Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card-hen – Episode 13 [Sakura and Welcome Back, Meiling]
Welcome to the second half of Clear Card-hen! What a nice start: we get two new themes – “Rocket Beat” by Kiyono Yasuno (OP), and “Rewind” by Minori Suzuki (ED). ^_^v I really, really like Sakura’s new heart-themed outfit as it reminds me of Alice in Wonderland, and it’s got a cute skirt that flares out. But what’s this about Akiho’s bunny in the opening sequence – it’s alive?! (What was its name again?? >>; )
This week’s episode brings a visit from everyone’s favourite troublemaker, Meiling! At the end of the school day Sakura gets a message from Meiling, who has arrived and is waiting for Sakura outside Tomoeda Middle School. Everyone else from Sakura’s circle of friends shows up to greet Meiling, and Sakura introduces Meiling to Akiho.
Syaoran and Takashi come rushing up to the group and Syaoran’s annoyed because he wasn’t expecting Meiling’s arrival so soon, plus he knows he’s unprepared to have another person live with him. However Meiling tells him it’s not an issue – she wants to stay with Sakura!
When Meiling arrives at Sakura’s home, Kero is of course a little surprised to see her familiar face. Their relationship with each other really hasn’t changed, as it becomes evident in this episode. Of course said interactions are meant as comedic relief, and I have to keep telling myself that this is a show geared for a younger audience, so some of its humor is not my style. When Sakura’s dad Fujitaka calls to check up on Sakura, she tells him about Meiling’s visit, and Meiling gets on the phone to formally ask for permission to stay with Sakura. Of course he okays it.
Sakura, Kero and Meiling snack on some cookies from Yuna D Kaito, and the girls discuss Syaoran’s living situation. Meiling mentions Toya, and the scene switches to Toya sneezing at Yukito’s house. xD Toya tends to sneeze often when Sakura is talking about him.
As they snack on dango, Yukito again asks Toya about his newfound power that he mentioned at work several episodes again. When Toya refuses to tell Yukito, the latter transforms into Yue.
Yue asks Toya why he won’t tell him about his growing power and Toya answers that the time isn’t right. Toya also confirms for Yue that Sakura can’t detect his new power, although she apparently couldn’t detect his original power either.
Back at the Kinomoto house the girls and Kero are making homemade gyoza! They are making them the way Meiling is used to making them, but they have whipped up two different flavored batches because that’s how Sakura’s family makes gyoza. I thought this was a nice way of blending two traditions from two different families. :3 The girls eat the dumplings for dinner and of course they’re delicious.
Later on while Sakura is having a bath, Meiling messages Syaoran to reassure him that Sakura is fine and nothing “weird” has happened. Meiling dries Sakura’s hair for her, giving her friend a new “flare” style that I’m sure we’ll see in the next episode and Syaoran will definitely take notice of.
Meiling describes for Sakura some of the Li family dynamics, and Sakura theorizes that maybe Syaoran is homesick (since he seems to have this something on his mind that he’s not sharing with her). Sakura says that she wants to do whatever she can on her own so that Syaoran won’t have to worry about her, and feels that if Syaoran is able to tell her about his issue then he will in his own time. We already know what Syaoran’s been working on with Eriol, and we’ll know Sakura will eventually find out what’s going on – it’s just a matter of when.
Suddenly Sakura notices that Meiling has sprouted purple cat ears on her head, and a long tail! Meiling thinks that Sakura is half-asleep because she has no idea what Sakura is talking about. Sakura notices that the ears and tail disappear as soon as she mentions them to Meiling, which is weird. Maybe it’s a card? After the girls turn off the light and try to sleep, we see that Meiling’s new feline accessories are because of the story Akiho’s reading in her clock book. (Ok so I guess it’s not a card after all.) I guess any events that Akiho reads from that book will come true in real life?
Yuna D sees Akiho reading the book and she describes what’s going on with the story: the female protagonist in the story grows cat ears and a tail, but when she tries to tell people about it they disappear. Just like Meiling and Sakura. As Yuna D serves Akiho some tea, the final moments of the episode zoom in on his clock and, more importantly, some kind of a bulge in his vest pocket. Is it a magical item that’s boosting the magical powers of Akiho’s book?
I feel that it’s important to note that, like Akiho’s self-awareness in her dream, her ability to read this magical clock book is progressing too; Akiho mentions to Yuna D that she can now read parts that she couldn’t before. I assume that by the time D-Day goes down, Akiho and Sakura will be able to recognize each other in their dreams, and Akiho will also be able to read the entire clock book. But what is the mysterious item in Yuna D’s pocket?? I feel like it’s something super obvious that I just can’t think of at the moment. ^^;;
On a side note…. did anyone notice a change in the quality of the animation in this episode? Including during the opening sequence, to my surprise. I always feel bad touching on this topic (poor quality animation, or a decrease in quality from awesome to meh) because I feel like it makes me come across as a graphics whore, which I kinda am… but I also don’t like to be the person who hates on a show or gives it flack because something changes with its animation. I mean the animation is not horrible, and close-ups still look great, but in a lot of the shots with multiple people in a frame, or when people are moving, the quality has decreased a little. Hopefully this will change in future episodes. (As always this is just my two cents.)
See you guys next week!