I gotta say, I'm pretty impressed that Clamp is still selling books today. I mean, they started out with "monster of the week", then moved on to "card of the week", and now behold, we have Tsubasa, "world of the week." What's next, word of the week?
Like I said in my review on Bleach, I won't write long reviews for Shonen/Shojo works anymore since they are basically the same stuff over and over again and I already covered all I wanted to say about this genre in there. This review will still focus on the manga mostly but only for the story and the characters. The story is repetitive to the extreme. Basically the group just moved from on world to another and you always find a cheesy sub-story in each world. The worlds don't have any connections to each other either. Besides looking for the feathers, I still don't get the main storyline after 160 something chapters.
Characters are very boring. Sakura is the most boring female lead I have ever seen. I completely agree with what Newtype said about how she has "the most shining smile", because that's all she has! Man she doesn't even talk much. Clamp, take my advice, Miss Perfect is for kindergartens. The fake Syaoran is a robot. The only trait he has is to protect Sakuya. Fay and Kurogane are overrated too. Sure, both of them have a complete volume dedicated to their pasts, but in the present they are still typical Shonen characters with no connections to their past. Just what does Kurogane, being the only non-gay character, have anything to do with his parents being killed??? The only one that's worth discussing is the real Syaoran. Certain depth can be associated with him, especially in those chapters involving the relationship between him and the hime, like how they still cares for each other yet constantly avoiding each other. They did a good job portraying his feeling and thoughts. This is the only personal conflict in Tsubasa. Pathetic.
Artstyle overall is amazing with lots of details, both in the manga and the anime. The graphics in the anime is good too, not amazing but still good. Color scheme is also nice and bright.
Voice acting is good, especially for the hime. I'm not a huge fan of anime girls with those loli voices. Music is top notched. Tsubasa (OP1) and the Song of Fire and Storm (IN) are true music. Too bad all these talents are wasted on this…
Move on to theme. Tsubasa doesn't have a theme. Period. Or you can try to convince me what the theme is.
Presentation sucks. What I mean by presentation are things like camera angles, scene switching, when to start the background music, etc. First on the anime. It's 2007 already and we don't really need to see the camera fixing on a guy's face for 5 seconds without him saying a word. I didn't even finish the first season because of this. Next the manga. I think I hate Clamp's style. They failed to deliver anything to me except the Kurogane's past arc. Even the love element looks like kindergarten stuff compared to Suzuka. All I get from reading the manga is that things happened, so what?
Other technical stuff. The dialogues are shallow. There are no humours either. The only gags are the ones Fay and Monoka played on Kurogane and they are all gay.
In conclusion, Tsubasa is a failure in almost everything, and its biggest failure is that they chose to work on a boring world-switching plot. Don't touch Tsubasa, that's my advice.