Rating: Teen (13+)
Released: May 2008
“In mere minutes, Fai will be dead, and Kurogane’s only hope to save him is to make a deal with Yuko the Witch, a women he has never trusted. The deals sends Kurogane – alone – into the worst danger he has ever faced.”
Everything gets upped a notch in volume seventeen of Tsubasa. Fai is on his deathbed, with no options left to save him – short of asking for Yuko’s help. Reluctantly Kurogane makes a deal with the Witch, a deal that, through a few different passes of payment from character to character, leads to Sakura (unlike what the book’s summary would lead you to believe) embarking on a dangerous mission all on her own.
This is the part of the series fans have been waiting for; unexplored aspects of characters are revealed, the drama heats up, and the up until now spectator-princess, takes centre stage as a strong and independent individual. Watching Sakura getting so seriously injured was enjoyable, but not in a sadistic way; it was watching the series take a sudden, and well-needed, turn in a different direction, the kind of refreshing change of pace the series needed. Fai and Kurogane bond in a dangerous way and the bare emotions make it a thoroughly entertaining read.
CLAMP’s artwork continues to be nothing to scoff at, here with a style sporting more simplified, shonen-attributes to match the story. During the second half of the book, when Sakura takes to the night on her own, things get a little less easy to follow with so much happening however its quick pace really makes for a sense of urgency. A scene where Sakura’s head hits a wall looked so painful, I winced while reading it.
DelRey left me a bit disappointed in them with this release, as the interior had a couple of spelling errors and the summary on the back of the book seems clearly miswritten. On the upside, the usual detailed translation notes are included and the page printing is bright and crisp.
Tsubasa volume seventeen is one of those volumes that makes sticking with the series this long completely worth it. The character drama is intense and emotional, and the action scenes take a twist that I’m sure few saw coming. It’s starting to feel like the beginning of the end as events come full circle, and more secrets are revealed, but with the series taking such a strong turn, it’ll definitely be disappointing to have it end anytime soon.
Written May 27, 2008 by Lissa Pattillo
Book purchased from independant hobby store, The Batter’s Box