Friday, January 29, 2010

TSUBASA RESERVOIR CHRONICLES: Gathering Of Fates [VOL1]


THE FATES SHINE upon young archeologist Syaoran and his life-long love, the princess Sakura. As the moon hovers silently above the kingdom a beautiful and outworldly sound fills the air, drawing the princess to the ancient ruins. Her latent powers stir, awakening an ability to cross dimensions. But the process is interrupted as unseen forces conspire to claim the magic as their own. Sakura's soul is sent adrift across the universe, each memory a feather dancing through the stars. Syaoran will make heroic sacrifices to tract down the remnants of her soul... With fellow travelers Kurogane and Fai, a warrior and a wizard, an epic quest begins.
(From Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles: Gathering Of Fates volume 1 DVD back cover)

Original Japanese Title:
Dubbed by: FUNimation.
Animation: Bee Train
Manga adaption?: Yes, "Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles" by CLAMP.
Rating: TV PG

{I, the reviewer, give "Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles", 10 out of 10!}

COMMENTS

As a kid, I was a huge fan of Cardcaptors. Not too long ago, I've got back into it again. While searching, I discovered Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles. It caught my way because it stars the main characters Li (Syaoran) and Sakura! Of course, it is their teenage alternates, but none the less familiar faces, it's like a parallel continuation.

At first, when I looked into the plot, I found it VERY weird, thinking "This has NOTHING to do with the cards at all, and it's like a completely different world!". At that time, I didn't know it was an alternate reality, and I was fighting with myself whether I should check it out or not. Plus, I would have to get used to the original Japanese names. Finally, I gave in and gave it a try, and utterly fell in love with it!

Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles is a beautiful and epic story, with action, comic relief, and romance. After Syaoran saves Sakura from seeping into a wall, the wings of light she had spread forth break off into feathers and scatter across time and space. Those feathers are her heart, her memories, and without them, she will die, so Yukito sends them to Yuuko, the Dimensional Witch (yes, the one from xxxHOLiC!), and 2 other strangers from different worlds, Kurogane, a warrior from an alternate Japan, and Fai D. Flowright, a wizard from Celes. Each of them have a wish, and as always, Yuuko extracts a price! Since their wish each contain transcending dimensions, she combines it into one wish (so they have to travel together), and they have to pay a high price of sacrificing their greatest treasure! Kurogane has to give up his sword, Fai has to give up the tattoo on his back, and Syaoran pays the biggest price, that no matter how many feathers he returns, the memories of him will be cut out, meaning she will never remember him. And since he loves her, he is willing to give up "their bond" in order to reclaim her life. So now, through a cute creature named Mokona, they will be jumping from world to world, searching for feathers that could be anywhere, and each feather has a power of it's own, and is dangerous in the wrong hands!

I am not too familiar with the CLAMP Universe, but those who are will get a treat out of this, since there will be alternate versions of many characters from their previous works showing up. The only characters I was familiar with his Syaoran and Sakura, but that was enough to make this more enjoyable than if I had not known who they are (it's fun to see characters you are familiar with in a new story!).

All in all, it's a beautiful, wonderful story, with excellent animation, an amazing English voice cast and a good Japanese voice cast (you can enjoy this series in either language!). And the best part is....this is a SUPER CLEAN anime. No foul language (at least in the dub), no sexual content, no nudity, outfits are conservative, this is just an excellent anime, with a great storyline.

DO YOU RECOMMEND IT?
Yes, I highly recommend this to anyone looking for an amazing anime that has an epic quest, action, comic relief, and a noble romance! You'll love it even more if you're a big fan of CLAMP, or at least familiar with Syaoran and Sakura!

I certify this *ANIME NEW COMER* worthy because although the storyline may sound a bit strange it is weird enough to give an epic unique feel but not so far out where you'll be lost and confused.


[VIEWING PLEASURE]

[MUSIC]
It is done by Yuki Kajiura and is BREATH-TAKING! The music matches the series very well, and only gets better as the series progresses.

[SUB VS. DUB]
The dub voices are AMAZING! Everyone's voice matches their face and personality, and the acting is excellent. However, I found that I actually enjoyed the original Japanese as well. I still prefer the dub, but the series is equally good in either language.

[MOVIES/MANGA]
Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles (manga series), "The Princess Of Birdcage Kingdom" (movie).

[RELATED TITLES]
Cardcaptor Sakura (uncut Japanese), Cardcaptors (English dub), xxxHOLiC, xxxHOLiC Kei, xxxHOLiC Shunmuki (OVA series), Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations (OVA series), Tsubasa Shunraiki (OVA series), xxxHOLiC: A Midsummer Night's Dream (movie, tied with the Tsubasa movie).

[DVD EXTRAS]
Original Japanese audio, Textless intro and ending, cast auditions, anime previews, faces in the crowd, world guide

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
None whatsoever. (This is based on the dub translation).

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
No smoking or drinking in this volume.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
In the first episode, Sakura jumps on Syaoran in excitement that he's home, and they fall and she is on top of him and in embarrassment they quickly get off each other. However, this scene is relatively harmless, meant to be a comical scene of embarrassment. While Fai is fighting Pamera, he gets close to her, and is on top of her, but this isn't a long scene and Fai was not trying to make a move on her, but to calm her down. Sakura's usual outfit is a midriff shirt, but it is not tight and it's undetailed, all clothes are practically conservative.

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
There's alot of fighting, explosions and stuff, but there is no blood or gore, and no death. When a kudan is defeated, the kudan's owner feels a great deal of pain in their heart, but does not die.

[RELIGOUS MATERIAL]
Sakura is magical and her heart is sent adrift in the form of feathers across different universes. Yuuko is the Dimensional Witch and grants any wish, for a price. Fai is a wizard, but you only see him use his magic to get to Yuuko, and Kurogane was banished by Princess Tomoyo who used her magic to send him to Yuuko. Mokona Modoki is the creature that transports them across universes. In this first world they go to, called the Hanshin Republic, everyone has a sort of guardian spirit known as a kudan and each kudan has a different rank, some being more powerful than others, and they each have a different ability.

* EPISODE INDEX*

1. "Destinies Converge"
2. "The Power To Fight"
3. "Sword Of Demon Destruction"
4. "Innocent Wandering"
5. "Battle Of The Mage"