Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE is a love story between Princess Sakura and archaeologist Syaoran of the Clow kingdom. Tragically for our young lovers, a mysterious artefact unearthed by Syaoran sends Princess Sakura’s memories through a dimensional rift, and if Syaoran is ever to revive her, he has to collect her memories from an infinite number of parallel dimensions. Unfortunately, the cost of his ticket to ride the rift is his relationship with Sakura itself!
Joined by two warrior companions, one seeking to return home, the other trying to avoid home at all costs, Syaoran begins his quest across these first 3 volumes, which see him revive the Princess only to discover she has no memory of him.
If the names seem familiar, these two appeared in an alternative universe as the leads in Clamp’s phenomenally successful manga and TV series, Card Captor Sakura. Both appear a little older here, and I have to admit, I was a little intimidated by the premise of the books. Spanning multiple realities (a-la TV series Sliders) and multiple Clamp characters, I wasn't entirely certain I'd be able to keep up. After all, I'm no expert when it comes to Clamp's releases!
Subsequently it came as a pleasant surprise to find I knew more than I thought I did when it comes to Clamp, and where my knowledge was lacking, the superb liner notes at the back of the book filled in the blanks. In fact, were it not for Tanoshimi's hard work, the book wouldn't have been nearly as enjoyable, so hats off to them for making the effort.
The artwork is richly detailed, even if fight scenes are occasionally a little confusing due to the sheer number of lines on the page, but characters themselves are never less than beautifully realised, with varied and interesting backdrops throughout.
The story itself maintains a great pace – once the team have secured one of Sakura’s memories, they jump to the next dimension, never knowing what awaits beyond the portal.
I really can’t recommend Tsubasa strongly enough. With great characters, even pacing and some great artwork, you really couldn’t ask for a better fantasy series.