Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle the Movie: The Princess in the Birdcage Kingdom

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The Princess in the Birdcage Kingdom
Tsubasafilmdvd.jpg
Japanese DVD cover
Japanese 劇場版 ツバサ・クロニクル 鳥カゴの国の姫君
Hepburn Gekijōban Tsubasa Kuronikuru: Torikago no Kuni no Himegimi
Directed by Itsuro Kawasaki
Screenplay by
  • Junichi Fujisaku
  • Midori Goto
Based on Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle
by CLAMP
Produced by
  • Hiroaki Morita
  • Hisako Matsumoto
  • Ikuko Kumano
  • Natsumi Shirahama
  • Noriaki Aishita
  • Tetsuya Nakatake
  • Tetsuya Watanabe
  • Yoshihiro Iwasaki
Starring
CinematographyMiki Sakuma
Edited byTaeko Hamauzu
Music by Yuki Kajiura
Production
company
Distributed by Shochiku
Release date
  • August 20, 2005 (2005-08-20)
Running time
35 minutes
CountryJapan
LanguageJapanese

Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle the Movie: The Princess in the Birdcage Kingdom (Japanese: 劇場版 ツバサ・クロニクル 鳥カゴの国の姫君, Hepburn: Gekijōban Tsubasa Kuronikuru: Torikago no Kuni no Himegimi) is an 2005 Japanese animated action fantasy short film based on the Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle manga written and illustrated by manga artist group CLAMP. The short film was directed by Itsuro Kawasaki, co-written by Junichi Fujisaku and Midori Goto, and was produced by Production I.G. The film premiered in Japanese theaters on August 20, 2005 in conjunction with xxxHolic: A Midsummer Night's Dream , another Production I.G animated film and based on CLAMP manga. Set between the two seasons of the anime series Tsubasa by Bee Train, the film continues Syaoran's group's journey to find Sakura's "feathers" (memories) in different worlds. On the journey they arrive at the Country of Birdcages, which contains one of Sakura's feathers.

Contents

The Tsubasa and xxxHolic films were conceived by Kodansha, the Japanese publisher of both manga. After convincing Production I.G to develop them, Kodansha director hired Junichi Fujisaku to write the Tsubasa film. Like the TV series, Yuki Kajiura was the score's composer and the producer was Tetsuya Nakatake. In North America The Princess in the Birdcage Kingdom was licensed by Funimation Entertainment, who released it with A Midsummer Night's Dream and episodes of the Tsubasa anime.

The film received a mixed response from manga and anime publications and other media; although its animation and pacing were praised, its length was criticized as only ten minutes longer than the TV episodes.

Plot

In their continuing journey to find the feathers which are the fragments of Princess Sakura's lost memory, Syaoran, Kurogane, Fai D. Flowright, Mokona Modoki and Sakura move through time and space. They visit the Country of Birdcages, an apparently-peaceful country where people and birds live together; each person has a companion bird. When they arrive Syaoran, Princess Sakura and Mokona are separated from Kurogane and Fai, who are confronted by the King's warriors and captured. Syaoran, Sakura and Mokona meet Koruri, who introduces them to her princess (an alternate version of Princess Tomoyo). Tomoyo tells Syaoran's group that the king (her uncle) oppresses the country's citizens, seizing their birds and planning to seal the country with a key. They are attacked by the king's bird-like soldier, who easily defeats Syaoran and Tomoyo's commander and kidnaps Princess Tomoyo and Mokona.

Syaoran, Princess Sakura, Koruri and the commander infiltrate the king's castle to rescue Tomoyo. The king unleashes Dodo, an enormous bird. Fai, Kurogane and Mokona escape from their cages, and are confronted by Dodo's offspring. They rejoin Syaoran's group, and climb to the castle's upper floors to stop the king. Princess Sakura gives Syaoran a ring which she had received from Princess Tomoyo; Syaoran confronts Dodo, realizing that the ring is composed of all the citizens' birds. Princess Tomoyo's bird Lei-Fan helps Syaoran fight Dodo, who is carrying the king. Tomoyo tells Syaoran to use the ring to fight the king and Syaoran, surrounded by fire, launches himself to destroy Dodo. He knocks out the king, whose body transforms into a bird and leaves one of Princess Sakura's feathers behind. Because of the ring the country remains trapped in darkness, and Syaoran's group asks Dimensional Witch Yuko Ichihara for help. Princess Tomoyo gives Yūko her bell, sacrificing the relationship between the citizens and the birds in exchange for a key which frees the country from its darkness.

Casts

CharacterJapaneseEnglish
Syaoran Miyu Irino Jason Liebrecht
Princess Sakura Yui Makino Monica Rial
Kurogane Tetsu Inada Christopher Sabat
Fai D. Flowright Daisuke Namikawa Vic Mignogna
Mokona Modoki Mika Kikuchi Carrie Savage
Princess Tomoyo Maaya Sakamoto Amber Cotton
King of Birdland Jouji Nakata Barry Yandell
Koruri Makoto Tsumura Kate Oxley
Yūko Ichihara Sayaka Ohara Colleen Clinkenbeard

Production

Kodansha (publisher of the Tsubasa and xxxHolic manga) conceived the idea of developing both films and contacted Production I.G, who chose Toru Kawaguchi and Tetsuya Nakatake as producers. Since Tsubasa was popular in Japan and Production I.G was well-known, Natakate wanted viewers to enjoy the film. [1] Directed by Itsuro Kawasaki and written by Midori Goto and Junichi Fujisaku, its characters were designed by Yoko Kikuchi and its music composed by Yuki Kajiura. [2] Director Itsuro Kawasaki met producer Nakatake, who told him that they were working in The Princess of the Birdcage Kingdom but had not chosen a director. According to Kawasaki, he had declined an offer from Production I.G because he was working on an anime television series. It was the director's first feature animated film; Kawasaki was initially sceptical about making a film based on Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, because he thought the market was saturated and wanted to focus on less-popular series. Since he had heard that Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle was an entertaining manga, Kawasaki read it when the film finished development. He was satisfied because it was what he had in mind when he made the film, and praised CLAMP's illustrations and designs. When Yoko Kikuchi was chosen as character designer, Kawasaki said, "we were very lucky"; he was familiar with Kikuchi's work, and she was fond of the character Sakura. [3]

Since The Princess in the Birdcage Kingdom is aimed at a younger audience than xxxHolic, producer Tetsuya Natakate wanted to emphasize action scenes to make it enjoyable and hired young animators to give "a brand-new look to [the] anime [of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle]". Yasunori Miyazawa was in charge of the storyboards. After a discussion with director Kawasaki, it was decided that the film's setting would resemble Okinawa. Yuki Kajiura was asked to compose a score different from that of the TV series to convey the characters' state of mind, and Natakate was pleased with the result. [1] CLAMP member and leader Ageha Ohkawa liked the way the films were connected, despite their different themes. [4]

The film has two pieces of theme music. "Aerial", its opening theme, is performed by Kinya Kotani and "Amrita" (its closing theme) is performed by Yui Makino. Before the film's premiere, an event was held at Shibuya Tower Records in which Kotani performed "Amrita" and the Japanese cast discussed the film. [5] Both songs were released as singles in Japan on August 17, 2005. [6] [7] When he composed "Aerial", Kotani focused on the word "aerial" and lyrically compared the Tsubasa Chronicle universe with everything he had written so far. [8] The film began development as a 30-minute-long title, making Kawasaki focus on animation quality to make it stand out from the TV episodes. [3] Background content expanding the film's world was cut for length. [9]

Release

The film was released in Japan on August 20, 2005. [10] Shochiku released the film's DVD version on February 25, 2006 in Japan, in regular and premium editions. [11] [12] Funimation Entertainment announced their licensing of the film, with Tsubasa's first anime season and xxxHolic, in the February 2006 issue of Anime Insider . [13] The film was released as an English-language DVD on February 19, 2009 in North America as a double feature with xxxHolic. [14] On May 4, 2010 Funimation re-released the double feature in Blu-ray format, including the extras in the original DVD release. [15] In Australia, the double-feature DVD was released on July 23, 2008 by Madman Entertainment. [16] The film was released with a DVD box set, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle: Collected Memories Box Set (the anime's first season), on January 19, 2010, [17] and was re-released in Blu-ray format on May 4 with the anime's second season. [18]

Reception

The Princess in the Birdcage Kingdom received mixed reviews from critics. Reviewing the film with xxxHolic, IGN's N. S. Davidson found it appealing to Tsubasa series viewers despite its short length. Davidson enjoyed the interaction between the films' storylines, allowing elements of Tsubasa to be explained in xxxHolic, and noted artistic similarities between them. [19] Active Anime writer Holly Ellingwood praised the film's "suspenseful" story, comparing its setting and animation to the films of Hayao Miyazaki. [20] odd Douglass, Jr. of DVD Talk agreed, saying that series fans would enjoy its story and pacing and overlook its length. According to Douglass, although Tsubasa and xxxHolic were similar in style and length the latter had "a more cohesive story". [21] He strongly recommended Funimation's double release as improving the appeal of both series. [22] Blu-ray's Dustin Somner compared the film to the anime series, calling it "a bit stronger than the majority of the television episodes" due to its quick pace. Although he enjoyed the pacing, Somner wrote that important parts of the story would be missed in a first viewing and found its plot unexpectedly complex during his third viewing. [23]

The Princess in the Birdcage Kingdom was criticized for its length, that of an extended TV episode. Anime News Network's Santos wondered why material was cut from the film, writing that a longer film would have been more exciting. [24] Also criticizing the film's length, Chris Beveridge of Mania Entertainment wrote that its extras compensated and found The Princess in the Birdcage Kingdom's animation appealing as a contrast with that of xxxHolic. [25] Carlo Santos of Anime News Network criticized the film's length but called it "good art", praising its animation. [24] Casey Brienza, also from Anime News Network, called the films a service to Clamp fans (due to their improved animation) and their plots primarily filler. [26]

Related Research Articles

Clamp (manga artists) Manga artist group

Clamp is an all-female Japanese manga artist group, consisting of leader and writer Nanase Ohkawa, and three artists whose roles shift for each series: Mokona, Tsubaki Nekoi, and Satsuki Igarashi.

<i>Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle</i> 2005 Japanese manga series by Clamp and its adaptations

Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by the manga artist group Clamp. It takes place in the same fictional universe as many of Clamp's other manga series, most notably xxxHolic. The plot follows how Sakura, the princess of the Kingdom of Clow, loses all her memories and how Syaoran, a young archaeologist who is her childhood friend, goes on arduous adventures to save her, with two other companions. The Dimensional Witch Yūko Ichihara instructs him to go with two people, Kurogane and Fai D. Flowright. They search for Sakura's memories, which were scattered in various worlds in the form of angelic-like feathers, as retrieving them will help save her very being. Tsubasa was conceived when four Clamp artists wanted to create a manga series that connected all their previous works. They took the designs for the main protagonists from their earlier manga called Cardcaptor Sakura.

<i>xxxHolic</i> Japanese manga series

xxxHolic is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by the manga group Clamp. The series, which crosses over with another Clamp work, Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, revolves around Kimihiro Watanuki, a high school student who is disturbed by his ability to see the supernatural, and Yūko Ichihara, a powerful witch who owns a wish-granting shop. When Watanuki asks Ichihara to remove his ability to see spirits, she grants it on the condition that he pay for his wish by working for her. Clamp created xxxHolic to link the supernatural and fantasy series. From 2013 to 2016 they worked on a sequel series xxxHolic: Rei.

Syaoran Li Fictional character from Cardcaptor Sakura

Syaoran Li, sometimes spelled as Shaoran Li or originally as Xiaolang Li, is one of the central characters in the Clamp manga Cardcaptor Sakura and its sequel Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card. In the English anime adaptation by Nelvana of the series, Cardcaptors, he was renamed Li Showron and was rewritten to be the joint main protagonist alongside Sakura Kinomoto. Syaoran is a young Chinese sorcerer from Hong Kong descending from Clow Reed and appears in Tokyo during his introduction in order to capture the missing cards released by Sakura, another sorcerer. Although Syaoran is initially rude towards the protagonist due to sharing the same goal, he ends up falling in love with her as he spends time with her. Syaoran's relationship with Sakura is further explored in the 2000 Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: The Sealed Card film and the sequel.

Yuko Ichihara Fictional character from xxxHolic

Yuko Ichihara is a fictional character in the manga xxxHolic, which was created by the artist group Clamp. Yuko is a witch who owns a shop where people come to have their wishes granted, and most of her jobs involve dealing with supernatural beings. At the beginning of xxxHolic, she meets Kimihiro Watanuki, who becomes her assistant in exchange for removing spirits that follow him. Yuko also appears in the crossover manga Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, where she assists the main characters in their journey across the multiverse, and is known as "The Dimension Witch". She has also appeared in animated versions of the two series, as well as in other media.

Kimihiro Watanuki Fictional character introduced in the manga xxxHolic

Kimihiro Watanuki is a fictional character introduced in the manga xxxHolic, created by the group of manga artists known as Clamp. Watanuki is a high school student plagued by his ability to see spirits. In order to lose such powers, Watanuki begins to work for Yūko Ichihara, a witch who will grant his wish once he pays the price for her services. Such jobs often involve Watanuki encountering other spirits attracted by him. Apart from xxxHolic, Watanuki is featured in the crossover manga Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, which explores his origins. He has also has been featured in their animated adaptations, spin-offs as well as other works by Clamp, most notably the sequel xxxHolic Rei.

Kurogane (Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle)

Kurogane, born Yōō (鷹王), is a fictional character from Clamp's manga Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle. Kurogane is a poor tempered ninja from Japan who is obsessed with fighting. His lord, Princess Tomoyo, exiles him to modern Japan where Kurogane joins with the wizard Fai D. Flowright and two teenagers known as Syaoran and Sakura who are in the need of travelling different dimensions. The witch Yuko Ichihara gives them such power at the cost of their most treasured item with Kurogane giving his sword. Across the narrative, Kurogane bonds with the other travelers and learns that his parents were killed by the same people who attacked Syaoran and Sakura's country, making him look for revenge. He also makes cameos in other Clamp's works.

Fai D. Flowright Fictional character from Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle

Fai D. Flowright, born Yūi (ユゥイ), is a fictional character introduced Clamp's manga series Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle. Fai is a sorcerer from the country of Celes who escapes in order to request the witch Yuko Ichihara to travel to other worlds and never return to his homeland. He meets Syaoran, Sakura, Kurogane and Mokona with whom he develops relationships. Despite his easygoing nature, Fai's true objective remains hidden which is further explored when the character is forced to return to his world alongside the group.

<i>xxxHolic: A Midsummer Nights Dream</i> 2005 film by Tsutomu Mizushima

xxxHolic: A Midsummer Night's Dream is a 2005 Japanese animated supernatural dark fantasy film based on xxxHolic manga series written and illustrated by manga artist group CLAMP. The film is directed by Tsutomu Mizushima, co-written by Junichi Fujisaku and Yoshiki Sakurai, and produced by Production I.G. The film was released in Japan on August 20, 2005 as a double bill with the Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle short film, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle the Movie: The Princess in the Birdcage Kingdom, also by Production I.G and originally based on a CLAMP manga.

Syaoran (<i>Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle</i>, clone) Fictional character from Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle

Syaoran is a fictional character and protagonist in Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, a manga series written and illustrated by Clamp. Syaoran is introduced as a young archaeologist who is in love with Sakura, his childhood friend and the princess from the Kingdom of Clow. When Sakura's memories are scattered throughout parallel dimensions, Syaoran goes on a quest to recover them, at the cost of Sakura never remembering him. Later in the series, Syaoran is revealed to be an artificial human created by the sorcerer Fei-Wang Reed—the sorcerer who wants to use him to collect Sakura's magical feathers. Controlled by Fei-Wang Reed's will, Syaoran becomes one of the series' antagonists in the second half of the series. Syaoran has featured in other works by Clamp, including the manga xxxHolic and the drama CD series Holistuba.

Sakura (<i>Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle</i>) Character from Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle

Sakura (サクラ), also known as Princess Sakura, is a fictional character and one of the protagonists from Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, a manga series written and illustrated by Clamp. In the series, Sakura is a princess from the Kingdom of Clow who has her memories separated from her body and sent to parallel dimensions in the form of feathers. Finding Sakura catatonic and near death, Syaoran, her childhood friend, goes on a quest to recover her memories. As the journey continues, Sakura forms new bonds with Syaoran, and together they learn how the sorcerer Fei-Wang Reed was responsible for the loss of her memories and will benefit from their recovery. Besides Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, Sakura also appears in other works from Clamp including xxxHolic and the drama CD series Holitsuba.

Sakura Kinomoto Fictional character from Cardcaptor Sakura

Sakura Kinomoto is the main protagonist and title character of Clamp's manga series Cardcaptor Sakura. In the English anime adaptation by Nelvana of the series, Cardcaptors, she is known as Sakura Avalon, though her surname was changed back in the second film's dub by Bang Zoom! Entertainment.

Syaoran (<i>Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle</i>, original) Fictional character from Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle

Tsubasa (ツバサ), usually called Syaoran is a fictional character from Clamp's manga series' Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle. In the series, the character is initially seen as child imprisoned by the sorcerer Fei-Wang Reed and appears in visions of the series' protagonist, the clone Syaoran. Upon being freed from his prison, Syaoran goes to kill his doppelgänger but fails as he escapes to carry Fei-Wang's will. As a result, Syaoran decides to join Sakura's journey across dimensions to accomplish his own mission. Syaoran also appears in the Clamp's series xxxHolic, where he often interacts with the teenager Kimihiro Watanuki whom he often sends messages to and in the Tsubasa spin-iff Tsubasa World Chronicle: Mirai Nikki-Hen he goes in another journey to find his clone.

References

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