Manga Review: Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 19

Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 19 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 19
Written by: CLAMP
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Del Rey Manga
Release Date: November 18, 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.

Volume 19 reveals that both Fai and Sakura are trying to hide things from the others in the party. Fai gets Sakura to start opening up about what she’s hiding, but as we learn later, she doesn’t open up entirely to him.

We see Sakura and the others win the next “chess” tournament and move on to the final round. Before the final match, though, Sakura is invited to have dinner with the chairman of the chess tournament and the head of the Vision family. It’s at this dinner that the audience learns what Sakura’s been hiding: in addition to the prize money, the winner of the tournament can also gain the ability to travel to another dimension by themselves.

I was genuinely surprised to not only learn that this was an additional prize for the “chess” tournament, but by the fact that Sakura wants this so badly. We learn through flashbacks that as Sakura has regained her memories, she has also started to regain a minor precognitive ability she had before her memories were taken from her. Through this ability, she sees a future that she wants to avoid, which she thinks she can do if she can go the next world by herself.

Over the course of this volume, we definitely see a more confident and determined Sakura than we had since she had lost her memories. She’s become a strong character in her own right and is no longer the fragile girl who needs to be protected by the others all of the time. I also had found it interesting that we’ve seen Sakura dressed in black since we first saw the group in this particular dimension back near the end of Volume 18. Having her in that color ends up being a way to foreshadow events that happen later in Volume 19, as well as to start giving a visual indication to the reader that Sakura has changed.

The remainder of Volume 19 sees the final round of the “chess” tournament, where each side can only have one player. The other Syaoran volunteers to be the player for Sakura, and the other side has an automata, which is a robot that is this dimension’s version of Hikaru, the “Angel” battle doll from Angelic Layer.

When it comes to crossovers, in addition to Hikaru from Angelic Layer, we also see Chi from Chobits. It’s kind of ironic that elements from both of these series make an appearance in the same volume, since Angelic Layer and Chobits are set in the same universe.

The volume climaxes with the end of the tournament. But I have to say that the ending of this volume becomes rather strange. I know I said the story had started getting strange back around Volume 16 of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, but the events at the end of Volume 19 kicks the strangeness factor up another notch. I’m hoping the series doesn’t get too much stranger than it is now before the conclusion. To be honest, I’m really not sure how much more of these strange turn of events I can take.

If you didn’t mind the tonal shift between Volumes 15 and 16 of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, then you may not be too terribly bothered by the story becoming even strange at the end of Volume 19. But even though the story continues to become stranger, I’m still planning to stick it out to the end of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle in order to find out how this story will ultimately come to an end.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 19 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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Manga Review: Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 18

Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 18 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: Reservior Chronicle Volume 18
Written by: CLAMP
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Del Rey Manga
Release Date: July 22, 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 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 has 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.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 18 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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Manga Review: Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 17

Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 17 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 17
Written by: CLAMP
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Del Rey Manga
Release Date: May 13, 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 17, Subaru wishes the restore the water that was lost from the reservoir. The witch Yuko says it can be done, but that there is a price. Yuko tells Kurogane that he has to make the wish to fill the underground cistern with water and in exchamge, Kurogane must ask something of Subaru for taking Subaru’s wish onto himself. She tells Kurogane to ask for his vampire blood and give it to Fai in order to keep Fai alive. Kamui says he will offer his blood. When Kurogane gives it to Fai, he also has to include some of his own blood. Unfortunately, this means that Kurogane has to become “game” for Fai because Fai will only be able to drink Kurogane’s blood.

Fuma then appears with a feather, and negotiates to let his people stay in City Hall in exchange of using the feather to protect the building. Sakura says she doesn’t need the feather and requests to make the payment for Subaru’s wish.

Yuko gives Sakura the task of searching for an egg that’s located in Tokyo. While she’s on her quest, Sakura has several encounters with giant worms; fortunately, she’s able to make it past the worms and find the egg. Sakura returns to City Hall, but she’s injured.

After reading this volume, I can say that Volume 17 was nowhere near as weird as Volume 16 was. Maybe it was due to the fact that I’m now used to the various weird elements that were introduced in Volume 16 so it didn’t feel nearly as strange. Also, I’m not quite as disappointed in the new tone of the series as I was at the end of Volume 16.

Quite a bit of this volume focused on Fai and his transformation into a vampire. Because of what happens here, it’s going to force Fai and Kurogane to be a bit closer than they had been before, since Kurogane’s blood is the only thing that will sustain Fai.

Outside of Fai’s transformation, the deal being made with the feather and Sakura’s quest for the egg, there’s not a lot of progression for the story in Volume 17. There’s a bit in the way of action sequences, especially after Sakura goes on her quest, so these action-heavy sections help to make Volume 17 a bit of a quick read.

Readers of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle may or may not enjoy the new tone and direction that the series begins taking in Volume 16. If you didn’t mind the tonal change in Volume 16, then you’ll probably be able to appreciate Volume 17.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 17 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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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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Manga Review: Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 15

Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 15 is a manga by CLAMP, and it was published in North America by Del Rey Manga in 2007. 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 15
Written by: CLAMP
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Del Rey Manga
Release Date: October 30, 2007

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 end of Volume 14, Syaoran and the others are transported to a world that looks ruined and desolate, and they have a run-in with a group of people. The leader of the group is Kamui, and he fights against both Syaoran and Kurogane. The fight is interrupted by a group of people from another tower.

It’s revealed that the world looks as it does due to acid rain falling for 15 years. None of the water above ground is safe for drinking anymore, and the only usable water left is underneath the two towers that the two groups we met protect.

Meanwhile, Sakura has been asleep since the time the group arrived in this land, and we discover during the volume that something’s wrong. In addition, Syaoran has been having dreams of another him, and has had this other Syaoran take him over for the second time during the series; however, both times it appears Syaoran is unaware that this is going on.

Kurogane also has a conversation with Fai, which causes Fai to face some things and make him think about where exactly he stands.

At this point in the series, you can tell that the story is starting to move into both a darker territory as well as starting to go up to “the next level.” Mokona senses something about the underground water, and I have a suspicion what it is. If I’m right, it could cause the people of this particular land to become rather upset with Syaoran and the others. They’re already not entirely trusted by Kamui’s group, so even one small slip could jeopardize their relations.

There’s references to CLAMP’s series, X, included in this volume of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle. Kamui is one, and the two groups that appear in this volume are also from X. One group is the Dragons of Heaven, while the other group is the Dragons of Earth. However, it should be noted that the teams that Kamui and Fuma lead are reversed.

Overall, I have to say that so far, this particular story arc isn’t grabbing me like the previous arc in Recort did. However, I will admit that the elements concerning Syaoran and Sakura, and even the confusion that Fai is going through, are helping to keep me interested in the story. I’m hoping to get a bit more in the way of payoff when I get around to reading Volume 16 of the series.

If you’ve read the previous volumes of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle and have enjoyed them, then I think you will enjoy reading Volume 15.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 15 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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Manga Review: Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 14

Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 14 is a manga by CLAMP, and it was published in North America by Del Rey Manga in 2007. 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 14
Written by: CLAMP
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Del Rey Manga
Release Date: July 31, 2007

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 14, Syaoran and the others found out that the book Syaoran had been in during Volume 13 is called a memory book, which takes and displays the memories of the first person who handles it and allows the next person who reads the book to see them. It’s then pointed out that the mark that appeared on the book looks a lot like the mark that appears on Sakura’s feathers. It turns out the one in the library is a reproduction of the original; the original is located in the central library.

They wonder if the feather is on the original book, so they go to the central library to check it out. Unfortunately, since it’s a printed national treasure and that no one is able to check it out. Syaoran and the others decide to sneak into the library and steal it. The majority of Volume 14 focuses on their attempt to get the book. Right near the end of the volume, the group is transported to what looks like a ruined and desolate world. The volume ends with them having a run-in with a group of people.

A major thing that happens during the attempt to steal the book is the fact that Fai ends up revealing that he knows more about magic and how to perform it than he had previously in the series. The only reason Fai has to reveal this is the fact that he needs to use his powers in order to help the group get out of some of the predicaments they find themselves in. The others in the party really don’t say much about it at this point, but I wonder if this will become an important issue amongst the group later in the series.

This volume of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle makes a couple of references to CLAMP’s X series. A building that appears in the desolate world is designed to look a lot like the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, which has served as a setting in X. Also, one of the characters they run into in the desolate world looks like Kamui from X.

This volume also pays homage to something that’s not a CLAMP crossover. This is would be the flying train that the group rides on while they’re in Recort. The flying train is probably best known from Leiji Matsumoto’s Galaxy Express 999. It could also be an homage to Kenji Miyazawa’s Night on the Galactic Railroad.

Overall, I have to say that I really liked the story arc that took place in Recort. Between Syaoran ending up in the memory book with Kurogane’s memories in Volume 13 and the events that take place in Recort in Volume 14, it was a strong story that keeps the reader interested. It also provided some much needed backstory for Kurogane.

There’s not much provided for the desolate world that the group appears at near the end of the volume, but what is presented is just enough to make the reader want to pick up Volume 15 in order to find out how the story will progress.

If you’ve read the previous volumes of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle and have enjoyed them, then I think you will enjoy reading Volume 14.

I wrote this review after checking out a copy of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 14 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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Manga Review: Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 13

Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 13 is a manga by CLAMP, and it was published in North America by Del Rey Manga in 2007. 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 13
Written by: CLAMP
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Del Rey Manga
Release Date: June 12, 2007

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.

Volume 13 sees Syaoran and the others in the country of Recort. It’s a country where the people use magic, and that there are schools where people study it. They also find an incredibly huge library. Syaoran discovers that he can understand a bit of what’s written in the books, because it’s similar to an ancient language of a country that he and his father visited.

Kurogane takes out a book that has nothing written on its spine; when he looks inside it, the pages are blank. When Syaoran takes the book from him and opens it, he finds himself transported inside the book. It turns out there’s now writing inside the book.

Things happen around him, but no one seems to notice that he’s there. As the volume progresses, Syaoran realizes that he’s seeing Kurogane’s memories. He feels guilty about seeing Kurogane’s memories without his knowledge or permission. However, through this experience, Syaoran is able to provide a clue for Kurogane as to who killed his mother.

I thought that this was an interesting way to present Kurogane’s backstory to the reader, since he isn’t exactly the kind of character who’s going to open up about his past. This is probably one of the most logical ways for this information to be revealed, especially with the way things are set up in the Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle series. I also found myself riveted to what I was reading, because Kurogane’s backstory was a very compelling read. I really didn’t want to put this manga volume down before I finished it.

CLAMP did an interesting job of incorporating two figures from Japanese mythology into Kurogane’s backstory: Amaterasu (one of the sun goddesses) and Tsukuyomi (the representation of the moon). Tsukuyomi turns out to be Princess Tomoyo, and she’s the only real CLAMP crossover character to appear in this volume.

Right at the end of the volume, there’s a side story of Mokona contacting Yuko, the space-time witch. She asks Mokona what he’s learned about his companions’ sleep habits. She then asks who he will sleep with tonight, and Mokona says that Kurogane and Syaoran have wounds that are the same, so he will be with both of them. Mokona’s line here ties in with what happens right at the end of Volume 13. Before reaching that part of the side story, I thought it was going to be just some simple little unrelated vignette; however, I was glad to see that it did have a direct tie-in to the actual story that appeared in this volume.

If you’ve read the previous volumes of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle and have enjoyed them, then I think you will enjoy reading Volume 13.

I wrote this review after checking out a copy of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 13 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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Manga Review: Shugo Chara! Volume One

Shugo Chara! Volume One is a manga by Peach-Pit, and it was published in North America by Del Rey Manga in 2007. The series is rated “T” for ages 13+; after reading this first volume, I would agree with this rating.

Shugo Chara! Volume 1
Written by: Peach-Pit
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Del Rey Manga
Release Date: August 21, 2012

The main character of Shugo Chara! is Amu Hinamori, and many of her classmates think she’s cool; rumors and speculation about her spread around school. In reality, Amu is actually shy and has a hard time showing her true personality. One night, she wishes for the courage to show her “would-be” self; the next morning, she wakes up to find three eggs in her bed. Each of these eggs hatches into a Guardian Character: one is named Ran, one is named Miki, and one is named Su. Ran represents Amu’s desire to be more honest, confident, and athletic. Miki represents Amu’s wish to be more sharp, level headed, and artistic. Su represents Amu’s desire to be more caring, sensitive, and improving her domestic skills.

At Amu’s school, there are four members of the student council, who are referred to as the school’s Guardians; each member of the council has a Guardian Character of their own. Amu has a crush on Tadase Hotori, the head of the council. After the council discovers that Amu has three Guardian Characters, they try to recruit her to help them find a special egg called the Embryo; supposedly, this egg will grant any wish to the one who possesses it. Amu eventually becomes the fifth member of the council, and it’s her job to search for and purify X Eggs and X Characters. She is also given a lock, which enables a process called Character Transformation that allows Amu to gain special abilities that are dependent on the Guardian Character.

Meanwhile, the Easter Company is also out in search of the Embryo, and Ikuto Tsukiyomi is a high school boy recruited by the company to find it. During the first volume, he attempts to steal one of Amu’s Character Eggs, and he later harasses Amu.

The one thing I can give this manga credit for is its cute art style. Considering what the story is about, the cuteness of the art really works.

However, I have to admit that I personally found the story to be a little on the strange side. I was especially groaning when I discovered that the main villain is named the Easter Company; considering how prominent eggs are in this story, I found this to be rather groan-worthy. Perhaps the audience that this manga is being aimed at will better appreciate that particular joke than I do.

By far, Shugo Chara! is going to have a strong appeal to younger female teenagers, because they will be able to relate to Amu as a character, and the story and art style will also hold the most appeal to that group. I’d also be willing to say that manga readers who enjoy a series like Cardcaptor Sakura will probably also find some enjoyment in Shugo Chara!

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Shugo Chara! Volume One that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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Manga Review: Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 12

Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 12 is a manga by CLAMP, and it was published in North America by Del Rey Manga in 2007. 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 12
Written by: CLAMP
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Del Rey Manga
Release Date: January 30, 2007

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.

Volume 12 focuses exclusively on the Dragonfly Race that’s taking place in Piffle World. However, this volume also concludes this particular story arc.

The story picks back up at the second checkpoint in the final race. At this point in the race, the only major characters left in the competition are Syaoran, Kurogane, and Sakura. During the third checkpoint, one of these characters is knocked out of the race.  In addition to this, a collision knocks another one of the major characters out of the race. The last main character that’s still in the race has to be one to win if Sakura will be able to get her feather back.

The portion of this volume that focused on the actual race itself made for quick reading, because there was so much action taking place in the panels and not as much dialogue is being spoken.

After the race is done and the winner is declared, it’s revealed who it was that was causing the issues during the race; the answer to this question caught many of the characters off-guard. I was caught off-guard by it, too; however, looking back on what happened in the previous volume, perhaps I should have been able to pick up on it being this person before the big reveal. However, it’s also revealed that a second person not involved in the other person’s plot also had a hand in causing trouble during the race.

The last little bit of this volume takes place after the race is over. There’s some good character moments for Kurogane in this portion as he interacts with the Tomoyo of Piffle World.

Even though I may have complained about the Dragonfly Race arc when it started back in Volume 10, I came to enjoy it by the time in concluded in Volume 12. Now that I’ve read the whole arc, I realize this particular arc improved over the course of its run between Volumes 10 and 12; in some respects, I’m a little disappointed that it’s ending. Right at the end of this volume, Syaoran and the others are just leaving Piffle World, so I’m very interested to see what new story arc begins in Volume 13.

If you’ve read the previous volumes of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle and have enjoyed them, then I think you will enjoy reading Volume 12.

I wrote this review after checking out a copy of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 12 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Additional posts about Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle:

Manga Review: Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 11

Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 11 is a manga by CLAMP, and it was published in North America by Del Rey Manga in 2006. 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 11
Written by: CLAMP
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Del Rey Manga
Release Date: October 31, 2006

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.

The entirety of Volume 11 focuses on the Dragonfly Race that’s taking place in Piffle World. The volume opens with the qualifying race. There are 20 spaces to fill for the final race, but during the race, an explosion takes place to disrupt the race. While all of the main characters of the series advance to the final race, there are questions raised in regards to the explosion.

Later, when Syaoran and Sakura go into town, they are approached by a group of Dragonfly racers. After Syaoran fights with this group, another group of individuals arrive on the scene, and all of the racers in the scene are taken to be interviewed about the explosion that affected the racers who didn’t qualify. Syaoran and Sakura are found innocent of any wrongdoing.

Roughly the last half of Volume 11 focuses on the final race; unfortunately, the race itself isn’t finished in this volume, so you have to read Volume 12 to find out how the race continues. There’s some sabotage that takes place at this point in the race, but still no clue as to who the guilty culprit is.

I will say that I’m enjoying the Dragonfly Race storyline a lot more in Volume 11 than I did in Volume 10. Like I mused in my review of Volume 10, I think having the conclusion of the story arc that took place in the Country of Shara made the beginning of the Dragonfly Race arc look weaker than it really was. At this point, I’m not very curious as to who is behind sabotaging the race, especially since no real clues seem to have been presented as of yet.

CLAMP, of course, continue including their crossovers from some of their various other series. The Piffle Princess Corporation is a reference from Angelic Layer, while Tomoyo is from Cardcaptor Sakura. The three characters who interview Syaoran and Sakura in regards to the explosion in the preliminary race are Nokoru, Suo, and Akira; while these characters from CLAMP School Detectives made an appearance in Volume Four of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, this marks the first time that any of the protagonists of this series have meet these characters face to face.

I’m glad that the Dragonfly Race story arc seemed to improve in Volume 11, because I’m actually looking forward to reading Volume 12 of this series. However, I am hoping that this particular story arc will be resolved by the end of Volume 12; considering it’s already taken up half of Volume 10 and all of Volume 11, I can’t believe that CLAMP could have stretched it out beyond another full volume of the manga. I’ll find out if I’m right or not at such a point I’m able to read Volume 12.

If you’ve read the previous volumes of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle and have enjoyed what you’ve read, then I think you will enjoy reading Volume 11.

I wrote this review after checking out a copy of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume 11 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Additional posts about Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle: