The first thing that grabbed my attention about this is the incredible artwork. Clamp has truly outdone themselves. It's consistent, beautiful and I have no more to say on this matter, as it is undeniably perfect.
Now, I know the story is a little confusing. But that isn't because of bad writing. It's because of the many references to historical figures in Japan that Westerners are not familiar with. However, it is still an interesting story, without knowing any of the background information. I read about 10 chapters without doing any research on Japanese history, and I still thoroughly enjoyed it. After going to the effort of reading up on the references Clamp makes, however, I found the story even more enjoyable to read. I do have one criticism and that is the fact that the pacing is a little all over the place, but I believe that it will smooth out eventually.
I LOVE the characters. Especially Tachibana. And Hana. And Date Masamune. And Sakura. And Chikahito. No, i love them all.
Their relationships are all so believable and interesting. And I love how quickly they're developing and revealing their pasts. And I can already see the angst (coughcough Tachibana coughcough) that's coming up soon. I love angst.
It annoys me that so many people compare these characters to other Clamp characters. They have a few similarities, yes. But this manga is completely different from any other Clamp manga you've read. As are the characters. It's not meant to be read as a reincarnation of Tsubasa or XXXholic.
So, all up, I love it forever. I recommend it to anyone looking for a manga which actually has a deep storyline, which doesn't solve itself in the first chapter, but builds tension and suspense properly, like any good piece of writing should.