Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE 18 by CLAMP: B+

There be spoilers here.

From the back cover:
In the world of Infinity, Princess Sakura has become a Chess Master and the other travelers are her pieces. But the Mafia is running the game, and they don’t care if Sakura’s opponents break the rules or murder Sakura’s companions! Why is Sakura so determined to risk everything?

Although many an awesome thing transpired in the X version of Tokyo, I was ready for a change of scene and so was glad when the team finally shifted away from there. Before leaving, though, they received more information from Yuuko on the situation with Fei-Wang Reed, including what he is trying to accomplish. There was also a sliver of a hint as to how Watanuki will play into all this. So, not really answers, per se, but definite progress.

What occured in the next world was mostly setup. Having seen the devastation caused by Syaoran in his search for her feathers, Sakura decided to enter a competition with a monetary prize that could be used to help rebuild the country he ravaged. Most of the rest of the volume consisted of the guys fighting various opponents and Sakura freaking out over all the similarities between the new Syaoran and the one she grew up with. I thought it was nice that she and Fai seemed to be even closer these days, and that the similar way they have of bearing pain with a smile was pointed out (by Kurogane, of course).

The new Syaoran had angst of his own, seeming to have fallen in love with Sakura while seeing her through the clone’s eyes. There was one particularly great sequence where she stumbled and he caught her, followed by each of them retracting their hands from the other, she quickly and he more regretfully. Describing it like this, I suppose it sounds like some lame harem gimmick, but really, it was quite sad and awkward.

Finally, I liked how, though everyone was trying to proceed as they did before all of the heavy revelations, it was clear that none of them really was the same person they were when they started out. I’d be happy if the series continued on with this new mix of adventure and darkness.

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  1. Sakura and Fai’s friendship is one of my favorite things about this volume… maybe even the series as a whole. *heart*

  2. Yeah, it’s really sweet. Especially that it continues so nicely from the last volume, when he was set to try to distance himself from the rest until she fell in his lap after completing that arduous task all on her own.

  3. Fai is actually my favorite character in general, too, so that just heightens the charm of it for me.

  4. Yeah, I can see that, definitely. I’ve been surprised how much Kurogane has grown on me, and there’s some stuff coming up… well. *heart*

  5. He was hands-down my fave for a long time, but Kurogane has grown on me with his powers of perceptiveness and now he’s a close second.

  6. I am blissfully ignorant of what’s coming up. πŸ™‚

  7. jenson_aka_DL says

    Fai is also my favorite with Kurogane a strong second. I do know what coming up in the next few volumes but vols 17 and 18 are certainly my favorite so far. I really enjoyed your insight into this one πŸ™‚

  8. Thanks! The more I think about 18, the sadder it seems, with all of the relationships not what they once were, even as they try to get back into the old routine.

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