Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle

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Fandom
Name: Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle
Abbreviation(s):
Creator: CLAMP
Date(s):
Medium: manga, anime
Country of Origin: Japan
External Links:
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Contents

Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle is a 28 volume manga by CLAMP. It's basically a giant alternate universe crossover with cameos by characters from all of their other series. It was made into a very popular anime later on.

Summary

The series follows Syaoran, Sakura, Mokona, Kurogane, and Fai as they travel through dimensions collecting Sakura's lost memory feathers in order to help save her soul.

Canon Overview

The original 28 volumes of the manga ran in Weekly Shounen Magazine from 2003 to 2009, and was licensed by Del Ray in America. The series was adapted into a 52-episode anime and a non-serial movie by Studio Bee Train in 2005. The anime, which diverges heavily from the manga plotline in the second season, is often referred to as Tsubasa Chronicle to distinguish it from the manga continuity. Production I.G. produced two three-episode OVAs based on the latter part of the manga in 2009. The OVAs, known as Tsubasa: Tokyo Revelations and Tsubasa: Spring Thunder Chronicle in the U.S., were released with the manga volumes in Japan. All of the Tsubasa anime properties were licensed by Funimation in America. Another manga series, Tsubasa World Chronicle, began in August 2014 and is ongoing; it will be published by Kodansha USA in America. Also arguably part of the canon is Horitsuba Gakuen, (Holic-Tsubasa Academy) in which characters from this and another series, xxxHolic, are the staff and students of a school. These comics are only available in fan-translated form.

Fandom Overview

Most independent fansites for this fandom were originally Cardcaptor Sakura sites or general CLAMP fansites, and many of them are no longer active or existent. Many active members of the fandom started out on LiveJournal and are still active there. Fanfiction.net is still home to an impressive amount of fanfiction and still-active authors, though some of them are now transitioning some of their works onto AO3. Like many anime fandoms, it's also found a place on Tumblr.

Cosplay is popular in this fandom, since the characters' frequent costume changes provide many options to interested cosplayers. The series' premise also makes crossover fanfiction, fanart, AMVs, etc. plausible in a non-AU context, which leads to a lot of it getting made.

Character Crossover

CLAMP took advantage of the premise of the series to pay homage to their 19 previous manga series in the form of alternate universe versions of old characters. A large part of the appeal of the series is if you're already familiar with some of CLAMP's older works. The characters Syaoran and Sakura are both originally from CLAMP's popular magical girl series Cardcaptor Sakura. Both characters are aged versions of their original counterparts. Mokona first appeared in Magic Knight Rayearth looking slightly larger and only able to say "Puu."

Other characters from older CLAMP series are included in one world or another throughout the manga. Some characters only show up once and others, like Tomoyo, we meet several times in different worlds. Clow, like in Cardcaptor Sakura, plays a large role in the plot but isn't an important character himself. Cardcaptor Sakura seems to be the series that CLAMP drew from the most. Many original character relationships and personalities are kept intact.

xxxHolic

Adding to Tsubasa's theme of crossover from other CLAMP work, the manga series xxxHolic ran at the same time as Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles with crossover in characters, timelines, events and themes. While both manga can be read on their own, they compliment each other well and may further explain events and characters where reading one alone wouldn't. The two manga have very different stories and atmospheres and were both very popular during their run.


Pairings

The most popular pairings are also those that are generally accepted as canon for Tsubasa: Resevoir Chronicle are Sakura/Syaoran (SS or SakuSyao), Kurogane/Fai (KF or KuroFai), Clone Sakura/Clone Syaoran and Yukito/Touya. Many side character pairings exist as well. There are many non-canon or only implied pairings that are popular with fans as well--too many to easily list here. Crossover pairings between characters who were at least slightly happier in Tsubasa than in their source work are popular--for example, Subaru/Seishiro and Fuuma/Kamui.

Most fans view Kurogane/Fai (KuroFai) as canon, despite the absence of a straightforward confession of love in the manga. However, because the manga was created by CLAMP, who frequently choose not to disclose whether certain characters are actually romantically involved or not, this is a reasonable conclusion. In fact, the main characters, Sakura and Syaoran (both original and clone versions), are clearly shown as being in love with each other, but neither pair ever confesses to each other "on screen".

Fai D. Fluorite

Fai D. Flourite is one of the more popular characters, despite technically being a secondary protagonist. In later volumes of the manga, his true name is revealed to be "Yui", while "Fai" is actually the name of his late twin brother, which he took on out of guilt over Fai's death. In general, however, fans continue to refer to the living twin as "Fai" unless they are discussing both twins and need to differentiate between them.

In the English dub of the anime, popular voice actor Vic Mignogna took the role of Fai, who, by the end of the manga, is very strongly implied to be in a relationship with another male character, Kurogane. Various discussion threads posters claim that Mignogna at some point stated that Fai was not gay; however, the original quote is difficult to locate. Some fans were very angry about this claim and still are. However, it is worth noting that in the anime, Fai is portrayed as being attracted to women--in a filler episode, he goes on a date with a woman named Chii (a crossover character from the series Chobits).

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