Card Captor Sakura – Clear Card arc – Chapter 23

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

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

Japanese RAWs
English translations

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We start off this chapter with a BANG: the (official) revelation of Mysterious Cloaked Figure’s true identity. As everyone had guessed at this point, it’s Akiho. I didn’t expect CLAMP to do this revelation in a chapter title page. Either this was planned all along (as some things are with CLAMP) or they decided to reveal it now since the cat was pretty much out of the bag already. I know in CCS sometimes the answer is the most obvious one, but CLAMP has tricked us in the past and could be tricking us again. We’ll see how that goes.

The second important revelation is that Sakura has been creating these cards by herself all along. Now, this has also been a theory of many fans (since RECORD, I think) and it makes sense as she is a young magician with a tremendous amount of power. Some things have yet to be explained like why no one else can sense any magic coming from the cards.

Eriol’s reasons for not telling anything to Kero and Yue is just like Ohkawa’s reasons for not telling the other CLAMP members the outcome of the plot xD

Kaito’s ambushing Eriol is a way to show us, the readers, exactly how powerful Kaito is. Eriol clearly struggled to keep him away and Kaito left with only a few scratches on his watch.

The third important revelation is that Kaito needs the Clear Cards to do something (we don’t know what). He will use it with the tool/artifact that was taken from the Magician’s Society. At least we know the clock isn’t such tool.

Momo’s remarks that Kaito “can’t lose sight of what’s most important” is also a very reocurring theme among CLAMP works. It’s actually in the conversation between Karen and Kamui in the very last published chapter of X. It is probably related to one’s own life.

On the way back home, Sakura secures another card: MIRROR. It’s interesting how this one not only has the same name as the Clow/Sakura card, but also same design, the only difference is that its eyes are open. I wonder why these coices.

This was a direct example of how Sakura’s mind and desires are manifesting themselves into cards. It makes me wanna go back and track back all the previous cards just to check if there were any hints dropped. I can definitely see that for some cases (like RECORD) but for others I am not so sure.

We finish off with a sweet scene of Sakura and Syaoran flying together in the sky. Don’t worry Syaoran, it’s gonna be just fine. It is true that with great power comes great sorrow, but that rule is not applied to our dear Sakura-chan 😉

The plot gears keep moving and I am loving it! It really feels like CLAMP have started dropping all the answers and it all indicates that they will keep coming by the upcoming chapters.

The updated list of cards secured so far:

  1. GALE
  2. SIEGE
  3. AQUA
  4. ACTION
  5. REFLECT
  6. RECORD
  7. FLIGHT
  8. LUCID
  9. SPIRAL
  10. SNOOZE
  11. LABYRINTH
  12. APPEAR
  13. BLAZE
  14. MIRROR

Anime-only cards:

  1. GRAVITATION
  2. HAIL
  3. REVERSAL
  4. MIRAGE
  5. SWING
  6. STRUGGLE

27 pages for this chapter, slightly less than the last couple of chapters. 118 pages for volume 5 so far — next chapter is probably going to be the last one for volume 5.

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31 thoughts on “Card Captor Sakura – Clear Card arc – Chapter 23

  1. Hi, Alex >> “CLAMP has tricked us in the past and could be tricking us again. We’ll see how that goes”
    At first I thought the colour page with Akiho was a bit too early, much like Momo moving and interacting with Kero and Suppie on the second OP and ED, but could it be that in both cases these revelations are not only kinda “obvious” but also not the main plot twists of the series? I don’t know if my expectations are being too high, but I’m really looking forward to the big fat plot twist that makes us feel Akiho being the cloaked figure kinda “irrelevant” in a certain way.

    I feel “Record” made it pretty evident that Sakura was creating the cards. How powerful is she, I love it!!! ❤ Someone pointed out that the Sakura Cards probably went blank after she said she no longer used her star key/staff on the first chapter. How did she create "Gale"? Was she thinking about Windy? Could Sakura see Nadeshiko because she wanted to? Is that why Nadeshiko was so worried? Is Sakura's power just as Clow's who could stop Yuuko's time? It makes me want to reread the manga ❤

    I see fans hating Kaito and I get why, but I'm sure he's got some good reasons to do all this. I mean, it's CCS, nothing will ever happen to Sakura and/or Syaoran 🙂 Speaking of which… well, I really like SyaoSaku and every moment they share, but the story tends to feel like TRC and so does their relationship, some of their scenes (including this hug) are almost identical to those on TRC and I don't really know how to feel about it xD I know CCS is much sweeter and I'm sure the end will be lovely and lovey-dovey but all these TRC vibes are not particularly my cup of tea 😦 I hope it makes Tsubasa fans happy though 🙂

    I love that Sakura's concerns that led her to create "Mirror" (a card I was really looking for) are similar to those in the latest episodes of the anime with Meiling ❤ that consistency is only due to Ohkawa's involvement in both projects, such a bless ❤

    Yue worrying about Sakura is looooooove ❤

    Long post is long, sorry! I'm so intrigued I can't wait for next month's chapter 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Vanessa! So good to see you here =)

      these revelations are not only kinda “obvious” but also not the main plot twists of the series? I don’t know if my expectations are being too high, but I’m really looking forward to the big fat plot twist that makes us feel Akiho being the cloaked figure kinda “irrelevant” in a certain way.
      Yeah, I can see that. We took basically for granted that it was Akiho all along. In the beginning we were not so sure but soon enough it became obvious. I agree that the real twist is yet to come.

      Is Sakura’s power just as Clow’s who could stop Yuuko’s time?
      Maybe even more powerful than that! Who knows. We know that all the other powerful character acknowledge how powerful she is. She must be a beast!

      I see fans hating Kaito and I get why, but I’m sure he’s got some good reasons to do all this. I mean, it’s CCS, nothing will ever happen to Sakura and/or Syaoran 🙂
      Word! Kaito is the typical CLAMP character who is acting selfishly to fulfill his wish. But it doesn’t mean he’s EVIL. It would be cool to see that he is doing everything he is doing for a greater good, actually.

      that consistency is only due to Ohkawa’s involvement in both projects, such a bless ❤
      Right you are! She is the Queen of Synchronicity.

      Come back more, sweetie!

      Like

  2. Waaaahhhh!!!! What a fantastic chapter!! It had everything in it! Revelations, face off, card sealing, and SxS!!
    So so cool that the revelations match with the anime 💕! I think perhaps the anime has shown a bit more of Sakura wishing up these cards, but I’ll have to have a look through clear card chapters now I know this sakura creating thing is canon.
    Wow! That fight with eriol vs kaito was definitely coming. I’d love to see more of eriol in action! I’m used to him causing mischief but that was pretty badass! Aw! So cute kero and eriol knowing how much yue loves Sakura! I need to see more scenes with yue and Sakura now! I can imagine him being almost as over protective as touya is with her.
    Ohhh momo calming akiho!! I knew momo was a sassy sweetheart!
    With kaito… I do wonder if it’s someone’s life he’s attempting to save, and he is going too far to achieve this.

    CAN’T WAIT FOR THE NEXT CHAPTER!! Really does feel like its alf ay through this arc now. Kaito and sakuras powers have been revealed.

    Like

  3. Other people have already commented on pretty much anything I could say. But what I always notice the most are the similarities with Tsubasa, can’t help myself. The hug reminded me of the scene where the soul of SakuraHime disappeared in a million petals while hugging the other Syaoran. All this talk of sorrow too, I don’t know. I don’t really trust CLAMP. Sakura’s older now, who knows what they’ll do.
    Now, about Yuna. What if he stopped Akiho’s time, to let her live while he’s searching for a way to save her life? What if as theorized by you (if I’m not wrong) she’s his master?
    Clamp always make me think of weird theories.

    Like

    • “Now, about Yuna. What if he stopped Akiho’s time, to let her live while he’s searching for a way to save her life? What if as theorized by you (if I’m not wrong) she’s his master?
      Clamp always make me think of weird theories.”

      I was thinking something similar! It would be very CLAMP-like if it went this way.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Cover page off guarded me. I didn’t think it as a real revelation.

    Sakura’s too powerful but unstable to use her power that they need to keep everything secret…

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  5. Plot dump!! Finally getting some answers! Woo! I’m happy that my (well I’m sure everyone’s, it wasn’t hard to call it out) theory of Sakura creating the new cards was on the money! Waiting to see if my theory that she made the original cards go clear and Syaoran perhaps saving them for her with the bear and trying to recall them is also correct.

    Oooh and with new information with still some mysteries leave more fodder for tweaking theories. Like Aurora said above me, and like I said in last chapter, I wonder if Kaito is searching for a way to bring (Akiho) back from the dead, or has stopped Akiho’s time right before dying and is trying to save her life? I can’t remember if this was anime-only or in the manga too, been a long time since reading it if it was, but Kaito was asking Akiho whether she and Sakura got along, and seemed glad when she said yes. Sorry Nadeshiko-reincarnation theorists, but I’m gonna counter-theorize that this is because he wants Sakura to be close with Akiho and have Akiho become a dear friend so that when faced with Akiho’s life being in danger (whether because she’s dead or dying from previous events in the series), he’s hoping Sakura will wish her back to life with her untamed power. This may put Sakura in a sticky situation and make her feel heartbroken and torn as to what is the right thing to do. If it goes like this, Syaoran, be her rock like you promised to do in this chapter! That moment was very sweet to see. I know a lot of people have problems with Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, but one of the things I love most about TRC is the progression of (albeit a different dimension’s) Sakura and Syaoran’s relationship and showing sweet moments like this. I wish Clear Card (particularly the anime) had more sweet moments with Sakura and Syaoran together rather than trying to hide Syaoran in the shadows.

    “Some things have yet to be explained like why no one else can sense any magic coming from the cards.”
    I think in the beginning (if memory serves, I’d have to go back and reread), when Sakura was showing the new key and cards for Kero, Yue, and Syaoran, they said they didn’t sense anything, only Sakura’s magic. Which would make sense, they shouldn’t be sensing anything different, they would just be feeling Sakura’s magic since it IS her magic.

    “CLAMP has tricked us in the past and could be tricking us again. We’ll see how that goes.”
    When you said that, I was like, “What if Akiho has a twin???” We could be looking at her twin while thinking it’s Akiho. Wouldn’t that be very CLAMP-like? lol

    Tweaking my “Kaito is the magician, Akiho is the guardian” theory, a new theory I was throwing around in my head after this chapter was what if the thing Kaito stole wasn’t a “tool” at all but a being, a being like Akiho? The Magician’s Society maybe saw her as a tool, but perhaps Kaito fell in love with her and stole her away? That would be in line with CLAMP’s past works with the big baddy objectifying those with free-will for their own means and the heroes recognizing those “tools” as human (Drug and Drop, Clover, Chobits to name a few).

    What does Kaito want with the cards? I’m assuming they too are a way to save Akiho. Akiho too (or her alter ego, dream self, or whatever) also seems naturally drawn to them, or at least the key. It might be significant that the cards and key are made up of dreams and wishes. Maybe if Akiho isn’t truly human or with a sense of self, she needs the dreams/wishes of others to get to a point to sustain herself? Kinda like Sakura in the beginning of TRC. And like the Syaoran of that series, Kaito will do anything to save her, and runs the same risk of losing himself and hurting her in the process if he isn’t careful. Or perhaps she’s drawn to them because of whatever Akiho was originally created for, and that “personality” is vying against the Akiho we have all come to know and love.

    I think with this recent chapter, it’s probably safe to say that there may not be the same amount of new cards as there were old. Or at least it gives CLAMP that way out. The cards are indeed based on Sakura’s own wishes and perhaps reminiscing on old times. So if the manga and anime finishes with less cards than the original series, they can just point to that explanation.

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    • I think in the beginning (if memory serves, I’d have to go back and reread), when Sakura was showing the new key and cards for Kero, Yue, and Syaoran, they said they didn’t sense anything, only Sakura’s magic. Which would make sense, they shouldn’t be sensing anything different, they would just be feeling Sakura’s magic since it IS her magic.
      I think you’re right! It’s Akiho that nobody sensed any magic. For the cards, they did feel Sakura’s magic. Thanks for reminding me.

      Tweaking my “Kaito is the magician, Akiho is the guardian” theory, a new theory I was throwing around in my head after this chapter was what if the thing Kaito stole wasn’t a “tool” at all but a being, a being like Akiho? The Magician’s Society maybe saw her as a tool, but perhaps Kaito fell in love with her and stole her away? That would be in line with CLAMP’s past works with the big baddy objectifying those with free-will for their own means and the heroes recognizing those “tools” as human (Drug and Drop, Clover, Chobits to name a few).
      VERY good guess. And it would explain why we never get to see the rest of her family!

      Like

    • Oh, and I wish CLAMP wouldn’t use the “stopped time” plotline again. It’s been way overused in their recent works already.

      Liked by 1 person

    • “he wants Sakura to be close with Akiho and have Akiho become a dear friend so that when faced with Akiho’s life being in danger (whether because she’s dead or dying from previous events in the series), he’s hoping Sakura will wish her back to life with her untamed power. This may put Sakura in a sticky situation and make her feel heartbroken and torn as to what is the right thing to do.”

      yes! i have been thinking exactly this for a while too! i always thought he was using sakura for her powers. and him being a sorcerer specialising in time magic, he would know this is when sakura is at her most unstable and vulnerable, and also eriol is no longer an absolute threat to him anymore what with his magic being halved. im still half and half that akiho is related to sakura. i also dont think she’s nadeshiko, but rather a cousin, or maybe even ancestor? after hearing about masaki wife it got me thinking about ancestor possibility. or she may even be a magical being!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. CLAMP never used the color pages for plot revelations in the original series, so having Akiho appear so blatantly as the MCF here (even though that was technically confirmed in the last chapter) makes me want to look over the older splash illustrations for clues, ahaha.

    It’s good to finally have Eriol and Syaoran confirm that they have a logical reason for keeping Sakura in the dark. It’s possible that Syaoran isn’t going to be able to contact Eriol at all from now on, so it was a wise move on Eriol’s part to try and avoid Kaito’s notice for as long as he could. I loved the composition of the scene where Eriol fought Kaito off–he might have lost half his magic, but he still has some fight in him! (It’s depressing that Kaito shrugged him off so easily, though.)

    Cinzia raised two interesting possibilities about what Kaito was trying to do with Eriol’s magic circle: either he was trying to rewind time and undo Eriol’s conversation with Yue and Kero, or he was trying to consume Eriol’s powers. This raises questions about what happened to Fujitaka’s ability to see Nadeshiko. Did Kaito actually snatch Fujitaka’s magic before he and Akiho were formally introduced in the story? Or did he try to cut off Nadeshiko’s lines of communication with the world of the living in order to prevent her from telling her family what she knows?

    (BTW, Cinzia also pointed out that Kaito abandoned Akiho on the sofa despite promising her that he’d stay by her side last chapter. Listen to Momo before it’s too late, man!)

    My thinking concerning the “artifact” is that it doesn’t necessarily emit magic on its own, but that it greatly enhances magical power. If Akiho herself is the artifact (like Winterbat mentioned above), then Kaito could be using Akiho’s presence to not only increase his own power, but to drive Sakura’s magic out of control and force her to inadvertently create new cards. Remember Sakura’s dream in Chapter 1? All the cards surrounding her in the dreamspace were stable until she saw the MCF and reached out to her, which caused everything to shatter and fall apart.

    I’ve got a one-track mind, so what hit me most this chapter was Sakura’s similarity to Clow? Not just the fact that she’s losing control of her magic, but that she feels as if she doesn’t fully understand herself. Her very calm, positive reaction to MIRROR felt like the same kind of powerful emotional denial that Clow exhibited whenever we saw him in CCS and TRC — the ability to smile and be optimistic even when you should be anything but. I know CLAMP hammered home Sakura’s resemblance to Nadeshiko last chapter, but at this point, I feel like Clow would be the only person who could fully understand Sakura’s situation. If only there was a way the two of them could talk! Ohkawa would never let that happen, Clow isn’t good for merchandising.

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    • “Cinzia raised two interesting possibilities about what Kaito was trying to do with Eriol’s magic circle: either he was trying to rewind time and undo Eriol’s conversation with Yue and Kero or he was trying to consume Eriol’s powers”

      yes i thought that too as soon as it was confirmed that episode 16 with kaito reveal was going to happen in the manga too. i cant remember which chapter it was but kaito and momo became aware that sakuras guardians were starting to take action, so when eriol contacted them i had a feeling kaito would be having none of it! and with the power consumption, it could very well lead onto that when akiho does visit the kinomoto library. IF kero and yue allow that to happen after what they discovered. i wondered if nadeshiko was the one doing the blocking in order to protect fujitaka what with him being part clow reed. eriol has already been attacked by kaito so fujitaka may very well be in as much danger of that happening.

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    • ” I know CLAMP hammered home Sakura’s resemblance to Nadeshiko last chapter, but at this point, I feel like Clow would be the only person who could fully understand Sakura’s situation.”

      yes! i always thought sakura and clow (and watanuki) were incredibly similar in not only magic but certain traits. (perhaps her darker (?) more reckless side that will emerge as she gets older) and these traits could potentially overwhelm her and send her spiralling down the clow reed path if she were to push people away.

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      • I think that’s the big difference between the two of them. So far as we know, by the end of his life, Clow didn’t have the emotional support network that Sakura has now. (Considering that Yuuko might have been his best friend and his only real confidante, losing her must have been an especially horrible blow that caused all of Clow’s coping mechanisms to topple over.)

        Conversely, Sakura is almost the inverse in that everyone important in her life is willing to sacrifice their time and their luves for her. It gets a little creepy for me at times, to be honest–like Touya working extra jobs to pay Sakura’s way through school, Tomoyo focusing more on Sakura’s accomplishments than her own, Yue emotionally latching onto Sakura despite swearing that he’d never serve another master, etc. I know that’s not a plot point or anything, and that we’re just supposed to think that Sakura’s a great person with a warm personality that naturally draws people to her, but… 😅

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    • “Her very calm, positive reaction to MIRROR felt like the same kind of powerful emotional denial that Clow exhibited whenever we saw him in CCS and TRC”

      sakuras been acting like this ever since the cards shattered and disappeared. her apparent lack of concern, and being focused on dealing with whatever happens in the moment is very like clow. but underneath it all they are both probably always in turmoil.

      Like

    • “but to drive Sakura’s magic out of control and force her to inadvertently create new cards. Remember Sakura’s dream in Chapter 1? All the cards surrounding her in the dreamspace were stable until she saw the MCF and reached out to her, which caused everything to shatter and fall apart.”
      Guess who’s late reading all these interesting comments? Well, I’m very much willing to believe Sakura’s magic went out of control on her own, naturally, because she’s too young and she didn’t take care of her own powers. Eriol probably had too much faith or he simply was right only regarding the foretelling powers (and it’s working, it’s not like Sakura’s having clear foretelling dreams, we don’t even know what the hell it is that she’s having lately, she’s not sure herself).
      But your point works. It works very well, so I’ll keep it in mind.
      And damn Kaito for leaving Akiho alone. I took it personally 😡
      Oh, btw, I love your theory of Sakura being in denial just like Clow, I guess I told you already on the Discord server. I know it sounds too psychological for CCS, but…well, who said these kind of subjects can’t be talked about in a shoujo manga? Since Ohkawa can’t kill anyone………hahahah

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  7. So now that is confirmed that the new cards are Sakura´s creation, is left behind the thing about Akiho´s book, since now it seems has nothing to do with the cards showing up but still seems to know what is happening, I was wondering if it tells the future, then maybe Kaito is looking Sakura´s power to change it?? We know he can change the past but maybe isn´t strong enough to do it with the future…
    And since we are in the manga, I was wondering why they are so worried about Sakura´s being so powerful?? I mean they know what can happen if she is as powerful as Clow, and we have Eriol spliting his powers with Fujitaka, so why don´t advice Sakura to do the same?? (I am going too far ahead but I´m guessing that is what is going to happen and Sakura is going to share his power with Akiho)

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    • “So now that is confirmed that the new cards are Sakura´s creation, is left behind the thing about Akiho´s book, since now it seems has nothing to do with the cards showing up but still seems to know what is happening, I was wondering if it tells the future, then maybe Kaito is looking Sakura´s power to change it??”
      I wonder if Kaito can read the language in the book?? Or only Akiho? Maybe she can “read” the future.

      “I mean they know what can happen if she is as powerful as Clow, and we have Eriol spliting his powers with Fujitaka, so why don´t advice Sakura to do the same?? (I am going too far ahead but I´m guessing that is what is going to happen and Sakura is going to share his power with Akiho)”
      Ooooh that’d be something!! Maybe Kaito is trying to prep Akiho up to be someone Sakura can split her power with.

      Like

      • “Ooooh that’d be something!! Maybe Kaito is trying to prep Akiho up to be someone Sakura can split her power with.”

        i hope this doesn’t happen, but rather sakura finds a way to overcome what clow reed couldn’t, and gets totally in control of her powers and her “true inner self” she’s somewhat afraid(?) of in this chapter. sakura really does need clow reed right now. maybe they can meet in the dream world or sakura will wish to see him and end up in the past or something. either way i LOVE sakura being all powerful. and i think this erratic power leap has something to do with kaito manipulating things. she’s sensed it, and so her powers are responding so she can truly face him as an equal.

        i am also enjoying this more dangerous enemy! i love the action and suspense with danger mixed in there. i did always wonder what kind of foes sakura would face outside of clow reed. and i think kaito makes the perfect ccs villain. actually he’s the first real villain in ccs isnt he? i do like him. he’s not evil, and him being good is questionable but seems like he means to be but has lost track and is spiralling himelf and is perhaps taking sakura down with him. i’ve said before how it’s keeping things fresh for ccs without changing the formula. but its complementing perfectly sakuras maturing, as well as the original fans being older now ^^

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  8. While Akiho being the mysterious figure is the most duh thing they’ve pulled off and still they expecting to be a surprise (lol CLAMP) I have to admit to learn the real origin of the clear cards has caught me out of guard.
    So Sakura is creating them without realizing by simply wishing? That’s big! After seeing that I picked my two manga volumes and there’s some subtle indirect hints about that! For example about AQUA, when Tomoyo wondered if Syaoran will be able to participate in any sport clubs this time so Sakura can cheer for him in her cheerleading club, the latter got flustered as usual. Maybe in that time she jokely wished that would rain so wouldn’t have to do that, creating AQUA in that instant.
    RECORD was more obvious but others ended as very indifferent creations like that one.

    Why people hate Kaito? C’mon were they expecting a cheesy sequel? He’s being a great villain and a good threat in his own violation. And at least he’s not a fugly old man with no charisma like the villain from Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles. The fact he easily overpowered Eriol like that just showed he’s no laughing matter. Well Eriol has lost a large portion of his power after the events of the original manga but just gave the shivers to see how he barely got away by just slightly breaking Kaito’s clock. Haters gonna hate but this is intense and I’m loving it.

    Yup the clock is not the artifact Kaito has stolen. It’s more like his own wand, since his power is time based.

    Syaoran has been worried about Sakura since day 1 and now we can see a bit clearly why. Sakura’s power is growing a lot and there’s some ill consequences about that we cannot grasp quite yet. Whatever it is, is not good. I don’t think he’s exaggerating in his worries since Eriol is concerned as well. Maybe Sakura’s “everything is gonna be alright” recurring thing won’t be that easy to accomplish this time.

    And I hope it won’t be. I like how this is going. I hope to see a real struggle and a rewarding happy ending.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ” Maybe Sakura’s “everything is gonna be alright” recurring thing won’t be that easy to accomplish this time.
      And I hope it won’t be. I like how this is going. I hope to see a real struggle and a rewarding happy ending.”
      Those are my kind of stories lol. And I think a fair amount of fans are those who grew up with CCS around when it first came out or shortly after. While keeping things light and happy is nice, it’s also nice that CLAMP is acknowledging that a good chunk of the fandom has grown up. Plus CLAMP was never all that light and airy with their works anyway, dark and depressing and mindscrews are right up their alley. But I think a dark and depressing ending would be a bit over the line for CCS, so I agree, well-deserved happy ending after an ordeal would be great.

      Like

    • “Why people hate Kaito?”

      Eh? Are people hating on Kaito? I’ve only dabbled once or twice in other forums, in the way beginning when maybe the anime came out, but now I mostly go here for discussions. Why are they hating Kaito? It’s too soon to write him off just yet!

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  9. WEll, I have been suspecting of Sakura being the one to create the cards since ep 2 when Tomoyo conveniently had a pin in her hand to pop that balloon.
    NOt that my suspicions aligned like that, just that I felt the capture was too easy and odd.
    Only after seeing Record and then the date it struck me that ; could it be that she is the one replicating her feeling into cards?
    Then looking back, you can see small hints. Like the day after all the cards become transparent, she goes to school and gale comes out JUST LIKE FLY, in the same street nevertheless.
    Clamp has been dropping hints for so long and with the manga finally explaining I think we will be able to find those in the episodes.
    Frankly, I think she hit puberty and then her magic doubled or grew tremendously, she isnt a young girl anymore.
    Now Sayoran, its your turn to explain what magic he is using to counter sakura’s.

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    • Even the last one, SWInG came like an earthquake because Tomoyo mentioned it and Saura was probably willing for one to swallow her embarrassment.

      Like

  10. I realized I didn’t leave a comment for chapter 23 yet!
    So let me fix that!
    Damn, this was quite a chapter. The revelations are starting to come at us, it’s still early to say “we can see the end of it” but they’re definitely preparing “the ground”.
    People told me I’m in denial, but I still don’t trust that cover page, rubbed in our faces like that. Ok, it’s CCS, but Clear Card has been so full of mysteries that honestly it’d seem so cheap if MCF was simply Akiho like that, right? After all, Akiho did say that was her robe, so that might just be an illustration of regular Akiho in her robe, not the cloaked figure that appears in Sakura’s dreams? I don’t know, I don’t trust CLAMP, this might be one of their tricks. If Akiho is MCF, so be it, but it would be so anticlimatic.
    But let’s get to the juicy part!! I’m so glad that for once I was right, Sakura has been creating these goddamned cards all along!! XDD And that’s because her power is out of control. I like that, because being the most powerful magician doesn’t mean life suddenly gotta be easy like that.
    She’s young, too young for that amount of power, and inexperienced. It’s only normal things would spiral out of control one day.
    Why nobody senses anything? I think it must be because they’re near Sakura. Her power cancels out the “kehai” of the new cards. They should probably do a test, taking the cards away from her. They’d probably finally realize the cards have Sakura’s same kehai. Remember Syaoran’s words? “I can’t feel anything other than your power, Sakura”.
    I wonder how Sakura will take this, once she realizes it. Because it seems apparent to me that her task will be to realize it and stop it herself.
    AND FINALLY! Kaito at work! What an asshole, interrupting Eriol like that!! But he gave us the opportunity to see just how strong he is, and also gave us the sight of an Eriol in trouble, which is actually a first. Eriol’s words worry me, if this wasn’t Nakayoshi he probably would have said “Sakura-san, we’re f*cked”. XD
    As someone pointed out to me, Kaito was probably trying to rewind time in Eriol’s space, so the conversation between him, Kero and Yue would’ve never happened. Interesting. Even Eriol’s staff was starting to crack, but in the end Eriol won. Let’s not even go to Eriol’s last line to the two guardians, “help Sakura-san and Li Syaoran”. WTF…..
    Sakura and Syaoran’s conversation was kinda enlightening to me. I had no idea Sakura was starting to struggle with these kind of thoughts, maybe in the anime it was a bit more apparent…Syaoran is clearly distraught over that, maybe he fears the effects it can have on the situation, or maybe he just can’t stand to see her like that. Either way, the parallel CLAMP achieved with the hug was beautiful. They kinda synchronized it with the hug of episode 14 (still vivid in our minds) and they made a direct parallel with a certain hug in Tsubasa (Chapitre 198). Desperation and determination were certainly the leading feelings, for Syaoran. This chapter left me wondering exactly like last time: after these revelations and these talks, will it go back to carefree school days and card captures, or are we going to witness a HUGE cliffhanger before the final showdown, since it’ll be the last chapter of volume 5? Somehow I don’t think the story can go back, we can only go towards “that time”, inevitably.

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  11. First the title page, it’s been a while since we had a title page with a black background. the only ones were chapters 3 and 6, with Kero and Yue on the first, then Clow and Eriol on the second. It kind of hint magic. xD Clockworks and even an astrolabe. It would gives a strong X feeling if it wasn’t for these lovely art nouveau or art deco hands. Such lovely colors. As for Akiho in the antagonist’s robes, she already said it was to robes her family wear and that she had one that looked the same as the antagonist attacking Alice in her dream, so this is nothing new. Although I now get why Akiho has that weird “all over the front” hair cut. xD No hint of a movie on this chapter either, the possibility seems quite dead now… Maybe a new OAD with the last tankoubon instead?

    Eriol continue his explanations. Sakura create new card out of magic. Her magic, I guess, i wish Ohkawa used less ambiguous formulation. Eriol also says Kaito is linked to the new card, somehow… I fail to see where he has room to meddle, although he did say new cards had to be created for him to stop the book’s time. Is he making Sakura’s magic even more unstable? Was there something in the tea he served her (kind of like in Blood C) or maybe Momo is messing the magic around her? Also he couldn’t tell them because Yue is bad with hiding his feelings. Touya said so too.

    Then Kaito attack! We get a good look at some elements of Kaito’s magic circle. Same hands than the Alice in Clockland book and Kaito’s pocket watch. Eriol manage to counter th spell, but the communication is cut. He ask for Kero-chan and Yue to take care of Sakura and Xiaolang before. Maybe he will be coming to Japan in Tankoubon 6? Anyway, Kaito manage to broke Kero-chan’s phone and Yukito’s computer. I hope you had copies for your university works on other device, Yukito…

    But Kaito’s clock is also affected. He says it’s broken, kowareru, but is it too damage to work or is it just damaged? Will see I guess. And he revel he’s after the new cards which he need in order to fulfill his will. He said on chapter 17 that he wanted to stop the Alice in Clockland’s time, so it has to be related somehow. Maybe to save Akiho who is trapped with the book?

    Next scene, Sakura and Xiaolang! Sakura who opening her heart for once and tell us reader how she fears not to know enough about herself and makes other worry. Then she notice her house is flipped and she just secure the card. A bit like SWING in episode 16 or LUCID on chapter 12. The name is MIRROR, same name as the Clow/Sakura card and about the same design. Xiaolang explain us why.

    Next Sakura use her new card to duplicate FLIGHT so she could fly around with her boyfriend. She could do so with the Clow version of THE FLY, but the Sakura version was only for Sakura. Problem fixed! Xiaolang isn’t so light hearted, she could be too powerful for her own good, as Eriol and the Lee family told him. And maybe so he is. Which could also apply to Kaito, who knows.

    Overall I liked to tone of the chapter and what we learned from it. The introspection from Sakura and Xiaolang is must needed. Plus seeing Eriol in trouble is refreshing. I definitely hope he’ll have more action for the final. Also, this being the fourth chapter of book 5, and probably the second to last, there will probably be another card in this book. That would make the total number to 15.

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    • “I definitely hope he’ll have more action for the final.”
      me too! i hope its more than just explanation and support. i loved seeing him go all out like that. espcially since compared to syaoran and sakura, he’s faught before so its great to see a full on dual between two sorcerers. and like you said its refreshing since all we’ve had is sakura fighting the “villain” (who weren’t actually villains) but to have eriol fight the villain as well is awesome! the stakes are definitely higher this series and im loving it! if we wish hard enough for a movie it may happen still!

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