Final Impressions: Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card

Anime: Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card

Season aired: Winter 2018

Number of episodes: 22

Genres: Fantasy, romance, comedy

Thoughts: I’m going to be honest – it’s going to be hard to write a review on Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card without nostalgia goggles. From the sheer amount of affection I hold for watching the first series as a child, I automatically begin to judge the entirety of the anime at a more lenient level than others. But alas, I am going to try my best and give you as much of an unbiased review as I can.

Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card is the sequel to the original Cardcaptor Sakura series. Continuing right off after Sakura Kinomoto made the Clow Cards her own, Sakura starts attending middle school and once again begins discovering new cards despite the fact that no one around her can sense them. At the same time, dreams of a mysterious hooded figure begin to assail her, and the original Clow Cards she made her own becomes clear in a single night.

Beautiful scenic backgrounds (Source)

The elements that the new season has improved upon are the animation and the sceneries. Thanks to the new technology of the 2010 decade, there is shot after shot of gorgeous scenic backgrounds that make viewers gape and sigh. That, in particular, was something the original series did not have, and it was something I appreciated just out of my appreciation for art. On the other hand, Cardcaptor Sakura was originally well-known for its excellent animation, so it was nice to see that the sequel did not lose that particular praise. The short but colorful battles are alive and vivid, and watching it from an actual television is a treat for everyone.

The couple AND the voice actors return! (Source)

It’s also exciting to hear the entire original cast return to their roles! In fact, the cast was just as ecstatic as the crowd to have returned to this series. Many years might have already passed since they finished voicing their iconic characters, but it’s heartwarming to hear them uptaking the characters they have taught us to love once more.

The plot is a bit repetitive as Sakura chases after cards in essentially identical fashions of the original series. However, there is a new element of darker danger that the original series didn’t have. Three new characters are introduced as the antagonists. In the original series, all the antagonists introduced were all eventually revealed to share or support a common goal and became Sakura’s allies. But this time, I actually think these antagonists are in a position that is completely opposite of Sakura and her friends. Though I have no doubt the conflicts will be resolved in a happy manner, it is clear from the events of the anime that they are not in positions that would ever result with them ending up on her side – especially considering they are literally trying to steal her new cards. It was a smart choice for CLAMP to create these antagonists. Knowing that the audiences of Cardcaptor Sakura grew up with the anime, they also effectively increased the dangers in the plotline to fit the more mature audience.

Kaito, one of the three new characters (Source)

These new antagonists, I believe, are the prime reason why this show is still enjoyable beyond the nostalgia. Despite being quite familiar with CLAMP’s work, I actually can’t figure out what the antagonists’ end goal really is. This unpredictability offsets the predictability of capturing cards extraordinarily well, and I had lots of fun theorizing with fellow friends on what would happen at the conclusion of the series.

Unfortunately, this series ultimately landed on a cliffhanger as the manga is far from complete. I can only hope that Madhouse or another anime production company will continue the story once more manga chapters come out in the upcoming years.  

Rating

I am planning to rate all my anime based on the anime rating system that Japanese anime critics use. I will have 5 categories, each with the top score of 10, and then a final multiplier of 2.

Plot: 8

Characters: 7

Voice acting: 8

Art/Animation: 8

Soundtrack: 8

Total: 39

Multiplier: 2

FINAL SCORE: 78

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