Sunday, January 21, 2018

Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card-hen - Episode 03 Review!

I enjoyed CCS Clear Card Arc Episode 3 as much as I did the previous episodes. I kind of wish I reread the manga so I can differentiate which areas diverge from the manga. But I like watching the anime with a fresh perspective, so I guess it’s fine as is. The animation quality is slightly subpar the previous one, just in some parts, but not noticeably. And I was glad to see Sakura finally had a different hairstyle, even though it was just two yellow barrettes.  Hope her twintails make a return!

Clockwise from top left: Syaoran's elaborate lunch; Tomoeda Middle School Cafeteria aka Hogwarts dining hall; Tomoyo's Norwegian wild salmon; Chiharu pelting Takashi: Don't you feel bad, seeing those gullible two?
My favorite scene this episode is the lunchtime scene again, where all the students are eating in their super posh cafeteria (more like a dining hall) because it’s pouring outside. Did you see the fancy chandelier lighting and the round buffet table? What kind of middle school has a cafeteria like that (didn’t they just eat lunch in their classrooms in elementary school)? I guess my deduction last week that Tomoeda Middle School is a very elite or well-financed school is probably correct. Despite their fancy cafeteria food, our main characters all packed their lunches, and Syaoran has a crazy elaborate lunch that would put any mother to shame, shown in the top left screen capture. It’s “leftovers” from his dinner last night. No wonder he has no time to help Sakura capture the new cards, when he’s cooking a five-course meal. I don’t even remember how canon it was that Syaoran was good at cooking anymore (sometimes my memory blurs with the character building in New Trials). Tomoyo also eats the most luxurious-looking cut of salmon ever, it made my mouth water. She must be following a high-protein, low carb diet. Favorite line of the week is from Naoko to Syaoran: “So, you’re a boy who can cook!” No kidding. 

I like how the crew also continues their talk about clubs—Yamazaki Takashi ended up joining the Lacrosse Club instead of the Performing Arts Club! What kind of Japanese middle school has a lacrosse club—they’re not some New England boarding school or Manhattan Upper-East Side prep school! I loved how Tomoyo recalled the Sleeping Beauty production in elementary school with Sakura as the Prince and Syaoran as the Princess—it’s one of the conversations I feel like could have been taken straight out of a chapter of New Trials, so it kind of satiated my desire of thinking, “if New Trials were animated, what would it have been like.” Even Yamazaki-kun enjoying the idea of acting again—and Chiharu’s sarcastic side commentaries are hilarious. 

Another adorable scene is Naoko’s sketches in Sakura’s science textbook, with a chibi Sakura and Syaoran doodle. I totally related because that’s something I would have done in school as well (doodling on friends’ notebooks, not textbooks). So, Naoko, on top of everything, can draw pro-mangaka quality sketches! We might find out later she’s a mangaka in training (maybe an avatar for Mokona). I missed Sakura's "hoes" in the middle of class as well! Their science teacher is a cutie as well! Also, in the Aqua sealing scene, I was worried that Tomoyo made Sakura change into a battle costume out in the open, although it was raining hard and they were under a pagoda. But luckily, Kero-chan’s battle costume explanation at the end shows the frog costume is more like a raincoat, worn over her uniform skirt. But then I realized it’s still sleeveless. Oh evil Tomoyo.  

Of course the first thing Sakura is worried about is if Tomoyo’s camcorder is wet after sealing a card. So, I guess Daidouji Toy Company’s link with Piffle Princess is canon now since the company’s development team’s mascot seems to be the Piffle Princess mascot? Yay! I always liked the idea of Tomoyo helming Piffle World in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. The center developer even looks like Icchan (Mihara Ichiro, president of Piffle Company from Angelic Layer). 

The flirty interaction between Touya and the clueless Yukito in the locker room was really cute. I’m glad they’re still doing part-time jobs together. But does Touya have the worst sense of fashion, ever? He’s wearing a denim blue jacket with yellow trousers and a green bag! What is he, a kindergartner? He should take some fashion pointers from Syaoran! Touya’s being all mysterious too, saying he discovered something else he could do to support Yue and Sakura and not elaborating, mumbling, “You’ll find out when the time comes.” Another aspect in which he’s similar to Syaoran. I’m glad Touya’s as sharp as ever, though, and him observing Yukito and Sakura both wear their hearts on their sleeves was rather sweet. I’m not sure if this scene was in the manga. 

Worst-Dressed Award goes to Touya!

And the scene I was looking forward to most, Syaoran taking off his uniform jacket and placing it over Sakura’s shoulders after she gets soaked was finally animated! It was sweet, how serious Syaoran looked as he unbuttoned his blazer and that glowing look Sakura gave Syaoran, clearly a girl in love. But I liked the scene slightly better in the manga—because manga art was so detailed and pretty!
Other random notes. Kero-chan is completely useless, isn’t he? And a complete mooch too! A considerable amount of grocery fees must go straight to Kero-chan’s stomach. And all he does is play video games all day—isn’t electricity fees expensive in Japan? Has anybody ever seen Sakura play video games? She must have a console simply for Kero-chan. And I’m not sure Kero-chan should be taking baths with Sakura? 

Cloaked Eriol 2.0 appeared at the end in a dream, and I guess Akiho is appearing next episode! It’s kind of confusing because so many Clear Card-hen character’s names slightly overlap with New Trials. Ah, synchronicity. 

I mentioned this over at the Yahoo New Trials Group, but I didn't really appreciate the similarities in premise between New Trials and the Clear Card Arc until watching this anime episode. It was a combination of watching a battle scene take place on the soccer field, and also taking care of two cards in one episode, I think. Creating new "cards" is not an original idea by all means, but I payed attention to Sakura's new incantation for the first time today: "Force without master, heed the call of my Staff of Dreams and become my power!"

The premise is similar, compared to the the New Trials incantation: "Spirit of the dark forces. I, Sakura command you. Return to a new shape under contract. Sakura Card!"  The main difference is in the Clear Card universe, she is creating new cards because the Sakura Cards are "gone." Spirit of the dark forces = to force without master. And in the New Trials universe, she is using her "name" to create a contract with the forces, whereas in the Clear Card-verse, her new staff is the proxy (hence she does not sign the new cards). 

And go over here for high-quality screencaps of the episodes on Tumblr by Jiri-chan! 


  1. Let's try one more time...

    Wish-Chan, I loved your episode review so much! Haha, your comments about the big huge dining hall and Syaoran's cooking are so funny. Yup, so Syaoran's totally occupied because he's continuously cooking mountains of food. But the boy lives alone. Who is he feeding? Is he secretly boarding someone? Does Eriol drop by on the weekends to plan the next move? OMG, is he seeing him behind Sakura's back???

    I think Tomoyo always had Sakura change out in the open in CCS too. And Syaoran used to be around too. XD oh my. This is the downside of being older. We try to make sense of stuff the Writers never wanted us to ponder over.

    Kero Chan makes so much noise in Sakura's room. How naive can Fujitaka be that he never notices, in all these years? And why does Sakura have so many fighting games when she clearly doesn't seem to be the gaming type?

    Anyway, they mentioned a school spring field trip. And I think we might be getting another play with gender roles reversed. Hey, at least we got glimpses of serious Syaoran.. I was getting sick of constant lovey dovey Syaoran.

    1. Ah ha... So apparently blogger just likes Google. It wouldn't let me comment any other way.

    2. Sorry blogspot ate up your posts! It eats up my posts sometimes too, so I type out longer blog entries in Microsoft Word. How redundant is that? After Yahoo eating my posts earlier today, I have to propose a new episode: Card Captor Sakura and the Mystery of the Vanish Posts.

      Oh, and I'm pretty sure Tomoyo got Sakura to change in her RV when her bodyguards are around, but yes, this time was out in the open. I think Syaoran cooks loads of food for himself, in the hopes that he finally hits puberty again and resumes his growth spurt. Or Eriol might have to crash at Syaoran's place because Akiho took over Clow's house, I believe.

  2. I can't remember the last time I enjoyed an anime as much as this one. I'm glad that I didn't continue with the manga because everything is such a surprise. Yes, there will be spoilers of what happened in the manga as I read the discussions, but who knows when surprise twists may come into play and take things in a different direction.

    We saw a weather phenomenon getting out of hand in NT with The Twister in Arc 1. And back in Chapter 10, Syaoran wraps Sakura in his robes after she escapes from that water that froze over. The continuous chatter about the play really suggests that it might become a future plot. Fingers crossed! The call back to Sleeping Beauty is definitely something that happened in NT. I can't remember if Syaoran being a good cook was canon. All I remember is that he was very, very good at peeling potatoes during the camping trip episode.

    I'm very excited to see Touya playing a bigger part even after giving up his magic to sustain Yukito and Yue.

    The battle costume was really cute. Even though there were no animal motif costumes in NT, I know that CLAMP is no stranger to dressing like a kitty or a bunny or a much less popular puppy.

    Thanks for taking the time to write up these blog posts, Wish-chan! I'm really going to miss them when they become less regular, but it will allow us to appreciate the ones that you do write up even more. I hope that you'll at least jot down the other NT and Clear Card similarities. I loved your observations about the new incantation.

    1. Haha, I don't do animal motif costumes, besides the bunny jumpers in Arc 4, because I generally only find them cute on kids... And kitty and bunny costumes end up getting sexualized when they're not for kids. Touya's definitely one of my favorite CCS characters, so I look forward to him playing a more proactive role!

  3. Sorry, but Sakura was the one who was peeling potatoes in the camping trip aka erase card episode, Syaoran was cutting cabbage, and Syaoran is good at cooking in canon. He even made buns in the new years episode.

    1. Yup, Syaoran was crazy good at cutting up cabbages during the camping trip (one of my favorite episodes), and I think he was good at making cakes in some later episode, so in my head it was always canon that he was a good cook. (While Meilin blew up everything in the oven one episode). I think it was the Sugary Card episode? I don't remember the buns episode--which one was it?

    2. Nevermind, it's Episode 62, right? I didn't remember that episode off the top of my head, because it never aired in Korea lol. Gosh, I hope we get some cute fillers this season--some of the best fillers were the Syaoran-centric ones in the original CCS anime.

  4. ... you mean that was cabbage? I thought it was some kind of potato frenzy, hahaha. Man, after twenty years I'm still learning something new!