Syaoran is a kind-hearted and driven young man, who one of his greatest traits is staying true to his words. He will stop at nothing to protect "those dearest to him". Syaoran's dedication to collecting Sakura's feathers after the clone Syaoran never wavered, even when in a twisted situation his strong heart and fierce determination assured he never looked back. Syaoran loves Sakura romantically although just like his father he tends to undermine his worthiness leading him to avoid the thought of being in that sort of relationship with a princess when he is just a commoner. Unlike the clone Syaoran, who had a cruel start to his life until his adoption, the real Syaoran had a much more fruitful start to life which shows us the true character of Syaoran when he was younger. He is shown to smile more and shows a less uptight persona although we eventually get to see some of these traits in the clone Syaoran as a result of Sakura's warm nature and friendship.
Tsubasa has short dark brown hair, and dark brown eyes, and also has a slightly tanned look to his skin. When first introduced, he is wearing a simple black outfit and an eye patch over his left eye. He also has red rune-like markings on his arms that act to seal him. When the seal breaks, the markings disappear.
In Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, although imprisoned, "Syaoran" has been watching Syaoran's journey through the left eye that "Syaoran" placed within his clone, and so when the time comes to break free of Fei Wong Reed, "Syaoran" begins fighting for the sake of the Princess, as well as 'another' self and his parents...
The original Syaoran appears as a tattooed figure floating in a tank in Fei Wong's headquarters (who, instead of being blind in his right eye, was blind in his left due to him ripping it out and putting it in the clone's right eye). It was originally assumed by many fans that "Syaoran" was a villain that helped Fei Wong Reed by taking control of Syaoran at times.
He was kidnapped and held captive by Fei Wong so that he could make a clone of 'Syaoran.' Because 'Syaoran' knew of Fei Wong's intentions, he was sealed in a chamber while The Clone is sent to Clow Country without any memories. He remains in this tube for roughly 120 chapters, until he regains his power and escapes. With the assistance of Xing Huo, he is sent to Yūko (he can be seen making a cameo appearance in Volume 9 of xxxHolic). It is then revealed that he is the original Syaoran and was captured and cloned by Fei Wong.
- Syaoran is the son of "Sakura" and "Syaoran Li" (this led to an assumption of them being the same of CCS since they have both the magic circle and items from the CCS series), but this is later proven wrong in chapter 223 where we learn that it was the Clones.
- Both are very kind to everyone but at the same time, they have a bad temper. While Tsubasa is very kind to Sakura and hates Touya, Watanuki is very kind to Himawari and hates Doumeki.