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July 30, 2007

CLAMP Chronicle IV – Tsubasa Chronicle & xxxHolic

Posted in: CLAMP,Reviews

Note: A list of links for the entire CLAMP Chronicle series can be found at the end of this post.

Recap –

  1. Magic Knight Rayearth (Released 1994)
  2. CLAMP School Detectives (Released 1995)
  3. Cardcaptor Sakura (Released 1998)
  4. Angelic Layer (Released 2001)
  5. X (2001)
  6. Chobits (2002)

In this final part of the CLAMP Chronicle series, let’s look into the 2 most current and presumably still on-going since the manga is far from over.

Tsubasa Chronicle (Released 2005)

Tsubasa Chronicle

This is one of my favourite, mostly because it features every character that CLAMP had introduced in their previous works before along with new ones such as Kurogane and Fye. The 2 main characters are of course, Syaoran and Sakura.

The story begins with Syaoran and Sakura from an alternate dimension. Sakura is the Clow Country’s princess while Syaoran is the adopted son of an archaeologist. A mysterious power lured Sakura into the ruins just right outside the Clow Country one night and through some events, Sakura’s memories were turned into feathers that scattered across the dimensions. In order to restore Sakura to her old self, King Touya had High Priest Yukito sent Syaoran, with Sakura’s unconscious body in his arms, to meet with Yuuko, the dimensional witch.

Tsubasa Chronicle

At the same time, Kurogane of an alternate Japan was sent by Princess Tomoyo to meet with Yuuko as well, in hopes that Kurogane will learn the true meaning of strength, at the same time placing a curse on him, making him lose a bit of his power whenever he takes a life. In the country of Celes, Fye had just imprisoned King Ashura and decides to flee his world. He transformed Chii into a device that covered King Ashura’s prison and asked that she alert Fye if King Ashura were to escape. He then uses his magical powers to send himself to meet the dimensional witch.

Tsubasa Chronicle

Yuuko runs a shop in Japan (of the Cardcaptor Sakura world) that grants wishes in exchange of something in equal value. Nothing less, and nothing more. The group of 4 who appeared at the same time in front of Yuuko; Syaoran with Sakura, Kurogane and Fye, all had wishes which requires the same thing – to be able to traverse to different worlds and dimensions.

The dimensional witch presented the group with Mokona, a fluffy white bunny like creature, which would aid them in their quests. But in exchange, each of them must give up something of value for the trade.

With that, the party of 4 began traveling across different worlds and meeting different people, sometimes stumbling across familiar faces. Each world they land in presents a different problem which they need to overcome as they go in search of Sakura’s missing feathers. Kurogane, who was reluctant to help at first, began to soften up and even taught Syaoran how to use a weapon.

Tsubasa Chronicle

There are also many cross-references with xxxHolic, with Yuuko playing a key role in the group’s travel. And what’s even more interesting is how the Clow Reed from Cardcaptor Sakura has a hand in all this, and the fact that another Reed is the mastermind behind all Syaoran and Sakura’s struggle. The mystery here gets pretty deep as the story goes on.

It’s really fun to watch the different CLAMP characters making appearances in the series and I’ve actually went back to find and read many of CLAMP’s other works because of Tsubasa Chronicle. It is like the Kingdom Hearts of CLAMP.

I actually prefer the manga over the anime, but the first episode and some of the fillers in the anime were quite nicely done. The Kero-chan episode was really fun to watch. They even got the original seiyuu for Kero-chan which is a major plus.

Grab Tsubasa Chronicle

xxxHolic (Released 2006)

XXXHolic

xxxHolic, simply means something-holic. The xxx is meant as a variable, and the -holic represents the addiction or attachment. For example, alco-holic and worka-holic. That is the basis of the story for most of the episodes in this series.

The story kicks off with Watanuki Kimihiro, a high school boy who can see spirits. While being chased by the spirits one day, he comes across a strange looking house in between city sky scrappers which he had never noticed before and for some reason, his feet start moving on their own and drags him inside the house.

XXXHolic

Inside he meets with Yuuko, the wish granter, and discovers that the house is really a wish-granting shop. After being manipulated by Yuuko, Watanuki founds himself a new part-time job as the shop’s assistant.

Each episode presents someone who visits the shop in order to have their wish granted, and more often than not, the problem they face has something to do with something-holic, such as the tendency to lie. More often than not, Watanuki tries to aid the victims but would usually end up putting himself in danger and not being able to do anything to save the victim. As Yuuko would put it, there’s no such thing as coincidence, only the inevitable. The law of “hitsuzen“, which was first described by Clow Reed in Cardcaptor, is now often repeated by Yuuko as well.

XXXHolic

The anime version isn’t as dark and heavy as its manga counterpart. Some deaths in the manga did not occur in the anime and the victims often escaped with minor consequences. However, death is still an important part of XXXHolic’s theme and shows up every so often, sometimes obvious and other times subtle.

While Tsubasa Chronicle had plenty of cross-reference back to xxxHolic, the link isn’t as obvious from this side. However, there are many subtle hints such as the various times when we see items that Syaoran and co. collected appeared at the most unexpected places at the corners of Yuuko’s shop. The only real direct reference from xxxHolic to Tsubasa Chronicle is during the movie, where Yuuko is shown to exchange the key with Tomoyo’s bell at the end of xxxHolic the Movie – A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Grab xxxHolic

Linking them all…

Tsubasa Chronicle & xxxHolic

The mangas directly linked both Tsubasa Chronicle and xxxHolic together. Every other CLAMP story also became instantly linked with one another through xxxHolic. We also know that the xxxHolic world is the same as the Cardcaptor world, where Clow Reed was originally introduced. And it seems that it all began when Clow Reed and Yuuko met with the Creator Mokona from the Magic Knight series. Based on that, both Clow and Yuuko created the 2 Mokona Modoki, specifically for Syaoran, Sakura, Kurogane and Fye. The link between Clow Reed, Yuuko and Fei Wong Reed is still a mystery, as well as the true identity the Syaoran we know in Tsubasa Chronicle.

Both Tsubasa Chronicle and xxxHolic are still on-going series in its manga version, and hopefully more new seasons will released for the anime. There hasn’t been any news about a new season for either one yet, but it shouldn’t be too long now :)

Related posts:

  1. CLAMP Chronicle II – Cardcaptor Sakura & Angelic Layer
  2. CLAMP Chronicle I – Magic Knight Rayearth & CLAMP School Detectives
  3. CLAMP Chronicle III – X & Chobits
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