Sunday, June 3, 2018

Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card-hen: Episode 21 Review!

Episode 21: “Sakura, the Mirror, and the Key of Memories”
aka "The Sky Hug 2.0"

This episode passed by so quickly, I had to double-take when the ending song came on. I guess the end is near. I did enjoy all the conversations between the major characters this episode, including Touya and Fujitaka, Eriol, Yue and Cerberus, Kaito to himself, and finally, Sakura and Syaoran over what she should get for his birthday (not a mirror!). I think I would love a face-to-face confrontation between Eriol and Kaito even more. Kaito looks like Tomoyo and Eriol’s lovechild. And yes, I would like a face-to-face meeting between Eriol and Tomoyo before the manga comes to an end as well, just because Tomoyo’s turned even more wicked than before and Eriol’s a bit less creepy.  
Touya: Both Yuki and Sakura are missing.
Fujitaka: Touya got himself a new jacket!

Our favorite big bro Touya comes home to find his father on the phone with someone and learns that Sakura collapsed over at their great-grandfather’s house but she’s okay and on her way home. Kinomoto Fujitaka admits that Great-Grandfather wanted to give her two things: the huge mansion they visited, which Fujitaka politely declined for now, and as we learned later, Nadeshiko’s key. Apparently, that beachside mansion used to be a secondary home for Nadeshiko, so probably it was a summer resort home. I always thought it was a bit far from civilization. The conversation Touya and Fujitaka have about how Nadeshiko takes after her grandmother more than grandfather is rather sweet. First mention of her, I believe! 

Touya: Great-Grandfather has a present for Sakura?
Fujitaka: Yeah, a house.
Fujitaka: Nadeshiko's secondary home. So I asked him to hold if for now.
Touya: Why?! You know how many part-time jobs I'm working to save up and send Sakura to college?

It’s interesting how Fujitaka mentioned that Masaki would like to meet Touya, leaving the sense it hasn’t been the first such request. It’s odd that Touya is the only one who still hasn’t met Masaki. Even Fujitaka has made amends with Nadeshiko’s grandfather. But by the way Touya’s chopstick slips as he places the dessert and tries to avoid it, saying “someday, if the timing works out,” makes me realize it’s been Touya who’s been refusing to see Masaki. Perhaps he still holds bitter feelings for the great-grandfather who rejected his mother. Touya’s relationship with his mother was much deeper than Sakura’s after all. Meaning, Touya was 10 when she passed away and has a lot of memories with his mother and remembers her. He probably also knows a bit more about the backstory of how her grandfather rejected Fujitaka. Fujitaka even remarks Touya and his great-grandfather may be alike. Yes, their stubbornness and obsession with Sakura. Fujitaka remarks that Sakura has Nadeshiko mysterious qualities. Fujitaka also admits to Touya that he basically knows what’s been going on since Sakura was in fourth grade, though not in detail. Touya calls his father amazing, for knowing that something’s going on but not asking any questions. (Usually bad parenting in any other circumstance.) Fujitaka really is the best father in all anime franchises! Also, note, Touya’s been taking fashion lessons from Syaoran, with his red and navy varsity jacket over a white shirt. He wins the best-dressed award tonight—because nobody changed outfits this episode! Gasp! Granted, we’re still on the same day as Episode 20. Meanwhile, Eriol’s been wearing the same garb since 1999.   

Fujitaka: Touya, I noticed that something about you's changed.
Touya: You're amazing, Dad. How did you notice my powers were coming back?
Fujitaka: Actually, I meant I noticed you got a new jacket. I think I've seen it somewhere though.
Moe-Touya: Yeah, actually, I got some fashion pointers from the Brat the other day.
Inspired by Syaoran's Date Outfit from Episode 9. Remember, Touya was stalking the two at the aquarium.

Sakura is sleeping in Nadeshiko’s old bed and gets up. Her great-grandfather frets, but she points out that that the doctor said she’s fine. Syaoran helps Sakura out of the bed, helping her balance with his two hands. She apologizes to him for making him worry. He tells her if she feels any pain, or anything at all, let him know, no matter how small it is. As she laces up her ankle boots, head down, she tells him, “Same with you, Syaoran-kun.” She then looks into his eyes and tells him, “I want you to tell me those things, too.” Syaoran frowns, looking troubles, and great-grandfather conveniently walks back into the room with his present for Sakura. It’s a silver key with blue jewels that Nadeshiko used to treasure as a child, which he and his wife brought back from England from her long ago. Syaoran’s ears perk at the mention of England, and he notes that’s where Eriol is, and Yuna D. Kaito is from, the first of his inner ruminations this episode. 

Sakura: Finally the two of us alone.
Syaoran: " You have to tell me if you feel any pain, or anything at all."
Sakura: "Same to you."
Syaoran: Actually, it hurt a lot when you stepped on my foot during rehearsal for the Nadeshiko Festival play.
Amamiya Masaki: Your mother treasured this present I brought back from England for her.
Sakura: Silly Dad, I think I'd rather have this house. It can be my honeymoon house with Syaoran.
Syaoran: Eriol's in England. I wonder what he's up to now.

In England, Cerberus and Yue are reporting about Akiho’s mysterious magician butler. Eriol confirms that the Clow Reed house was once torn down, replaced with an amusement park, then there’s a house there again, confirming that CCS Movie 2 is canon. He says the location is perfect for storing objects that hold a lot of power. Eriol says he spoke with the British magicians’ society, though they were not very responsive, but learned that Yuna D. Kaito was excommunicated one year ago. Cerberus points out that this society is known to overlook everything so long as you have strong magic and do whatever it asks for it to do, adding, it’s crazy what they allow you to get away with. Eriol said he confirmed through the Li Clan, Syaoran’s mother, that Kaito was kicked out for losing a magic relic that was not allowed to removed from the society. Cerberus has the best one-liner of the day. “He lost? What kind of klutz is he?” Eriol said that according to rumors, he took the relic and left. But the magicians’ society cannot compel him to return it either, because a magician with the title of “D” cannot be defeated. Furthermore, the society hiding the relic meant that it was probably a taboo item. They cannot do anything because they fear Kaito’s power and the chance he may use it. Yue asks if it’s powerful, and Eriol replies, yes, it’s more powerful than he is right now. The Li Clan head (Li Yelan) has tried to learn more about his powers but was unsuccessful, says Eriol. Eriol points out that Sakura is not even aware that she’s creating cards that embody her magic, creating her own magical items. 

Eriol: Movie 2 is all canon, but parts of the manga ending, like my splitting my powers in half is not.
Yue: CLAMP will probably work that out somehow, by the end of Clear Card, to make all canons coherent, don't you think? Just don't tie us into that Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle mess, though.
Eriol: Also, Yuna D. Kaito has been excommunicated for losing a magic relic from the British Magicians' Society.
Cerberus' best line of the day: Huh, how klutzy do you have to be to lose something like a tabooed magical relic?!
Eriol: With the help of the Li Clan, we've found out Kaito's true identity.
Have you heard of Zero?
Also known as Lelouch vi Britannia.
Eriol: He gained a special ability called Geass from a woman called C.C. who is also known as Li Meilin. (C.C. and Meilin share the same seiiyuu, Yukana.)

Yue asks Eriol why he didn’t tell them anything. Eriol admits Sakura’s power is strong but still chaotic, and that she cannot control it. Plus, they do not know what Kaito wants, but that it probably has something to do with Sakura’s new cards. Cerberus gets why Eriol didn’t tell Sakura, but demands why he didn’t tell them. Eriol says that their worries would have shown too easily in their faces and actions. As if Syaoran’s got a better poker face than those two! Actually, he does. Cerberus goes, “What, I’ve got a great poker face!” And Eriol replies, “Cerberus does, but it’s too difficult for Yue.” And Yue immediately scowls and goes, “what?” But Cerberus agrees and points out that when it comes to Sakura, Yue overreacts, and Yue gives Cerberus the stink eye. Their communication falters, and Yue and Cerberus start disappearing. Eriol says the attacker is only targeting him, and that he will do everything he can from here. Eriol asks them to help Sakura, and Syaoran as well. Eriol breaks off the summoning spell, and Cerberus and Yue disappear completely.

Eriol: Sakura's power is all chaotic at the moment.
Yue: So, Li Syaoran in on everything, while you keep all of us in the dark?
Eriol: Because your worries would have shown on your faces.
Cerberus: But I've got a great "P-P-Poker Face" feat. Lady Gaga.
Eriol: You do, Cerberus, but Yue doesn't.
Yandere-Yue: Yo, I think I got a better poker face than Li Syaoran!

Eriol's Sun Staff is cracking, and he sends up a spell to the clock-shaped violet magic circle overhead, an indication that Kaito is interfering, cracking the seal. He collapses on the floor, breathless, and remarks, “We’ve got a powerful enemy, Sakura.”Cerberus and Yue are back in Yukito’s home. They try calling, Eriol, Yue, and Ruby Moon, but fail. Apparently, no one thought of Mizuki-sensei.

Eriol: "Please help Sakura, and Syaoran."
Gandalf the Grey: "You shall not pass!"
Before there was Lelouch, before there was Yuna D. Kaito.
There was the one and only Clow Reed, the greatest sorcerer of the East and West.
Eriol: You dare interrupt before I got to asking how my precious Syaoran is doing?
Cerberus: Why is Eriol only worried about Syaoran?
Yue: Clow doesn't love us anymore.
Kaito is back at the Shinomoto library, and his clock-shaped magic seal cracks. He remarks, “I expected no less from Hiiragizawa Eriol. No wonder they say he is one of the most powerful of all living magicians.” The face of his pocket watch has cracked as well. He declares his motive out loud for the first time: that he will obtain Sakura’s new cards, so that he can use the relic he stole from the magicians’ society and activate the magic spell. Akiho is still sleeping with her book, and Momo remarks, “It’s fine to use any means possible to achieve your goal, but don’t lose sight of what’s most important, Yuna D. Kaito.”

Kaito/Lelouch: Oh no, I pissed off Eriol.
Kaito: How did he find out I met Li Syaoran?
Akiho: Kaito-san, I've been sleeping for two episodes now! You could have at least moved me to a proper bed!
Momo: Nope, you're too heavy, Akiho, and Kaito's just a lazy fake butler with no arm muscles.

Sakura’s great-grandfather sees the kids off in his chauffeured car and tells Sakura to go to bed as soon as she gets home. Yes, he always has been a worrywart. Sakura apologizes for worrying him. He apologizes for calling her over so suddenly and thanks both of them for coming and to come again. Syaoran gives a little bow and Sakura through the car window thanks him for the key. Inside the car, Sakura notes that Syaoran is rather somber, looking out the car window, back turned to her. They drive near Sakura’s home, and at a red light, Syaoran finally notices through the reflection of the car window that Sakura is looking at him. He forces a smile and turns to face her, asking, “What is it?” He asks bashfully if there’s something on his face. What a shoujo-like remark coming from our Syaoran. She tells him, “I was just thinking that the Syaoran I see, and the Syaoran that you see are so different. I can see you in person, but if you want to see yourself, you have to use a mirror.” Syaoran is completely lost. She continues, “It’s the same for me. I’m the one who understands myself the least. Maybe that’s why I make everyone worry. I wish I had a mirror, one that would show the real me. Then maybe I would know how to avoid making everyone worry.” Syaoran calls out her name, maybe deciding to tell her something important, but conveniently the car drives up in front of Sakura’s house.

Masaki: Go home and straight to bed!
Syaoran: Thank goodness the marriage meeting is finally over.
"Here's to you Mrs. Robinson," feat. Simon & Garfunkel.
Sakura: Geez, Syaoran, we're finally alone in the back of a tinted window Rolls-Royce and you're not going to even look at me?
Syaoran: Why is Sakura staring at me so much. Do I have something on face?
Sakura: Syaoran, what do you want for your birthday? It's coming up in one month.
Syaoran: This question again.
Sakura: "I was just thinking that the Syaoran I see, and the Syaoran that you see are so different."
Sakura: "I can see you in person, but if you want to see yourself, you have to use a mirror.”
Syaoran: "I do have something on my face!"
Sakura: “It’s the same for me. I’m the one who understands myself the least. I wish I had a mirror, one that would show the real me."
Syaoran: I have a friend who can obtain that for you. It's called the Mirror of Truth.
Syaoran: And Sakura, I do NOT want a mirror for my birthday, all right?

The house is really foggy, but Syaoran tells her to go in and get some rest, Sakura tries to open her front gate, and soon realizes her whole house is flipped. Syaoran confirms that no one’s around, and Sakura seals a new card. “The Mirror.” I know, they’re getting so creative. It even looks just like the Mirror. I don’t know if it’s just me, but the Clow Cards all looked very serene, but the Clear Cards all look sort of scared or haunted, or at least the humanoid ones.

Syaoran: Awkward, isn't she going to invite me inside for tea?
Sakura: Awkward, why isn't Syaoran leaving yet?
Sakura: My house is flipped. I think it's a card!

Syaoran: But we have two minutes left till end the end of episode!
Syaoran: Remember, one minute is for our hug at the end!
Sakura: No worries, it'll just take one second!

Sakura notes that the Sakura Cards had a Mirror as well and that the pictures looks similar. Syaoran thinks to himself that Sakura’s the one creating the new cards, so that it makes sense that some of the pictures are familiar. Furthermore, he notes that they had that conversation in the car, so it makes sense to create a card that relates to it. Sakura wants to try out her new card and duplicates the Flight Card. She uses the Mirror-Flight on Syaoran, and both of them fly up in the sky. So much for being discreet, in broad daylight, and also so much for listening to Great-Grandfather’s orders to home and straight to bed. 

Sakura one second later: The Mirror 2.0!
Syaoran: We already have a Mirror Card? Couldn't you have put in a  bit more effort?
Sakura: Hehe, but we still have the highlight of the episode left.
Sakura: You see, ever since I heard Syaoran's sisters used to dress up Syaoran in frilly ribboned dresses when he was a baby, I wanted to see it for myself!
Mirror: Well, you did say you want to see the real Syaoran.
Syaoran: What gives? Is this the best use you have for the Mirror Card?
Syaoran: I thought you want to see my true self or something?

 Syaoran has a hard time keeping balance in the air, remarking it’s harder than it looks, and Sakura helps steady it. Sakura’s delighted that it worked out, while Syaoran things to himself, “That’s because your magic is that powerful, even thought that may be not what you want.” They two do air somersaults together, and Sakura reaches out her hand to Syaoran, and Syaoran also reaches out and takes both her hands and they spin around in the air, as he thinks to himself Eriol and his mother both said the same thing, that power too strong will bring unhappiness to its owner. And he reaches out and pulls Sakura closes, wrapping his arms around and hugs her midair. She asks, “Syaoran-kun,” and he doesn’t respond as he pledges to himself, “I definitely won’t let you become unhappy.” A frown on his face, he swears this to himself, as he squeezes her into an even tighter embrace, with the sun setting over the town below them. 

Syaoran: Fine, torture me for keeping secrets all season long!
Sakura: "Isn't this fun Syaoran?"
Sakura: Teehee, Syaoran looks so cute with a ribbon wing!
At least give me cool dragon wings or something!

I’m not 100% sure, but I think this is the first time we’ve heard Syaoran’s inner monologue this season, or even ever in the anime. In fact, I think it’s pretty rare that we hear such extensive inner monologue from our male lead in a shoujo anime like this (as opposed to characters who just like thinking out loud to themselves, yes I mean you Eriol.) I do note things such as change in perspective, because as a writer, I do pay attention to action versus words versus intent. Likewise, in New Trials, I spent a lot of thought about who perspective I will tell a certain scene from because that can change everything. CCS is pretty straight forward with keeping Sakura as the lead, and in Clear Card, Syaoran has been a primary mystery character, so hearing his inner thoughts this episode really clarifies a lot of his motives and his feelings, as opposed to only guessing from his expressions and shady actions. But it could also foreshadow to some future event which may further put into question his true intent.   


I also read the mirror scene in the manga, which happened in Chapter 23, because I had to, and I couldn’t help squealing a bit there because of the parallels with New Trials. When Sakura goes, “It’s be nice if there was a mirror that would show the real me,” I couldn’t help but think, yes, the Mirror of Truth! Kaitou Magician will steal it for you! I think the pair were walking in the manga, which I think was sweeter, but I like what the animators did with all the mirror and reflection motives this episode, from Nadeshiko’s bedroom to Syaoran’s reflection through the car window. It’s too bad that Syaoran has to bottle up everything inside, even if Sakura basically has been telling him to tell her what’s wrong, but that’s our Syaoran for you. His pledge to make sure that Sakura stays happy is somewhat misplaced, because he’s somewhat become her most important person, and if he’s unhappy, she would be unhappy too. And he’ll stay unhappy so long as he keeps secrets from her, albeit in order to protect her. Someone’s getting lazy with their cards by the way. They could at least use “The Reflect” or something, instead of just going with “Mirror,” but I supposed the Mirror Card is the one that Sakura may miss the most—they were very close. And the Mirror’s always been my favorite card, so I’m glad to see her again. Well, we have one more episode to go, hopefully, for this season, not for the whole show!  

Syaoran: “I definitely won’t let you become unhappy.”
Sakura: "Syaoran-kun?"

Syaoran: "I swear."


  1. "And yes, I would like a face-to-face meeting between Eriol and Tomoyo before the manga comes to an end as well"

    GUess you'll just need to write some Eriol/Tomoyo scenes in the next chapter!

    1. Point well taken teehee.^^ Actually, maybe the deed is already done but who knows~

  2. I like to think the Sakura card Mirror currently belongs to Touya and that's the reason the clear card is a duplicate. I still ship them.

    1. Me too actually! I loved The Mirror's relationship with Touya. I think I once wrote a one-shot of The Mirror's feelings for Touya which I never published. Wow, I just remembered I once had a whole story arc for the Mirror and Touya, which I never ended up incorporating into New Trials. Mirror still is my favorite card.^^

  3. What can I say, I am liking it despite being thrown-off by the confusing leap, previous and current adaptation. Lets see how it gets all cleared up. Looking forward to your next chapter!

  4. You had a story for MIRROR and TOUYA??? OMG MAKE IT A SPECIAL!!!!!


  5. I'm so behind!! I only watched episode 21 today. Thanks for not using the sky hug as your first picture because that would have been a spoiler for me when I saw your post on FB.

    I was so excited when Sakura was talking about a mirror that could see the truth. It was definitely an important part of Arc 2 and the mirror is one of the five force treasures. Seeing S&S flying definitely brings me back to Arc 4's Regeneration chapter with Syaoran's dragon wings.

    My annoyance of Sakura not having to put much up much of a battle against these new cards is finally waning now that I understand what's going on since her power is growing and everything. But I do agree that The Reflect would have been a more appropriate name.