Cardcaptor Sakura 1&2

by dm00

Tomoyo's reaction to the sudden appearance of Kero-chan is somewhat different

I’m watching bog-standard DVDs from Pioneer (at least the first one is from Pioneer, maybe some of the later ones were from Geneon). With that, my first thought was: damn, this series looks good. Those colors, that movement, those costumes. This series is drop-dead gorgeous. I imagine it’s a treat on Blu-Ray.

This series looks gorgeous

My second thought was the realization that this was all done by hand, this is all at least borderline pre-use-of-computers in anime (1998-2000). There is a lot of strong animation here: Sakura tosses a baton in the air and we’re treated to a close up of her fingers as she catches it with a twirl; the magic circle that appears as she transforms is wreathed in smoke; the battle scenes are also very attractive and well done.

Third: this music is really good (the OP is extremely sweet, even if I can’t keep that wretched crossplay version from popping into my head from time to time). The ED I can do without.

It’s interesting to watch this series in this post-Madoka era. Kero-chan (now) reminds me of Kyuubey. Did he really ask Sakura to make a contract with him? Tomoyo –> Homura? An opening dream sequence presaging Things to Come?

Gosh, in CLAMP-world boys go through some incredible transformations between age 10 and age 16 — doubling in height, while their shoulders broaden to maybe three feet. Except Yukito. He’s pretty narrow-shouldered.

The first episode of the series establishes Sakura as a character: she’s athletic and cheerful, she tells us. A few minutes later she proves it when we see her doing a back-flip and twirling a baton in a fore-shadowing of her acrobatics while battling escaped Clow Cards.

Seconds into episode two, Sakura’s secret is accidentally revealed to her unflappable friend Tomoyo, who sees Sakura’s new Cardcaptor status as an opportunity. Later that day, she and her minions arrive with a van full of magical girl costumes. Fortune favors the prepared mind.

Tomoyo learned about Sakura's magical-girlhood that afternoon

Sakura is a wonderfully charming character: a little bratty, a little scared, but also resourceful (she captures her first card with little more than her skills with rollerblades and batons) and courageous.

There are more intelligent things being said about this series here (or will be when the site comes back up).

10 Responses to “Cardcaptor Sakura 1&2”

  1. 1 digital boy August 2, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    Fun fact: when trying to decide if Madoka really deconstructed anything in the Mahou Shoujo genre, I concluded that the biggest subversion was the lack of the main character’s regular transformation. Only later did it occur to me that Sakura *never* technically transforms.

    I watched the whole show on blu-ray and indeed it’s drop-dead gorgeous. While it’s not always as incredible as the first episode, there’s not a single ugly episode in the series.

    • 2 dm00 August 3, 2011 at 4:37 pm

      CCS also subverts the transformation trope — part of the purpose of the transformation scene is that it makes several seconds of recycled animation in each episode. In CCS, Tomoyo gives Sakura a different battle costume each time, so, while the movements are largely the same, the image is not.

  2. 3 Joojoobees August 2, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    I watched this show a while back, but remember it fondly. Tomoyo is an excellent friend. Kero is just awesome. As you said, the show has some great visuals, and that includes the fact that Sakura gets a regular change in outfits, something that most shows are just too lazy to attempt.

    • 4 dm00 August 3, 2011 at 4:39 pm

      Indeed — not just Sakura’s battle costumes, but also her day-to-day clothes. Someone at the MTF pointed out that her pajamas change from episode one to episode two.

      Thanks for reading!

  3. 5 wah August 3, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    I’d actually love to watch along with you guys on this one, but I know I won’t have the time. I almost want to read along with the discussion regardless… but it’s been almost 5 years since I’ve seen the show, so I won’t remember fine detials

    And yes, the show looks very good, even if the first season recycles a lot of stuff.

  4. 8 ubiquitial August 3, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Ah~ So glad I discovered MT~ And the use of tildes~

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