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Series by Clamp

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Post #599015
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Noblesse Forever!

1:39 pm, May 14 2013
Posts: 1066

I know the title sound misleading, but I want some help on reading order of some series by CLAMP.

I plan to read xxxHoLic, Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle and few more. So is there any particular reading order for them? Do I have to read other series to fully grasp this works? All the threads and additional info. about this series is confusing me.

All the help regarding this matter will be really appreciated.


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loki lee
Post #599017

2:13 pm, May 14 2013
Posts: 9

Read basically everything else they wrote before reading HoLIC and Tsubasa.

Nah, CLAMP manga can be read in any order, but since xxxHoLIC and Tsubasa cross over with other manga so much, it's better to read everything else first. (Except gate 7, that came after)

Read Clamp School detectives before reading X (aka X/1999), as the main characters from Clamp School detectives appear in X. Also, read Tokyo Babylon before reading X.

CLAMP's manga can all be enjoyed without reading the "prequel" (well story that has prequel elements), though sometimes it helps clarify back stories.

Read Tokyo Babylon before reading X. This is a must. And you don't even have a 9 year gap - waiting for X vol 16 to come out and explain away the cliffy at the end of Tokyo Babylon - in between! (^-^)

Read X and Cardcaptors before reading Tsubasa.

(In Tsubasa, X characters, Cardcaptor characters, Chobits characters, ChunHyang characters, CLAMP school detective characters, CLAMP school detective characters... and others make appearances, but you don't need to know who they are.)

Read Tsubasa and Holic simultaneously - you'll get the most enjoyment out of both this way, as they cross over quite often.

Post #599480
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Sayonara, myself.

12:14 pm, May 17 2013
Posts: 27

xxxHolic and TRC has a twisting plot, meaning they are related to one another so reading them together will probably be good. TRC especially has crossover characters from their other series like Cardcaptor Sakura, Tokyo Babylon, and X. Just crossover though, not really any plot related. There is no specific order between Holic and TRC; take it as two parallel world lines which are later connected somehow as the story progress.

Other titles by CLAMP which I like are Cardcaptor Sakura, The One I Love/Watashi no Suki na Hito, Magic Knight Rayearth, and Angelic Layer. There are Suki Dakara Suki which I haven't checked out (but I heard it's good) and Kobato which is not very impressive for me. Gate 7 is their latest new series, although I feel it's a bit too heavy and boring. ^^;

Loyal worshipper of Goose house, AIMER, Kalafina, Ailee, LiSA, supercell, and Pentatonix.
Post #609841
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Noblesse Forever!

10:31 am, Aug 5 2013
Posts: 1066

@ loki lee andphio_chan.

Thanks a lot! Will it be just fine if I only read TRC and xxxHolic, and not other series? >_< Reading everything would be...

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Post #609844
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11:01 am, Aug 5 2013
Posts: 184

eyes yeah i think its fine if you read just TRC and xxxHolic.

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Post #609859
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I am a MangaUpdate

12:52 pm, Aug 5 2013
Posts: 102

Well, I'd recommend Magic Knight Rayearth, but that doesn't have anything to do with it. The manga is THE manga that got CLAMP popular in Japan.

Last edited by Honeymilk8 at 8:01 pm, Aug 13

"'The lives I've taken will be paid for with my own life.' That's one way to look at it...but it doesn't mean they come back once you die. Lives can also be paid for by the sword; by redeeming yet other lives. That is why 'Hitokiri Battousai' is still alive in the Meiji Era."

don't click this link...
Post #609864 - Reply to (#609841) by strixflash

1:17 pm, Aug 5 2013
Posts: 21

TRC and xxxHolic are written so that you can read only one without needing to read the other. However, they definitely give a much fuller and richer story when read together.

Because the stories contain parallel world hopping, lots of characters and objects from their earlier series make (cameo) appearances, which is fun. However, TRC and xxxHolic contain no spoilers concerning the other series in CLAMP's oeuvre, so there is no need to read them before reading TRC and xxxHolic in my opinion. Because they are "other worlds" the characters look the same, are often named the same, and perhaps act the same, but they are not "the same people" as the ones from their other stories.

I read TRC and xxxHolic at the same time as they were being published in English and really enjoyed them side by side. If you would like to read them together, below is the basic match-up of when the stories have scenes that intertwine. I would always read the TRC volumes first and then the xxxHolic ones. XxxHolic is a very strong story on its own, but some of the suspense of TRC would be spoiled if you read the "behind-the-scenes" occurrences in xxxHolic first, I think.

TRC: Vol 1 = XH: Vol 1-2
TRC: Vol 3 = XH: Vol 3
TRC: Vol 5-6 = XH: Vol 4
TRC: Vol 7-8 = XH: Vol 5
TRC: Vol 9-10 = XH: Vol 6
TRC: Vol 11-12 = XH: Vol 7
TRC: Vol 13-15 = XH: Vol 8-9
TRC: Vol 16 = XH: Vol 10
TRC: Vol 18-20 = XH: Vol 11
TRC: Vol 21-24 = XH: Vol 12-13
TRC: Vol 28 = XH: Vol 15

xxxHolic then continues, including with a splash of epilogue info on the TRC characters in xxxHolic Rou, which is published in English as xxxHolic volumes 16-19. After Rou, it has recently begun to seemingly continue in Japan with xxxHolic Rei. There are theories going around right now, whether Rei is a sequel or alternate story, and I'm pretty sure CLAMP is doing it so vaguely for right now on purpose.

This is also a series where I can definitely encourage buying the official translation. Not only is CLAMP's artwork gorgeous, but my copies of the DELREY Kodansha English translations contain really -and I mean super impressive, interesting, and helpful "really"- great translation notes at the end of every volume of both xxxHolic and TRC. The TRC notes explain alot -without spoilers- about their other series every time characters cross over from their older series, making the reader experience richer even if you haven't read all of CLAMP's works. XxxHolic's notes especially, but also TRC's, explain a lot of Japanese cultural concepts, names, etc. that CLAMP filled the series with.

If there is one of their earlier works that I would encourage you to read either first or after, though it is totally unnecessary, it would be Cardcaptor Sakura. It's aimed at a different age group, perhaps, but the crossover between the characters Syaoran, Sakura, and Clow Reed is very strong.

Edit: And, I've got a hunch that some of the events from Cardcaptor Sakura did possibly have something to do with some of the later depicted events of TRC and xxxHolic. I can't, however, say more without spoiling the story, and I think the mangaka purposely wrote it so that the reader could suppose but can't be sure of whether those stories are connected or not, if only through the "butterfly effect".

Edit 2: Honeymilk8 and phio_chan both suggested Magic Knight Rayearth. If you like shoujo, it is also a good read. However, even more unconnected to TRC than Cardcaptor Sakura. Magic Knight Rayearth was CLAMP's big break in Japan while Cardcaptor Sakura made them famous worldwide. Both of them are two of their more "mainstream works".

"Mokona" was first conceived for Magic Knight Rayearth. However, reading MKR will not really add to your understanding of Mokona in TRC and xxxHolic. The mokona of MKR remains a mysterious being and the two mokona of TRC/xxxH are like "tiggers"; except the wonderful thing about them is that there are only two in all the parallel worlds instead of one. So, if you ever feel like reading MKR, it's fine to read it after having already read TRC and xxxHolic. Just keep in mind that "mokona" is a different type of creature, and you shouldn't expect a similar back-story to it. I find the best mental approach to enjoying Mokona in MKR is that it's a bouncing manju that talks in in peeps. wink

Last edited by zk at 6:55 pm, Aug 5

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