Tsubasa: Those With Wings Manga Volume 3 (Volumes 5 & 6 originally)

翼を持つ者/Tsubasa o Motsu Mono Volume 3 (finale)
Tsubasa: Those With Wings Manga Volume 3

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Tsubasa: Those With Wings Manga Volume 3For this last volume, Kotobuki is on her mission to save her lover Raimon from the clutches of the evil colonel and learn the final secrets of Tsubasa, why Raimon has the device planted in his head, why the colonel is so interested in Kotobuki, and what happened to Ann, the woman ran the orphanage that Kotobuki lived at as a child.

While I found reading Phantom Dream a dreary, wearisome task, I rather enjoyed Tsubasa: Those With Wings a great deal. For starters, Takaya-sensei never got too depressing or deep. She allowed the story to flow nicely with natural story revelations for the most part and interesting characters to boot. For this final bunkobon volume, Takaya-sensei has all of the characters we’ve been introduced to over time gathered together. Characters like Shouka and her two assistants as well as the rich young girl Adelaide help keep the manga from drifting into waters too dark to navigate with their often comedic moments and that’s a welcome relief.

Because Takaya-sensei allowed Kotobuki and Raimon to consummate their relationship in the previous bunkobon, I felt there was an added element to Kotobuki’s desire to find and save Raimon. Granted, this could still be achieved without Raimon and Kotobuki having slept together, but it served its purposes and for all practical purposes, they are married all but on paper.

Takaya-sensei’s resolution of Tsubasa (the artificial brains Kayo and Rikuro) worked for me since Tsubasa are wings and wings come in pairs. I liked how the Japanese android Aya was used here as well, having formerly been a weapon. It is amazing how Takaya-sensei made me care for Aya as much as I did.

Colonel Hil’s story is the darkest one, especially when we learn what happened to Ann, his sister. Takaya-sensei making it parallel with Kayo and Rikuro’s story worked for me as well. Thankfully, because Takaya-sensei made me care about the characters and kept the series from getting too dark or strange, the ultimate resolution to this part of the story, while a bit cliched, still worked for me as well.

Basically, all of the mistakes Takaya-sensei made in Phantom Dream are rectified in Tsubasa: Those With Wings. Art-wise, Takaya-sensei improves quite a bit, though one clearly sees characters that will become faces in Fruits Basket.

I do wish that Takaya-sensei’s notes had been retained but I suppose that is the price of licensing a bunkobon edition of the manga.

I’d like to note that for this volume, the paper TokyoPop is using is a higher grade paper, which is a welcome change back. I’d begun to think that this would never change but they fortunately came to their senses.

Also, I’d like to note that the Japanese honorifics are retained in this final volume from TokyoPop. The prior two volumes had them stripped save for a stray honorific or two that showed up. Naturally, I’m happy that honorifics were retained but I did wonder why the change since the translator and adapter remained the same for this volume. If I had to guess, it was the story that changed someone’s mind.

You see, there’s a compromise position for some folks when it comes to Japanese honorifics that goes, “Well, if the story is set in Japan, I suppose we can keep the honorifics in. Otherwise, the honorifics should be stripped completely, which we know the manga creator would approve of since that was likely their intent in the first place.” Since Tsubasa:TWW was not set in Japan but instead is set in some post-apocalyptic Earth, I suspect that the thought was, “Must get rid of evil honorifics because clearly Ms. Takaya would approve since this isn’t set in Japan.”

Well, Takaya-sensei reveals that one of the things that happened in the past was that the Japanese scientist who created Tsubasa wished for the entire globe to believe themselves Japanese people and thus adopt Japanese culture and language as a way to try to obtain a lasting peace. Therefore, the entire time that Takaya-sensei had non-Japanese folks speaking Japanese and using Japanese honorifics, she never intended the story to have a western slant. As such, I think that it was decided by the folks working on the English adaptation to go ahead and retain the honorifics for the final volume. Just my guess though.

In the end, Tsbuasa: Those With Wings is an enjoyable manga with likable characters, nice humorous interludes, an interesting story premise that pays off nicely, a sweet little romance, and a side of darkness that adds the right amount of spice to this shoujo manga series.

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2 Responses to “Tsubasa: Those With Wings Manga Volume 3 (Volumes 5 & 6 originally)”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think these are the RAWs for Negima chapter 288 please hurry and post them. http://www.megaupload.com/?d=THSGLCQY.

  2. Gyt Kaliba says:

    I’ve been wanting to check this one out, so I’m glad to hear it’s not the snoozefest that Phantom Dream was. ^_^;

    And I’m actually a supporter…er, sorta…of that analogy you had on honorifics. I’m not so extreme that I’m like ‘This story isn’t set in Japan! Honorifics, AWAY! *beats them*’ like I’m sure some are, but if a story is set in a fantasy world, then it doesn’t bother me as much when they remove them.

    But for something like Rurouni Kenshin say, something set in Japan especially of the past, I much prefer they’re kept. And while I didn’t think they HAD to be kept, it was nice when the Ouran dub kept a few of them.

    So yeah, never a deal breaker level choice for me, but I can sort-of get behind that analogy, though you’re against it yourself – at least, against the people who go crazy on it and hunt down honorifics like they’re going out of season. 😛

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