This Show Feels Like An Eternity: Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle

Hello, back to your regular scheduled anime review.

This show has been around in my list for over 3 years. Yes, 3 years. I was watching it during my army days, every night, grinding about 4-5 episodes every night, until I got so bored of this show that I moved on to other shows.

Then fast forward to 2020, lockdown period. I see it in my list, 12 episodes to go, decided to finish them off.

The show ran for 2 seasons of 26 episodes, with 2 OVAs of 2/3 episodes and a movie of 35mins (?!) slotting in-between the 2 seasons.

This will be a rather long post since there is a lot to cover.

Story

The first 2 seasons was a drag. Extremely draggy. I probably have never seen such a show with extremely long pauses in dialogue, combat and transitions in scenes. Whoever wrote the script probably is lazy in writing a lengthy script.

The story had a lot of potential for like the first 2 episodes, but after figuring out the storytelling style and pacing, I was pretty disappointed. I really loved the epic intro, setting and world building, but the pacing really destroyed the entire story.

I mean we have 52 episodes, but the story insists on dragging the arcs out, sometimes even skipping certain details because of the lack of time due to said story dragging. The story was supposed to be rather energetic and lighthearted at times, but now the story is a dreary mess. This is the biggest reason why I decided to stop watching midway. It was unbearably bad.

The story also constantly baits you to believe that everything they do is a buildup to something massive, but ended up to be a disappointment as arc endings felt pretty anti-climatic. This show is a serious waste of time and also a waste of a show. The anime aired after the ongoing source material is about 2-3 years old, there is enough source material to pretty much adapt the manga at that point.

A lot of time is wasted on facial panning shots, zooming in onto faces, weird dialogue pauses, awkward mid-dialogue pause, repeated scenes. There are a lot of moments where scenes are just straight up silence because of those very weird, lengthy pauses that could have been shortened. The final arc of the anime is probably the biggest punch that the anime can produce. It’s not even all that powerful.

This show doesn’t feel like 52 episodes, each episode felt like an hour. I have never watched a show where it is wasting my time and also not an amazing time killer as well. The 52episodes is a lot of time and if they can speed up the pace, they can get the story done in under 30 episodes.

The movie, which is supposed to be an episode that fits in-between the two seasons is only 35 mins long, so I expect the worst. But surprisingly, it was not bad, if you treat the “movie” as an “episode”. The pacing is a lot more faster, which felt pretty refreshing. It didn’t bring a lot to the plate, but overall, its a whole lot better than the slow main series itself.

As for the OVAs, being extremely disappointed by the main series, the OVA was a major change of tone. Tokyo Revelations ended up being way deeper than I initially expected. Shunraiki was a little weaker, but still pretty great. Asking one of the Clamp’s members to do the series composition is great, one of the biggest game changers. The 2 OVAs is enough to turn the tide and also turn the tone of the story totally.

But if I were to find something I like, I like the mixture of Clamp’s character roster mashed into one show. Surprisingly they all fitted in pretty well. It does confuse me sometimes when characters keep repeating during their isekai travels.

Animations

The main series are done by Bee Train, while Production I.G did the movie and the OVAs. But Bee Train disappointed a lot this time.

Character designs may be rather on-point, but the eyes looks so dead no matter what expression they giving. They all looked like they don’t want to be a part of the show(?). It’s not totally zombie-feeling but everyone just looks like they need more sleep. The eyes looked very flat and very dark, lacking the radiance of most animes at that time. Mokona is probably the only reason why I kept watching. Colors are also very dull and the lighting just don’t look right. They took the dark tone of a story way too literally.

Combat scenes looked extremely weird as well. Due to the overall slow pacing, combats are constantly slow motion, but even so, they couldn’t nail the scenes correctly. Bee Train really strained their budget for the sake of making a 4 cour show.

But as for Production I.G, characters looked more alive, facial expressions are more pronounced. Character designs looked pretty refreshing, colors are slightly more vivid. And that is only the OVA.

The movie did a major overhaul and I am not a big fan. Some of the color used were just wrong and sometimes I feel like they cranked the saturation a little too much.

Production I.G wins by a landslide for sure.

Music

Kajiura Yuki did all the scores, and all of them were amazing.

The anime scores were great, BUT they felt extremely repetitive. They were literally throwing music at scenes that don’t even fit the atmosphere.

The OVA was whole lot better overall, they know when to put the music and which piece to put. Bee Train really looked like a newbie here.

The OPs and EDs were great, but 2nd season OP is pretty bad, in contrast to the first season.

Cast

The cast list was pretty nice.

Irino Miyu, Makino Yui, Kikuchi Mika, Inada Tetsu, Namikawa Daisuke, Nakata Kazuhiro, Kobayashi Sanae, Miyamoto Mitsuru, Ohara Sayaka, Fukuyama Jun, Touchi Hiroki, Kishi Yuji, Sakamoto Maaya, Mizushima Yu, Miki Shinichiro, Miyata Koki, Kawashima Tokuyoshi, Shimono Hiro, Miyano Mamoru.

It’s a pretty stacked list. Makino Yui especially did a pretty nice job at her Sakura role. The cast really did a great job at trying to carry the show. 0

Scores: S1/S2 | OVAs |Movie
Story: 6.5/10 | 8/10 | 7/10
Art: 5/10 | 8/10 | 7/10
Music: 8/10
VAs: 9/10

I think it’s really not worth stepping into the show. Once you start, stopping it will be a waste, because the OVAs and movie was great, but you have to deal with the crappy main series. So it’s better to stay away.

It has its good moments, but the bad just outweighs the good by a lot.

That’s all for me, a show I took 3 years to complete because of how bad it was as a viewer.

What’s next? I will look into my list and finish my shows that I should complete. Seasonals would only come by next week, with more delays incoming, seasonal posts are going to be pretty short.

I will see you guys then.

2 responses to “This Show Feels Like An Eternity: Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle

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