Tsubasa begins in the Kingdom of Clow, where Princess Sakura and her childhood friend, the architect Syaoran, live in peace. But when Syaoran unearths an ancient relic, other-worldly forces begin to move, and Sakura is caught in the middle - enveloped in light, she sprouts wings, floats and then falls as her wings explode, sending feathers across a plethora of alternative dimensions, each containing a memory of who she is.
With no memory of her life, or her love for Syaoran, the pair are guided to a dimensional witch and are granted the ability to cross dimensions and chase down Sakura's feathers, one by one. But the ability to travel dimensions comes at a price - even if all the feathers are recovered, she can no longer love Syaoran.
The pair are joined by Kurogane, a rough and ready samurai banished from his own world, and Fai, a white magician on the run from his past life.
The series is nothing if not popular - with the manga spawning 2 complete 26 episode series, a movie, an OAV and 2 Nintendo DS games, it seems that Clamp's decision to reinvent their back-catalogue and create a troupe of intrepid explorers to cross dimensions has paid dividends.
And no wonder - Team Clamp has always been popular, and Tsubasa utilises almost every character from every Clamp series from years past in alternate versions of their familiar selves. That gives us characters from Card Captor Sakura, Chobits, X and many more to play with, and by aping the US sci-fi show Sliders, our heroes travel across dimensions helping others on their way, which helps to keep the series fresh.
And it does a fantastic job - firstly, it looks stunning - bright, well animated and beautifully scored, it washes over you like few other anime. And with the constant change of background, the series never lingers too long in any one place. These first 3 volumes comprise 15 episodes of series one, and takes us from Clow to a feudal rebellion, and onward to an icy land under the spell of a child stealing witch... The mysteries surrounding our cast make the series a real pleasure, and by rewarding the viewers with constant progress, the series holds your attention long after you've become used to the pretty visuals.
The English dub is perfectly watchable, with some real attention paid to differentiating the main cast, but subtitles are available for purists.
So far, Tsubasa has proven itself intelligent, varied and almost limitless in scope. Lets hope the next volumes live up to the high standards set here.