In their continuing journey to find the feathers that are the fragments of Sakura's lost memory, Syaoran, Kurogane, Fai, and Sakura move through time and space with Mokona. Here, they visit the "Land of the Birdcage," a seemingly peaceful country where people and birds live together, each person having a bird companion. After a boy named Koruri confuses Syaoran and Sakura for "bodyguards" and attacks them, they learn that the king of the country possesses a mysterious power. Princess Tomoyo, Koruri, and the other oppressed citizens, having had their birds taken from them, live in hiding within the forest. In order to take back Sakura's feather, Syaoran and the others stand up against the scheming king.
I'll get right to the point and try to make this review simple. Please do note that I will occasionally refer to the anime series, hence there will be some bias present in my review.
Despite being called a movie, its duration is rather short (personally I feel as though it was an OVA or extended episode). The movie has a rather plain and unsurprising plot, not exactly superb but its not horrible either. Still better than most of the fillers from the Tsubasa anime.
As expected of Production I.G, the animation is simply superb and detailed, with a wonderful use of colours. The
movements of both the characters and inanimate objects are fluid, and the character designs are also pleasing. There were hardly any moments where I felt the characters look like they were drawn rather odd. While I originally intended to give the art a 9, thinking of how disappointing the animation of the anime series done by BeeTrain was, I decided to give it a 10. You can clearly see the difference in animation quality between the two studios.
Music has always been the strongest point of the Tsubasa anime series to me. The music used were all familiar tracks from the anime series, all composed by Yuki Kajiura, so theres no problem where music is concerned, though I did feel that some of the tracks used didn't quite suit the scene. The opening song and ending songs by Kinya and Yui Makino respectively were also very good and fit the movie well.
Being a 30 minute movie, there isn't exactly anything special about the character development, as the audience is expected to know them by now. They are all the same as you see them in the anime/manga.
Although some will find this movie rather boring or too short, I really did enjoy it. Especially when compared to all those filler episodes from the anime.
Overall, I find the Tsubasa Chronicle movie rather entertaining despite being only 30 minutes long. Is this movie really worth your time to watch? While I wouldn't recommend this movie as a must watch, it certainly wont hurt to give it a try either.The plot is simple but the animation really makes up for it (Once more the Tsubasa anime comes to mind when I say this). You are not obligated to fully agree with my ratings and opinions nor does this review truly reflect what this movie is like. Hope you enjoyed this review by a first-timer like me.
Continuing their journey to collect Sakura's feathers our heroes find themselves in a new world, the "Land of the Birdcage" a world in which the people are close companions with birds.
After just arriving Syaoran, Sakura and Mokona (after being seperated from Fai and Kurogane) meet young Princess Tomoyo, a girl who uses touch to communicate through the help of the ring that she possesses. Syaoran and the others soon learn of The King of Birds and his sour plans to wipe Eternal Darkness over the land.
Whilst he keeps on his search for finding another of Sakura's feathers, Syaoran is determined to put a
stop to the scheming King!
Before watching this movie you should already be familar with the story of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle as you will not get any background from this movie alone. So don't go straight into watching this movie if you haven't got any knowlegde of the main story.
With this movie only being just over the length of an average episode, we are not given any new character development and the movie itself feels like a short arc from the series as there isn't anything inparticularly special about this world from the worlds that the group had visited in the previous Anime.
Whilst saying that, there are some noticable improvements such as the art and animation. It was newly assigned to Production IG to handle it and I think they did a rather incredible job with it. With this alone it gave the movie suddenly more visual interest being more sharp and more beautiful animation than what we've seen in the main Anime adaptation.
Memorable soundtracks from the Anime reappears in this movie along with some new giving it that definite same feel.
Regardless of the few bad points I have made, with more wonderful scenes from the great main TRC cast; I find this a short but nice treat for huge TRC fans. It's a movie I've enjoyed watching time, and time again.
While billed as a movie, 'Birdcage Kingdom' is more of an extended episode of the TV series or a slightly longer OVA episode to compliment the XXXHolic Movie. The plot is little more than a chapter from the manga or an episode from the TV series just stripped of most of any depth either one might have.
It's a very simple and basic story of our heroes landing in one of the many "world of the week" seen in an adventure and fighting "big bad of the week" and resolving the plot at the end. Ideal for a short especially for one aimed
at a younger audience over the older demographic the manga was written for, or the more all-age-demographic the TV show aimed for. While not really vital to see or read the source material of the movie you might be thrown off just a bit if you jump into this blind with no information. The movie does it's best to set the background of the plot by recreating the first encounter with Yuko who explains the needed sacrifice from Syaoran to save Sakura's life so even then getting lost in this movie should not be an issue.
The art and animation style is lovely, being it is a movie, with a beautiful and lively color pallet and really great and detailed art direction. With character desiigns by Yoko Kikuchi it plays a little more closely to CLAMP's signature art style but without the stiff limitations often seen.
The cinematography also is pretty creative in the same right and shows a lot of high professionalism despite the short length. Proved to not be a throwaway B-Team project against the A-Team Holic project, I.G did clearly commit some resources sadly lacking from the TV series and later OVAs.
Much if any music by Yuki Kajiura is unfortunately tossed into the background and doesn't offer anything new for the franchise OST being just one or two simple pieces that you will barely notice, topped with some of the more iconic pieces such as "Break the sword of Justice."
Likely in an effort to differentiate themselves from the TV series and to work around Kajiura's schedule they quickly edited a few pieces together and downplayed much of the original score. There is a opening theme by singer Kinya, who also provided the opening them songs for the TV series, but the song seems placed in the movie for the sake of having an opening theme given it plays for only five seconds and doesn't get it's full rendition anywhere in the movie it self. Yui Makino on the other hand gets to show her vocal talents with a full ending song, "Amrita" which is a nice ending theme to close out as the credits roll.
The acting in the Japanese version is very solid with a great cast of Miyu Irino, Yui Makino, Tetsu Inada, Daisuke Namikawa and Mika Kikuchi. The English dubbing however is less than stellar with a handful of good performances but two weak performances by Monica Rial as Sakura and Carrie Savage as Mokona. Like in the series these two are the weak links and are both a miscast for these important roles. Jason Libercht however does perfect to capture Syaoran and manages to catch what Irino brings to the role perfect. Same can be said of Chris Sabat as Kurogane and Vic Mignogna as Fai.
The TRC movie is visually beautiful and well made but doesn't really offer anything much more given it's strangely undercut running time, a suitable pre-show for the Holic movie but not much to give on it's own. Fans will enjoy it enough but there's not much to entice a general audience.
I recently watched the first season of Tsubasa Chronicle, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It isn't one of my favorite shows, but it was pretty good and I look forward to the second season. However, this short film was quite terrible.
Story (3/10): I rarely have ever been so lost as to what the hell was going on in an anime. This movie has absolutely nothing to offer. It isn't canon and adds nothing to the story. This "movie" (if you even want to call it that considering how short it is) doesn't even feel anything like the Tsubasa TV series does. It's just
a mindless short story about... hell, I don't even know what it WAS about!
Character (3/10): The Tsubasa characters have zero presence. They are just there. The entire time, they seem to be screwing around and at one point flying on some sort of thing (I don't remember what) to try and let some mute girl talk again. (If that's even what was happening. I couldn't follow the mindless story.) The "villain" in this movie is extremely clichéd and boring and could not be more forgettable. Every other character introduced also sucks. The mute girl could be an interesting character if she had development, but she's not gonna get that in 35 minutes.
Art (7.5/10): The animation was pretty good. It looks better than the TV series. My only gripe is the coloring. They made Syaoran's hair much too light...
Sound (7/10): The sound was fine. Nothing sounded bad, but nothing astounded me either.
Enjoyment (2/10): 15 minutes in I found myself almost falling asleep. If this movie was any longer than it was, I don't think I could have finished it. I don't think I have ever been so happy to see the credits roll after an anime movie.
Overall (3.3/10): Overall, this is a crap movie with nothing to offer. It adds nothing to the series and was just a way for them to get some money off of Tsubasa fans. Don't bother watching it unless you are a completionist who wants to see everything Tsubasa, no matter the quality.