Sunday, February 27, 2011

Movie Review: Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE the Movie: The Princess in the Birdcage Kingdom

Dang that's a long title and all the weird capitalization is intentional although I have no idea what it's for (actually, I've never seen anyone guess what that was about). As a quick note, I've seen a little bit of the anime but I have read all the manga so I'm plenty familiar with the story of TRC and I have seen the accompanying xxxHolic movie, A Midsummer Night's Dream (my friend owns the set at showed the other movie at Halloween a couple of years back). You don't need to see the xxxHolic half of the story to get this movie but you really do need to be familar with either the TRC manga or the anime if you don't want to be lost (not all of it, just enough that you know the characters).

Tsubasa RESEVoir CHRoNiCLE the Movie: The Princess in the Birdcage Kingdom

Summary: As the group continues their quest to find the feathers that make up Sakura's lost memories they arrive in a strange kingdom that is enclosed inside a birdcage. The current king, who may or may not be possessed by one of Sakura's feather's seeks to enshroud the entire kingdom in eternal darkness and it's up to the gang to save them all!

The Good: I probably made my opinion on TRC clear from the xxHolic review (that ending, what) but this movie did make me want to go back to the beginning of the series and re-read all the pre Acid Tokyo arcs or even just check out the anime for that part. I don't want to watch all of the anime (since a friend was doing live commentary on it the other day and it didn't sound much more comprehensible than the manga) but this movie reminded me of just how much I enjoyed the early part of the story and I'll check around to see if I can find the earlier episodes streaming.

The Bad: Dear god, the pacing here was hideous! The whole movie is only about 30 minutes long and tries to accomplish what would have taken the tv series about three episodes to do in one. It whips by at a breakneck pace, not giving the characters time to explain their actions (yes I know they're good guys but why are they so determined to help the people here?) and Fai and Kurogane don't get that much screen time at all. If you aren't familiar with the series you'll be lost and if you are, well, it just doesn't feel like that satisfying a story arc, just go watch the OVAs instead.

The Art: While I'm still puzzled how the gang changed their clothes before they entered this new deminsion (and why Shaoran's hair was the wrong color, it was just different enough to annoy me) this movie looks good. As the poster shows, it's pretty colorful throughout and the fights also looked good. The characters are still a bit too enlongated and unless you're familiar with the style they're going to look a bit weird (heck, there were parts when they looked weird to me and I've seen the style for years!). So, not exactly eye candy then but it's certainly better than the pacing here.

The Music: The movie used a lot of tracks from the tv series that I immediately recognized (this was one of them but I'm not sure of the name for the other) and they are certainly dramatic, yet not over-dramatic, pieces of music. They certainly add a feeling of grandeur to the movie and get stuck in your head so I suppose I did enjoy the music here.

In case you guys didn't see it yesterday, I'm going to do something a little different in March and review webcomics all month instead (check the post below this one for more details) so tomorrow is my last regular review for a month! And, following my pattern, it's going to be a manga, I wonder what it could be....