Fruits Basket may find Tsubasa a bit disappointing. Takaya's earlier work is a sprawling fantasy that lacks "/>
 

Tsubasa: Those with Wings, Volume 1

Natsuki Takaya, Author
Natsuki Takaya, Author . Tokyopop $14.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-4278-1428-9
Reviewed on: 03/30/2009
Release date: 03/01/2009
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Fans of Takaya's Fruits Basket may find Tsubasa a bit disappointing. Takaya's earlier work is a sprawling fantasy that lacks the originality and emotional impact of Fruits Basket . The weaker characters, mediocre artwork and poorly written and paced plot line does little to capture attention. The tale is set in a war-torn 22nd century mysteriously similar to Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind , where luxury and amenities are reserved for the upper classes. The common people live for the legend of the Tsubasa, a magical glowing object said to grant wishes to all who see it—not unlike the dragon in Dragonball . To add to the pastiche of clichés, heroine Kotobuki the thief is monkeylike, similar to Goku. Despite the epic setting, much of the story focuses on Kotobuki's hackneyed romance with Raimon, a “genius” who dropped out of a prestigious army position in order to date her. The slow-building junior high–like romance ties together a series of nearly unrelated episodes. Two-thirds of the way through, the book has a satisfying ending, yet the story continues. Although the series was six volumes long in Japan, Tokyopop has made the excellent choice to publish it here in fewer, thicker volumes. (Mar.)

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