Tsubasa – Reservoir Chronicle, Volume 11 – DVD Review

tsubasa11

Review by: Sophie Stevens
Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $29.98
Running Time: 100 minutes
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: TV PG
Release Date: Available Now

Searching for memories in familiar places.

The journey to regain Sakura’s memories has taken the group of young travelers through a number of hardships and obstacles they managed to overcome together. Traveling from world to world, they’ve encountered familiar faces with different names and – occasionally – made return to worlds they had already visited, which is what happens in Volume 11 of Tsubasa – Reservoir Chronicle.

Syaoran and the others find themselves teleported back to the familiar Land of Nayutaya where they had, once again, overcome another obstacle that came in the form of a brute named Bullgal and his father Tambal who started trouble for a race of people called Hiyo. Now the group finds the humans in the land paranoid and on the verge of rounding up every Hiyo in their world to kick them out the human realm. Once again, the group finds Chu’nyan, the young girl who practices a magical art form known as Hijutsu. The young girl is happy to see them but saddened that her fellow humans can act this cruelly. She’s even shunned by her own people who even refuse to sell her fruit in the market.

There’s a young man behind the Hiyo hate and when he catches wind that the mistress of the Hiyo world, named Kiishimu, is walking the human realm then he takes a group of armed citizens to find her. Kiishimu, on the other hand, only wishes to talk to the humans and explain that her own people are being manipulated by none other than Bullgal who has acquired one of Sakura’s memory feathers and is using it to brainwash Hiyo soldiers to attack the human world. Of course, the humans don’t want to hear her out and Kiishimu opens a vacuum portal to her world that swallows up Chu’nyan, Syaoran, the foolish young man that started the armed citizen group and Kurogane.

In Kiishimu’s world, Bullgal has his brainwashed soldiers to try and find the intruders as Syaoran and Kurogane decide to take on the soldiers to get to Bullgal while Chu’nyan and Kiishimu work on repairing the relationship between humans and Hiyo. In the end, both races find that they have a lot more in common than they thought. However, when the group does manage to take back the memory feather, they find that it is trapped in a strange aura that can’t be opened easily.

Crossing to the next world, Sakura and the others find themselves in a world called Ragtime World that slightly resembles America during the Great Depression era. Mokona senses a memory feather and it happens to be inside an antique jewelry store run by a woman named Oruha. Having found the feather one day, Oruha had taken it and turned it into an expensive brooch. With no money in their pockets, the young men in the group decide to go to the unemployment office looking for jobs to pay for said brooch. Meanwhile, Mokona does manage to open the seal around the feather they took from Bullgal that sparks a memory of Sakura and her brothers in a market.

Feeling left out and useless, it is Sakura who finds work when the others strike out. First she gets employment as a waitress in the King’s Bistro with two young men that slightly resemble her two brothers. When something happens to the mobile restaurant, Sakura finds employment in a warehouse driving a forklift-like vehicle … very badly. Then she starts working at a local café that is being bullied by lowly gangsters. Buying back that feather will not be easy but it’s fun watching Sakura attempt to make herself useful.

When they are able to obtain the memory feather, they are whisked away to another world that is slightly connected with Ragtime World via a girl that looks like Oruha, the antique jewelry store owner. Besides that coincidence, they meet the Feather-King Chaos who happens to have a fan made entirely of a memory feathers. He promises to give it to them in exchange for listening to their story. Just about the only one who finds this suspicious is Kurogane. What are the King’s intentions and why does he have an interest in Sakura. We’ll know in the next volume, darn it.

Volume 11 will definitely catch your attention and if this is your first time viewing Tsubasa then this one will most likely have you going back to the store and buying the rest of the volumes. Yes, it’s that good but, then again, Tsubasa fans already know that. This one has already become one of my favorite chapters of this brilliant and gorgeous anime. I know all of us in this office can’t wait for Volume 12.

 

DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN

MOVIE/EPISODES: A+
As the travelers move across the worlds, familiar faces and worlds are recognized despite that things aren’t the same as they left them. In another world, Sakura doesn’t want to be a burden to her group so she gets a job to help pay for one of her memory feathers. In the last episode, we meet the Feather-King Chaos whose intentions might not be so noble, perhaps? In short, these episodes are awesome.

VIDEO QUALITY: A
The gorgeous visuals are pure CLAMP and that’s what we love about the series. FUNimation outdoes itself again in terms of the visual presentation of their DVDs.

AUDIO QUALITY: A-
I said it once and I’ll say it again, Tsubasa has some of the loveliest original score and a great opening and closing theme song that makes this a complete audio treat for the ears. Add the great voice acting for both the English and Japanese voice and we have ourselves a winner.

EXTRAS: C+
The Character and World Guide are back again and you can listen to the opening and closing songs minus the credits. There are also trailers for upcoming releases as well but we would have loved an audio commentary track for the episodes.

OVERALL: A+
While Volume 10 of Tsubasa was yet another brilliant entry for the series, I have to say that Volume 11 definitely ranks up there as one of my absolutely favorite four-episode chapter so far. Tsubasa is one of those utterly charming and completely gratifying anime series to come along in a long time and it’s volumes like this that prove the existence of anime that’s required viewing if you love anime.

 

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