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We have a lovely eastern new year’s illustration for the front cover. Third cover in a row! I bet CLAMP will take some rest of drawing covers after this xD
We also have a lovely girls night out slumber party colored spread with Sakura and Tomoyo in a cold night of eastern soon-to-be winter. I like how busy and filled the illustration is.
Now onto the chapter itself, we begin from where we left of in the previous chapter. In the waking dream sequence, the new key seems to be attracted to the cloaked figure, which adds a layer to my theory that the wand isn’t really Sakura’s and it actually belongs to the cloaked figure. Of course, there is also the theory that the cloaked figure is some twisted version of Sakura herself — they do have the same height, after all.
More importantly, we see the cloaked figure watching Sakura’s bedroom window just outside her house — casually standing on top of a lamp post, very casually. This means that the cloaked figure doesn’t exist only in the dream world and that it actually has a physical, material version out there.
At breakfast, after not noticing anything different from Sakura, Touya says “Not yet, huh?”, which implies that he is expecting something to happen, at some point, that he will notice right away in Sakura.
At school, we learn that there is a new transferred student! Akiho Shinomoto is her name and yes, the similarity with “Kinomoto” is uncanny and I don’t think that is a coincidence. It is also worth pointing out that she is transferred on the same day that we see the cloaked figure in its physical form, outside the dream world and that she shares the same height as Sakura. Could the cloaked figure be Akiho? In the past, Sakura dreamed about Syaoran, Kaho and Eriol and later would meet them on the exact same day. But then again, she dreamed about the cloaked figure since chapter 1, so I’m sure.
There are other similarities between Akiho and Sakura. With the exception of her hairstyle, her face and features are very similar to Sakura’s. She even has one spiky hairstring popping out of her hair (Sakura has two). Even her reactions to Yamazaki’s lies are the same as Sakura and this time Syaoran too. I don’t think these are by chance. On the other hand, Akiho seems calmer than Sakura, a bit less genki maybe.
It seems like Akiho has been out and about, having lived in many countries including Hong Kong and England, and so far it seems like she and Sakura got along well.
In the meantime, Syaoran secretly talks to Eriol on his cellphone and Eriol’s role is to calm Syaoran down and tell him that he should wait even though it must be painful doing so. So Syaoran is being instructed by Eriol to stay out of things and come up with his lame excuses for not being around when Sakura is securing cards.
Eriol was reading Tarot cards? xD I’m not sure who he was talking about when he pulled the card of The Lovers but I assume is Syaoran and Sakura?
Another new teacher! A male teacher who seems to have came out of Kobato.
It looks someone made a doodle of Sakura and Syaoran being lovebirds and that made Sakura panic.
Sakura looks out of the window and notices a strange behavior in the school’s trees. We know it’s the doings of a card, could it be the counterpart of The Wood?
37 pages for the chapter — this chapter was a tad bigger possibly because it had a color spread and it was featured in the magazine cover. 69 pages for volume 2 so far.