English Dub Review: Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card “Sakura, The Mirror, and the Key of Memories”

As Sakura discovers the last of her new cards, Kaito moves in the shadows.

Overview (Spoilers)

At the Kinomoto residence, Touya arrives home from work to a pleasant surprise. His father is actually there! He’s on the phone with great-grandpa Masaki, learning of Sakura’s fainting spell. This sparks a conversation about… well, everything Kinomoto. Fujitaka reveals that his wife would talk to unseen people, and reach understandings with inanimate objects. He didn’t think it was strange or crazy, just mysterious. He honestly felt left out. Even more so when his children exhibited the same qualities. He also reveals that he know Sakura has been going through something since the fourth grade. He hasn’t bothered her about it because he has faith in her abilities and trusts Touya to have her back. These truths stun Touya, and helps him to appreciate his mostly absentee father just a little bit more.

Elsewhere, though, Kero, Yue, and Eriol are on a magical party line, chatting about what is going on with Sakura. Eriol confirms that the Clear Cards are not forces that she is capturing, but magical items she is creating and taming. These new magical items seem to be the target of a certain Yuna D. Kaito, who was excommunicated from the British magical association for stealing what seems to be a taboo relic. That is when the call cuts short. The magical circle holding the spell together withers under the gaze of Kaito’s sigil. Eriol drops the spell and focuses his remaining magical power against Kaito. These two titans each break the others primary magical tool, but the butler is unphased. Soon, he will take the Clear Cards, and be able to use… That Item.

The Key of Memories
Courtesy: Funimation

Sakura, in the meantime, wakes from a rest in her mother’s bed. Masaki brings her the present he promised her: an ornate key. He and his wife found it in London, and gave it to Sakura’s mother. She cherished it ever since. Key in hand, Sakura and Syaoran hitch a ride with Masaki’s driver back to her house. Along the way, Sakura muses about how the version of Syaoran that she sees must differ from the Syaoran that he sees in the mirror. She knows everyone worries about her and wishes she had a magic mirror that would show her who she really is.

When they exit the limo, she finds that her whole house is backward! The entire thing has been reflected! She captures the force as the Mirror Card. In a sudden burst of creativity, she uses Mirror to reflect Flight, allowing Syaoran to join her up in the sky. Her magic continues to grow at an exponential rate, and Syaoran’s worry for her grows with it. Great magical power eventually brings unhappiness to its bearer. Above the clouds in the setting sun, he embraces her and mentally vows to safeguard her happiness.

Our Take

Ahem, I believe I called it. Two episodes, I predicted that the Clear Cards were actually Sakura’s power incarnate, rather than another force she was controlling. Kaito appears to be a villain, but Momo’s reminder in his scene suggests his Machiavellian methods are for altruistic ends. He’s still a bit of a mystery, but I’m feeling he’s trying to help Akiho. We also know that Sakura’s visions are caused by a battle between her and Kaito, as the gold sparkles from her dreams also appeared when Kaito attacked Eriol. Perhaps he instigates these visions in order to sync her with Sakura?

This episode was absolutely lovely. The art definitely spoke to the fact that this is the end of the series. Madhouse is pulling out the stops, especially in the final scene. Its sunset is gorgeous, and the animation throughout has a warm simplicity. Not much actually happens in the script, but the conversations are error free and look quite nicely like a Clamp work.

The voice acting was, for the most part, good. My real issue was Monica Rial’s work as Sakura. Her voice was high-pitched and a little shriek-y, especially in the preview for the next episode. I know Sakura has a high voice, but that “RELEASE” at the end of the preview hurt my ears. Jason Douglas (Fujitaka) was surprisingly solid. He portrayed the man with a warm, quiet strength and a compassion that fuels his faith in his children. I suddenly find myself liking the guy, even though he’s been absent through most of the series.

Score

Summary

This was a solid episode, though it seems they are saving the good stuff for what is to come. If a bit more action came out to play, I would have rated this episode better. As it is, it gets eight mysterious keys out of ten.

8.0/10

Marshall Daley

One part best-friend/philosopher, one part creepy mad scientist. Shaken, and sprinkled with geeky factoids, quirky humor, and a major case of skepticism towards the world and you might just find a cocktail that changes the way you see... Everything!

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