Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle
Ep.1 "Destinies Converge"
The very first episode of Tsubasa Chronicle (Why they don't call it the whole "Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle" s beyond me. Too long a name?) starts of exactly the same as it's manga counterpart with what appears to a be a flashforward of sorts which features Sakura and Syaoran trapped in a glass tube together but seperated by an interior glass wall. Suddenly, glowing pink wings sprout from Sakura's back and she drifts backwards into complete darkness with Syaoran screaming out her name (though the complete scene is in silence).
The episode title appears.
We're now in the Land of Clow and our hero Syaoran has just arrived home. Suddenly, Sakura arrives and glomps him something crazy. They both get a little embarrased and Syaoran invites her to go shopping with him.
As they're walking to the shops, Syaoran notices that Sakura is acting very nervous. He guesses that she had snuck out of the Palace again. He was right. Eventually Sakura stops to look at some apples (which are yellow in the Land of Clow!) but unfortunately the shopkeeper recognises her and a crowd gathers which clues the guards in on their presence. Syaoran literally grabs Sakura and carries her all the way out of town to a spot overlooking these mysterious ruins that he has been studying.
Syaoran is nervous as he seems to care for Sakura a lot but feels that he shouldn't see a princess. Sakura however is about to confess her love for him but the palace beel gongs and interupts the moment and suggests that Sakura must return home.
A few minutes later Sakura is trying to sneak through the palace but is spotted by her brother, the king, Toya. The two fight over Syaoran (Toya wants to protect his sister) and are interupted by Yukito, the High Priest who has updates on the ruins. Toya teases that these new discoveries mean that Syaoran will be very, very, very busy and Sakura storms off leaving Yukito and Toya to flirt and talk about how Syaoran is destined to be with Sakura but also how their future will be troubled.
The scene changes to a dark world where a mysterious man and a woman appear to be watching everything unfold. And we get a commercial break pic with Syaoran.
In another world which looks very much like fuedal Japan, we meet Kurogane, a ninja who has just killed a LOT of people. The Princess Tomoyo and her assistant Souma look very worried and decide to do something.
On yet another world, we meet the wizard, Fay coming out of a pool after imprisoning Ashura (who is a mystery at this point) at the bottom. He is comforted by Chii, his female friend (maybe girlfriend?) and he decides that it's time for him to leave his world.
Back in the Land of Clow, Sakura is alone thinking of Syaoran when the mysterious ruins begin to glow and sound a luminous bell sound that very quickly puts Sakura into a trance and begins to levitate out of the palace towards the sound.
Syaoran finds her in the ruins and talks to her but she can't hear him and opens the floor beneath their feet which slides away and she floats down into it. Outside wierd robo-soldiers have teleported into the Land of Clow and start attacking everyone. Inside, Sakura has levitated up and attatched herself to a rune on the wall. Very quickly, bright pink glowing wings grow from her back. The mysterious couple from before appears to be watching all this and the man reveals that Sakura's wings have the ability to traverse dimensions and that he is after this power. Syaoran meanwhile grabs Sakura and forces her to the floor. As he does this however, her wings seperate into feathers and fly off into the sky. Sakura is unconcious.
He carries Sakura to Toya and Yukito. Toya tells Yukito to look after Sakura and tells Syaoran that he trusts him with his welfare. Syaoran (carrying Sakura) follows Yukito who wastes no time in creating a portal (which looks very similar to the ones created by Sakura when summoning a Clow Card in Card Captor Sakura) and sends them to the "Dimensional Witch". Meanwhile, Fay is also sending himself to her via other magic and Kurogane is being sent to her against his will via Princess Tomoyo's magic.
In our world, Sakura and Syaoran appear in front of the "Dimensional Witch", Watanuki and Moro and Maru. Almost immediately, Fay and Kurogane also appear. Kurogane has no idea who this woman is. Fay does and Syaoran begs her to help him save Sakura.
It starts to rain. Kurogane stands up.
My Original Impression
Friday, April 15, 2005
Wow, got home just in time to catch the opening credits and wow, the quality of this animation is first class! No dodgey 1980s anime style here, this is cutting edge, flawless stuff going on here, however there are several aspects of both the opening and the ending clips that seemed a bit... cliched? Perhaps it's just all the running and fighting with the music, in fact it seems very similar in content to the .hack//SIGN anime series which was produced by the same studio. The ending clip especially looks like it was copied almost directly from the Emerald Green ending to .hack//Legend of the Twilight. Great music though, and an interesting watercolour feel to it that sets it apart, though very different in feel to the anime itself.
Man, this is sounding pretty negative isn't it? Well, don't worry, the anime itself rocked! Stunning music from the same composer involved in .hack//SIGN and Noir, the previously mentioned artwork which has copied the manga style perfectly and a screenplay that almost sticks to the manga word for word, though admitedly adds a quick scene in here and there to fill out the first chapter ("You must save Sakura!" is the furthest this ep goes). One such scene is actually something I wasn't too fond of; Syaoran and Sakura running from the palace guards. To me it just seemed an unoriginal anime cliched, especially when looking at Syaoran's logic defying sprint while carrying Sakura. I'm sure we were supposed to be thinking "How cute!!!", but I was left with "How the Hell can he do that?" and "Wasn't this scene in Aladdin?".
When the anime sticks to the anime it rules. When it tries to add more, it seems to fall in to cliched homage, however it's still worth watching as the storyline is still in tact and the artwork smashing! This is seriously like watching the manga come to life!
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