Card Captor Sakura – Clear Card arc – Chapter 39

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

Japanese RAWs

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A double title page this month celebrating Autumn (in the North Hemisphere at least!). We’ve seen that same sweater (or versions of it) before in Clear Card (Chapter 7 title page) and even Tsubasa (one of Fye’s earliest illustrations). Very cute Sakura-chan sending positive vibes to young (or not so young anymore) readers of Nakayoshi. The birds are so well-drawn ♡

Syaoran wisely uses The Shadow to chase Sakura’s shadow but alas, Kaito learned well from Eriol and he wants Sakura to figure it out by herself so he hides her deep in the interior of a tree where her shadow can’t be projected (clever).

I love how even though this is a fantasy work, CLAMP would still sometimes care about realistic issues such as Sakura hurting her back after being thrown inside the tree.

Kaito gets reminiscent of the day he met Akiho for the first time and she was reading a book about a girl fighting a time thief. And what is Kaito if not a time thief? His name, “Kaito” can mean “thief” when written with different kanjis and you know how names are important for CLAMP. Up until then, I was only considering the theft as the magical artifact (Akiho herself) he stole from the Magician Society, but I had never considered him as a time thief. It kinda makes sense…?

I wonder if Kaito got any ideas of his modus operandi from that book (he asked Akiho to tell him the book’s story).

Still wondering here if the reason for Kaito offering himself to be Akiho’s companion on her journey is purely for sympathy reasons (in order to help her) or is there a deeper, selfish reason behind it? When I say “selfish”, I don’t mean in a bad way, but more like: what’s in it for him? Was he trying to prove something to himself? He didn’t just accompany her, he went all the way from learning things and doing things that he had considered bothersome before, as Momo pointed out.

I probably already said this but I will say it again: the plot device of “carving” the spells into Akiho’s body is flat-out the same as the one from Tsubasa where Sakura was sent on a journey across dimensions to “carve” on her body the experiences from other dimensions. Plot recycle alert!

Another strong hint that Momo is the guardian of the Alice in Clockland book, “she” appears directly above it on page 19, just like Kero would be above Clow’s book. Interesting relationship between Momo and Akiho’s mother here — did she create Momo? They were definitely close, close enough for Momo to take her task of looking after her daughter. The ring in Momo’s ear used to belong to Akiho’s mother. You just know that ring is gonna play an important role, just like Soel and Larg’s rings.

I also have to point out Akiho’s mother’s necklace showing up with such evidence on page 19. The same necklace can be seen in Chapter 36 on the flashback with Nadeshiko. Its design is very curious, showing 8 stars, two of which are 6-pointed stars (one different than the other). Why 8? Could it be the number of the Magic Clan? I counted 7 members on previous scenes where they appear, could Akiho be the 8th member?

Still weird that Akiho’s mother would allow sending over her daughter just like that. It makes me think that for some reason (probably plot-related) she wanted that.

CLAMP then go all the way Alice in Wonderland by giving us talking flowers. The flowers look so pretty, Mokona always nails drawing flowers! Akiho shows up in what appears to be a dream and the “dream” changes to the same environment surrounded by clocks from previous dreams.

Then creepy Syaoran pulls up a Shangela and comes back again to haunt Sakura’s dream. This is getting more and more recurring, which makes me believe it’s actually going to happen. I am curious to see what twist CLAMP is going to throw to make Syaoran wear the Magic Clan’s robes and look dead inside.

Sakura’s reaction is strong enough to break not only Kaito’s spell, but the dream sequence altogether and by doing so she creates the 19th card, BREAK. Not sure myself if this is going be the last card. I think not, so the theory that the number of Clear Cards would match the number of Sakura Cards appears to have died after this chapter. But hopefully we’re not too far from it.

Sakura is about to realize something, why she is creating these cards. I really hope she realizes it so we can change this pattern a little. Avid readers have noticed that apparently (?) CLAMP made a mistake on the very last page by showing anime-only cards such as REVERSE and HAIL. I hope they will fix this for the tankoubon release.

All in all, the plot gears moved a LOT this chapter, which is good and I am happy about it. If my 10-volumes theory is right, we are 2 volumes away from the ending so things should start moving faster from now on.

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
  15. BLADE
  16. REPAIR
  17. REWIND
  18. SHADE
  19. BREAK

Anime-only cards:

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

32 pages for this chapter. This was the last chapter of volume 8. Card Captor Sakura Clear Card arc will be taking a break on the next issue of Nakayoshi. Next chapter will be published at the end of December.

2 thoughts on “Card Captor Sakura – Clear Card arc – Chapter 39

  1. I ought to get myself one of those sweaters.

    The short montage of Akiho and Kaito’s journey together was genuinely lovely. The answer to the question of why Kaito volunteered himself to become Akiho’s guardian will probably mark the end of his character arc—it’s something that, as Momo herself says, he has to look deep inside of himself to find. Hopefully he figures it out before something horrible happens, ahaha.

    Interesting relationship between Momo and Akiho’s mother here — did she create Momo? They were definitely close, close enough for Momo to take her task of looking after her daughter.

    Momo was present for the last activation of the book “over a century ago” (according to Kaito), so unless there is some TRC-style time-warping going on here, Akiho’s mother couldn’t have created her. Due to Akimom’s relative strength compared to her other family members, her clan might have entrusted the book to her (which would explain why her ring looks like the arms of a clock).

    Still weird that Akiho’s mother would allow sending over her daughter just like that. It makes me think that for some reason (probably plot-related) she wanted that.

    She’s Nadeshiko 2.0 AND Clow 2.0! You would think that if Akimom foresaw how much her daughter would suffer at the hands of her family, she would leave them, right? She was definitely one of their most powerful magicians, but probably not powerful enough to successfully break free from them and continue protecting her loved ones. (Unless she decided that Akiho’s suffering would ultimately lead to a happy ending for both Akiho and Sakura, who never would have met otherwise, in which case—uh, wow, she really would be Clow 2.0.)

    I have no comment on creepy Syaoran, other than that if CLAMP has somebody possess him and the Sakura Cards, that would be a serious low blow. I’m hoping this is more of an emotional issue on Sakura’s part rather than an actual vision of the future.

    The readers seem really calm about this upcoming break. Come to think of it, I feel as if we didn’t get as much discussion over this chapter as we did earlier ones on the Discord server? A second season of the show would help reignite the fandom, but until then, it seems that everything is winding down. It’s a good time to enter the finale.

    Like

    • I ought to get myself one of those sweaters.
      It has certainly got a status by now.

      it’s something that, as Momo herself says, he has to look deep inside of himself to find. Hopefully he figures it out before something horrible happens, ahaha.
      So you think not even himself knows the reason?

      Momo was present for the last activation of the book “over a century ago” (according to Kaito), so unless there is some TRC-style time-warping going on here, Akiho’s mother couldn’t have created her.
      Yes, but we don’t know exactly how many years Akimom lived. It is true that she grew up the same time as Nadeshiko (a human being), but we don’t know the lifespans of these wizards. However yes, it is unlikely that she created Momo, but they must have been real close.

      Unless she decided that Akiho’s suffering would ultimately lead to a happy ending for both Akiho and Sakura, who never would have met otherwise, in which case—uh, wow, she really would be Clow 2.0.
      I am betting on that. Before we knew Akimom, we didn’t know who Akiho’s parents were, if they were even alive. We thought they were horrible people to allow such a thing, to say the least. But after knowing Akimom, she doesn’t seem horrible at all. Maybe a but lunatic hahaha I think she foresaw the outcome or like, believed in Sakura-chan and she knew that it was for the greater good.

      it seems that everything is winding down. It’s a good time to enter the finale.
      I agree. The fandom is really showing signs of tiredness. I hope 2020 will see the end of Clear Card.

      Like

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