I finally finished reading Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle today. No surprise, it was incredibly disappointing.
At least they finished it. CLAMP is notorious for just not bothering. Which is funny, because they are super type A about other things. Like comparing themselves to others.
This is a story I have from my husband, so it’s both funny and depressingly true. He used to be really big into the convention scene, he was often if not always staff. He was also in an improv show called Whose Line Is It Anime? I gather that it had some behind-the-scenes problems sometimes, but it was a good show that was fairly popular.
At one particular convention, the show was more popular than CLAMP, who had come all the way from Japan. ….actually, it’s a little funny that in the land of my blog and like… the three people I know definitely read it, my husband is better known than CLAMP. Anyway. Not only did the improv attract waaaay more people (standing room only!), this group of four ADULTS were upset about it.
Dollars to doughnuts that they were saying things like, “These Americans are lame, they don’t know what’s really cool.” Or something about not getting it. That’s the usual fallback. *cough*FinalFantasy13*cough*
More understandably, they were probably upset when they were made fun of for banning photos. If you want a CLAMP photo, you have to pay for it. …man, they suck.
Seriously though, the comic is… disappointing really is the most suitable word. I’m not angry. By the end, I had nothing invested in it. It’s like I had invested plenty, and then slowly withdrew until I was just flipping pages.
But the phrase, “And not a f*** was given” doesn’t quite apply. I really like the beginning. Tired tropes and silly J-E translation traditions aside, it’s actually a compelling premise.
A young man goes on a journey across dimensions with an weird magical creature, an angry swordsman, and a cryptic magician to regain the lost magical items that comprise his sweetheart’s soul.
See? It’s pretty cool, right? Granted, every world they go to is just Japan. But it’s episodic, which manga loves, and it has old gold stereoty–I mean characters in an ensemble centred around the romantic leads.
Then it all goes into the toilet for some kind of death-defying, clone-infested, time travel bullcrap.
Every time there was major twist concerning the male lead, it was echoed by the female lead in an infinitely less interesting way and somehow at just the wrong time. I think “death-defying, clone-infested, time travel bullcrap” is spoiler enough without having to go into specifics. The name thing was just… boring and pointless, especially since this was supposed to be the CLAMP version of Kingdom Hearts.
I’ve read a range of CLAMP’s work. Clover was the first (Wikipedia says it’s finished, but it isn’t), Clamp Detectives made me vomit, Wish (finished, but the art is so bad that it looks like a name) Chobits (also ruined by too many twists and too much drama), Cardcaptor Sakura, Angelic Layer (another one that looks bad because it’s rushed and has almost no backgrounds).
But apparently none of that matters, because every single one of those works is only given a little bit of lip service. Characters show up, familiar faces divorced from their personalities and circumstances. Seeing Ora devoid of poignancy is kind of heart-breaking.
I’m glad it’s over. I may read just the beginning again. CLAMP is lame. Go finish Clover. I wanna know what happens to Ran and if his guardian is really his boyfriend or something.
…you know what? Also, do a real gay couple for once, instead of teasing.