Manga Spotlight: Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE

Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE is a 28 volume manga written by CLAMP. The series was originally published in North America by Del Rey Manga, and is now being reissued by Kodansha USA.

Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE
Written by: CLAMP
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Del Rey Manga (original release), Kodansha USA (reissues)
Release Dates: April 27, 2004-November 23, 2010

The main characters of Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE are Sakura and Syaoran, but it is implied from the beginning of the series that they aren’t the same characters from the Cardcaptor Sakura series. In this series, it’s established that Sakura is the princess of the kingdom of Clow, and Syaoran is the son of an archeaologist. Syaoran and Sakura have grown up together; they have feelings for each other, but neither one has confessed their feelings to the other. It doesn’t help that Sakura’s older brother, King Toya, doesn’t like Syoaran.

One day, Sakura visits Syaoran at an archaeological site that he’s working at, and she touches a relief on the floor. She suddenly rises into the air and sprouts wings. The feathers from the wings suddenly spread, and Sakura falls to the ground; she is in a catatonic state. Yukito, the high priest, says that Sakura’s memories have all vanished, and that Syaoran will need the help from the space-time witch. Yukito uses his power to send Syaoran and Sakura to the witch, who turns out to be Yuko Ichihara from xxxHoLic.

They are joined by two others who are transported to see Yuko: Kurogane and Fai D. Flowright. She sends the three of them out a mission to explore various dimensions to look for the feathers that contain Sakura’s memories; she sends a creature named Mokona to assist them on their quest. But there is a price: Syaoran must give up what he values most. Since that is his relationship with Sakura, Yuko tells him that when Sakura’s memories are restored, her memories of him will never be found and restored. Syaoran makes this sacrifice in order to save Sakura’s life. When all is said and done, the series focuses very heavily on the fragility of human relationships.

But, it turns out that the story isn’t as straightforward as it appears on the surface. It starts making strange twists and turns when it’s revealed that the Syaoran that has been traveling with the group isn’t who everybody thinks he is. The plot ultimately evolves into a story with elements containing parallel dimensions, and a series of events that’s fated to repeat itself over and over. And it turns out that Watanuki, a main character from xxxHoLic, plays an important role in this story. Which, I guess, isn’t surprising, since the events of xxxHoLic are supposed to be taking place at the same time as Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE.

I have to admit that I was ultimately a little disappointed in how Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE ends. While there is an ending of sorts, it’s still left rather open-ended. As someone who followed this story over the course of 28 volumes, I didn’t get the payoff I was hoping for at the end of the series. Well, at least I still have xxxHoLic to read, and hopefully that series will help to fill in some of the blanks that are present in Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE.

The series contains several character crossovers from other CLAMP series; however, in most cases, they may have the same name and look like a character from another series, but their personality or circumstances may be very different. These crossover characters include, but are not limited to: Sakura, Syaoran, Toya, Yukito, and Tomoyo from Cardcaptor Sakura; Fai D. Florite from RG Veda; Chi from Chobits; Yuko and Watanuki from xxxHoLic; Sorata and Arashi from X; and Mokona from Magic Knight Rayearth.

Since I’ve read at least one volume of several of the manga series represented in the crossovers, I had a hard time reconciling the fact that they were all appearing in this manga right at first. The easiest to accept were Yuko and Watanuki, since part of this volume also appears in the first volume of xxxHoLic, which I had read before starting this series. Until I became more familiar with this story, I had a hard time accepting that the characters from Cardcaptor Sakura were not the characters that I was already familiar with from the story. Thankfully, the story in Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE was so compelling early on, that I was able to get past the issue I was having with the crossover characters and accept the fact that they were there.

The art style in Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE is similar to the art style in xxxHoLic; from what I’ve read, this was very intentional, since the two series were intended to be intertwined. This was definitely a good artistic decision on CLAMP’s part, because the characters from xxxHoLic don’t look out of place when they interact from the characters from Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE.

I’m ultimately glad that I read and completed this series, even if the idea of plot twist after plot twist after plot twist later on in the series kind of frustrated me a little bit. I ultimately enjoyed the early part of the series, when the focus was on finding Sakura’s feathers and journeying to different places in order to find them. When the plot twists first started coming, they seemed to be connected with some character development. But right near the end, the plot twists seemed to come at the price of trying to rush through the rest of the story.

For me, Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE was a manga series that started out with a lot of promise, but didn’t seem to entirely deliver on that promise by its conclusion. Like I said earlier, I need to read through all of the xxxHoLic manga series; perhaps reading that series in its entirety might helper improve my appreciation for Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE.

Additional Manga Spotlights:

2014 In Review: Notable Anime and Manga Headlines From 2014

While there was a lot of news to come out during 2014, this post will focus on the most notable headlines, and they are listed chronologically by month. The only headlines missing will be deaths of people involved in the anime and manga industries, because those will be covered in special “In Memoriam” posts that will be posted on December 31, 2014.

January 2014:

Speed Racer Licensing Lawsuits Settled: Tatsunoko Productions announces that the suits have been settled by mutual agreement of all parties and being discussed in full. According to the settlement, the Speed Racer rights terminated in their entirety on May 31, 2011; at that date, the rights automatically reverted back to Tatsunoko. With this settlement, Tatsunoko alone now owns and controls the rights to Speed Racer intellectual property rights worldwide.

New Sailor Moon Anime to Debut in July 2014: It was announced that a new Sailor Moon anime would debut in July 2014.

FUNimation Adopts Elite Subscriber Model for Its Streams: FUNimation Entertainment announced that its Elite Video subscribers will get first access to most of its latest streamed episodes as they air in Japan. Free users will gain access to new episodes a week later.

Two Anime Receive Oscar Nominations: Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli’s The Wind Rises was nominated for Best Animated Feature, while Shuhei Morita’s “Possessions” from Katsuhiro Otomo’s Short Peace anthology was nominated for Best Animated Short Film. Unfortunately, neither anime won the Oscar that they were nominated for.

Cross Media International Bringing Osamu Tezuka’s Animated Properties and Characters to North America: Cross Media International announced that the company has entered into an agreement with Tezuka Productions to develop distribution opportunities for Tezuka’s portfolio of popular properties and characters within North America.

Winners of the Second Manga Translation Battle Announced: Mangapolo announced the winners of the second official Japanese-to-English manga translation battle. Sarah Kim Perry was the grand prize winner. First prize winners were Ami Ross, Nina Matsumoto, and Emily Balistrieri and Juri Ishikawa. D.M Akie won the audience award.

Nippon Television Network Corporation Acquires Tatsunoko Productions: Nippon Television Network Corporation has announced the acquisition of 54.3% of anime production company Tatsunoko Productions from Takara Tomy, who will continue to hold a 20% stake in the company.

February 2014:

Wandering Son Named on ALA’s Rainbow List for Children & Teens: The American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) has selected Takako Shimura’s Wandering Son manga for its Rainbow List.

Strobe Edge in YALSA’s Top 10 Graphic Novels for Teens: The American Library Association’s (ALA’s) Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) released its 2014 list of Great Graphic Novels for Teens. 10 manga titles are on the list, and includes Io Sakisaka’s Strobe Edge, which also ranked in the Top Ten graphic novels overall this year. The  10 manga titles include Strobe Edge, No. 6, The Heart of Thomas, Tropic of the Sea, Sunny, Kitaro, Knights of Sidonia, Tiger & Bunny, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, and Vinland Saga.

Hayao Miyazaki Wins Annie Award for Writing The Wind Rises: Hayao Miyazaki won the Annie Award for Writing in an Animated Feature Production for The Wind Rises.

Anime Limited Launches Kickstarter for U.S. and UK Release of Mai Mai Miracle: Anime Limited launched a Kickstarter campaign to release the Mai Mai Miracle film in the United States and the United Kingdom. The Kickstarter ended up being fully funded in one day. The Kickstarter reached its stretch goal for an English dub on February 11, 2014.

VIZ Media Announces Changes for Neon Alley: VIZ Media announced significant changes for its Neon Alley service as the company moved to consolidate all of its digital streaming anime content offerings under the Neon Alley brand. On April 1, 2014, VIZ Media transitioned its weekly episodic anime programming to the free ad-supported Hulu and subscription-based Hulu Plus Video-on-Demand services.

March 2014:

Kadokawa’s “ComicWalker” App to Offer Manga in English: Japanese publisher Kadokawa announced that its web comic service “ComicWalker” would launch on March 22, 2014, and that the service would include manga in Japanese, English, and traditional Chinese.

Taiyo Matsumoto’s Sunny Manga Wins Cartoonist Studio Prize: The online magazine Slate Book Review and Vermont’s Center for Cartoon Studies announced the winners of their second annual Cartoonist Studio Prize. The first two volumes of Taiyo Matsumoto’s Sunny manga series received the Best Graphic Novel prize.

Ghibli Co-Founder Toshio Suzuki Retires as Producer: Producer Toshio Suzuki voluntarily stepped down from his position at Studio Ghibli, although he will be assuming the new title of “general manager.” Yoshiaki Nishimura will be serving as the producer of Studio Ghibli’s films going forward.

GKids to Release The Tale of the Princess Kaguya in North America: GKids announced that it will be releasing Isao Takahata and Studio Ghibli’s The Tale of The Princess Kaguya anime film in North America in 2014.

Ranma 1/2 Reissued With New Manga and Home Video Releases: VIZ Media began reissuing the Ranma 1/2 manga as omnibus editions with two volumes included in March 2014. These releases are also the first Ranma 1/2 manga to be released in an “unflipped” version. The anime also began being reissued in March 2014, on both DVD and Blu-ray. These new home video releases present the episodes in their original Japanese series order, and the Blu-rays featured the episodes in full 1080p High Definition, taken straight from the original Japanese Blu-ray masters.

April 2014:

Attack on Titan to Air on Toonami: Adult Swim announced that its Toonami block would begin airing the Attack on Titan television anime series on May 3, 2014 at 11:30 p.m. PT.

New Space Battleship Yamato 2199 Film Announced: It was announced that the Space Battleship Yamato 2199: Star-Voyaging Ark film was scheduled to be released in Japan on December 6, 2014.

Hunter x Hunter Returning to Weekly Shonen Jump: The English and Japanese editions of Weekly Shonen Jump announced that the Hunter x Hunter manga would be returning to the magazine on June 2, 2014. Unfortunately, after only a short amount of time back in the magazine, Hunter x Hunter went back on hiatus.

Oldest Surviving Anime Short by Kon Ichikawa Found: Anime News Network reported that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the United States discovered the oldest known surviving anime short by director Kon Ichikawa. “Yowamushi Chinsengumi” (Cowardly Samurai Squad) is a five-minute animated short dating back to 1935.

NIS America Licenses Cardcaptor Sakura Anime Series: NIS America has announced that the company would release the Cardcaptor Sakura television anime series in a Blu-ray Premium Edition and a DVD Standard Edition in North America.

May 2014:

DisneyXD to Air Doraemon Anime: Digital cable and satellite television channel DisneyXD began airing the Doraemon television anime series in the US in Summer 2014.

Attack on Titan Draws More Than a Million Viewers on Toonami: Attack on Titan debuted on the Toonami programming block of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim with 1,341,000 viewers and ranked as the night’s top non-NBA original with a 0.6 in adults 18-49.

VIZ Media Licenses Original Sailor Moon Anime: Viz Media announced after its Anime Central panel that it licensed the original Sailor Moon television anime series, which include streaming, digital and home video rights for all 200 episodes from the five television series, the three feature films, and the assorted tie-in specials. This will include the first North American release of the final television series, Sailor Moon Sailor Stars.

Tenchi Muyo to Return in a Series of Anime Shorts: The Okayama-based Sanyo Shimbun reported that Takahashi City has presented plans to invest in the production of a Tenchi Muyo revival. The new production, called Ai Tenchi Muyo!, was planned as a 50-episode run of 5 minute shorts, which were scheduled to debut in October 2014.

Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods to Have Limited Theatrical Release in the U.S.: FUNimation announced that the Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods anime film would have a limited theatrical release in the U.S. According to their announcement, the film would be screened on August 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, 2014.

June 2014:

Digital Manga, Inc. Launches Kickstarter for Osamu Tezuka’s Captain Ken: Digital Manga, Inc. launched a project on Kickstarter to translate and publish the two volumes of Osamu Tezuka’s Captain Ken manga in English for the first time. The company reached its goal on June 18, 2014. Kickstarter backers are scheduled to receive their copies of the manga in February 2015.

VIZ Media Comes to Comixology: ComiXology and VIZ Media announced a digital distribution agreement to bring fan-favorite manga series to comiXology’s entire platform across North America.

CLAMP to Launch New Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Manga in August 2014: The July issue of Kodansha’s Magazine Special announced that CLAMP will debut their newest manga series in its August issue. The new manga was a miniseries with “another story.”

Hayao Miyazaki to Be Inducted Into the Science Fiction & Fantasy Hall of Fame: The Science Fiction & Fantasy Hall of Fame announced that it is inducting Studio Ghibli co-founder and Oscar-winning director Hayao Miyazaki this year, alongside artist Frank Frazetta, author Leigh Brackett, author Olaf Stapledon, and director Stanley Kubrick.

July 2014:

Harmony Gold Announces Kickstarter for New Robotech Series: Harmony Gold announced at Anime Expo that the company had launched a Kickstarter campaign for a new Robotech series called Robotech Academy. The company cancelled the Kickstarter campaign six days before the deadline, since it was readily apparent that the project would not succeed. The company says it will “continue to explore its options with Robotech Academy” and further updates will be made on the project’s official website.

VIZ Media Announces the Return of the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Manga to North America: VIZ Media announced at the 2014 Anime Expo that Hirohiko Araki’s manga series, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, is making a return to North America.  JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1 – Phantom Blood will launch in print beginning in February 2015, with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 2 – Battle Tendency scheduled to debut Fall 2015.

New Dragon Ball Z Anime Film Scheduled for 2015: The September issue of V Jump magazine announced that the new Dragon Ball Z anime film is scheduled to debut in the 2015 Golden Week block of spring holidays (April 29-May 5, 2014). It was later announced that the film will be titled, Dragon Ball Z: Revival of ‘F,’ and will premiere in 2D and 3D in Japan on April 18, 2015.

Leiji Matsumoto to Launch New Captain Harlock Manga: The September issue of Akita Shoten’s Champion RED magazine announced that Leiji Matsumoto would launch the Captain Harlock ~Jigen Kōkai~ in the issue released on August 19, 2014. Koichi Shimahoshi illustrates the series.

Anime Sols Tries New Crowdfunding Approach: Instead of focusing on crowdfunding money in order to release DVD sets of series, the company decides to try crowdfunding various series in order to continue subtitling them and streaming them to site visitors. The first two series launched under this new approach were Dororo and Gordian, The Warrior. As of this writing, Dororo reached its first crowdfunding goal. A second goal has been launched for Dororo, but as of this writing, it’s still $2,220 short of succeeding.

New Naruto Film Being Released in Japan in December 2014: This year’s 35th issue of Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine announced that The Last -Naruto the Movie-, the first Naruto anime film in two years, would open in Japanese theaters on December 6, 2014.

Osamu Tezuka’s The Mysterious Underground Men Wins an Eisner Award: Osamu Tezuka’s The Mysterious Underground Men won this year’s Best U.S. Edition of International Material-Asia award at the 2014 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards ceremony at San Diego Comic Con.

Hayao Miyazaki Inducted Into the Will Eisner Comic Awards Hall of Fame: Hayao Miyazaki was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Awards Hall of Fame during the 2014 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards ceremony at San Diego Comic Con.

August 2014:

Studio Ghibli Is Not Closing Down at This Time: Rumors swirled on the Internet about Studio Ghbili shutting its doors after Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki appeared on the TBS program Jonetsu Tairiku to discuss the studio’s future after Hayao Miyazaki’s retirement from directing feature films. Anime News Network clarified Suzuki’s comments with an article of their own, and the information below came from that article. During the interview, Suzuki discussed the changes that the entire studio is undergoing at the studio’s shareholders meeting; he mused that some of these changes could include dismantling the production department. While there has been some talk of dissolving the studio outright, Suzuki said the studio is considering “housecleaning” or restructuring for now. The end result would be “rebuilding” the studio in order to create an environment for the next generation. Suzuki also said during the interview: “On what to do with Studio Ghibli’s future, it is by no means impossible to keep producing [movies] forever. However, we will take a brief pause to consider where to go from here.”

Kickstarter Campaign for the Under the Dog Sci-Fi Anime: A Kickstarter campaign was launched for an original 24-minute anime titled, Under the Dog. If funded, the project would be in Japanese with English subtitles, and will also include the original soundtrack and behind-the-scenes diaries and interviews. The campaign reached its goal on September 4, 2014.

Hayao Miyazaki to Receive Honorary Award From Oscars’ Academy: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted to award anime director and Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki with an Honorary Award at the Academy’s 6th Annual Governors Awards on November 8, 2014.

September 2014:

Star Blazers Live-Action Film Has Been Green-Lit: The Sports Nippon magazine is reporting that that a Hollywood live-action adaptation of the Space Battleship Yamato anime (which was released in North America under the title, Star Blazers) has been green-lit. According to the report, the film will be released as Star Blazers as soon as 2017. Skydance Productions will be producing the project, and Christopher McQuarrie will direct as soon as he finishes 2015’s Mission: Impossible 5.

VIZ Media Announces “Jump Start” Initiative to Deliver English Premieres of Brand New Weekly Shonen Jump Manga Series on the Same Day as Japan: VIZ Media will simultaneously premiere the first three chapters (one chapter per week) of every brand new, first-run manga series that appears in the Japanese Weekly Shonen Jump in its digital English language edition on the same day of that issue’s general print release in Japan. The first title in the initiative was Judos, which launched on September 8, 2014.

Attack on Titan Wins a 2014 Harvey Award: The Harvey Awards announced its winners for 2014 at a banquet on September 6, 2014. Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan series won an award in the “Best American Edition of Foreign Material” category.

VIZ Media to Reprint Yu Yu Hakusho Manga: VIZ Media announced on Twitter that the company will be reprinting all 19 volumes of the Yu Yu Hakusho manga series.

AnimeNation Retailer Closes After 20 Years: AnimeNation.net’s Gene Field announced on both the company’s site and social media accounts that the online retail company would be closing shop after 20 years.

VIZ Media Announces the Finale of Matsuri Hino’s Vampire Knight: VIZ Media announced that the company would be releasing Vampire Knight Volume 19, the final volume of the series, on October 14, 2014.

Pony Canyon Launches North American Anime Distributor: Japanese distributor Pony Canyon announced that the company is making a leap into the North American anime market by launching a new brand called PONYCAN USA. The first two titles being released by PONYCAN USA are Denki-Gai no Honya-san and Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru. In addition to worldwide streaming, PONYCAN USA plans to release new anime titles on Blu-ray and DVD throughout North America in 2015, and promising the same high standard of quality as the Japanese editions.

The CW Brings an End to the Vortexx Programming Block: The CW’s Vortexx Saturday morning programming block came to an end on September 27, 2014. As of October 4, 2014, the block will be airing a live-action E/I block. Vortexx replaced the CW’s former Saturday morning block, Toonzai, on August 25, 2012. This change took place after 4Kids Entertainment, the original North American rights holder for the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise that programmed Toonzai, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Saban Entertainment acquired 4Kids’ Toonzai assets, and the company renamed the block to Vortexx. The occasional anime appeared on the Vortexx block, and this included B-Daman Crossfire, Sonic X, Dragon Ball Z Kai, Digimon Fusion, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal.

October 2014:

Naruto Manga to End: The official website for Weekly Shonen Jump announced that Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto manga would end in this year’s 50th issue of Shonen Jump on November 10, 2014.

Sunrise Partnering With Right Stuf to Release the Gundam Franchise in North America: Sunrise announced during the company’s panel at New York Comic Con that the studio is partnering with Right Stuf, Inc. to release the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise in North America. The company will release the first Mobile Suit Gundam television series and the Turn A Gundam anime series next spring. In a press release, Right Stuf also mentioned that the company will be releasing Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ for the first time in North America.

LINE Service to Offer Digital Manga in English and Chinese This Year: LINE Corp., the operators of the voice-chat/messaging app LINE, has announced that the company will launch a new subsidiary called LINE Book Distribution; this new subsidiary will be releasing manga internationally. LINE Book Distribution will release properties from Kodansha, Shogakukan and other Japanese publishers in English and Traditional Chinese globally via the LINE manga app. LINE Corp. plans to launch the LINE Manga Global Version app later in 2014.

Digital Manga Planning Kickstarter to Cover Six Tezuka Titles: Digital Manga has announced that the company planned to launch a Kickstarter campaign to fund six Osamu Tezuka manga for a total of 31 volumes. While Digital Manga managed to launch this massive Kickstarter campaign, it ended up not reaching its goal.

Anime Director Keiichiro Kimura Launches Kickstarter Campaign: Awesome Japan launched a Kickstarter campaign for an animated short film created by anime director Keiichiro Kimura titled, “Go! Samurai.” Kimura’s son will be directing and editing the work. The campaign reached its goal during November 2014.

FUNimation Announces Broadcast Dubs Initiative: FUNimation announced a new initiative called “Broadcast Dubs,” which features English dubbed episodes of select shows that are currently broadcasting in Japan. FUNimation’s Broadcast Dubs will be available exclusively for FUNimation subscribers. With this new initiative, select series are dubbed into English using the broadcast/simulcast materials from Japan just weeks after broadcast. Following the release of the Broadcast Dub, FUNimation will continue to produce a final English dub for the DVD/Blu-ray release, using materials from Japan’s DVD/Blu-ray release. This final version can be different from the broadcast version, including uncut footage not seen in the broadcast. The first two shows to be included in this initiative were Laughing Under the Clouds and Psycho-Pass 2.

Crunchyroll Acquires the Rights to Simulcast Case Closed: Crunchyroll announced that the site acquired the rights to simulcast the Case Closed anime as it airs in Japan. As of right now, only the most recent episodes of the series are available for streaming on the service.

November 2014:

Naruto Manga Mini-Series to Launch in Spring 2015: This year’s 50th issue of Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine announced that a new, tentatively titled Naruto manga mini-series will launch in Spring 2015. According to the announcement, the mini-series will tell “a newly budding Konoha story.”

Nozomi Entertainment’s Lucky Penny License Rescues Looking Up At the Half Moon: Nozomi Entertainment announced that its Lucky Penny imprint has license rescued the Looking Up At The Half Moon anime and plans to release the six-episode series in Spring 2015. Crimson Star Media had held the license for this title until legal troubles caused the company to not release it.

Digital Manga Launches Kickstarter Campaign for Osamu Tezuka’s Ludwig B Manga: Digital Manga, Inc. has launched a new Kickstarter campaign for Osamu Tezuka’s two-volume manga, Ludwig B. If the campaign succeeds, the company plans to release this title in July 2015. The campaign reached its goal on December 26, 2014, with only four hours to spare before the deadline.

December 2014:

19th Detective Conan Film Opening in Japan in April 2015: The first 2015 issue of Shogakukan’s Weekly Shonen Sunday announced that the 19th Detective Conan film, Detective Conan: The Hellfire Sunflowers, will open in Japanese theaters on April 18, 2015. The film will tell the story of Conan trying to track down Kaito Kid, who has supposedly stolen a replica of Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” during an auction.

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya Nominated for Three Annie Awards: Studio Ghibli and Isao Takahata’s The Tale of the Princess Kaguya received three nominations: Best Animated Feature, Isao Takahata is up for “Outstanding Achievement for Directing in an Animated Feature Production,” and Joe Hisaishi is up for “Outstanding Achievement for Music in an Animated Feature Production.”

Streaming of SHIROBAKO Episode Six Suspended Due to Rights Issue: Niconico has announced that “streaming of SHIROBAKO episode 6 has been temporarily suspended due to circumstances regarding rights.” The site also added that the return date of the streaming has not been determined, but the service will announce it as soon as it is confirmed. Crunchyroll is also streaming SHIROBAKO in the Americas and several countries in Europe as well as other regions, and it also no longer lists episode 6 “Idepon Miyamori: On the Move.” The episode reappeared on Crunchyroll later in December 2014.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Film Scheduled for 2016: The third issue of 2015 of Shueisha’s Shonen Jump magazine announced that a new Yu-Gi-Oh! film will premiere in 2016 and will focus on Yugi Muto and Seto Kaiba. The magazine also says that the film will have an original story.

Kodansha Temporarily Suspends Vinland Saga Manga in the U.S.: Kodansha USA has stated that its Vinland Saga manga releases are “temporarily suspended.” Volume Six was supposed to be released on January 6, 2015. However, Amazon is now listing a 2017 release date for this volume.

Crunchyroll Streaming Service Down Amid DDoS Attack: The Crunchyroll streaming service announced on December 30, 2014 that it is currently down due to a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack “of the same magnitude” as those recently targeted towards Sony and Microsoft consoles. The Crunchyroll service went down at approximately 4:00 a.m. EST on December 30, 2014.

Additional 2014 In Review posts:

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.

Additional posts about Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle:

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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New Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Manga to Be a Miniseries

CLAMP’s official website has reported that the new Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle manga will be a miniseries with “another story.”

The manga will launch on August 20, 2014 in the September issue of Kodansha’s Magazine Special. The magazine is teasing the series as “a new story of Tsubasa that is connected to xxxHOLiC: Rei.”

Source: ANN

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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