This Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card review contains spoilers.
Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card Episode 15
TV can often be about the spectacle. Fantasy and science fiction especially. Explosions. Giant fights. Huge world shattering revelations. Many TV shows thrive on this and can pull them off well. However the mark of a truly great show is one that can just have its characters talking in a room and have it be engaging.
Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card does this effortlessly. It’s a testament to just how strong these characters are (and their hilarious quirks) that a whole episode can be structured around them just watching old footage of Sakura and Syaoran.
Meiling has quickly become the best part of Clear Card. Whereas everyone else is all happy and cute anime flower backgrounds Meiling cuts like a knife. She doesn’t hold back. When she hears Sakura has never been to a salon she’s flabbergasted. She notices just how “close” Sakura and Akiho are (wow is Sakura not straight, jeez.) When watching Syaoran on video she bluntly reviews his dancing with, “sucks, doesn’t it?”
Yeah of course it’s adorable when Sakura is nice to everyone but I didn’t realize just how much this series needed some sass until Meiling showed up. Sure, Kero is an icon of sassyness and self importance but he’s more on the fringes of the plot. Meiling is an equal to Sakura and can level with her.
Delightfully Syaoran points out that even though Meiling is direct it’s because she likes taking care of people. She’s kind of like the stern mom friend and that’s beautiful. Long live Meiling’s reign.
Tomoyo, as always, is in full wlw mode. Girl does shy away from the fact she’s BASICALLY BUILT AN ENTIRE THEATER JUST TO WATCH FOOTAGE OF SAKURA. It’s adorable Meiling questioned how many cameras Tomoyo has running. You fool, THERE IS NO LIMIT TO THE CAMERAS TOMOYO HAS.
Although, like Meiling, we get a nice little look into Tomoyo. For as much as she’ll sing Sakura’s praises she can’t stand showing footage of herself. It sucks away all her enthusiasm. I know it’s mostly for a joke but I can’t help but read into it. Maybe her crush is partly based on not being able to love herself enough so she showers Sakura with the love she wishes she had. After all, Tomoyo’s mom is so obsessed with Sakura yet you never see much of her fawning over Tomoyo.
Sakura also shows some different sides here. We knew Sakura was easily embarrassed but boy, watching herself on screen is a whole new level for her. She doesn’t like when all the attention is focused on her. She can’t take a compliment to save her life.
Tomoyo and Sakura feel like they’re at their best when helping others but Clear Card is slowly having them deconstruct that and realize, “hey, maybe I need to work on myself and ask for help!” A lot of this happening because of Meiling. She knows herself. She loves herself. She treats herself to fancy salons. Meiling is a road map for our characters to work past their issues and not only be able to love others but also accept help in loving themselves.
This show’s characters are what really make it a joy to watch every week. The card capturing overplot is still fairly weak but that’s not why I’m showing up. I’m here for learning about Yukito cutting Toya’s hair. I’m here for Meiling being in love with her own acting. I’m here for Akiho clearly having a crush on Sakura. I’m here for them deciding to finish a play that was in a movie 18 years ago.
Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card does so much with very little and we are all blessed to have it.
Shamus Kelley is a pop culture/television writer and official Power Rangers expert. ‘Leave it to Kero’ needs more than thirty seconds. It needs to be half the show, tbh. Follow him on Twitter!