Sunday, May 13, 2018

Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card-hen: Episode 18 Review!

Episode 18: “Sakura and the Fire and Water Birds”
aka “Sakura, Syaoran and the Return of Harem Pants”

What an awesome episode, in terms of animation quality, plot, pacing, and character development! As I expected, after the dip in animation quality last week, this episode was again top-notch, and I don’t regret at all more budget being dedicated to this episode because it deserved it! We get a slash of everyday school (more bento time), a short Sakura and Syaoran’s encounter at King Penguin Park from the previous day, a night excursion, and most important more Yue and Touya interaction in the dark! 

Alice in Wonderland, not to be mistaken for Fushigi no Kuni no Miyuki-chan
Introducing Cardcaptor Cantabile: Forget cardcaptoring and cooking! Let's form an orchestral!
Heroine Sasaki Rika, a piano student at a prestigious music academy who faces off against Li Syaoran, a Chinese violin child prodigy in a slump and Hiiragizawa Eriol, a tortured genius composer from England.
Sakura: Good idea, I will never be able to eat roll cakes again after being attacked by one!

Sakura and her friends have lunch at school on the lawns, and Sakura gives Akiho the “Alice in Wonderland” pop-up picture book from Rika. The girls chat about Rika, who likes books and music and apparently is not only talented at piano but learning the flute and harp as well. Chiharu has a dog named Maro and made a roll cake that looks like him. The girls then recollect the mayhem of the disappearing sweets the other day, and Sakura panics.   

Sakura: “Syaoran, I like you!”
 Syaoran: “Sakura, you really like your brother, right?”
Syaoran: “And what about me? Aren’t the feelings the same? Of you liking your brother and your feelings for me? They’re really similar, right?"
Sakura: Stop joking Meanie-Syaoran and have the roll cake I baked for you with left over ingredients!
Syaoran: I was actually really looking forward to a Rasinban roll cake. Sakura doesn't love me.
Syaoran: "Sakura, this is so precious because you gave it to me, I can't eat it. I will treasure it forever and ever."
Syaoran: Thank goodness she believes me. It's a cake baked by Clumsy-Akiho and Ogre-Sakura--it can't be edible at all!

The real treat is that we get a flashback to what Sakura did with the roll cakes she made! Of course she gave it to Syaoran! There is nothing I love more than a scene with Sakura and Syaoran at King Penguin Park at the playground, and the two are sitting on the swing set again! Have we seen a scene like that (in CCS) since CCS Episode 66. Sakura gives her roll cake and Syaoran looks surprised than really happy, asking “Can I look at it right now?” Sakura is blushing all cutely. Syaoran opens the box and the roll cake has a green hat from his battle costume. Sakura says she planned to make his whole outfit (ambitious much) but they ran out of ingredients. I was thinking she should have just gone with the Rasinban, but then, I realized why she didn’t—have you had a detailed look at that thing? And it’s not like she can go and google “Syaoran’s Rasinban” on the internet for a reference image. Syaoran says, “Sakura, thank you,” with a genuine melting smile, and Sakura is all shiny-eyed smiling like a proper shoujo heroine! Back to lunch break, Sakura is beet-red recollecting Syaoran while Tomoyo records her face with her smartphone (love her new purple case with stars today), and she remarks, “It looks like your most important person was pleased with it.” Sakura shakes her head bashfully, and scene-stealer Akiho also is blushing. Sakura tells Akiho that Rika gave her the Alice book to keep, much to Akiho’s delight, Sakura spaces out a bit while looking at Akiho, dreaming of the cloaked figured in clock world, and lunch break is over.
Later, Akiho puts away her new Alice in Wonderland book in her library, Kaito appears and creepily interrogates her about school and Sakura--I mean chats lightly about Alice in Clock-land, books and hot cocoa. Akiho worries about Sakura spacing out at school, and has her own vision of the clock dream. Akiho’s tummy rumbles, Kaito says he hopes she become even better friends with Sakura.

Kaito: Do you hear my stomach rumbling from that horrid roll cake you fed us?
Akiho: I thought my stomach felt a bit queasy all day.
Yuna D. Kaito feat. Kamui Shiro from X, a manga by CLAMP, 1992-2222

We are back at Tsukimine Shrine at nighttime, another nostalgic site, and the original crew—Sakura in a new Arabian-inspired red battle costume complete with harem pants, Syaoran in his green ceremonial costume, Kero-chan with a matching red collar, and Tomoyo in an awesome beige military-style coat with a smart brown beret with boots, ready to film, is gathered to catch a card at nighttime, just like olden days! Sakura’s outfit looks like something Sakura-hime might have worn in Clow Country in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. Kero-chan and Sakura have a nostalgic chit-chat about how they first met. Sakura tattles to Tomoyo that she never agreed to be a Card Captor in the first place! I know! Kero-chan is just like, “Is that how it happened?” And Sakura recollects how big Fly was, the first card they captured, and worries about what if she had fallen off and recollects it was Kero-chan’s negligence that the Clow Cards were blown away in the first place! Ata girl! Tomoyo wonders if Sakura refused to comply, whether the contract with Cerberus would have been broken, but Kero-chan says that’s impossible. Encyclopedia Syaoran subtly comes to Kero-chan’s defense, remarking that once a magic contract is formed, it’s difficult to break unless something serious happens. Foreshadowing maybe? 

Sakura's outfit of the week: Harem Pants V 2.0
Hidden Boss Ninja-Tomoyo's secret technique: Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!
Sakura: I was tricked! I never agreed to become a Card Captor in the first place!
Tomoyo: Kero-chan, if Sakura refused to form a contract and become Card Captor, wouldn't Syaoran have become Clow Card Master by default?
Sakura just looks really pretty here.

A fiery bird appears over Tsukimine Shrine, Syaoran immediately runs forward and shields the girls and then releases the Five Force Sword—I mean the Li Clan sword. The fiery bird spews flames at them, Sakura tells Kero-chan to protect Tomoyo-chan, and Sakura says she doesn’t want Tomoyo to get hurt. Kero-chan laments that he can’t do anything because he is a fire-type. Sakura uses the Aqua, and the water-type and fire-type bird creatures have a showdown but the Blaze annihilates Aqua. 

Syaoran: Protect Big Boss Tomoyo!
Scowling Syaoran = Best Syaoran
Syaoran: You know I rocked the harem pants look in Season 1 before you ever did, Sakura!
Sakura: As if.

Syaoran says he’ll give it a try and tells Sakura to use the Flight to get close to the fiery bird to seal it into a card (getting rid of her so he can use his magic). I do like bossy Syaoran though. Syaoran furtively releases magic, though the incantation can’t be heard. It’s most likely the Windy. Syaoran shouts, “Now Sakura!” and Sakura proceeds to seal the new card, “Blaze,” feat. Kotani Kinya. Yes, you got the definite right this time! Sakura lands back next to Syaoran and Tomoyo and says she sealed the card “thanks to Syaoran” and remarks that his “wind magic is amazing… or was it a justsu?” Syaoran looks really stricken, and Sakura’s smile drops as she noticed this.

Pokemon Captor Sakura: Gotta Catch 'Em All!
Legendary Birds of the Kanto Region: Articuno vs. Moltres
Syaoran: Ugh, because Wei is in Hong Kong, I have no one to cut my hair!
 I didn't have to go through the hassle of stealing the Sakura Cards.
Sakura never wanted to be Card Captor, so by default, I am the Clow Card Master muhahaha!

Kero-chan quite shrewdly notices that they have a new set of cards equivalent to Windy, Watery and Firey, with the Gale, Aqua and Blaze. For some reason, I have started to think of the Clear Cards as the Clone Cards. Kero-chan shows off that he would have been able to beat a card that was water-based, and Sakura expresses her skepticism. I love how she’s grown a spine and not so trusting of Kero-chan’s big talk anymore. Our Sakura’s grown up quite a bit. Kero-chan calls her a meanie, Sakura says she joking, Tomoyo-chan is filming, and bangs-covering face Syaoran is brooding once more. We haven’t seen bangs-covered mysterious Syaoran since his first appearance in CCS have we? 

Sakura: I just realized what's off with Syaoran these days!
Syaoran: Did she find out about the Sakura Cards?
Sakura: Syaoran, do you want me to give you a haircut?
Sakura: Nobody in my family lets me cut their hair though. I wonder why.
Clow Cards vs. Clone Cards -- English vocab flashcards not affiliated with TOEFL
Kaijuu-Sakura 2.0: Gao!!!

The Tsukimine Shrine torii gate got singed a bit but Sakura remarks it’s a good thing a fire didn’t beak out. Hello, are we just going to leave the gate burned? Isn’t it sacrilegious to damage religious/ sacred property like that and just leave it? I’m sure Mizuki-sensei will understand, and I still blame Eriol for everything, but still! How about creating the “Paint Card” or “Repair” or the responsible good old traditional way of just painting it by hand with red paint (I’m sure the Daidouji family knows a few repairmen or two)? Syaoran announces it’s time to head back, remarking it’s fine since he lives alone but the girls shouldn’t be out so late. Is Syaoran worrying for Touya? Sakura remarks she left via her window per usual, Kero-chan worries she’s going to get caught. Tomoyo says her bodyguards are nearby and offer them a ride home after they’re done changing.

Syaoran: Can I trust Sakura to cut my bangs instead of Wei?
Syaoran: Nope, she'll mess up my do. Better ask Touya-nii-sama.
Sakura: Don't sue me Mizuki-sensei for burning the shrine!
Best outfit of the week goes to Tomoyo to make up for lopsided-eye Tomoyo last week!

Back at the Kinomoto house, Touya is fretting while studying with Yukito in his room. Touya goes over to Sakura’s room and knocks. Yukito says Sakura must be sleeping but Touya bursts into Sakura’s room, uncovers her blanket and reveals her empty bed stuffed with her bag and beret and grumbles at Sakura thinking that will hide her tracks. Yukito remarks in the hallway, “You shouldn’t go into a girl’s room without permission.” Touya remarks Sakura is not there and that she took off with the yellow stuffed animal aka Kero-chan. Yukito transforms into Yue abruptly, Touya remarks that it’s sudden, but not problematic since his father isn’t home.

Touya: Kaijuu's out again with that Werewolf Brat who needs a haircut.
Yukito: Touya's sis-con gets worse each year.
Touya: Aren't you a powerful magician, Sis? This is the best you can do?
Yukito: “You shouldn’t go into a girl’s room without permission."
Touya: So I can go into yours then?
Yukito: "..."
Return of Jealous Moe-Yue
Touya: "Well, Dad isn't home, so it shouldn't be a problem."
Yue: "But my mistress is returning soon."
Yue remarks that his master will return soon, Touya asks how he knows this. Yue says because she sense her. But that sometimes he can’t sense since master’s powers. And there is no regularity in his disappearance—Touya is surprised since Sakura’s powers are so strong even he can sense it. Yue points out again that Touya’s powers have started to return, asking what will he use that power for. Touya says he won’t say it yet. When Yue asks why, Touya says he remarked before that Yue and Yuki are alike. Yue says he recalls, though he doesn’t agree to such an observation. Touya insists that it’s his power, so he’ll decide how to use it, and when. He calls Yue easy to read, that it shows on his face when he’s angry or upset even if he doesn’t say anything. Touya then tells Yue that Yukito told him his name. I had to think back whether Yue never properly introduced himself back when taking Touya’s powers. And loyal Touya says don’t be mad at Yukito for tattling, adding, “It just seemed wrong not knowing your name after knowing you for so long, so I asked him.” Touya is so slick. Yue says it’s not like he can rebuke Yukito in person. Oh Yue, you have horrible manners! At least introduce yourself properly before sapping the life force out of your mistress’ older brother! 

"City of Angels" feat. Goo Goo Dolls
Yue: "What will you use your power for?"
Touya: "Not telling!"
Touya: "You're so easy to read, just like Yuki."
Touya: Sulking Yue is so cute. Kyun.
Touya: "I know your name by the way."

Touya vows that he will do whatever he can for Sakura and his family. Yue says, “I know that.” And the soft smile Touya gives Yue at the end, though Yue doesn’t notice, is killer. Touya says, “Just wait a little longer, Yue,” calling Yue by his name apparently for the first time. Moe-Yue sulks, and Touya bursts out laughing, before turning serious again.  

Touya: "I'll do whatever I can for my family and for Sakura."
Yue: "I know that."
Yue: And what about me?
Touya: Tsundere-Yue is the best!
Touya: "Just wait a little bit longer, Yue."
Yue: Till we meet again, son of the other half of the reincarnation of Clow Reed and brother of my Card Mistress. Touya: You do know my name, right?

I’m so excited for next episode since we might get a 1-second glimpse at Syaoran’s four sisters again! And Sakura and Akiho may be reading to children. I sometimes wonder if the animators are just ticking off everything that can satisfy all my CCS and New Trials longings. Return of Meilin, check. King Penguin Park swing scene check. And Syaoran’s sisters’ reappearance, check. While I’m at it, I’m going to wish for a CCS Movie 3 with Sakura and crew visiting England. And a Movie 4 set in New York. I mean, a Season 2 of Clear Card Arc is given, right?  

Best screenshot of the week: Yue the Guardian of the Moon!
Brought to you by Syaoran's sisters--You know you missed us! XOXO


  1. hahaha love it! "But my mistress is returning soon"??? lol ok...

    But yeah, great episode, I agree. Syaoran is getting more and more mysterious. What is going on with him?! And I felt like Sakura should have offered the card to him. I know I know-- I'm committing a cardinal sin by admonishing her, our collective superstar, but I guess I'm just used to the idea that the person who conquers the card gets to keep it. I was pleasantly surprised by Sakura's argument/flashback convo with Kero! I don't know if I ever heard her talk quite like that, even though they have had arguments...She was PISSED OFF lol.

    Great captions, Wish-chan. Yes lets petition for a NY & England movie. Actually, let's petition CLAMP for a COMPLETELY ANIMATED NT!!! *dies*


  2. Weird. I swear I posted a response to this post, but maybe my blog ate my own post! But I think I basically said I hope Sakura also takes the backbone she has to talk back at Kero-chan and do it to Syaoran later on! It'll be a sign that they truly have gotten close. And I also totally agree she should offer him the card out of courtesy. I sort of miss the two being competitive with each other as well, that was always cute to watch.