From Publishers Weekly
Fans of Takaya's Fruits Basket may find Tsubasa a bit disappointing. Takaya's earlier work is a sprawling fantasy that lacks the originality and emotional impact of Fruits Basket. The weaker characters, mediocre artwork and poorly written and paced plot line does little to capture attention. The tale is set in a war-torn 22nd century mysteriously similar to Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, where luxury and amenities are reserved for the upper classes. The common people live for the legend of the Tsubasa, a magical glowing object said to grant wishes to all who see it—not unlike the dragon in Dragonball. To add to the pastiche of clichés, heroine Kotobuki the thief is monkeylike, similar to Goku. Despite the epic setting, much of the story focuses on Kotobuki's hackneyed romance with Raimon, a genius who dropped out of a prestigious army position in order to date her. The slow-building junior high–like romance ties together a series of nearly unrelated episodes. Two-thirds of the way through, the book has a satisfying ending, yet the story continues. Although the series was six volumes long in Japan, Tokyopop has made the excellent choice to publish it here in fewer, thicker volumes. (Mar.)
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While the thickness of this manga may lead people to believe that it’s a stand-alone, it’s actually the start of an older series by the mangaka responsible for the shojo megahit Fruits Basket. The story takes place in a future where the planet is barren, and young thief Kotobuki is trying to turn to more honest work for a living. While she tries to make ends meet, she is followed by an ex-commander from the military who says he is in love with her. In the background, rumors swirl about something called tsubasa, which supposedly can grant wishes. No one knows what exactly tsubasa is, how it works, or even if it exists, but this doesn’t stop people from avidly searching for it or joining cults that revolve around it. Natsuki Takaya already has a large worldwide following, so she’s sure to have many readers flocking to get their hands on this fantasy manga as well. Grades 10-12. --Danica Davidson