There was a time when I totally gave up on Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. While the fillers were a huge turn-off, BeeTrain’s animated rendition of TRC was a far cry from the CLAMP’s mouthwaterinly artistic manga. And I have to admit the theme song played whenever Syaoran battles someone to get Sakura’s feather gets old after a while. And the flashbacks to meeting Yuuko are not at all invigorating. So I stopped following Syaoran and Sakura’s story for months.
Two days ago, while in hot pursuit of Beck’s manga scanlations, I stumbled upon the latest chapters of TRC. I opted to read the chapter 145 which was the last update. Holy good lord my heavens! The very first page hooked me with an all out battle between Syaoran and Hikaru (Angelic Layer). Warning! Spoilers full speed ahead! Do not read if you don’t like S-P-O-I-L-E-R-S! CLAMP is a freakin’ genius for all the amazing plot twists and cliffhangers they throw at us slavering fans! This is the front cover of one of the latter chapters– good lord– two Syaorans!?! Spoilers Ahoy!!!
Sakura-gumi with the real Syaoran in tow (click here & here for the explanation why I said the “real Syaoran”) have arrived in the Country of Chess. In the country of Chess, we meet Eagle, the head of a mafia-like family who runs the nation. He is flanked by Geo and Lantis who are known as the Family’s Jewels (sorry, it kinda seems weird and so yaoi actually). Eagle is holding a fightng tournament that operates much like a chess game. While players would pit their strength against each other, either by combat or true magic, they will be controlled by their “master” whose will drives and gives the “pieces” strength.
Sakura and her team have won the games easily, arousing the interest of Eagle, prompting him to remark that the girl (Sakura) is strong and that she must want something badly. Going back to Sakura and her team, Syaoran catches Sakura when she almost collapsed due to exhaustion and her still unhealed leg injury. They look at each other and Fai goes to the Princess’ side and takes her to her room. In her room, Sakura throws herself on the bed and confesses that even though she knows that the one with them is the “original” Syaoran, he is still not the “Syaoran-kun” for her. And that even though “they look the same, sound the same and have the same honest gaze, he is not Syaoran-kun”. While talking to Fai, Sakura also made the wizard promise to not smile anymore unless he means it.
On the other side, Kurogane is telling Syaoran to not feel responsible for all the damage his clone has wrecked not only on other worlds but also on their group. Syaoran still looked downcast as Kurogane said, “And also about your feelings for the Princess…” Apparently, because Syaoran was caged for a long time by he has mostly lived through his clone’s experiences and he feels to blame for chaos his clone has caused who is now working for Fei Wong. Because of the tragic expression on his face, Kurogane offers him a drink. When asked if he can handle alcohol, Syaoran replied, “Yes, because He can.” And Kurogane replied, “I’m asking about you.” Syaoran looked down and said, “I don’t know.” After drinking, Syaoran fell asleep quickly (and because he was also heavily wounded) but even asleep, he said, “I will protect the Princess.” *sobs!*
In the later chapters, it’s also revealed that Sakura had a dream that made her decide to leave their group in order to prevent it from happening. In order to travel between worlds on her own, Sakura spoke to Yuuko and is so determined to leave Fai, Kurogane and Syaoran that she even offered her “good luck” as the price to travel between worlds. Sakura spoke of a future that would apparently hurt/incapacitate her friends so she has decided to look for her feathers. Before their last match with Eagle’s group, as a door separates Syaoran and Sakura, she says to Syaoran, “You are now free.”
The last match with Eagle’s group is a one on one tournament. Before it starts, Syaoran helps Sakura up her chair and tells her that they will win for sure. Sakura smiles at him and calls him Syaoran-kun for the first time. The match begins as Syaoran is pitted against Hikaru, an automata (cyborg/robot) Eagle had awakened for the match. The use of magic is also permitted in the game. And so begins Syaoran and Hikaru’s match. This is a scene before Syaoran’s match against Hikaru. *dun dun dun dun!*
More details when the next chapter gets scanlated! Btw, I got all this from onemanga.com so refer to my earlier post for the link or click here to go straight to TRC’s latest manga scanlations.