Book Review: Tsubasa Omnibus Vol. 1 by CLAMP

Image Description: The book-cover of Tsubasa Omnibus Vol. 1 by CLAMP. There’s the main title up the top, Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE Omnibus, and there’s three verticle bar-shaped images of the book covers of manga volumes 1, 2, and 3. Volume 1 is Saukra looking scared while Syaoran looks determined (they’re both holding each other), Volume 2 is Syaoran standing next to a large wolf made of fire, Volume 3 is a picture of Syaoran and Sakura happy and smiling together in blue and red coordinating outfits.

Title: Tsubasa Omnibus Vol. 1 (Book #1-3 of The Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE Series)
Creators: CLAMP
Social Media: Goodreads
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Format and Price: Paperback from my local library
Rating: 5 out of 5

About The Book:
THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE Childhood friends Princess Sakura and Syaoran, the son of an archaeologist, become entangled in a series of events that force them to traverse through alternate realities on an action-packed and unforgettable adventure! In the Kingdom of Clow, an archaeological dig unleashes an incredible power, causing Sakura to lose her memories. To save her, Syaoran must follow the orders of the Dimension Witch and travel Kurogane, an unrivaled warrior; Fai, a powerful magician; and Mokona Modoki, a curiously strange creature, to retrieve Sakura’s dispersed memories! But first, there is a price to be paid… This omnibus edition includes volume 1-3 of Tsubasa. From the Trade Paperback edition.

General Observations:
~Packaging: With regular Manga volumes, they tend to be roughly 150-200 pages long, which means I can easily speed through them. Unfortunately, sometimes there’s a long hold period between volumes, and this can be a little frustrating for me. The omnibus volume helps to ease that

~Tear-Jerker: I feel as though I should be upfront about this, be prepared for sharp moments of sadness, you have been warned. CLAMP knows exactly just how to dig that specific character-orientated knife in and twist at the just the right moment. In this volume, there’s a lot of tear-jerker moments involving Syaoran and reflection upon his past relationship with Sakura, it’s especially painful due to comparison to how things are currently.

~Genre Combo: Because Syaoran, Sakura, Kurogane, Fai, and Mokona are all travelling together to different dimensions, there’s kind of a genre mix, although I will acknowledge it’s usually a combination of Fantasy genre, Japanese mythology, and Japanese culture. There’s even a section at the end of the manga where they explain the different in-jokes and cultural references for Western audiences.

~Late To The Party: As usual, I’m little late to be jumping on the bandwagon, however, CLAMP isn’t publishing the smaller manga volumes of this series anymore. So I figured better late than never. I started off watching the anime first and the anime is very faithful to the manga series. Although, I will acknowledge that the anime series had this weird obsession with staring contests, sometimes the last five minutes of an episode would be dedicated to just two characters staring at each other. It was supposed to be suspenseful and dramatic, however, for me, it was just weird bordering on funny (thankfully the manga doesn’t have this).

~Slow Plot: Even by normal manga standard, the plot is super slow, be prepared for a long-term investment of your time. The supposed antagonists sit in shadowy corners making ambiguous statements about how they plan to seize “power”, how only the power to control the space-time continuum across dimensions shall be theirs (can they really be considered antagonists if super passive about it?). Or at least I think that’s the goal, I haven’t gotten far enough to know anything solid about the “Evil Agenda”.

All in all, a classic manga series that will stab you right in the feels, I highly recommend this manga series. As a side note, it’s recommended that readers also read XXX-Holic manga series alongside this one, that way you’re getting multiple perspectives of the same narrative.

Available for Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

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