Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, OVA Collection – Blu-ray Review

Review by: Kiki Van De Kamp

Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $29.98 US
Running Time: 150 minutes
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: TV 14
Release Date: Available Now

It’s not where you’re going but the journey itself that is important.

The Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle series has developed quite a following ever since CLAMP’s manga masterpiece has become an anime series and with a movie under its belt as well as this world crossing paths with another CLAMP creation, we thought we seen it all … that is until this OVA Collection. At last, FUNimation brings us the Tokyo Revelations and Spring Thunder Chronicle chapters (and on DVD and Blu-ray, no less) that should complete the collection of any Tsubasa fan.

When I say Tsubasa fan I mean that the OVA Collection is strictly for loyal fans of the series that have already watched the first and second season since no character introductions are made nor will these five episodes fill you in on the story and why these five travelers are searching for feathers that represent the memories of a young Princess. What it will do is flesh out the main series by giving us a look at two defining moments that link with the events in the series.

TOKYO REVELATIONS

The first and best of the OVAs is the three episodes that make up the Tokyo Revelations chapter that takes place in the second season directly after our travelers leave the library in the land of Recolte when Fai finally uses his magic and Princess Sakura is badly injured. They end up in a desolate modern city that, within minutes, begins to drizzle acid rain. It doesn’t take Syaoran, Kurogane, Fai and Mokona long to realize that they they’re in a futuristic Tokyo that has been devastated by some horrible event that leveled to city to rubble.

Seeking shelter from the rain with the others, Syaoran decides to investigate a seemingly empty building until he is attacked by men in hooded robes as Syaoran battles the leader. He fights their leader, a young man named Kamui who is a familiar face only Syaoran doesn’t know him. As it turns out, they are a group of survivors who are guarding their water supply. Befriending the group, they even help them hunt for food but the real good stuff is the scenes between Fai and Kurogane who butt heads.

While learning Kamui’s real identity is a highlight, the real surprise comes when the being that looks like Syaoran finally awakens from his slumber and pays the witch Yuko from xxxHolic a visit in order to reunite and face off against the Syaoran in future Tokyo. Their confrontation is one Tsubasa fans will remember and the aftermath is intense … especially what happens to Fai.

SPRING THUNDER CHRONICLE

Spanning just two episodes, this particular chapter still manages to make an impact that ripples into the main series. You see, our favorite travelers find themselves a bit on the confused side when the world they’re in is quickly collapsing thanks to Fai’s magic. Fai tells them to leave him behind by Kurogane – despite his issues with him – grabs Fai and drags him into the next world or dimension.

The first one to wake up is Kurogane who comes to realize that he is back in his own time in the palace of Princess Tomoyo who he has served faithfully. It is here that Kurogane gets a new arm (once again, Tsubasa fans will know what happened to said lost limb). It is also here that Syaoran faces Seishiro who shows up along with his brother Fuma. The battle, you see, is for one of Sakura’s memory feathers that Seishiro held on to since their last meeting.

As I said, despite the fact that this chapter is only two-episodes long, a lot happens here. A still sleeping Sakura meets xxxHolic’s Watanuki Kimihiro and Syaoran once again goes up against the other Syaoran who – thanks to the Tokyo Revelations chapter – makes this rematch even more intense. I won’t get into what happens because it will take Tsubasa fans by surprise but it leads to the events in the main series as the others prepare to chase after Sakura and Syaoran.

Both Tokyo Revelations and Spring Thunder Chronicle might not be friendly to the casual Tsubasa viewer but if these five episodes don’t make you want to check out the complete series then nothing will. It’s great to see returning characters make an appearance in these episodes as well and the intermingling between Tsubasa and xxxHolic characters is also a plus. However, fans will like the scenes that explain some of the series mysteries such as how Kurogane got his sword Ginryu back and what happened to Fai’s magical eye.

The OVA Collection of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle might just be five episodes but they are episodes that feel like they really should have been a part of the main series. That’s how good this collection is and if you’ve been following the series you will come to realize that this is exactly what you need to complete your Tsubasa experience. I definitely recommend the Blu-ray edition because this series looks even better in HD so – whatever you do – you must not miss this one.

BLU-RAY REVIEW BREAKDOWN

MOVIE/EPISODES: A-
In-between the events of the second season’s continued journey we are given a glimpse of two interesting chapters that fill in the gaps of this interesting journey. In one chapter, jump into a post-apocalyptic version of Tokyo where they encounter a group of people struggling to survive and one of Sakura’s feathers. In the other chapter, the group return to Kurogane’s own world where a battle will change everything for Syaoran.

VIDEO QUALITY: A
This series was meant for Blu-ray as was saw from the release of the Tsubasa/xxxHolic double-feature movie release on a high-def format. Like the main series, the OVA has some really amazing visual effects that just look a lot better on Blu-ray.

AUDIO QUALITY: A
The original score by Yuki Kajiura is beautifully cinematic and is easily one of the best scores from a CLAMP series. On top of that the voice acting for both the English dub and the Japanese voices are equally stellar so whatever your preference you will find good performances throughout.

EXTRAS: B+
Imagine a collection of OVA episodes where each episode contains an audio commentary track that’s actually fun to listen to and you get an idea of what is in store for you in this collection. Each of the five episodes contains commentary with talents like Vic Mignogna, Monica Rial, Micah Solosud, Colleen Clinkenbeard, J. Michael Tatun and Christopher Sabat. Along with these voice actors the commentary also includes people we normally would hear in a commentary track.

Then there’s the clean opening and closing theme songs and a few trailers.

OVERALL: A-
If you consider yourself a true fan of Tsubasa you need this OVA Collection that will not fail to surprise and remind you why you fell in love with this series in the first place. These two chapters might be brief but they paint a fuller picture fits with the main series perfectly. I can’t recommend this one enough to Tsubasa fans.

Review copy provided by FUNimation Entertainment

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