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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles, Vol. 10 - Answers Without Questions
Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles, Vol. 10 - Answers Without Questions
FUNimation // Unrated // December 23, 2008
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Todd Douglass Jr. | posted December 17, 2008 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
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A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
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The Show:

The first season of Tsubasa proved to be a worthwhile excursion for fans of CLAMP. Comprising many elements from some of the manga group's most popular series Tsubasa quickly became a successful staple in FUNimation's catalogue. Pulling material from Chobits and Cardcaptor Sakura there are other tidbits and morsels tossed in for good measure as well. In my opinion the show isn't quite as enjoyable or creative as xxxHolic, but that's par fort he course I suppose and by the end of the first season it was clear that this particular series had some good legs to stand on.

I'm going to proceed from here on assuming that you know what the show is all about. If for any reason you don't then by all means go check out one of the previous reviews for a synopsis of the plot. Honestly, if after eight installments you haven't heard about it or checked it out, then chances are good you don't need to know what happens in this review. At any rate, this installment features the second season of the show in full swing, with the events of the ninth volume leading right up to this point.

With only two volumes left to go for the second season of Tsubasa, there's not a lot of change in the air. Last time around we found that there were some charming moments as well as some dry, familiar ones and unfortunately the same can be said for this installment as well. This is a series that is content to stick with its formula, even if that formula runs for up to the 44th episode which marks the end of this volume. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but if you find repetition rather tedious you'll undoubtedly be longing for something more tangible.

This installment picks up essentially where the previous one left off with some material revolving around the book of memories. If you recall we went through some of Kurogane's memories when Syaoran touched the book. Basically that same thing continues here, but this time we get to see some of Sakura's memories. It's fascinating because it really explores the price Syaoran had to pay in order to gain dimensional traveling power.

In Sakura's memories we see Clow Kingdom in all its glory and for all intents and purposes this is the first time we've laid eyes on it since Syaoran left the world. Familiar vistas and whatnot blanket the place, but interestingly enough any evidence that Syaoran ever existed has been erased. It would seem that the price came to be paid after all. Even though this is more or less a world where they've traveled to there's still a feather that has to be found. Lucky for Syaoran and company it's in the ruins which is a place he's very familiar with. The storyline regarding the book of memories takes up the first three episodes here and I don't want to spoil it. The final episode here sees the group being transported to a cute world and it's a very Mokona-centric episode (much like the storybook one from the prior volume).

If you've been following Tsubasa you'll be pleased enough with this installment as it's more or less the same in terms of quality as we've seen from the beginning. The storytelling elements are solid, the characters are interesting, and each episode has some kind of a hook to offer. With that being said, and I've brought this up before, the show has been growing stale due to its formulaic nature. This is a very structured program and it can be extremely predictable at times. There are far more positives than negatives though and in the end I'd consider this a recommendable series. It's just a shame that it has kind of hit cruise control rather than attempt to introduce new things.

The DVD:

Video:

Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle is presented on DVD with a 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer. The show features some downright fantastic character designs that while simplistic (and oddly proportioned), are very endearing and unique. Like the first season I found much of Tsubasa's second season fuzzy at times, but in all honesty it was less noticeable with this installment. The show's production and transfer were definitely spruced up a notch to offer better all around quality. Some compression artifacts still pop up from time to time, and grain continues to be an issue, but overall the show looks better at this point than it did in the past.

Audio:

Fortunately the audio for this release is far less problematic than the video. For options you'll find a 2.0 track for the original Japanese and 2.0/5.1 selections for English. For my first viewing I watched the show in Japanese and found it to be acceptable in terms of all around quality. The soundstage is noticeably subdued for this track but things improve once you turn on the 5.1 English language. The rear channels come to life with a fair amount of music, sound effects, and ambient noise making their presence known. It may not have been the most immersive track that I have listened to before but it was certainly acceptable.

Extras:

Unfortunately the second season of Tsubasa doesn't spruce things up in the bonus feature department. The same Character and World Guides make a return as well as textless animation and trailers.

Final Thoughts:

With the second season of Tsubasa well underway, it is quite clear that the show still offers more of the same in terms of expectations. With four episodes on this volume it doesn't bring much to the table in terms of things we haven't seen before. While there are many interesting moments here we still see the group travel to a world to find a feather and then jump ship to the next dimension. It's a familiar set up that has sustained the series up to this point, but it's not doing anything for keeping it feeling fresh. Then again, I suppose it doesn't have to at this point and if you've stuck with it through the ninth volume your mind is already made up regarding whether or not to pick this one up.


Check out more of my reviews here. Head on over to my anime blog as well for random musings and reviews of anime, manga, and stuff from Japan!

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