Fresh from the complex and emotional conflict from the land of Ono where for the first time our band of travelers did not succeed in collecting the Princess Sakura’s memory feather, this installment starts off relieving the tension by allowing the group a silly side trip to a world populated by bunny-esque creatures determined to escape a whirlwind terrorizing their home. This first tale gives a nice breather before the group is launched away again to the land of Shura. They are split up in transport, and as Syaoran and Sakura try to locate the others, they are taken in by an all female group of traveling entertainers dedicated to following the goddess Ashura-ô. Fae and Kurogane, across the city, are taken in by the male followers of Yasha-ô, a more militant group. Little do our travelers realize that they’ve landed on opposite sides of an ancient conflict, involving followers and gods alike and bringing nothing but destruction, heartache, and religious strife.
For my money, Tsubasa just keeps getting better and better. The art continues to be absolutely top notch, balancing with ease dramatic performances and goofball humor. This volumes marks a visit to the alternate world of CLAMP’s first series RG Veda (though as always the story requires no previous knowledge of that world to follow the plot), and the themes of faith, intractability, and prejudice are all brought to the fore. The longer story arcs hinted at in previous volume’s conclusion take a back burner again, but the women of CLAMP are masters, building in moments of character development and an increasing sense of loyalty among the cohorts despite the framework of leaping from world to world. As the quirks of each character have been established, the task now is to start uncovering the deeper personalities and relationships, and while they are all full of secrets, I’m perfectly pleased to watch the entire tale unfold at its own engaging pace.