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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.