Another month another chapter of Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card. Interestingly as I was reading the chapter I thought at first this was going to be a bit more low key. Well I was wrong wasn’t I? Seriously this chapter went from a 4 to an 11 just like that and with it we’ve officially started a new Cardcaptoring adventure.
Opening with the strange dragon like creature from the climax of the previous chapter Sakura is drawn from her bed towards the sky. As she approaches the magical beast she once again finds herself in front of the mysterious masked figure. With outstretched arms he officially bequeaths her with a new Star Key, which Sakura finds in the waking world as the events of the night are all revealed to be a dream.
Interestingly these early chapters are starting to mirror the manga’s early chapters as well. Sadly due to the changes the anime made (the Japanese one not the other one...) anime only fans may not pick up the similarities as easily. However the cloak of the mysterious figure is heavily reminiscent of the one Clow Reed wore. While the dragon type creature is striking me more and more as a Guardian Beast like Kero-Chan and Yue.
Moving on at home Sakura feels down. Her father instantly picks up on the mood of his daughter offering to her the chance to stay home for the day. Sakura quickly declines and tries to feign exuberance and quickly changes the subject to Yukito and Toya, who are both at their college. Where despite being in different programs remain the best of friends.
As Sakura rushes out her father seems distracted. He then starts thinking on his dead wife Nadeshiko who hasn’t shown herself to him lately. As a reincarnation of Clow Reed (along with Eriol) his ability to see spirits is on par or greater then his son Toya’s. He wonders if her absence is a good thing or bad thing.
As Sakura is walking to school wondering why Eriol hasn’t responded to her request for help. A strong gust of wind however breaks her concentration as it seemingly tries to break her body. Quickly realizing the wind is magic in nature Kero instructs Sakura to use the Cards. However due the clear status they’re useless.
As Sakura is about to be attacked again the Star Key from the night before protects her. Realizing what she must do, Sakura releases the Key. Forming a new magical Star Wand similar yet different from her current one. Allowing her to capture the Gale Card, an entirely different entity from the Clow and Sakura Cards.
This then brings us to the second similarity between the early aspects of the two mangas. As Gale seems clearly the Clear Card counter part to The Windy Card Sakura’s first card. However Gale seems more violent while Windy is easily one of the most peaceful cards alongside The Flower Card, which is why Sakura was actually able to easily tame it.
Following the engagement Sakura is at her High School with Madi... Tomoyo and Sayoran explaining the encounter. One things that is striking is how Sayoran a gifted mage is unable to sense any magic from the obviously powerful Card along with Sakura. Furthermore like the transformed Sakura Cards the new Card is transparent.
It is also marked with a magical circle unlike any we have seen in the series. This is of importance as a Mage’s unique power in the Clamp Universe is represented by their magical circles. During the early parts of the series Sakura borrowed Clow Reeds circle, before forming her own unique circle from the power of her Star. The same is true of Sayoran Li’s circle, as well as others such as Yūko Ichihara the Dimensional Witch of xxxHolic and Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles. Meaning that whoever is behind these events is a powerful mage one powerful enough to form their own circle.
Breaking down Tomoyo-Chan undergoes her usual hysterics. Quite distraught that despite making a brand new outfit she once again missed Sakura’s capture.
As Tomoyo and Sakura move on Sayoran realizes he has a phone call. From Eriol Hiiragizawa the exact person Sakura has been trying to reach due to his possession of the majority of Clow Reeds magics and the entirety of his memories and magical knowledge. As the two talk Sayoran explains how Sakura captured the first card. The chapter ends as Sayoran seemingly acknowledges a request from Eriol.
As I said I didn’t expect the series to move forward so fast. Not only did we get another trip to the Dream World, CLAMP even gave us our first example of a captured card. I was also personally happy that CLAMP’s legendary attention to detail seems to be as sharp as ever, especially regarding the Wand, Circle, and the allusions to the previous manga.
After a couple of exposition chapters filling in the blanks from the time skip. This felt like the first real Cardcaptor Sakura chapter. The plot is moving, mysterious forces are gathering, and how does Sayoran fit into all this... I want to know damn it. Well until next month all. Let me know what you thought in the comments.