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.
xxxHolic is now over and it only took me a little over 2 months to get through the series. That’s pretty impressive if you ask me and it was certainly one of my quicker speed reads. This series was fun and to an extent, it’s a peaceful, episodic series similar to Yotsubato or Natsume. The main difference is that it’s more interesting and the characters are better. If you were expecting action then you will be disappointed, but if you come in expecting the right vibe, then you will be pleasantly surprised at how it’s handled.
Watanuki is your average kid who goes to school and tries to be a nice guy. He doesn’t really get along with his classmate, Domeki, but they still end up hanging out a lot thanks to interventions by Watanuki’s employer, Yuko. Yuko is a space/time witch who owns a shop which can grant wishes for people. Her abilities seem to only be limited by her imagination and most of the cases that she deals with are fairly meta. Watanuki is typically stuck with the manual labor when there is something to do. Things tend to freak him out but he adjusts as the series goes on.
xxxHolic was definitely a slice of life at first, but then it slowly started to take on a more somber note as Yuko hinted that things would have to end. The status quo can never remain for long as change is inevitable, but Watanuki didn’t want to have to past ways so soon. Yuko continues to lose power as the series goes on until she finally starts to fade and disappear, which leaves Watanuki with a new mission to uphold the shop until she returns. This is essentially the last part of the series. You can split xxxHolic into two chapters, the Yuko adventures where she messed with Watanuki a lot and then the second half is all about Watanuki being the owner and losing all of his personality.
Before I go into that, it should be noted that this series is in the same continuity as just about every other Clamp series. That’s nothing new, but it is heavily intertwined with the Tsubasa series to an extent that you would typically not expect. If you haven’t read the Tsubasa series, it won’t really affect your experience here, but if you have read it, then the interactions between the series is always interesting.
As expected, the art is fairly clear and easy to read. The Clamp series have varying levels of quality for me and I think they’re at their best in these slice of life series as the clear art works well for creating the characters. It doesn’t work quite as well for fights although Clamp gave it their all. I’d definitely give the art a thumbs up here.
All right, let’s talk about Watanuki. He’s the main character of the title and a decently likable character for the most part. He really overreacts whenever Domeki is on screen, which can get a little repetitive, but sometimes he’s right. Typically he’s not, but it’s good to see him take the win sometimes. Watanuki still means well for the most part and he’s a nice guy. My problem is his new personality in the second part of the series. Once Yuko is gone, Watanuki decides to run the shop, but he also decides to become Yuko to an extent. Now, he only wears the clothes that she would use to run the shop, smokes the same cigar that she had, and even goes as far as to copy her poses and dialogue within the chapters.
It’s simply overdone and I believe that this does have a term in real life as a person can try to essentially become a person that they were close to who ended up passing away. It wasn’t good character development for Watanuki though and I ended up not really liking the character by the end. I definitely miss the original.
Domeki is the main supporting character and he’s always around. He really likes to drink and he’s a fairly loyal friend who came to Watanuki’s aid several times during the series. Unlike the main hero, Domeki can actually fight and he gets all of the action scenes in the series. He’s definitely a nice guy and while he is rude to Watanuki on purpose, it seems to all be a game for him. With everyone else he tends to be slightly more polite or at least more aware of the situation.
Yuko naturally has a very large role in the series. As Watanuki is always very serious, Yuko loves to tease him the entire series by making absurd demands or putting him in dicey positions. (Inviting everyone over for a sleepover) Watanuki always has a huge reaction which certainly encourages her. She’s a lot of fun and one of the reasons why the series is so enjoyable. Yuko always knows how to have a good time and she hides a lot of the tougher truths from Watanuki, like the fact that she is in a fairly tough fight at the moment.
Throughout the series, she gives a lot of wise advice to Watanuki. Yuko believes that nothing is by chance and everything that is to be was meant to be. She mentions this quite often, but also tells Watanuki about how strong desires can eventually just turn into darkness. For example, there was a lady who wanted to be with someone so badly that she turned into an evil spirit. Yuko will grant any wish for a price so it is a stretch to think of her as a hero. She tends to help the heroes and has a soft spot for them, but she is also content to just let a person fade away so that she could let Watanuki witness the irony of that person’s demise.
While Yuko’s the most enjoyable character in the series, Mokona is also a very good one. He loves to drink as well and messes with Watanuki when he has the chance. Mokona’s role is very small next to the other characters, but he makes his presence felt. Himawari is the main heroine of the series and she is mainly just around to act oblivious. It turns out that she has a rather dark secret which explains a whole lot, but I still can’t say that she was a very good character. She’s a nice character so I won’t say that she’s a downright bad one, but she just lacked character development and never became all that memorable.
Kohane is a fairly important character as she gets a whole arc to herself. She can see spirits like Watanuki so she is quickly thrust into the world of television. The heroes help her to repair the rift between her and her mother although it takes time and a few years since after the time skip, things aren’t quite perfect yet. She was a nice pal for Watanuki, but once her powers started to wane, so did her role in the series.
While I did mention that the series can be a little somber at some points as Watanuki wonders if he’ll ever see Yuko again, for the most part I’d say that it’s fairly light hearted. It’s a calming experience as you read through the volumes and that’s part of why it’s so enjoyable to read. The character interactions are handled well and even if some of the characters can act a little repetitively, it reinforces the whole slice of life angle.
If I had any complaints with the series, it would be that I didn’t like 2 of the cases. One involved a spirit who used to be human and there was hintings of domestic violence there. It’s never explicitly stated, but it’s fairly obvious and Watanuki wasn’t really able to help the spirit very much. It was a very somber story and there are a few that don’t get to have happy endings, but for the most part it’s either an ironic fate or one that is sad for the individual, but not in a really dark way.
The other arc that I wasn’t crazy about was Kohane’s as the media and the other stars decided to throw water on her and basically act rude because they were jealous of her abilities. The arc dragged a little and was mostly filler so I was essentially just waiting for it to be all over. The stand alone stories were typically the best one like the mysterious sounds so Yuko gave someone a bell case. There were a lot of other ones and they were typically all good. Even Kohane’s had a lot of good parts like the learning how to cook section. I always love cooking parts, which is why it’s too bad that we don’t have more good food titles. Toriko counts, but only to a very slight extent.
As for the interesting ending to xxxHolic, it’s definitely pretty unique. Let’s just say that there’s a pretty big time skip and while it’s customary to end a series with one, you typically don’t see one that’s quite so large. It just goes to show that the heroes will have to do a lot of waiting and it’s easy to imagine that Watanuki would be bored at this point. With technology, it’s safe to say that I’d never be bored even if I had 100 years, but Watanuki is a bit old fashioned in that sense so he should really give it a shot. I imagine that meeting descendants every once in a while is always interesting.
It’ll definitely be interesting to see how a sequel series handles this. To an extent, if it’s more of a nostalgia based sequel like Tsubasa, the series doesn’t have to introduce a whole lot of plot as the stand alone adventures can just continue. This series had a very small cast as you can tell from the review and I don’t expect the sequel to add many others. I also don’t see Yuko returning in the sequel either, but I could definitely see her being able to talk with Watanuki for brief periods of time. Spoilers time, although I essentially hinted at it already. Bringing her back just seems like it would defy a lot of what the first series talked about as death is one of the few things that is irreversible. Yes, Yuko’s disappearance cannot be called a normal death, but it’s essentially what it all boiled down too. She just slowed it down for a while.
Of course, that’s why a sequel series likely wouldn’t be as good as the original. Without Yuko’s interesting views on everything, the series may not be quite as deep as the first one. Watanuki intentionally copies her personality, but it’s not the same as hearing it all from the original. Also, I still don’t like Watanuki’s new personality and the timeskip likely will not have done him any favors either. Maybe he’ll slowly regain his old personality, but the odds of that are slim.
Finally, I may as well talk about the power levels for a second. Everything is pureposefully vague, but Watanuki and Yuko state that their abilities are greatest while in dreams. In the real world, they do seem to have some slight magical abilities as Watanuki can levitate and both of them seem to have telekenesis and general magic. They wouldn’t do too well against other magicians like Dr. Strange or Fai for me, but in universe, Yuko is much stronger than Fai as she contends with foes like Clow Reed. I would have liked to have seen some more action to see their true abilities. Domeki has his spirit arrows which can deal a good amount of damage, but his human state remain so it’s similar to the Sailor Scouts. He has good offensive powers, but he’s still a total glass cannon.
Overall, xxxHolic was a pretty fun title. It’s certainly the kind of series that you could easily read again as a calming experience. I wasn’t a huge fan of the final saga in the series though and Watanuki still feels fake there, but it is what it is. At 19 volumes, the series is decently long so there’s time for quite a lot of adventures. With so much meta content, a lot of things are vague, but in a good way and Yuko’s wise words are always interesting to listen too. As already said, the series is just a lot of fun and I’m sure that you will enjoy it. Don’t go into it expecting a thriller, but remember that it is a slice of life with some fun supernatural elements. Then you’ll be fine!
It’s time to review the second Tsubasa OVA, which is also the final one to ever be created. For better or worse, the franchise ended (On TV anyway) with this installment so does it provide us with a lot of closure and such? No….not quite. Luckily, this turns out well for us in the sense that it is basically nonstop action. This OVA raises the stakes from the last one and we have less exposition so more time for fights. As you can tell, this one easily defeated the last OVA!
The plot continues after the heroes saved Fai from the sorcerer….is that really how the last OVA ended? Wellllll…maybe not, but they assume that you guys read the manga so it’s okay to jump a lot! Kurogane loses his arm and someone goes to get him a replacement when an old foe appears. Remember Seishiro, Syaoran’s mentor? Well, he’s back to keep on searching for the vampire twins and he also decides to intimidate the heroes as a consolation prize. Syaoran isn’t having any of that and he attack the man. He shall get the feather at any cost! Unbeknownst to the heroes..the other Syaoran also approaches! (The original Syaoran who was with us for the whole series before turning evil…that Syaoran)
Now, this OVA can be a little cruel to longtime fans of the series who didn’t read the manga since it skips a whole bunch of story arcs while including flashbacks that reference them. It’s an intriguing strategy and one that many will not really appreciate. It’s probably a lot more fun if you’ve never seen Tsubasa before since it’ll be a mystery. (I said something similar for the last OVA) Starting off with the heroes escaping from a dying world after murdering the magician who had been hyped as one of the ultimate villains since the very first episode is rather anticlimatic as well. I’d be pretty disheartened if Frieza or Aizen had been taken out off screen like that. We also don’t really hear the plot twist about Fai’s name. (Tsubasa loves its name twists…..just wait for Kurogane’s!)
So, the continuity of this OVA is definitely a little dicey, but if you read the manga everything will still make a lot of sense. At first, I was pretty skeptical about Kurogane losing his arm since it seemed to be counterproductive at the time. It would just reduce his chances of escape right? Luckily, we just find out that he had to sacrifice his arm to save Fai and escape. (Fai’s always getting rescued now and that’s a trend that won’t end anytime soon) Tsubasa saved itself from that small stumble.
This OVA is only two episodes so it’s extremely short. Luckily, it tries to make up for this with all of the action and its a winning strategy. The first episode mainly deals with Syaoran’s fight against Seishiro and it’s nice to see how Syaoran’s improved since their last encounter. (Different Syaoran, but same fighting techniques) However, Syaoran has not improved nearly as much as you would have thought and he’s still losing pretty badly in this fight. I love his determination, but it’s disappointing to see him so outmatched here. Things get even dicier for him in the second episode since he goes up against Dark Syaoran. (I’m going to just say Dark before his name to make it easier to tell them apart) Dark Syaoran is much stronger than Seishiro in my opinion although I’m sure that many would disagree on that. Syaoran puts up a brave fight, but I seriously don’t see him posing much of a threat for the experienced villain. The fight scene is fun and it’s nice to see the contrast of fire vs thunder.
I definitely enjoyed the action scenes in this OVA more than the last one’s. They weren’t rushing and the fights were allowed to really develop. The energy attacks from Seishiro’s blade as well as the two Syaorans also helped since energy attacks tend to look pretty great when they’re used in such a high budget OVA. One area where this OVA lost to the last one is the theme song. The last one was lacking in images, but the overall atmosphere helped it and the green circle was ominous. There really isn’t anything redeeming in this opening and it’s just very boring. I don’t know what happened, but it feels like it was created as an afterthought. There’s no action scenes or anything and it just shows all of the characters a bunch of times. Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z has openings over 20 years ago that were better than these. There’s no excuse for a bad opening these days since so many anime produce great ones every year!
Aside from the opening, the soundtrack is pretty good. Naturally, most of the selections are from the show so they are tried and true. They never get old and it’s very well rounded. I’m pretty sure that my favorite theme didn’t play this time, but I suppose that it can’t make the cut every time. (Even though it is the best theme….)
I would almost say that Syaoran is a 5 star protagonist in this OVA. (5 out of 5 of course) However, there is one scene that holds him back and it is near the beginning. Seishiro starts to intimidate the heroes and he beats up on Fai for a while…and nobody helps. This is actually worse for Kurogane (Since he does nothing, but Syaoran should have done something. Syaoran does challenge Seishiro to a match, but it’s only because he wants the feather. He seemed to not care about what was happening to Fai, which was pretty out of character. Aside from that brief moment, Syaoran was basically perfect.
At this point, Sakura is basically avoiding him (As seen in a new flashback) so he is basically alone. He’s still intent on getting the feathers so that Sakura can have her memories back, but he’s going to have the short end of the stick either way. He’s still very resolute in this decision and he’ll face anyone to get the feathers. He never backs down and Syaoran is just a great hero. He’s certainly more heroic than your average fighter and he doesn’t even need any comic relief scenes to balance his personality out. He’s completely serious and stone faced the entire OVA and it works for his character.
Dark Syaoran mainly appears for the second episode, but he does get a pretty epic cliffhanger for the first episode. He definitely means business and to be honest…I’m basically rooting for him. I try to root for both Syaorans equally, but Dark Syaoran is technically the character that I’m more used too and if you didn’t see the last OVA, you wouldn’t know just how evil he is. From this perspective, he seems more like an anti-hero, although a strong case can be made that he’s the villain since he’s willing to destroy the other Syaoran. Regardless, his goal is to help Sakura get her feathers back and the main difference is that he doesn’t take no for an answer. His design is epic and you can tell that he’s more on the dark side than the regular Syaoran. Dark Syaoran definitely helped the series excel to new heights!
Sakura is a lot better here than in the last OVA. She is typically awake…well, she’s awake inside of her dream anyway. It’s an interesting moment since she has a meta conversation with Watanuki and it’s all very deep. (Literally since they’re basically underwater) It can be a little upsetting to see her avoid Syaoran, but we do find out the reason for it at the very end and it’s explained more at the end of the manga. It makes sense to an extent since we wouldn’t want Syaoran to get any false hopes. Her final moment is not that great though since it’s something that we’ve seen a lot of characters do in the past and it’s always a clock stopper. (Not in a good way…I want my action scenes to keep on going!) She doesn’t fight in this OVA, but we can always hope that she’ll grab her gun and take on a villain someday.
As mentioned earlier, Kurogane looks really bad here. Not only does he freeze up when Fai is attacked, but he has been reduced to sitting on the sideline for all of the battles. Gone are the days when he was a big fighter. (He does get a big fight soon, but it is not animated at this point in time) He does have some scenes with the princess where we find out new twists and such, but it’s not really going to help him rise up the ranks. I like him as a character, but I just didn’t care for him here. Just counting this OVA and not the previous one + TV show, Kurogane just wouldn’t be that great.
Although, Kurogane would still be better than Fai. Now that Fai is basically powerless, he’s really no help to the team. He tags along and gets beat up by the enemies, but that’s about it. We know that he’s a very good hand to hand fighter from the TV show…unless he was just amping up his abilities with magic. Still, I would expect him to do better and I’m sure that he would have some good moments in the future. This OVA just happens to take place at a time where he doesn’t really have a role to speak of. It’s a sad time for him and Kurogane.
It’s good to see Seishiro appear after being gone for so long. He’s easily one of the best characters in the franchise and his character is still a mystery. He seems to have joined the side of the heroes in this OVA sine he’s a lot friendlier then he once was, but you still have to question his goal. What will he do with the vampires once he finds them? It’s too bad that Seishiro won’t stick around to help since he could definitely do a lot of good. He may be the strongest hero at the moment and that’s saying something! I guess he’ll just have to let the main characters do their thing, but it would have been nice if he had stayed with the party.
The tone of this OVA is a little more like the show. There are still a lot of twists, but it’s a little lighter. The stakes haven’t gone down, but these two episodes feel like they could have been in the animated series. Maybe the director changed or it’s just a coincidence in the story. The Kamui arc was likely darker in the manga as well. This one had more nostalgia for me in that sense and that’s always a nice plus.
The ending may be more than a little dicey for Tsubasa fans and for those who just picked this OVA up on the fly. The ending gives us a huge cliffhanger with the heroes deciding to take out the main villain once and for all as they make another dimension jump. After all of the adventures, we are finally at the final battle! Only to find out that the series was not going to be continued and that you would have to read the manga and try to decipher the fight scenes to see it! On one hand, it’s not cool since you’ll never see the ending, but I do have to admit that I’m a sucker for a good cliffhanger. That type of ending really makes me jump on the hype train! It’s just so intense and it’s one of the ultimate cliffhangers! (Another example of an ultimate cliffhanger is Goku finally arriving to his allies’ aid against Frieza or Sasuke preparing to fight Gaara after some intense training. Shonen Jump is full of these scenes and it’s one of the reasons why they are awesome!)
Overall, Tsubasa definitely ended on a high note with this OVA! It’s a mixed bag since it doesn’t really tie up most of the loose ends and it doesn’t really end, but it was still a very fun ride. We had a lot of action and the soundtrack/animation will hold up very well for many years. Bringing back Seishiro and Dark Syaoran was a good way to bring in most of the villains and Fei Wong got his little cameo. Kurogane and Fai looked really underwhelming and this is their last animated appearance to that could be a little disheartening to their fans. (Not quite as bad as being a fan of the evil sorcerer though…) I definitely recommend this OVA to Tsubasa fans and to anyone who enjoys a nice anime fight! It doesn’t really have any negative qualities and it fixes the mild issues that I had with the first OVA. (I’ll miss the Angelic Layer crossover from the manga, but I suppose that this was how it had to be. Hopefully it’ll get animated someday) This is something that you’ll be glad you saw!
I watched the Tsubasa show pretty recently (Or it feels recent anyway) and it was an enjoyable watch. It was a great adaption of the manga and I dare say that it was more interesting except for the fact that it didn’t cover the second half of the series. The half of the series where the action really kicked into high gear and the part where I became a fan of the series. Well, this OVA covers the Kamui arc, which was my favorite volume of the series. It helps that this is the first part of the story where I really began to enjoy the series. Let’s see if it has the same effect on the animated adaption!
The OVA is three episodes long so it’s actually still shorter than your average theater film and it may be a little longer than your average animated film. This story takes place immediately after the library battle so the filler from the TV show has been ignored for the sake of the canon plot. The heroes arrive in a land where it is always raining acid and the world’s inhabitants have all been destroyed except for a handful of people. They have divided into two groups who protect their supply of water as they try to survive. Both groups don’t like each other and the heroes bump into a group that’s led by a vampire named Kamui. Syaoran needs to find the feather that is in this island, but what if it means extinction for the poor inhabitants of the city? Meanwhile, the Syaoran who has been trapped in the water tomb finally awakens and Sakura has to go on a solo adventure.
A lot of things definitely happen in this OVA so hopefully you are prepared for a fast paced journey. Right away, you’ll likely be able to tell that the animation is much different from the show and the tone has shifted as well. This one is a lot darker and it’ll be tough for you to locate any cheerful moments. (Whereas the anime had those in spades) Of course, we do get plenty of action scenes, which is always a solid consolation prize!
The soundtrack is pretty good and you should recognize most of the tunes from the anime. My favorite opera theme only appears once, but that’ll have to do. The rest of the themes are pretty good and while Tsubasa doesn’t end up having anything that will become iconic, the overall soundtrack is well above average. The theme song is intriguing since nothing really happens and we just see a glowing object. I think it works really well for a theatrical experience since it would slowly build up the hype for you. It definitely would have been more fun to look at if there were fights and fun images in the song, but this was still pretty good. For me, it’s a natural hype builder.
The animation is solid and I supposed it’ll be based on your personal preferences on whether you think it beats the show’s animation or not. I think the animation here is more fluid, but the fight scenes may have been a little hurt by this. It’s hard to describe, but the action scenes aren’t really fleshed out as much as they could be. The characters are fighting and yet, not much is happening. Either the screen will cut away or they’ll only have time for a few blows to be exchanged. (The next OVA is better in this area) This OVA really only has two fights. Kamui vs Syaoran and Syaoran vs Syaoran. Both fights are very short though, which could also be why I wasn’t very impressed with them. Good action scenes take time and the OVA covered so much that they breezed through them. Sakura fights with giant monsters, but I can’t say that it’s much of a consolation prize this time.
Syaoran is the protagonist that we all remember, but his personality quickly changes as the OVA goes on. He starts out as the happy camper that we’ve come to expect and by the end you can only call him a hero who has strayed from the path and turned into the villain. He wants to get the feathers at any cost and that cost may now include murder. (Of course, he did risk the lives of everyone in the village to get a feather in the TV show so…) One can argue that the change is beyond his control since a soul is taken from him, but he still has his soul so I like to think that he can control it. He still has his memories and everything so this was basically his decision. It’s intriguing, but I would say that he is my favorite villain in the series. He gets a pretty huge power up to coincide with the trope that a hero who turns evil gains great power.
The mysterious Syaoran in the container wakes up and he gets a role in this OVA. He uses a mixture of sword techniques and thunder abilities to contrast with the other Syaoran’s fire sword and spellcasting. He is similar to the original Syaoran, but he’s definitely more sullen. He’s not very cheerful and his thoughts always seem to keep him preoccupied. His arrival brought many questions along with it and it’ll be tough for the other heroes to get used to him being around. Which Syaoran is to be trusted right? All is explained in the OVA and they’ll continue to bring up more plot points as Tsubasa goes on.
Kurogane is really more of a non factor here. He proves that he can go up against Kamui in a fight and he’s definitely a skilled warrior, but he doesn’t really have a stake in the whole situation. He does get a lot of character development with Fai though since they have definitely become closer as allies. Fai still keeps his secrets, but it doesn’t stop Kurogane from making a dangerous decision to save his life. It’s also frustrating for Kurogane since he’s unable to help when the two Syaorans face off against each other. It wasn’t a great moment for him, but I’m sure that he’ll do better in future stories. He’s still a pretty good supporting character and he just needs a good power up to keep him in the helpful section of characters.
Fai doesn’t look very good in this OVA. He has a lot of power and he’s finally willing to use it to help the others, but he underestimates his opponent. This is a critical mistake and he ends up losing just about all of his power. He went from being immeasurably skilled to suddenly being the weakest member on the squad. Kurogane makes a deal to keep Fai alive, which also gives Fai some superhuman abilities, but it’s regrettable that the situation had to occur at all. I would have expected Fai to have put up a better fight. I definitely didn’t care for him in this collection, but I’m sure that he’ll do better in the next OVA. He just needs to learn how to fight in his new state and he’ll be set.
Sakura is mostly asleep or unconscious in this OVA due to circumstances that happened earlier. All of the clone drama and other twists have likely weakened her condition as well. She is unable to prevent the tragedy of the two Syaorans fighting and when she finally wakes up once again, Sakura is given a task. She must find a treasure and bring it back to the base so Yuko can grant a wish to help the heroes. This results in Sakura going on her own adventure to get past giant monsters and prove that she can help the team as well! It’s a noble gesture and Sakura is a good character although it would be great if she was conscious more often. Going on the trek by herself did grant the other heroes some much needed rest so it certainly helped.
Kamui quickly became one of my favorite characters in the manga so it was nice to see him appear in the OVA. He’s still one of the better characters although he may not be quite as high for me here as he originally was in the manga. He was just a little weaker than I remembered since he looks bad against the other squad of humans and his showing against Kurogane wasn’t great. He still pulls through when it counts, but Kamui wasn’t quite as awe inspiring as I had remembered. Still, his design is pretty good and he’s one of the few vampires that I actually like. Kamui is also pretty unreasonable to the other group. They just want to share resources to last longer in this world, but Kamui just wants to fight. Perhaps they did something in their series to make Kamui distrust them, but strictly speaking from a Tsubasa viewpoint, Kamui and his team seemed to be at fault. Kamui’s twin, Subaru, isn’t quite as memorable since he doesn’t really get to appear until the very end. He spends most of his time being trapped, which doesn’t help his case.
This OVA definitely takes place at an interesting time since there is really no conclusion. The animators likely should have just made this a 13 episode OVA to adapt everything since there isn’t a whole lot of time in 3 episodes. Still, it was good to see that Tsubasa’s popularity was still strong enough to get it this far. Viewers of the show may not appreciate how different the OVA is from the show, but this also occurred in the manga. The OVA isn’t very violent although one character does steal someone’s eye, which is definitely the most graphic part here. I never liked that kind of violence since attacks against the eye are rather sensitive. It’s just not the same as losing an arm or something like that. Still, it’s not very graphic and it’s just the thought that can be stomach churning. The OVA is certainly a lot more intense than the show, but likely nothing that you can’t handle if you’ve seen Naruto Shippuden or Bleach. The only other scene that may not be a lot of fun is the Sakura vs Giant Monster part. She has a gun so you can likely tell that the monsters are doomed. That part’s a little iffy since giant monsters are practically the same as animals at times so those scenes would be a little negative as well.
Overall, Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations is a pretty solid OVA. I think the adaption may have went more smoothly if they had kept going in the show format and I have to wonder how the scenes would have been altered to fit the show’s format. I’m sure that it would have been a little more cheerful and the fights would have been longer. So, in that sense, I still think the show was their best bet, but this OVA does a good job of continuing the series. The soundtrack and animation are very solid and the plot has definitely moved forward. We have been waiting for the Syaoran in the water tank to get out for so long that it’s refreshing to see him finally get out. There isn’t much of an ending and it’s basically a “To Be Continued” so it’s good that this OVA got a sequel. (Which I shall review shortly) This is a fun stand alone story that I could recommend to people who didn’t see the Tsubasa show as well as those who did. It’s pretty atmospheric after all and it’ll play out like a mystery if you didn’t see the show. We get a lot of references to other old villains and even Fei Wong makes a cameo as he takes down his assistant. Of course, every viewer can appreciate Mokona and all that he does for the team! The eye scene and giant monster violence are the only things that you may want to be on the lookout for as the rest is all clear sailing! (The next OVA has more action so get ready for epicness!)