Saturday, February 3, 2018

Happy 14th Anniversary to the New Trials Yahoo Group!!! (And mini-review of CCS Clear Card Manga Chapter 20)

Beauty and the Wolf: Sakura cheers up Syaoran
by wishluv on DeviantArt

I think I have been writing more blog posts in the past month than I have in the past two years combined! I would have forgotten if Amethyst Beloved didn't remind us all, but today is the 14th anniversary of the creation of the New Trials Yahoo Group by Kirei Blossom on February 3, 2004. There are many of you out there who have been great support to me and the New Trials of Card Captor Sakura community, but these two individuals can be especially considered the pillars of the New Trials fandom, both in terms of dedication and longevity. So many thanks to them, and to all of you! I wouldn't have been able to remember the history of the Yahoo Group, without a reminder from Amethyst Beloved's lovely fan website. For some reason, 2004 doesn't even seem that long ago, but here we are, 14 years later. New Trials has seen Geocities and Bravenet guestbooks (remember those), a forum, and so on, but really it's the Yahoo Group that has endured for all this time, and sort of what we always ended up going back to.

The Yahoo Group, in modern times, can be considered quite a dinosaur, by all means. It sometimes eats up posts and at least for me is a bit clunky to navigate. Yet, at the end of the day, it's still the best place for in-depth discussion of both CCS and New Trials, (especially for those of you who want to avoid in-your-face spoilers in Facebook) and there is especially revived dialogue recently for those of you who haven't joined already. Facebook is great for posting updates, reactions, and photos, but it's really hard to keep track of conversations, after all. 

The fanart of Beauty and the Wolf is chibi-art, I know, but it actually took a bit longer than I expected. Maybe because I like the subject matter so much. I love Beauty and the Beast, and when I was writing about the play for Sakura's cultural festival, I so was set on doing Cinderella, but also wanted to do Beauty and the Beast, hence that disastrous play came to be. Actually, I had wanted to write a Goth Cinderella with Tomoyo as Cinderella and Eriol as the Prince, but I just couldn't wrap my eyes around Eriol playing the Prince. Not that Li Jinyu made any better a prince, I suppose. Anyhow, we were all talking about how we miss the grumpy, scowling, suspicious Syaoran from the original CCS series. I think what made Syaoran so distinct was what a lone-wolf he was, so here is Syaoran-Wolf and a bubbly Sakura-Belle trying to get him to come out of his shell.

So Happy 14th Anniversary to the New Trials Yahoo Group, but more importantly, today's a day to appreciate all of you guys, because all of you make New Trials possible! 

I'm also including a brief Card Captor Sakura Clear Card-hen manga commentary below, so skip if you don't want to be spoiled. I actually haven't read a whole chunk of chapters in between but was captivated by a Nadeshiko cover. I love her blue dress and that she's holding sakura branches, and she looks somewhat younger here to, as does everyone in the Clear Card Arc, but for me, it felt like Amimaya Nadeshiko of New Trials was looking out at me, so I went ahead and read the chapter.

The other reason I had to read the chapter was because I saw in spoilers that Syaoran and Sakura both get to meet Sakura's great-grandfather (Nadeshiko's grandfather). That was extremely cute, and something that goes beyond my imaginations. Sonomi and Tomoyo's mother-daughter bonding time was really cute too, especially, how Sonomi remarked how Amamiya Masaki-ojii-san wanted to meet Syaoran because he's the guy that close to Sakura (aka boyfriend). This is especially significant because if you remember, Nadeshiko eloped with Kinomoto Fujitaka, hence didn't have the approval of her grandfather and family. It seems like Masaki is trying to right some of the wrongs of the past, but who knows, because the chapter cut off short. For the first time, I wondered if Masaki-ojii-san also has special powers like the vision, for who else would have Nadeshiko earned inherited them from. In New Trials canon, of course, Masaki as a descendant of Amamiya Hayashi would probably have inherited some sort of powers.

And why is poor Touya part-timing as a lobster? Can't he just tutor students or something if he needs to earn his college tuition? I probably won't be reading the manga first because I like being surprised by the anime first and then reading the manga for the details and beautiful art, but I might have to read next chapter as well to find out what's going on about Sakura's great-grandfather and what he has to give her (likely to be related to Nadeshiko). 

Music Spotlight: Beauty and the Beast - "Something There" 


I can never get enough of Disney's Beauty and the Beast--of course the original animated feature film would always be my favorite Disney movie ever. But I've also watched the musical on the Broadway and of course the 2017 live feature movie with Emma Watson, which I watched 4-D (which kind of made me sick). I watched it as a play at Disney World in Orlando as well and never will get tired to the music or story. In the original animated version, "Something There" is the only time we here the Beast singing. When I was little, I loved Belle's winter outfits, especially the maroon cape and the green dress she wears when the Beast shows her the library. I listened to a lot of Beauty and the Beast soundtrack, both original and movie versions while writing Chapter 73 of New Trials.

I was chocolate shopping today and realized that Valentine's Day is coming up soon , and I groaned to myself. I have started the year on such a good foot with updates, and had to question myself if I will have Chapter 73.5 ready in time for Feb. 14. I thought for a second, shoot, I should have saved Kaitou Magician Origins for Valentine's Day, and realized, wait, that's a horrible fanfic to celebrate the day. 


  1. Hahaha, yes, Leon Reed would have been scandalized if he shared his long awaited debut with the day of love.

    I'm happy to hold such a place of honour in the community. I'm very passionate about New Trials, and I still kick myself for stepping back in the late 2000s, but I had lots going on and then I got married. I love your perseverance and the fact that even if readers stray away, your dedication gives us something to come back to.

    1. Well, Leon is a womanizer, after all.

      And I think rather, it's the dedication of the readers that has forced my perseverance! But more importantly, I can't let New Trials be like Glass Mask! Or X.