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Tsubasa Chronicles

 

Grade: B

Genre: Drama, Fantasy

Reviewed: Sub

Episodes: 26 episodes

Notes: Many of the characters are from other Clamp creations although the personalities may be different.

 

Introduction:

Syaoran and Sakura from Cardcaptor Sakura are grown up and back in another Clamp anime. This time Sakura is a princess who has lost her memories, represented by feathers, which have been scattered across various dimensions/alternate worlds. Syaoran, an archeologist, is her friend since childhood. The Dimension Witch (from XXXholic) agrees to help them for a price and gives them two companions: Fai, a mysterious sorcerer, and Kurogane, a mighty swordsman, who have their own reasons for the journey.

Animation/Music/Voices

Animation and music are the strong points of this series. Clamp's beautiful shouji style deviates a bit by giving the characters rather long limbs. Character designs were too simplistic compared to the beautiful backgrounds. The score is strong, exciting and emotional, with good opening and ending themes. The voices for Sakura and Syaoran are different and he ends up sounding younger than in CCS and Sakura ends up rather whiney. Mokona was annoyingly cute again. Fai and Kurogane were appropriately cool and gruff enough.

Review:

This series is your basic fantasy quest with the intriguing idea of visiting alternate universes. The series should be seen in order as it is not episodic. The visits to the various worlds are mini-arcs and the team spends several episodes on the same world.

Clamp makes a daring move by recycling their various characters, but since the leads Syaoran and Sakura are nothing like their original counterparts, why bother? Still if you're a Clamp fan, it's fun to spot which characters are from which anime.

The problem with the series is that it is quite slow paced and the characters spend too much time on each world trying to find Sakura's feather. The main characters Syaoran and Sakura are bland, nothing like their original counterparts in Cardcaptor Sakura. Syaoran is the devoted, kind hearted, patient, almost perfect man who will do anything for his woman, while Sakura is the useless damsel in distress. But the best aspect of the series is the sweet relationship between Syaoran and Sakura. Syaoran sacrifices her memory of him for the Dimension Witch's help. The deal is even if Sakura recovers all her memories, she will not remember Syaoran or her feelings for him. Despite this, he resolves to take on the quest and of course she learns to love him anyway. It would have been more interesting if Sakura started developing feelings for someone else.

Fai and Kurogane are more interesting but their backgrounds were not developed in the first season (3 seasons are planned). Their presence seems to be more for a source of (unsuccessful) humor where carefree Fai mercilessly teases the serious Kurogane. Fai is an extremely powerful magic user but for some reason he won't use his magic. He is running away from someone in the world he is from. Kurogane is the strongest warrior in his world, but he was punished by his princess for being overly concerned with fighting and being the strongest. He is cursed so that if he kills anyone, he will get weaker, and then sent to the Dimension Witch. His goal is to find a way to return to his world. He starts off arrogant, stubborn and selfish but mellows a bit by the end of season one.

The alternate worlds are fairly interesting in terms of design and style though the adventures to retrieve the feathers are rather mediocre, they do get a bit better, as do the fights. Mokona, the bunny thing from Rayearth is annoying as usual but kids will like him. They only collect a handful of feathers in this first season so there's a long long way to go and it will feel even longer if they don't pick up the pace.

Rated G. Recommended more for kids and fans of quest anime.