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Dated 17 March 2005: Yuki Kajiura and Tsubasa Chronicle

Speaking of Yuki Kajiura, she is reportedly on board for the Tsubasa Chronicle anime, which is damn good news even if the series is regrettably not retaining the same voice actors from Cardcaptor Sakura.

I guess it's just as well. Tsubasa Chronicle doesn't have a prayer at being as good as Cardcaptor Sakura, so by lowering viewers' expectations from the outset, perhaps it will be better received.

And look, Bee Train! Oh wait, that could really go either way.

Dated 11 May 2005: Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle

I'm a sucker for alternate universe stories, but I have mixed feelings about the new Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle anime, based on CLAMP's fantasy manga starring characters based on older versions of its Cardcaptor Sakura characters, and similarly revised versions of characters from some of its other series as well.

Sakura
Sakura

On the one hand, the animation is pretty as all Hell, and HDTV raws are available, and I hear the story itself is entertaining, at least in manga form. On the other hand, no one from the voice cast of Cardcaptor Sakura returns. The different voices are really jarring—at least as much as the visuals in To Heart ~Remember My Memories~. I do still enjoy To Heart: Type R, and I'll probably keep watching Tsubasa Chronicle, but it does have a very tough act to follow.

Shaoran
Shaoran

I love the music in Tsubasa Chronicle, thanks to the fine work of Yuki Kajiura, but I don't like the different voices. Touya's voice is the least objectionable, followed by Tomoyo's (Maaya Sakamoto does an acceptable older Tomoyo in addition to singing the ED), but Yukito's voice is completely different. Also, I swear original Cardcaptor Sakura 10-year-old Shaoran has a deeper voice than the older Tsubasa Chronicle Shaoran.

Tomoyo
Tomoyo. PRINCESS Tomoyo, that is.

Oh yeah, in keeping with what I understand to be CLAMP's new character designs, everyone looks extremely tall and skinny—way beyond "willowy" and all the way to freakisly elongated—but I'm okay with that.

Sakura
Sakura, far from home

The plot? Sakura's in trouble and Shaoran is trying to save her. And there's universe hopping involved, which some people have compared to Sliders. Overall, it's interesting enough, but not especially compelling. I think it's still too early to decide the show's merits, but it's an interesting idea at least; we'll just have to wait and see about the execution.

Dated 3 January 2008: PINAFORE CHECK

Sakura
Sakura.

Despite my rhetoric, I acknowledge that pinafores are unlikely to become popular as everyday wear absent an unexpected increase in the number of maids and/or magikal girls among the general public.

Dated 12 December 2010: Cardcaptor Sakura Re-Watching Project

Cardcaptor Sakura DVDs
Just so you know, the shoujo rack has grown
considerably since this 2005 picture.

I've been re-watching Cardcaptor Sakura courtesy of some Blu-ray rips. Despite being relatively low-bitrate re-encodes, these Blu-rips do look better than my official Pioneer/Geneon region one DVDs. Well, at least they look better than what I remember—I haven't done a side-by-side comparison. The frame jitter is gone at least.

Tomoyo and Sakura
Sakura is actually one of the most powerful magikal
girls even though she sometimes fights harmless
enemies that make cakes too sweet.

Visual quality aside, the most notable difference is the remixed 5.1 surround sound audio. I suppose it is a little gimmicky, to tell you the truth, but I still enjoy being surprised by the multi-channel changes. Cardcaptor Sakura remains an excellent show that has aged very well, so I find myself caught up in its storytelling and charm instead of spending my time watching for technical changes; thus, the occasional rear-channel sound effects and such continue to catch me by surprise, even 30 episodes deep into 70-episode re-watching project.

Sweet and Sakura
On a related note, I heard that if you put
salt on a bird's tail it won't be able to fly.

Now if we could only get the Blu-ray discs released properly over here with English subtitles at a price point below that of the otaku-bleeding Haruhi discs. I'd also prefer it if the American-market discs were not all jacked up in some exasperatingly incompetent way, too, thanks.

Dated 28 January 2011: Cardcaptor Sakura characters I totally forgot about

Nakuru
Nakuru in a rare non-glomping moment.

Somehow I totally forgot about the Top Fuel Genki exchange student who appears in the show's second half.

Rika
Rika is still no Miu, though.

In other news, despite Nakuru's deadly hime cut + braid combination, Rika still has the best hair in Cardcaptor Sakura.

Dated 15 April 2011: Something else I noticed about Cardcaptor Sakura this time around

Kero-chan's Skyline
Dorrrrifffttuuuu.

Kero-chan drives a Skyline. Well, sort of.

Dated 5 February 2018: Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card-hen releases us from the Time card's pernicious grasp

Sakura
Just your average preteen and her WMD.

Has it really been 18 years already? Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card-hen basically picks up where the last series left off, and the transition is practically seamless. Various electronic gadgets get upgraded to the modern standard without comment, but the show itself is just the way I remember it. The cast remains intact, and while some voices have changed a bit over the years, the characters still remain true to form. Sadly, Kawakami Tomoko passed away in 2011, but Clear Card-hen did not write her character out of the show. Well, Rika did transfer to a different school, but she's acknowledged as still being part of the circle of friends and shares a phone conversation with Sakura in the fourth episode. It's not clear how large a role she will play in the current series, but this is also the case for much of the Cardcaptor Sakura cast. After all, the original ran for 70 episodes, while Clear Card is projected for only 22. I think we can expect a lot of characters to only get cameos this time around.

Touya and Sakura
Some things don't ever change.

For now, these episodes fit the "card of the week" stereotype, but that was true of the initial episodes in the original series as well. I'm fairly certain we can expect Clear Card to grow into a much larger story with complex narratives as it progresses. For the time being, I don't have much to say about Clear Card itself except that I'm constantly amazed we got a sequel to one of the best shows of all time almost 20 years after it ended, and the sequel manages to hit all the right beats so far. Moreover, this is true from both a thematic and a production standpoint. I don't know if Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card-hen has all the people who were responsible for the first anime, but they at least understand what made the original great and appear intent on bringing that magic back. As for whether or not you should watch Clear Card, the answer to this seems obvious: If you watched the original series, then you can absolutely let your feelings about that show influence your decision about this one. If you have not watched the original, then you should absolutely watch that one first instead of skipping ahead to this one. The fact that this last point ever needs to be said is itself somewhat dismaying, to tell you the truth.