Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tsubasa TOKYO REVELATIONS [OVA Series]


After visiting countless realities, Syaoran, Sakura, Fai, and Kurogane finally learn the truth behind their shared fate. The shadowy villain responsible for scattering Sakura's memories is exposed, and the four friends endure twists and turmoil unlike any they've ever encountered. Impossible sacrifices, both emotional and physical, must be made.
When Fai is dealt an incredible wound, Kurogane takes shocking steps to save the wizard from death. The warrior's efforts will connect them forever. In a savage urban wasteland, Sakura's survival is far from guaranteed as she boldly takes action like never before. Indeed, nobody is safe - and the quest s noble hero is in the greatest danger of all. Syaoran must face his fiercest foe yet: himself. One Syaoran is a clone. The other is real. When a brutal battle erupts between the two, it is Sakura who suffers most. Prepare for the unexpected. Nothing is as it seems. Everything you know about Tsubasa changes now.
(Amazon.com description of Tsubasa OVA Collection)
[NOTE: Both OVA series Tokyo Revelations and Spring Thunder Chronicles are being sold together as a collection, so this is not the official front cover, since this review is for Tokyo Revelations alone].

Original Japanese Title:
Dubbed by: Funimation
Animation: Production I.G.
Manga adaption?: Yes, "Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles" by CLAMP.
Rating: TV14

{I, the reviewer, give Tsubasa TOKYO REVELATIONS, 10 out of 10!}

COMMENTS

"Everything you know about Tsubasa changes!"
Both the English and Japanese voice cast returns as our five dimensional travels, searching far and wide through various worlds for feathers that can be anywhere. Each of them has a wish, each of them has made sacrifices, and traveling together has brought them closer together. But will they be able to endure what comes next?

Let me warn you that if you were used to the light-hearted adventure story of the anime adaption of "Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles" you're in for a dark and dreadful turn. No, the storytelling doesn't become lame and horrible, in fact, from here on out it's alot deeper and more of a masterpeice than when the journey first began. But viewers may be shocked to see the sudden hightened level of violence and blood, but more so, the incredibly shocking revealing of who the "Syaoran" in Fei Wang's tank is, and who the Syaoran everyone's been traveling with is, and their link to each other. In the beginning, Syaoran sacrificed his bond with Sakura to collect all of her scattered memories. All this was in the name of saving Sakura, but you will soon find out that that's about to change.

Tokyo Revelations kicks off where Record Country should have left off. After Fai had used his magic to create a barrier so Mokona could transcend dimensions, the travelers were suppose to land in the arc presented here, but the Tsubasa Chronicles anime took a major detour in having them land in Record again, and continue on another path, straying far, far away, almost as if trying to avoid arrival in the dark world of an alternate Tokyo, where they would have to face a truth they were inevitable to have to face eventually.

As always, our travelers find themselves on another world, on the epic quest for Sakura's memory fragments in the form of feathers. Sakura is still unconcious after receiving her last memory and Syaoran has no memory of retreiving that feather for her from the Book Of Memories (however, he still feels the sensation in his feet he had defeated something in the process). Fai ventures a little forward to take a look at what sort of world they have landed in, and finds a whole modern city corroded and in shambles, the city of Tokyo.

So of course, our travelers go out to explore this world, and Syaoran notices something odd about a piece of rock. That is when....it finally begins to rain. But this is no ordinary rain, it's acid! Quickly, the gang run to find shelter and come across a building that is still standing that has not been effected by the dreadful rain. But are they really safe yet? A pile of dead bodies says otherwise. And upon entering deeper into the building, they are attacked because the people there think they're trying to steal their water. When everything is cleared up, the travelers end up staying with the people, so long as they agree to do work, such as hunt for food. Sakura still remains unconcious and asleep, though perhaps it was a blessing for her to be in slumber so she doesn't have to see the misery of Acid Tokyo. But eventually, she does awaken, to a truth more dark and heart-breaking than she could ever imagine, as she learns her Syaoran's true identity and what Fei Wang's intentions for both her and Syaoran were when she first lost her memories in Clow's ruins. "Acid Tokyo" is one of the most dark in all the story arcs, and ranks up as one of, if not the most, horrible world they could ever find themselves in. Not only because of the country's misery and sad reality, but also because the "Tsubasa family" is torn apart.

The Acid Tokyo arc is clearly one of CLAMP's masterpeices, and this OVA adaption of it stays true to the storyline of the manga. Not only that, but the animation (done by Production I.G. this time) is extremely brilliant! The characters literally look as if came straight out of the manga! Sakura's hair is finally the correct color, and Production I.G. also corrected their mistake of Syaoran's hair color (it was too light when they did the movie). Yuki Kajiura returns with her beautiful musical score. Except for about 2 new background songs (that make you wish it was on the soundtrack!), the music is pretty much the same as in the animated series by Bee Train. However, it's nice because it provides a familiar feeling, so you know you're still watching the same Tsubasa story you enjoyed previously. If you're looking for something intense, emotional, and deep with brilliant storytelling, than watch this. It makes up for what the anime adaption had lacked. This is the first time we get to enjoy an animated version of Tsubasa the way CLAMP meant it to be seen!

Now, if you've only been watching the anime, before you go and watch "Tsubasa Spring Thunder", you'll have to read volumes 18-21, as the Acid Tokyo arc and the Nihon/Dreamworld arc are gapped between Infinity and Celes, which you will only be able to read in the manga.

Recommend?
I suggest you go and get your hands on this because this is probably one of the most deep, intense, and emotional arcs in the entire Tsubasa Universe! It's also the first time you get to see Princess Sakura be kick-butt, when she has to venture alone to find something and battles her way through mutant monsters!

[VIEWING PLEASURE]

[MUSIC]
The score by Yuki Kajiura is as beautiful as ever. Although alot of the music is the same from the anime series, there are a couple of new background songs that make you wish it was part of the OST. Also, the OP song "Synchronicity" is a beautiful piece and opening, sung by Sakura's seiyuu Yui Makino.

[SUB VS. DUB]
Watch this in both languages! Seriously. Both the Japanese and English cast did an amazing job! The way each cast portrays their characters, it's utterly amazing and breath-taking! And i have to say, their were moments when Monica Rial sounded more emotional than Yui Makino. And when Jason Liebrecht sounded creepier then Miyu Irino.

[MOVIES/MANGA]
"Tsubasa Chronicles: Princess Of Birdcage Kingdom" movie, the manga "Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles" by CLAMP.

[RELATED TITLES]
The anime series "Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles", it's companion "xxxHOLiC", counterpart "Cardcaptor Sakura", and even "Kobato". Also, the second OVA "Tsubasa Spring Thunder Chronicles" and it's sister "xxxHOLiC Shunmuki"

[DVD EXTRAS]
Textless openings and ending, and amazing commentaries on all five episode (3 of which are down right HILARIOUS!).

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
One use of the other "b" word and I think "h" a few times (based on the subbed translation).

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
None that I can remember.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
There's none at all. The closest would be Syaoran's shirt basically being in shreds (how it stays on in that condition is a mystery, perhaps it was intended to be fanservice?).

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
Prepare to be shocked if you're used to the level of violence in the anime series. Upon arrival, when they seek shelter, there's a bunch of dead bodies with arrows in them with some blood. It's dark and made a bit hard to see, but you get the idea. When Syaoran goes inside, he is attacked and an arrow is shot into his leg and there's some blood splatter. When hunting for food, they are attacked by a giant mutant worm and Syaoran uses Hien to cut it's head off (no blood or gore though). In the third episode, as Sakura is searching for something, she is attacked by mutant worms and some other kind of creature and crashes through a window. Her leg is hurt (and there's some blood). You also get the idea she shot the creature to death. When she kills a two-headed snake, there's some blood. When she is on her way back to the building, she is covered in blood and her right-eye is damaged.
The violence in episode 2 is probably the worst of it. Kamui makes Syaoran bleed through the neck and a nice unrealistic amount of blood floats in the water. How he can survive losing more blood than he probably holds is quite a mystery XD!!
(SPOILERS! When he goes "psycho" it is implied he ate one of Fai's eyes. The act is not shown, but you see him covering his mouth with blood and hearing him chew on it. He also attempts to take the other eye, but Kurogane slams him against the wall. When the other "Syaoran" appears there's an epic battle, and Syaoran shoves his sword through other Syaoran's leg. In a flashback scene of when Syaoran is being cloned, the real Syaoran rips his eye out to put into his image, but it goes so fast it's not as graphic as it sounds).

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
Well, it's Tsubasa, so they're traveling across dimensions. Xing Huo sends the other "Syaoran" to Yuuko, the Dimensional Witch, and Yuuko sends him to Acid Tokyo with magic. This "Syaoran" can also use magic. We also meets the Vampire Twins which Seishiro was hunting down. There's also mutant monsters roaming about.
(SPOILERS! When the seal on Syaoran's eye is broken, Fai uses his magic to try and return it. We learn that the Syaoran who has been with the travelers is actually a clone, created souless by Fei Wang to retreive the feathers without fail, so Sakura's body will be like a map to the dimensions they have visited. The real Syaoran gave his image his eye, which transferred a part of his "heart", to prevent the clone from going psycho and ruthlessly killing for feathers. He also hoped the clone would develope his own soul when he came to retreive it, but apparently, he was too late. Also, Fai gets turned into a vampire to save him from dying).

*EPISODE LIST*
1. "The Magician's Message"
2. "The Young Man's Right Eye"
3. "The Princess's Dream"

Sunday, January 2, 2011

FAI AND MOKONA: PARTNERS IN CRIME




Manga-Ka: Heartless15
Distributor: Online exclusive
Format: Left-to-right
Rating: Not rated
~*~Click Here To Read~*~

{I, the reviewer, give "Fai and Mokona: Partners In Crime, 8 out of 10!}

COMMENTS

If you're a fan of Tsubasa, especially of Fai and Mokona annoying Kurogane, than you'll sure get a kick out of this 7-page long doujinshi. Fai gives a slice of chocolate cake to Kurogane as a "peace offering", Kurogane appears a bit suspicious but takes it anyway because he's hungry. Little does he know Fai and Mokona are scheming. This omake-like doujinshi takes place, from what I can tell, after the Outo Arc (because Fai calls him "Kuro-Puppy").

It's a cute, funny piece, free of objectionable content, with rather good art. Fai, Mokona, and Kurogane are drawn rather nicely, looking like themselves. Syaoran and Sakura only appear in 2 panels. They're not drawn bad, but they don't look too close to how they should look. Other than that, it's a good read if you want to brighten up your day. I hope to see more Tsubasa doujinshi like this one around, clean and fun!

Recommend?
If you're a fan of Tsubasa, you'll enjoy this omake style doujinshi comic!

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
There is 1 use of the other "b" word

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
(SPOILER! After Kurogane eats Fai's cake, he falls to sleep, so it's probably drugged).

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
None.

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
Other than Kurogane screaming about killing Fai, none :P

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
None.

*CHAPTER LIST*
(This is a 7-page one-shot)