October 26, 2012
CLAMP – Yen Press – 2012 – 6 volumes
Speaking of the ending of CLAMP series! I was never, ever a big fan of Kobato, though the ending did make me reconsider. Perhaps I should re-read Wish and throw away the first volume of Kobato before I pass judgement too harshly. Yes, it uses every single one of the themes CLAMP has been harping on for the last 20 years, and it doesn’t really use them well or subtly. But it’s what CLAMP does, and perhaps I should judge it next to Wish, which it ties in to. It’s been quite a long time since I’ve read Wish, and for all I know the themes are just as unsubtle in that. In my defense, Wish is actually a romance, though.
The other problem with the end of Kobato is that it unveils all this stuff right at the end. None of this really makes sense in the context of the series. I mean, we know “something” is up with the talking animals, but all this stuff is dumped in our laps right at the very end, and it doesn’t really have any bearing on the series. I can’t comment too much, but it explains Kobato’s condition, and what Ioryogi is doing with her, and how it ties into Wish… but that’s it.
Ultimately, it is a love story, and Kobato falls in love with Fujimoto. But there’s so much other stuff going on that it gets lost in the shuffle. Not to mention the fact I never really warmed up to Kobato. She wasn’t nearly as awesome as Ioryogi, and his love remains unresolved more or less at the end of the series.
But! It does have the kind of lovey-dovey ending that CLAMP does so well. It doesn’t ever happen as well as the end of Cardcaptor Sakura, but it still feels good to see it, even in Kobato.
Ultimately, I was very unsatisfied with Kobato, but perhaps it’s not nearly as terrible as I judged it initially. It’s… all right. But CLAMP’s older work is so good that even something like this, that’s only okay, feels wrong next to Cardcaptor Sakura and X and whatnot. And I hate saying that, because I hate being one of those people that lives in the past. But man. I’m just saying. I read the end of xXxHolic. I’m reading Gate 7. I read Tsubasa. I’m losing faith fast.