Review By: Sophie Stevens
Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Running Time: 100 minutes
Rating: TV PG
Release Date: Available Now
Memories can be very deceptive.
In the search for the scattered memories of a kind and loving Princess of a kingdom known as Clow Country, the travelers have been through a lot on their lengthy journey across different dimensions and alternate realities and have even become as close as a family. What if these memories aren’t what they seem, though?
This is a question that pops up in Volume 12 of Tsubasa as the four episodes pick up right after Volume 11’s last episode. Finding themselves in the land ruled by the seemingly kind Feather King named Chaos, the travelers feel safe in the hands of a young man whose intentions seem to be helpful. His interest in Sakura goes unnoticed mainly because he geniunely seems to want to help them find on of Sakura’s feathers. He even points them in the direction of Mount Goraisan. Suggesting that Sakura stay in the palace with him, Chaos tells Sakura that they share a connection.
For Sakura, the connection comes in the form of a few dreams of when she was a child. In one dream, she is attacked by a giant worm only to be saved by a young man that just so happens to be slightly younger version of Chaos. Sakura quickly becomes attached to the young man who promises to be her protector and traveling companion. Unfortunately, not all of Sakura’s memories are back and she begins to wonder what this handsome young man means to her.
Meanwhile, Syaoran, Kurogane and Fai are attacked near the mountain by a number of monsters. On top of that, they are separated during said attack are are confronted by familiar faces. Kurogane, for example, encounters a man that looks suspiciously like his father while Fai goes face-to-face with somebody that looks like King Ashura. Something about these encounters doesn’t sit well with Syaoran who – like the others – doesn’t fall for this trap.
It is Sakura, however, that does figure out what is going on when King Chaos asks her to go walking with him. He makes it very clear that he wants to be by her side. In fact, he makes a most interesting and startling proposal that does get Princess Sakura to be taken aback. What does this proposal mean and is this young man that deeply in love with her? These questions don’t matter because Sakura’s answer makes it clear that she has feelings for her companions … especially one in particular.
Sakura’s choice, though, has a negative effect on Chaos who sees Syaoran as his chief rival in winning Sakura’s heart. He faces off against him and the other three only to defeat all three to the point that they are badly injured and Syaoran’s trust sword is broken. As they recover, Chaos sends word that he wishes to challenge Syaoran to a duel with some interesting conditions if he loses the fight. Syaoran does accept.
The duel, as it turns out, is one of the highlights of this storyline and it’s great to see all four episodes in this volume dedicated to it. As Syaoran takes on Chaos, the Feather King one of his forms that makes him a worthy opponent. I say “one of his forms” because Chaos has another form that makes up the shocking twist you don’t really see coming. It’s stuff like this that makes a series like Tsubasa such an amazing anime. In the end, the outcome will not fail to pull the rug right from under your feet.
Oh, and the hidden threat that is Fei Wang Reed – the man who has been searching for Sakura and the others – becomes more of a problem when he finally locates the travelers. He sends his agents to not only go after them but to lend Chaos a hand in defeating them. With Fei Wang hot on their trail, this series has just got more interesting.
Tsubasa, Volume 12, deserves a place in your growing anime collection and even deserves to be called one of the best anime series to come along in a long time. Its rich storytelling doesn’t fail to keep Tsubasa fans glued to the screen. Really, you can’t find a more deep and enchanting anime than Tsubasa.
DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN
While searching a mountain for the next feather, the others aren’t aware that the Feather King Chaos has plans for Princess Sakura that have something to do with memories from her past.
VIDEO QUALITY: A+
The animation is still in top form and we definitely love the crisp video presentation.
SOUND QUALITY: A+
The English dub and original Japanese voices are both excellent but I bet you already knew that. Plus, I can’t begin to express how much I love Yuki Kajiura’s original score. The music is just plain gorgeous but the song in Episodes 50 and 51 could only be heard in the Japanese language track.
The character and world profiles are a nice touch but we still would love an audio commentary track or two. You’ll still find the clean opening and closing songs as well as a few trailers.
The journey continues and we couldn’t be happier as Volume 12 of Tsubasa becomes even more interesting with these four episodes. As the hidden threat becomes more of a presence now, we can only sit back and enjoy a series that doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.