published by Del Rey Manga; $19.99 US
I don’t read Tsubasa, one of CLAMP’s current continuing series, but a flip through this lovely magazine-sized art book certainly made it look appealing.
The CLAMP collective (four artists who work under the group name) has reached its 20th anniversary, and this is one of the celebratory projects (in the US — the book was originally published in 2007 in Japan). The book is nothing but glorious, full-color pieces of art, many of which are full bleed (reaching all the way to the edges of the pages). No captions, just pretty pictures.
Someone like me has no way of knowing who these characters are, but a lot about them still comes through in the way they’re posed together. The emotions are clear on the page, ranging from pastoral relaxation to grim determination.
At the end of book comes five black-and-white pages titled “World of the Untold Story #8″, which I’m told is an “original Tsubasa manga that will appear only in this book!” In it, a bunch of characters try to get gifts for Yuko. There are also four pages of endnotes in which the art pieces are sourced (such as whether they appeared as a cover or a splash page or poster or pencil board). CLAMP give their short comments about the concept or art intentions in this section as well.
I just wish someone would explain to me their odd treatment of capital letters, as shown in the unusual spelling of the book’s title. (The publisher provided a review copy.)