Fanstuff Friday: Tsubasa was my Precious

various Tsubasa merchandise

In May 2003, there was a little manga series that started in Kodansha’s Shonen Magazine that I didn’t know was going to change my life.

Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, possibly CLAMP’s most ambitious series to-date, holds a special place in my heart for also being the biggest money-suck of my twenties. The items pictured above are just a small — I repeat, small — part of the ridiculous merchandise that I collected for this series. When the manga started, I was part of the one of the scanlator teams that worked on it. Even when it got licensed, I would be the annoying fangirl in every Del Rey panel asking the obnoxious questions from poor Dallas Middaugh. (Though, hey, it was through a Del Rey panel that I met my boyfriend, but you already know that story.) I subscribed to every Livejournal community on Tsubasa, and I made sure to make note of every obscure merchandise item that I could purchase, items that would only be available in Japan. Deputy purchasing services were my best friends, and I’m sure the mail carrier was always wondering why there would be so many boxes sent to my apartment from Japan.

Oh yeah, I was also the proud owner of one of the two biggest TRC fansites, a dinosaur in today’s anime fandom.

It was so much fun. I remember the exhilaration of each new chapter, even more so in seeing the new colored images. Finding out which series CLAMP crossed-over this time was like a game of “where’s Waldo,” where the fans would argue vehemently which character from the Clampverse was that one wearing the hat, etc. When it had an actual overlap with xxxHolic, I think you could’ve heard fandom’s collective happy sigh.

You actually would be surprised to hear that I only finished reading the last manga volume earlier this month. I knew the ending so I wasn’t walking around covering my ears from spoilers the whole time, so I hope you’re wondering what took me so long to read it when I claim to be such one of its biggest fans.

I don’t know, maybe I just didn’t want that ride to end. I’ve mentioned it in various posts already, but there really came a time when I didn’t find any anime or manga interesting. Sure, I kept up with news bits and continued to read some anime blogs, but I was more interested in other things — things that had nothing to do with anime, manga, or Japan. My interest and involvement in anime just became so oversaturated that I wasn’t feeling the same ‘high’ from it anymore.

That’s how I ended up here. Even though I wasn’t reading or watching or buying new things, I couldn’t very well give up my treasures, could I? I squirreled these trinkets away, knowing that I’ll come back for them someday. And I did. And these things are as ridiculous as ever.

Fanstuff Friday documents the fun and unexpected things that fans create and cherish in honor of their favorite anime and manga.