Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 6 of
Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card ?
Is it just me, or did the animation look kind of lackluster this week? The walking at the beginning of the episode was particularly slow and stiff, but much of the episode looked anywhere from “off” to “simple.” Given the drag of last week's plot and the less-than-thrilling card of the week this time, this is all giving me a few frissons of trepidation.
Despite the lack of action this time, it does feel like we're beginning to get to some more important information about what's happening. Sakura's vision of the small sorcerer comes soon after she meets up with Akiho and she catches a glimpse of Akiho's prized stuffed bunny Momo. Given Kero's ability to masquerade convincingly as a plush toy, it doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility that Momo is also much more than they appear, and there's just enough of a lingering camera on the ring on their upright ear to make me suspicious. There's also the link between Akiho's singing and new cards appearing – she sang at the flower viewing and Gravitation appeared; she sings in the music room and suddenly Sakura is able to spot Record. There's just a few too many things about Little Miss Transfer Student that don't add up, which makes it look like she has her own agenda that conflicts with Sakura's. (I've also noticed Akiho being physically close to Syaoran when the opportunity presents itself, but that could be paranoia about someone messing with one of my favorite couples.) There's also another question surrounding Momo – rabbits often represent the moon in Japanese symbology, and with the new cards sharing some features/powers of the Clow set, there's a good chance that a new sun and moon could be lurking about too. If Akiho possesses the new Moon card, there could be serious implications for Yuki/Yue, as well as the threat of someone with Kero's exact set of powers lurking in the future.
Alongside Akiho's potentially harmful intentions, we finally get an idea of why Syaoran has been distant vis-á-vis the new cards: he can't sense them. In fact, he only knows that something is up this time because he's watching Sakura – but he's utterly unaware that Record is lurking in the music room portrait of Beethoven. (Anyone else think of Classicaloid when they saw how his possessed painting looked?) This means that he's got a couple of viable reasons for keeping his distance; he could be trying to figure out what's different about the magic in these cards that keeps him from sensing them, or he could simply be feeling inadequate about his inability to have Sakura's back. It can't be easy for him, after having the upper hand in the previous card situation, to admit that he can't feel these new clear cards, and he might even worry that Sakura won't involve him in their capture if he admits to his perceived failure. It's a pretty believable theory given his age and their long separation (phone and video chats don't quite compare to being in the same place as someone), and once she tells him that it's okay, we may see a marked change in his behavior.
While this isn't a thrilling episode, it does lay the groundwork for things to begin heating up and breaking away from the basic card-of-the-week format. Since the day isn't finished yet and Akiho has yet to actually lay eyes on Kero (brought to school for that express purpose), there's still a lot of plot to be explored in terms of these new dropped hints. Next week may be much more significant in establishing Clear Card's overarching plot, and it's going to be worth paying close attention to – especially since the story the class was reading specifically mentioned a setting sun.
Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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