This Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card review contains spoilers.
Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card Episode 5
On paper Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card should not work. It’s filled with long drawn out scenes that barely contribute to the overall narrative. Do we need a six-minute scene of Sakura making food for her picnic and talking to her family? No, the only bit of important information there is that Yukito hasn’t been eating as much.
But the more I watch this show the more I realize it doesn’t care about having a tightly focused plot or advancing any story arcs. It’s just there to be adorable and make you feel good. It isn’t about action, mysticism, or even collecting the cards really.
This makes it the complete antithesis to Cardcaptors.
Ah, Cardcaptors. The infamous dub of the original Cardcaptor Sakura that completely changed the tone of the series. Gone was the cute opening and score. Gone were any episodes that didn’t have major action scenes.
Cardcaptors was very carefully edited to be a totally different series. One that pushed Syaoran (or SHOW-RON) to being an equal main character to Sakura. It emphasized the card capturing aspect to capitalize on the whole trading card wave of the 90’s. It cut out anything too gay or girly. You’d think that would be impossible with a magical girl series but they did, especially in the Kids WB run that eliminated large chunks of episodes.
I’m not here to bash Cardcaptors. It was my introduction to the Cardcaptor Sakura franchise and I never would have found the original manga without it. The 90’s were a different time for anime and that level of “butchering” was common. Plus it has a bangin’ intro. Yeah it doesn’t fit Cardcaptor Sakura at all but it’s still a jam!
So with all those edits that made Cardcaptors into what it was, I have to wonder if the slow pace and focus on cuteness in Clear Card is intentional. Tomoyo singing, the long discussion about what food everyone brought, the lack of Syaoran during card captures. It all seems constructed in such a way that the series could never be edited into another Cardcaptors again.
That or they just really love long scenes of Sakura being cute and Tomoyo being an overdramatic lesbian. I’m really good either way. The series can pull it off. I love these characters so much I have no problem just watching them go about their days and maybe Sakura captures a card in three minutes.
The strength of Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card is its rejection of everything America tried to turn the franchise into. It has no desire to be an action and adventure or a boy’s show. It’s more than happy being as girly, cute, and gay as possible. Bless it.
Shamus Kelley is a pop culture/television writer and official Power Rangers expert. He can never get enough of those anime blushes. Follow him on Twitter!