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!