Article first published as Manga Review: Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume Five by CLAMP on Blogcritics.
Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume Five is a manga by CLAMP, and it was published in North America by Del Rey Manga in 2005. The series is rated “T” for teens 13 and up; from what I’ve read of the series so far, I would agree with this rating.
The protagonist of the series is Syaoran, a young man who is love with Princess Sakura. After the princess loses her memories through an unexplained event, Syaoran goes on a quest through different worlds in order to regain Sakura’s lost memories. Unfortunately, he had to make a deal with Yuko, the space-time witch; in order to get her help on the quest, Syaoran had to agree that Sakura would never regain her memories of her time with Syaoran. He agrees to this condition, and is joined in his journey by Fai, Kurogane, and Mokona.
Volume Five begins with the resolution of the story arc that appeared at the end of Volume Four. Sakura learns the truth behind the disappearance of the children of the village after she ends up going to the castle, and she also gets a hint that she is being watched by someone. At the same time, Syaoran and the others learn the truth about who is responsible for the children disappearing from the village. At the end of this arc, another one of Sakura’s memories are recovered.
A second story arc begins in Volume Five, when Syaoran and the others arrive at the next world to look for a feather with one of Sakura’s memories; this place is known as the country of Oto. According to the notes at the back of the volume, this country is based on the Taisho era of Japan, which lasted from 1912 through 1926.
Syaoran and the others learn that it’s in their best interest to find work while they’re there, so they can get money to buy the things they need. Syaoran and Kurogane become oni hunters, while Fai and Sakura work at opening up a café. It turns out one of the oni hunters they met is Yuzuhira Nekoi, who is a crossover character from CLAMP’s X manga series. Her dog, Inuki, is also from X.
When it comes to the first storyline in this volume, I had anticipated where the feather with Sakura’s memory was. However, I hadn’t been able to guess beforehand who exactly had been behind the disappearance of the children and how they were accomplishing it. Overall, I found the conclusion of this story to be satisfying.
In the second story arc, the reader learns a fact about Syaoran that hadn’t been obvious when reading through the previous volumes, However, when Kurogane makes the realization of this fact, he points out specific examples that had appeared in earlier volumes of the series. It was nice to see that CLAMP had dropped some subtle hints if you knew what you were looking for; otherwise, this revelation is something that throws the reader for a loop. The end of the volume also gives the reader a glimpse of what happens when Sakura begins to regain any memory of her time with Syaoran on her own.
As I read more volumes of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, I keep becoming more impressed, more interested, and more invested in the series. If you’ve read the previous four volumes of this series, I suspect you’ll also enjoy reading Volume Five.
I wrote this review after reading a copy of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle Volume Five that I checked out through the King County Library System.