My favorite supporting character from Cardcaptor Sakura has to be Meiling Li, Sakura’s friend from Hong Kong (and also Shaoran’s cousin). When she is introduced in the original series, she starts out as quite the brat, and a rival to Sakura, but they gradually become great friends. I was happy to see Meiling return for the Clear Card series, and she even featured prominently in one story arc!
I’m just over halfway through watching the Clear Card arc of Cardcaptor Sakura, and it’s just as good as the original series, despite the sudden time shift of “present day” being the late 1990s originally, and now it’s suddenly the late 2010s with all of the technology advances that go along with it, even though only one year of series time has passed. Clearly, one of Sakura’s cards must have created a wormhole for them to suddenly advance more than fifteen years. But I digress.
It’s been a while since I watched a CLAMP series, and doing so has reminded me that if I am looking for inspiration for cute, frilly outfits for my own artistic experiments, I need look no further than the works of CLAMP. Often, their stories seem more like vehicles for their clothing designs. And I am totally okay with that.
The original Cardcaptor Sakura is deserving of its legendary status, and two decades later, with most of the original creative staff from the 1990s reunited, the Clear Card arc (which I’m only now watching for the first time) picks things right back up without missing a beat.
One of the high points of the series has been its selection of opening and ending themes and their accompanying animation. Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card is no different. Here is “Jewelry”, the first ending theme of the series, written and performed by Saori Hayami. The animation is very bold and fluid (and cute), and seems to be – at least in part – rotoscoped. I’ve never been a fan of rotoscoped animation, but then the film The Case of Hana & Alice showed me that it can be done artistically to good effect, and this ending theme animation follows in that tradition.