Any self respecting fan of anime should recognize CLAMP. The all female studio is both acclaimed and respected throughout the world for its gothic art and powerful characters that manage to raise an average story to greatness. Such is the case with Tsubasa, a relatively simple series that most would probably consider overly long and repetitive if not for CLAMP’s signature charm and artistry.
When the anime first premiered, the manga of which it was based on had yet to conclude and thus, the series was split into multiple seasons. While the first remained true to the original work, the second deviated, instead focusing on a new arc that would have little to no bearing on the series in the long run. Unfortunately, the anime went on hiatus after the second season, leaving the story unfinished.
While the manga had still not yet reached its end, the decision to continue the anime in OVA form was made, once again returning the story to its roots delivering the most anticipated arc from the original source material.
The DVD kicks off with the Tokyo Revelations arc. This is a three part story that drops our reality hopping heroes into a bleak and desolate future populated by a cavalcade of CLAMP’s most recognizable characters from the series X/1999. While there, Syaoran is confronted by the revelation that he is a clone and engages in a duel with the one claiming to be the real Syaoran, resulting in a titanic clash that involves the rest of the gang. The story treads in darker territory when a major character is changed forever and the status quo is forever changed.
The second arc is a little bit lighter in tone though not by much. The repercussions of the Tokyo Revelations story is carried over here with Fay struggling with the loss of his abilities and another confrontation with the evil Syaoran. It should be noted that these OVA’s do not offer a conclusion to overall story but rather act as the penultimate events leading up to the finale. As of this writing, no further episodes have been released. Without an actual conclusion, the release of these episodes feels more like a tease.
Considering these are OVA episodes, the animation is a notch above that of standard Television. This can be attributed to its higher production values and less restrictive schedule.
Commentaries by cast and crew are provided for each episode. While they aren’t all that informative as one would like, they are lively and enjoyable to sit through. There are also clean openings and closings as well as trailers for upcoming releases.
Fans of CLAMP will want to lap up this release if for no other reason than the cross promotion of X/1999 and their newest property Tsubasa. Interestingly enough, the X/1999 manga is yet to be finished despite its anime counterpart receiving a finale. The opposite holds true for Tsubasa, wherein the manga has wrapped but the anime is left unfinished.
Despite this, the OVA’s are strong efforts and a great addition to the collections of CLAMP fans. Characters undergo major changes and the story is actually expanded upon in greater detail than it was throughout the majority of the first two seasons. That said, if you’ve never seen the series before or don’t have a high regard for it, this isn’t the release that will hook you.