Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 15 of
Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card ?
Strictly speaking, this isn't a clip show episode, but it certainly feels like the next best thing. After learning that Akiho's mysterious text is somehow influencing Sakura's cards and the events surrounding them, the episode switches over to several minutes of the girls sitting around watching old school plays from the original Cardcaptor Sakura anime. Eventually, we do get a new and likely significant card rearing its head, but for the most part there wasn't enough plot to fill this week, leading to some substitutions for time.
That's not to say that the information we do get isn't important. The fact that an earthquake of decidedly unnatural origins starts up as the girls are watching is interesting, and Akiho is told beforehand that the play wasn't finished because of an earthquake as well. While it certainly does draw a parallel between Clear Card and the original CCS, it's likely more significant for implying that Akiho might be the one causing the clear cards to appear rather than Sakura. Since her book appears to be dictating the sequence of events, it wouldn't be surprising if Akiho's wishes were also somehow influencing the cards' appearances, and this dovetails with the fact that she's a little too enthusiastic about learning of Sakura and Syaoran's pasts. I get that you want to know a lot about important new friends in your life, but Akiho's thirst for knowledge about their elementary years seems over the top – honestly, who gets that excited about someone else's sixth-grade play? Most people have to be forced to watch another family's home movies in my experience, but Akiho's not only excited, she's positively enthralled, which makes the earthquake feel like more than mere coincidence. Since Sakura likely had no desire to relive such an event, that leaves Akiho (or Kaito through Momo) as the most probable suspect.
Kaito's own involvement is certainly no longer in question. His little comment about how Alice will hold up as events unfold is barely even veiled; the real issue now is why he's doing this and how much Akiho is aware of his role. At this point, I'm inclined to think that she's blissfully oblivious of everything, including her obsession with Sakura. This might suggest that she's simply being manipulated by Kaito, but I'll withhold judgement about that for now. The fight against the new card next week may provide more information, especially since we're past the halfway point, and it's really time to start getting down to brass tacks.
The episode number is a definite worry at this point, because I'm not sure that we're much closer to any sort of plot resolution. We do have more information, and the recap of the play might be foreshadowing Sakura and Syaoran's relationship moving forward both romantically and as a team, (does she really believe that he's not overdoing it?) but Akiho and Kaito's motivations need to come clear soon so that they don't turn into last-gasp villains. It's not so much that time is running out; it's more that there needs to be some major plot progression to keep the pace flowing in the next few episodes.
Hopefully things will get back on that track next week, when it looks like a humanoid card will put in an appearance. If that is in fact the mysterious mage/Akiho/Kaito upping their game, it could have some major implications for how the cards manifest and what Sakura needs to do to subdue them.
Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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