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Reviewby Allen Divers, Mar 3rd 2003
Card Captor Sakura
DVD 10: School Daze
It's a new school year for Sakura and her friends as they start the fifth grade. A mysterious new teacher has Sakura excited and Li upset, as it appears she may have some tie to the Clow Cards. Then, Tomoyo loses her voice, and it's up to Sakura to find the cause. After that, Sakura and her friends take a field trip to a strawberry farm. When one of the cooking rooms is mysteriously locked, it's up to Sakura and her friends to make sure the day isn't ruined, especially when Sakura wants to make a special dessert for Yukito. Finally, Sakura faces a hefty challenge, as she not only has to beat a Clow Card, but recover from the flu. Will her older brother Toya finally discover Sakura's secret?
Picking up where the first season left off is School Daze, volume ten in the popular Card Captor Sakura series. Much like the previous releases in this series, School Daze features the original Japanese version with English subtitles. With the separate Dubbed version of the series now discontinued, this subtitled version of the Card Captor Sakura is now the only choice for fans of the show. The second season adds new mysteries the series, helping it retain its charm as the show moves forward.
The DVD release of the subtitled Japanese version is a standard Pioneer release. With only one language, the only real options that exist are the standard scene access and the ability to turn on and off the subtitles in the extras menu. With a new season come new opening and closing animations. The new opening is included as an extra. Also standard for a CCS release is a small art gallery featuring various shots of Tomoyo, a shot of one of Sakura's costumes and two of the cards featured in the episodes.
The animation studio responsible for Card Captor Sakura is Mad House, which does great justice to CLAMP's original Manga. Card Captor Sakura is a very upbeat show, and its designs and overall look retain that with bright colors and colorful costumes. Not being an over the top action oriented series, a lot of care is given to character expressions and animation. Attention is always given to Sakura's transformations, especially since she is often wearing different costumes while before the same repetitive motions. While one could imagine the animators wanting to create a series of stock footage for such an event, the different outfits make this very difficult.
Working with the animation to build the charm of CCS is the original Japanese soundtrack. With only the one language available on the DVD, fans are able to concentrate on the performances of the original Japanese actors. Each actor is well suited to his or her role, creating very likable characters. The cast as a whole works well together, and this far in the series continues to bring life to the characters without sounding worn out. With only the Japanese soundtrack on the disc, Card Captor Sakura may be a bit tough for new fans that aren't yet used to reading subtitles while trying to watch the action at the same time. Luckily, Card Captor Sakura is one of those shows that takes its time with things, never reaching a point in which the action and dialogue would become too much for someone keeping trying to keep up with the subtitles.
The second season of CCS opens up with Sakura and her friends moving up to the fifth grade. At this point in the series, Sakura has become comfortable with her role as Card Captor, and even the ever sour Li is starting to warm up. To add spice to the mix, a new character is introduced who sends Sakura into a tizzy and simply irks Li to no end. The addition of this new character helps to break up some of the monotony of CCS, which at the end of the first season had begun to take on the appearance of a kind of monster-of-the-week show. The plot is definitely beginning to move forward, and hints are starting to fall as to how close Sakura is to finishing her quest. Mixed in with all of this new drama are the same cuteness, humor and charm that have helped make this show a fan favorite. This is a show that stays true to its core by remaining upbeat and cute at all times.
School Daze continues to bring out the charm of this cute series as it continues in its storyline. New mysteries are introduced, and Sakura and her friends remain upbeat through all the trials they face. The overall plot of the story moves forward with the introduction of a new character allowing the main characters to grow closer together. Card Captor Sakura remains an all time favorite as the story moves on.
Overall (sub) : B
Story : A
Animation : A
Art : A
Music : A
+ Brimming with cuteness, humor, and charm to please all audiences
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