Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles Volume 22

Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles is going to go down as one of my most favorite mangas of all times. I just know it. There is so much about this series that it is hard to not love it. There is something for everyone and with all the twists and turns it is hard to see where the series is going half the time. But it a fun way in which all said twist and turns will be explained.

I am going to try my hardest to do one Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles manga post a week until I am caught up with the current chapters. This series is going to end soon and I want to be able to blog the final chapter the day it comes out. XD I think it will be easier to make a follow up post in that final chapter post rather than a volume post. That and I am sure I will be a mess and go on and on about the wonderful sadness of all.


A sadness that keeps me coming back each and every time.

A new chapter was released today and it left me beyond happy. No spoilers of course for said new chapter but the characters that were added...well, I was wondering why the heck they weren't mentioned at all. But now they are and I am happy.

But this post is about volume 22. Not the current chapters. I will do my best to keep all spoilers/speculations contained to volumes 22 and under. XD It is more fun that way and I don't want to ruin future volumes for anyone. So beware of volume 22 spoilers and happy reading. XD Enjoy!

I am not going to attempt to do a summary with this post. Mostly because I am lazy but partly because I took so many screenies...it will basically be a summary within itself anyway. That and it is more fun to jump right in and start talking about the parts I found interesting about the volume.


Kuorgane lives! REJOICE!

Dear silly Kurogane. He can't get out of protection mode and that is fine with me. Of course instead of asking where the others are I pretend he is mainly asking where Fai is. But only because I am a crazy yaoi girl.

I think his reaction when he woke up was very telling of his personality. Had I lost my arm I probably would have died from shock. But pretending that I somehow lived...when I woke up again I would be crying and feeling bad for myself. But not Kurogane. He takes all the pain and focuses on the people important to him. He is just a big softie at heart and I love him.


Okay...she is really friggin cute.

Tomoyo is such a cutie no matter what version/story/CLAMP universe she is in. She just embodies a calm personality with a hint of flare and craziness when the time is right. Kurogane is a bit shocked to see her but we can forgive that. After being thrust into some pretty scary worlds I would be shocked to be back at home where things are slightly safer.


So why isn't he happy to see her? (Tenchi spoiler: I bet is has to do with Fai).

After explaining where he is and that the others are there as well...Kurogane does not seem very pleased. One would say he looks downcast. Now someone whose main mission in life was to get back home should be happy that they got back home right? Instead Kurogane looks disappointed.

So why is Kurogane so sad? Is it because now his wish has been granted and he knows his journey is over? That would mean he would let the others leave and he knows there is more to this adventure. Or is he sad because he knows that despite being home he knows he is not staying for long. He had expected to come home under different circumstances, that he would stay and all would be right. Now he knows that he is involved and he still has things to do. We won't even go into the part about how sad it would be for him to leave Fai because...well he can't as Fai needs him to survive.


And these words cement this pairing once and for all. Case close. Game over.

Kurogane thinks back to their final moment's in Fai's country. He claims that he heard Tomoyo's voice telling him how to save Fai. And when her words are revealed....it flat out tells the viewers/readers that Kurogane does have feelings for Fai. Sure Kurogane feels strongly for all his friends and he would probably do anything for them all. But for Fai Kurogane is willing to give up pieces of himself just so that person can be by his side. And the way Tomoyo worded in, including Kurogane's heart....yeah, that is proves this pairing in my eyes. Well, even more I mean.


All he cares about is that Fai is safe!

Tomoyo continues to explain how she was able to save Fai and Kurogane and how everything was possible. Basically Fai had to use all his power to save Kurogane and Kurogane had to make a sacrifice to bring Fai with him. Tomoyo pauses and asks Kurogane if he has learned the true meaning of real strength, the reason she sent him on this journey to begin with. Being the sarcastic soul he is Kurogane smirks and gives a Kurogane like answer.

I think how he looks up at the ceiling and how he grabs his...not there arm also says a lot about how he answered the question. He has been through trying times and perhaps he is not sure he knows the real answer...but he knows he has experienced some tough crap. I think that this picture says a lot about Kurogane that you don't get the first or second read through.


But since Fai is by your side you are stronger than ever. SAY IT!

When Kurogane talks about how he had to kill someone and that was when he felt a lose in his strength it got serious. True these events just happened so they would be fresh wounds for Kurogane. But I think there is more to how upset Kurogane looked. Part of me hopes that he knew that it would decrease his strength but he did it to protect Fai. To him it was okay sacrificing a little bit of strength if Fai would just...be not as messed up as he could be.


Kurogane is all grown up and not screaming at people!

The old Kurogane would have thrown a fit and gone insane. But the Kurogane who has been on this journey now understands the point of keeping secrets and trying to protect others. But he will still hate Yuuko....even if Yuuko and Tomoyo have tried a great deal to make sure Fai was okay just for you Kurogane!


*passes out from the amount of yaoi tension in the room*

After Tomoyo smiles and tells Kurogane that he has learned what real strength is...Fai walks in the room. A very serious and sexy looking Fai. This picture also speaks a thousand words. Kurogane is getting ready for whatever is about to happen. Before Fai's world the two were not in a good place. Kurogane knows the ball is in Fai's court and is waiting for whatever is to come next. But Kurogane is still going to convey he is not sorry for saving Fai in the way that he did.


Kurogane is expecting to be rejected again but he knows he wouldn't change a thing.

Just....there are no words. Well, there are but I am sure they will come out insane and only focus on yaoi. But putting aside my craziness this scene is very touching. It is almost like Kurogane is trying to tell Fai "I did it because I love you". Or "it's okay to hate me as long as you are still alive". Kurogane looks very vulnerable and strong at the same time.


Apparently Fai and Kurogane have changed bodies.

X_X And then the cute innocent moment is gone.


But I just saved your life?!

I cut off my arm and this is the thanks I get?! X_X



Finally. Back to normal! These last few volumes have been stressful and hard but it was also sad. The group was getting torn apart and the mommy and daddy of the group weren't talking. Ever since Fai woke up and called Kurogane by his name something had changed between them. Fai put up a wall to protect himself, to keep Kurogane from getting close to him. It was hard to watch Kurogane continue to protect the little group and for Fai to ignore him like that. It hurt more as we all know Kurogane and Fai belong together and they know that too. Being so close to the person you love and they are acting like they hate your guts is hard to do.

But now everything is out in the open. Fai was keeping his past inside and trying to keep from others from being hurt by all his curses and secrets. But that is all over now. They know the truth about him and still want him to be a part of their group. And even though Fai thought he was the type of person Kurogane hated (way back in the virtual reality world) he has learned Kurogane understands why he is the way he is.

So what better way than to get back at Kurogane for being a knucklehead and slapping some sense into him. The typical Kurogane response would have been to chase him around but I will enjoy the canine smile. It works just as well. Especially since there is the resurrection of the nicknames. Once Kurogane heard his name butchered like that he knew it was okay between the two of them. Different, but okay. Now they can move on to something better and actually become a couple. Be still my heart!


Stop spoiling my yaoi party. :(

Oh...there is still plot. :( Actually...the main plot. Fai did get a lot of time and space for himself. I never really saw him as a side character but this story is about Sakura and Syaoran. So...I feel as if the yaoi part of this series is going to be on the back burners for a while. But I still love this series.

Watanuki and Syaoran wake up in the dream world. Watanuki is confused about what is going on and assumes Syaoran is here to say goodbye to him. Syaoran decides that he doesn't want to explain what is going on but say his typical DON'T DISAPPEAR line again.


Silly boy, secrets can't be revealed until the end of the series!

But Watanuki asks anyway. Clearly he does not know that secrets on such a massive level are not answered until almost the very last volume. But Watanuki does deserve an answer. He has been questioning his existence for quite some time and some stranger he has only met once knows what is going on. I would want to know too!


Even thought it is practically implied....

After talking about how Syaoran knows who he is but cannot reveal the information because the future is unstable, the two boys talk about Sakura. Syaoran has always worried about that girl and won't stop anytime soon. Probably will worry more now that she is not even in her body. Syaoran almost spells out how he and Watanuki are connected before the two depart the dream world. Not that Watanuki understands. That poor boy has been through enough in his story it is understandable he is slightly confused. But he promises Syaoran he will protect Sakura to the best of his ability.


The dream world is very special.

Knowing more than I should at this point this statement makes no sense. But reading along with no other information...it sounds mysterious and hopeful. So let's go with that for now. That and it is rare that Syaoran looks happy or peaceful so let the boy have his moment.


Probably suffering the most out of anyone in the whole series (except my Fai).

Back in her shop Yuuko and black Mokona talk about how the group came to arrive in Nihon. Several people had to make sacrifices to make sure the group ended up in a safe area. She and Mokona talk about abstractly about what is going on and how this is all meant to be.

Yuuko gets a very bad rap. Many people get upset at the high price she requests for all these wishes. But when you get down to it she is not granting these wishes. She is merely playing the biggest game of "I want this but first get me this". She is not using anything that belongs to her to grant these wishes. She is merely exchanging all the prices people pay for their own wishes and switch it up so it can help the right person. Yuuko is getting nothing out of the deal.

Yuuko looks so sad. She knows the possibilities of all these scenarios and can't do anything if someone goes down a sad path. She can only watch and hope that people make the right decision. It would break my heart to watch people fall into sad situations and not be able to reach out and help those suffering.


Sakura lives!!!!...sorta?

Yuuko spends a little bit of time talking about how Fei Wong Reed's plan is slowly falling apart but he still has some tricks up his sleeve. But that can be put aside for a moment as Sakura is gently resting in the most appropriate place ever: Sakura trees.


Such concern for a princess that doesn't what this version of him.

Syaoran is such a strong character. No matter if it is the real Syaoran or the clone Syaoran he is a caring person with enough determination to save the world. But all he wants to save is this tiny princess who has killed herself to save him. :( Such young people making tough decisions on the future.



So we get 3 seconds of Sakura and 2 seconds of Kurogane catching up with old friends. Then BAM back to drama. This time the drama is in the form of Fumma. Fumma just brings back sad memories of x/1999 not being finished and CLAMP hating my guts. Sadness fills my soul.


Err, say hello to your new arm?

Um yeah. So I just saw the Terminator movie today...and their arms were less creepy than that one. It looks more like lizard man meets robot. X_X And it is so long and looks beyond weird in that tube. GROSS!

Fumma briefly explains that when everyone was back in Tokyo he said he had other jobs to do. Well this arm was the job. He was sent to Piffle, where the other Tomoyo lives and gather this arm. Kurogane is shocked (and possibly grossed out).


Kurogane doesn't even have to ask. He just KNOWS Fai.

Kurogane knows Yuuko well enough that nothing is free. He is smart enough to turn down that gift.

However Fai loves Kurogane. Or at the very least he feels responsible for what has happened to Kurogane. Kurogane knows Fai well enough that he would do anything to help out his friends (Kurogane) and that he is stupid enough to give into that witch. He doesn't even have to wait for an answer, he knows it is Fai.

Kurogane wants to get mad but then remembers he has no arm.

Kurogane looks so many things. I just want to give him a hug and tell him things will work out. Not any time soon, but one day. He looks upset that Fai feels the need to pay him back. He didn't save him for thanks or payback, he just wanted him to live. He also looks worried about what Fai has to give up. He knows he can't say anything about that aspect as well...you know his arm is missing.

Fai does his best to look upbeat and happy about his decision. Because in part I think he happy and part so Kurogane doesn't get too upset. If Kurogane can give up part of his body for Fai than Fai can do the same.


LIES! Kurogane is worth dying for!

Fai's eye glows and magic fills the room. His price is the rest of his magic in exchange for Kurogane's new arm. Unlike when he tried to pay the price before he will not lose vision in this eye nor will he die. Quite frankly I think he is getting the better end of the stick with this deal. Without both his eyes he will die if he uses too much magic. So...yeah, it was better to get rid of that magic now in a safe way than in a SPLAT dead way.

Fai smiles and tells the group he would never give up his life for another and everyone seems happy with that statement. It is supposed to read that Fai thinks his life is worth saving and living now and THAT is a good thing. Because I don't think anything is wrong with sacrificing your life for another person that you really love. I will just choose to see it as Fai will be careful to make sure both people live and not let himself die if at all possible.


Needs skin please. NOW! Before anymore yaoi thoughts!

Just...do not like. X_X It totally destroys all the yaoi fanfictions out there. Can Fai give up some of his hair and get some skin on that thing? The finger tips freak me out the most.


Seriously can't this group catch a break AT ALL?!

Oh look, it's Seishirō. Because if our group had one moment of happiness it would kill the story. No happiness for anyone. Safe country my butt.


Kill him Kurogane! Protect what is yours!

Seishirō and Fumma share a brief brother moment and it is tense. Really tense from Fai and Kurogane. Seishirō decides to say hello by bringing up the twins and how Fai seems different now. Then he has the nerve to put his hands on Fai. Kurogane needs to work on his ninja skills a little bit better but don't worry. Fai can handle himself.


MMMM peanut gallery.


This part of the storyline bothers me...only because I pair Kamui and Subaru together.

After a bit of insanity Fai explains that they came in contact with the twins in Tokyo. Fumma smiles and says that he will not reveal their location as that wouldn't be fair. Seishirō seems disappointed as he thought he had tracked the twins down but he might have only been drawn to Fai's new blood. Reliving that part of the journey makes our group slightly sad.


Is it seriously battle time already?

Seishirō tries to leave as he is no longer interested in this world if the twins are not there. But Syaoran tells Seishirō he is not leaving without the feather he stole from virtual reality country. Seishirō doesn't really like that idea as this feather is very powerful. So...it is clearly Mortal Kombat time.


Then who is he referring to?

Seishirō makes the passing comment that Syaoran was just like this father in regards to magic/fight techniques. Mokona thinks that Seishirō knows Syaoran's father because of how they both traveled and such. Fai corrects the creature, as Syaoran clone was not related to his father at all and well...this is the real Syaoran we are talking about. So how does Seishirō know the real father? MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.


Man pride: I don't understand it.

Kurogane wants to help Syaoran or "the kid". He knows this battle probably won't be very fair and getting the feathers back was also part of his job. It wouldn't be fair to have Syaoran bear the burden alone. That and Seishirō has already killed a Syaoran once.

But there is a shared glance and Kurogane backs down. This is not his fight. Pride and honor and all that stuff. Who cares about winning, things must be FAIR!


We don't need to watch no stickin fight.

So after the Princess declares the fight ready to go once they are in a seal shield and the battle begins...Tomoyo and Fai decide to have a talk. Because they know battles are boring. That and they have serious business to discuss.


More man pride. My motto is MOG run and live so...I don't really understand.

Besides Kuro-daddy is there to watch over the kids. He really wants to get in there and help but he won't. Because he knows what real strength is now. Besides your kid is only going to grow if you let them go out and try on their own. You just have to watch in case they do fail so you can save them from the baddie.


Must not...pass out from the sweet yaoi moment....

Fai and Tomoyo discuss about when their group first arrived in Nihon. Fai was a mess and crying. He thought he was going to lose Kurogane. He was truly worried about him and that touches at my heart. And reinstates my yaoi thoughts.

Fai explains how he knew that after they got to his homeland things were going to get bad and that they would need a back up plan in case of such evilness. He used his own magic to contact Yuuko so his friends could be safe. She stated the conditions of the wish (which was Fai using his own magic to transport the group).

Fai looks up at Tomoyo and says that he could not pay the whole price and that someone else had helped. Tomoya gave up being a dreamseer to make sure the group ended up in Nihon. She doesn't seem sad about losing such a power as it probably brought her great sadness. She just wanted to do her part in helping out the group. No doubt her ability will become the correct answer for someone else's dream that helps save the world.


Not sure I am buying all that. But maybe it will be further explained towards the end of the series.

Tomoyo tries to explain how she knew King Ashura and that perhaps he was a victim in all of this. Which I think he is too. I just fail to see how Ashura really tried to save Fai. I think there were other ways. But it might turn out that Ashura had to follow Fei Wong Reed's plan and could only change very basic parts. Perhaps Ashura knew that Kurogane would come and give Fai strength when he faltered. I have mixed feelings about this but bleh.


WEEEEE! Things go Ka-boom!

The battle goes on for quite a while. Nothing majorly interesting there. Seishirō has the upper hand most of the battle. At one point Syaoran seems down for the count and Seishirō tries to leave. But Syaoran is stubborn and strong. He isn't going down without a fight...or another one!


Do not compare yourself to Fei Wang Reed! I won't allow it!

No. I refuse to feel sorry for Fei Wang Reed. I refuse.

And don't think for a second you are anything like him Fai. He used you to bring whoever back to life. You were a kid who didn't know any better and didn't know what he was doing or the damage it would cause. He did/does. No person is worth all this suffering.


Syaoran wins the feather and his prize is...black goo?

Fai and Tomoyo rejoin the group to watch Syaoran win the fight. He has to pull out all the stops but he is able to win. And then the sky is filled with black goo. Everyone panics as Syaoran starts to get sucked in. Syaoran promises he will return with Sakura and he disappears.


X_X Um okay?

Everyone goes X_X. Tomoyo explains that the feather has a great power and Syaoran has crossed over into the dream world. Fai-mommy and Kurogane-daddy worry over their two kids.


Yay for her soul!! XD There is hope (for 5 seconds at least).

Syaoran arrives in the dream world which startles Watanuki. He warns Syaoran to stay away but Syaoran reaches Sakura. Watanuki starts to disappear as clone Syaoran appears in the dream instead. Oh snap things have gotten really serious. Really, such a safe place to rest...right...

Before Watanuki disappears in the dream Syaoran tells Watanuki to do what he has to do. To follow his heart and all that jazz. Syaoran is very concerned about Syaoran staying alive. Syaoran always looks out for others even when his life is on the line.


Is it time for a show down?

The two Syaorans meet for a second time. Clone Syaoran is still not in control of his emotions. He is a puppet being controlled by the evil bearded villain. Real Syaoran is protecting the girl that truly belongs to clone Syaoran.


Dramatic scene is very dramatic.

Sakura can only look on as both boys want to battle for her. The reason clone Syaoran has shown up in the dream world is because real Syaoran has a feather now. Sakura tries to convince the boys she no longer needs the feathers but they don't listen. Well, clone Syaoran is incapable of listening and real Syaoran has decided that it is his job to stop his other self.


And me thinks this will not end well....

Sakura is placed in a protected bubble as she watches the man she loves battle...a guy who looks just like the guy she loves. Things aren't in real Syaoran's favor as he just got done battling in the real world but he seems determined. He may not want to kill the innocent clone but he has no choice. This volume ends with a dramatic face off and a scared Sakura looking on in fear.

Holy crap that got long. X_X Next time....not so many screenies. I promise. Or at least I promise to try. Thanks for reading all of that. XD But screenies make it fun anyway.

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