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Lovely extreme close-up for the color spread. The crown motif in their clothes is really cute.
I was a little disappointed that we didn’t learn who was trying to steal the cards, but I guess I should have know better that they wouldn’t reveal that on this chapter…
The fact that Sakura tried to stop the cards by using SIEGE but didn’t work makes me think that this was not caused by Sakura, even though she herself wonders if that was the case. Syaoran also thinks this was not caused by her.
Once again we have The Mirror getting itself in some sort of trouble. It’s always that card! xD Whoever tried to steal the cards, are they going to make new attempts? Are more cards going to be stolen? Or were they looking specifically for The Mirror? If so, why bother trying to steal all of them and, if so, what for? Do they plan on using it for something?
I wanna mention the fact that the Sakura Cards also look clear. This happened before and we all thought it was a mistake. However it seems like this was not fixed for the tankoubon (I have to confess I am trusting my friend’s Sakura84-chan’s word for it since I haven’t checked that myself yet) and we see them clear again on this chapter again. This makes me think it’s a conscious decision by CLAMP to make them look clear, specially since in the beginning of the story they all went clear indeed.
After that, everyone at the school that was frozen in time was back to normal. It’s unclear to me what triggered the time to resume flowing: Syaoran getting all cards back or something else.
It’s a little strange how Tomoyo asked to form a pair with Chiharu instead of Sakura, but then again, Tomoyo is this high level, otherworldly wise creature so she probably feels so damn confident about her friendship with Sakura that nothing bothers her. I understand CLAMP needed an opportunity to Sakura and Akiho to interact.
Akiho revisits the night before to Sakura, the one which she confessed her feelings to Kaito in that unusual manner. She goes about how they revisited old memories from their travelings and the fact that Kaito remembered every little detail seemed to make Akiho happy. I totally get her. Isn’t it nice when someone special remembers all the special moments you shared together? It means they care.
Memories are very important to CLAMP. Memories can’t be recreated and they rank high in Yuuko/Watanuki’s shop price table. Upon talking with my friend Sakura84-chan, we both agreed that this scene felt a little ominous. If you analyse Ohkawa-sensei’s writing style, you will notice that when she makes her characters revisit good memories it is usually followed by a setback. We’ll see what awaits Kaito and Akiho…
The panel with all the persons dear to Sakura is very pretty. Hawk-eyed and fellow Brazilian reader Solemar Junior pointed out to me an interesting fact: the flowers that appear near each character is their favorite flower. Such a nice detail for that page composition!
Sakura makes Akiho feel very emotional and vulnerable by just being Sakura, who tells Akiho things that basically every human being seeks to hear, and yet somehow no one had ever told her. We see Akiho crying. It’s a really moving scene and definitely there is character development happening here.
This moment of vulnerability triggers something in Akiho, which causes the “book” inside her to suddenly appear again and attempt to swallow Sakura once again, just like previous attempts that have been blocked by Kaito turning back time.
Except that Kaito is not around this time….
The next scene is a little hard to understand and I think that’s on purpose. We will probably understand better in the coming chapters, but it seems that this event triggered another event, which made Nadeshiko’s pocket watch to be activated and, from the book pages (or was it from thin air?) a rose appeared and shielded Sakura.
Momo freaks out seeing Akiho that way and ends up revealing she’s no ordinary plush toy to Sakura. She believed it had been Kaito who had stopped time, but after she sees Nadeshiko’s watch, she seems to understand what happened, confirming it wasn’t Kaito who stopped time this time.
Clearly Nadeshiko’s watch was given to Sakura in order to protect her, but somehow Momo was not affected by its magic too, which makes me think that Akiho’s mother is involved. Could it be that the ring she gave Momo (which is now in one of her ears) is allowing Momo to move freely?
I am seeing this watch as one of the many last resources devices we have seen in previous CLAMP stories, such as Mizuki’s bell in the Final Judgment, or Soel’s earring in Tsubasa. Until now, we always had Kaito to save the day and prevent whatever shit is happening now, from happening. Now, Kaito is too weak to turn back time so the watch came into action.
I am still a little confused as to what triggered what. In Chapter 48 we see one of the watch’s clock-hand moving right before time stopped and everybody froze. Did the watch made time stop?
Then, time moved again after Syaoran got all the cards except for The Mirror.
Later, the “book” inside Akiho came out and that moved the clock-hand again and caused the time to stop again, except for Sakura and Momo.
I don’t know if this is the right sequence of things but this is how I am interpreting things right now….
Whatever this spell is doing to protect Sakura, it’s probably not going to last very long and Momo and Sakura will have to figure out together their next moves. I’m really glad Sakura finally knows about Momo, I’m very curious to read what they will talk!! The “Nadeshiko’s watch” card is finally played. Some other cards left to be played are: Touya’s new power, Tsukimine Shrine, Eriol (?), Yelan (?), Momo’s earring… what else?
The updated list of cards secured so far:
30 pages for this chapter, closing volume 10 with 139 pages. The next chapter shall be the first chapter of volume 11, and will be published on February 1st, which means we are going to have a break in the next issue of Nakayoshi before we see the continuation of the story, unfortunately!