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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.