Review by: Sophie Stevens
Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $29.98 US
Running Time: 100 minutes
Rating: TV PG
Release Date: December 2, 2008
Things meant to be remembered.
To Syaoran, there are things worth fighting and dying for and one of those things comes in the form of precious memories that has been broken into many fragments and scattered throughout the ages, dimensions and worlds. These memories don’t belong to him but rather the pretty young girl who just so happens to be a royal princess named Sakura and, most importantly, his best friend who incidentally loves him very much.
In Volume 9, Syaoran continues the quest laid out before him with his traveling companions that also include the Sakura. Their journey is a long and difficult one but the young boy is confident seeing as his companions are loyal friends willing to risk it at all well. Yet in the final episode of that volume, a book filled with blank pages showed him the tragic past of a young Lord in a Feudal Japan-like era filled with demons. The story is so tragic that after the vision of it is finished, Syaoran breaks down in tears.
As Volume 10 begins, the group of travels worry over Syaoran who is resting in room within the library of a world called Rekord Country. It becomes considerably obvious (so I’m not giving anything away) that the book of memories has unlocked a memory of a past that belongs to their warrior friend and guardian, Kurogane. In fact, in this world, a lot more of his past will be revealed but the tragedy in his life has clearly touched Syaoran. While the gruff warrior has very rarely showed his soft side, he tenderly tells his young companion that he isn’t upset about somebody having seen a little of his life and that Syaoran shouldn’t carry around the pain of that past.
Their time in the library revealed that a feather is clearly here with a copy of the original Book of Memories. The problem is that the librarians are under strict orders from the King to keep the book hidden and nobody could waltz in and take a look at it. The only way they can get to it is if they do it by force and they do exactly that by way of prying open a magical doorway leading to their prize. Of course, where there’s magic there’s trouble and the travelers find that out almost immediately when guardians that come in the form of dragons and winged lions attack.
Obtaining the feather deep in the cavern isn’t easy and as Syaoran and Kurogane battle the guardians it becomes clear to Kurogane that Syaoran isn’t himself during the battle. To top it all off, the King is alerted to the fact that the feather and the book of memories are now gone. With the events in Rekord far from being resolved, the group moves on the next realm that just so happens to look a lot like Clow Country where Sakura and Syaoran had grown up. Sakura remembers the feeling of warmth and affection she received by somebody but she just can’t remember who it is when it has always been Syaoran.
When the feather is extracted from the book, however, the group expects to be whisked away to a new world only to find themselves still stuck in Rekord. The librarians call a police squad made up entirely of robotic knights. Fai, who swore not to use magic again, breaks his promise as things start looking grim for the group. In the end, the removal of the feather changes the outcome of what would have been an ugly situation. However, a lot is learned about Kurogane once again when Syaoran opens the book again and is revealed an interest moment in Kurogane’s life.
In the final episode of Volume 10, it is Mokona that becomes the hero of the story due to a magical spell that keeps the others from taking on the mission to find the that world’s feather. Thankfully, help comes in the form of another cute critter named Kero who tells them that Mokona is destined to save the people of this world.
Volume 10 of Tsubasa still reminds us that good anime doesn’t run out of steam but rather hooks us in deeper with its beautiful story. The beauty of these four episodes comes in the form of the character interaction that is just as wonderfully spellbinding as the first episode. This is yet another must-not-miss volume, Tsubasa fans.
DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN
We learn a lot about Kurogane by way of Syaoran and the group secures not one but two feathers. Sakura begins to piece together the missing segments of her memories and the cute Mokona takes center stage as the hero of one episode. That’s a lot for only four episodes and we couldn’t be happier.
VIDEO QUALITY: A-
Once again, the video quality is as excellent as the gorgeous animation. This isn’t big news seeing as the DVD releases have been stellar throughout.
AUDIO QUALITY: A
I know I’m at risk of repeating myself but with a solid voice cast for the English dub and the Japanese voices, there’s nothing here to complain about so far. As always, Tsubasa contains the best score heard in an anime and the theme songs – especially the closing theme “Kazemachi Jet” performed by Maaya Sakamoto – is pure ear candy.
The trailers and textless songs are great and everything but why can’t all DVDs filled with gorgeous fantasy landscapes and interesting characters include extras like the Character Guide and World Guide features like in this series?
Tsubasa is proof that great anime does exist and should not be missed by anyone who claims to love anime or any animation, for that matter. Volume 10 of this series dives a little deeper into the life of one of its heroes and as the quest continues we truly are given answers to questions we have yet to find out. In other words, Tsubasa continues to be that refreshingly different anime that will make a fan out of you.