Tsubasa: Those with Wings, Volume 1

Natsuki Takaya, Author . Tokyopop $14.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-4278-1428-9

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.)

Reviewed on: 03/30/2009
Release date: 03/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
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