Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle (ツバサ-RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- Tsubasa: Rezaboa Kuronikuru?) is a shōnen manga series written and illustrated by the mangaka group Clamp. It takes place in the same fictional universe as many of Clamp's other manga series, most notably xxxHolic. The plot follows how Sakura, the princess of the Kingdom of Clow, loses her soul, and how Syaoran, a young archaeologist who is her childhood friend, goes on a quest to save her. Dimensional Witch Yūko Ichihara instructs him to go with two people, Kurogane and Fai D. Flowright. They search for Sakura's memories, which were scattered in various worlds, as gathering them will help save her soul. Tsubasa was conceived when four Clamp artists wanted to create a manga series that connected all their previous works. They took the designs for the main protagonists from their earlier manga called Cardcaptor Sakura.
It was serialized in the Kodansha publication Weekly Shōnen Magazine from May 2003 until October 2009, and was collected in twenty-eight tankōbon volumes. The manga was adapted into an anime series, Tsubasa Chronicle (ツバサ･クロニクル Tsubasa Kuronikuru?), animated by Bee Train, which aired 52 episodes over two seasons during 2005 and 2006. Production I.G released an interlude film between the first two seasons titled The Princess in the Birdcage Kingdom, as well as five original video animations (OVAs) between November 2007 and May 2009, which acted as a sequel to the second season. Various video games and drama CDs based on the series have been released. The manga was licensed for English language release by Del Rey Manga, who has released all of its volumes since April 27, 2004. Funimation Entertainment licensed the the anime for English release. They published all the TV episodes in DVD volumes, as well as the film. The OVAs of Tsubasa will be released in North America in January 2011.
The series has been well-received by Japanese and English readers, having reached high positions on various best-seller lists; the series has sold over twenty million manga volumes. Both manga and anime have had positive response from critics, who praised its connections to previous works and its artwork. The plot twists in later parts of the story have been generally praised for how they affect the overall plot as well as for being surprising. The plots have also been criticized for being confusing.
The series starts by introducing childhood friends Syaoran, a young archaeologist who is investigating a ruin from Kingdom of Clow, and Sakura, the princess of the Kingdom of Clow, daughter of the late king Clow Reed. When Sakura visits Syaoran in Clow's ruins, a pair of ghostly wings grow from her. The wings disintegrate into feathers that scatter across dimensions. The High Priest of the Kingdom of Clow, Yukito, realizes that Sakura's "feathers" were the manifestation of her soul, and that they grant her the power to cross dimensions; but without them, she will die. Yukito transports the two to the world of the Dimensional Witch, Yūko Ichihara; Syaoran begs the witch to help to save Sakura.
Syaoran meets two people who also have a wish: Kurogane, a rough-mannered samurai who wishes to return to his home after being banished from his world by Princess Tomoyo in order to learn what true strength is; and Fai D. Flowright, a magician who wishes never to return to his world so he can avoid meeting his master, Ashura-ō. Before she will grant the power to cross dimensions, Yūko demands that each must pay with what they value most. Kurogane pays with his family's heirloom, the sword Ginryū. Fai pays with the tattoo on his back that suppresses his magical power. Syaoran pays with his relationship with Sakura; even if Syaoran is able to retrieve all of Sakura's memories, she will never remember him. When the three agree to her terms, Yūko presents them with a white creature named Mokona Modoki that holds the power to cross dimensions. The group then set out on their journey across dimensions in search of Sakura's feathers. As the first feather is obtained, Sakura awakes from her catatonic state, without any memories. During their adventures, the group learns that the feathers have various effects and bestow abilities to those who hold them in the various dimensions, which sometimes makes retrieval difficult. They are unknowingly observed by a powerful wizard, Fei-Wang Reed, who wants Sakura's feathers for his own agenda. Although the group obtains more feathers, they do not help Sakura remember events related to Syaoran. She begins bonding with him regardless. The group of five also start befriending each other to the point where Fai jokingly labels them as relatives.
In the journey, it is revealed that Syaoran is actually a clone who holds half of the heart of the original one. Various years ago, the original Syaoran was taken prisoner by Fei-Wang, who created the clone to collect Sakura's feathers. Before being imprisoned, the original Syaoran sealed a part of his own heart within his clone, hoping he would grow emotions. However, as the seal is broken, the clone becomes a emotionless person who betrays the group. Once freed from Fei-Wang's prison, the original Syaoran joins Sakura, Fai, Kurogane, and Mokona in their journey, with Sakura deciding to search for a way to save the clone. Sakura foresees a future in which Fai kills the original Syaoran due to a curse Fei-Wang placed on him, and is able to modify it to become the victim. As a result, Sakura's soul leaves her body and enters the Dream World, while the others seek a way to get there. When transported into the Dream World with a feather, Syaoran faces his clone, who wants his feather. As both Syaorans attempt to finish each other, Sakura intervenes, receiving the clone's blow. Before her soul disappears, Sakura reveals that she is a clone from the original Sakura, who was also taken prisoner by Fei-Wang. Sakura's soulless body is then taken by Fei-Wang, who wishes to use its stored power. Learning that Fei-Wang is in a Kingdom of Clow whose time was halted, the group departs to rescue the two Sakuras.
As they arrive in Clow, the original Syaoran explains to his partners the origins of his and Sakura's clones: as a young child, Syaoran went to the Kingdom of Clow, as his mother had foreseen the future, which involved him in such a world. In Clow, Syaoran met the original Sakura, and both fell in love. During the week of Syaoran's stay, Fei-Wang placed a seal of death on Sakura, and Syaoran decided to stay in Clow to search for a way to stop the curse. As years went on, neither Syaoran or Sakura's parents were able to stop the curse. As the curse was about to activate, Syaoran made a wish to Yūko to turn back time, but at the price of losing his freedom to Fei-Wang. Yūko's assistant, Kimihiro Watanuki, was created to replace Syaoran within his original world's history, and Fei-Wang created the clones of Syaoran and Sakura to use as pawns in an alternate Kingdom of Clow. So long as Watanuki exists to fill the time paradox left by Syaoran's wish, the stability of the universe is maintained.
The group battles Fei-Wang, who reveals that his agenda is to revive Yuko, who was accidentally frozen in time by Clow to keep her from dying. By reviving her using the powers from the two Sakuras, Fei-Wang will accomplish the "impossible" feat of reviving the dead, proving himself Clow's superior. In doing so, the logic of the world will crumble and everything will be destroyed. Both the Syaoran and Sakura clones are reunited by Yuko, who wishes to compensate them for manipulating them. She sends the clones to another world, where both are reborn as normal humans and have a son. Their son is revealed to be the original Syaoran, who would go to the Kingdom of Clow after the Sakura clone foresaw the future, thus creating another time paradox. In order to break the loop of events, the clones use Clow's magic to move to the place and time where their original selves, Fai, and Kurogane are confronted by Fei-Wang. The group is able to kill Fei-Wang, and since time begins moving forward, Yūko dies. However, Syaoran is victim to Fei-Wang's last curse and is trapped in a void between time and space; he drags along his clone and Watanuki due to their connection. As both clones fade away because of Fei-Wang's death, Syaoran and Watanuki pay a price to escape from the void. For their freedom, Syaoran must continue traveling throughout dimensions forever, while Watanuki must forever stay in Yūko's shop. The group rests in the original Kingdom of Clow where Fai, Kurogane, and Mokona decide to join Syaoran once again, the three hoping they find a way to bring back the clones whose souls still exist. Before leaving, Syaoran and Sakura confess their love for each other and reveal their true names: Tsubasa. Though he must travel forever, using his clone's feather, Syaoran's journey will always lead him back to Sakura's side.
Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle began with an inspiration of the four-member team, Clamp, to link their works set in a realistic world with their works set in different fantasy worlds. Prior to beginning work on Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, Clamp had created the manga Cardcaptor Sakura, from which the two main characters are taken. Clamp decided to draw Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle using a style first conceived by Osamu Tezuka, named the "father of manga" and often credited as the "father of anime", known as the Osamu Tezuka's Star System. In this system, characters with the same name and design are used in different settings, drawing mostly from the vast character pool of its own works and occasionally from others' works. Unlike characters under the Star System, three months prior to the release of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, the Young Magazine began serializing Clamp's xxxHolic, a manga whose two main characters, Kimihiro Watanuki and Yūko Ichihara, are two of the same characters used in Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle; both series run in parallel. Like many of their other works, each member of Clamp had a role different from their other projects, as opposed to retaining set roles. For Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, Mokona drew the main characters, whereas Tsubaki Nekoi and Satsuki Igarashi drew the side characters and backgrounds; Nanase Ohkawa was the sole person in charge of the storyline, and not even the other members of Clamp were told in advance how the plot would unfold.
A special interview with Ohkawa and Kiichiro Sugawara, Clamp's editor from the Weekly Shōnen Magazine's Editorial Department, took place after the story of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle had progressed past the Ōto Country arc. Ohkawa has stated that the group is very conscious of the fact that Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle is the title in Shōnen Magazine with the youngest readership and that it is their very first foray into the shōnen demographic. Thus, the members of Clamp ensure that they employ a drawing style and dialogue appropriate for young male audiences; the manga incorporates furigana that makes reading Japanese easier. To aid in this effort, the group holds conferences with Sugawara where they discuss the plot. Ohkawa stated during the interview that the only time the story significantly changed was during Country of Jade arc; It went from a "horror story with vampires" to a "detective mystery".
The members of Clamp had some difficulty adjusting from their typical style after deciding to publish with Weekly Shōnen Magazine. Because their typical thinner lines did not give the desired impact, Ohkawa expressed the group's desire to make their lines thicker, and to use simpler layouts similar to the other stories already present in Shōnen Magazine. She stated that they used their original artistic style to attract initial readers and then slowly transitioned to a new style. Sometime around when the Country of Ōto arc took place, their art style had gradually been changing again; at this point they were thinking of returning to their original style. They are still adjusting to a weekly schedule; many of their previous works were on a monthly schedule. Sugawara expressed concerns about the strain on the artists of concurrently doing a weekly issue of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle linked with xxxHolic, but in the end he whole-heartedly approved. In accordance with Ohkawa's desire for each to have a well organized story, Clamp avoids putting references between the two stories too frequently. When asked if another series influnced Tsubasa in the concept of parallel worlds, Ohkawa replied that she was not a fan of sci-fi series, and pointed that all worlds shown in the series were other works from Tsubasa. At the same time, Ohkawa wanted to segregate Tsubasa from previous works. She also explained that while some characters are the same, their traits and personalities were modified due to different backstories.
When thinking about including character goods with the volume releases, Sugawara came up with the atypical idea of releasing a deluxe and normal edition of the manga after contemplating the inconsistency of novels getting both a soft-cover and hard-cover release, but manga only getting one version. Because it was a new concept, the group experienced several mishaps, such as accidentally placing a vertically flipped illustration on the first deluxe edition. The group also decided to use another atypical practice of keeping catchphrases that appeared in the magazine identical to the ones that appear on the frontispieces of the deluxe editions.
Written and illustrated by Clamp, Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle was serialized in Japan in Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine between May 2003 and October 2009. Its 233 chapters have been compiled into twenty-eight tankōbon volumes by Kodansha, with the first volume released on August 12, 2003, and the last one on November 17, 2009. All the volumes were also released in deluxe editions containing color pages and new illustrations at the same time as the original release.
Tsubasa was one of the first four manga series licensed for English release in North America by Del Rey Manga, and was acquired together with Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Negima! Magister Negi Magi, and xxxHolic in January 2004. Del Rey released the first volume of the series on April 27, 2004, and the last one on November 23, 2010. Tanoshimi, the United Kingdom branch of Random House, published the first 14 volumes as published by Del Rey in the United Kingdom, between August 3, 2006, and June 5, 2008.
The animation studio Bee Train adapted the manga series into a two-season anime television series Tsubasa Chronicle (ツバサ･クロニクル Tsubasa Kuronikuru?) spanning fifty-two episodes in total. Both seasons were written by Hiroyuki Kawasaki and directed by Kōichi Mashimo, with Hiroshi Morioka joining on as co-director for the second season. The music for the series was composed by Yuki Kajiura. The first season aired Saturday nights at 18:30 on NHK from April 9, 2005, to October 15, 2005, and spanned twenty-six episodes. The second season began on April 29, 2006, at 18:30 and concluded on November 4, 2006. It spanned twenty-six episodes. In Japan, Bandai Visual released the series across fourteen Region 2 DVD compilation volumes between August 26, 2005, and February 23, 2007.
Funimation Entertainment licensed both seasons under the title Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle for English-language release January 2006. They released the TV series in North America across twelve Region 1 DVD compilation volumes. Funimation released the DVDs in two collections, each containing six of the DVDs together in a box set, on November 11, 2008, and December 29, 2009. A DVD box containing the first season and the film was released on January 19, 2010. It was re-released in blu-ray format on May 4, 2010, in a package that also included the anime's second season. Funimation also released the first season of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle in the United Kingdom through Revelation Films beginning on September 17, 2007, across six Region 2 DVD compilation volumes. As of September 1, 2008[update], the English dub of the first season was being broadcast on the Funimation Channel in the United States. Revelation Films had previously confirmed the release of the second season of Tsubasa Chronicle in the U.K., although no release dates were ever set.
A film interlude, The Princess in the Birdcage Kingdom, was adapted by the animation studio Production I.G and premiered in Japanese theaters on August 20, 2005, in conjunction with xxxHolic: A Midsummer Night's Dream, between the two seasons of the anime series. Its plot continues the journey from Syaoran's group for Sakura's feathers. They locate one at the Country of Birdcages, where they have to confront the world's king in order to obtain it. It was directed by Itsuro Kawasaki and written by Midori Goto and Junichi Fujisaku. Character designs were provided by Yoko Kikuchi and music was by Yuki Kajiura. Clamp artist Ageha Ohkawa liked how both films were connected, despite both having different themes. Shochiku released the DVD for the film on February 25, 2006, in Japan in both regular and premium editions. Funimation released the film on a single DVD in English on February 19, 2009, in North America as a double feature with the xxxHolic film. It was released alongside a DVD box of the anime's first season on January 19, 2010. It was re-released in blu-ray format on May 4, 2010, in a package that included the anime's second season.
Original video animations
Two original video animation (OVA) series were animated by Production I.G. They were directed by Shunsuke Tada and written by Nanase Ohkawa, with music provided by Yuki Kajiura. A three-episode OVA series entitled Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations (ツバサ TOKYO REVELATIONS?) was released between November 16, 2007, and March 17, 2008, across three DVDs bundled with limited versions of volumes 21, 22, and 23 of the manga. Their plot is set after the anime's ending, and follows the arrival of Syaoran's group in an postapocalyptic Tokyo, where the connection between Syaoran and a teenager identical to him is revealed. A two-episode OVA series entitled Tsubasa Spring Thunder (ツバサ春雷記 Tsubasa Shunraiki?, lit. "Tsubasa Spring Thunder Chronicles") was released across two DVDs. The first was packaged with volume 26 of the manga, which was released on March 17, 2009; and the second was packaged with volume 27, released on May 15, 2009. They are set after the characters' journey to Seresu as they search for a way to make Sakura's soul return to her body. In May 2005, Funimation announced they licensed both series of OVAs. They will be released together under the title of "Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE - OVA Collection" in both DVD and blu-ray formats on January 4, 2011.
The original soundtrack for the anime was released in four soundtrack albums entitled Future Soundscape I~IV. They were released by Victor Entertainment for the anime from July 6, 2005, to September 21, 2006, each in a normal and a limited edition that featured additional merchandise. Additionally, a compilation album entitled Best Vocal Collection was released on December 20, 2006, that collected fourteen vocal tracks from the anime. Each release charted in the Oricon charts, with the highest ranking album, Future Soundscape I, peaking at 39th and remaining on the charts for three weeks.
Ten music albums have been released, each containing a single piece of theme music for the various adaptations. For the anime adaptation Tsubasa Chronicle, four maxi singles entitled Loop, Blaze, It's, and Kazemachi Jet / Spica were released between May 10, 2005, and July 14, 2006. For the anime film Tsubasa Chronicle the Movie: The Princess of the Country of Birdcages, two maxi singles entitled Aerial and Amrita were released on August 17, 2005, and on August 18, 2005. For the OVA adaptations, two maxi singles and two studio albums entitled Synchronicity, Saigo no Kajitsu / Mitsubashi to Kagakusha, Kazeyomi, and Everlasting Songs were released between November 21, 2007, and February 25, 2009. All of the releases charted on the Oricon charts, with the highest ranking single being Loop, which peaked at 7th and remained on the chart for nine weeks.
Victor Entertainment released a series of three drama CDs entitled "The Matinée of the Palace", based on the anime adaptation featuring the same voice actors. The first, subtitled Chapter.1 ~Coral, the City on the Water~, was released on December 16, 2005. Chapter.2 ~Impossible Goal~ followed on February 1, 2006. The final CD, subtitled Chapter.3 ~Unspeakable Lines~, was released on March 24, 2006. All of the releases charted on the Oricon charts, with the highest ranking album being Chapter.2 ~Impossible Goal~, peaking at 161st and remaining on the chart for a week. A spin-off series of four drama CDs entitled "Private High School Holitsuba" have been released between 2006 and 2009, and has also had a one-chapter manga adaptation. Set in an alternate universe, the series features characters from Tsubasa and xxxHolic as students and teachers from the fictional school "Holitsuba".
A video game entitled Tsubasa Chronicle (ツバサクロニクル?) developed by Cavia, based on the anime adaptation of the same name, was released in Japan for the Nintendo DS on October 27, 2005, by Akira. Tsubasa Chronicle is a role-playing game whose gameplay requires the player to navigate the world as Sakura and Syaoran in search of Sakura's memory fragments. Players can compete with each other wirelessly. A sequel titled Tsubasa Chronicle Volume 2 (ツバサクロニクル Vol.2?) was released on April 20, 2006, again for the Nintendo DS and sharing various gameplay traits with Tsubasa Chronicle.
Art and fanbooks
Two different fanbooks have been released for the anime of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle. Kodansha released two in Japan by between 2005 and 2006 that contain character illustrations and information, a collection of the theme song videos, and interviews with the seiyū. The first book published was TV Animation Tsubasa Chronicle Official Fanbook (TV ANIMATION ツバサ･クロニクル OFFICIAL FANBOOK?) on May 17, 2005 bearing an ISBN 978-4063720112. The second book published was TV Animation Tsubasa Chronicle 2nd Season Official Fanbook (TV ANIMATION ツバサ･クロニクル 2nd SEASON OFFICIAL FANBOOK?) on June 16, 2006, bearing an ISBN 978-4063721614. DH Publishing released one in English on May 25, 2008, bearing an ISBN 978-1932897265, entitled Tsubasa Chronicle Factbook: Mystery, Magic and Mischief, the eighteenth of the Mysteries and Secrets Revealed! series of books.
Three different artbooks have been released in Japan by Kodansha between 2006 and 2009 containing illustrations. The first book published was TV Animation Tsubasa Chronicle Best Selection (TV ANIMATION ツバサ･クロニクル BEST SELECTION?) on April 17, 2006, bearing an ISBN 978-4063721386. The second book published was Tsubasa Original Illustrations Collection –Album De Reproductions- (ツバサ原画集-ALBuM De REProDUCTioNS-?) on April 17, 2007, bearing an ISBN 978-4063646863, and containing art from the first 14 volumes. An English version of ALBuM De REProDUCTioNS was released on December 8, 2009, bearing an ISBN 978-0-345-51079-2. This contained one of the short stories entitled Tsubasa: World of the Untold Story that also featured as omake to the manga volumes. Another artbook, Tsubasa Original Illustrations Collection –Album De Reproductions- 2 (ツバサ原画集-ALBuM De REProDUCTioNS- 2?), was released on November 17, 2009, containing art from the final 14 volumes.
Two character guides were released by Kodansha in Japan and then translated and released in North American by Del Rey Manga. They contain overviews of the worlds, overviews of characters, fan reports, illustrations, and interviews. The Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Character Guide (ツバサ CARACTere GuiDE Tsubasa Caractère Guide?) was released on April 15, 2005, bearing an ISBN 978-4063720013, covering events from volume 1 to volume 7. It was released in English on December 26, 2006, bearing an ISBN 978-0345494849. The Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Character Guide 2 (ツバサ CARACTere GuiDE 2 Tsubasa Caractère Guide 2?) was released on October 17, 2006, bearing an ISBN 978-4063722161. It was released in English on October 13, 2009.
There are two guidebooks focused in the soundtrack used in the anime adaptation of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle that were published in Japan by Kodansha. The first one, Tsubasa Chronicle Piano Solo Album (楽しいバイエル併用 ツバサクロニクル ピアノソロアルバム?), was released on August 30, 2005, and focused on tracks featured in the series' first season. The second one, Tsubasa Chronicle Piano Solo Album 2 (楽しいバイエル併用 ツバサクロニクル ピアノソロアルバム オープニング・エンディング・劇中曲を収載!!?), was published on July 24, 2006, and it focused on the tracks from the series' second season.
The Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle manga series was well received by Japanese readers, and appeared at various times on lists of best-selling volumes. In May 2010, it was announced that the series has sold over twenty million copies, becoming Clamp's best selling title. After the first volume's English release on April 27, 2004, it sold 2,330 copies in May 2004, placing it at the top end of the top 100 sales of that month. It was fifth on Waldenbooks's list, obtaining the highest place ever by a manga volume. It was consistently ranked in the top 10 of the list of Manga Top 50 for every quarterly release of the "ICv2 Retailers Guide to Anime/Manga", based on sales from both mainstream bookstores and comic book shops, since its release in May 2004, except for the fourth quarter of 2007, reaching a top rank of number 3. In the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation Award from 2009, Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle was the winner in the category "Best Manga - Action". About.com placed it 29th in their article "36 Great Manga Missed by the Eisner Awards", while the artbook Tsubasa ALBuM De REProDUCTioNS was third in their 2009 poll "Best Manga Book". In Mania Entertainment's "Best Manga Awards For 2005", Tsubasa was third in the category "Best Shounen". It was a nominee in the American Anime Awards in 2007, but was one of the last series announced due to an error made by the people in charge.
Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle was fairly well received by reviewers, who described it as a treat for Clamp fans due to the large number of crossover characters in the series. Initial fan response to Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle was that it was "Cardcaptor Sakura for guys." Fans speculated that the series would conclude one of Clamp's unfinished series, X, or that it would be a sequel to Cardcarptor Sakura that focused on the character Syaoran Li. Critics described the series as being marked by several plot twists, with About.com writer Katherine Luther labelling it as "perhaps the "twistiest" of twists that we've seen in anime and manga in quite some time". For the earlier half of the series, Mikhail Koulikov from Anime News Network described the series as settling into a "predictable pattern" that Melissa Harper, also from Anime News Network, described as somewhat slow, and "frankly a bit boring." On the other hand, Michael Aronson from Manga Life found the series appealing and accessible to readers who have not read other Clamp series, and hoped it would remain this accessible for following volumes. He found that the relation between Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle and xxxHolic would persuade readers to also read the latter series. Mania Entertainment's Megan Lavey found the introduction to be a "pretty simple love story", while liking the characters' personalities. She liked how the series was connected with xxxHolic, and hoped that both series would continue crossing over. In a general overview of the manga, Julie Gray from Comic Book Bin gave positive remarks to the characters' complex personalities and how the plot has been developed throughout its first ten volumes. She recommended that people should buy the series. Active Anime's Blake Waymire found that the change of settings was well done, and noted how some story arcs could go from dramatic to charming.
From volume 15 onwards, Clamp unleashed a series of "mind-blowing" plot twists that had been foreshadowed frequently throughout the series. These twists have been described by Anime News Network as "stunning", but very confusingly executed due to the sheer number of storylines coming together. While some felt that the plot went from slow to messy, other critics praised the pacing as letting "the story progress at its own natural momentum," keeping the reader "from being bored by any one literary genre." The plot twists and the ever-changing relationships between the manga's main characters were praised; "few manga creators could pull off this sort of outrageous storytelling stunt". Active Anime writer Holly Ellingwood called the plot twists as "the most shocking set of events in the Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles to date!", finding that despite such twists, more secrets were brought to readers to persuade them to read the following volumes. Ellingwood also reviewed following volumes, and found the last plot revelations intriguing, enjoyed that a bigger connection is revealed between characters from Tsubasa and xxxHolic. Critics have described the artwork as "keeping up the standards expected of Clamp" with its high level of detail, though perhaps too much detail, especially during action sequences. The artstyle is "stylish" and "dynamic," characterized by a large number of "sweeping lines curlicues that look unlike anything else in the genre" that help bring the action scenes to life for exciting experiences. Ed Sizemore from Comics Worth Reading highlighted the fact that each dimension that the protagonists visit is characterized by its very own look and feel so that "no two worlds are even remotely similar." However, the amount of detail and lack of contrast, while beautiful, often render scenes incomprehensible to the point where the reader is left guessing who is attacking. Critics have praised Del Rey's inclusion of English translation notes that aid in understanding the plot, especially due to its crossover nature. Lavey found the translation a "good read", liking how some Japanese words were not translated and instead explained in notes.
Critics have described the anime adaptation as having a very slow pace, but having a beautiful musical score. Carl Kimlinger from Anime News Network faulted the director, Koichi Mashimo, for "downshifting the plot's energy" and as having "too many flashbacks, too many slow pans over inexpressive eyes," that create an end-product that is "tediously formulaic." Active Anime's Christopher Seaman had mixed feelings, finding the romantic themes mature, while some of the magical themes would appeal to younger audiences; he concluded that "teens would get the most out of the series." He recommended the series in general, praising its plot and its themes. DVDTalk's Todd Douglass Jr. ranked the anime DVD box as "Highly Recommended"; he liked how despite borrowing elements from other series, the series was "entirely self-contained." Douglas pointed out that following its second season, the anime kept entertaining viewers, and felt they would not find a reason to dislike it. Douglas enjoyed the anime's storytelling. He liked its characters, but found it sometimes dragging due to its episodic nature. Kimlinger praised the musical score as being beautiful, as Yuki Kajiura's work has always been. Chris Beveridge from Mania Entertainment made similar comments, praising the series' score and animation, while commenting on the series' accessibility. He stated that people unrelated with Clamp's works would like Tsubasa, in contrast to other people who would "get out of the series." Its episodic nature was praised by Luther who commented how the main plot was connected to each of the story arcs. The English cast for the anime has been labelled as "done and very solid". IGN's Jeffrey Harris felt Christopher Sabat was its best actor. Harris called the anime "a nice looking and at times elegant looking show", pointing to the traits of the main characters. He criticized the lack of extras in the DVDs releases. Reviewing the anime's and xxxHolic's films, IGN writer N.S. Davidson said the Tsubasa film would be appealing to viewers of the series, despite its short length. He liked how both films' storylines interacted, allowing parts of the plot of Tsubasa to be explained in the xxxHolic film, and he found artistic similarities between the two films. Carlo Santos was more critical of the film, but still called it "good art". In a TV Asahi poll, Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle was ranked as the 59th most popular anime in Japan. It ranked ninth in Animage's anime popularity poll from 2005. Although the Tsubasa OVAs were not the first original animation DVDs (OADs), OVAs published with manga volumes, its release helped to popularize the term. Chris Beveridge from Mania Entertainment considered the OVAs to have better quality than the TV series, mainly because they were developed by Production I.G instead of Bee Train, and because they have a darker storyline.
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<ref>tag; name "aboutrev" defined multiple times with different content
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|40x40px||Wikimedia Commons has media related to [[commons: Category:Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle
| Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle]].
- Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- NHK's official anime website (Japanese)
- Funimation's official anime website
- Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Reservoir Chronicle: Tsubasa at the Internet Movie Database
- Tsubasa Chronicle the Movie at Production I.G
- Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations at Kodansha (Japanese)
- Official site for the Tsubasa Shunraiki and the OVAs of xxxHolic at Kodansha (Japanese)
- Tsubasa Chronicle the Movie: The Princess of the Country of Birdcages at the Internet Movie Database
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