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We’ve reached a milestone with Chapter 50! And with it, the first chapter of Volume 11, which I believe to be the penultimate volume.
We’ve got another blue-themed double color title page, which brings attention to the fact that the flower (rose?) could be a white one. Otherwise, it could have been an artistic decision as well. It wouldn’t be the first time that CLAMP changed the color of something for an isolated illustration. Truth being said, the flower did look white in Chapter 49 as well.
There were a lot of expectations concerning this chapter, and it surely delivered! Some long standing questions have been finally answered.
Sakura is way more worried with Akiho’s state than the fact that Momo is suddenly talking to her. It’s good to know that by now, after 3 times, talking plush toys no longer shock our heroine. Momo soon realizes that this reaction is expected from Sakura, demonstrating she has big knowledge about Sakura.
We learn that Momo knows about Sakura and her powers only because she surpassed the spell that Eriol put on Sakura in order to protect her from ill-intended magicians. This is new information to us, that there is a spell in place that hides Sakura’s powers. It feels a bit retconned to me, but it works and it doesn’t break anything (just HOW many things did Clow/Eriol do before splitting his soul?).
Anyway, this spell that we learned about now would explain how the Magician Society and Akiho’s magic Clan never tried to recruit Sakura up to this point. It probably means then that they are less powerful than Eriol, while Momo could potentially be more powerful than Eriol — unless it works differently than what I am thinking.
Who is that person Momo is referring to when she says Sakura is so beloved and well-regarded that “that person” is thinking what they are thinking. Is it… Syaoran? Does Momo know what Syaoran is thinking?
We learn that “Alice in Clockland” is not the real title of the book, which makes a lot of sense given that the book’s cover doesn’t have a title. Akiho chose that title, along with Momo’s name, as she is the “temporary” master of the book.
At long last we see Momo’s true form. It only took us 11 volumes. I had some expectations that she would look human, but I didn’t have any particular expectation about her features, except that she would be very white. And she is, down to her hair. Readers pointed out that she looks like the White Queen from Through The Looking Glass, and I agree. I am very glad that can finally check that off of the “list of mysteries” left to be solved.
Even though Akiho, Momo and Kaito mirrors in many ways Sakura, Kero/Suppi and Yue/Ruby Moon, we learn that “Momo”, which is of course, not her real name, is the solo guardian of the book. Her outfit has both black and white, indicating that she possesses both ying and yang magics. Her outfit also indicates that she deals with magic of time.
Without revealing much for fear of breaking her contract, “Momo” asks Sakura if she knows the reason why she’s been creating the cards (she doesn’t say “Clear” cards, much like everyone else in the story), hinting that there is someone pulling the strings behind it. With the information we have been given, the person “Momo” is referring to is probably Kaito.
“Momo” then changes Sakura’s clothes to the ones that Tomoyo is currently finishing. Meaning, it’s not finished yet and yet it looks finished on Sakura. This moment seems very random (why change her clothes?) but we just know that there must be a reason behind this. And how come the outfit seems completed when Tomoyo is still making it? Could it be that “Momo”‘s power, being rooted in time, can do this sort of thing?
“Momo” places a clock hand ornament in Sakura’s outfit and off she goes, inside the book.
Back in Akiho’s house, Kaito senses that “Momo” used magic while in her true form and that seemed to affect him (not in a good way)…? Is this part of their contract? Once again Kaito points out that his time is nearly over.
There is a lot of expectation being built towards Kaito’s time running over. It makes me question myself if it’s going to be just like that and he will die indeed or if there’s more or maybe a trick to it. I don’t remember another CLAMP character whose death was anticipated as much as Kaito. It might feel anticlimactic that he going to die just as predicted. But I also don’t think he is going to leave this damage-free. He’s does some risky time magic shit and there is a price that comes with it. Let’s keep an eye on Kaito, we definitely did not see the last of him.
Sakura is transported inside the book and it looks just like Tomoeda, except that everything looks staged and made up. She sees her house, her father standing in front of it but oh-oh… Fujitaka does not recognize Sakura as his daughter.
Where have we seen this before? Oh, yes, in the very classic series where everyone who Sakura loves forgets their feelings towards Sakura. We have also seen the “book world” device being used before in other CLAMP works, such as Tsubasa when Syaoran sees Kurogane’s past through a book.
I think “Momo” wants to show Sakura what her life would be like without all the love that she receives from the people that love her. Something akin to what must be like to grow up as Akiho. There must be something that “Momo” needs Sakura to experience herself. I wouldn’t be surprised if Fujitaka’s daughter in this world is Akiho.
Back to the subject of Sakura’s outfit, I wonder what Tomoyo will say (if anything at all) when she sees Sakura wearing it in this world… is that why CLAMP decided to change her clothes?
It definitely feels like we are approaching the climax. I hope the next chapter will bring us some more answers, but I think this “book world” story might take us another 2 to 3 chapters at least.
Oh, and I have a bet for next chapter’s color page: “Momo” in her true form.
The updated list of cards secured so far:
29 pages for this chapter, opening volume 11. The next chapter will come out on March 1st!