Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE Vol 13 (Ch 97-99) *SPOILERS*

Thanks to BWYS for the scans.

Chapter 097

Empress Amaterasu, her ninja, and her warriors from Japan face a wild-eyed Kurogane who immediately attacks them. The Empress deflects the energy of the attack with her sword, but is still cut in the process. Her soldiers plan to make the boy pay for his attack, but are stopped when she so orders it, choosing instead to send Souma and her ninja. The ninja attack, but Kurogane, while still holding his mother, fends them off. The ninja are unable to contain Kurogane, leaving Empress Amaterasu with no other option but apparently take him on herself. She is stopped when her younger sister, the miko Tsukuyomi, emerges from the small carriage behind her. Tsukuyomi knows that the boy can defeat her “oneesama” and so and so she asks to be allowed to handle the situation.

Agreeing to Tsuikuyomi’s request, the miko prepares her magic while Kurogane still easily fends off the ninja, who find themselves flung from the fray. Kurogane still holds his dead mother in one hand and his sword in the other. Tsukuyomi fires her spell, which appears as a beam of energy. Young Kurogane’s hand is pierced and is driven into the remains of a wall behind him. What appears to be a blade remains to secure his hand to the wall-beam. In his crazed state, he attempts to free his hand from the wall, but Tsukuyomi orders him to not move.

Chapter 098

Witnessing Kurogane & Tsukuyomi, the lead ninja Souma is concerned. However, Empress Amaterasu reminds her that Tsukuyomi knew the danger and had insisted upon coming to the battlefield. Kurogane is clearly in pain but unable to use his sword with his hand pinned to the beam as Tsukuyomi approaches. She comes to the body of his mother and closes her eyes, telling Kurogane to allow his mother to rest in peace. Her words find their mark and his sanity begins to return as he acknowledges both his mother and his father (via his father’s sword). With this, he breaks down and weeps, comforted by Tsukuyomi.

Sometime later, Kurogane awakes to find himself in a bed (large futon) with Tsukuyomi at hsi bedside, holding Ginryuu. She tells him that he is now at Shirasaki City in the country of Japan. She introduces herself, stating that she is a miko as his mother was. Looking at the sword in her hand, Kurogane decides that the sword should be buried with his mother since his father’s body was eaten by the beast. With this, Tsukuyomi decides that she will have a new katana constructed for him, identical to Ginryuu. When he asks why, she explains that it is so he can keep the promise he made with his father.

She then states that she hasn’t told him her name. He is puzzled, thinking her name is Tsukuyomi, but that is her title in Japan. Her real name is Tomoyo. She asks for his name, and he says, “Kurogane.”

It is here that Syaoran-kun finds himself back at the library where Sakura-chan notices he is crying. The rest of his companions come, but they cannot get Syaoran’s attention, nor can they remove the book from his hands until Kurogane does so. The book out of his hand, the weeping Syaoran apologized to Kurogane.

Chapter 099

Syaoran awakes in a bed to find his companions waiting for him and relieved he is doing better. Syaoran asks to be allowed to speak to Kurogane in private, so the others leave the room, Fai speculating that maybe Syaoran learned something that he needed to discuss with Kurogane. Mokona happily states that they need to find Sakura-chan’s feather, and she agrees.

Back in the sick room of the library, Syaoran has relayed his adventures in the book to Kurogane and he confirms that indeed the book showed Syaoran Kurogane’s past. Syaoran apologizes for looking at his private moments without permission. Syaoran is upset about this, but Kurogane grabs Syaoran’s arm and asks if he saw the sorrowful moments in his life. Syaoran confirms this and Kurogane almost seems pleased by it.

Syaoran decides to ask about Kurogane’s mother’s killer. Kurogane reveals that after becoming a ninja of Shirasaki City, they searched everywhere for the killer but had no success. Kurogane recalls how only a hand wielded the sword and that very strong spells were placed on the sword. Syaoran remembers the design on the sword’s hilt as the same design of the mysterious warriors, who attacked the Country of Clow when Sakura first lost her feathers, bore on their clothing and weapons.

Thoughts

Volume 12 of the manga wrapped up the most boring story in Tsubasa to date with only some mildly interesting things happening at the end. Volume 13 on the other hand, has just been incredible. The action sequences where young Kurogane fought off the ninja while holding his dead mother were incredible. I’m not a huge fan of pointless, constant shounen action, but this action scene meant something beyond a “hero vs. opponents” conflict. It was a heartfelt scene and no doubt reflected the pain we all might have felt if we’d seen our mother brutally slain.

I loved getting all of this back-story about Kurogane. The way CLAMP did is was clever because Kurogane is not the kind of person to just blubber about his life. Syaoran has seen it and Kurogane was very mature about this. In many ways, I felt that now Kurogane sees Syaoran not only as a worthy companion in a fight, but now like a brother since they’ve shared the same traumatic experience.

Another nice thing about this volume was getting a little more history about Kurogane’s Tomoyo. We’d gotten some clues in volume 12’s end with the Tomoyo there, and there’s still a lot more to learn about the country of Japan. How CLAMP will do this (if they do it at all) remains to be seen, but I’d like to see more of Kurogane’s rise in power, his work on behalf of Japan, and more of the events leading to Tomoyo sending him to see Yuuko-san. We don’t need to see this, but I think it would be a neat side bonus chapter (or chapters).

This volume sent Tsubasa’s rating with me much higher than it had been as CLAMP turned this from being ho-hum to kick-bottom!

Originally posted at

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