Cardcaptor Sakura – episodes 51 to 58

June 23, 2004 on 7:35 pm | In Cardcaptor Sakura | Comments Off on Cardcaptor Sakura – episodes 51 to 58

It takes a while to realise it, but every episode in this season has furthered the plot somewhat. Well, except for The Calendar of Memories, which was one of the best character episodes since those early ones in the first season about Sakura’s mother. In fact, as it progresses it becomes clear that these are the best episodes that Cardcaptor Sakura has ever had.
Of course, the climax of series two was outstanding, but that was a climax. The Sakura card series has consistently thrilled with its exploration of character and ambiguous undertones. Maintaining this high level of quality and suspense has seemingly been effortless.

The episodes don’t even seem to be following much of a formula any more; Eriol causes some mischief sometimes, but the reasons why he does so become ever cloudier. Being who he is, he can’t be evil. He’s troublesome, no doubt. Then, when one of his tricks causes something good to happen to Sakura, it’s even more confusing. The obvious nature of some of his plans, such as the fact that everything that has ever attacked Sakura has been something that he touched on the same day. Of course, as the Cheshire Cat Erriol said, “You and Li are so slow, it’s too easy to play tricks on you”.
On that note, it’s probably a good chance to tackle Eriol’s offsiders: Ruby Moon and Spinel Sun. As Akizuki (Na-ku-ru, as she would have Toya believe), it’s clear that she’s trying to keep Yukito and Toya apart. It’s fortunate that it has already been established that Clow Reed’s belief is “nothing in this world is coincidence”, because otherwise it would be annoying that she pops up every time that Toya says “I … you …” to Yukito. As for Spinel Sun, who’s clearly the Anti-Kero-chan, he’s really too feminine. It’s a big shock to hear him in his big form, because he (especially when voiced by Touma Yumi) is pretty prissy. And come on … instead of the angelic wings of Yue and Kero-chan, they both have butterfly wings.
No wonder “Suppie” doesn’t have a sense of humour.

One of the greatest episodes had nothing to do with Eriol at all, and only a tenuous link to the Sakura Cards. It was the first episode that was about Sakura’s father in such a strong role. The scenes between Nadeshiko’s grandfather and Fujitaka are not quite … heart rending … but there’s a sadness about them. It has reinforced just how much Nadeshiko sacrificed to marry Fujitaka. Her only being 16 when they married, and him being her teacher, they clearly caused an uproar in her family. Of course, now that she’s dead, they regret drifting apart. This episode also featured one of the funniest Kero-chan jokes ever, involving a VCR.

Yukito’s existence is getting more tragic. ‘No matter how much I eat, I never get full …’, he says, standing under a tree. It’s just sad, when you wonder what’s going to happen to him. As for his relationship with Toya, I like that CLAMP in creating gay or pseudo-gay characters don’t use innuendo. Toya cares about Yukito deeply – as Mitsuki told him, he would be in love with someone else when they met again – but there’s no suggestion of anything else. And of course it takes the fun out of the slash writers, because they’ve been given too much to go on.

There was a Shaoran episode in here as well, as the other running theme so far has been about his feelings for Sakura. Once again proving that Tomoyo is the smartest character of them all. When he finally called her Sakura and hugged her out of gratitude for her continued existence, it truly was a moment. Hopefully someday he’ll be able to come clean. Or at least stop denying it to himself.
Other character moments were Yue’s statement that he remembers everything. Acting as he does, it’s hard to believe that he remembers humanity. It would have impaired his judgement, I’d have thought. He had said that the personalities were separate, but he’s the one truly in control. It’s a matter of some concern that should be tackled later on.

Now: Kero-chan’s corner! These included Sakura in Wonderland, with big Kero-chan chasing after her saying “I am not Kero-chan … call me your QUEEN!”. This was followed by his lamentations as to Clow Reed’s treatment of his handsome self, made all the better for Onosaka Masaya’s performance. While I still hold that he and Hisakawa Aya are giving the same performance and that’s what makes it great, I don’t think she could have pulled it off quite the same. Big Kero-chan strikes one as the kind more likely to complain.

Great episodes all around. It’s not one big tease; it’s an adventure in development of plot and character. The series’ evolution has been astounding, and pretty solid evidence to say that magical girl shows shouldn’t always stop at one.

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