English Dub Review: Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card “Sakura’s Nostalgic Viewing Party”

Nobody likes home videos.

Overview (Spoilers)

Tomoyo has invited all the (main) girls over for a special viewing party. What they are viewing is a mystery, but Sakura and Meiling are all dolled up. They meet up with Akiho along the way, and she’s been having a good morning. She finished reading a new section of her book. A section that is eerily similar to Sakura’s recent adventures. The clock on the front of her book just recently clicked ahead a second, so nothing ominous going on here.

Tomoyo's Video Theater
Courtesy: Funimation

The three girls arrive at the Daidouji residence, and the viewing is about to begin. They have a special movie theater here. Comfy seats, cup holders, surround sound, and a projector that’s hooked up to Chromecast. But, what are we watching? Tomoyo reveals that she still has videos of the play that Sakura, Meiling, and Syaoran were in a while back. While Akiho applauds everything she sees, Sakura curls into a tiny ball to prepare for death. For those that don’t remember, though, the play never finished. An earthquake saw to that. No problem, though. Tomoyo had a video of their rehearsals! While she is all too happy to reveal these, she’s more than a little embarrassed by the video of her singing in front of the crowd. Turnabout is fair play!

As the song plays, the building begins to shake! Another earthquake? Kero pops up. This is not a natural shakin’ going on. Sakura uses Snooze to put Akiho, Tomoyo’s mother, and all the bodyguards to sleep. She then puts on her Flight bow and takes to the sky. Looking back at the house, she gasps. What it is, however, is going to have to wait until we come back next week!

Our Take

This episode took yet another episode to do nothing but say “Hey! There was a show before this one! Wasn’t it good?” This show has wasted so much time with its nostalgia and setting up for an episode full of nostalgia. There is so much of this episode that could have been cut away so that we could see the actual content in the next one. The videos of the rehearsals were largely useless, especially in the amount of them shown. Three-quarters of this episode were them watching videos.  That is not plot. I get it, this is the writers trying to further underline the Sakura/Syaoran relationship. There isn’t a need to highlight it. DEVELOP IT. Do something! You’ve been pulling this for fifteen episodes. Go somewhere.

This episode had one bit I liked. The early scenes with Akiho featured Momo rather frequently. Despite her smile, the little bunny is almost sinister with the frequency she shows up. Cute little bunny is almost certainly involved in the goings on here but has had only a couple of appearances in the season thus far. What we get here pushed forward the feeling that Momo and Kaito are the villains here. Then again, this show may not be going for a true villain. So far, we’ve only seen a “bad guy” in the movies. The series has utilized antagonists, but ones with good intents to them. This may be the same.

Visually, this episode was all over the place. On one side, we get some beautifully drawn shots and solid animation during a few of Tomoyo’s videos. However, as the episode wore on, more and more errors arrived in the animation, particularly in the faces. These errors were pretty glaring, it looks like the lineart got scanned poorly from the animator working on Sakura, and nobody bothered to fix it. Most of the cinematography here is straight on and rigid. It felt like it was just… boring.

The voice acting was fine. I guess. We got some expressiveness, particularly out of Sakura (Monica Rial). Unfortunately, it seemed like Amanda Lee (Akiho) and Natalie Hoover (Tomoyo) struggled at a couple points with their characters’ voice registers. High, but soft, almost like the character is whispering. The two actresses lost control of them a few times early in the episode but fixed it up as we got to the end.

Score

Summary

This episode just fell flat to me. No plot development, only character development being what we've seen continuously already, tons of errors in the animation, lazy cinematography, and a few issues in the voice acting. The second half of this season is turning out to be a bust. I give this episode five private theaters out of ten.

5.0/10

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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