Here is the start of my Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles volumes 1-6 journey if you’re curious as to how this started. The manga is rated 13+ but when I let my seven year old start reading it I couldn’t think of anything that would be inappropriate. However, on this re-read I believe the rating is due to alcohol consumption. It doesn’t happen often but the characters do indulge from time to time. And as the ages of Syaoran and Sakura are not stated, and they seem to be in their teens, it would appear that there is underage drinking.
Volume 7 – Fei Wang Reed is ominously watching events, commenting that even though things have gone differently than expected, they will still end up at the final destination, and that he still has an ace yet to be played. Syaoran is deeply troubled by the appearance of Seishiro-san and it worries Sakura. It is a new day, Kurogane and Syaoran set off to city hall to try and gather more information. City hall, again, sends them off to a new location to get further information on their inquiries.
Shortly after their departure from the cafe, Sakura falls asleep again. Moments later the cafe door bursts open and Seishiro-san bursts in looking for the demon hunting pair. Leaving Mokona to watch over Sakura, Fai engages with Seishiro-san, observing that his false eye is a magical device allowing Seishiro-san to travel worlds. He acknowledges that is and says that Yuko, the Space Time Witch gave it to him in an exchange. Seishiro-san launches all his demons and deals a mortal blow to Fai.
The answers Kurogane and Syaoran are given arouses their suspicions as to what is really going on, such as why the fighters can’t sense the demons as living beings. They are interrupted to discover that there has been a fatality at the cafe and rush back. Learning of Seishiro-san’s killing Fai from Mokona, Syaoran rushes off to engage him. Despite his new training, Seishiro-san is easily able to dispatch Syaoran. This is when we learn that our companions have been in a virtual reality. The country of Oto is in a game and their real bodies have been in capsules awaiting their time to be over. The troubling thing is that Syaoran’s sword came back from the game with him to the real world. Something is terribly wrong with the system. Fai and Syaoran instantly suspect a feather and are put back into the game.
Upon their return, Mokona senses the feather, it is in Seishiro-san’s possession. Seishiro-san is traveling the worlds looking for a pair of vampire twins. Hearing a tale of someone able to grant immortal life, he entered the game and the power of the feather has disrupted everything. Learning that the ones he seeks are not in Oto he leaves, taking the feather with him. Mokona instantly transports the group to a new world.
Volume 8 – Sakura awakens to find herself on another new world with Syaoran watching over her. They are attacked by unseen opponents, Sakura gets caught in a net trap and Syaoran is dragged off. Fai and Kurogane return from exploring, extract Sakura, and head off in the direction Syaoran was taken. They find a colony of rabbit-ish people claiming that they need a sacrifice to protect them from a new powerful monster, hence abducting Syaoran. Fai stays behind with the villagers and the rest go to investigate. Good thing Sakura came along as the monster was a giant whirlwind. Not only can she see spirits, she can communicate with non-sentient things too. She surmises that the wind is trapped by the power of a feather. They return to the village where Fai hands Sakura the feather, which had fallen from the sky. While not voiced at the time, Fai and Kurogane later speculate that it was too easy and felt ‘set up’. Off to the next world.
This time the companions are separated on arrival. Sakura and Syaoran have found themselves taken in by the Suzuran Troupe, an all women theatrical troupe and worshipers of their goddess Ashura. Fai and Kurogane land in a jinja shrine to Yasha, with a male head priest and followers. As fate would have it, there is no love between the women followers of Ashura and the male worshipers of Yasha. Each possesses a statue of their god. Once a year when the Suzuran Troupe returns to the village, bringing with them their state of Ashura, the Yasha statue weeps blood and calamity falls. This time an earthquake shakes the land.
Because no men are allowed, Syaoran must disguise as a female. When male Yasha followers come to raise trouble with the Suzuran Troupe, Syaoran spins into action kicking the men and forcing them to retreat. Impressed by his skills, the troupe leader convinces Syaoran to join the act. Sakura has regained the memory of a circus and remembers being delighted by it and wanting to join. Fai and Kurogane hear of the incident and are instantly interested when the kicking is mentioned, but dismiss the information as the description was of a female. Then another earthquake strikes.
Volume 9 – As the earthquake stops shaking, a tear opens up in the sky. A third eye opens on the Ashura statue and the Yasha statue begins crying blood. Mokona senses that the feather isn’t in this world but in the one through the tear in the sky. Despite being separated from their companions, Mokona teleports Syaoran and Sakura to the new world, they can only hope that Fai and Kurogane are taken too. To the reader it appears that Fai and Kurogane are taken, but when Syaoran and Sakura appear in the midst of a battle, they are not to be found.
Syaoran and Sakura find themselves behind the battle lines of Ashura-O, across the battlefield is the army of Yasha-O. Living beings the statues seemed to be based on. It is then that Syaoran spies Fai and Kurogane behind Yasha-O’s lines. The battle is magically ended when the moon reaches its zenith and Ashura-O takes the pair back to their castle. They learn that a war has been raging for years to take control of a floating castle. Legend says that when someone takes control of the castle a wish can be granted. Syaoran begs to be allowed to fight the following night and comes across Kurogane and Fai, who engage him in battle. Based on the blood thirsty attacks from Kurogane, these are not the pair Syaoran had been traveling with.
Fei Wang Reed is displeased by events. He suspects Yuko (the Time Space Witch) has been interfering, and manipulated events so that it is now unpredictable which world Syaoran and Sakura will travel to next, as opposed to going to where he wanted them. The reader discovers that Reed appears to have a clone of Syaoran. Back at the castle, Ashura-O is having a conversation, through a scrying pool, with Yuko. Ashura-O made a request of Yuko, and due to proper payment, Yuko grants the wish. For as of yet unknown reasons, Ashura-O wanted Syaoran and Sakura to come to Ashura-O’s world. The result of which is that Reed can no longer manipulate their movements. Due to cosmic balance, Yuko could not interfere on her own, it had to be the outcome of someone else asking. Yuko is pleased with this result as she did not want Reed controlling their destinations.
Syaoran’s right eye, the blind one, begins bothering him but that is of little consequence since he can’t find his Fai and Kurogane. At the next night’s battle, Syaoran once again faces off with Kurogane. Before the fight can get going, Ashura-O calls out to Yasha-O, declaring to finish this and grant Yasha-O’s wish. Ashura-O leaps up and stabs Yasha-O through the chest. At which point Yasha-O embraces Ashura-O, with sword still embedded and the volume ends.
Volume 10 – It turns out Yasha-O had previously died but the power of Sakura’s feather trapped his spirit causing the never ending battle. Ashura-O wished for Syaoran and company to come and claim the feather so that Yasha-O’s spirit could be put to rest. Kurogane and Fai were actually themselves but they had arrived in the world half a year earlier in time than Syaoran and Sakura. They kept up the pretense of being different as a way to train Syaoran.
Ashura-O makes one last wish that they and Yasha-O be turned into gods for the world that is to come. Sakura regains her feather, falls unconscious, and Mokona begins to teleport. As they disappear, Syaoran begs that the remains of Ashura-O and the sword of Yasha-O be buried together. This time the group arrive together and find themselves once again in the present of Shara country, however it is changed. The warring groups of the women of the Suzuran troupe and men of the jinja are united as one. Instead of separate statues, there is one statue of Ashura-O and Yasha-O together. It would appear that the actions of Syaoran, etc. in the past have affected the future. Fei Wang Reed is displeased to learn that Yuko has the ability to travel through time, as well as space, and makes new plans.
After a brief moment in Shara, Mokona whisks them away to a new world, Piffle world. Piffle world is the most advanced technologically from every other world previously visited. They have arrived to discover that Sakura’s feather is being promoted as powerful battery that can power an entire city, and is the prize in the Dragonfly races, a flying race in delicate machines called dragonflies. Sakura is very determined to win back her feather herself but even so, all four enter the preliminary race together.
Volume 11 – Only twenty racers can compete in the final. Things are going great with Kurogane and Fai finishing in the top two positions. Syaoran and Sakura are struggling further back when a disturbance happens on the race course. Sparkling smoke fills the air throwing things into chaos. Syaoran manages to avoid a collision and makes it into the final. Sakura deftly maneuvers and follows the air currents to be the twentieth racers across the finish line.
Upon using lie detectors to ascertain their innocence, Tomoyo, president of Piffle Corporation, and sponsor of the race, continues her search to determined who is the vandal. Changes are made to the final in the hopes of disrupting the criminal’s plans. The day of the race arrives and the entrants take part in a lottery to determine staring order. Unsurprisingly, due to her extraordinary luck, Sakura gets the number one position, with the rest of her companions spread out in the pack.
There are three check points, and a racer must collect a badge from each one to qualify as a winner upon crossing the finish line. Things begin going wrong at the first check point when the badge distribution blows up with only about half of the racers having gotten their badge. Sakura barely manages to get the last badge. Fai is knocked out at the second check point when something else goes wrong.
Volume 12 – In the next obstacle of the race, two dragonflies collide. Syaoran is faced with getting eliminated but helping save someone’s life or continuing the race. Though it saddens him to be knocked out of contention, he quickly decides to save the other racer and is out. Kurogane makes it until the end of the very last obstacle when an unplanned geyser erupts beneath him, swamping his dragonfly and eliminating him as well. With all three of her companions knocked out of the race it is now on Sakura alone to win her feather, which she does at the very last moment.
The victory celebrations are aboard a zeppelin like flying machine when Mokona hears a high pitched noise. Suddenly windows burst inwards and the shell containing Sakura’s feather is damaged. Tomoyo shouts at Sakura to absorb her feather, as it is snatched away by a man the group had faced previously in the country of Jade, Dr. Kyle. Fortunately, from across the room, Mokona sucks up the feather like a vacuum and puts it into Sakura’s chest, making her fall unconscious. Dr. Kyle taunts them that they aren’t the only ones with the ability to hop worlds, and one never knows if they are meeting a copy or the original, before leaping away out of a window.
At this point, Tomoyo admits that she was the one who fixed the race. A year ago an excavation team brought the feather up from the ocean floor. Shortly thereafter, Tomoyo had a dream that she faced a woman who looked just like her, it was Princess Tomoyo from Kurogane’s world. The Princess told Tomoyo all about the feather, other dimensions, and that a group of travelers would be coming looking for it. As the whole country knew about the existence of the marvelous feather, Tomoyo couldn’t just hand it over, so she made it the prize of the race. At the end of the night Kurogane speaks with Tomoyo, about his Princess Tomoyo, and asks if she see her again, to tell the Princess that he would be coming home. The group is then whisked away to the next world.
Volume 13 – Syaoran finds himself dreaming of one who looks like him, that then reaches out to choke him. He wakes to find a concerned Sakura standing over him. Fai and Kurogane shortly arrive to tell what they have learned of this new world, Recort. It is a blended world of magic and the Victorian era. For once Mokona doesn’t stand out, as horses with butterfly wings pull carriages. The people of the country place a high value on learning and the group head to an enormous library.
Kurogane notices a book with no writing on the spine. When he picks it up there is no writing inside either. However, when Syaoran takes the book, he finds it full of writing and himself in a different location. But this time Mokona wasn’t involved in the movement. He soon finds that he is in Kurogane’s memories, he can see and hear what is happening around him but he can’t interact and seems to be unable to remove himself from the book.
Syaoran learns that Kurogane’s mother was a priestess and father a warlord. Together they protected their land from the monsters that would ravage it, through his sword and her magical wards. Time passes as Kurogane grows and learns mastery of the sword. His mother grows ill, while his father pushes himself to his limits to protect the people. One fateful night, his father is at the border when a portal opens in the temple where his mother is praying. Kurogane witnesses a hand coming through the portal to stab his mother, killing her. A monster then breaks in dropping the hand of his father, still clutching his sword. Kurogane goes berserk. He is only stopped by the arrival of the army and Princess Tomoyo who gentles his rage. She promises to gift him a new sword so that Kurogane may fulfill his last promise to his father. It is at this point that Kurogane enters Princess Tomoyo’s service.
Hardly any time has passed in the real world but the group notices that Syaoran is unresponsive and they cannot remove the book from his hands. It is only when Kurogane’s hand touches the book and Syaoran, attempting to separate them, that he releases the book. Syaoran is immediately wracked with guilt for seeing Kurogane’s private memories without his permission, Kurogane absolves him. In witnessing the memories, Syaoran noticed an emblem on the sword that stabbed Kurogane’s mother. It was the same as the one the soldiers were wearing that attacked him and Sakura on their world, Clow, right before they were sent to Yuko.