Cardcaptor Sakura is one of my favorite anime of all time. It has an unbelievably charming cast of characters and really fun and creative monster of the week battles that serve to help those characters grow more than just for actions sake. Its a bright poppy and consistently fun show and watching the cast grow over time is really fulfilling and it culminates in one of my favorite closing scenes of any anime. Its a very conclusive story but also a very nostalgic show so I guess if the manga continues why not adapt that to anime 20 years after the original? Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Cardhen is not good. Not only does it fail miserably as a sequel to an excellent show it also fails as a standalone piece. I had always said that I love the characters in Cardcaptor Sakura enough to want to watch them do literally anything for 70 more episodes so whats my problem with Clear Card? Well naturally its biggest flaw is with the characters themselves. The diverse quirky cast has been reduced to basically memes of themselves that show up only for the sake of nostalgia. Syaoran is no longer the sassy yet taciturn and emotionally closed off guy he was in the past but a completely hollow hunk that shows up to be nothing more than Sakuras love interest and this romance is not even elaborated on in an interesting way throughout the 22 episodes though the romance was a bit overdrawn in the original show as well. Tomoyo just shows up to say hey look Drones Webcams Cardcaptor Sakuras still cool with the millennials right? Im gay and her former charm has been almost completely reduced to the meme. Touya and Yukito/Yue show up sometimes but are pushed wayyy to the side. Which is fine theyre not the focus but man the voice acting performances on these two are just not all there both Tomokazu Seki and Megumi Ogata sound like theyre about ready to pass out 90 of the time which is a shame because the latter is my favorite seiyuu. So I guess naturally with less than a third of the length of the original show it is expected to put the cast to the side a bit to focus on the characters that really matter in the narrative but man...it just makes for a really dull show. The main characters in play here are Sakura and Akiho. I think Sakura stays truest to her original character still very charming and full of personality and Sakura Tange should have more voice acting roles just as a side note. Akiho on the other hand is a completely unnecessary addition to the cast. I mean she definitely upholds a baseline level of pleasantness and positive emotions and clearly has some major connection to the main plot throughout the show but does that make an...interesting or detailed character? Especially given how much time is focused on her and when most of the interactions are just look Akiho this is a thing wow this is a thing that is new to me How lovely. Given how dynamic and full of personality the rest of the characters in this show are the fact that so much focus is put on her and she still doesnt even have half that level of charm or detail is just really obnoxious. and uh Kaito is there too I guess to be basically very overt mystery character in the vein of Erriol who I also never really cared for. The action scenes and card fights stay pretty consistent throughout I wouldnt really say theyre any better or worse than the original shows though those werent really the draw for me in the first place it was more the events that would happen during the fight that mattered. Every fight has a point in the original show and the context around it is what makes it so fun to watch. I uh didnt really get that quite as much from this show the card fights felt more like an obligation as a monster of the week show than serving any purpose to develop the characters. The core mystery about the cards turning clear isnt uninteresting its a fine arc Id put it on the same level as the later arcs of the original show. But its just handled so messily they dont even really get into solving it until the last couple episodes and then its just tied up with a really messy bow to give some sense of closure without even touching on many of the points that were touched on for the greater part of the show cause lord knows we needed an entire episode of Sakura reading a fucking book to kids. I know this is an adaptation of an ongoing manga so its to be expected but if theres nothing close to a conclusion at the ready why even bother? On a production level the show is good. The modernized designs are nice to see its well animated the card designs are cool the labyrinth card in episode 10 was especially cool definitely stands out in my mind. While I do prefer the more colorful 90s aesthetic of the original personally I have no gripes about this shows appearance. Returning many of the old voice actors leads to mixed results but I think its a net positive same for reusing parts of the original soundtrack. Now I know it seems like Im spending a lot of time comparing Clear Card to its predecessor but is it not unfair to criticize the show itself of the same thing? I think anime reboots are find and usually pretty tasteful but the amount of nostalgia jerking off here was just obnoxious. Remember lying guy? What if hes just in literally every school scene doing his gimmick and Sakura and Li believing him way more than in the original that wont get old will it? Remember when Tomoyo was gay for Sakura in a way that would be believable for a 9 year old girl? Nah shes just the big gay now because thats funny. Remember Spinel hes actually a cool gamer dude that facecams with Kero now Hell even Syaoran being here comes across like that to me his arc was so well done and ended so neatly in the original show and his departure at the airport and subsequent brief return in the second film to tie up loose ends is so heartfelt and conclusive. But nah fuck that we need another season of Cardcaptor Sakura bring him back to the school pull together some bullshit reason to justify that. And then...he doesnt even really contribute anything outside of to have Sakura constantly reaffirm her love. Look just because something in the original show was good does not justify bringing it back just to touch the same feels as it did originally especially when theres nothing to be gained from it. It just comes across as desperate to me. Why not instead of focusing on the past develop a new cast and put some energy into developing characters that are just as likable as the original? And all that being said I can not visualize this show functioning as a standalone piece all that well. Theres so much callback to the original that would be lost without context. Add to the fact that the original story was finished...the characters have already grown in the way they were intended and theres so little development here that it just comes across as flat. I do think it has a baseline level of pleasantness and charm that keeps it watchable but theres still just so little actually going on and being effectively executed that it is just not worth being added. So in conclusion Clear Card is just a flop. While fine on a technical level and still maintaining a level of charm it is just a sequel we didnt need to a story that ended neatly. It misuses great characters clings too closely to the original without much new to offer and ultimately raises more questions than it answers. Its just the definition of unnecessary.
45 /100
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