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Cardcaptor Sakura #3: Friends Forever PDF Print E-mail
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R1 DVD Reviews
Monday, 13 September 2010 00:00
Cardcaptor SakuraI really need to squeeze Cardcaptor Sakura into my viewing schedule more often - it's one of those rare shows that always leaves you with a case of the warm fuzzies, no matter what mood you were in when you started watching. Along with the usual card-hunting, this volume gives a little glimpse into the Kinomoto family's tangled history...

9 - Sakura and the Mysterious Brooch
Sakura's encounter with Li has given her a few things to think about - it's clear to her now that being the Cardcaptor isn't just a game, and that she's got a lot to learn about what she can and can't do before she'll really be up to the job. Li's probably the best person for her to learn from, but he's not exactly the most approachable person in the world at the moment. Trying to cheer her up, Tomoyo and Rika take her out to a cake shop - where Rika falls under the control of a Clow card...


10 - Sakura and the Sports Day of Flowers
It's sports day at Sakura's school, and Sakura and her cheerleading squad are being kept busy for the day in keeping the crowd entertained. She's also been roped into taking part in some of the races, including the obstacle course, where she finds herself up against Li - and with Yukito watching from the sidelines, neither of them wants to be seen to lose. Later, Tomoyo's mother drops by - it's the first time that Sakura has ever met her, and there seems to be an unusual connection between her and Sakura's father. But their meeting is interrupted by another troublesome Clow card that threatens to ruin the sports day...


11 - Sakura, Tomoyo, and a Mansion
Sakura's paying her first visit to Tomoyo's house - or mansion, to be more accurate. Tomoyo apparently has something she wants to share with Sakura, but she's not giving away the secret in advance and Sakura's been left nursing her curiosity. Once she arrives - and gets over her surprise at the sheer size of the place - Tomoyo gets down to business: getting Sakura to try on her latest creations. For fitting purposes, you understand. The arrival of Tomoyo's mother soon interrupts their work, though, as Sonomi really can't get enough of Sakura...

Home visitBusy, busy

12 - Sakura's Never-Ending Day
Sakura's caught in groundhog day - one moment she's falling asleep, excited that Yukito's staying over and in the room next door. The next, she's awake, and time has rewound to the day before. In between, there's an unusually clear midnight ringing of the school bells - and they really shouldn't be ringing at that time of night. It takes a while for Sakura to twig that something's going on, but Li's not so easily fooled, and he believes that there's a Clow card involved. Investigating turns out to be tricky, though, as Time has some sneaky ways of protecting itself...

Recorder practiceFrustration

Much as I love Cardcaptor Sakura, I have to admit that it's not the easiest of shows to write about, thanks to it sticking to a rigid formula - once you've seen the first few episodes, you know what you're going to get for the rest of the series, and the four episodes here don't deviate from the pattern - half slice-of-life for Sakura and her friends, half capture-the-card, and that's your lot. Where there's scope for saying a few words is when the slice-of-life side dips into interesting topics, and there are two notable encounters on this disc.

First up is Li's first meeting with Yukito, where it becomes instantly clear (at least to those of us whose minds aren't entirely innocent) that there's potential for a certain amount of shounen ai there, if you catch my drift - Li's reaction to Yukito is one of instant awe, and if Yukito were to ask him to sit up and beg, Li would get right to it. It's sweet, in its own way, and also funny to watch. It also becomes a recurring theme, every bit as predictable as the fireworks that threaten to explode every time Li meets Toya, or the gushing that Tomoyo indulges in every time she gets to dress Sakura in one of her creations.

But while that relationship promises to provide some fun, far more interesting is the arrival on the scene of Tomoyo's mother, Sonomi. Not only is she a certifiable headcase in her own right - you can see where Tomoyo gets it from - but the past history that revealed between Sonomi and Sakura's parents, while not affecting the story in any real way, is fascinating. It's a tale of jealousy, of forbidden relationships, and of sorrow - and, when Sonomi finally meets Sakura and realises who she is, of it all working out in the end, in its own little way. Sonomi and Sakura's mother were cousins, and Sonomi had always seen Nadeshiko's relationship with Fujitaka (Sakura's father) as him taking her beloved cousin away, with all the jealousy that that belief would hold. Nadeshiko died before there could be any reconcilation, creating the background for the rather touching meeting that we get here.

It also means that Tomoyo most definitely has kissin' cousin tendencies, so make of that what you will. :)

Outside that, it's four more cards safely collected, with the show's high production values making it a pleasure to watch as usual. Carcaptor Sakura never gets old, never gets tired - you wouldn't want to marathon it, as that formula would get a bit much after a while, but break it down into bite-sized chunks (say, oh, four episodes) and there's really very little scope for disappointment. It's just a shame the series is so hard to (legally) get hold of now, but it's worth nabbing if you can find it.

Rating - ****

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