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Big Tsubasa Re-Read

Big Tsubasa Re-Read published on

Now with moderate coherency and rampant guessing!

– – Volumes 1 – 8: Many Monsters-of-the-Day – –

Clone!Syaoran’s adoptive father is Sakura’s father from CCS, (CCS spoiler) who was Clow’s sort-of-reincarnation. This probably means he’s got something to do with Clow, which means it wasn’t a coincidence that he found Clone!Syaoran. How did he die, exactly? How did Sakura’s-Dad!Clow die? Are they definitely dead?

– – Volumes 9 – 12: Syaoran Gets Slightly Spooky – –

Obvious Department: Clone!Syaoran gets weird when he looks in the mirror because Original!Syaoran is missing his left eye – when he faces a mirror, he remembers his creation/programming, when he and the original were facing one another.

We don’t see Fai reacting to the Ashura Jr. statue – Kurogane just says later that he “went pale” at the mention of the name “Ashura.” If Fai had an angsty reaction to the statue itself, CLAMP wouldn’t have wasted the opportunity to show it, so Fai’s Ashura presumably didn’t have a kid.

What, exactly, did Fai and Kurogane do in Shura for six months? Wouldn’t Fai have gotten somewhat angsty in a strange place, with his method of transport possibly lost, where the only word he understood was “Ashura”? (Could he really not speak the language, or was he -ing Kurogane around again?)

Major Foreshadowing: Syaoran had been worrying about where Fai and Kurogane were when his eye started hurting in Shura, but after falling down and looking into the mirror, he apparently loses his train of thought and says, “The feathers… I have to find the feathers quickly…”

Ashura Jr.’s hint to Syaoran: “No matter who you are…”

In Piffle World, when Fai goes, “I’ll know whether it’s just a person wearing the same face,” the silhouette in the background is neither Ashura, Ashura Jr., nor Yasha – the hair’s too messy. What it could be is a longer-haired version of Fai himself…

(You know… I would totally think Sakura was the one cheating, lie-detector or no…)

– – Volumes 13 – 14: Everyone Gets Seriously Spooky – –

Nonsense-talk blurb thing at the beginning of volume 13, over a picture of the two Syaorans lying on the floor in a vaguely yin-yan configuration: “A voice echoes, as though waiting for the moment they will merge as one.”

Chapter 91 – Clone!Syaoran is dreaming about Original!Syaoran: “It’s the same as I saw in my dream earlier. He was a child when I saw him before, but… he’s become… the same as me.” When did Original!Syaoran age? Had he been aging normally all along, but Clone!Syaoran for some reason only remembered him as he first saw him until now? He only now established the connection?

Little!Kurogane “attacks” Clone!Syaoran in the memory-book; Kurogane also attacks Clone!Syaoran in Shura, and later during the Syaoran-vs-Syaoran fight. Neither of them ever “wins.” I call foreshadowing.

Retainer with a patch over his left eye = going to show up again, possibly evil? I mean, he’s got a patch over his left eye! This is CLAMP!

(Kurogane’s memories are so shounen that I sneezed on a Georgette Heyer book. No, the two are clearly causally related!)

At the beginning of chapter 100, Original!Syaoran in his tank appears to be a little kid again…

(“Quit saying disgusting things, brat!” Kurogane seriously resents Syaoran introducing mushy shoujo feelings stuff into his totally-hardcore shounen life.)

(Chapter 101 – “I’ll work instead of Kurogane-daddy!” Fai and Mokona would like to emphasize how completely Oedipal Kurogane and Syaoran’s relationship is. This may also help to explain why Syaoran bites Fai’s face.)

(Chapter 102 – Man, I am so mad at Kurogane for manhandling a bookshelf like that.)

(Chapter 106 – “I’m okay! More importantly, the books…!” I’ll forgive Kurogane for you, Syaoran.)

Fai can whistle. He doesn’t look as happy about it as you’d think! Thus ends Fai’s Running Joke #1, leading into the Serious!Fai plotline.

Chapter 107 – Original!Syaoran looks older again now…

(We have a definite thing going on with water that burns in this manga, don’t we.)

– – Volume 15 – 17: Okay So This Time It’s These Guys – OH MY GOD WHAT JUST HAPPENED – –

(Oh, wait, did Kamui and Fuuma just switch their teams from X? That’s what was bugging me about this section… (It’s been a while since I watched X.))

Are Clone!Syaoran’s dreams about Original!Syaoran supposed to hint that Clone!Syaoran is kind of an unreliable narrator? In the dream, we see Original!Syaoran grabbing hold of Clone!Syaoran in a very aggressive manner, but Sleepwalking!Original!Syaoran takes hold of Kurogane’s sleeve much more passively, and we’ve already established that CLAMP believes firmly in sleeve-clinging-from-the-bed as a cardinal expression of emotional vulnerability. Then, immediately upon regaining control, Clone!Syaoran starts talking about the feathers, and Fai comments that he’s pushing himself too hard.

(Sakura, I like how your father’s picture is the smallest one in that “precious people” mosaic. Even Yuuko got to be bigger than Clow.)

Time definitely isn’t passing at the same rate in xxxHolic-world as in the various Tsubasa-worlds – Yuuko is suddenly in different clothes from what she was wearing when she teleported Original!Syaoran, and the rain has stopped, even though he hasn’t yet materialized in X-world. Or else it’s just sloppiness.

What happened to Clone!Syaoran’s original right eye? Original!Syaoran seems to have physically removed his left eye and replaced Clone!Syaoran’s right with it – (xxxHolic spoiler) it wasn’t just a “transfer of eyesight” like in xxxHolic – so it seems like there must be an extra Syaoran-eye lying around somewhere. I guess it’s in the astral plane?

Okay, so Fai removes the heart from Clone!Syaoran to keep Original!Syaoran from getting at it – but then Clone!Syaoran just grabs it out of the air. Did Fai intend for that to happen? And why did Clone!Syaoran just roll the heart towards Fai? Random gesture of disdain? Where did the heart go when Clone!Syaoran started beating on Fai?

Hold it, wait – if Fai removed the heart from Clone!Syaoran, how did Original!Syaoran just remove it a second time? Did Fai go and doom the universe again, taking out the heart that Clone!Syaoran had “grown” by himself?… oh, no, wait, so Fai put the heart inside his own eye so that Clone!Syaoran would eat it, but it didn’t take. Christ, this scene is confusing.

Excitable blurb at the end of chapter 121 says “Will they mix?” I think we have an idea of what sort of mechanism CLAMP is eventually going to use to resolve this issue, with all the talk of merging and mixing.

Feather going in forcibly = another one for my senior research argument about kids’ manga being full of imagery meant to be read sexually by adults.

We need a better definition of “E,” here. Or else just a better-translated one. So Kamui is somehow aware the Clone!Syaoran is “an artificial person” from the first time he meets him – how does he know this? Is it just because he’s Kamui and all magical? He also seems to suspect that Syaoran knows Seishirou (“So you are acquainted with that man.”) – did he just get this from Syaoran’s martial technique, or did Seishirou actually do something to Syaoran, as Kamui asks Fai? (We never see Seishirou drinking blood, which is a little surprising, come to think of it – he’s the sort of manga villain who likes to sensuously lick up people’s blood.) Also, if “E” don’t have souls – what’s going to happen to Kurogane?

Also, in xxxHolic, in volume 5 (spoilers for up through volume 11) Yuuko warns Watanuki not to become “game” for the wing-creatures Fei Wang has been using to steal people’s souls. The word “game” is always in quotes, and it’s clearly one of those wobbly translations – was the original word “E”? Also in volume 5, Ame-Warashi, after Watanuki catches her hiding from Himawari, says to him, “How can you make friends with that body of yours?” Is Watanuki a clone, too? Or is this just a case where the translators didn’t realize CLAMP was being tricky about the subject of the sentence, and Ame-Warashi was actually referring to Himawari: “How can she make friends with that body of hers?” (I think this is a little more likely, though my love of clones being what it is, I’d prefer if it was the first one.)

…I don’t even know what else to say about Fai. He’s going for the gold.

– – Volume 18 – current (ch. 155): I Mean JESUS People What NOW – –

(I still don’t know why CLAMP apparently felt that bondage and Angelic Layer had such an intuitive connection, even after several days of rumination on the subject. I mean, Miyuki-chan in Wonderland, yeah, of course, but Angelic Layer? It’s Pokemon with Barbies.)

I’ve been pretty annoyed at how useless Sakura’s been most of the series, so this all makes me incredibly happy. She’s not going to have magical luck that allows her to be passive anymore! She did something by herself, and was actually allowed to get injured! (with blood!) The little speech Original!Syaoran gives Fai about not shaming her by taking her responsibility away from her is exactly the sort of thing I wanted someone to say to him in Outo, when he was telling her all she needed to do was smile. (Though the timing might, perhaps, have been a little better.) I really hope they don’t cop out on this.

Watanuki is so Clow. Everyone is Clow. I hope I’m not Clow.

I don’t recall Ashura Sr. being this big of a bastard in RG Veda. But then, he didn’t have much of a personality at all there – he was just the dead father. I hope that means they’ll scrap the original character entirely, not try and make him a Seishirou-type almost-good-guy, of the variety that CLAMP uses to rape the protagonists’ brains sorta-for-their-own-good. Fei Wang doesn’t do much for me as a villain. He’s too hands-off. I want Ashura to be the villain. Maybe the reason Ashura Jr. didn’t have to be possessed by the God of Destruction was that Ashura Sr. was doing it for hir, over in another universe?