Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card
Episode 4

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 4 of
Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card ?

It's official – Syaoran is hiding something from Sakura. What's more, Eriol is also in on this secret, which has something to do with why Syaoran came back to Japan. That's a slight blow for the romantics among us, because it would have been nice to think that Syaoran just came back because he missed her. Of course, nothing we've seen so far negates the idea that their feelings are mutual, but with the confirmation that there's something else going on, Syaoran's reticence does take on a slightly more sinister aspect. Whatever he and Eriol are monitoring, it can't be good.

That's also how I feel about new student Akiho. She's just a little too similar to Sakura in both name and appearance for comfort. It's doubtless too much to say that her corkscrew curls mimicking Sakura's long strands of hair are symbolic of something twisted, but the fact that her name has the word for “autumn” while Sakura's is associated with “spring” does feel like it could become important later on; it's a question of the season of rebirth versus the season of dying, at least in terms of plant life. The timing of her appearance is also just a smidge too convenient, coming so soon after both Syaoran's return and the advent of the new clear cards. She definitely bears keeping an eye on.

I suspect that Syaoran feels the same, although he and Eriol don't seem too terribly concerned about Akiho thus far – after all, neither of them could sense anything beyond “no magic” and “will be friends with Sakura,” which to be fair describes virtually every person Sakura meets. Kero wasn't at school when Akiho showed up, so that may prove to be significant as well, given that he may be able to see things that the others can't by virtue of his stuffed animal disguise. I'm definitely looking forward to their eventual meeting.

Meanwhile, Sakura seriously needs to work on her subtlety. Screeching repeatedly during class is probably not the best way to keep your magical identity a secret; she's just lucky that Tomoyo was there to insist that it was due to illness—and had the foresight to bring a costume to school just in case the trees decided to get up and go for a walk. There's something very Seussian about the animated forest's roots, and they honestly don't feel nearly as menacing as other cards encountered thus far, although they could probably do more damage than Siege at least. They're moving courtesy of an "Action" card (that looks like it should be called “Clockwork”), and its ability to animate any object may turn out to be the most useful card in Sakura's new arsenal, assuming she doesn't just use it to move tea cups around.

Things are moving pretty quickly for Sakura. Toya's barely holding himself back from saying something important (probably why Yukito mentions him to Sakura), and it seems likely that he's got a much bigger role looming on the horizon. Depending on what's being kept from her, he may be a much-needed ally as the story progresses, although given that Tomoyo did help with the fight against Siege, she may be more than just a cameraman in upcoming battles. Syaoran had better reveal what (metaphorical?) cards he's holding soon, because the way things are escalating for Sakura, she's going to need all the information she can get as soon as possible.

Rating: B+

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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