Sunday, March 18, 2018

Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card-hen: Episode 11 Review!

Episode 11: "Sakura and the Upside-down Penguin"

The key animation artwork was slightly different today, and I liked it. But the in-between animation was really off this episode compared to usual. Maybe they are saving budget for the new opening and ending themes, which I’m totally ready for. This is a plot-heavy episode, which was much needed, though the card was nonsense.

Syaoran: Are serious? Akiho fell asleep in the middle of dinner while visiting your house? How rude!
Sakura: Shh, she's always popping up everywhere.

Sakura, Syaoran, and Tomoyo have a rendezvous in the secret rose garden at school that only the trio seems to know about. Sakura tells about how she caught the Snooze and Labyrinth the day Akiho visited her house. Shrewd Tomoyo makes the observation that they resemble Sleep and Maze, which Sakura should have noticed first since she is the Clow Card Mistress. And hopefully Syaoran’s just been staying mum because it’s a part of his mission. Sakura is distracted during math class, nothing knew, and gets called out. I don’t think seventh graders have to learn what an equal sign is, though, Math-sensei! Or are you giving her some sort of blatant foreshadowing about the Clow Card = Clear Card so Sakura could finally make an observation on how the two card sets are similar? 

Yamazaki-kun: Move over, Eriol, Syaoran's my new best friend.
Akiho: I wanted to sit next to Sakura-chan but why does Li-kun always come and get in between us?
Chiharu: The sun rose from the west! Yamazaki-kun is telling the truth!
Yamazaki: Element of surprise, my dear.
I love how everybody has different patterned picnic blankets and never get sick of lunch time scenes. Naoko is writing a play for first years yay! And I was missing Syaoran and Yamazaki, but they showed up later because they were on the operating committee for a ball sports event next episode. The two are so buddy-buddy, I think Eriol might throw a hissy fuss from England were he to find out.  Akiho’s good at playing tennis. Why am I not surprised. Best scene of the day is Yamazaki Takashi giving an actual legit explanation of badminton, Chiharu not being able to find fault with it, exclaiming, “You said something that wasn’t a lie?!” Yamazaki-kun chuckling sinisterly declares, “I tried going for the unexpected.” And best quote of the day—Chiharu states, “You’re Yamazaki-kun! You’re not supposed to tell the truth!”

Yukito 2.0
Syaoran: Darnit, he'd totally be my type if I weren't dating Sakura.
Kaito: Don't look at me with those puppy eyes, I'm not giving you my freshly baked baguette.
Syaoran: Pretty please? With a cherry on top? (No pun intended.)
Kaito: No, you know how long I had to stand in line to get this baguette? It was recommended by my favorite Foodie Instagrammer @Snowbunny_1225 and since then the bakery has taken off.
Syaoran: Oh no you didn't go there. Yukito-san is off limits!

I was looking forward to Syaoran’s first meeting with Kaito, and it happens on their way home from school because there are no club activities, as they pass along King Penguin Park. Kaito with groceries and a baguette from the same bakery that Yukito must frequent picks up Akiho. He introduces himself as Yuna D. Kaito to Syaoran, Syaoran introduces himself and bows slightly and the two have a brief stare-off in which Kaito looks away first. I love scowling suspicious Syaoran the most. Only Tomoyo noticed Syaoran’s brooding expression and asks what’s wrong. If I didn’t know better, I might almost ship the two. 

Eriol: Syaoran, are you cheating on me with Yamazaki-kun?
Syaoran: "..."
Eriol: I'm very disappointed in you, Syaoran. I thought we had a... understanding.
Eriol: Well, I'm waiting, Syaoran. Don't you have anything to confess?
Syaoran: Actually, it's Yuna D. Kaito.
Syaoran goes home and video chats with Eriol right away to report about meeting Yuna D. Kaito. As if it isn’t already disturbing that Syaoran calls Eriol all the time and reports to him, I think there is nothing creepier than the knowledge that Syaoran and Eriol video chat with each other over their web cameras. I don’t think he ever did that with Sakura! When he returns to Tomoeda, Sakura specifically says: “I don’t have to settle for letters and phone calls anymore.” Never does she mention facetiming! And also Eriol using a laptop in itself is off-putting as well. Eriol the eloquent letter writer! Don’t you guys miss the days it took a month to get a written response on how things were going? Nowadays, they can’t get in touch with Eriol for two weeks and everyone goes berserk. Anyhow, Eriol finally explains about the magician’s association in England, which apparently Syaoran’s mother didn’t tell him about yet. And Eriol explains that “D.” is granted to the highest-ranked magic users and that not all rumors about them are good. Sharp, suspicious Syaoran is back, and he asks why would such a powerful magician make his affiliation and status so obvious. Eriol shrewdly points out that if he’s so powerful, it will make no difference whether he hides it. 

Mizuki-sensei: Oh god, Eriol's at it again, facetiming with Syaoran first thing in the morning, last thing at night--we need an intervention.
Eriol, if you don't stop facetiming with Syaoran all the time, I'm going to go back to Touya (if he can ever get over his sister complex). I heard all Yue does is food blogging these days anyways.

If this scene couldn’t get any creepier, Mizuki Kaho enters the scene with tea (looking prettier than ever). Eriol opens the doors and moves the chair for Mizuki-sensei with magic. Have we ever scene such blatant use of magic from Eriol before (no staff)? Syaoran says he hasn’t told Sakura about this yet either and she hasn’t noticed. More secrets. Apparently Kaito has moon powers so only Syaoran noticed it. Eriol points out that if anything happens, things may become difficult for Syaoran because they draw from the same source of power. I wouldn’t mind a Kaito vs. Syaoran showdown, though I guess Kaito might face off Yue first. Eriol also points out that its suspicious that Akiho moved into his old house, and that it’s an ideal location for preserving people with magical power. Why the heck would Eriol sell such an important landmark, Clow Reed’s old house, to strangers? He’s probably connected with the magician’s association or the Shinomoto family. They’re all probably Clow’s illegitimate offspring since in Clampverse everyone’s distantly related to Clow. Eriol saying he’ll contact Syaoran if he finds anything, Syaoran thanking him, everything’s creepy. I really hope Eriol’s blackmailing Syaoran into subservience. Well, he probably did tell Syaoran a great destruction will fall upon Sakura if Syaoran doesn’t carry out his orders under utmost secrecy, that it’s “all to help Sakura and the people she holds dear.” 

Pouty Mizuki-sensei: Do you like me better or Syaoran better?
Eriol: You know how much I enjoy tormenting Clow Reed's cute little relative.
I actually usually don’t mind scenes with Mizuki-sensei and Eriol since I like to consider them as mental equals but for some reason I just couldn’t stomach the hand clasp at the end of the study scene this time around (and yes Eriol has heaps of books and his study looks just like I pictured it minus laptop). It’s like cheating on his spouse on a business trip (Syaoran) right in his face. Joking aside, what I don’t like about Mizuki-sensei and Eriol’s dynamic currently is that when she was with Touya, she was sassy and opinionated and strong-minded. But with Eriol, she seems to have lost all her personality all together and just follows what he says without questioning anything. Even Ruby Moon and Suppi-chan, made of Clow’s own flesh and blood—okay I don’t know how they were created—question Eriol’s choices and express worry for Sakura. I guess Mizuki-sensei is the only one who know probably does know that Eriol is up to, but the version we have right now seems like a brainwashed maid/doll to Clow Reed’s reincarnation. Which is about right, I guess.  

Sakura: The potato's taste is rich, and texture smooth and succulent, with just the right amount of firmness.
Touya: Is this the birth of Food Critiquer Sakura? I wouldn't mind the show going in that direction, personally.
Touya: Syaoran's still going to beat you even if this turns into a cooking show, you know.

We are healed with a wholesome much-needed scene of Sakura and Touya having dinner today. “How’s university going?” Sakura asks, and Touya replies, “Normal.” Sakura complains, “That’s all you ever say.” What a typical familial conversation yet so endearing, so in character. Don’t watch this series at midnight it makes you hungry. Touya also politely asks how was Sakura’s day at school and she chatters away that English is hard, math better than before, and even compliments her brother’s cooking (secret ingredient of the day is butter). Touya asks, “Can you tell the difference? You sound like a TV food critic,” which is the second best line of the day. Sakura grumbles she was trying to compliment him. So cute. Fujitaka’s away again this weekend. I think New Trials!Fujitaka actually may be around more except that summer he was gone, so I no longer feel guilty for making him always busy with work. Also, what kind of sweet little sister comes out of the front door to wave her brother goodbye going away for part-time work to wish him good luck? I would hate giving her away to Syaoran too if I were her brother. 

Sakura: Onii-chan, did your eye color change again? I think we need to hire Tomoyo to take over art direction. I don't even recognize Syaoran anymore. Like your eyes should be the color of his eyes. And he like smiles all the time. It scares me.
Sakura: Onii-chan, let me know if you ever need fashion advice from Syaoran! Your red shirt and green pants completely clash because they are complementary colors. But you're still the best!

Third best quote of the day is Kero-chan about Yue: “He always sends pictures of tasty-looking food when I’m feeling hungry.” I think Yue is a secret food Instagrammer (Yukito being the foodie who’s probably clumsy with his hands). Can you imagine? Yukito going, “Ittadakimasu” and all ready to dig in, and Yue going: “Wait, I need to take a photo to upload on Instagram! No, the lighting  and angle is off, again!” Oh the agony. And Kero-chan has a secret life as a Youtube food vlogger running a growing mukbang channel. Explains what he’s doing in the room all day long. Tomoyo gave him a remote control for the shutter, and he even has a nifty tripod set up for his smartphone. Little does Kero know that he’s being groomed for Tomoyo’s future purposes. I’m glad Touya’s apparently working at a patisserie based on the cupcakes he brought home.  

Kero-chan: Have you seen Yue's really popular food Instagram account, @Snowbunny_1225?
Kero-chan: I need to work harder on my Youtube food vlogs (mukbang) Nicebody_Cerberus so I can get as many subscribers as Yue.

I didn’t like the upside down King Penguin slide the first time around, and I don’t like it this time around, either. Sakura apparently changed herself into a new battle costume (my least favorite to date, though I’m glad she’s worn pants twice this episode). Kero-chan remarks a lot has happened and Penguin Park, and Sakura replies, “It really has.” (Oh boy, little do you know, Sakura-chan!) Tomoyo-chan has taken the innovative step of filming remotely by attaching a camcorder to Kero-chan’s head by suction. Oh, how creative can the girl get! Tomoyo’s the bawse. 

Kero-chan: King Penguin Park's name is actually Tomoeda Central Park!
“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter―tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther." F. Scott Fitzgerald
Kero-chan saves the day! If you are wondering, he's not switching to Cerberus form because of the video camera suction on his head. Priorities.

I take back that Kero-chan is useless—he’s extremely multitasking this episode, from taking food selfies to send Yue, to saving Sakura from breaking her neck falling headfirst from the sky because of the Reversal, to videotaping all the action for Tomoyo, transferring the data onto Sakura’s laptop and sending it straight to Tomoyo right away. You have to realize, Kero-chan’s using a laptop without fingers. Not even a thumb. Anyhow Sakura return back home because a crowd shows up to see all the down equipment at the playground, and it comes out on the evening news again. Kero-chan keeps up with his awesome one-liners: “Everyone’s into SNS these days!” Yes kids, you live in different days now since the 1990s and with social media, you’ll be outed in hours!

Tomoyo: So, did you hear that Syaoran and Eriol video chat behind our backs all the time? And Eriol pretends he doesn't know how to use a computer and sends us handwritten letters like he's from the Victorian era.
Sakura: No kidding! Syaoran pretended all this time while he was in Hong Kong that he doesn't use 21st century technology and sent me letters once a month?
Yandere-Tomoyo: Question is, was Syaoran really in Hong Kong during that time?

Flashback to CCS Clear Card Episode 1. Tomoyo: I have receipts, you know, because I was there to film the whole reunion! Girl, you were satisfied with just letters and phone calls?
Full-out Yandere-Tomoyo makes a magnificent return, extremely disappointed by Kero-chan’s shaky, useless footage. Kero-chan has another best quote of the day: “Well, accidents are bound to happen at any film location.” I concur with him. And Iwao Junko hit the nail with her sinisterly sweet, “Kero-chan.” Then brightly, she declares, “Let’s start special training tomorrow!” We all know what that means! Poor Kero-chan. So, Kero-chan starts his second career as a camera master, Sakura as a food critic, and Syaoran as a double-agent. 

Yandere-Tomoyo aka Furude Rika: “Kero-chan~ Let’s start special training tomorrow!"
Kero-chan: Should have known Tomoyo will end up being the final boss!
Kero-chan lets us know that Penguin Park’s real name is Tomoeda Central Park. Who would have known? Didn’t I tell you he’s completely the most useful, adept character in the whole show now? Next episode, Akiho and Syaoran are facing off each other in badminton over Kaito. I’d rather he faces off Sakura, like when they did beach volleyball. Maybe Yamazaki-kun told them that the one not to drop the badminton shuttle would have their romantic wishes granted or some nonsense again. It annoys me that we left this episode with King Penguin upside down.

Announcer: We know you're cardcaptoring again--it's all over social media. So fix up your messes while you're at it ASAP and don't put it off till next episode. No, this is not public shaming, it's public service!


  1. Your reviews are delightful as always! What makes your reviews special is that using your imagination as a writer, you've concocted fascinating double lives for these characters.

    Yandere-Tomoyo is making a lot of appearances in CCS:CC! I'm going to start reading Challenges of Friendship chapter soon if I want to revive my blog in time for April 1st so it's perfect timing to revisit the dark version of Tomoyo while she's under The Phantom.

    I found it incredibly sweet that Syaoran went to sit beside Sakura.

    Sakura and Tomoyo were absolutely adorable in their headbands!! I used to wear a lot of headbands in high school. But then the crecent shaped one started to irritate me behind the ears.

    As always, thanks for taking the time to write these incredibly entertaining reviews. As long as you have the time, please continue sharing your thoughts with us. For so long we wished that New Trials was an anime so the fact that you're commenting in CC is tge closest that we'll get. Plus, it's so much fun having you in the fandom with us instead of being on another self-imposed ban to prevent you from slipping up with NT spoilers. Take as long as you need with the update. I'd rather have you interact with us on a regular basis than having you go in hiding so the chapter would be us sooner.

    1. Oh I always loved wearing headbands until a few years ago too and had a huge more than 20. Can't wear them anymore because they give me a headache. I probably went through a ribbon headband phase too during the Gossip Girl era.The ones that have ends that curve out are most comfortable.

      I don't think Syaoran goes to sit by Sakura, I think everybody automatically polite scoots out of the way, picking up each little bento box layer and rearranging their picnic blankets to make room for Syaoran to sit next to her because they are all so polite and considerate.

      And you are right in your Yahoo post that since I need to keep a slightly more serious tone while writing New Trials, I like being silly and light-hearted here. I can say something sinister like get all the dosage of sweetness here while you can but I probably shouldn't. I am working on New Trials too on the side. The Clear Card anime is not taking away anymore time from NT than if I wasn't watching and reviewing it--if anything, it's more inspiration. The only reason I am able to watch it so freely is because NT is so far along and everything is pretty much set and concrete that nothing's going to really change or influence it at this point. I put off watching TRC initially because that was really still at the peak of New Trials plot moving along. But TRC felt more like an AU fanfiction than NT. And it's so much more fun being in the fandom than in a self-imposed ban. ^^ Thanks for leaving posts on every blog entry--this system is a pain to maneuver, I know!

  2. I love these reviews! Thanks for doing them! I’ve got to say, I much prefer Eriol in NT than in the new series! Maybe it’s because I ship him with Tomoyo in NT (even though he deserves to lose her to Leiyun if he doesn’t make some kind of move soon). I like that you’ve embraced him as an individual and also as a young person in NT as opposed to just a creepy/wise friend.


    1. Oh! And oh my goodness, when the latest episode showed Penguin Park I couldn’t help thinking about the latest chapter and what happened on the swingset 😭😭!