Originally posted: Friday, August 13, 2010 on Blogger

The heart of the Outo arc, volume six, is one of my favourite volumes of Tsubasa.

Summary


Sakura wakes up a bit late, but she is still excited about helping Fai with their new cafe, Cat’s Eye. Meanwhile, Syaoran and Kurogane go looking for information about the special Oni. They are told that the information they seek can be found in a bar called Clover that opens at night.

As such, when night comes, Kurogane and Fai set out to find Clover, while Sakura and Syaoran stay behind to run the cafe. On their way to the bar, Kurogane and Fai run into some Oni. The resulting battle causes Fai to hurt himself when he runs out of darts, while Kurogane’s sword breaks from the power of his attack. Nevertheless, the two make it to the bar Clover. At Cat’s Eye, though, things aren’t much better. A strange boy comes into the shop and challenges Syaoran. Their fighting causes some damage to the cafe, but before the boy, called Ryuo, can create even more ruckus, a friend of his steps in and he realizes how inappropriate the location of their fight was. Ryuo apologizes to Syaoran and helps him get the cafe back into working order. The two become friends and promise to fight again. The others enjoy Fai’s baked goodies.

Once in the bar, Fai and Kurogane ask about the special Oni. The bartender tells them they will have to wait for the song to finish because it is the singer who has the information they seek. After the song ends, the singer introduces herself as Oruha and tells them about a special Oni that takes the shape of a beautiful young man.

When Fai and Kurogane come back to the cafe, Fai shows off all the alcohol he got from Caldina, the bartender. The group celebrates and everyone gets very drunk except Kurogane. Fai and Sakura pretend they are cats, while Syaoran asks Kurogane to train him. When the latter accepts, Syaoran, drunk, takes a kitchen utensil and treats it as a sword while talking to a chair believing it is Kurogane. Furious with this nonsense, Kurogane tells everything to go to sleep.

The next morning Fai has a bad hangover and gets up late. Surprisingly, Sakura is perfectly fine and opened the cafe by herself. Meanwhile the puppy duo pick up some swords. Syaoran returns later in the evening all worn out. The next day goes about the same, except this time, Kurogane notices Syaoran is blind in one eye. He notes that Syaoran responds quicker on his right side because he is blind, and therefore gives him a blind fold and tells him to come home with it on.

On his way home, however, Syaoran is attacked by Oni. Thankfully, Ryuo takes off the blind fold just as Syaoran was about to be hit. The two of them have a little chat and continue back to the cafe. On their way, however, they come across two Oni hunters fighting an abnormal Oni. Behind the Oni is a man and he summons more Oni. Syaoran seems to recognize the man and likewise the man calls out to Syaoran. Because the Oni have multiplied too much, Ryuo takes the stunned Syaoran and the two of them make a run for it.

Once they reach the cafe, Ryou barges in and tells everyone they saw the special Oni. Syaoran, confused, recollects how he met Seishiro, the man who summoned the Oni. Turns out Seishiro taught Syaoran how to fight. Syaoran concludes that this Seishiro knew him, yet he does not understand why he is here in Outo. As such, Syaoran tells his shocked friends that the man may have been the one who taught him how to fight. This proclamation brings a close to volume six.

My Thoughts


Volume six, the heart of the Outo arc, is definitely one of my favourite volumes. I really enjoyed the more fun and almost slice-of-life mood in this volume. The drinking party scenes, in particular, were a real nice treat. As well as the moments between Fai and Kurogane, which begins to hint at something beneath Fai’s smile.

Due to the nature of this volume, plot development was rather slow until the final chapter, yet character development really picked up. Bits, foreshadowing more to come, about Kurogane and Fai littered this volume (examples include Fai’s yearning for someone to take him away like in the song, Kurogane’s speech to Syaoran about cutting what you were not ready to cut, etc). Even side character Ryuo got a bit of development and his friendship with Syaoran was adorable. Syoaran did get character development, but it was nothing new: his determination is once again highlighted as well as his generally nice and gentle persona, which becomes even more pronounced when he talks with Ryuo. Sakura’s general personification as an energetic girl is solidified in this volume as well.

For Clamp fans, this volume is filled to the brim with cameos. From major ones like Ryou (RG Vega) to little Easter eggs like Hikaru (Angelic Layer). I’m not too familiar with all of Clamp’s work, but with the ones I am familiar, it’s always nice to see them again.

As for art, volume six has one of my favourite Tsubasa covers. I love birds and Syaoran is one of my favourite characters. The fact that he is also holding a scale and looks so serious are pluses in my books. For chapitre covers, all were really nice, but Chapitre 40’s cover really stands out. Chapitre 40 features the gang from the Hanshin Republic and what looks like a glimpse into what’s happening there after Syaoran and company left. I really love when mangaka use chapter covers to tell the readers what is happening with characters that have left the main stage. I’m always curious, thinking, “I wonder how so-and-so is doing”, so when the mangaka takes the time to give us a glimpse, it really is a treat.

–SW

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