Down the hole in Clampworld!

 

“A land that doesn’t need a map” claim CLAMP the world of their works to be, but only in terms of enjoyment; because otherwise their claim is a belief of theirs… Especially after TRC and xxxholic, more readers have question marks floating over their heads about the past of the cameos and how things function in CLAMPverse. And let’s not forget how tags like shoujo and shounen don’t apply to CLAMP due to their diverse writing and styles. For a beginner a guide is useful.

Here, I will attempt a short overview of CLAMP’s carrier in chronological order (according to Wikipedia’s infos). The summaries are taken from tv tropes or baka updates, quotes of CLAMP are taken from CLAMP no Kiseki interviews, images can be found in minitokyo, zerochan, tumblr and animepaper, but aside these I will state my preferences, rant a bit when I think it’s needed, talk about the strong and weak points of their projects and everything else along these lines. I’ll focus on their manga, since they are mangaka, but I will mention anime adaptions which I’ve watched and left me strong impressions. The reviews will be added gradually.

Down the hole in Clampworld!

[1989-1996]   RG Veda – 10vol.
[1990-1991]   Man of Many Faces (MMF) – 2 vol.
[1990-1993]   Tokyo Babylon (MMF) – 7vol.
[1992-1993]   Clamp School Detectives – 3vol. ( N )
[1992-1993]   Duklyon: Clamp School Defenders – 2vol. ( N )
[1992-1992]   Shirahime Syo: Snow Goddess Tales – 1vol.
[1992-2003*] X (MMF) -18vol. +
[1992-1994*]  Legend of Chun Hyang – 1vol.
[1993-1995]   Magic Knight Rayearth – 6vol.
[1993-1995]   Miyuki-chan in Wonderland – 1vol.
[1995-1995]   The One I Love – 1vol.
[1996-2000]   Cardcaptor Sakura -12vol.
[1996-1998]   Wish – 4vol.
[1997-1999*]  Clover – 4vol
[1999-2001]   Angelic Layer – 5vol.
[1999-2000]   Suki. Dakara Suki – 3vol.
[2000-ong. ]   Legal Drug// Drug and Drop – 3vol.+
[2001-2002]   Chobits – 8vol.
[2003-2009]   Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle – 28vol.
[2003-ong  ]   xxxholic – 19vol. +
[2005-2011]   Kobato – 6vol.
[2010-ong. ]   Gate 7 – 3vol. +
[2011-ong. ]   Blood-C – 3vol. + ( N )

From left to right: Satsuki Igarashi, Tsubaki Nekoi, Ageha Ohkawa, Mokona

From left to right: Satsuki Igarashi, Tsubaki Nekoi, Ageha Ohkawa, Mokona


Other works of theirs where they participated mainly by contributing the art part are: Clamp School Paranormal Detectives, Sohryaden: Legend of the Dragon Kings, Code Geass, Mouryou no Hako etc.

They have worked on short stories here and there, though most are left untranslated, and of course, as many other artists they started as a doujinshi circle with titles like Devilman and Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures. They are also venturing into new terrains, when the chance is given like with the Hatsune Miku video or the Gackt- Moon Saga project.

Down the hole in Clampworld!

 My commentaries/ editorials:

Retrospect on CLAMP: In good and bad times… (MMF)

Pool of Memories: TRC things to remember and fawn over
Saya Monou: A mermaid of sin
Soul and Body: Unbreable bonds in xxxholic and TRC
Memories, Loneliness, Wisdom and Objects in xxxholic
Grief and Loss in Anime: a case examination of Mawaru Penguindrum, Puella Magi Madoka Magica and X (MMF)

Further readings:
Off the Shelf: Tokyo Babylon [Manga Bookself: Melinda Beasi, Michelle Smith, Danielle Leigh]
Let’s Get Visual: A Tale of Two Series [Soliloque in Blue: Melinda Beasi, Michelle Smith]
The Shoujo Beauty of X [Manga Bookself: Melinda Beasi]
Chobits: Diconstructing The Love Story [Manga Bookself: Brett Stockmeier]
Maidens and Witches: Purity and Power in Magic Knight Rayearth [Contemporary Japanese Literature: Kathryn Hemmann]
‘I Have Been Changed -By You’: A Study of Identity In Tokyo Babylon and X/1999

How has CLAMP changed your life?  (a cool reply written by Rachel, animated by Ash)
Quick guide to CLAMP manga (the powerpoint thing on Nyaa,Nyaa,NyaaNyaa Ninja)

Useful links:
At Chibi Yuuto’s livejournal you’ll get the latest CLAMP news.
CLAMP Parallels you’ll get a better understanding of the mangaka’s motifs and their crossover worlds.
Hell yeah CLAMP and House of CLAMP are tumblrs dedicated to our beloved group with tons of official images and outstanding fanarts as well as cosplay.
CLAMP archive project specializes in obscure omake and images from the early days of the group.

——————————————–
Notes:

  1. ( N ) Clamp School Defenders,Clamp School Detectives and Blood-C won’t be reviewed. The first two were too silly or too boring for my tastes, because my relationship with japanese gag-comedy isn’t admittedly the best and I couldn’t relate with the characters either. I tried watching Blood-C but the characters were very cliche and the first eps too slow. I’ve heard that it became very violent towards the end, so I’m kinda happy I dropped it early on, since I’m not that fond of bloody feasts. Then there’s the absurd crossover of Watanuki from xxxholic that must had been off-putting to say the least. CLAMP are getting old and have lost the sense of moderation, I think.
  2. Kobato’s link connects to an older post that talks mainly about the anime. Now that I have finished the manga, too,  I can say that the anime was better than the manga in the story department, but the manga was better, as usual, in the design quality department. The manga ending was one of the worst CLAMP has offered us, since there were a lot of holes, it was too rushed, and felt so un-CLAMP-like with the amount of sugar that was overflowing from everywhere. I can only guess that there were some publishing and popularity issues that led to such a failure.
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5 thoughts on “Down the hole in Clampworld!

  1. @Kencana: I liked Say'a character design to the point I called her 'Mauschen' (=little mouse in German). But yes, she's such a weird character… clumsy during day to a ridiculous point and so agile when she fights… Clumsy-naive characters are the worse and much worse is their sexualization, namely the fact they are the type that japanese men find attractive. How sexist can this get?

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  2. @marinasauce: I'll try to stick to the chronological order though according to my schedule and the time available to check some anime counterparts to have a more holistc picture, I might skip some titles and leave them for later on (I really need to watch Magic Knight Rayearth and xxxholic).

    I hope this project will help you get a better idea about CLAMP works. If you are of the fans that seek crossovers, even the tiniest of them, CLAMP Parallels will help you a lot.

    CLAMP works are generally better read than watched, when there is an option, but there are some exceptions for sure.

    Clover was a great choice. We'll discuss more about it on its own turn 🙂

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  3. I really am looking forward to reading your reviews on CLAMP works, in chronological order, since I am one of those anime viewers who often gets confused about its universe. The only work I've read of theirs is Clover, while all my other knowledge stems solely from the various anime.

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