Book Review: Tsubasa Omnibus Vol. 5 by CLAMP

Image Description: book-cover of Tsubasa Omnibus – Volume 5 by CLAMP. There’s the main title up the top, Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE Omnibus 5, and there are three verticle bar-shaped images of the book covers of manga volumes 13, 14, and 15. From left to right, volume 13 has Kurogane and Syoaran wearing red flame style outfits with flames in the background. Volume 14 has Syaoran and Fai (holding an overly large ornate pistol), they’re wearing black and red matching outfits (western/gunslinger style), with an orange sky and black bats flying overhead. Volume 15 has Syaoran and Sakura in matching outfits of burgundy colour-themed school uniforms, and there is a scooter/motorbike.

Title: Tsubasa Omnibus – Volume 5 (Books #13-15 of the Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE series
Creator: CLAMP
Social Media: Goodreads and Twitter
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Format and Price: Paperback from my local library
Stars: 5 stars out of 5

About The Book:
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 alongside Kurogane, an unrivalled 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? Collection of Vol. 13, 14, and 15

Yarr! Thar be spoilers ahead. Ye have been warned.

General Observations:
~Tearjerker Moment – Kurogane’s Backstory: Yeah… Bring some tissues for this one because you are going to need them. The first and second volume of this omnibus takes place in the Country of Recort. Recort is a world where magic is common and there are magical libraries (the artwork for this series is amazing). There’s a special type of book known as a Memory Book. The first person to touch one of these memory books has their memories imprinted into it; the second person who touches the book is transported pensive-style into the memory.

Kurogane (unknowingly) picks up a book and hands it to Syaoran. Syaoran can then see Kurogane’s private memories unfolding but can’t interact with them. Syaoran can’t escape them either. It’s actually a pretty good way of showing Kurogane’s past without telling. As a result, Syaoran naturally feels guilty for seeing Kurogane’s memories without his proper consent and apologies for it.

It’s an especially significant moment as Syaoran’s own memories have been altered and/or deleted. He doesn’t remember how he became a homeless orphan living on the streets. Kurogane is surprisingly mature and level-headed about the situation (more so than I would be) and it results in a sweet bonding moment between Syaoran and Kurogane.

~Actual Plot Development: One of the side effects of Syaoran seeing Kurogane’s memories is that he recognises the symbol on the sword that was used to kill Kurogane’s mother. The symbol is a bat-like design that the reader knows is associated with Fei-Wang Reed *dramatic reveal music here*. So we, the reader, now know that Fei-Wang Reed is involved with the murder of Kurogane’s mother, but to what end? What does he stand to gain by this?

There’s also another section of significant plot development as well (two in one omnibus? What is this?). Fei-Wang Reed has a Syaoran-clone in a floating-jar-of-liquid at his evil lair. I’m sure there’s an explanation for this, however, I doubt it going to make sense. Apparently, Syaoran-in-a-jar has been trying to “wake up” for a while now and has now busted out of his jar. What will he do now?

~Ineffectual Villain: Fei-Wang Reed has a hench-woman who lurks beside him in every scene he’s in. Fei-Wang Reed’s scenes of dialogue are sparse and he mostly speaks in obscurity. His hench-woman/assistant speaks even less than he does. Although from the few lines she does have; I can tell she enjoys speaking in the same obscure manner.

It’s Volume 5 of the omnibus, at least volume 15 of the Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE series, the reader is only just told her name, which is Xing-Huo by the way. Xing-Huo is the one who helps Syaoran-formerly-in-a-jar to the same dimension as Yuuko, and she is able to grant his wish (to be returned to his right eye – which makes perfect sense) due to the payment already been given to Yuuko (how does that work exactly?).

All in all, I suspect either there’s going to be a big explanation of how and why these events are occurring, or things are going to get even more confusing. Either way, I’m going to find out, and I’m looking forward to finally getting some answers.

Available for Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

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