Note: Review copy supplied by Manga Entertainment.
Title: Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card – Part Two
Anime Studio: Madhouse
Publisher: Manga Entertainment
Genre: Magical Girl / Family
Released: July 15th, 2019
Language: Japanese / English
Length: 275 Minutes
Extras: Clean OP and ED
Sakura continues to work on capturing new Clear Cards, though the cards and her staff of dreams are still a mystery. She s determined to learn about the mysterious figure that keeps appearing in her dreams, but she still has to worry about school, her friends, and her feelings for Syaoran! Right when she thinks she has it all together, she’ll find out that her new friend has a shocking secret.
I stated in my review of Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card Part One, that the series leaned heavily on nostalgia. The result of this was that those who didn’t enjoy the original run were unlikely to enjoy Clear Card, and that certainly still rings true here. The second part of the release still has no problem with giving the audience a couple of throwback moments – such as discussing when they visited locations previously – and that is absolutely part of the charm here.
However, the story does shift its priorities somewhat. Rather than putting the primary focus on the nostalgia, we’re instead treated to two concurrently running arcs: Sakura and Syaoran’s relationship, and the actual story about Sakura, Akiho, and Kaito. While seeing the romance bloom is better if you were a fan already, that it has grown so steadily makes it easy to enjoy if you started with Clear Card. Meanwhile, allowing the main story to grow gives this half of the season an edge in terms of overall storytelling and setting the tone.
The downside to this is that the end of the season initially feels like it’s rushing toward a conclusion, only to leave us at a point where the mystery has deepened rather than be resolved. The thing to remember here is that the manga is still ongoing, so there is absolutely more material to adapt. In that regard, ending things where they did makes sense, but is only really satisfactory if we get another season. At the time of writing, none had been announced.
The characters themselves continue to shine, and although we don’t get to see every little aspect of their lives, they each had plenty of opportunities to endear themselves to audiences. In particular, I thought it was great to not only see Meiling pop up but to also see how much she’s matured as a character. It’s how likable that they all are that makes the series so much fun though, and that is a definite plus.
From a technical standpoint though, the series is a definite hit throughout. From the recognizably CLAMP designs to the smooth animation, and the strong soundtrack to the VA performances, Madhouse has done a great job.
So, how do I rate this overall though? Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card part Two still isn’t likely to win over people who didn’t enjoy the original series. It certainly holds its own though and will no doubt attract plenty of new fans. The overall quality here was really great and I thought that this released balanced the nostalgia and story progression far better than part one. My hope is that we do get another season, but one that primarily sticks to the formula of the final few episodes. In the meantime, I give this one 4 out of 5.