This is the story of four travelers, bound by fate and by prophesied future. Sakura is the princess of Clow Country, and possessor of a strange power that promises to change the world. Syaoran is an aspiring archaeologist and her childhood friend. When Sakura is endangered by the plan a certain man has for the future, the princess’ memories are scattered across dimensions in the form of feathers, and Syaoran is forced to go on a desperate journey to retrieve them. They are accompanied by Fay D. Flourite, a magician running from the horrible truth of his past, and Kurogane, a rough-mannered ninja trying to get back to his world. However, the ability to cross worlds demands a great price, and each of them must pay the Dimensional Witch with what he or she values most. In order to save his princess, Syaoran must give up his relationship with her. Even if he gathers all of Sakura’s memories, she will never remember their past together…
But the world is not so simple. The very moment these four made this decision, their destinies are sealed into a tragic course…as everyone in the group has their own secrets. Visions of the future are seen, and prophesies are made. The cruel future which lies ahead reads only of betrayal, abandonment, devastation and anguish.
This is my most favorite manga of all time and no matter what ex-CLAMP fans had said, this has one of the most complicated stories that I’ve ever read. At first, the story is just your typical travel adventure with “gotta catch them all” theme. Well, it sounds tiring and boring. But then, when the Tokyo Arc comes, it became darker and deeper where we get learn all the issues, angst and tragedy that our heroes had faced. The twist really made readers anxious on what will happen next. However, the story became more complex after that which gives more of a mind screw. Of course, this is where some readers tend to quit because of incomprehensible twist near the end and some even made complicated theories which either defy logic or not. But…to make it easier to understand, try making a flowchart out of it. 😄
Anyway, for the main characters….they do have some dark secrets most especially Fai. For the rest of the supporting characters, they came from other CLAMP works and played different roles similar to how Ozamu Tezuka did with his Star System. However, some people think that this is a very lazy effort. But, hey, Alan Moore would disagree on that.
We do remember that there’s a note in the manga that says “xxxholic crosses over with Tsubasa. Although it isn’t necessary to read Tsubasa to understand the events in xxxHolic, you’ll get to see the same events from different perspectives if you read both series!” Well, that work for the earlier volumes of TRC and xxxHolic. However, before the big climax of Tsubasa, it intertwines with Watanuki’s and Yuuko’s story in xxxHolic. So, if a TRC-only reader sees Watanuki in this manga, he might get confused on who this guy really is, unless he reads xxxHolic. This is also the same problem for those who only read xxxHolic. So, that disclaimer which we always see in the manga doesn’t always work.
As for the art, it is still beautiful and stylish. This is CLAMP’s work after all and they always make a lot of beautiful men and women. And similar to X/1999 and Cardcaptor Sakura, they always give more emphasis on the wings and cherry blossoms.
For the ending, it’s bittersweet. I know some felt frustrated about it and come on, this story is about the four main characters, not about the vampire twins etc. Unless CLAMP wants to give an “extended cut” on the fates of EVERY crossover character in this story, then, just get use to it.
Now, for those who are starting to love CLAMP, you may like this. But, first, you had be very familiar with their older works since this is a crossover. However, those who are not familiar with them,….nevermind….you wouldn’t understand it.