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Tsubasa OVA Collection: Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations/Tsubasa Spring Thunder (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Disc Review)

January 30, 2011 by  



Literally, awesome CLAMP fan service in the fact that you get appearances by many of the popular CLAMP characters in these awesome five OVA episodes.  If you have been following “Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE” on Blu-ray and DVD, you owe it to yourself to purchase “Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations/Tsubasa Spring Thunder”!   All-out awesome and highly recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2011 CLAMP/KODANSHA/NHK-NEP. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Tsubasa OVA Collection: Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations/Tsubasa Spring Thunder

DURATION: 5 OAV’s (150 Minutes)

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition 16×9, Dolby True HD English 5.1 and Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0, Subtitles: English

RATED: TV PG

COMPANY: FUNimation Entertainment

RELEASE DATE: January 4, 2011

Originally Created by CLAMP

Directed by Shunsuke Tada

Screenplay by Ageha Ohkawa

Music by Yuki Kajiura

Character Design by Yoko Kikuchi

Art Director: Masanobu Nomura

Art Design: Tonoyasu Fujise

3D Director: Makoto Endo

Sound Director: Masafumi Mima

Executive Producer: Rui Kuroki

Anime Production by Production I.G.

 

 

Featuring the voices of:

Daisuke Namikawa/Vic Mignona as Fay D. Flourite

Mika Kikuchi/Carrie Savage as Mokona

Miyu Irino/Jason Liebrecht as Syaoran

Tetsu Inada/Chris Sabat as Kurogane

Yui Makino/Monica Rial as Sakura

Sayaka Ohara/Colleen Clinkenbeard as Yuko Ichihara

Sanae Kobayashi/Laura Bailey as Xing Huo

Micah Solusod as Kamui/Subaru

Masaki Terasoma/R. Bruce Elliott as Fei Wong Reed

Saeko Chiba/Cherami Leigh as Satsuki

Minami Takayama/Chris Burnett as Nataku

Tokuyoshi Kawashima/Chris Cason as Yuto

Chris Patton as Kakyo

Kouichi Toochika/Jerry Jewell as Sorata Arisugawa

Yuuji Kishi/Joel McDonald as Fuuma

Minami Takayama/Maxey Whitehead as Kazuki

Travis Willingham/Kenta Miyake as Kusanagi

After visiting countless realities, Syaoran, Sakura, Fai, and Kurogane finally learn the truth behind their shared fate. The shadowy villain responsible for scattering Sakura’s memories is exposed, and the four friends endure twists and turmoil unlike any they’ve ever encountered. Impossible sacrifices, both emotional and physical, must be made.

When Fai is dealt an incredible wound, Kurogane takes shocking steps to save the wizard from death. The warrior’s efforts will connect them forever. In a savage urban wasteland, Sakura’s survival is far from guaranteed as she boldly takes action like never before. Indeed, nobody is safe – and the quest’s noble hero is in the greatest danger of all. Syaoran must face his fiercest foe yet: himself. One Syaoran is a clone. The other is real. When a brutal battle erupts between the two, it is Sakura who suffers most. Prepare for the unexpected. Nothing is as it seems. Everything you know about Tsubasa changes now.

Contains Tokyo Revelations 1-3 and Spring Thunder Chronicle 1-2.

 

The fantasy shonen manga known as “Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE” by the well-known mangaka group CLAMP (“X”, “xxxHolic”, “Cardcaptor Sakura”, “Angelic Layer”, “Chobits”) was created in 2003 and has been featured on Kodansha’s Weekly Shonen through October 2009. In 2005, a 52-episode anime series aired through 2006 and included five OVA’s released between 2007-2009.

The series was featured on FUNimation Entertainment’s “Funimation Channel” in 2008 and had been released on DVD previously in the US back in 2007. And the popular CLAMP series received its High Definition treatment in the Nov. 2009 with the first season (26 episodes) released on Blu-ray and now here we are with the second season of “Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE”. It’s important to note that released simultaneously on Blu-ray is the Tsubasa/xxxHolic double-feature on Blu-ray which ties into the series and also released is “Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE Blu-ray Collected Memories” which collects the first two seasons plus the Tsubasa-only feature (xxxHolic film is not included).

And now, the five episode OAV series “Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations/Tsubasa Spring Thunder” is being released on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of FUNimation Entertainment.

This time around, the anime production for the OAV’s are done by Production I.G.   The OAV’s feature the work of director/storyboarder Shunsuke Tada (“The Prince of Tennis”, “Shojo Fight”, “Bungaku Shoujo”) , script by CLAMP member Nanase Ohkawa (“Chobits”, “Cardcaptor Sakura”, “X”, “XXXHolic”, “RG Veda”, “Clover”), music by Yuki Kajiura (“My-Hime”, “Black Butler”, “.Hack/Sign”, “Noir”), character design by Yoko Kikuchi (“Noir”, “Junjo Romantica”, “Arc the Lad”, “Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi”) and art direction by Masanobu Nomura (“Gad Guard”, “Arjuna”, “Gurren Lagann”, “Halo Legends”).

“Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE” recap:

To recap what “Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE” is all about, the series is about a young man named Syaoran who returns home and meets up with his friend Sakura (who really likes him). She has wanted to confess her love to him but due to circumstances, she has to go back to the castle. While Syaoran goes back to the ruins, he sees Sakura who seems to be levitated in light. As he goes to rescue her, small feathers of light disappear and Sakura is left unconscious.

In order to save Sakura, Syaoran along with a unconscious Sakura, a magician named Fay D. Flourite and a ninja named Kurogane are transported to present day Japan in which they come in contact with a dimension witch (Yuuko Ichihara of the CLAMP anime series “xxxHOLIC”). Yuuko explains that they were brought together for a reason and that in order to get home, they would need to travel to various alternate universes to find their way back home. And in each universe, Syaoran must find these feathers which represents Sakura’s memories and are now scattered in various alternate universes, he along with his two compatriots must travel these alternate universes but must find these feathers and return them back to Sakura. After finding each feather(s) for that universe, they will then go to another universe where things are different than the last.

But in order to begin their adventure for Syaoran to revive Sakura and for each of them to return back home, Yuuko must collect payment and that is for each of them to give up something precious. Syaoran makes the biggest sacrifice in which if he is able to revive Sakura, she will no longer have any memory of Syaoran. So, the four embark on their trip to various worlds where familiar faces from their own world are different people from different backgrounds and occupations.

Meanwhile, as Syaoran and the others try to find the feathers, an enemy rival named Fei Wang Reed has interest in obtaining the feathers. He will kill anyone and anybody to obtain Sakura’s feathers.

Both seasons of “Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE” features a race for Syaoran with Sakura, Fay and Kurogane to get the feather of Sakura’s memories before anyone else is able to and taking on various evils and encountering alternate versions of people they know in these different worlds. Will Syaoran, Sakura, Fay and Kurogane survive their adventure?

In “Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations/Tsubasa Spring Thunder”, the storyline in the OAV is quite significant as it somewhat concludes the storyline of “Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE” but also begins a new chapter for the storyline for the primary characters.

Also, the OAV’s are quite significant in the fact that many of the CLAMP manga/anime characters from series such as “X”, “Tokyo Babylon”, “Cardcaptor Sakura”, “XXXHolic and “CLAMP School Detectives” all make an appearance in the OAV series and their role is quite significant.

In “Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations” (three OAV’s total), Syaoran, Sakura, Fay D. Flourite, Kurogane and Mokona arrive in Tokyo.  But this Tokyo is desolated and Syaoran and Mokona end up meeting Kamui and his group who think they are thieves.  Syaoran is injured but to prove themselves in battle, Syaoran and Kamui fight it out to prove that they are not thieves.

Meanwhile, as the Tsubasa characters receive treatment and shelter from the “X” (Kamui’s group) characters, both groups start to get to know each other.

But something is off.  There appears to be two Syaoran chracters.  One that has been collecting feathers as part of the mission to bring back Sakura’s memories and another Syaoran who has been trapped by Fei Wang Reed.  This leads to a confrontation between both Syaoran’s and Fay ends up losing his left eye and is dying.  Meanwhile, Kamui’s twin brother Subaru (from “Tokyo Babylon”) awakens.

With Fay dying, how will they be able to save his life?  Meanwhile, Sakura decides to find the clone Syaoran.

“Tsubasa Spring Thunder” is the conclusion to the OAV series and continues where “Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations” leaves off.  The Tsubasa group are reunited with their friends from the original world but in the process, Kurogane has lost an arm to sacrifice it to help Fay. A hunter named Seishiro arrives to search for the vampire twins Kamui and Subaru and because Seishiro has a feather, Syaoran must retrieve it from him.

This leads to a battle between both Syaoran and Watanuki (of “XXXHolic”) sees for himself of what has happened and knows he may need to make a decision that will impact the lives of everyone.

VIDEO:

“Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations/Tsubasa Spring Thunder” is presented in 1080p High Definition and as expected from an OAV series, it looks much better than its TV series counterpart, especially when it comes to the action-driven scenes.

With “Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE” the TV series receiving Blu-ray treatment (and results were OK), with Bee Train splitting from Production I.G. to start their own independent studio, Production I.G. now handles the anime production this time around.  And because OAV’s tend to have more of a better budget than a TV series, you can tell.  The fighting sequences have more frames, the background art is much better and for the most part, there is an obvious quality difference with the OAV’s having more vibrant colors, blacks are nice and deep and I did not notice any artifacting or edge enhancement.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations/Tsubasa Spring Thunder” is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 English and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0.  If there was one thing I enjoyed about the TV series, I felt that FUNimation Entertainment did a wonderful job in selecting the English cast and the same can be said with the OAV series.  But both soundtracks are well-acted and well-done.

The English track gets the better audio with its lossless presentation in English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD.  The soundtrack is center and front channel driven but the dialogue is crystal clear and the music sounds absolutely fantastic in lossless audio.  The action sequences, especially during the more intense battles are where you will hear more of the immersive soundtrack come into play through the use of the surround channels.  But overall, the lossless English soundtrack is fantastic.

Subtitles are only in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations/Tsubasa Spring Thunder” comes with the following special features:

  • OVA 1 Cast Commentary – Audio commentary by Monica Rial (voice actress for Sakura) and Micah Solosud (voice actor for Kamui and Subaru).  A hilarious but fun audio commentary as Monica welcomes Micah Solosud and talk about being an anime fan and getting the opportunity to become a voice actor for anime series.
  • OVA 2 Cast Commentary – Audio commentary by Joel McDonald (director of “Tsubasa”/voice actor of Fuma) and Nathanael Harrison (Mixing Engineer).  A cool audio commentary that deals with sound mixing and more.
  • OVA 3 Cast Commentary – Audio commentary by Colleen Clinkenbeard (Line Producer and voice actress for Yuko), Curtis Schaub (Brand Manager).  A pretty cool audio commentary as we get to learn about brand managing of anime series for FUNimation Entertainment.
  • Textless Opening Song – Opening theme “Synchronicity” by Yui Makino.
  • Textless Closing Song – Closing theme “Saigo no Kajitsu” by Maaya Sakamoto.
  • Part 1 Cast Commentary – Audio commentary by Vic Mignona (voice actor for Fai Flowright) and Michele Specht (voice actress of Amaterasu).
  • Part 2 Cast Commentary – Audio commentary by J. Michael Tatum (voice actor as Seishiro) and Christopher Sabat (voice actor for Kurogane).
  • Textless Opening Song – Opening theme “Sonic Boom” by Maaya Sakamoto.
  • Textless Closing Song – Closing theme by “Kioku no Mori” by FictionJunction Yuuka.
  • Trailers – FUNimation Entertainment trailers.

Let me first say that I have been a big fan of CLAMP-related anime and manga series. When “Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE” was originally released, I felt that the appearances of characters from various CLAMP series was just awesome.

With that being said, I’ve always felt that CLAMP series although known for their character designs, the overall enjoyment of their work is how well written the stories are and how much they focus on character development. So, with that being said, for those looking for a series that features a well-written storyline that is quite addictive, you’re going to enjoy “Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE”.

I was a bit critical of the first season, enjoyed the second (including the movies) and here we are now with “Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations/Tsubasa Spring Thunder” and the only word that can come to my mind to describe the OAV was…Awesome!

The TV series felt like never-ending episodes.  You hope for some closure but as each episode gets near the end of the season, you feel that there was no closure at all and it kept going and going.  With most anime series, you tend to get some major conclusion.  Something critical to end the season before going off to another adventure or something significant.  Not to say that “Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE” was full of filler episodes but it took some time for me to warm up to it and by the second season, I was enjoying it.

I know for other critics, some felt the storyline was getting monotonous and thus I’m happy to say that things come full circle with “Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations/Tsubasa Spring Thunder”.  The action sequences, even the fighting gets brutal with this OAV series and even our main characters will not be the same as one friend would say, “they all get f’d up!”.

The storyline is much deeper than the TV series and because it is an OVA (which means better and higher budget), you get  better animation and artistic backgrounds.

But really, these OAV episodes are like CLAMP fan service!  If you are a fan of CLAMP, you can’t help but geek out when you see characters from other series show up.  When I was watching the OAV’s, it reminded me of the good ol’ days of anime fandom and even old school anime clubs where we would watch and geek out for “X” the movie and the OVA series, “Tokyo Babylon” and you can only dream that these characters would ever meet and be on one anime series.

Sure, we see it on video games (ie. “Jump Super Stars” with “Naruto”, “Dragon Ball Z”, “One Piece” and other Shonen Jump characters all in one video game) and we see it in sentai shows or Ultraman or mega monster Japanese films but because the CLAMP series are all different, it’s quite interesting when the stories are interwoven like this.  Some people may like it, some may find it gimmicky but I could care less, as a CLAMP fan, I’m definitely down for it and the fact that they got as many characters to be in this OAV series “Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations” and “Tsubasa Spring Thunder” is pretty awesome!

As for the Blu-ray release, once again, the PQ and AQ is pretty solid and I’m very happy that FUNimation tried something different with the audio commentary.  It’s one thing to have these voice talent getting together and talking about the anime series, their characters or just having fun talking but I felt that they tried something new by bringing the anime industry element to the commentary from the mixing standpoint, the brand management standpoint.  I felt this was pretty awesome because rarely do you ever hear commentary like this.  So, kudos to FUNimation Entertainment for also including special features with this release and trying something new!

Overall, if you have followed the “Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE” anime series, you owe it to yourself to purchase “Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations/Tsubasa Spring Thunder”.  These OAV episodes are all awesome and are highly recommended!






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