Reviewed by: Azure
Released by: Tanoshimi
Publishing Country: UK
Age Rating: 13+
Page Count: 208
Tsubasa is a reality hopping manga by CLAMP which is strongly linked to their xxxHolic series, and which features alternate reality versions of Sakura and Syaoran and Sakura from their previous Card Captor series.
In this volume, the group find themselves searching for a series of missing children. To add to the problems now their very own Sakura has disappeared, adding a sense of urgency to the problem.
Sakura's memories have been scattered across numerous alternate worlds. In order to get them back Syaoran makes a deal with Yuko the time space witch from xxxHolic. She gives him the power to traverse across these worlds in exchange for Sakura's memories of their relationship.
The reality hopping works surprisingly well, each world has it's own scenario and problem to overcome. In this volume the group have arrived in a village where children are going missing. At the start Sakura is also held prisoner which means Syaoran must solve the mystery and save her. At the start of the series I wasn't sure the characters really gelled, but by this volume the characterization for the male leads has really settled in. Syaoran usually takes the lead whilst Fai provides additional brain power, and Kurugane brawn. Though Sakura has been a touch bland in previous volumes, here she begins to take some initiative as she is separated from the group.
The second part of the volume sees the start of a new story. The group arrive in the land of Oto, which is plagued by oni, it also seems that they are used to travellers from other worlds showing up and have a system set up for them to earn some money.
By this point Tsubasa has settled into a routine typical of what is essentially a manga "road-movie". The group arrive at a new location which has a problem, they then solve the problem possibly obtain a feather and move on. What the real highlight of Tsubasa is seeing the different worlds, each has it's own unique quirks which aid in making the set up of each trial more believable.
The art for Tsubasa is extremely bold, in a similar style to xxxHolic. Unlike xxxHolic though the linework isn't quite so stylised. Whilst the two series have a strong link both visually and plot wise they each have their own unique aspects.
Tsubasa uses it's reality hopping well varying the locations the group arrive at and handily cutting out boring travelling sequences. Tsubasa is an extremely interesting series, whose main let down is the fact that it's so jam packed with ideas there's not always time to get to know it's main cast.