The plot thickens… after roughly 15 minutes of middle school life.
CVoyage: A lot to talk about, this time. And once again, I remember Jack-All-
EvilBob: While I remember pretty much everything important.
CVoyage: So let’s get right to it.
One of the few things I do remember about the original Cardcaptor Sakura is that it was fairly fast-paced for a Magical Girl show. The cards typically attacked her during school and whatnot, so it was pretty quick to get to the point. A pattern I’m noticing in this season, so far, is that things are a lot slower to get moving. I wouldn’t say it’s meandering or anything. But it is taking its time. Some may be put off by the slower pace, but there are a few ways to think about it. One is a canonical reason I’ll let EvilBob talk about. But the more thematic logic could be the maturing element of the series.
I’ve said before and will say again, that Magical Girls are an allegory for the development of young girls into young ladies and (series length willing) eventually full grown women. Typically we associate slower things with maturity. So while it’s very plausibly not the actual goal of the series to have that effect, it is an effect the slower pace has, even if unintentionally. Sakura is older, now. She’s in Junior High and while she’s already matured quite a bit, she’s got plenty more maturing to do. I don’t expect the series will suddenly slow to an absolute crawl, of course. Things still gotta move, after all. But that is an interesting effect the show’s managed to pull off – showing a gradual development towards Sakura’s further maturing.
And while the episode is slower, it certainly isn’t lacking in entertainment value. The characters are just as quirky and funny as I remember. Interactions between Sakura and Tomoyo, Sakura and her brother, and their entire circle of friends are genuinely amusing. Really, the only bit that I kind of had to question was the series coming to a dead stop to go through a cooking recipe for Cheesecake. I mean, it does lead to something. I’m just certain they could’ve skipped straight to them having made the thing already. Though that may be the adult in me talking… the lazy adult who doesn’t like cooking in any capacity. I’m sure the kids this show is very much still aimed at might find it exciting. Maybe they’ll even wanna try it, themselves. So good on them.
The caveat of this episode taking as long as it does to get going is that the resolution is fast. Once the “card of the week” arrives, they can’t spend more than five or six minutes on it in the entire episode. It’s incredibly quick. And I could see it interfering with people feeling satisfied with the overall resolution.
…show off. What was I supposed to be talking about, again? Oh, right. That is pretty weird, though. Frankly, the unsatisfying part, for me, was that we didn’t get to see her use Gale, from last time. Even if it did exactly what it did then, I just wanted to see her try to use it. Though it was nice seeing Tomoyo getting to help. Though… you know what that tells me about this? That card was kinda dumb. “Hey, I know. I’ll just capture them both! Even though I can clearly see that one of them is openly carrying my one weakness.” (CVoyage: Too dumb to live, would be the term)
Speaking of which, though, these are definitely all new cards. The old ones are still all clear and sitting in the book, which makes me wonder where they’re all coming from. But as dumb as this one turned out to be, they’re still pretty smart. I mean, the reason this episode was so slow is that the card waited until she was out of school and away from Li or anyone else with powers. They know what they’re doing. Which means someone has to be directing their actions. Plus, these cards are definitely out to kill her. So whoever it is, this might actually be our first real villain. After all, no one ever cleared up what, exactly, Sakura was being prepared for.
EvilBob: Honestly, I’m just waiting for Sakura’s brother to finally see Kero move. He definitely knows.
CVoyage: In fairness, Sakura’s a darling, but she is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. “Hey, I know how to stave off his suspicion. I’ll panic wildly in front of him!”
EvilBob: And I gotta wonder…
CVoyage: If the two of you are kindred spirits?
EvilBob: Shut up, Chris. And no. The Clear Cards are way more aggressive so far, right? And they can’t be sensed.
CVoyage: Yeah, so?
EvilBob: So they’ve got a ninja caster on their hands!
EvilBob: I… I don’t mean an actual ninja. I mean…
EvilBob: My point is that they don’t know when and where the attacks are gonna happen. One day they might start attacking her in school again. And then everyone she knows’ll be in danger. Kinda making me curious about what Eriol knows.
CVoyage: Knowing him? Enough.
EvilBob: It could be that whoever sent these cards is the one responsible for the original Cardcaptor’s death. And maybe they’re preparing Sakura to face… whoever that is.
CVoyage: Ooh. He’s getting into theory land. Well, anyway, the episode was slow but enjoyable. Cute, funny, nostalgic, and generally just Super Effective.
EvilBob: It’s about as Evil as… a Villain (9). I thoroughly enjoyed the episode. It gave me a lot more questions and paved the way for a lot more theories. I’m looking forward to seeing how they answer those questions, later. I just hope they don’t rush through it.
CVoyage: You and me both. But if magical girls aren’t your thing, or maybe you want something a little more mature, android girls might have you covered. Check out my first impression of Beatless to see for yourself.
EvilBob: Or, if you’re looking forward to tuning in to Sakura’s adventures once again like the good old days, Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card is Simulcast on Crunchyroll, Saturdays at 8:00pm EST.
CVoyage: And that’s basically it. As always, thanks for reading, folks. Keep up the awesome.
EvilBob: And keep it classy.
CVoyage: Take care.