Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle
|Name:||Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle|
|Country of Origin:||Japan|
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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.
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.
CLAMP took advantage of the premise of the series to play 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.
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.
The Volume 16/Acid Tokyo Arc Tone Shift
Tsubasa: Resevoir Chronicle ran in a shounen (boy's) magazine and, for the first 15 manga volumes, was relatively tame in terms of content (though there were some exceptions, such as Kurogane's backstory). However, in volume 15, the characters visited a dark, post-apocalyptic version of Tokyo, which heralded a major shift in the tone and content of the series. From that point, the story became not only more violent and darker, but also much more confusing. The series became much less accessible to new fans than it had previously been.
The country in which the tone shift begins is the first country/dimension not given a name that follows the formula ______ Country (_____no kuni in Japanese). Instead, it was simply called "Tokyo." Fan nicknames for this arc include "Dark Tokyo" and "Acid Tokyo"--the latter referring to the acid rain that was common in that country.
Tsubasa in various media
Tsubasa: Resevoir Chronicle was adapted into an anime in 2005. The anime's storyline differed from the manga in many ways, and departed from it entirely in the late second season. Two sets of OVAs, covering some of the later parts of the manga, were also made and sold. They are almost completely faithful to the manga and thus do not fit into the anime continuity.
To distinguish between the two continuities, fans started calling the anime "Tsubasa Chronicle" or TC, while the manga was "Tsubasa Resevoir Chronicle" or TRC.
The most popular pairings 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 list here.
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).