Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card-hen – Episode 1 [Sakura and the Clear Cards] [First Impression]
I… I don’t know what I’m feeling right now. o_o
You know, aside from ALL THE FEELS!
I was… actually I was a little younger than Sakura’s Clear Card-hen [CCH] age when a close friend of mine got me into the original Cardcaptor Sakura. I was never as big a fan as she was, but it was cute, funny, and was one of the first anime I was introduced to (alongside Escaflowne, Digimon, Pokémon – that whole YTV/Fox Kids/Toonami anime lineup). I didn’t learn until much later how heavily censored the North American version of CCS was, but as a kid I enjoyed it for what it was.
I will say that I did lose interest between the original seasons and the movies, so I have only a vague understanding of how the original series ended. I saw some faces in this first episode that I recognized, but that I will have to wiki later in order to fill myself in.
Being that the original CCS ran from 1998 – 2000, the animation in CCH is of a much higher quality. Omg, it’s beautiful ~ <3 The scenes with Sakura walking through the falling cherry blossom petals and the scene where she receives her new Clow key in her dream are both gorgeous, and I might’ve drooled a bit. (…Ok not really, but close. >> )
Anyways, so if you’re familiar with the original Cardcaptor Sakura anime and/or manga, this first episode is going to be a walk in the park for you. Aside from a mysterious new villain whom we get virtually no information about, everyone shown in the first episode is from the original series. Plus guess what – the entire original Japanese seiyuu cast has returned for CCH too! Huzzah! (And yes most if not all the female characters still sound like they’ve been sucking on helium. But that’s always been what the Japanese version has sounded like, so I know I’ll get used to it eventually. Hopefully.)
In this first episode, Sakura goes to her first day of middle school.. Sakura learns quick that some of her middle school subjects are going to be much harder for her now (specifically shown are math and English). On her way home she bumps into Syaoran, who has returned from Hong Kong at long last. They have a sappy reunion, one which Tomoyo interrupts with her sneaky cockblocking antics as always. ;D Some things never change.
That night Sakura has a nightmare in which all her Clow cards have turned clear. There is an unknown figure floating a distance away from her, and she cannot make out the individual’s face or body as they are wearing some kind of hood or mask that covers everything but their (shadowed) eyes. This person makes Sakura’s cards shatter and the broken pieces go racing towards her body. When Sakura is jolted awake, she rushes to open her Clow book and sees that her cards have indeed all turned clear.
The next day Sakura and Kero go to visit Yukito, who turns into Yue when Kero announces that they’re having an emergency. Together Kero and Yue deduce that Sakura hasn’t lost her magical powers, but they don’t know either why the cards have turned clear. Sakura asks Yue to please not reveal anything to Yukito if he can help it, and lets Yue know that Syaoran has returned.
Later at school Sakura fills Syaoran and Tomoyo in on what’s going on with her Clow cards. Kero shares that he’s already e-mailed Eriol in England and is waiting for a reply. With nothing else to do, the three return to their classes and finish their day at school.
Sakura has another nightmare that night, again with the broken clear cards and the mysterious person in the long robes. This time however, the dream continues on for much longer. Sakura is protected from the clear card shards by what turns out to be her new Clow Key (it’s so pretty! 0 ). This appears to anger the
robed figure, who summons a huge, dark dragon and perhaps tries to suppress or remove Sakura’s powers from her. (This figure doesn’t speak a word, so I was a little unclear with this person’s intentions towards Sakura, aside from that they were obviously not positive.) When Sakura wakes up, her new Clow key is in her hand. Whoa!
While walking to school the next day, Sakura and Kero are attacked by what is obviously some kind of wild Clow card. It has the power to rip gashes in the sidewalk and rip a tree down, so it looks pretty powerful. It attacks Sakura a during a vulnerable moment and she is saved at the last moment by her new Clow key, which transforms into a fancy new staff. Her new incantation magically comes to mind and Sakura is able to seal the new card: Gale.
Despite not being a huge CCS fan, I’m rather excited for CCH! I love that Maaya Sakamoto is singing the opening theme (“Clear”), and the ending theme (“Jewelry” by Saori Hayami) is catchy too. My favourite moment/scene from this first episode? Sakura’s reunion with Syaoran – not only because it’s such a romantic moment, but because in the background a beautifully remixed version of the original 3rd season Japanese opening (“Purachina” [Platinum] by Maaya Sakamoto), and I honest to god almost cried. ;~;
CCH is set to run for two seasons, and I’m unsure at this point whether I’ll be covering both. I might pass it to another AAB writer at the end of this season, but time will tell. If I absolutely adore CCH then I’d love to cover it until the very end.
Possibility of Watching: High
Possibility of Blogging: High
(A small bonus, random tidbit for all you CCS fans out there – my all-time favourite piece of CCS music is (coincidentally) “Purachina” (Platinum. :D What is your favourite CCS song?)