The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE: Tokyo Revelations

Title: Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations aka Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE: Tokyo Revelations
Genre: Action/Drama
Company: Production I.G/Kodansha
Format: 3 OVA
Date: 16 Nov 2007 – 17 Mar 2008

Synopsis: As Shaoran, Sakura, Kurogane and Fai continue with their quest to finds pieces of Sakura’s memories in different alternate worlds, they stumble upon the post-apocalyptic city of Tokyo. Unknowingly, another ‘Syaoran’ has awakened from his long slumber… who is he really?

The Highlights
Music: Not as many as Tsubasa Chronicles but still very decent.
Plot: Now this is what the original series should be like.
Gripping factor: Holds the viewer to edge of his or her seat… and more.
Production I.G: Overshadows Bee Train in general, on my account.

Wow. After watching Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations, I’ve realized something: A change in the production company from the prequel can actually make or break its sequel. In this show’s case, the switch from Bee Train, the company that produced the prequel Tsubasa Chronicles, to Production I.G proves to be a winning formula. In my sincere opinion, anime titles by Bee Train tend to have two common attributes: they have good soundtracks, and they are terribly boring. Production I.G makes good use of part of that idea by keeping the quality music and breaking from the ‘tradition’ of the listless plots.

One should not jump the gun and declare TTR just a boring sequel to the already boring series. It seems awfully formulaic and predictable at first sight – the group arrives at an alternate world, one of Sakura’s memory-imbued feathers resides here and they have to find a way to reclaim it. That’s basically what Tsubasa Chronicles is all about, but this time round, the anime goes deeper and answers the more fundamental questions that have been plaguing the followers of the series. The title basically says it: this show is all about revelations, and they are presented with oh so much suspense and anticipation. Plot twists and answers aren’t the only things that have changed; Production I.G kicks it up a notch by making the show grittier and edgier. The characters are more mature, their troubles are deeply relative and the impending dangers lurking at every corner are wholeheartedly felt. This risk undertaken by Production I.G gives the franchise a series that’s more three-dimensional and in-depth; a wise risk-taking indeed.

Another thing worth mentioning about the OVA is the music. It’s certainly decent, but in contrast of the original series’ long line of refreshing music, it seems one too few to showcase. I admit, it is not all that fair to judge this harshly, especially when this series is only 3 episodes long. The ones responsible for the music are the usually suspects – Makino Yui and the ever harmonious songbird Maaya Sakamoto, composed by none other than Kajiura Yuki.

Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations is a good change in direction from the dull original series. Fans of the television shows may look in dismay over the new approach from the originally wholesome image. I have to persuade them to reconsider their mentality and watch with an open mind. Sometimes, change is for the better. In TTR‘s case, it’s the kind of change Bee Train should have made right from the series’ second season. My message to Bee Train is this: Learn from what Production I.G has done for one of your much coveted productions.

The Rating: 7

Reviewed by: AC

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