Manga, Manga Reviews, Reviews

Tsubasa World Chronicle Review

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Well, The Tsubasa sequel has reached its conclusion. It ended with only 19 chapters so it was quite short, but since this was monthly, it actually lasted around 2 years and a half. Now that’s scary considering how little it accomplished. Unfortunately, I can’t say that it was a good series. It started with some minor promise, but ended up being quite boring, uneventful, and just plain bad. It really could have been decent, but I feel like Clamp never knew what they wanted to do with the series. It virtually didn’t even have a plot as Syaoran and friends were just fed tale after tale after tale. The series just ends and you’re left wondering what was accomplished here. Now, it’s not completely necessary that something is accomplished. Sometimes a sequel can just be for fun to see the characters again and watch their adventures. Just look at Dragon Ball Super or Boruto. That being said, both of those didn’t end in 19 chapters (I doubt they will anyway) and will probably get an actual serious plot at some point. That never happened in Tsubasa nor will it happen since World Chronicle is already over.

Syaoran and friends were enjoying their eternal banishment due to the events of the original Tsubasa series when they are approached by a mysterious lady who tells Syaoran that he is her world’s last hope. The world of the dead and the world of the living are both joined to an extent. The only hope for the dead is for Syaoran to go and revive them, but should he really bring these people back. Is it even possible and what does it mean for the world of the living? He’ll also have to destroy a friend to bring back the others which is…dicey to say the least.

There are a lot of problems with the series. One of the main ones is the fact that the team dynamic isn’t very good. Honestly, I feel like the team really needs Sakura back or a new member at this point. None of the main characters are particularly interesting since they are all watered down versions of themselves. Fai’s only role in the series is to constantly tease Kurogane, which gets old incredibly quick since it is the same old tired joke chapter after chapter. Not to mention that Fai isn’t really a fighter anymore. To think that he used to get a lot of hype and had a good amount of magical talent. He could be a decent character at times, but take that away and you have a very boring supporting role.

Meanwhile, Kurogane is supposed to be the tough guy of the group, but he simply can’t keep up with the new fighters. He talks a good game, but rarely fights anymore. He reminds me of Zoro, but a far weaker and less imposing version of the character. Yes, he’s basically New World Zoro. He’s not a bad character like Fai though, but he simply doesn’t add much to the series and definitely adds nothing to the banter. As for Syaoran, he’s your average heroic lead I suppose. He’s always thinking and tries to do the right thing. He’s a good kid, but also comes across as rather soulless. Not heartless, but he doesn’t have a great deal of personality. He just goes through the motions of being heroic, but that’s about it. Fighting his shadow self was also a little dicey, but he held back enough and stopped fighting so I’d say that he did a good job there.

There are many examples of good shows that didn’t have a good rapport among the characters. Naruto is a great series, but the characters definitely could not hold a slice of life series. Likewise with Bleach. Meanwhile, Yu Yu Hakusho, Hunter X Hunter, and DBZ could effortlessly lead a slice of life series where nothing happens for 50+ episodes. It just comes down to whether or not the characters are charismatic. I’m not saying that Naruto characters are bad, but they need fights. Tsubasa is like that. The main characters really look terrible because there is no action. If there was more of an actual plot, then I’m sure that the main cast would have been more likable like in the original series.

The art is fairly clear, but it can also get chaotic whenever any action is occurring. That’s really a Clamp tradition at this point though so it’s to be expected. The important thing is that it usually looks clear so I’ll give them a pass there. It could still use a decent upgrade though and hopefully they’ll be ready for the upcoming Cardcaptor Sakura sequel. If handled right, that one should be able to surpass this title with ease.

After all, this series spent a few chapters just fighting evil animals (Bad move Clamp!) and trying to survive amidst an evil forest. That’s not very exciting material. At least Clamp didn’t contradict their no cop-outs strategy from the other titles. The concept of the dead being able to come back to life would have definitely gone against the whole Clamp universe. xxxHolic’s a key example of how a whole series/plot is about one character’s death and how she can never return no matter how many fancy spells are used. In the Clamp universe, once a character is dead, they’re staying that way. Sure, the spirit can talk with wise words of advice, but coming back to the real world in a corporal body is out of the question. Syaoran realized that by the end so at least he didn’t begin to jeopardize the real world as well. Chase after too many things and you’ll wind up losing them all. Although in World Chronicle’s case, it didn’t chase after enough things.

The ending does state that the story will continue back in xxxholic Rei so hopefully that title can use its momentum to push things forward. It had been fairly interesting. Part of what helps it is that the cast is better and while it is also pretty aimless it is better suited for it. Rei is all about mysteries and spirits causing mischief after all and the locale is better. If any Clamp title can grab Tsubasa’s plot and improve on it, then xxxholic’s the way to go.

Overall, World Chronicle was definitely a let down. It was consistently fighting for last place every month for the last 3 years. There were no chapters that were particularly exciting and even Syaoran’s rematch against Dark Syaoran came out of nowhere and wasn’t that enjoyable. It was a decent fight, but there was no reason for it and the battle was basically filler so it was hard to care about what was happening on screen. That’s the problem with deciding that plot is expendable and then still trying to have a serious fantasy adventure. Remember Dimension W folks? Not from my blog as I haven’t reviewed it yet, but that’s probably the token example of why you should focus on your plot before attempting to go placed. World Chronicle is still a class act for the most part as it steers away from things like super violence or fanservice, but there isn’t much going for it either. The biggest crime that it commits is being very boring, but that’s a serious offense for any manga. If you want to read a calming title about a few people aimlessly wandering around then you may enjoy this title. If not, then you may not want to spoil your Tsubasa memories and you should just go re read the original series instead. You’ll certainly get a lot more out of it.

Overall 4/10

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