Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween 2016!!!

Happy Halloween 2016! I was supposed to have New Trials of Card Captor Sakura Chapter 73, Part I ready by today in my head, but of course I don't. Fear not, I've not been slacking off. I do try to allocate quite a bit of time a week to writing, but I'm not sure why this chapter is taking so long. I guess I'm cherishing the fluff while it lasts.

I haven't been working on any new fanart because my top priority is Chapter 73, but I am sharing an unfinished doodle from a certain scene in Chapter 72. It is very shoujo-esque and also the reverse of the thunderstorm fanart from year's ago.

I had an awesome dream over the weekend, CCS related. Maybe it's because of the Clear Card Arc and the anticipation of a new movie. But I had a dream I was in a theater and was totally not expecting it but ended up watching a new, never-seen before Card Captor Sakura feature film. The animation quality and cinematography was amazing. Even in my dream though, I knew it was just a "preview" not a whole full movie. I was not expecting it at all, but then Syaoran showed up in the movie too, looking very cool in a new battle costume. That was about it. I came out of the movie and there was a darned long line to get the movie merchandise. How realistic can my unrealistic dreams get? The next night, then, I had an awful but interesting sci-fi dystopian dream of being stuck in a time loop over and over again, where everybody ends up getting killed and I need to find a way to stop the cycle. But it turns out everybody is connected to a pod and the world is just a dream world. What a befitting birthday dream.

Maybe it's because I fell asleep listening to Coldplay's Scientist last night.


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Happy International New Trials Day 2016!


Happy International New Trials Day 2016!!! by wishluv on DeviantArt


I wish I could have finished the full version of this fanart, but I didn't think I would have time to color it in. Syaoran, unfortunately, is cut out but he's there, besides Sakura. 

I was trying to figure out how many years have passed since I began writing New Trials, and this year, I just couldn't do the math until I saw a Facebook post which said it's been 17 years! I realize now that I picked the right fandom to pursue when I chose to begin writing New Trials in fall 1999. I seriously think CCS has the best and most united fandom out there, and it hasn't disappointed in the near 20 years that I've known this series.

I think I mentioned before that one of the reasons I began writing a fanfic for CCS was because I was dead sure that CLAMP would never write a sequel for it. Boy was I wrong. I'm so excited that CLAMP did choose to write a sequel for the 20th anniversary of CCS, other than Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles of course. It means new artwork, new merchandise! And I'm hoping that the Card Captor Sakura Clear Arc will be animated as well. Dare I dream of a new collaboration between Yoko Kanno and Maaya Sakamoto?

Of course, I am so far along in New Trials that a new sequel really has no impact on the story I have in mind. I didn't get much of a chance to work on Chapter 73: The Other Side of Midnight over my summer break, but it's a chapter I'm really excited about. 

So, thank you for supporting New Trials and for us for supporting CCS for so long that CLAMP felt compelled to revisit their pet series. I swear, I think they must love Sakura and Syaoran as much as we do. I once wrote in some post long ago that though CCS is my favorite of CLAMP's works by far, I believe X, though yet unfinished, to be CLAMP's magnum opus. But perhaps, I was wrong, and it will be Card Captor Sakura, after all. I can go with that. 

Do check out the fabulous artwork being posted on Facebook celebrating New Trials Day!

Music Spotlight is Yui's Gloria. I listened to Yui's Orange Garden Pop album on the airplane and remembered how much I liked her music all over again. She has such a poignant voice. This song's been stuck in my head for some reason though.


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

New Trials Chapter 72 Part 2 is up on ff.net

Apologies for the two-week delay but Chapter 72: Almost Left Behind Part 2 is up on ff.net. I've been working diligently to post this before I head off to vacation this weekend. I thought I could edit this half quicker, but it's hard to get through more than one scene at a time per sitting because I've been so busy. When I'm at home, I almost always have the New Trials Word document open though I'm not necessarily working on it, to squeeze in any editing or writing. The problem with going on vacation is that it takes more work to take time off sometimes. 

I'll publish the final edited version of Chapter 72 on my website when I come back. A bulk of Chapter 73 is written, and I'm taking my laptop with me so hopefully I can work on that a little bit over break.

Hope all of you are enjoying your summer and staying cool. 

Music Spotlight: One of my favorite pianists Yundi Li performing Paganini's La Campanella, in reference to Chapter 72 Part 2. 

 




Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Happy Birthday Syaoran 2016!

The last time I updated the blog was for Sakura's birthday! I'll keep this short, but to the point. Chapter 72: Almost Left Behind Part I is up on ff.net. Part II should be up within several days--I was trying to have the whole chapter up, but I just didn't have time to finished editing. The truth is, Chapter 72 was so long that I had to split it up into two chapters, so a bulk of Chapter 73 is also written as well.

But without much ado, Happy Birthday to our dearest Li Syaoran! I am so excited about the new Card Captor Sakura Clear Card series to celebrate Card Captor Sakura's 20th anniversary. But I will focus on finishing up the next few chapters first before I start gushing. 

Question of the day: Does anybody know which song the title of this chapter was inspired from? Hint: the answer can be found in a past blogpost. I had the hardest time coming up with a title for this chapter, though I already have a title for Chapter 73. It's probably because it was supposed to be one chapter. 

Music Spotlight: Lukas Graham's "7 years old"  




I probably should have a more cheerful song for Syaoran's birthday post, but this song makes me tear up.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Card Captor Sakura 20th Anniversary Artbook Review (Happy Birthday Sakura!)


I posted over on the New Trials Facebook group on whether I should get the Cardcaptor Sakura 20th Anniversary 20th Anniversary Illustration Collection, and of course, I did give in and buy it at the bookstore on April 1, for Sakura's birthday. The main reason I debated on whether to buy this artbook was because it is a compilation of older, already published artwork, and I wished it included some of the newer pictures CLAMP drew. There are 100 pictures supposedly handpicked by CLAMP, and while the book did not include all the pictures I liked, since there are so many out there, it included many pieces I do love. I knew I had to get it after seeing the book in person, though it is somewhat pricey, and more pricey because it's imported. I believe its 3,600 yen in Japan. There are several books that I really regret I was not able to get a hold of, such as the Card Captor Sakura Nakayoshi 60th Anniversary Edition Vol. 9 Special Edition version. Another limited edition artbook I've been dying to get my hands on is the Card Captor Sakura Animated Artworks. Please do let me know if you any of you have any information on how to get a hold of these for a reasonable price!



First off, when I picked up the 20th Anniversary artbook, which I've been debating purchasing since it was released one week ago on March 24, I was very happy with the size and how it fits in my hand. I don't like oversized books, and this one is just the perfect size. The books is hardcover and pink and pretty, with new artwork on the cover of a dress that will be a collaboration project with lolita brand Baby, the Stars Shine Bright. I was introduced to the brand through the 2004 film Kamikaze Girls, an awesome movie. I love that the artbook comes with a clear plastic case, which is printed with a gold border. I guess to better to protect the book's pretty cover. I love the back just as well because it has Sakura's two magic circles in gold. And the chronology poster, above, I don't think I will unfold again because it's so huge, I could barely find a flat surface large enough to photograph it. But it is very interesting, looking back at the "history" of CCS. 



As for the artbook itself, I would say it is very Sakura-centric, as can be said about the entire CCS franchise. If I have a secret confession to make, I could do less with less solo Sakura pictures in general and more group pictures. Which is why I'm loving all the new artwork that has been streaming out. I don't think there is a shoujo heroine who has had more solo pictures of her in different outfits than any other franchise. I have included some of my favorite spreads though. Some pictures I like were missing, such as Touya playing the violin. But I do love how some of the artwork was paired, and there was clearly thought put into their arrangement and order. I wish I could read CLAMP's descriptions in the back though. The spread with Sakura with the clear flowers on the left and Sakura and Syaoran holding the star on the right might be one of my favorite face-to-face pages in the book because that is probably one of my favorite solo Sakura artwork, while the star picture as you know is used on my website, and I think the picture that best represents the two together.


 

And this spread with Tomoyo, paired with the Eriol and Clow Reed reflection.They go so well together. Surely CLAMP secretly ships the two based on that spread. The artbook progresses to the Card Captor Sakura Movie 2 artwork toward the end, and generally does a good job in including most of the iconic S+S artwork. It also includes Sakura in her most most popular outfits as well. I love CLAMP's new artwork and the details in them, as well as the more sophisticated coloring style. But I rather prefer Syaoran's old character design, where his features were sharper and less shouta-fied. 
 

Based on the selection of this artbook, I'm very confident a second compilation artbook will be released in the near future with the newer artworks, for there were definitely key artwork that I think could have been included in this one and were purposefully withheld. Or so I want to believe. One of my favorite pieces with Sakura and Syaoran in the tree with their teddy bears was missing. So, hopefully, this artbook sells very well, which can warrant a new artbook, whether it be at the end of this year, or more likely, the next anniversary or special occasion. But I hope we don't have to wait till the 25th anniversary for a compilation of the new artwork. And this artbook is definitely a wonderful trip down the memory lane, 20 years back into my childhood, and will be much treasured.

In other news, I've been working on New Trials Chapter 72 like mad to make it in time for Sakura's birthday. And didn't. Hides under a rock. I think I might be able to have Part 1 of 3 up by this weekend, though no guarantees. Who knows, this could be the April Fools' Day joke. My fingers are achy these days and I am sleep deprived.

I included the listing of artworks included for reference, for I'm sure there are those of you wondering if your favorite artwork was included. 


 




 Happy Birthday Sakura April 1, 2016! So pretty.

 

Highlight for spoiler for Chapter 72:


Syaoran! Syaoran! Oh my gosh, Code Red!” exclaimed Meilin, her black pigtails streaming behind her.  



Syaoran bolted up from his seat. “What is it? Is the Tang Clan attacking? Is Uncle Wutai staging a coup d’état? Don’t tell me it’s Wu Zino again! Or is it Wu Zilai?”

Meilin shook her head rapidly. “No, it’s worse! Much worse!” She slammed both hands on Syaoran’s desk. “Your sister’s coming to Japan, Syaoran!”

Syaoran paled and gaped at his cousin. “Which one?”

Fuutie,” replied Meilin, catching her breath. “I heard directly from Wei.”

Syaoran groaned. “Why?”

She’s always been threatening to come to Japan forever,” replied Meilin. “You know that Cousin Dairen’s business delegation’s arriving in Tokyo—for the Li Group Japan’s board meeting.”

Oh, they’re flying in next week, right?” asked Syaoran. “We’ve got several days to prepare.”

No, she’s flying in today—Wei already went to the airport to pick up Fuutie,” replied Meilin.

Syaoran turned sheet white as he pushed back his seat. “We’ve got to go find Leiyun.”  


 

I also saw the first cherry blossoms of the spring today. How befitting on April 1 to celebrate Sakura's birthday! 
 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day 2016!!!


Tomoyo and Eriol in Seijou High School Uniforms by wishluv on DeviantArt

Do you ever feeling hiding in a hole and not coming out? That's how I feel whenever I do not finish a chapter by my mentally implemented due date. Which is every time. But I thought to drop by here, anyhow. I'm about 90% finished with Chapter 72 of the New Trials of Card Captor Sakura. I think if I had about 48 hours of consecutive uninterrupted time to work on it, I would be able to finish it. Unfortunately, that is impossible. The chapter itself came about quite smoothly, but I've been writing ahead, so it's been taking longer. So, thank you so much for being patient, and it's nearly getting there!

This is a really old fanart, over 8~9 years old, that I decided to post up since it might never see the light of day anyway. It was a character study of Tomoyo and Eriol in their Seijou High School uniforms, a precursor to the Seijou High School uniform group picture. It's not completed; I didn't even shade it. Just think of it as an old character sketch. I was working on a couple Sakura and Syaoran fanart but thought I should focus on finishing the new chapter rather than new artwork.

Happy Valentine's Day 2016! I realized this is my first blogpost of the year, so Happy New Year and Happy Lunar New Year as well!

Music Spotlight: Shimizu Shota - Dream



This feel-good song is a recent discovery, and it fits Valentine's Day, I think. It's the kind of song I would draw to but not cannot write to. Here are the English lyrics.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015!!!


Touya, Yue, Sakura and Kero-chan at Christmastime by wishluv on DeviantArt


Can you believe another year as passed? Quoting John Donne's "Song," I'd like to ask, "Tell me where all past years are?" I'm currently on holiday, so I had to prepare the fanart of Yue, Touya and Sakura last week, before I took off. I thought it was funny because I was working six day weeks and didn't have time to pack or really prepare for a trip beforehand, but I was determined to finish that fanart. I never drew a fanart of Yue before. I always wondered why Yukito's fake birthday was Christmas Day--it's an idea for a side story someday.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays 2015!!!

Thank you for supporting New Trials for another year and hope you all great tidings, joy and laughter during the holiday season! 

Pentatonix is so talented and I love their new version of "First Noel" which used to be one of my favorite Christmas carols, especially the Pachelbel's Canon First Noel version.