This Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card review contains spoilers.
Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card Episode 8
This episode reminded me why I fell in love with Cardcaptor Sakura and not Cardcaptors. As previously mentioned I watched a LOT of Cardcaptors when I was in elementary school. I taped all the episodes, drew terrible fanart, and even bought the Clow Book. I really dug the show.
However it was in middle school, when my buddy Austin introduced me to the existence of the original Cardcaptor Sakura manga, that I truly began to love the franchise. Whereas Cardcaptors attempted to strip out anything too feminine Cardcaptor Sakura reveled in it.
It had giant splash pages of characters surrounded by flowers, plots that totally centered on characters feelings, and so many goddamn anime blushes. Middle school was the perfect time for me to be reading this because it’s around that time kids really start to figure out who they are.
I was a pretty sensitive kid who got crushes on people all the time. I guess people today would call my middle school self a “cinnamon roll”. It wasn’t exactly the cool thing to be. Many young boys my age were already falling prey to society’s leanings toward toxic masculinity. Needing to be “manly”. Shoving down anything effeminate.
That’s why seeing Syaoran openly crushing on Sakura and still being a hero was so important to me back then. He wasn’t penalized for wearing his heart on his sleeve. He was in fact happier when he started to embrace his feelings and not run away from them.
The scene in today’s episode where Sakura and Syaoran share an adorable moment where she asks him out and he briefly touches her shoulder? It brought me back to reading that original manga. How those small human moments were treated with more weight than the battle scenes. How those moments were what Cardcaptor Sakura was really about, unlike damn near every other piece of media I was consuming at the time.
I’m so happy Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card exists so a new generation of kids will get to experience what I did. Maybe there are some young boys in the audience who will be changed by this show. Maybe it’ll help, in some small way, to break them out that toxic masculinity and look at the world the way Sakura does.
Instead of approaching every possible danger with fear and hate they’ll face the unknown with friendship and love. I love that’s how Sakura has been capturing all these cards and I can’t wait to see how Syaoran gets in on the action. Maybe she’ll help him to embrace his softer side even more.
More boys and men need the messages of Cardcaptor Sakura. The world needs them.
Shamus Kelley is a pop culture/television writer and official Power Rangers expert. Kero, as always, was a comedic genius in this episode. Follow him on Twitter!