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Cardcaptor Sakura #2: Everlasting Memories PDF Print E-mail
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R1 DVD Reviews
Tuesday, 10 November 2009 00:00
Cardcaptor SakuraSakura's effors to round up the Clow cards continue, only now she has a rival - and he's not the sort to share the spoils. Jump, Illusion, Silence and others are the culprits this time around, and neither Sakura nor Shaoran are having things entirely their own way...

5 - Sakura, Panda, and a Cute Shop
A new shop has opened near Sakura's school, and it's got all the girls talking - called Twin Bells, it's a store that specialises in plush toys, and as well as having the cutest toys going its owner Maki is a lovable klutz. But the plushies in Maki's store aren't just cute - they seem to have taken on a life of their own, which means that no matter how many times Maki or the kids tidy up the store, the toys soon untidy themselves. There's also a rumour going around that bad luck will befall anyone who buys something from the shop. Could a Clow card be behind the problem..?

Helping handsKowaii!

6 - Sakura and Memories of her Mother
When one of the girls from Sakura's class sees a strange light while walking home at night, it's enough to spook her and persade the rest of the girls to walk home with her the next night. Passing through the same park, sure enough a bright light appears, apparently flying through the park at high speed. Most of the girls think it's a ghost, but Tomoyo's not sure sure - she reckons there's a Clow card at work and persuades Sakura and Kero to investigate. They agree - but the last thing Sakura expects to see when she goes back to the park is the ghost of her dead mother...

Ghost*Swoon*

7 - Sakura's First Attempt as a Thief?!
Sakura and her class are on a field trip to a museum - they're to sketch some of the art they see there as part of their art studies, although Sakura's having trouble getting her efforts to look like the sculptures she's copying. That's not her only problem, though - while she's there, a young boy goes to take a knife to a painting of his father's. As she watches, the painting glows brightly, and the young boy stops and turns away. It seems Sakura was the only person to notice the painting's reaction, which makes her think that another Clow card may be involved. Investigating means sneaking into the museum at night - and means it's time for her to work on her thieves' tactics...

Not a bad sketchNot-so-secret thief

8 - Sakura's Rival Appears
Sakura's having the dream she used to have before she became a cardcaptor again, except this time, instead of seeing herself in front of Tokyo Tower, it's someone else - a young boy perhaps, but she can't make out the details. Next day, there's a new boy in class - Li Saoran, a transfer student from Hong Kong, and right from the start he seems to have something against Sakura, leaving her feeling like she's done something wrong but doesn't know what. Turns out he's a cardcaptor himself - and he wants the cards that Sakura's already collected...

New arrivalDefensive, isn't he?

So the Clow cards can be actively dangerous, as proven by the Illusion card doing its best to get Sakura to walk off a cliff. Suddenly the show isn't entirely heavily-sugared sweetness and light, and there's a little bit of threat introduced every time Sakura goes into battle against one of the cards. Sure, you know she's not going to lose - not this early in the series, anyway - but knowing that the cards are able to fight back quite effectively does spice things up a little bit.

The other potential adding of spice is purely down to the eye of the beholder. We've already got a little shoujo-ai in the series, courtest of Sakura and Tomoyo (if you choose to read Tomoyo's obession that way, anyway) - now there's a hint of shounen-ai added to the mix, as Shaoran's reaction to Yukito on their first meeting gives him the impression of a lovestruck kid who's been overcome by shyness. Very "awwww", and completely at odds with his reaction to Sakura: she's a rival, in direct competition to him, and he's not going to let her have her way - or let himself be beaten by a girl, for that matter. My own first impressions of the kid are along the same lines as Kuro's - I don't like him, but I also know that he becomes a lot more likeable over time. Thankfully.

Other than that, we're sticking to the tried-and-tested magical girl / Cardcaptor Sakura formula - one half slice of life, one half card chase. Each card chase has its own unique attributes, depending on both the card(s) being chased and what outfit Tomoyo has chosen for today (I think this series is unique amongst magical girl shows in that the costumes change every episode), but boil down to basically the same thing: catch the card, and make sure the audience enjoys watching it, and the series does that very well. The slice-of-life side also help you get to know the characters that little bit better each time you see them, while also setting the scene for the appearance of the card-of-the-week.

There's always the potential with a formula for things to get repetitive and boring, especially when you're watching a disc at a time instead of an episode per week, but CCS is put together well enough that you never really get the chance to get bored, and that as much as anything else is what makes it stand out from the magical girl crowd. The end result is well on its way to being a classic, and definitely worth watching if you can still track down a copy.

Rating - ***

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