Friday, 15 April 2011

CLAMP

Ah. The manga royalty that is CLAMP, the female quartet with an extensive back catalogue of internationally popular manga series, most of which have also been made into anime.

I first knew of them via the candy floss of classic shoujo manga Cardcaptor Sakura and fell in love with their artwork.


Cardcaptor Sakura

Their earlier series, like RG Veda, Magic Knight Rayearth and X/1999, were beautifully ornate, but rather dark and claustrophobic in style.


X/1999

CLOVER, on the other hand, the cyber punk love story with its distinctive use of negative space, had me hooked and pining for an ending after it went on indefinite hiatus.


CLOVER

I also liked their seinen series Chobits, about a mysterious android with free will and human emotions. I loved the costume design and soft colours they used. It really showcased CLAMP's wonderful grasp of the Goth Loli fashion style and indulged in lace and petticoats whilst pondering over existential angst.


Chobits

My favourites though have to be Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle and xxxHolic. The epic plots are complex - Tsubasa finished at 28 volumes and xxxHolic at 19...


Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles

...suffice to say that the two series are about fate and destiny, parallel and alternate universes and are distinct in style and story but have a strong common overriding arch. The CLAMP team had a field day intersecting story lines, space-time travelling and crossing over characters from all their previous works left, right and centre.


xxxHolic

CLAMP have also done many novel illustrations and original character designs, including those for the anime series Code Geass.


Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

And I'm very excited about their newest series, Gate 7, mainly because of this:
"Between our conscious, waking world and the subconscious state of slumber, there is a thinly veiled plane of lucid dreaming. While the conscious state belongs to individuals, the hidden plane of dreams is one shared by all human minds, past, present, and future..."

Gate 7

What I love about CLAMP is that not only are both their colour and black and white work incredibly beautiful, their stories are interesting, which ultimately is what drives good manga. Long may they reign!

Official site (Japanese) CLAMP-net

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