Originally posted: Thursday, July 24, 2008 on Blogger

The fifth volume of Tsubasa finishes off the Jade arch and begins one of my favourite archs, the Oto arc. So without further ado, let’s get the summary started!


Volume five begins with the now jailed Sakura-hime, who notices the missing children through the little bars in her door. Using a bit of quick thinking, she escapes her prison and follows after the children. After she sees the children going into a small crawl space, she yells ‘wait’, which causes the children to take notice of her. But the children are acting in a rather bizarre manner, and they begin to close in upon Sakura-hime just before the scene swifts to Syaoran and the others.

Syaoran, Fai, and Kurogane are standing not too far off from the castle when they notice Grosum-san, who is soaking wet. Syaoran continues his search for clues, once again looking at Spirits’ History Book. While out reading, he notices Doctor Kyle performing a routine examination on a child. When the doctor leaves, the child does something utterly strange; she opens her window and points to the sky saying, “black bird”. Syaoran takes notice, but sees no bird in the sky. Later that night, Syaoran follows after Kyle, who in turn is following the little girl. It seems that Syaoran laid a trap for Doctor Kyle: the little girl is only Mokona in disguise, and it becomes apparent that the true instigator of the missing children is really Doctor Kyle, and not Grosum as it first appeared to be.

Once he is unmasked, Kyle flees into the castle, but just before he can escape, Mokona throws some shiny powder onto his shoes. This makes it very easy for the gang to follow after him, until he realizes and takes his shoes off. Luckily for the gang, Syaoran notices the foot prints of the children, so they follow those instead. Meanwhile, Sakura is talking with the ghost of Princess Emerald, who explains to her that she used the feather 300 years ago to save the children, who were becoming ill. The children then break the ice enclosing the feather away from the rest of the ice, and hand it to Sakura. Just as she finishes talking to Princess Emerald, Doctor Kyle runs in. He asks Sakura to come with him as soon as possible, since everyone is worried and she might get sick by walking around with no shoes.

Sakura however, quickly sees through him, and asks him, how he knew she was bare foot. Having been unmasked yet again, Kyle proceeds to use force to get the feather from Sakura, but just before he can stab her, Syaoran arrives and rescues Sakura once more. Then there is a whole lot of dialogue where Kyle reveals his plans from the start and why he needed children. Sakura also hears Princess Emerald’s true story, and why the King and Queen died. Before too long through, the mechanism stopping the water flow begins to break away, and the castle starts to flood with water. Fai, Kurogane, and Grosum-san begin to evacuate the children, but Syaoran and Sakura get separated from them when a wall collapses. Syaoran reassures the others that he will get out and proceeds to another pathway. Unluckily, this one is also blocked, but Princess Emerald instructs Sakura toward a secret passageway that allows them to escape the castle before it tumbles upon itself; doctor Kyle on the other hand, doesn’t escape in time.

The children are then reunited with their parents, and the villagers realize that Grosum-san had always cared about their needs without showing it. Meanwhile, Sakura tells the others that Princess Emerald told her that someone is watching them. The scene swifts once more, and Grosum-san and the man with the gun (I forgot his name since it’s only mentioned once) are about to thank Syaoran and the others once again, but they only find a note in the room. It tells them the true story of Princess Emerald and asks that this story be told from now on. Meanwhile, Sakura is desperately trying to find the ghost of Princess Emerald, but she is no where to be found. From a distance the bartender from the other town watches the group, and reports in to Fei Wong Reed. It seems the man is trying to control as much of their journey as possible….

The next chapter begins with Yukito and Toya, who are in the country of Clow. Toya is still recovering from his injuries due to the sudden invasion of Fei Wong’s minions, while Yukito comments that the ruins are surrounded by a sand storm once more, and it is as if the storm is guarding something very precious inside the ruins. Toya voices his concern over Syaoran, stating that there was something not right about him when the child first came to Clow. Gradually however, his feelings of unease faded as Sakura played with the boy more and more, and the boy began to smile. He did however tell the King, who only looked onto the ruins and said to trust in the future. The scene switches to Syaoran’s group now, and they have arrived in yet another world.

Promptly upon their arrival, they are greeted by six lovely ladies, who welcome them to the country of Oto. They are quite touchy-feely, but they manage to tell the gang to held over to City Hall to register, since everyone who comes to Oto must register. The gang is quite surprised, but they decide to head over to the city hall nonetheless. At city hall, Fai comes up with aliases for the group (since they need names to register and aliases are fine), and Syaoran sells the clothes they have accumulated from the different worlds. They fetch a nice price, and the gang gets a house for all their money. Once at their new house, a monster crashes in from no where and attacks. Syaoran is able to defeat it, and soon afterwards it’s corpse disappears.

Syoaran and Fai decide to go to city hall the next morning in order to inquire about the monster attack. It turns out that this country has monsters called Oni, and hunters who hunt them. Syaoran decides to become an oni hunter in order to scout out information from other hunters, since Mokona has already confirmed that there is a feather in this world. However, he needs a partner, because oni hunters are registered in pairs. Fai signs Kurogane up, and requests a more laid back job for himself that will also allow him to pick up tidbits. Turns out Fai will be a cafe owner, so the gang decides to remodel their home and turn it into a cafe, with Sakura as a waitress. When Kurogane hears about his new job, he is actually quite pleased, but shows concern for Syaoran, since he has finally confirmed, due to last night’s attack, that Syaoran’s right eye is blind. Syaoran asks Kurogane to allow him to accompany him, and reassures him that he will not slow him down. Sakura awakens not long after this discussion, and Mokona suddenly receives a some chocolate treats from Yuko. Kurogane is skeptical that they are for free, and decides he will not eat them. Fai, however, has other plans, and he slips a peice into Kurogane’s mouth, prompting an angry response from Kurogane. Both Sakura and Syaoran enjoy the treats.

Later, both Kurogane and Syaoran have gone out and have their first taste of battle. Once they finish off all the Oni, a girl calls from a rooftop saying that those Oni were the ones she was tracking. After a bit of chitchat, she asks Syaoran and Kurogane if they might be the new oni hunters named ….. The scene then abruptly shifts to Fai at the cafe, and Kurogane storms in and asks what kind of names he gave them. It turns out Fai drew two dogs for Kurogane and Syaoran, and two cats for himself and Sakura, since he did not know the system of writing in this world. These pictures were registered as Big doggy (Kurogane) and little doggy (Syaoran), and big kitten (Fai) and little kitten (Sakura). This prompts a very violent response from Kurogane, who then chases after Fai with his sword. The female oni hunter, called Nekoi and her partner Shiyu seemed to have followed Syaoran and Kurogane to the cafe. While dodging Kurogane’s swings, Fai asks if the two hunters would like some chocolate cake.

During their meal, Nekoi explains the Oni rating system to Syaoran, but their little get together is cut short as Nekoi’s dog senses Oni not too far away, and the three of them head out. After they leave, Sakura brings Syaoran some hot chocolate that Fai taught her to make, and inquires about the relationship between her and Syaoran. Just as she is about to say and realize that he must be someone very important to her, her memory is erased, and she falls over. She now only remembers that she came to apologize for something, but she cannot remember what. In the shadows, Fai tells Kurogane that a fair price is nothing to be trifled with. As Sakura lays there and begins to fall asleep, she whispers to Syaoran, that she is sure that one day she will remember him. Syaoran then whispers back to the sleeping Sakura that even if she doesn’t remember him, he will get all her memories back, while ominous shadows stir behind them, bringing volume five to a emotional conclusion.

My Thoughts

As I stated in the introduction, volume five begins one of my favourite archs in Tsubasa, the Oto arch. I also quite like the Jade arch, and since this volume contains the conclusion of the Jade arch and the introduction of the Oto arch, I get to see two of my favourite archs. A nice bonus ^^

Tsubasa is one of those rare manga that just gets progressively better; the first three volumes are fine, but once we hit volume four, the heart of the Jade arch, things start to pick up a bit. The early volumes of Tsubasa (pre-Tokyo arch) are very thin on story development, but there are a few archs that do develop the characters very nicely and both Jade and Oto are two such archs. Jade however, only develops Sakura and Syaoran, but Oto develops the whole gang. However, in this volume, its mostly Syaoran getting developed, with some focus on Sakura. This is not a bad thing, and I really did enjoy the fifth volume.

I also like how the manga ended on a somber note, for it almost foreshadows what is yet to come. And although it’s made pretty clear in the first volume, this volume’s final pages further establishes Tsubasa as an manga full of anguish. The cheery dimension traveling of the past couple volumes put Tsubasa’s angst to the back seat, but volume five brings it up front again, if only for a bit, to remind readers that Tsubasa isn’t going to be a pleasant ride forever. And along with my cheery manga, I also like my anguished-filled manga, and even the rare depressing manga. So Tsubasa does well what it was suppose to do, anguish; the final pages really tear at the heart strings (especially if like me, you have read CCS).

The cover, on the other hand, isn’t a favourite of mine. It’s not horrible, but there are so many much more lovely tsubasa covers that volume five’s just looks bland. Although, a cover featuring only Fai and Syaoran is pretty rare, so I will give it that. Volume five also feature nice chapitre (or chapter) covers; chapitre 29 and 31 were two of my favourites this volume.