MJ: With the CLAMP MMF now upon us, and a fairly skimpy showing at Midtown Comics this week, I asked my fellow bloggers if they’d like to devote today’s Pick of the Week to favorite/recommended CLAMP series. Happily, they agreed!
Since I will be talk about my favorite CLAMP series ad nauseum this week, I’ll turn things over to Michelle and Sean, to let them make their picks first.
MICHELLE: I’ve decided to let nostalgia rule the day on this one and choose Cardcaptor Sakura, which is not only the first CLAMP manga I ever read, but the first manga I ever read, period (in a bilingual Kodansha edition, if you’re curious). It boasts an insanely likeable cast, many of whom are still among my favorite CLAMP characters—my eleven-year-old Kero-chan cellphone strap is still going strong!—and a story that’s touching, uplifting, and something you can feel comfortable loaning your friend’s daughter.
The anime is also a lot of fun—I distinctly remember visiting my local mall’s Suncoast to pick up each new installment on DVD—and is probably the one occasion where I liked that there was added filler. I am also going to shamelessly use this space to heap some love on the CLAMP School Detectives anime, which I adore, and which includes material from the manga of the same name as well as Duklyon and Man of Many Faces. We don’t really see CLAMP like this anymore, and I’ll always be fond of it.
SEAN: Before there was Kodansha Comics and Tsubasa/xxxHOLIC, before there was Tokyopop’s volumes of Cardcaptor Sakura and Legal Drug, there was Mixxzine. And with Mixxzine came Magic Knight Rayearth. Still one of my favorite CLAMP series, as well as one of the few times they revisited characters to make them *happier*. This RPG-styled fantasy combined the best of D&D role-playing and giant robot fighting, wrapping it up in a surprisingly serious storyline. The 2nd half gets a bit overly complex, but still not nearly as complex as their later works. Sometimes it’s best to just enjoy iconic, simple shoujo action.
MJ: Well, since nobody else has snatched it up, I’ll take this opportunity to recommend my (still) favorite CLAMP series, Tokyo Babylon. I’ve written about it fairly extensively in the past (and you’ll see much more of this come Wednesday), but besides the heart-wrenching story and stylish artwork, another thing Tokyo Babylon has going for it is length. At just seven volumes, it’s both short enough for nearly anyone to swallow and long enough to be genuinely satisfying. The original TOKYOPOP volumes may be getting hard to find, but with Dark Horse’s promised omnibus release presumably on its way, there’s fresh hope for us all!
Readers, what CLAMP title would you most recommend during this month’s Manga Moveable Feast?