Review: Sakura and the Two Teddy Bears OAD

© CLAMP・Shigatsu Tsuitachi CO.,LTD. / 講談社

The 3rd volume of Card Captor Sakura ~Clear Card arc~ bundled with the Sakura and the Two Teddy Bears OAD was released two days ago in Japan.

By now there should be plenty of links available on the internet. If you search around, you should be able to find one and watch it if you haven’t done so yet.

I wrote a little review for it and you can read it below.

Gone are the days that I could just sit and enjoy a CLAMP anime adaptation. Whenever I’m watching a CLAMP anime now, I’m always overly analytical and overly critical, for either good or bad.

Before I start, let me just say that I liked it. I wasn’t blown away by it, true, but I think this OAD managed to pass along the message that it was supposed to pass. It was mostly centered on the relationship of Sakura and Syaoran so it’s not like the could have done something with a lot of action. The whole point was their relationship and the OAD did a good job to get that message accross.

Needless to say that the soundtrack and voice actors were nostalgic to the bones. The voice actors specially did a top-notch job. It didn’t feel like almost 20 years have passed at all since they all voiced these characters.

Design-wise, I think the character designer nailed Sakura’s design. She was clearly looking the best in every scene. That is almost the case for most of the children cast, too. I can’t say the same for the adult cast. Sometimes they look great and sometimes their proportions looked off. The thing that bothered me the most was their shoulders, which looked rather too narrow, specially if we compare to the 90s anime. It works for children,  but not for adults. It just makes their heads looking too big and off balance with the rest of the body.

The animation itself was very fluid at most times. I liked how things flowed when characters were moving around. My only and biggest complain is that the coloring could have looked more saturated — again similar to the 90s anime. I think the colors looked a little too bright for my taste. I prefer darker and sharper tones. Overly bright animes seem to be the fashion in TV Animes for quite a while now, but I personally don’t like it. It could also be that the streaming I was watching wasn’t the best one, so the DVD itself (that I have yet to watch) might not look as bright. I did see some people complaining that the PV had a better definition than the DVD and I think that’s just wrong.

The hug scene at the end was a little anticlimactic — I mean the hig itself, not the scene leading to it, which was nice! But I think they are saving the best animation for that scene for the TV Anime in January, since it will be shown again.

Overall, I was very pleased with the result! Several years have gone by and of course things will look and feel a little different. Taking all that into account, I think this could possibly be the closest we could get to the original series, considering the huge gap between the two productions. Just reduce a little that brighteness and give me broader shoulders and that would make it perfect to me =)

We are definitely in good hands for the TV Series 😉

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17 thoughts on “Review: Sakura and the Two Teddy Bears OAD

  1. I agree with you about the last scene, it was a little disappointing at first, but analyzing it a little bit I believe as well that the detailed version is being saved for next year’s anime. I think the good bye scene was wonderful, really amazing. It makes me excited for the new anime.

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  2. It’s just a little technical, but for the DVD to have a lower resolution than the PV is absolutely normal ^^
    The PV is a video on Youtube in HD (1080p), but on DVD (and not on a Blu-Ray), you can only have SD : 540p 🙂

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  3. I actually watched the OAD, the 12th tankoubon in hands, I could follow the lines through the animation. So the lines are very faithfull to say the least. They are cutting some corners all right, bye bye Chiharu and Rika, but the essence of the final tankoubon is there.

    It’s been too long since I watched the series, I don’t remember what the students it the classroom looked like, in which order they were sit and if the animators did it properly… ^^;

    The background music bring me back to the days I watched the series for the first time. It always have been so nice! ^__^ The voice actors are right back in their characters, as if they did the last movie just a few months ago. Il liked the new song is named “Yakusoku no Sora”, although maybe a bit too dissonant for a Card Captor Sakura song. But maybe they are trying to give a more mature vibe to the Clear Card series.

    As for the visual, the colors are closer to the manga, which is lighter than the 1990s series, but may be it’s a way to adjust the style closer to the original. That being said, I’m against the scene where Terada enter the classroom, with the student as little white ghosts. It is straight from the manga, but it looks horrible animated. xD The grown up shoulder are off, like you said, but I would guess they want to get closer to the Clear Card Style as it is what they will work with in the coming months. The problem with this anime is the original work still had the 90s shoulders, so they couldn’t rely on Mokona’s drawing, like they will do in the coming episodes. I liked the effort they put to draw the background flowers, were they like that in the 90s series, I don’t remeber at all. Were there background flowers? Anyway, Mireime will be delighted. ^__^

    It still let me wondering what they intend this OAD to be. It definitely not connect with the 90s series ending, Sakura can’t both wave him her last good bye at the bus, then at the airport. And since Eriol is still in Japan and still has a house, we can’t be after the second movie. Do they intend to make the 2010s series independent of the 90s series? Kind of like a third world; the manga, the first anime, then the second anime. Or is it that this OAD is just a fan service extra to get the manga’s final animated, while next year series will have a exclusive unrelated introduction scene? Will see in January I guess…

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    • I think the students as little ghosts was widely unpopular xD It works for manga, but not for anime (not always, at least). Wrong move, MADHOUSE.

      There weren’t as many flower backgrounds in the original series at all. I don’t know what to think of them yet. I love flowers and I love them in the manga but I’m uncertain if that also works for anime or if it should only stay in the manga.

      And exactly where in the timeline this OAD fits is still a mystery. I don’t think they will completely disregard what happened in the original TV Series. I mean, are they going to disregard even Meiling? When this OAD was first announced I thought it would be a good opportunity for Ohkawa to fix the differences between the manga and the anime, but when we found out that it was a straight adaptation from the final manga chapters, I was very confused.

      I would guess this OAD was more of a fanservice? Though it is being sold as the “prologue” to Clear Card arc. Will there will be plotholes? Will people who only watched the anime be confused? We’ll see.

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      • I think Madhouse use this special episode to try some things out and check how the fans feels about it. The shoulders is one thing, the little ghost, the flowers, they are probably testing the water.

        I don’t think they will drop Meiling, even though her love interest plotline is now dead. She really help shuffle the plotlines to make the anime something different from the manga by adding a twist. You can’t read the book along the episode when Meiling is there and I would think Ohkawa likes it. Plus I don’t think she was unpopular. However, she could be sidelined the same as Rika pretexting she has some business in Hong Kong, or even, a boyfriend.

        As for being the prologue of the Clear Card arc, I still don’t see how the average tv watcher will see it. Unless they air it as episode 0 a week before the series really start. Hard core fan will have seen it, as we did, the average watcher?

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    • About Tomoyo’s new song, can you tell who made the song? I figured out that the lyrics are from Maiku (Mike) Sukiyama, but I have no clue what is the name of the composer. ~_~

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      • Actually, shame on me for not even knowing it was a new song? XD I thought it was an old one.

        So to answer your question, unfortunately I don’t know who’s behind the lyrics…

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        • They are basically two Tomoyo chorus songs in the 90s series, Yoru no Uta which comes from the CD comic, but which was used in the anime series for the capture of The Song as well:

          Then, there’s Yasashisa no Tane, which was Tomoyo’s character song in the SCD character single collection, which was released the day after the 11th episode aired. She will sing it on episode 49 for the transformation of The Song into a Sakura Card.

          There was 5 other songs on the Christmas chorus CD, but they are distinctly Christmas songs. They never made it to the anime series. There is also the Watashi Dake no Movie Star from the Character Song Book, but it’s more like Tomoyo got herself a rock band than a chorus. ^^;

          Fastfowards to 2017, this third song, Yakusoku no Sora, is indeed brand new.

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      • Composition and arrangements were made by NEGISHI Takayuki, who wasthe composer for the background music of the first serie and this OAD as well.

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  4. Oh here it comes, you know it would come sooner or later…
    I chose to wait a little bit to have a clearer mind, but now enjoy my long-ass review! xD

    So, where to start from?
    It was year 2000, here in Italy the manga was being serialized and almost over (volume 12 came out in Japan in July, here in December) and I was reading news that Card Captor Sakura, the masterpiece that took my heart away, was finally over both in anime and manga version during that summer. Later I would read interviews in which Clamp, at the question “Will you do a sequel one day?”, always replied with determination “No, we don’t intend to”.
    I can’t even count the times I wished for a sequel, even if the story was somehow closed beautifully, but it ended right where I wanted to see more of the two main characters finally together, and at Sakura being the most powerful magician in the world, with infinite possibilities .
    After 16 years, unbelivably, that dream came true, and now after 17 years we have our first anime taste of Clear Card Arc, starting right from that beautifully drawn manga ending that I loved so much.
    And when that PV came out on that unforgettable April 1st, at the very first moments I didn’t realize it was all new animation. I thought they were compiling old scenes (They were showing the school, the bridge….) but then she turned around and my heart exploded!
    And now we’re finally here, with this OAD/OVA how-you-wanna-call-it. We were expecting so much from it, and I for sure am pleased with the result.

    Let’s see the aesthetic part: Sakura and Syaoran are absolutely stunning for the most part, the proof is that Tumblr is flooded with pretty screencaps and gifs of our little lovebirds! We were worried that they wouldn’t pinpoint the right balance between the 90’s style and an updated version, but boy I don’t think they could’ve done any better.
    I saw you mentioned the narrow shoulders: do you think they’re narrower than what CLAMP is drawing now? Because I think they tried to stay very close to the current Clear Card style. Anyway I didn’t like the large shoulders, so to me it’s a good point xD
    I also am grateful that they didn’t steer dangerously into the moe genre with this style, and it was so easy, because Mokona herself is lingering on that sometimes in the manga. The kids look “older” than the 90s version but still recognizable as kids their age, so it’s perfect. The little we can see of junior high schooler Sakura and Syaoran confirms that they look yet again slightly older.
    Let me just say I also LOVED how they put a lot of emphasis on the eyes of the characters when they had something very important crossing their minds, it helped showing their emotions a lot.
    The backgrounds are very detailed and you can even read the bus schedule on the column at the bus stop, lol!! I won’t even mention the cherry blossoms during the walking sequence, because I think we pretty much agree that they were stunning (I heard about this scene since the AX premiere).

    The animation: really good, a few moments into the prologue we see Syaoran entering the classroom in a rush, and I had shivers seeing how detailed was his walking and the movements he did to take his hat off ! I was still so used to the 90’s animation, but that’s where my brain said “welcome to modern animation!”. It flows beautifully.

    Nothing big to say about the music because, eh, it’s just the very same of the old tv series! But I appreciated that they actually threw in both a soundtrack from movie 1 and a soundtrack from movie 2, as if to say “hey, those two are still canon, we won’t forget about them!”.
    On the other hand, I absolutely LOVE the new Tomoyo song, it makes me so so emotional and I can’t wait to listen to a proper single version!

    And now let’s see the cons (yessir there’s pros and cons) of this OAD, which were pretty much mentioned by you already: maybe a little too much brightness (it’s a shoujo though, we don’t have to forget that), some weird looking frames, especially of Tomoyo (I mean, of course there would be some), the fact that they stick way too much to the manga, down to those damn doodle-like classmates that made people laugh/discuss so much. Yeah Madhouse, if you were testing the waters, please don’t do that again, don’t copy the manga panel-per-panel, I want to see Morio Asaka’s directing choices too 🙂 . Last but not least….where to place this OVA? How is it considered? After the anime ending? No way. It’s a rewriting of the last couple of episodes of the anime, but then they come and tell us that The Sealed Card is another story leading to Clear Card….excuse me? And how the hell are we supposed to tie that, seeing how Eriol’s mansion ended up (destroyed, fyi)?

    My favorites scenes are: Sakura finding out about Syaoran moving away, and the bus scene of course. With Tomoyo’s song in the background it tugs at my heartstrings everytime.

    All in all, I really can’t wait for the new anime series in January 2018, and actually hope they’ll release a PV soon enough!

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    • Later I would read interviews in which Clamp, at the question “Will you do a sequel one day?”, always replied with determination “No, we don’t intend to”.
      I hear you, I hear you. I was so mad at that “CLAMP”. Were they crazy to not continue it? It was a money machine! That is partly how I got into CLAMP later on xD

      I saw you mentioned the narrow shoulders: do you think they’re narrower than what CLAMP is drawing now? Because I think they tried to stay very close to the current Clear Card style.
      Yes, I would think so. Marianne said something similar. I know that, and I think I didn’t get my point to come across as I intended. I am aware that CLAMP’s current design has narrow shoulders, however, I think Madhouse’s shoulders are even narrower? I don’t have that odd feeling when I’m looking at CLAMP drawings. That’s what I mean.

      I like the eyes too! I paid attention to them since you mentioned them. The details are nice too, like you can see the calendar on Sakura’s bedroom telling it’s March.

      But I appreciated that they actually threw in both a soundtrack from movie 1 and a soundtrack from movie 2, as if to say “hey, those two are still canon, we won’t forget about them!”.
      That’s right! I remember people talking about them. I couldn’t tell which songs were from the movies, though xD

      some weird looking frames, especially of Tomoyo (I mean, of course there would be some)
      Her hair sometimes would look weird at its ends. Sticking out or something…

      I am relieved that you seem confused about where to put this OAD in the timeline too. Of course, I would rather have things cleared up and nobody confused, but I was starting to question my own fanhood xD

      Thank you for your comment ❤

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      • The shoulders in the OAD are even narrower than in the Clear Card shoulders. I compared with Touya from chapter 12 (page 11), where he’s wearing a shirt and an apron, to the one talking with Yukito a knife in his hand (5:20). The shoulders are more human in the Clamp version, it’s not only that they are a bit wider, they also have a more elegant angle.

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  5. god im hopeless only when it comes to ccs! i cried a little at the goodbye scene between sakura and syaoran. and i hardly every cry, im a complete hardcore but ccs makes me totally melt into mush! i think the school choir singing in the background really made the scene. its a song for sakura’s light bulb moment of “oh im in love” ❤

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