Manga Review: Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE Volume 18

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 had 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.

Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE Volume 18
Written by: CLAMP
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Del Rey Manga
Release Date: July 22, 2008

At the beginning of Volume 18, Sakura delivers the egg to Yuko, and then Yuko explains to Sakura who it was that stole her memories and what his goal was for doing that. It’s also revealed that Sakura and the others traveling through the various dimensions was something that Fei-Wang Reed wants them to do to help fulfill his wish of being able to cross dimensions. The truth about the two Syaorans is revealed, as well as who it was that murdered Kurogane’s mother.

Admittedly, the first chapter is basically a huge “info dump.” However, getting all that information finally ties various things together that we’d seen in the series up to this point, and it also helps the story to start to make a little more sense to the reader. The info dumping helped me to clear some things up and to better understand what I’ve read up to this point.

Yuko then tells the group that it’s up to them whether or not they’ll continue to travel through the dimensions together. Sakura declares that she will continue on in order to find the true Syaoran. Fai declares that he will come along, Mokona wants to continue, Kurogane says he’ll stay, as does the fake Syaoran. But before Sakura and the others leave for another dimension, she throws the feather in that dimension into the water in order to help the people there.

We then see that they have moved on to another world, where they participate in a “chess” tournament that’s run by the mafia. In this game, Sakura controls Syaoran, Fai and Kurogane in battles against other groups. They hope to win the prize money in order to exchange it with Yuko for a wish to restore a country the Syaoran clone had destroyed in search for a feather. At first, they’re doing really well. However, a match comes along that causes Sakura to become less confident. But Syaoran finds the will to fight…

The concept of the “chess” games is an interesting one, and it does fit in with the tone that Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE has evolved into at this point in the series. However, it looks like they haven’t quite won the prize money yet, so I suspect the “chess” games will be continuing into Volume 19.

And poor Sakura goes through quite a bit in this volume emotionally, especially after she learns the truth about various things that have led her up to this point. But what really seems to pain her most is the fact that the Syaoran in front of her is not the real one, but she can’t help but think of him as the real one. As the series goes on, Sakura seems to be dealing with emotional torture more and more. The others have some of that going on to some degree, but Sakura definitely has it the worst. But I think this ultimately helps to make Sakura a stronger main character for the series, and the reader can feel a lot of empathy for her.

Readers of Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE who have enjoyed the tonal shift of the story that started in Volume 16 will probably enjoy reading Volume 18. It’s definitely gotten a little stranger and a little darker over recent volumes, but I’m still interested in what’s going on.

Additional posts about Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE:

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