and up; from what I’ve read of the series so far, I would agree with this rating.

Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 16
Written by: CLAMP
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Del Rey Manga
Release Date: February 5, 2008

A young man named Syaoran is in love with Princess Sakura from the country of Clow. After Sakura loses her memories through an unexplained event, Syaoran goes on a journey to different worlds to try to find and regain Sakura’s lost memories. Unfortunately, as part of his journey, he mad to make a deal with the space-time witch Yuko in order to receive her help; Syaoran had to agree that Sakura would never regain her memories of the time she had spent with him. Syaoran is accompanied by Fai, Kurogane, and Mokona on his quest.

At the beginning of Volume 16, Mokona senses a feather in the basement, and Syaoran asks how to get down there. Sakura absorbs a feather as Kamui is about to attack the cocoon where she is. When this happens, Syaoran arrives to try to stop him, and he and Kamui start fighting. During the fight, a seal located in Syaoran’s right eye breaks as its revealed that he is a clone. The original Syaoran sealed a copy of his “heart” within the clone before being imprisoned years gao by Fei-Wang Reed.

Fai arrives and tries to restore the clone’s heart, but the clone takes and eats Fai’s right eye in order to wield his magic. The clone continues attacking Fai and Kurogane until the real Syaoran appears in Tokyo as sent by Yuko. The original Syaoran tries to kill the clone, but ends up failing due to his hesitation. The clone takes another feather from the cocoon where Kamui’s brother, Subaru, is sleeping and gives the feather to Sakura. The clone then escapes through one of Fei-Wang’s portals.

Volume 16 has a lot of action going on and not much dialogue, so it ends up being a rather quick read. However, by the end of the volume, I found myself thinking, “What the heck…?!?” In my review of Volume 15, I said that the series was definitely moving to the next level; by the end of Volume 16, I would have to say it’s upped its weirdness factor rather than moving to the next level. Yes, the idea of two Syaorans had been hinted at for at least two volumes prior to this one, I still found what happened here with the clone to be really odd. Yes, this is a story about traveling to various alternate worlds, but earlier volumes felt fantastical rather than weird. Volume 16, however, just feels strange.

I also have to admit that I had a hard time following what exactly was going on the first time I read through this volume. I had to skim through it a second time to see what I didn’t pick up on during my first read-through. When I finished this volume, it started changing my opinion of the series, but not in a good way.

Sadly, I didn’t really get the payoff that I was hoping for in Volume 16. Instead, I was left feeling confused and frustrated. Sadly, I have a suspicion that this volume is setting the tone for the remainder of the series. If so, then that’s rather disappointing.

If you’ve read and like the previous 15 volumes of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, you may find yourself feeling a little disappointed after reading Volume 16.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 16 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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