As fans of the manga know, Tsubasa goes through several different stages. This set of it's animated version corresponds to the getting-to-know-the-characters stage which often played out as a shounen tournament series. A quick briefer for those unfamiliar with the story: The memories of a teenage, alternate universe version of Cardcaptor Sakura's title character are scattered into different dimensions in the form of feathers, and she will die if enough of them are not retrieved. Under the auspices of xxxHOLiC's Yuko, her true love Syaoran is joined by two adult guardians - a ninja named Kurogane and a magician named Fai, who are also traveling for different reasons - as they jump across dimensions to complete the task, meeting other alternate universe versions of CLAMP characters along the way. But as Holic fans know, Yuko must always extract a price whether she would or no - and unbeknownst to Sakura, the price Syaoran has paid is the permanent loss of her memory of their relationship. Tsubasa's main strength is the relationships which eventually develop between the four leads rather than the feather quest of the week or CLAMP cameos, which of course means that the inital arcs in which the characters haven't yet become close will probably never be considered among it's best. It also doesn't help that the majority of the padding material common to long running manga-based anime is focused here on the quest and guest stars rather than the extremely engaging four leads. Still, this set includes hints of the character development to come as Syaoran slowly earns Kurogane's respect and both kids - but Sakura in particular - start to bring out Fai's protective instincts.
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