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REVIEW: Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card Part 1 & Part 2 Blu-ray


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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:10 pm Reply with quote
Would this be considered a gap filler between Card Captor Sakura and Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle,
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whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:15 pm Reply with quote
Hard to say definitively given the manga’s unfinished status, but yeah, that seems to be the role this story is serving.
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rizuchan
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Joined: 11 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:28 pm Reply with quote
I talked about this a bit in the episode reviews, but, I still don't quite understand the complaint, from CCS fans, that Clear Card is too episodic. Like.... literally what else would Card Captor Sakura be? She captures cards. It's an entirely episodic premise. It feels like people complaining Pokemon is still too episodic or something.

Clear Card feels like a direct continuation of the original. If you enjoyed 70 episodes of Sakura doing her card thing, you'll like Clear Card. If the premise got old for you half way though, Clear Card doesn't really bring anything new to the table.

Quote:
Relationships are a hairy topic in Cardcaptor Sakura. The original series played fast and loose with what constituted a healthy romance.


Okay, so, I'm not going to deny for a second that the original CCS idealizes some predatory relationships, but I feel like this comment is kind of disingenuous. One of the major themes of CCS is that love is love, and your feelings for someone - whether that be your classmate, your older brother's friend, or someone the same gender as you - are valid. That's a really powerful message for young girl readers, many of whom are getting their first crushes, and being told by the world that this incredibly powerful thing they're feeling is silly and fleeting. That even if it's ultimately true that nothing usually comes of our first crushes, the feelings behind them should still be taken seriously.

The part where this suddenly becomes really problematic is when CLAMP tries to illustrate this by having side characters that are children that have "serious" relationships with adults. Like I said, I think what CLAMP was trying to say is "your feelings for your teacher are just as valid as if they were your own age" but by letting the adults actually return these feelings, it ends up promoting predatory relationships. It's hugely problematic, but let's not forget that basically every shoujo manga from the 90s was doing the exact same thing.

I think it's also worth noting that, if you close your eyes and plug your ears and pretend that the massive age gaps aren't an issue, CCS does not glorify unhealthy relationships in the usual shoujo sense. No one gets called romantic for being abusive or controlling, for example. There's still lots of people-not-speaking-their-minds, which is frustrating, but pretty normal considering most of the cast is 12.
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Joa



Joined: 25 Jul 2015
Posts: 59
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:34 pm Reply with quote
TarsTarkas wrote:
Would this be considered a gap filler between Card Captor Sakura and Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle,

No, Tsubasa isn't a sequel to CCS at all. Tsubasa is basically a crossover with characters from several CLAMP manga, but it takes place in a completely seperate universe.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:08 pm Reply with quote
Even keeping it episodic, they could have done a bit more to shake up the formula. Ultimately I think the problem is that the "fight" against the card are boooooring and the plot can't hold your attention to compensate, I had to drop half way trough out of sheer boredom. Even keeping the card concept, they could have moved away from the same stuff, do we really need a 3rd fire card? Or they could have let her keep her old card and make the fight more about using all her old arsenal.

I think removing the problematic relationship was a mistake, far more interesting to return to them and examine them anew, or as I like to call it "WTF dude! You're twice her age!". You could really go either way with them, ie yeah there feeling were true or no just kid fancy, and you could have gotten something interesting. Shipping them the other side of the earth and ignoring there existence doesn't really solve the problem and is not interesting.
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Cardcaptor Takato



Joined: 27 Jan 2018
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:50 pm Reply with quote
The thing to keep in mind when critiquing the formulaic approach of Clear Card is the original series was also pretty formulaic and a slow burn show. Pretty much the majority of the first 35 episodes are gentle slice of life stories about Sakura and her friends' school life with a few dramatic episodes that focus on her family's relationship drama and stuff. But by and large it wasn't really until Yue was introduced into the show that the plot started picking up. I think what helped with the original show was most of us saw it through the home video releases Pioneer put out and read the manga releases from Tokyopop so we were able to story in larger chunks at a time than the weekly simulcast approach we had with Clear Card.

I personally liked that Clear Card retread a familiar formula while introducing new characters and mysteries and I think it would have been too jarring if Clear Card went into a radically different direction like Tsubasa Chronicles did. I also liked Akiho as a character and I liked how she fits in with ease in Sakura's group of friends and her friendship with Sakura while still having her own mysteries to her character and her motives. One new spin I liked in Clear Card is the increasing frequency in how often Sakura has spoiler[her visions which before only seemed to happen to her at night or in the morning hours but now happen at random points in the day which really adds a sense of urgency to the story. It also seemed like towards the end Sakura was having more trouble hiding her powers which is another dynamic I liked they added to this season.] I think the big highlight to me with Clear Card was the call backs to anime original stories and characters they could have easily skipped over in this sequel, like the play in the second movie and the return of Meiling. Meiling was always my favorite CCS character and I think she easily has the best episodes in Clear Card and I love how much closer Sakura and Meiling have become since the original show to the point Meiling spoiler[asks Sakura if she can call her by her given name instead of Kinomoto and I love that last scene when she says now she's done with everything she came to Tomoeda to do when Sakura says yes. ] I think the big problem with Clear Card is what's mentioned in the review that the series is incomplete and it's hard to judge the story. But the original show was also a slow burn like this and it's mainly with the hindsight of having experienced the entirety of the original story that we know there's a big pay off with the original that makes it worth it to get through those early episodes.

I will say that my biggest criticism with Clear Card is the lack of Touya/Yukito scenes in the sequel. Touya/Yukito is one of my favorite same-sex pairings in anime and they had a big impact on me watching and reading the original growing up. I still enjoyed the few scenes of them we got in Clear Card but I feel like it could have been more. I'm not demanding they kiss even but just having more focus on it would have been nice to have as I felt like they spent on almost too much time on Sakura and Syaoran and not enough on the other couples in the show in general but Touya/Yukito specifically. Hopefully this is something they'll get more screentime with in the future. It would also be nice if Funimation could somehow dub the original series with the Clear Card cast so we could finally have a single consistent dub for CCS which I think is another issue that there is no consistent dub version and every time there's a new English version, we seem to get an entirely new cast than what we had before and it makes it harder to recommend CCS to casual fans.


Last edited by Cardcaptor Takato on Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:52 pm; edited 4 times in total
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ThrowMeOut



Joined: 10 Oct 2018
Posts: 61
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:51 pm Reply with quote
My problem with the show wasn't that it was episodic, it's that it was boring. Everyone and everything was super watered down. There was no tension, no excitement. Even things that should've been dramatic weren't. Sakura finds her cards are clear and their magic is fading and her response is "lol okay." Like, GURL, did you not view these cards like family in the first series?

I am a huge fan of the original CCS, to the point where it's probably my favorite anime ever. So it pains me to say I dropped its sequel series around episode 10. There were hints of its former glory here and there but it wasn't enough.
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tintor2



Joined: 11 Aug 2010
Posts: 498
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:21 pm Reply with quote
rizuchan wrote:


The part where this suddenly becomes really problematic is when CLAMP tries to illustrate this by having side characters that are children that have "serious" relationships with adults. Like I said, I think what CLAMP was trying to say is "your feelings for your teacher are just as valid as if they were your own age" but by letting the adults actually return these feelings, it ends up promoting predatory relationships. It's hugely problematic, but let's not forget that basically every shoujo manga from the 90s was doing the exact same thing.


Man, I think X told that message better then if so despite all the chaos its plot had.
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Cardcaptor Takato



Joined: 27 Jan 2018
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:03 pm Reply with quote
Does anyone know how well Clear Card did in Japan compared to Sailor Moon Crystal?
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Zeino



Joined: 19 May 2017
Posts: 742
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:12 pm Reply with quote
meiam wrote:
Even keeping it episodic, they could have done a bit more to shake up the formula. Ultimately I think the problem is that the "fight" against the card are boooooring and the plot can't hold your attention to compensate, I had to drop half way trough out of sheer boredom. Even keeping the card concept, they could have moved away from the same stuff, do we really need a 3rd fire card? Or they could have let her keep her old card and make the fight more about using all her old arsenal.


This.

ThrowMeOut wrote:
My problem with the show wasn't that it was episodic, it's that it was boring. Everyone and everything was super watered down. There was no tension, no excitement. Even things that should've been dramatic weren't. Sakura finds her cards are clear and their magic is fading and her response is "lol okay." Like, GURL, did you not view these cards like family in the first series?


And this. I have nothing against Magical Girl series being formulaic and episodic but CCS: Clear Card needed something more than just nostalgic retread for sake of it and just going through the motions of what you loved the first time around. In someways that makes it worse than Sailor Moon Crystal. Crystal was both epic disaster and bland mediocrity that left a mark of deep disappointment, Clear Card was a pretty-looking nothing that you forget about not long after you finish watching. In my view, The Sealed Card is still the true ending of Cardcaptor Sakura and this is about as canon as Dragon Ball GT is to it's franchise.


Last edited by Zeino on Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Cutiebunny



Joined: 18 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:24 pm Reply with quote
I never found the relationships, such as those between Kaho and Touya, in the first series to be problematic. They were respectfully done. It wasn't as if this was a "Kodomo no Jikan" version of relationships, where you have an adopted parent stating that he was raising a child with the hopes of banging the child once they become of legal age (16 in the manga). So while you can say that several of the relationships were questionable because of the age difference, I think as long as both parties (particularly the adult) can act responsibly, it's fine. I think a lot of people, myself included, have had adults interested in having relationships with them while still minors, but that both sides acted responsibly and it either never went anywhere or both sides were able to postpone things until they could legally consent. Yes, there are always those horror cases where the adult runs off with the minor, but I think for every one of those, there's 10+ cases where that doesn't happen.

As for Clear Card, while my principle complaint is that the characters look younger than their former selves, I hated the repetitiveness of this series with Sakura capturing cards that are almost identical to the previous versions she captured years earlier. While the manga does later explain this point, it thus far feels very unnecessary. I also hate that most of the key players are keeping something from Sakura. Kero knows something. Eriol knows something. Syoaran especially knows something and yet none of them can even have the courtesy to give Sakura a clue because they all feel like they're protecting her from something. Kero says in the manga that spoiler[Sakura is an incredibly strong magician who is unaware of the extent of her strength], so why doesn't anyone feel that she can handle the truth? The whiteknighting bothers me about this series. Sakura has proven than she can deal with a lot of mature issues. Calling yourself an ally but failing to give her the information she needs isn't helpful.
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Covnam



Joined: 31 May 2005
Posts: 1474
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:32 am Reply with quote
Agree with this review 100%. Great to see CCS again, but way too similiar to the original series. Being episodic wasn't really the issue here for me.

It wasn't bad (I enjoyed seeing Sakura & Syaoran continue their relationship), but it was more like what's the point if it's almost the same series.

ThrowMeOut wrote:
Sakura finds her cards are clear and their magic is fading and her response is "lol okay." Like, GURL, did you not view these cards like family in the first series?


lol, right? Her feeling/relationship with her cards were pretty important, but it sure does get quickly brushed aside for the new set.
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SquadmemberRitsu



Joined: 26 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:09 am Reply with quote
I would maybe be ever slightly more positive but I definitely agree with the issues for the most part. Like when that first episode came out I was like 'This is the best thing ever. It feels just like the original!'. But the charm definitely wore off.

I think production wise it was about as good as you could present a modern Cardcaptor Sakura series. Same studio, a few key returning staff members, almost all of the returning seiyuu and even an opening theme that sounded like a sequel to Platinum. But the story just doesn't live up to the original. I think the original Cardcaptor Sakura anime is the gold standard for that monster of the week formula, basically every episode tied in with the show's themes or provided some crucial character development. Clear Card felt more aimless. There's a strong feeling that most of the characters have already had their stories told and that this is more like a side story.

And while this review doesn't touch on it I gotta say I wasn't that impressed by the dub. I actually don't think I like any of the dubs the series has gotten aside from that Geneon dub of The Sealed Card with Kari Wahlgren. Kinda hoped Funi could at least give a glimpse of what a proper dub of the series could sound like, but I think that Tsubsa recasting (And a few other questionable creative decisions) made it hard for me to imagine the whole series being dubbed in that way.
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zeopower6



Joined: 01 Nov 2011
Posts: 169
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:34 pm Reply with quote
The series as we saw it was basically the setup for what would come later which I think will get explored whenever they do the rest of the manga. I think they'll probably wait till it finishes up to be honest. So it's understandable that it feels a bit too similar to before since I think there is still a good bit more to come.
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zrdb



Joined: 16 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:56 pm Reply with quote
I enjoyed the first series and the 2 movies (probably watched it all at least 4 times), this new series was a little problematical for me in a few ways. It seemed like a retread with not a lot to really advance the story, the recurring characters seemed kind of static but still enjoyable. The ending (cliffhanger and all) felt unsatisfying (tune in next week to see what happens folks)-it would have been much better to wait until more of the manga had been released. But having said all of that I still enjoyed watching it.
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