Sakura Kinomoto is beginning her first year of middle school joined with Tomoyo and Syaoran, who has finally returned from Hong Kong after years away. The Clow Cards have been silent lately, but a recent dream featuring a mysterious robed figure turning all the crystal clear has come true rendering her Clow Cards useless as paperweights. As she begins a new journey to return the life to her cards, she discovers a new key and new magic to be collected in the clear cards.
Overall this was a solid first episode for new and old fans alike. It’s nice to see the CLAMP-style anime rear it’s head again. Besides the utter beauty of the pilot, there is enough mysteriousness in Sakura’s dreams and her first fight that can fuel interest for the episodes to come. I’m not certain the anime is going to repeat verbatim the first series where Sakura feverishly collects card, but that is obviously going to be a strong aspect. This a great jumping off point for this new arc, and I honestly couldn’t be more interested in what’s to come in Clear Card.
In this episode, a few threads are being sewn with Syaoran’s return to Japan, and we get to see our dear boyfriends, Toya and Yuki together again. There isn’t a ton of action this round, and instead we are given more of a look at the calm life the kids are living during this clear card crisis. Our pacing has certainly been quickened, and episode two is offering just a little more information about the clear cards if you pay attention closely.
Clear Card is moving from light hints at the robed person’s identity to some full-on clues, though we lack a real resolution at this time. The frequency of card catching is accelerated in this episode, but the quiet, relaxing background at Sakura’s school remains relatively unaffected by the cards. We are still on the upward climb for the season, and it feels like another ball is about to drop.
There’s isn’t a ton of forward movement with this episode and the card encounter is little lackluster, but my most closely held belief about the direction of the series is shot down.
I’m a little disappointed with the execution of both episodes six and seven, but I’ve come to expect movement through most episodes of a series. The return to the this traditional style of anime storytelling is a little tough for me, but I do love the interludes, even if I am disappointed in the pace. I do hope that we can use these episodes as a way to move away from the monster of the week style we’ve been using thusfar.
Episode seven is another filler-type staple that only gives us a new (though very, very cool) card, and nothing of news or interest for the series otherwise. However, episode eight throws us back into the fray with a new look at Akiho and her personal life.
A whole, I’ve been a little upset by the secret-keeping in this show simply because newer anime in the past few years has made me an impatient mess. Though I believe this whole deal could be sped up a bit with more information on all fronts instead of the playing around with Sakura and friends; at the end of the day, I’m still very much into everything Clear Card has to offer.
Episodes eleven and twelve don’t offer any more big revelations, but we do learn a little more of where Syaoran stands in this mess and some general hints and confirmation about what we already know. We are standing more in a station of status quo with exceedingly slow reveals through two episodes as we bridge the seasons.
Card Captor Sakura: Clear Card picks up on a slow note after it’s brief break between seasons. Episode thirteen doesn’t offer a new card for us, breaking the monster-of-the-week cycle previous established, but we are reintroduced to Meiling and enjoy a peaceful day of normal life before the story picks up back up at the usual pace as of episode fourteen.
Continuing our narrative from the previous episodes, fifteen and sixteen move us through Meiling’s final days in Japan while wrapping up a little mystery between Kaito and Akiho.
Episodes seventeen and eighteen have quite a bit going on in it in regards to additional story setup, but it still lacks a deviation from the norm that, I think, most of us want at this point. We are truly settled into a monster of the week scenario with a useless cast of characters doing very little to back an overpowered little girl who manages to solve all her capturing problems in under a minute. I love this show, but I am also very tired of the monotony it’s bringing. When you think about the past sixteen episodes, well, much really hasn’t happened to advance the basal plot.
Here’s to my continual hope that each plot promise will yield a more solid episode next time; however, I’m beginning to wonder if I should just just drop out of the show since the show is scheduled to end in two episodes, I am doubting any real resolution.