Review: Card Captor Sakura Clear Card arc TV Anime – Episode 19

© CLAMP・ST/講談社・NEP・NHK

© CLAMP・ST/講談社・NEP・NHK

Episode 19 – Sakura and Akiho’s Lullaby

Card Captor Sakura Clear Card TV Anime is being broadcast in several countries around the world via online services in a simultaneous or semi-simultaneous fashion. Please check the guide below to see if your country is included:

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So we’ve got a very original episode this time.

The children’s book was written by a real Japanese author (Nankichi Niimi), even though the story sounds like something written by Ohkawa herself. It reminded me of the XXXHOLiC arc in which Watanuki knits a pair of gloves to the little fox. Ohkawa must like that author.

It’s rare to see this “convincing” side of Sakura, I mean, when she was convincing Akiho and Syaoran to join her. Usually she is really polite and shy, she is not usually the convincing type. Also, what was that random English that Syaoran used to help Akiho understand what Sakura was trying to make her into? xD

Wei’s reaction is totally me: why does the fox need a pair of gloves? Isn’t its fur enough? And I love Syaoran answering very matter-of-factly “because it’s really cold”.

And how nice it was to see Wei and Syaoran’s sisters! This was total fan service. I loved Syaoran being grumpy about them sending pics and videos of food xD They love him so much haha.

The reading itself was…. long… and a bit boring. I didn’t think they would read the whole story at first, and I was sure a card would appear at one point, but it didn’t. Considering we are 4 episodes away from the series or season finale, this episode seemed very out of place.

I was mostly curious about who are the other 3 magicians that Kero and Yue said that are able to show the past. Yuuko being one of them, of course. I wonder who the other two are…. Watanuki? Fei Wang?

Looking forward to their talk with Eriol on the next episode.

The animation on this episode was good, but some far away shots were really off. They could have put some more effort on the characters’ faces considering how most of this episode’s animation was the book’s tale.

Only 3 episodes left and after this episode, I really don’t know if things can end within 3 episodes.

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23 thoughts on “Review: Card Captor Sakura Clear Card arc TV Anime – Episode 19

  1. Many things we suspected from the preview, many things we guessed, many we didn’t, and more than anything: imagining it in my mind and actually SEEING it is really not the same 😀

    Once again, this episode made me smile from beginning to end, though I do agree with the fact the story felt really quite long at some point uh? ^^;

    The children’s book was written by a real Japanese author (Nankichi Niimi), even though the story sounds like something written by Ohkawa herself. It reminded me of the XXXHOLiC arc in which Watanuki knits a pair of gloves to the little fox. Ohkawa must like that author.

    Thanks!
    I was actually curious about and was wondering if I should look into it, but you answered that question for me already ^^
    Also, nice comparison with the little fox from xxxholic! I didn’t think about it, but you area absolutely right! 😀

    At school
    Syaoran speaking english again! So random but so welcome, I impulsively clicked on pause when he began talking and started squealing HAHAHA I also re-watched several time the part with Sakura KO-ing Syaoran, that was priceless! The poor boy did attempt to resist though 😉 As you mentioned, Sakura was particularly insistent, she went all out with the puppy eyes and sleeve grip and everything XD
    And our poor Little Wolf! I see he doesn’t know these sneaky ladies have watched the movie2 play behind his back… THEY KNOW! THEY SAW IT ALL!

    Syaoran, Wei, his sisters
    I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT the scene Syaoran x Wei x Sisters! His tender smile when hearing his sisters voices was HA! -arrow piercing my chest-

    It really made sens, neh? Syaoran calling to ask for a piano piece from Wei, good flow, and HIS SISTERS did have a little screen time after all!
    The part with Wei talking so heart warmingly and being so worried about Syaoran … concluding with “So please, turn on video mode so I can see your face” That pregnant pause that followed was pure gold!!! XD XD “My sisters are there, aren’t they?” YEP! They sure are! XD
    It was nicely made though: we are all perfectly aware that Wei meant every word he said, but Ohkawa still broke that maybe too dramatic and serious scene by making it suddenly a lot funnier hahaha
    It was also confirmed once again (Meiling said so too) that during his time in HK, he went through some grueling and tiring training with his mother Yelan, I hope we actually see her too! (so any theories Syaoran might have gone to England to train with Eriol should be dead? So they did everything by phone? These two sure got close all from a distance!)
    A shame though… I’m getting the feeling that the flashback I was hoping won’t be happening ;_; From all appearances, they are going to leave it at that, at ‘Syaoran training hard with his mom’, we might get some still shots? But not a whole flashback scene like I have been so very much praying for for long now ;_; I do expect to see the actual RESULT of said training though, more than just taking his sword out and a bit more powerful spells: did she teach him ‘something’ specific …?

    Now… the preoccupying thing, the decision Syaoran made…
    Indeed, Syaoran is too kind, we’ve known it from long ago, even our dense Sakura realized and told him so herself…It seems like he might really get hurt by doing ‘something’ in order to protect Sakura, else…he might get hurts by doing something in order to protect Sakura
    Yes
    Wrote it twice, but with 2 different meanings:
    1-he literally concretely hurts himself protecting her (use too much magic, get in the way of a shooting laser beam and get pierced in the chest haha well, you got the the gist ^^;)
    2-he does something that Sakura might not like … and emotionally hurts himself by acting like the ‘bad guy’ in a given situation…
    This thought actually suddenly came to my mind from the last episodes and chapters: that Sakura … might get her ‘rights’ as a mistress of the cards ‘revoked’ … that she is not qualified to use them because she lost grip on her powers and is going wild creating new cards without even realizing it… and that Syaoran might be the one doing just that: taking the cards away from her 😦
    Well, take this with a grain of salt!
    It’s really one of the many thoughts and theories that cross my mind when I brain storm, not something I’m convinced of or anything of the sort ^^;

    Story telling!
    I love all their looks today! Especially Tomoyo and Syaoran! Sakura is wearing pants again, though we didn’t get to see a full shot of it haha (it would be so nice of madhouse could post a settei of it, you know, the setteis they haven’t been posting for the past MONTH!!)
    I really like little details like the fact Syaoran refused to wear a costume too (and Dark|Tomoyo smiling beautifully and already planning his demise, urrhh, to convince him nicely next time XD), I didn’t get why they zoomed in so much on the photos, but that was explained later in the episode… I don’t know if there is a ‘deeper meaning’ and some connection between the story and the CCS plot, but for now, I think nothing of it personally.

    Yue and Kero
    Last but not least: Kero getting instantly worried and realizing something in going really wrong with Sakura’s use of her power was a nice touch as a guardian beast!
    How cool Cerberus!
    And omg, Sakura saying like a matter of fact that Kero would be fine eating candies past their date of expiration HAHAHAHA
    I already knew from the manga that Sakura was getting too powerful, so what was said between Yue and Kero didn’t comes as a surprise
    But I was definitely intrigued when it came to saying that additionally to Clow Reed, THREE more magicians that they knew of were powerful enough to use such strong powers…
    As everyone said: one of the three is definitely Yuuko, no question, but the fact such an information was suddenly introduced in the story was a real surprise: will they follow up on this? Or was is just said “like that”?
    To be seen!!
    —-
    Next episode!
    Sakura and Syaoran go to visit Masaki-san at his house!(edited)
    I can’t wait for the moment Sakura introduces Syaoran to him hehehehe

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    • Damn, I went and accidently clicked on enter and sent the post neither revising it nor changing a few sentences here and there ^^;; Well, that’s that I guess haha

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    • “Sakura … might get her ‘rights’ as a mistress of the cards ‘revoked’ … that she is not qualified to use them because she lost grip on her powers and is going wild creating new cards without even realizing it… and that Syaoran might be the one doing just that: taking the cards away from her ”
      this has always been at the back of my mind since the start of syaorans wierd behaviour, plus eriols apparent training him up. did eriol request yelan put syaoran through an extreme magical boot camp?? i need to see a special manga/episode dedicated to syaorans year in hongkong! anyway i think this thought i had kept at the back of my mind catapulted to the front of my mind after that contract talk last week and sakura going “i never wanted this you know…” im thinking oh god no… im not sure how id feel about that if it actually happens in the end… but having said that this is why i love this series! its the suspense!!! so wonderfully built up. i still hope beyond hope sakura will remain all powerful mistress of the cards with yue and kero by her side!

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      • Like i mentioned in the previous episodes comment, i feel that the reason why Syaoran can possibly use the Sakura cards might be related to the unrevealed powers of “The Hope”.

        My guess is that the power of Sakura cards (after they were scattered by Kaito or maybe unknowingly by Akiho), had settled inside that gray doll (that Syaoran gifted Sakura before, and took it back when he returned in Clear card arc). And with the help of “The Hope”, Syaoran is able to partially tap into the powers of the Sakura cards.

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        • The bears most DEFINITELY have a role in all this, from chapter 1, well, the first episode haha, the fact in itself Syaoran asked to have them exchanged moments only after seeing Sakura again after so long, was strange ^^; And they’ve been shown so many times since then that we all got the message HAHAHA XD XD But what is it exactly they are doing? I can’t tell…

          About Movie 2, to this very day, and even after it was mentioned several times in the anime and we were even shown the play, I still don’t know if this is fanservice (very welcome fanservice! 😉 ) or if it will have a concrete role in the TV series. But so far, the only things they’ve ever repeated again and again is info about the Play itself, and nothing else; though well, to go further, since the footage was interrupted by an “earthquake”, it is indeed to be assumed the fight with The Void should (?) have taken place, but even so, it still was neither stated directly nor shown…
          I know it seems like I am nitpicking, but my hesitations come from the fact Sakura being in possession of a card who, on its own, is as strong as her 56 other cards all put together, is a BIG change in her balance of powers, so it’s not an element I want to carelessly include in the plot.
          Furthermore, how to accept fully the Movie 2 as canon in the anime’s timeline when key elements like Eriol’s house is still there standing (The Void was buried under it…) and the Amusement Park (in which they fought) doesn’t exist since it was supposed to be on top of that house (but STILL, the play happened there! -contradictions-) hard not to think Madhouse decided to pick and choose what to keep from the Movie 2…

          To be sure, I am not getting into a discussion about how to prove the Movie 2 is 100% canon or not, nor am I looking into possible explanations for this or that. Honestly, I am not even thinking about it: I accepted from episode 1 when they threw in the bears with little to no explanations other than one single picture, while at the same time showing a scene at the airport from episode 70, that there are things that I was just going to accept ‘as is’ and I am sincerely fine with it: it doesn’t get in the way of my understanding on the anime, so it’s of no consequence to me.
          But yeah, at the hour of deciding if The Hope exists or not: I’d have to see it first, sorry ^^;;

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      • *This has always been at the back of my mind since the start of syaoran’s weird behavior, plus eriol’s apparent training him up. Did eriol request yelan put syaoran through an extreme magical boot camp?? I need to see a special manga/episode dedicated to syaoran’s year in hong kong! *

        We still don’t know in the manga, in which no information about Syaoran’s powers and how/where/with who he trained, but as for the anime, between Meiling’s and Wei’s statements, it seems to be an established fact Syaoran went through a very hard training with his mother only, Eriol wasn’t included. Though seeing how these two got closer, it’s hard to believe they didn’t have some sort of contact at one point or another, but what did they concretely do together? No idea! ^^;

        *Anyway i think this thought i had kept at the back of my mind catapulted to the front of my mind after that contract talk last week and sakura going “i never wanted this you know…” im thinking oh god no… im not sure how id feel about that if it actually happens in the end… but having said that this is why i love this series! its the suspense!!! so wonderfully built up. i still hope beyond hope sakura will remain all powerful mistress of the cards with yue and kero by her side!*

        I never thought for a single moment Sakura would ever loose her powers, for me it’s not even an option to be honest, actually, she is TOO powerful! XD XD She will definitely remain the most powerful in the world, no worries! 😉
        But yeah, she clearly needs help as her powers are out of control: she is too strong…hence indeed, the idea that the Sakura cards *needed* to be separated from her, if only temporarily (Syaoran/Eriol keeping the cards away from her forever is not an option either!).
        But again, this is just a theory that came to mind, and there are things that go against it: the cards were scattered inside the Dream World when she met the MCF for the first time: Syaoran/Eriol clearly had no idea who Kaito/Akiho were until he was faced them both in Tomoeda (and they began investigating them after Syaoran met Kaito and realized he had magic…) so how could they have taken the Sakura Cards from that Dream World? “Taken” from “where”, how, when? Their transparent vessels are also still inside the book, so they are now in a different shape for sure…
        And if they did: what for? They were clearly aware in advance Sakura would be creating new cards: did they judge it would be a bad idea for her to have not only the Sakura cards but ALSO new cards on top on them seeing how Sakura is not in control? …
        Are they still “Sakura” cards or not? If they are, how could Syaoran use them? Is it the Bears who allows him to do all this? He is “capturing them” (where are they being captured from???) through his rashinban and these “lights” are the cards? etc etc etc etc SO MANY QUESTIONS!
        And this is what makes it all so exciting! 😀

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    • Oh! I like your review.
      “This thought actually suddenly came to my mind from the last episodes and chapters: that Sakura … might get her ‘rights’ as a mistress of the cards ‘revoked’ … that she is not qualified to use them because she lost grip on her powers and is going wild creating new cards without even realizing it… and that Syaoran might be the one doing just that: taking the cards away from her”
      This is one is a good theory. For me it could be that: Eriol and Shaoran took control of the cards in orden to try to balance Sakura powers in order to make her less powerful . By the way I am expecting a good explanation about why they can just tell her that she is becoming stronger, I mean there is no way she can take control of her powers if she is not told.

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      • “By the way I am expecting a good explanation about why they can just tell her that she is becoming stronger, I mean there is no way she can take control of her powers if she is not told.”
        Yue mentioned in the way beginning to Sakura that she shouldn’t keep things secret (from Yukito? from Syaoran?) and to tell him everything. This seems to be a running theme throughout this series. And with how it seems like there’s a lot of references dropped on what’s to come and later being fulfilled, especially with the anime, maybe indeed “there are no coincidences” with this.

        My guess on why they didn’t tell her from the beginning is because to do so would put undue stress and expectations on her, especially if there’s really no way to get better control other than to just get used to it eventually. Like “Hey Sakura, your magic is getting strong, try to watch it, will ya?” and then we have a whole Queen Elsa of Frozen scenario lol

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      • For me it could be that: Eriol and Shaoran took control of the cards in orden to try to balance Sakura powers in order to make her less powerful .

        Leaving everything aside (how, where, when, what etc etc), and if we finally stop burning our brain cells thinking about it hahaha we really could resume it very simply to:
        Sakura is too powerful and her magic is going out of control > thus Chaos > hence she is unconsciously creating the Clear Cards > solution? > try to get it back under control > first step: weaken her by taking her Sakura cards…though, in all appearances, she is the one who might have lost/separated from them unconsciously to begin with ^^;;

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    • “This thought actually suddenly came to my mind from the last episodes and chapters: that Sakura … might get her ‘rights’ as a mistress of the cards ‘revoked’ … that she is not qualified to use them because she lost grip on her powers and is going wild creating new cards without even realizing it… and that Syaoran might be the one doing just that: taking the cards away from her ”

      Ever since the somewhat random mention of the nature of magical contracts in the Blaze episode, I was wondering if this was going to be addressed or related somehow for the big showdown to come. Like Sakura might have been powerful enough to somehow almost cancel hers accidentally and Syaoran is using his blood relations to Clow to keep the cards anchored and not be nullified completely, and that Syaoran was trying to keep the penalty of reneging on a contract from hurting Sakura. Or, as you said, that Syaoran was taking them from her using his ties to Clow.

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      • hahaha
        Had I known this theory would be so popular, I would have thoughts about it harder and taken more time to express all my thoughts about it, even if limited ^^
        But yes, everything you say is very much it! I agree with you~

        First thing first, I think we need to accept Eriol is clearly not all seeing and knowing now, and whatever he knows of the situation with Sakura is limited to certain things, which he obviously shared with Syaoran.
        Neither knew about Akiho and Kaito, but they were aware and worked up a plan (?) to deal with Sakura getting too powerful and not being able to control her powers at all (hence she began creating new cards in this chaos…)
        I think we need to get back to the moment of their creation and, as you said, the ‘magic contract’ she had with the Sakura Cards: when she created the Dream Wand, did she indeed unknowingly shatter her bound, if only partially, with the cards she captured and inherited from their creator Clow Reed (and later made her own)?
        She still has their book, their star key and their transparent vessels, but the cards themselves are no where to be seen…

        Syaoran was trying to keep the penalty of reneging on a contract from hurting Sakura. Or, as you said, that Syaoran was taking them from her using his ties to Clow.

        I actually really like the option with Syaoran doing his best to indeed keep whatever penalty at bay and using his ties with Clow to do so, it totally make sens and this is very much like him to do so!! But he looks way too guilty and tormented: it’s hard not to believe he does not feel he is doing something ‘wrong’ toward Sakura, one way or another…but is it limited to ‘just’ keeping things from her, more than guilt: is it worry for her, or a mix of many feelings? Or is he DOING something that might hurt her when she gets aware of it…?

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        • “I actually really like the option with Syaoran doing his best to indeed keep whatever penalty at bay and using his ties with Clow to do so, it totally make sens and this is very much like him to do so!! But he looks way too guilty and tormented: it’s hard not to believe he does not feel he is doing something ‘wrong’ toward Sakura, one way or another…but is it limited to ‘just’ keeping things from her, more than guilt: is it worry for her, or a mix of many feelings? Or is he DOING something that might hurt her when she gets aware of it…?”
          Well another idea I had tossed around in my head (though I REALLY hope it’s not the case) is that perhaps each time Syaoran uses a ball of light with the card’s power, he might actually be “killing” the card. It always seems like he uses them as a last resort, is he that concerned about Sakura finding out, or is it because he knows that doing so will render them null and void because it goes against the contract of serving the true master of the cards? He can never meet Sakura’s eyes after using one of them and just looks sad when Sakura compliments him. Is he really that cut up about going behind her back, or is it because he knows that he more or less killed one of Sakura’s friends and she doesn’t even realize it?
          Again, again, AGAIN, I hold onto the quote from Tsubasa that Sakura says the cards will be with her always, even without the staff. I’m REALLY hoping that’s not paralleling what some people say when someone has died, that they’ll always be alive in their heart, or something like that.

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    • It’s not: neither Kero nor Yue know Kaito, they have no reason to select him and put him together with their creator and the other 3 magicians.
      Plus, whatever information they have must is very likely to be from a loooong time ago, when they still lived together with Clow!

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  2. this episode was LOVE for me!
    its so refreshing to see these other sides of sakura! last episode she was teasing kero (reminded me of touya banter with yukito!) this episode we get the charismatic forceful persuasion technique! syaoran reacted strongly too it! she completely broke through his guarded wall there! rofl sakura saying to kero he’d be fine eating out of date food! she just came straight out with that one! didnt even bat an eyelid.
    onto the story. my god that was stunning animation for the book. and i really loved the story too. YES! of course it was similar to our little XXX foxy! but the reading went on waaaaaaayyyyy too long. i was convinced that a card would show up based on the book- something like snow or the dark card… but nope! actually this worked wonderfully cause it cleared the way for the super exciting shock reveal of the 3 sorcerers!!! record card moment was very suspenseful indeed! sakura being all oops i got it wrong… my bad. yet keros lighting concerned reaction was powerful to say the least! oh my life!!!! 3 sorcerers!!!! yuuko for sure is one but who are the other 2?? fei wong?? watnuki?? tsubasa li?? fai D. flourite?? all of these fit the bill of time manipulation and future/ past viewing abilities. all of these have the dangerous strong will and out of control moments with being a real threat to the world and humanity should they choose to be – fei wong, fai etc. but do kero and yue know tsubasa and watanuki though? hard to tell what with the screwed up time laws in their respective mangas. so perhaps they did. watanuki is like sakura in that hes the selected inheritor.
    damn im so excited!! it feels like with this reveal about the sorcerers and sakuras powers that its being left open for another series or a movie. honestly it does feel like there should be one. there were 2 clow card centered series so hopefully there’ll be 2 sakuras & syaorans growing powers centred series.

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    • I don’t know if Kero and Yue would know about the Tsubasa/xxxHolic characters because Clow Reed covered up his having to go to their dimension with his death. Unless Eriol filled them in later, but I don’t know how far Eriol’s memories go (and who knows how much time has passed since the first series and now, look at that jump in technology lol). They might have known Yuko, and the only other in-universe magicians we know of is Yelan and the antagonist in the first movie. They may have known about any number of D magicians though (it was only Syaoran that didn’t know about them, right?) or perhaps some other crossover characters from previous CLAMP works.

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  3. Guess this episode is going to be a tie-in for manga chapter 21 (which would most likely be covered in the next episode), where we for the first time witnessed Record’s power to show stuff that happened in the past.

    Also, i have a feeling that the strange clock-like pendent that Sakura received in manga chapter 22 from her grandfather, might be related to the identity of one of the 3 magicians who are able to show the past (which would also shed some light on why Sakura can do so too). And might possibly be an item that Kaito needs, for whatever he wants to achieve.

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  4. Wei is such a wonderful man! I loved how he tried to get Syaoran to go on video chat with his sisters.

    The story-telling segment was soooo long and soooo self-indulgent on Ohkawa’s part. I’m ashamed to admit that I’d never even heard of Nankichi Niimi before, so I assumed at first that Ohkawa had written the story herself! It was kind of strange when the kids flew into an uproar over the fox showing the humans its paw, but Syaoran’s ridiculous ad-libbing on the piano made up for it. Get that young man to the club!

    There was something very pure but heart-wrenching about Akiho’s lullaby. It brought to mind the question of whether or not she’s ever had a mother figure in her life (or any kind of parent, other than Kaito). Some fans on the Discord server were wondering if the fox story might have a parallel to Akiho’s life, which would mean that Akiho is something other than human.

    I lived for the two times Kero and Yue mentioned Clow by name, ahaha. I swear Clow’s shadow is falling over everything that’s been happening in this arc, so part of me wonders if the whole “three other magicians” thing might be similar to Akiho mentioning that she’s lived in France, Germany, and Italy — it’s just extra information designed to take your attention away from the main subject. In Akiho’s case, it was the fact that she’s lived in England and Hong Kong. In Kero’s case, it may be that the one thing we’re supposed to take away from his comment is that Clow himself was one of only very few magicians who could manipulate time. (And that Sakura’s getting way too powerful, duh.)

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    • I also wanted to share an interesting thing.

      The authors we’ve seen cited in Clear Card so far are Natsume Soseki (Ten Nights’ Dreams), Miyazawa Kenji (Night on the Galactic Railroad), and Nankichi Niimi (Buying Mittens). They follow each other chronologically: Soseki was most active in the 1900s following the Russo-Japanese War, Miyazawa wrote in the 1920s and early 1930s, and Nankichi’s most well-known works published in the early 1940s after his death.

      They all died young, too. Soseki was 49, Miyazawa was 37, and Nankichi was only 29.

      They’re all among the most famous Japanese authors of the twentieth century, and Ohkawa’s frequently referenced Soseki before, but I wonder if there’s a connection here?

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      • Oooh, that’s cool!
        I’m not too surprised at frequent references to Natsume Soseki though, as he is a pinnacle of Japanese literature, as classic and influential as Shakespeare is in the West, nor Night on the Galactic Railroad, another classic (SO many anime reference it, I really want to sit down and read the actual book), and I feel like CLAMP themselves mentioned being a fan of it (either the book or the film, I forget which). Nankichi Niimi’s story seems a little more random and seems to be more significant because of it.

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  5. This was a very unique episode. It almost felt like I was watching Kobato if anything. I love that anime too, so I’m not complaining.

    Hahaha, Sakura’s way of convincing Syaoran was forceful yet still modest in that she only grabbed his sleeve rather than his hand. Very funny and cute. Bringing his HP down to zero, indeed, ain’t no way Syaoran stood a chance. When Syaoran was refusing to go at first, I was wondering if it was “Oh yeah, Syaoran, you’re never-ending errands and whatnot” but I was pleasantly surprised that they gave a completely reasonable, in character, throwback to old series reason for his refusal to come read to the kids. Makes me wonder if Sakura herself is catching on and maybe that’s why she was a little more pushy that he come along anyway to play piano? We find out in the manga chapter that’s going to be covered in the next episode or two that she’s a little more aware than she’s letting on.

    Perfect blend of serious and heart-touching and comedy with the Wei and sisters’ call with Syaoran. It’s too bad we didn’t see Yelan, even in passing, but I guess she knows that she’s done all she’s can for him and her passing by to only give encouragement would have no meaning if she knows he’s already doing his best.

    “Wei’s reaction is totally me: why does the fox need a pair of gloves? Isn’t its fur enough? And I love Syaoran answering very matter-of-factly “because it’s really cold”.”
    Hahahaha, my reaction at the END was like, “But wait, what about its hindpaws?!!”

    So the reading… I didn’t mind too much about its length because I’m wondering if this is foreshadowing or referencing something. This series has been quite good at dropping hints and references, even if they sometimes seem rather out of place. For example, before Sakura and Akiho’s reading, they showed a closeup of a picture of the hospital staff (?? I forget, was it a hospital or daycare??) with no explanation or reason for it, which made me immediately stop the video and go back to see if there was someone in the photo we were supposed to know, but no…. And then at the very end of the episode, we see why this must have been shown: to foreshadow Sakura’s recording of the past. So, I’m wondering if this story’s main lesson (the question of whether humans are truly good or not) is related to what’s to come. An interesting thing that the mother fox said was that the reason to show the human hand was because humans wouldn’t help if they knew what they were dealing with wasn’t human. I wonder if this is going to foreshadow and parallel Kaito and Akiho, in how Kaito is sending in Akiho to school to receive help from Sakura, and even if Sakura were to find out that Akiho isn’t human, she’d help her anyway.

    As for the thing with Record… I remember when I was reading the manga and found out that Record could show past events that it wasn’t there to record itself at the time, I was very surprised, so maybe this episode is to help soften that surprise. And also when I read that chapter, I was wondering if Record was going to be used to show what Syaoran has been up to all this time. Even though it’s getting on towards the end (unless there’s a surprise upcoming season/movie), I’m wondering if they’re going to rely on Record as a plot dump.

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  6. About the story, I know that are a lot of things to be said about it, and since it was a little bit longer it didn´t have my full attention, but the end: The mother saying “I wonder if humans really are good.” It made me think about what Meiling was talking with Sakura at episode 16: “if you believe that all the people around you are good, then you attract only good people” but until now we have seen that: people around Sakura being good, but maybe the time has come when she should see that not everybody has good intentions or that others can hurt her? So maybe we have another point to think about all this ending in a bad note.

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  7. Days went by and I forgot to comment here! My bad!

    Soooo I pretty much have told you my impressions already in private, but let’s summarize them here for *posterity*:

    – The episode was technically so-so, I have seen like you some not so well animated faraway shots, and the episode was mostly made out of panning shots of still images. I think the effort was really minimum, but rather than getting angry (not yet) I am thinking that there must be some kind of problem with the timing or the budget, so they are trying to keep all the resources for the last 3 episodes, which will be crucial. And I’m ok like this, if this is the case, because god save us from getting a poorly animated climax. That’d be unforgivable.

    – The story got me thinking “seriously? It’s going on this long?” and kept me looking at the clock when the episode was airing, without subtitles and all. But when I finally watched it with subtitles, I’ve come to appreciate the story, I found it cute and actually I want to hunt down that book to read it to my son. Or, I’ll just transcribe the italian translation from the episode somewhere XD You’re right, it felt a very Ohkawa-ish story. Sometimes we forget it, but this anime series is aimed to children of nowadays too, not only old grown up fans and SyaoSaku fangirls *side-eyes the fandom*
    So I get people saying that it’s boring, but a laid back and fairytale-like episode once in a while is acceptable. If we don’t like it, we can skip it without further drama.
    And, when we try a bit harder, we might actually get a glimpse of foreshadowing in this tale. So while the small fans will enjoy the cute tale, the older fans may get into a deeper reading, since this tale seems to bring out *again* the thematics of good people/bad people that Meiling already introduced during episode 16. It seems like this will be a big theme in the climax, with everyone keeping a secret and all, it’s really unclear who are the bad guys and who are the good ones. Moreover, the tale also creates a connection to the theme of next episode, the mother/child relationship.
    So, it’s not an episode completely to throw out in the garbage.
    But I do agree that it’s weird to see such a laidback and slow episode positioned at such close distance from the climax. Is this the calm before the storm? Will they be able to end everything within episode 22? Weeks pass by and we still can’t get an answer.

    – I laughed my ass off at Sakura being so convincing with both Syaoran and Akiho, I get when you say it’s unusual of her, and I say “it was about time!!”. She put her charm to work XD Syaoran was one step away from heart attack, hahahah

    – Ah gosh, the end with creepiness and anxiety! It’s really their trademark, ne? The entire episode they tried to lull us into a relaxed atmosphere, only to throw a bucket of ice on us in the last 2 minutes, when Kero puts his poker face at work (he was gold), sneaks out of the house and runs to warn Yue about what he just found out!! The mention of the other 3 magicians intrigued me as well, of course one is Yuuko…the other 2 must be people they’ve already met, though. I found Kerberos voice actor’s performance in the end very fitting to convey all the anxiety and ominous feeling, the guardians now reached a point of no return and they must contact Eriol by any means. I liked that they added this scene as a build up for next episode, as opposite to the manga.

    Next episode we are finally entering the “danger zone”, as I expect “the resonance” to happen there, right at the end. These weeks will seem like eternity! And we’re few days away from a new chapter of the manga!!

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