Sunday, January 28, 2018

Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card-hen – Episode 04: Sakura and the Invasion of the Ents

Card Captor Sakura and the worst CG-ed Ents of Middle-earth!
I feel like this was the most absurd episode thus far, mainly because of the walking trees aka Ents who left Fangorn Forest. I’m sure I mentioned several times before that I am a big fan of Lord of the Rings, and if I wasn’t writing a Card Captor Sakura fanfiction, I might have written a LOTR fanfiction instead. (Correction, LOTR is the only franchise I’ve written a fanfic for besides CCS, though I haven’t posted it up online). 

Eat your broccoli, Sakura!
My favorite part of this episode again was Touya and Sakura’s breakfast interaction, Sakura worrying if her father is taking care of himself, and Touya replying, “Then don’t make him feel worried.” I enjoyed watching Touya flipping the pancakes one-handed, teasing Sakura that she sleeps with her belly uncovered, and even feeding Sakura all his broccoli. Their interactions are always so cute, entertaining, yet sweet in a heartbreaking way. I also appreciated a different Nadeshiko in a yellow dress photo in the kitchen. Sakura tattle-telling to her friends about her meanie brother, and Chiharu finding Touya amusing is a testament why Yamazaki-kun is her boyfriend.

Syaoran: Should I glare at the new kid or not? Nah, too troublesome, those two are in the way again.
My favorite line this episode is Chiharu to Yamazaki Takashi: “Your lies have gotten kind of lazy, lately.” 

Kinomoto Sakura to Shinomoto Akiho: We are mirror images! Akiho: I'm Nova, out to get you! (Check out Magic Knight Rayearth.)
Also, that was the least anti-climatic introduction of a new character in CCS to date. I think Syaoran matured a little bit in that he only gave Shinomoto Akiho a knowing stare, and actually was very civil to her, but refrained from his death glare. I’m not used to Akiho’s voice yet—her voice sounds a bit husky to my ears but I suppose her voice actress, Minori Suzuki, will grow on me eventually. 

Meilin-inspired battle costume!
Sakura’s battle outfit was my favorite one thus far because it’s quite original, compared to her previous outfits, and Chinese-inspired. I think this one’s the one Tomoyo used Meilin’s festival outfit as an inspiration from. Loved Sakura’s hair accessory too. I think Tomoyo made Sakura change into her battle costume underneath the stairwell this time! Worst is, you can’t tell from the screenshot, but this particular stairwell connects out to the school courtyard!  Also, I think the Li Group is on Tomoeda Middle School’s board of trustees and had the school renovated in shades of green. Their classroom walls are all painted light green too.

Sakura and the invasion of the Tomoyo-clones!
The walking trees were one of weirdest, or most grotesque, things I’ve seen in CCS to date—and I’m probably one to speak with some of the weird dark forces I introduced in New Trials Arc 1. I'm not used to visually unpleasing objects in CCS, especially ugly CG-ed walking trees. Worst is the sound they make when they are walking! And how did nobody look outside their classroom windows and notice? I know Syaoran probably was watching somewhere like the stalker he is, but in CCS, usually somebody set up a makeshift barrier or they came to seal the cards at nighttime! Also, of course Tomoyo is on the health committee! Figures why she is hanging out with Leiyun all the time in New Trials.

Moses-Sakura battling the invasion of the Ents. Go away, Treebeard!

The actually sealing of the Action Card itself was pretty cool, with the parting waters and crystal shard explosion, as is the card design, with the mechanical gears. I guess it’s equivalent to the Move Card of the Clow Cards. Or the Animate Card in New Trials. Clear Card Arc being animated in 2018 is making good use of CG for the card capturing scenes, overall, especially with the Aqua. But the whole time Sakura was capturing the card, I was thinking, oh no Tomoyo can’t film anything! And sure enough, Tomoyo was heartbroken once again she failed at videotaping though she was so fully prepared this time!

If Clow Reed had his own way. But thank goodness for Syaoran and Touya that Clow, despite being near omnipotent, fails as a matchmaker.
I also enjoyed Yue’s conversation with Sakura. The screenshot of the two above was the prettiest image in my opinion this episode, and I was annoyed with Kero-chan for popping up in the middle and ruining a perfectly symmetrical shot of the wand’s wings between Sakura and Yue. Yue aka Dr. Jekyll and Hyde transforming back abruptly as usual was typical as well.

Syaoran redecorated his room and there is no green!

It was nice seeing a shot of Syaoran in his room again, making a phone call to Sakura and then his secret lover/master Eriol. Sakura asking Syaoran if she could make him lunch was of course the sweetest scene, and then her asking “Can I call you even if nothing is going on,” is the cutest line this episode.
Yes, I think this episode confirms that Syaoran and Eriol are secretly seeing each other behind Sakura’s back. On a more serious note, I feel so bad for Syaoran for having to follow the orders of his mortal enemy Eriol. I don’t like the idea of someone as prideful as Syaoran having to do the bidding of Eriol as his faithful minion, deceiving Sakura. Eriol’s probably been brainwashing Syaoran over the past year, trying to drive a wedge between Sakura and Syaoran. It’s sad that Sakura’s all like a girl in love for the first time, while Syaoran reports everything back to Eriol. I like how Eriol’s reading Tarot cards at the end though. (Kara Reed also reads Tarot Cards in New Trials.) I've had gotten my fortune read by a Tarot Card reader several times--not because I wanted to but because my friends forced me to.

Syaoran, your future with Sakura is doomed unless you listen to what I say.

Some notes on Syaoran’s room décor—why does he have maroon curtains and sheets now? To match Eriol’s taste? Did we see a return of Syaoran’s infamous pink shirt this early on? And do you guys see that mirror on Syaoran bureau, next to Evil Syaoran-bear. I couldn’t help thinking, I’ve seen that mirror before! And yes, I think it’s think it’s Sakura’s birthday present to Syaoran! 

Sakura's birthday present this year sure bombed.
Today, for the first time, I realized there was a screencapture function on my video player program. Face-palm. I’ve been doing it manually via Photoshop till now. But then again, I do like to crop my images sometimes. Sorry I post the most random screenshots, but there are plenty other blogs that capture all the pretty, shiny shots! Also, with all the detailed cooking scenes, I think CLAMP is planning to release a CCS cooking book. I called it here first!  

Tomoyo: Sakura, change into my outfit over there underneath the stairwell. Sakura: Hoe no! What if people come by? Tomoyo: Don't worry, Syaoran's on watch.


  1. New student time! I love how her name rhymes with Miho and how she's well traveled like the Chang twins. Since I didn't read the manga, I am probably one of the viewers who know the least about her. When those trees were dancing around, I immediately thought of Animate, so I was very pleased that it was called Action.

    Sakura's battle costume was so pretty! I wish Syaoran was there because he would have blushed for sure. The lack of S&S is kind of frustrating, having to wait twenty years for the story to continue and all. But the ending's phone call makes up for it. Sakura's offer to make Syaoran his lunch was so sweet and her request to call him even if nothing's happening was super cute. I really hope that the series will up the romance with these two. At least I'm being very entertained with the ever-so-precious Takashi and Chiharu. I'm glad that they're still going strong. I would have been so heartbroken if they broke up!

    I have no clue what's going on with Syaoran and Errol. Time will tell. Thanks for taking the time to review these episodes! All of your NT references from Tomoyo being on the health committee to the tarot cards. Don't worry about the choice of screen caps. Your review series is the only one I follow and I'm sure I'm not the only one who can attest to that!

    1. Yeah, I got scared when I looked into a CCS Clear Card Facebook page because there were so many angry people and too complex theories going on, so all I follow is Jiri-chan's Tumblr at the moment too. I do want to expand horizons too--maybe when I get tired to writing my own "reviews."

    2. When you do get tired of of writing your own reviews and start to create gaps between the episodes (I don't know if they'll air all 26 episodes consecutively or if there will be hiatuses in between) I do hope that you'll keep some kind of log of NT similarities because even though that's my main goal when watching CSS:CC, there will always be some references that fall off my radar!