Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tsubasa Spring Thunder Chronicles [OVA Series]


[NOTE: Both "Tokyo Revelations" and "Spring Thunder" are being sold together, but this is a separate review for the second of the OVA series, hence why the cover image is of "Spring Thunder" only].

Original Japanese Title: Tsubasa Shunraiki
Dubbed by: Funimation
Animation: Production I.G.
Manga adaption?: Yes, "Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles" by CLAMP.
Rating: 14+

{I, the reviewer, give Tsubasa Spring Thunder, 9 out of 10!}

COMMENTS

If you're wondering if you can continue the Tsubasa story without having to read the manga, with Tokyo Revelations you can, but NOT with Tsubasa Spring Thunder because these two series are separated by a 2-arc gap, Infinity and Celes. So before you pop this in, you might want to pick up volumes 18-21 to fill in that gap. With that said, for those who have filled in that gap, it's on to the review...

After Fai had killed Sakura in Infinity because of the curse he was under, her body was sent to Fai's cold homeworld of Celes, while her soul entered dreams where a feather resides, and she awaits Clone Syaoran. "Tsubasa Spring Thunder" kicks in right after Kurogane had killed King Ashura and the world begins to collasp. They had already retrieved Sakura's body, so now it is time to jump across dimensions. The next world they land in? Kurogane's homeworld of Japan. Meanwhile, the princess is inside the world of dreams, and she meets up with a teenage boy named Watanuki, who is also visiting the world of dreams, and so they begin to converse (their complete conversation is shown in the xxxHOLiC manga and the sister OVA series "xxxHOLiC Shunmuki").

In this arc, we have an epic battle within the world of dreams between Syaoran and his clone. The battle is for Sakura's feather, who the real Syaoran currently has a hold of. But at the end of this battle, the clone ends up doing something that seems to snap him out of his "psycho" mode, realizing what he has just done! And in this process, the princess reveals to both Syaorans a secret about who she really is!

The animation for this is beautiful as ever. Though this OVA isn't as good as Tokyo Revelations, it's a very IMPORTANT story arc. Also, the voice acting on both audio tracks are amazing, especially the dub. As far as action is concerned, only 2 battles take place, one in each episode. The first being the real Syaoran up against Seishiro, a battle for the feather. This happens at the second half of the episode. The next battle being probably the best sequences, Syaoran and his clone, which makes up about the first half of the second episode.

It's a very shocking OVA, to say the least, especially when the princess reveals some secrets of her own. And despite being full aware of what Clone Syaoran has done to retrieve feathers (in the manga, though not shown, you get the idea he's killed alot of people to get his hands on the fragments) you never at all hate him or think he's evil. In fact, by the end of this arc, you'll actually feel very sad for him. Your hate actually will boil more towards Fei Wang, the man pulling the strings (remember the clone doesn't really have a mind of his own and is only being manipulated by Fei Wang's wish).

I do admit, I feel a little unstatisfied at it's cliff-hanger ending. But it was done that way so you can literally continue on with volume 24 of the manga. However, when you are done you'll only find yourself begging for more. We can only hope that someday maybe they'll animate some aspects of the Clow Arc, Tsubasa's climax. But for now, enjoy "Spring Thunder", and if you want to finish the story, pick up volumes 24-28, and the story is ended.


Recommend?
Title will be released January 4, 2011. I suggest you pick this OVA collection up if you are a fan of the manga or anime!

[VIEWING PLEASURE]

[MUSIC]
Yuki Kajiura's same music score for the animated series, but still beautiful and fitting. Also, remember that one song "Once Upon a Time There was You and Me" that was on the fourth soundtrack but never appeared in the actual anime series? Well, it is finally used once near the end of the first episode of Spring Thunder! Also, the opening sequence song is nice, but the ending song is probably the best!

[SUB VS. DUB]
The dub....based on Jason Liebrecht and Monica Rial's performance alone! Don't get me wrong, the seiyuu in the original Japanese audio did a fantastic job, especially Miyu Irino and Yui Makino. But the emotion that both Jason and Monica put into Syaoran and Sakura, in my humble opinion, even surpasses Miyu and Yui's performance in this particular OVA. Especially at the end of the battle between the two Syaorans...oh man, just breath-taking! And all the other actors in both audio did extremely well!

[MOVIES/MANGA]
"Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles" by CLAMP. "Tsubasa Chronicles: Princess Of Birdcage Kingdom" movie and it's sister "xxxHOLiC: A Midsummer Night's Dream".

[RELATED TITLES]
"Cardcaptor Sakura" (uncut Japanese version), "Cardcaptors" (edited English version), "Kobato", "xxxHOLiC Shunmuki", the anime series "Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles", the first OVA "Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations".

[DVD EXTRAS]
All the episodes have a commentary (and the commentaries on these episodes are really hilarious and worth watching!)

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
I think there was "h" and "d", but that's all. No language in the dub.

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
None.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
None.

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
We experience violence almost when it starts. Fai coughs up blood when his magic is completely spent. In order to save Fai and to move to the next world, Kurogane is told by Princess Tomoyo to cut off his arm, and he does. Not very bloody, but disturbing as his arm flies by Fai's head in slow motion. When Kurogane wakes up, Fai punches Kurogane in the face (more comical, if anything though). When Seishiro appears he grabs Fai by the neck. Real Syaoran challenges Seishiro to a fight, and in their battle Seishiro twists Syaoran's ribs and he coughs up blood. In a memory of King Ashura, we see the king with blood all over his hands and he is surrounded by dead bodies. There is also a flashback of Kurogane shoving his sword through Ashura and there's some blood splatter. In another memory, we see Fai with his twin brother dead on the ground. When Clone Syaoran appears in the dream world, there is an epic battle, but wounds aren't very serious.
(SPOILERS! Clone Syaoran wounds Sakura with Hien by slightly shoving it in her arm and there's blood. Clone attempts to kill Sakura, but stops before it slices her in half. When both Syaorans try to get the feather, Sakura is caught in between and Clone Syaoran's sword is the one who stabs through her and there's blood. Sakura fades away as Sakura petal, it's not violent but a bit disturbing when you first view it.)

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
There's magic use, of course. Such as Tomoyo's ability to talk to people in their dreams, Sakura's soul being separated from her body by being trapped in the dream world, her feathers are magical, and a protective barrier put up as a fighting ground. In order to escape the previous world, Fai had used up all his magic. Fei Wang's intentions is for the crumbling of the world's logic, as to grant his wish of bringing the dead back to life.
(SPOILER! Sakura reveals that she is just like her Syaoran, that she too is a clone. However, unlike the Syaoran clone which was a souless image, Sakura was cloned body and soul so her feathers would be the same as the original's).

*EPISODE LIST*
Part 1
Part 2

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