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Cardcaptor Sakura Celebrates Easter & Sakura's Birthday with Musical Performances, Original Skit

posted on by Kim Morrissy

Easter Sunday fell on April 1 this year, which also happens to be the date of Sakura Kinomoto's birthday. To celebrate this fortunate coincidence, the voice actors and theme song performers of Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card Arc held a special event for fans on April 1, called “Sakura Fes 2018 ~Sakura and Everyone's Happy Easter~”. This event included the first live performances of the new OP and ED themes, as well as an original Easter-themed skit which involved the voice actors reading out the lines in-character.

The Sakura Fes was divided into two sessions: the daytime session and the evening session. This report is based on the daytime session. 

The event opened with the “Leave it to Kero-chan!” corner that fans of the show will be used to. People in giant Kero and Spinel Sun costumes appeared out of the stage floor and greeted the audience. Kero launched into an explanation of what Easter is (“It's too hard to explain the religious meaning of Easter, so let's just say it's a time when people from a neighboring country have a lot of fun!”) while Spinel furiously tapped a sign saying, “Don't give a lazy explanation!”

After Kero and Spinel's comedy skit, the first OP sequence of Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card Arc played on a big screen, and the main voice actors appeared on stage: Sakura Tange (Sakura), Junko Iwao (Tomoyo), Aya Hisakawa (Kero), Motoko Kumai (Syaoran), Megumi Ogata (Yukito/Yue), Minori Suzuki (Akiho), and Natsuki Hanae (Yuna D. Kaito).

First, the actors discussed a range of topics related to the Clear Card arc, such as Syaoran's return, the new technology shown in the series, and the new characters. It was interesting to see the old, returning cast interact with the newer actors, who had grown up watching Card Captor Sakura themselves. While the veteran actors were all saying, “Middle school was too long ago!” Minori Suzuki is only 20 years old, and was a big fan of Card Captor Sakura when she was in middle school six years ago. Her excitement to be in the anime is reflected in the bright and cheerful voice she gives for Akiho's character. Akiho won't lose to Sakura in terms of energy!

After the talk show, the voice actors launched into a skit which answers the question: “How do Sakura and the others spend Easter?”

The story begins with Sakura, Tomoyo, and Akiho trying to make an omelet. However, they can't find the eggs they need, so Kero proposes that they go on an egg hunt, because what's Easter without an egg hunt? One thing leads to another, and the group ends up in Maihama in the so-called “land of dreams”. At that point, a giant egg appears from the bottom of the stage, and the voice actors walk up to it to investigate.

Kero tells them that they have to make the egg colorful, so the voice actors get to work at decorating it. Amusingly enough, Sakura Tange and Aya Hisakawa both drew Kero's face on the egg, but on different parts.

After that, the voice actors go back to being in-character and discuss where to put the eggs they found. They said that they would like to share the happiness by giving some presents to the audience for helping them in the search. At that moment, a bunch of egg-shaped cards fall from the sky! Each card depicted the characters in Easter-themed bunny ears, and the audience accepted them gratefully.

After the skit concluded, the performances began in earnest. But since Maaya Sakamoto couldn't be there physically, she left a video message to the audience, talking about how much Card Captor Sakura means to her. She was only 19 when she first sang Platinum for the original TV series, and the theme of “wanting a dream to come true” is something she still thinks about. She said that she hopes the audience would enjoy Saori Hayami's performance in her place. As if on cue, Hayami walked onstage to perform the first ED of Clear Card: “Jewelry”.

It was nice to hear this familiar song on a big stage; Hayami sounds just as good live as she is does in the studio version. It was also good to hear her thought process behind writing the lyrics: as a diehard fan of Card Captor Sakura who used to watch the series every week twenty years ago, she made sure to include Sakura's motto “things will be okay!” (zettai daijoubu) in the lyrics.

The singers of the new OP and ED also came onstage to perform the full versions of the songs. Kiyono Yasuno performed the OP “Rocket Beat”, while Minori Suzuki performed the ED “Rewind”. Like Hayami, both singers stressed how much they'd wanted to perform music for Card Captor Sakura since their childhoods. Like everything else about Clear Card Arc, the music is a blend of nostalgic faces and new voices. 

Finally, the voice actors came back onstage to celebrate Sakura's birthday with a cake. Sakura Tange cheerfully accepted the cake on Sakura Kinomoto's behalf. Much to the amusement of the crowd, it took a few tries for her to blow out all the candles, but she succeeded eventually.

All in all, the Sakura Fes was a very fun event that succeeded in making the audience laugh many times. The show concluded with all of the voice actors reiterating how happy they are to work on this series, and how they hope the audience will enjoy the second cour of Clear Card. They promise that all the secrets in the show will finally be unveiled, so please stay tuned!

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