Foreign Friday: Tsubasa Those With Wings

This week’s Foreign Friday title is Tsubasa: Those With Wings by Natsuki Takaya.

The Story

Kotobuki is an ex-thief trying to give up her criminal past. Joined by former military commander Raimon, she has turned to the exciting but simple adventure of finding a “normal” job. But people seeking the Tsubasa, a legendary object that grants its beholder any wish she or he wants, never stop causing them trouble. Everyone is trying to claim it as their own–and they want to use Kotobuki and Raimon’s skills to do so!

The Characters

Kotobuki is a young orphan who was once a thief, but is trying to change her ways and live an honest life. She is energetic, optimistic, and rather naive. Raymond is an ex soldier who had tried to catch her in the past, but has now left the army and is determined to follow her anywhere. He is cool, intelligent, cynical, possibly sociopathic, and only cares about Kotobuki. Along with an entertaining cast of secondary characters, they make for a duo that lives true to Takaya’s strength for in-depth characters.

What I Thought

Tsubasa: Those With Wings was the series that Natsuki Takaya created before she went on to write her more famous series Fruits Basket. The plot, while well paced, is not nearly as complex or as well thought out as her later series, but it is engaging, and kept me reading until the end. It has the feel of a post-apocalyptic plot, but at the heart it is a romance. There is some adult content at the end (while not graphic, the point comes across), so I wouldn’t recommend it for younger readers on that ground. The art style is energetic, although it doesn’t have the polish that Takaya will go on to exhibit in her later works. The series is 3 volumes long, but the volumes are thick. They are all available in English in the U.S.

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