Tsubasa: Those with Wings 2 by Natsuki Takaya: C+

tsubasawings125Oh, if only Tsubasa: Those with Wings were as good as its gorgeous cover suggests!

Former thief Kotobuki and her companion/love interest, erstwhile Army officer Raimon, are still searching for Tsubasa, a legend rumored to grant wishes. But first, they must slog through an excruciatingly dull plot about the Army enlisting the help of Raimon’s gun-smuggling foster father to destroy orphanages as part of a nefarious and nebulous plan. The most ridiculous moment occurs when Kotobuki spews a little bit of Shojo Heroine Optimism™ at one of the officers in charge, causing the woman to finally realize, “Hey, killing orphans is murder!”

The rest of the volume is somewhat better, despite the introduction of far too many new characters, as Kotobuki and Raimon team up with some others to pursue Tsubasa clues in a ruined 21st century city known as “the cursed forest.” First, they must infiltrate a fancy party (given by a guy who evidently stole Yuki Sohma’s body) to learn how to deactivate an electric barrier preventing entry to the forest. Once they’ve made it inside, they encounter the Akito of the piece, a colonel who is obsessed with Raimon and has implanted a bomb in his brain to prevent him from leaving the country. He’s pretty crazy, which certainly livens things up.

While there are some moments that are actually good, they are overrun by messy plotting, cryptic hinting, lame gags, and angsty backstories for everyone (even robots). I’m left with the itch to go at the thing with a cleaver, hacking off all the excess bits in search of a better story that might lurk within.

Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at Manga Recon.

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