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What a lovely surprise seeing Yamazaki on the color title page! So rare. I am glad he got himself one color illustration in Clear Card arc. The magician role-play suits him really well! Once again we had a contextualised title page, after all Yamazaki did appear in this chapter =)
After a long time we are taken into one of Sakura’s dreams again. I always love the dream sequences very much. They are so full of mysteries and you just can tell that the plot gears are moving every time…
This time, Sakura is wondering if this is a premonitory dream or if it’s just a dream that shows her fears (like most dreams that you know, average people have). We even get to see again the dragon-like creature that was absent for quite some time.
For the first time in this chapter it occurred to me that the Mysterious Cloaked Figure wanting Sakura’s Dream Key might not be something as bad as it may look at first. I can see how CLAMP are trying to convey this idea of the Mysterious Cloaked Figure being EVIL and wanting to steal the key, what if taking the key from Sakura could actually help her instead?
I read the official Portuguese translations and the part where Sakura wakes up and reflects that the Mysterious Cloaked Figure seemed “lonely”, the word that they chose for the translation (“solitária”) specially implies that the Mysterious Cloaked Figure is female. I don’t know exactly in what they are basing this on… I don’t know if they received specific instructions/guidance from Kodansha on which gender to use on this particular scene, or if it was just deliberate. Anyhow, I thought it was an interesting choice, consider Sakura doesn’t know who the figure really is…
That scene leads up to Akiho waking up on her own bed and the scene looks perfectly mirrored to the scene before with Sakura waking up and I love that ♡
Akiho goes outside, sees Kaito and his expression is so on point. It conveys that exact mixture of sorrowfulness, tiredness, empathy, kindness and vulnerability. It’s a really beautiful expression.
As we know, Kaito’s magic is based on the power of the Moon, and there is a full Moon tonight. Was he drawing energy from it? Was he “charging up” for later? Was he doing both? Given that the scene happened exactly at the same time as Sakura and Akiho were sleeping, I wonder if he was the one who conjured that dream to Sakura…
Akiho notices that Kaito is looking pale, and the last panel of the previous chapter showed to us an extremely debilitated Kaito running out of time. Kaito tells her it’s probably the moonlight but I think he just doesn’t want her to worry about him over what’s really the issue.
Akiho then gathers as much courage as possible and tells Kaito that… the Moon looks beautiful. Now, there’s a lot more to this than what it appears. Some well informed fans have pointed out that this phrase can be used when someone wants to confess their love. There is more background information about this Japanese cultural expression on this link. (A warm thank you to Sakura84-chan for bringing this to my attention ♡)
Given that this expression has its roots in Japanese literature and given that Akiho is a well into books, this way of confessing her feelings suits her perfectly. Ohkawa even used quotation marks (although they were sadly removed in the English translations; the Portuguese translations have them, thankfully).
Kaito seems very surprised by that, but do you think he understood what he meant…? If you read the link I explaining the background for that expression, you have seen that an usual answer for the “The moon is beautiful, ins’t it?” is “I can die happy”. Don’t you think this tragically suits Kaito as well?
The rest of the scene is suspiciously cut to the next morning where Naoko is trying to convince an unconvinceable Syaoran to act on her play. We all know he is gonna give in eventually, the poor thing…
Sakura notices Akiho’s eyes are red and Akiho tells her that is because she spent the whole night awake — but she seems really happy and not sleepy at all, which makes me think that the scene was purposely cut and that we might see the rest of Akiho and Kaito’s conversation under the Moon sometime soon.
Tomoyo also spent the whole night awake sewing stuff. There’s something about the way this was presented that screams FINAL BATTLE COSTUME. It just seems to me to be a special costume for Sakura.
Then, the (book’s?) clock moves again when Sakura touches Akiho and as their bond deepens. Everybody around Sakura but Syaoran freezes!
Something then pulls away all Sakura’s cards that are in Syaoran’s possession, indicating that whoever is behind this clearly doesn’t want Syaoran to interfere using the cards.
Could this be the one card Kaito is waiting Sakura to create? Could it be because Sakura was “so happy” with that bond moment with Akiho that she wished time could stop? But if this is the one card Kaito wants, what kind of showdown/final battle should we expect to take place during Naoko’s play?
This was a really good chapter with lots of important developments. I hope from now one every chapter left will be the same ♡
The updated list of cards secured so far:
28 pages for this chapter, 109 pages for volume 10 so far. The next chapter shall be the last chapter of volume 10, and will be published on November 29.
I can’t believe I’m the first one?? XD
People, where are you, I had a full busy day and no one took the chance to steal the first comment from me? XDDD
Loved your review of the chapter!
Let’s see some random comments I want to make:
Sakura is wondering if this is a premonitory dream or if it’s just a dream that shows her fears (like most dreams that you know, average people have)
As I said in my own post, I loved this part because it was about time that she aknowledged out loud that she feels anxiety, fears, insecurities.
It can’t be every damn time just “everything will be alright”, it’s part of the “growing-up process” and I wanted to see her aknowledging that yes, even an ever-optimistic person like her can have fears and anxiety.
what if taking the key from Sakura could actually help her instead?
This was one of my first impressions (turned into a theory) ever since the Clear Card series started…the possibility that helping MCF might turn out to solve her *own* problem too. When it was revealed that under the robe there was Syaoran, for a period, I’ve thought that it was really him trying to take the key away in the desperate attempt to stop her powers going berserk. But the problem is, at the beginning of all this mess there’s her power growing uncontrollably. The key that resulted from the dream of that night is helping her crystallizing her power into “clear cards”, so one could even think that it was *Kaito* the one giving her that key in her dream, for his own purposes….but once removed the key, would Sakura’s problems stop? Where would she channel her overflowing powers, instead?
It conveys that exact mixture of sorrowfulness, tiredness, empathy, kindness and vulnerability. It’s a really beautiful expression.
Oh dear god yes. Vulnerability. Who could say that someone like Kaito could be *vulnerable*, uh?? But he is, now more than ever. And since it’s pretty clear he’s doing all of this for Akiho, we could say that his vulnerability is a direct consequence of caring for someone. But that can also turn into his strength, and I’m sure we’ll see that. The day he will realize what Momo has been trying to tell him all this time.
Anyway, I loved that scene…the first time that I’m actually *really* impressed by Kaito. And it’s when he looks in his worse shape, hahaha.
which makes me think that the scene was purposely cut and that we might see the rest of Akiho and Kaito’s conversation under the Moon sometime soon.
I HOPE SO!!
People are commenting less and less, it’s all about social media these days xD Therefore I do appreciate your effort to still comment here ♡
even an ever-optimistic person like her can have fears and anxiety.
Yes, and from a writer’s perspective, CLAMP must be having fun leaving us guessing whether this is premonition or just a bad dream fuelled by insecurities. We were so used to think that every dream Sakura had was a premonition. But they now showing us that it may not always be the case.
but once removed the key, would Sakura’s problems stop? Where would she channel her overflowing powers, instead?
Yes, maybe there is something else we don’t know yet, but we should consider the possibility that taking the key away from her might be as bad and evil and it may appear.
But that can also turn into his strength, and I’m sure we’ll see that
Yes! A thousand times yes. I have read a book about vulnerability from Brené Brown and she talks exactly that, how being vulnerable is both acknowledging your weaknesses and becoming stronger because of that. We need to bare our souls (become vulnerable) in order to become stronger. People are afraid to bare their souls because they think they’ll get hurt, but it’s the only way out. Her TED talk is really really good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCvmsMzlF7o
have read a book about vulnerability from Brené Brown and she talks exactly that, how being vulnerable is both acknowledging your weaknesses and becoming stronger because of that.
Thank you so much for pointing that out, I will certainly give it a look because now I’m really interested. I think all of this talk we’re making is *really* relevant here, as Momo has suggested before, with her own words, that Kaito tends to avert his eyes from the truth in his heart…so there’s definitely a denial in there, probably because of fear to get hurt. So this is also the reason why Akiho can never seem to get a clear look at “his real face” (=soul). Maybe he fears that if she sees his real character, she’ll hate him?
so there’s definitely a denial in there, probably because of fear to get hurt. So this is also the reason why Akiho can never seem to get a clear look at “his real face” (=soul). Maybe he fears that if she sees his real character, she’ll hate him?
I think there’s a lot of logic in that line of thought. He is just like Fye in that regard, they “hide” their true selves for fear of being hurt.
Seeing Yamazaki in color is a rare treat! I love the silly-looking dove perching on his shoulder.
It seems the MCF has two different identities: it’s always Akiho when the gears are present, and it’s always Syaoran when Sakura tries to confront it violently. Sakura has felt a deep sense of sorrow and loneliness within Akiho before, since she now (subconsciously) knows about her terrible childhood. That’s likely why she was so gentle in approaching the MCF this time.
I wonder if the key will really help the MCF. As Cinzia mentioned above, the key seems to be the main thing helping Sakura wrangle her powers before they do serious damage, so she’ll need some kind of alternative for dealing with her own magic if she wants to give the key to the MCF. On a surface level, Akiho’s problems stem from the fact that she has no magic…but would her family really love her if she did? For all his powers, Kaito was abused and unloved throughout his entire childhood, and I don’t think the Squids are suddenly going to turn into kind people if Akiho becomes a proper magician.
Akiho has confessed to Kaito, Kaito is on the verge of death, and Syaoran has just lost the Sakura Cards. We’ve had more than one fake climax before, but this time, we know Tomoyo has a costume with her. With only one chapter left until Vol. 11, we just might get the final confrontation before we see Naoko’s play. That would be a twist!
For all his powers, Kaito was abused and unloved throughout his entire childhood, and I don’t think the Squids are suddenly going to turn into kind people if Akiho becomes a proper magician.
SO TRUE…Kaito is the very proof that having magical powers doesn’t make you earn automatically any love or affection. The irony is that the other members of the ASSociation ended up *fearing him*, and generally keeping him at a distance because of his powers. Akiho and Kaito are at the two opposite extremes of a scale made of magic, loneliness, sorrow, and child mistreatment.
Kaito built his self-confidence and arrogant character *around* the fact that he’s alone, and always will be. He turned something that might seem bad into his own strength, purely for survival. This is a self-made barrier that is keeping him from seeing the truth, seeing Akiho’s feelings and his own.
For all the above, I think we already know the answer to “would Akiho’s family love her, if she had powers?”
but this time, we know Tomoyo has a costume with her
THIS is what really indicates the possibility of this being THE REAL showdown! Or at least, whatever will lead to it!
It’s really interesting indeed that Akiho and Kaito are exact opposites in regards to magic. One has an enormous amount of magic and the other has none; but both grew up lonely because of too much or complete lack of magic.
With only one chapter left until Vol. 11, we just might get the final confrontation before we see Naoko’s play. That would be a twist!
Maybe the play will come after the showdown as an aftermath? I wonder if it wouldn’t be too much for an anti-climax to do something like that.
I wouldn’t put it past Ohkawa. CCS has featured not one, but two school plays starring Sakura where something horrible happened right in the middle. What better way to trick the readers than to fill them with anticipation for the next play, only to sucker punch them with the climax before it even begins?
Todos os pontos parecem estar se amarrando e o plot vai progredindo bem. Gosto quando as coisas funcionam assim. 😀
Eu acho que o “solitária” não implica diretamente que seja uma menina. Acho que está concordando com “você parece [uma pessoa] muito solitária”. Acho difícil que Ohkawa passe informações privilegiadas para as editoras, pois ela adora segurar informações, até dentro do próprio grupo!!
Mas é bem provável que a figura seja Akiho, então a concordância continua certa. XD
Eu pensei no “[pessoa] solitária”, mas acho que a JBC devia ter incluído o “pessoa”. Ficou meio contraditório por que nem a Sakura sabe quem é.
Também acho difícil a Ohkawa ter revelado quando quer coisa…. rs