This Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card review contains spoilers.
Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card Episode 16
So Meiling legit came to Japan solely to check Sakura on her bad habits, huh? Plus kick some ass? Oh, I am so here for it.
It’s been a slow build but Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card is quietly dismantling the seemingly innocuous “I just want everyone else to be happy” notion. It’s an easy self-sacrificing trap to fall into, especially for a character like Sakura. On the surface it seems perfectly fine, even noble. Sakura’s whole job as a Cardcaptor is about protecting others so it makes sense this notion would extend into her personal life.
Meiling, delightfully, calls her out on this semi toxic notion. She knows Sakura is happy now… but she could be happier. She says,
“There are lots of different types of good people. But the people around me are always thinking of everyone else’s happiness and how to make everyone else smile. That’s a really good thing, but if all you think about are other people you stop caring about yourself.”
She sees how concerned Sakura is with Syaoran especially. Being with Syaoran makes her happy but she’s so afraid of upsetting him or asking him about his shady plot relevant business that she’s actually avoiding him. Think about that, Sakura’s been wanting to see this boy for YEARS but she cares so much about not upsetting him she’s making both herself and by extension Syaoran sad. Meiling sees this and asks this question.
“Aren’t you and Syaoran doing too much for those you care about and forgetting to care about yourselves?”
She’s right! Sakura needs to attend to her own needs. She’s not a bad person for wanting to be happy. She’s not a bad person for wanting to ask Syaoran why he’s been sad and distant.
I love that Meiling doesn’t just flat out tell Sakura what to do. She talks generally and asks questions but doesn’t flat out tell Sakura what to do. Sakura needs to figure that out on her own but now she knows she should, as Meiling put it, find her own happiness first.
I hope Syaoran learns this lesson to. It would be the greatest lesson the medium of animation has ever told if the end goal of Clear Card was getting Sakura and Syaoran to learn to love themselves before they can love each other.
While Meiling’s advice only takes up a few minutes of the episode it really left an impact. The rest was all fairly solid, the fight with the Struggle card a particular standout. I wouldn’t call the fight scenes in Clear Card all that dynamic (since we actually get so few) but this was fast paced and incredibly fun. Plus it featured Sakura and Meiling punching the shit out of a robot glass fighter girl thing. I know Clear Card’s strength is in dealing with its characters emotions but there’s something deeply satisfying about a great action scene.
The resolution to last week’s cliffhanger was fairly anticlimactic. It didn’t really serve much plot purpose and seemed to only be there to give the last episode some magic action. This episode could have been stronger if it gave more time to Meiling’s talk with Sakura or even a longer chat with Syaoran.
I also don’t know what the hell is going on with Kaito but he’s creepy as hell. Stay away you time bending weirdo.
Still, we got more of the escalating comedy with Kero and Tomoyo. While we’ve seen Tomoyo making clear she’ll destroy anyone who doesn’t film Sakura, now we get to see Kero’s terror. Look at how much he fears her quiet wrath! He’s legit panicking she’ll find out and is desperately trying to figure out how to tell her. I am living for this running joke and I hope it continues for the whole show.
The only downside of this episode is that Meiling is heading back home. She was such a positive disruption to the show’s formula and I hope her words of wisdom continue to have an impact on episodes to come. Remember Syaoran,
“If you make her cry, you’ll regret it.”
Shamus Kelley is a pop culture/television writer and official Power Rangers expert. Most shows wish they were as funny as the thirty seconds of ‘Leave it to Kero’ are every week. Follow him on Twitter!