Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 8 of
Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card ?
First, the most important thing: Sakura asked Syaoran on a date! Aww!
Okay, I've got that out of my system now. Despite another lackluster card discovery, this week's episode actually feels like it may be one of the most important thus far. If nothing else, it confirms that I officially trust Akiho as far as I can throw Manhattan – Sakura and Tomoyo's visit to her house definitely sounds a couple of alarms. Not only is it odd that her family rented that enormous place for just Akiho, her man-of-all-work Kaito, and their book collection, but this being the exact same house where Eriol, reincarnation of Clow Reed, lived is just a little too coincidental. I also highly doubt that Akiho is just asking questions out of curiosity; if that was the case, she'd have stopped after the first conversation on the subject. It seems like she still doesn't have the answers she wants, and that's worrisome. Equally odd is the fact that despite her bringing Momo with her to school every day, the bunny is nowhere to be found when Sakura and Tomoyo come to visit; unless of course, Kaito has a little something in common with Yukito.
Then there's the family book habit. As an omnivorous reader and mad collector of books myself, (thrill to my complete set of Ruth Fielding novels!) I do understand the mania that comes with a love of old and rare texts. (Also, I want that library.) But it seems suspect that Akiho's family specifically travels the world in search of such volumes in the age of online booksellers, as does Akiho's statement that she's in Japan specifically to look for one particular book. While it could just be a special edition of The Tale of Genji, it seems more likely that this is somehow related to the clear cards or Sakura's original compendium of Clow cards. Kaito's watch looking alarmingly like the one in Sakura's visions lends credence to this theory, as does the intricate clockwork cover of Akiho's proclaimed favorite book, Alice in Clockland.
That book doesn't actually exist, but it's worth noting that Lewis Carroll's adventurous heroine has been the subject of numerous parodies and unofficial sequels dating back to 1895, including such gems as Audrey Mayhew Allen's 1897 Alice in Grammarland and the 1902 political spoof by “Saki,” The Westminster Alice. But even if Akiho's text doesn't exist, the use of Alice is laden with literary meaning – despite her origins as an in-joke between Lewis Carroll and the Liddell sisters that was packed with Victorian pop culture references, Alice has come to represent curiosity and a willingness to explore the unknown, even if it may be quite frightening. Akiho's love of the book stands to cast either herself or Sakura as Alice, and my bets are on the latter. If that's true, then Akiho herself may represent one of Alice's adversaries. Of course, she may not be aware of that – the chances that Akiho sees herself as Alice is pretty high, especially given that she's the one with the white rabbit. In any event, it's a literary thread worth keeping an eye on now that it's been revealed.
It feels safe to say that Clear Card has finally reached the point it was working toward. We've been eased back into Sakura's world, established the romantic subplot while using new technology to enhance Tomoyo's love of recording, and now the plot can thicken with no problems. As long as the show continues to keep its awkward CG to random extras and Toya finally says what he's been holding back in the next few weeks, this show may have truly hit its stride.
Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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