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Tsubasa, Volume 23


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Adult/High School-Both Tsubasa and XXXholic draw on their creators' long history as manga artists and pull characters from other series. Sakura and Syaoran from Sakura are the main figures in Tsubasa, an alternate universe story. When Princess Sakura is injured and loses all of her memories, Syaoran, her devoted childhood friend, embarks on a quest to rescue her, for she will die if her memories are not recovered. He seeks the help of the space-time witch Yuko, and is ultimately joined by two displaced men from different worlds. Yuko and Kimihiro Watanuki, a young man cursed with the ability to see spirits, are the main characters in XXXholic. Yuko will grant a wish in return for his service. Kimihiro agrees and then has to contend with her many eccentricities. The series share the same art style, with delicate line work, crisp designs, and beautiful men. The main point of connection between the two is the pivotal scene in which Yuko grants the wishes of Kimihiro and the two displaced men. Tsubasa is well on the way to being a grand adventure, while XXXholic is done in a quieter, almost horror vein, with spirits and ghosts. The translations for the most part are well done, with ample notes. Color art at the beginning of the books and preview pages for the next volume and for the companion series are included. These exceptionally well-done titles are sure to appeal to CLAMP fans.-Susan Salpini, TASIS-The American School in England Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

The four-woman manga team CLAMP have many U.S. fans, for whom this series will hold special interest: it's a mega-crossover featuring new versions of characters from many different CLAMP series. Princess of a land called Clow, teenage Sakura (several years older than her counterpart in Cardcaptor Sakura), loves her childhood friend Syaoran, who is leading an archaeological dig into the kingdom's ruins. When Sakura visits a newly uncovered room in the ruins, a rune there unlocks a power within her, and her memories are scattered throughout the dimensions. In desperation, high priest Yukito sends Sakura and the devastated Syaoran to the Time-Space Witch, who, in a scene that also appears in xxxHOLiC, Vols. 1 and 2, extracts a terrible price from Syaoran and then sends them and two companions on a quest through different worlds for the pieces of Sakura's memories. The art here is reminiscent of Rayearth or Sakura but with a rougher edge. CLAMP's writing sometimes slides too far into foolishness or contrivance, tendencies kept in check here. With its built-in audience, this is recommended for teens and adults at all libraries. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

In the mythical land of Clow, the brilliant but romantically clueless teenager Syaoran is working on an archaeological dig, while his friend Princess Sakura works up the courage to tell him she loves him. Unfortunately, just as she's about to, a mysterious symbol robs her of her memories and scatters them across countless parallel worlds. What follows next is no surprise: Syaoran vows to restore her memories. He embarks on his quest with a wizard, a ninja and a Pokemon-like creature. In this first volume, the motley group finds itself negotiating with an interdimensional witch and visiting the Hanshin Republic, a parallel world obsessed with Japan's perennially second-place baseball team. While Clamp (the Japanese collective of women manga creators) has pitched this work as a more sophisticated take on its source material (the Cardcaptor Sakura series), the art is stereotypical manga: lithe figures, occasionally confusing layouts and lots of cutesy chibi figures. Alas, the writing is equally confusing. Characters appear and disappear with great fanfare but little foundation, and if the Dramatis Personae "scorecard" in the back of the book is any indication, half of the central ragtag fellowship aren't even characters in the series. Still, Clamp taps into some story lines that are likely to pay off. Fans of Cardcaptor Sakura will enjoy this; everyone else will be left scratching their heads. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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