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This time, the waiting went by so fast! Chapter 56 came with the blink of an eye.
Let’s talk about the color spread (two months in a row!). It’s gorgeous, to begin with. This is the first time we have Syaoran taking a color spread entirely for himself and second time we have a color spread without Sakura. The first one being Kaito, and both illustrations had dark background, which is something rare for Card Captor Sakura. Syaoran is looking like a true warrior — although he looks much younger (unless this is younger Syaoran?). I love his traditional robe and his one-ear earring.
Sakura and Syaoran’s conversation is very much based on trust, which shows how solid their relationship is. It’s only natural that Syaoran trusts Sakura (and vice-versa) and this saves a lot of pages and storytelling too. This trust is extended to the guardians, who confessed to Sakura that they also knew about Kaito, but wouldn’t/couldn’t tell Sakura. Nobody was mad at nobody. The trust level was high. There’s also not much time left for overreacting to things.
As expected, we learn that Kaito’s magic preventing Syaoran from talking about him was lifted due to Sakura’s power growing stronger. This was very much expected, but it’s nice to get that part cleared.
They also quickly realized that Kaito deals with time magic, which is another thing that could take some time for them to realize, but no, they know now that Kaito’s magic deals with time. Great.
Momo’s words are interesting, as she realizes that Sakura and her team are now aware about Kaito. I wonder if she will tell Kaito? I think not because she doesn’t want to interfere on things. Anyway, Momo’s words imply that Kaito will no longer be able to turn back time, because once known, a technique falls apart specially when it’s a time-related magic and when the opponent grows stronger. In other words, this is CLAMP telling us that Kaito turning back time is no more (we had enough of that, indeed. Five times is good enough).
Momo concludes that everything Kaito has been trying to stop and freeze will now start to move towards an end. Okay, things are definitely moving, we could feel that chapters ago. Now it’s a little more official, but I am not convinced we are as close to the end as things appear (more on that later).
Sakura’s choice of not telling Akiho makes a lot of sense considering their relationship. She cares enough about Akiho to not ruin her relationship with Kaito. Sakura doesn’t know how to approach that yet, and Sakura understands how it’s like to have someone special and she is putting herself in Akiho’s position. From a storytelling perspective, I understand how it can be frustrating Sakura not telling her. We’d all want Sakura to go running and tell Akiho, but her decision to not tell anything to her yet is very in character. CLAMP’s characters all act according to their wish and this is what moves the story.
On that matter, Sakura’s powers have grown to the point that she notices there is something inside Akiho. This is huge. For the first time Sakura acknowledges Akiho is not so ordinary as she appears. Sakura is the only one from “team Sakura” who could sense this — although I suspect that Eriol knows by this point, but not because he sensed it, but because of the research he did that was shown in the extra chapter.
I love how the guardians are all chilling and having tea very matter-of-factly all on their true forms. Spinel says that Syaoran recommended them all to prioritize Sakura’s will. This is another indication that from now on Sakura’s team will be more united and transparent (no more secrets!). They also agree that while her guardians will always have her back, Sakura’s decisions are hers no one else’s. They fully trust her.
We finally have an update on the play! Another strong indication that the plot is moving and the climax is reaching closer (does anybody at this point still doubt that the play will be the climax?). We have a theme song almost ready, which Tomoyo described as “mysterious and sad” (just like Clear Card?) and the script is almost finished. I think there is a mistake on page 25 where Tomoyo refers to herself as Daidouji. I think the speech bubble should be pointing to Naoko (who can’t be seen on the frame) instead of pointing to Tomoyo.
Naoko finally does the obvious and invites Sakura and Akiho to play the two Alices on the play. They haven’t agreed, but it’s more than safe to assume they will (lol). The story is about two Alices: one “Alice” who is lost in the dream world and “the other Alice”, who can’t go back to her original world. These descriptions make me think Sakura is the Alice who is lost in the dream world (hmmm weird) and Akiho is the Alice who can’t return to her world. But wouldn’t it be funny if CLAMP pulled the rug from under us and swapped things over?
I can’t wait for the play to start and the metaphor show begin. I foresee a lot of flashbacks from Momo and Akiho’s mother during the play.
Things are definitely moving faster and toward the climax. A lot of things happened on this chapter and things seem to be getting in place for the final moments, but at the same time, it’s a bit hard to think everything will conclude on this volume 12. I can’t see it going over for much longer, but I am not seeing it ending on volume 12 anymore. 13 volumes is an odd number, but if you consider the 12 volumes from the original series, you get 25 volumes, which is a bit more of a “round” number. We are reaching the end, for sure, but at this point I hate to admit it but I no longer think it’s going to be 12 volumes.
The updated list of cards secured so far:
30 pages for the second chapter of volume 12 — 55 pages for volume 12 so far.
Next chapter will be released on October 31!