Monday, July 28, 2008

Tsubasa: Resevoir Chronicles, Volume 17 by CLAMP

His eye stolen by Syaoran, Fai is dying, his magic and life slowly being ripped away. Kurogane makes a desperate gamble to save Fai's life with Yuuho. But doing so will require a desperate price. Fai is saved by Subaru, who turns the mage into a vampire, and feeds him with his own blood, and the blood of Kurogane. Kurogane will now have to feed on blood, and since Kurogane's blood is in his system, he will only be able to feed on Kurogane's blood. If Kurogane is killed or becomes separated from Fai, Fai will die without his blood.

In return, Yuuho gives the people of the world slightly tainted water that has never known modern plumbing, which refills the cistern that was drained by the fight between Seshiro and Syaoran, while the enemies of the people who protect the cistern appear with another of Sakura's memory-feathers, which will be able to protect the building the cistern lies under from the acid rain.

The real Syaoran agrees to help Sakura regain her memories, but when Kurogane offers to get a special crystal that Yuuho wants in return for her help, Sakura says she will get it instead. They have been doing all the work for her, and now she wishes to help in her own recovery. But as she goes on a dangerous solo journey to recover the crystal, Fai must deal with his darker feelings and wishes to die. Yuuho cautions him that the people he has been travelling with consider him a friend now, and that his death would cause them pain. He can no longer put them off with a smile and use his cheerfulness to prevent them from getting close to them.

He may wish to die to keep others and himself from pain, but now he is caught in a no-win situation. Dying will cause the others pain as they lose someone they consider a good friend.

Sakura gets the crystal, but her compass is smashed, and she has to find her way back to the others on her own. But can she do it before the acidic rain finishes her off? And will Fai be able to live for himself as well as others? And most important, will they be able to catch up to the copy Syaoran and get Fai's eye back, returning him to normal?

This manga is turning very dark, and it seems to be near the end. The fight against the fake Syaoran is yet to come, and the team seems to be both breaking up, and, conversely, getting stronger. It is revealed that Fai has been trying to hold himself apart from the others, using his cheerful manner to hold the others at arm's length. But he will not be able to do that any more, and we see a much darker side of him emerging.

Kurogane, the man Fai has spent much of his time teasing and poking at, makes the sacrifice of his own blood to save Fai from death, and will continue to save him every time Fai feeds from him, which Fai apparently finds intolerable, but seems unable to say so.

I remain fascinated with this series and will continue to read, as the characters and story have touched my heart, and I look forward to seeing what will happen to everyone. I just hope the next volume comes out soon!

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