Japanese Title: Tsubasa Chronicle
Related: xxxHOLiC (same universe)
Similar: Cardcaptor Sakura
Watched in: Japanese & English
Length: 52 episodes (2 seasons)
- Good music.
- No style.
- No tension.
- No reason to care.
- No interesting characters.
Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle is so boring that I only tried to answer one question before its end: Is this Sakura the same as the one from Cardcaptor Sakura? They look the same and share a name. Turns out, no, they aren’t the same. The author was just too lazy to come up someone new. Well, that’s it, end of review – see you next time!
What, you want me to talk about this anime? What is there to say? Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle is so full of nothing that there is nothing to talk about.
Syaoran and Sakura are a young teen couple madly in love, but when she grows wings and her feathers disperse into other dimensions, she loses her precious memories including those of him. Syaoran starts hopping through dimensions to different worlds, where he meets a ninja torn from his world, a magician, and the rabbit thing Mokona from xxxHOLiC (one of the dimensions), who help recollect her feathers.
Initially, I liked how Syaoran and Sakura started as a couple – unusual for teen anime – as I believed it meant skip over the shy “will they, won’t they” nature of anime romance and go straight to developing them as a couple. Unfortunately, when she loses her feathers, she transforms into a comatose slab of boring that occasionally wakes up.
The narrative doesn’t take time to establish these two in our hearts for us to care when Sakura goes down. Why do they love each other? This is supposedly a love so strong it transcends time and space, yet we have no reason to believe it. Even once she stops sleeping so much in later episodes, she’s as empty headed as one can imagine. The author wanted to start on the big moment of her losing her memories, which is fine, but she then needed to work harder to make us care through flashbacks, or something.
Looking past this empty couple, there is nothing else to see. The action is boring as sin with its series of meaningless fights and poor animation. Cardcaptor Sakura has better action than this action series (and its collecting element is stronger). Not even using a Pokémon-like approach to the battles with magical companions can make it interesting. The action feels like filler with no end in sight since they extend the quest on a whim by saying, “Well, you’ve collected 200 feathers so far, but there’s another 100 to go! … Wait, did I say 100? I meant 300!”
Don’t fall for it. Don’t waste your time with Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. This is a contender for the Most Boring Anime of All Time award.
Art – Low
The characters look too similar to other CLAMP titles, the animation is poor, and the colouring is desaturated in season 1. It’s hard to take the drama seriously when everyone looks like Jack Skellington with giant hands. This is moving manga with worse character art than the manga.
Sound – Medium
The acting is fine, I suppose, considering the script has nothing to say. The music is the only good element, a little reminiscent of .hack//Sign’s excellent soundtrack.
Story – Low
A boy travels to different dimensions to recollect his girlfriend’s lost memories with the aid of unlikely allies. So full of nothing, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle gives you no reason to care.
Overall Quality – Low
Recommendation: Skip it. There isn’t anything awful about Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, but that’s not a reason to watch something.
Awards: (hover over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)