Short Synopsis: The party returns to Kurogane’s homeland
Episode Rating: 6/10 (Disappointing)
Wait, wut? Did I miss something here? Did some sort of extra OVA get released half a year ago without me knowing anything about it or something? What the heck happened here… when the episode started airing, the characters were suddenly surrounded by Fye’s magic for God knows what kind of reason, Kurogane chops off his own arm from out of nowhere, they then somehow end up in Kurogane’s home country and Fye starts having flashbacks of things that never actually happened…
My best guess would be that the makers of the anime decided to screw the continuity and just went animating a random chapter that coincides with the current xxxHolic Shunmuki OVA. With the OVA format, it’s of course much easier to make the cross-overs between the two, but that’s no excuse for simply omitting an entire storyline here. I was really looking forward to seeing Fye meet the guy who was out to kill him, and here they just unceremoniously kill the guy off in a bunch of mere seconds.
So yeah, Tsubasa Chronicle is a complete mess in terms of continuity. Right now, it’s clear that Bee-Train wanted to go for its own storyline. While the second season may have been seen as a bunch of fillers, it was clearly building up to something that wasn’t in the manga’s continuity. My guess is that they knew that the manga wouldn’t have ended at the end of the third season, so they went with their own direction, which might have been a success or a complete flop, we’ll never know. In any case, Clamp didn’t like others messing with their storyline and wanted a faithful adaptation, so they turned to Production IG, who also made the xxxHolic TV-series. It’s of course understandable that they’d have to pick up at the last point where Bee-Train did follow through the manga, but I really hate how they basically went “screw the people who have only seen the anime, we’re here for the manga fans”. This mighty be an awesome episode for those who read the manga, but since I’ve never read it, I just find it lazy.
This episode did have plenty of interesting stuff, though. While the animation wasn’t as good as Tokyo Revelations, the xxxHolic crossovers were definitely interesting to see. My only fear with this is the role that Watanuki is going to play in it. Every character in Tsubasa Chronicle seems to be a superhuman fighting machine without any sense of pain (look at Kurogane cutting off his own arm without even flinching, or nobody being freaked out or startled by it, or how Syaoran got impaled multiple times through the heart and chest but seems to be completely fine), so I wonder what Watanuki really can do with all these superhumans around him without becoming a superhuman himself.