As you may have seen last week, I’ve posted Part I of my Cardcaptor Sakura review. I covered some of the basics of the anime there. I suggest you read it first before continuing to this review. Without delaying it any further, here’s Part 2!
Cardcaptor Sakura: The Comical Side Of Things
The series has a surprising knack for clever comedic timing and delivery. Not necessarily to a gut-busting level, but certainly to a point where it’s even funnier than your run-in-the-mill anime series. The show knows how to emphasize a joke without explaining what it meant. As is clear from almost the first scene, Sakura’s older brother Touya teases her for being a “monster”.
When Sakura loudly retorts that she doesn’t stomp around, the camera emphasizes her feet and the sound design makes it feel explosive – in other terms like she’s on a stomping tantrum. It’s not a subtle thing, and it’s not really even that funny. However, the attitude which is important, having enough confidence to just make a joke with faith that the audience would understand it at first glance.
Now let’s get a little more specific. As you would expect, the card capturing itself, while it’s fun, is not always the main point of the entire show. It sometimes takes a backseat to the more character-driven events. So, you’d expect that some episodes don’t involve Sakura catching a card.
The average episode is normally concerned more with fairly mundane plots such as finishing summer homework and the usual card battles which are similarly low-key, vandalizing a painting, or raining flower petals. That raining flower petal episode is actually a funny one, believe me.
There are the occasional cards that pose a serious threat such as the powerful elemental cards, which allows all characters to have a bigger role. The episode with the Firey and Earthy card were epic, one of my personal faves so far.
Many episodes serve to articulate an aspect of the story without any magic, such as Sakura’s love for her father, and his mutual love for her. In these episodes, the Cards facilitate a certain portion of the narrative rather than being the main part of it, with a rare few to zero cards or magic at all. As I’ve mentioned, not all episodes have wildcards running wild.
Cardcaptor Sakura: The Show Can Carry Itself
One interesting aspect of Cardcaptor Sakura is how much it can carry itself, and the cute little ways it pokes fun at magical girl convention. The show definitely puts its unique spin on things, sometimes for a definite purpose. Most of the times it just seemingly shows off what it could. This is made obvious almost right away, when Tomoyo – a regular person – catches on Sakura being a Cardcaptor right away. With a video evidence of her flying at night with Kero. This scene was hilarious, trust me!
But the awesome thing about the anime is that Sakura isn’t strictly a copy-paste magical girl. For instance, she doesn’t transform. The costumes she wears during card captures is a literal wardrobe change, supplied by Tomoyo to help complete her image as a magical girl, which is just funny.
And remember when I said that a great deal of design work went into Cardcaptor Sakura in part 1? Well, you know what I mean now. Designers have to come up with unique designs for every costume that Sakura wears. That can take a lot of brain power, trust me; I draw too.
Every card capture, Sakura is either in regular clothes, since some cards appear rather unexpectedly, or an entirely new unique outfit. Just for you to digest all of that in, the designs are entirely distinct, fully detailed magical girl costumes for Sakura which suits the episode’s theme.
Cardcaptor Sakura: Overall Conclusion
The show might be considered too long by some; if you’ve forgotten, Cardcaptor Sakura is 70 episodes long. But really, its for the series’ own good. Yes, there are times that you may feel that hard, with frequent repetitions and be meandering along the way. However, Card Captor Sakura‘s better moments and general strength of craft can make up for those slight dips. To tell you the truth, this is one of the few anime series that I believe could be enjoyed by almost anyone, as long as they enter its world with an open mind. It’s such a joyous watch and you’d almost have to be determined not to like it to actually feel it that way.
A New Season of Cardcaptor Sakura
Just to wrap things up, a new season of Cardcaptor Sakura just aired last January 7, 2018. Oh, did I mention that hardcore fans of the series, myself included, had to wait for 18 years for this new season? Well, the new season did not disappoint, Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card-hen is long overdue. But, if you want to watch this new season, remember to watch the first season first before you do.