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Cardcaptors: A Mystic Liveblogging
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Cardcaptors: A Mystic Liveblogging:

Ah, Cardcaptor Sakura. A prime icon of the Magical Girl genre, it features one of the best female anime protagonists (winning the Animage Grand Prix for Best Female Character two years in a row) and is praised for its kawaii atmosphere. This is the dub of that show. If you want to see what all the fuss is about, this will give you a good idea, although if you’re expecting nerd rage, there are doubtless plenty of other places on the Net that can supply that. Of course, my liking of the dub could end up being simple Nostalgia Filter, so who knows? Expect the unexpected.

There were two different versions of the opening theme which played depending on the country the show aired in. This theme song was for the US broadcast and the one I remember on Canada's Teletoon channel, a combination of the What Do You Mean, It's Not Awesome? started by Anime/Pokemon and American Kirby Is Hardcore. Every other English country got instead a version of Catch You Catch Me based on the Japanese theme, but with different lyrics to attempt to be more relevant to the actual show.

Anyways, it's time to begin:

One Fateful Day

An outline of a young girl appears as an ominous book called The Clow opens in the background...into a dream. Soaring above the city is the apex of a radio tower standing amongst a giant full moon right in front of the skyscraper where the girl now watches, costume rippling in the wind. A mysterious eye flashes. Staff in hand, cute animal creature at her side, and cards flying everywhere, her shoes grow wings and she is compelled to move forward against anyone’s better judgment. Just as she seemed to fall...it's time for school! But first, let us introduce our young heroine.


Sakura Avalon

"Kero was right. He could count on me. And from that day on, my life would never be the same!"

  • Japanese Name: Sakura Kinomoto
  • Age: 10
  • Role: The Hero
  • Voice Actor: Carly McKillip
  • Debut: Episode 1: One Fateful Day
  • What Could Have Been: Sakura was originally planned to be called Nikki. That eventually became the name of one of her background classmates instead.
  • No relation to: Avalon Code for Nintendo DS. Although considering that game revolves around a magic book and a sealed Spirit even resembles a Clow Card (Or So I Heard), it's oddly fitting.


I couldn't imagine a better character as the lead, but I won't get into much gushing here since she'll have plenty of opportunity to demonstrate her awesomeness as we go on. One thing to note is that her English VA makes her out to be a tomboy in contrast with her much higher-pitched Japanese counterpart. Anyways, Sakura narrates her day starting with her getting ready for school, getting annoyed by her big brother Tori’s namecalling, mentioning how her dad found a mysterious book no one could open, reminiscing about her dead mother, the usual. She hurries to catch up with Tori so she can meet up with (gasp) Julian! He's always so nice, and so cute! Well, can't argue on that last bit. While she rollerblades to school with the two, Just Around the Corner plays in the background. It's a sweet and catchy tune that really makes this scene memorable.

At school, Sakura meets with her best friend and ace student Madison, who decided to use her as the subject of her Independent Studies project. Yeah, "Independent Studies". Like most students, Sakura daydreams in class, doodling an image of a cute animal she saw in her dream last night. Later that day, she reveals herself to be an athletic ace, but alas this time she was too distracted by that magic staff to pay attention to her baton twirling.

She comes back to an empty house, sensing an unsettling noise coming from the basement. Suspecting it to be a burglar, she goes down to check, prepared to call the police. However, it turns out the basement is also empty. Nonetheless, she is drawn to the glowing Clow book. It somehow magically opens in her hands and she takes out the first card she sees. The Windy. At the first sound of the name, a breeze forms at her feet. The second, Oh Crap. All the cards come flying out of the book and scatter everywhere in the city. But that's not all! Now a little winged fairy-beast comes out of the book and…greets Sakura cheerfully and thanks her for freeing him! Much to his dismay, she investigates him, thinking him a toy. That's no toy, missy. That's:


Keroberos

"A true Cardcaptor can battle in anything, even in pajamas!"

  • Japanese Name: Keroberos
  • Role: Team Pet
  • Voice Actor: Matt Hill
  • Debut: Episode 1: One Fateful Day
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Where are the other two heads?

Kero introduces himself as the guardian beast of the cards. Turning to the book, he realizes that they all went missing, making quite some drama about it until Sakura gives him Windy, at which point he still makes drama about getting that card back. She explains that Windy blew the rest away, with them both laughing until Kero realized what she was saying.

Sakura later takes some pudding up to her room to Kero with her suspicious brother watching. Kero explains that the cards were once created by a powerful sorcerer, Clow Reed. They eventually became so strong, they became uncontrollable so they had to be sealed. Now that such potentially dangerous spirits had been set loose, Kero has to get them back, forcing Sakura to come along since she released them. She retorts by saying he shouldn't have been sleeping on the job for what turns out to be 30 years. After some thought, Kero realizes Sakura must have strong magical powers, and thus introduces her to the Key of Clow, pronouncing her Cardcaptor.

Sakura attempts to shirk her responsibility, intimidated by the job prospects. However, she doesn't have much choice in the matter as the giant bird that is the Fly card shows up. Initially blown back, Kero tells her to release the staff from the key, and she obliges.

"Oh Key of Clow, power of magic, power of light. Surrender the wand, the force ignite. RELEASE!"

Now how long did she spend rehearsing that?

The oversized bird gives chase, with Sakura unsure of what to do. Suddenly, she gets an idea. Demonstrating some mad rollerblading skills, she jumps on the bird and ties it up with Windy, weakening it enough so that she can capture it (sound familiar?) "Return to your power confined!" So remember kids, keep at your extreme sports, cause you never know when you’ll have to defeat a giant enemy bird in your life.

After all that, Sakura still attempts to refuse the call, leading Kero to taunt her for chickening out of a difficult task. He then introduces her to Fly, which naturally is an amazing experience for her and manages to sort of convince her.

Well, it sure was lucky the first card that showed up was weak to Windy, wasn't it? Incidentally, the manga apparently makes Fly immune to Windy, So Yeah.

edited 1st Jul '10 9:19:30 AM by Cliche

 
Partners In Crime

Sakura is back in her bed, as if the events of last night haven't transpired at all. She hears a familiar voice calling her up. Was it coming from the TV? No, it's off. Suddenly, she sees a smiling face, and recoils from the "flying squirrel". Kero is forced to reintroduce himself and her new role as Cardcaptor, but she still rejects the label, convinced that only one card doesn't prove anything. Tori calls her down for breakfast, and sarcastically remarks on only having to call once. In annoyance, she accidentally lets slip that someone woke her up. Sakura, preparing to leave for school, tells Kero to stay put and not let anyone to see him, but, oh look at the time! She's going to be late to meet Madison! In her rush, she neglects to notice that Kero has gone missing from that scene.

To her surprise, she turns out to be the first one there. Right on time, as this episode introduces her best friend as a prominent character.


Madison Taylor

Special occasions call for special outfits!


She's the Bob to Sakura's Aerith, the girly girl to her tomboy, and she actually turns out to be more helpful than one might initially think.

Madison reveals that she had videotaped Sakura's previous adventures all on tape. Makes you wonder why no one else noticed her flying around. Kero shows up and with typical Large Ham prepares to confront a Clow Card, naturally prompting an introduction to Madison at break. She regards Kero as much cuter a name than Keroberos, which annoys him as he brags about being the Clow Card guardian. Sakura then shows the sealing staff to the inquisitive Madison. Excited, she asks her to let her film all this.

In the meantime, student shadows float along the wall of the school. Later, piles of desks, chairs, etc. turns out to be gathered in various areas. This is obviously the work of a Clow Card! But at least it got them out of school, even if they had to clean the mess all up. Back at home, the three plan their attack, which really means Kero coaxes the timid Sakura into going to the school at night while Madison gets excited about filming it all.

At the gates, Madison drives by in a limo, bringing personal bodyguards. Sakura is impressed, but Madison merely remarks about how she has magical powers. She shows her to a van full of costumes, making Sakura nervous, but Kero agrees with her need to make a positive fashion statement. She eventually puts on a Little Red Riding Hood-esque costume, being embarassed by the somewhat suggestive outfit. Kero reacts more positively to getting a ribbon for his naked body.

The Clow Spirit introduces itself by sending an angel statue after the trio. They notice that a shadow is carrying the statue where there is no body, which means the Shadow Card is behind all this! Sakura initially tries Windy to break up the conglomeration of the students' shadows, but the pieces merely pursue her, forcing her to make a break for it with Fly. Kero remarks about how lighting would cause the shadows to disappear, but the sun won't rise for hours, so there's no way out of this! Or is there?

As Sakura's staff gets pulled in by the inky, murky shadows, it's time for the spotlight! It turns out that Madison used the circuit breaker to turn on the arena lighting, leaving Shadow as a mere hooded figure susceptible to being tied up by Windy and sealed.

The next day, Sakura is ready to present Madison with a gift for helping her out, but is in shock as her video plays demonstrating every humiliating moment. Unlike Sakura, Madison is very eager to come on the next adventures, and she even has the next costume ready! The episode ends with Sakura giving the peace sign and a wink to the camera. Guess she knew she was on film after all.
 
Death Taco
My favorite character is Madison, she's always drawn the sexiest in fan art.

Sometimes I dress up as Sakura or Kero (I made both costumes) and imagine thrusting the Star Wand into Madison from behind.

Allies

Sakura and friends are enjoying their time at the aquarium, investigating the wondrous fauna. There is also a penguin show today, but as they stare in awe at its various tricks, the trainer gets pulled underneath the water, her foot stuck in a whirlpool. The penguin follows, but it too gets caught in the vortex. Sakura screams for help at this point and Tori comes to the rescue by pulling the whirlpool apart. Wait, what?

Back home, Sakura tries to explain what happened, but Kero, apparently not listening, is only interested in getting her pancakes. Suddenly, Tori appears at the door. Quick! Hide the miniature mystical beast! Sakura asks what Tori was doing at the aquarium. He was feeding the penguins, and decides he deserves some feeding from Sakura's pancakes as well. Kero is annoyed at the lack of leftovers, but it turns out he was listening after all, contemplating that since an aquatic drain was not powerful enough to suck a person and a penguin with such force...this is obviously the work of the Watery Card! As one of the four classical elemental cards, it is one of the strongest cards out there. It has a ferocious nature, so Sakura must tread carefully. She has three cards: Windy, Shadow, and Fly, to defeat it, but only two can be used together. Each card prompts a flashback to its respective capture, but with different dialogue at some points and oddly, Shadow is referred to as the second ally. This will be quite a puzzle, but she can solve it in the course of about 10 minutes of screen time!

At school, Madison sees Sakura contemplating, giving her reassurance and more importantly, cell phones for both her and Kero. Kero refuses to give her any more clues, since it's a test, but eventually she figures that since it appeared in the aquarium, she'll find out something there.

Julian is also there, offering to buy her ice cream while Madison and Kero spy on them. Inside, Sakura wants Julian to hurry up to get ice cream, but he's so enamoured by the fish that he could stare all day at them. Kero snaps at a kid mistaking him for a teddy bear in the meantime. But eventually, they get the ice cream from none other than Tori, but before they can enjoy their treats, the glass shatters, flooding the room and pulling Sakura in. Julian breaks down a door to drain the water and a concerned Tori carries her to safety. Julian, ever cheerful and optimistic, suggests taking a swim to cool off. Of course!

Later that night, Sakura shows up in a blue jester outfit ready for action. Calling Madison, who found the room necessary to execute the plan, she provokes Watery to chase her, using Fly to get to the room and Windy to lure it in and, well, get it to chill out. The immobilized ice statue becomes ripe for the capture. So much for being a deadly force if it can be beaten by such a Mundane Solution. But of course, all that card capturing makes Kero hungry. They still need the ice cream!

This episode introduces Kero's Corner in which Kero comments on the episode and a main focus is on the battle costume, where Sakura strikes poses in shots likely coming out of Madison's closet. Wow, this is rather perverted, putting a 10-year-old on display like that.

So, three episodes in, and already Sakura nabbed herself a great elemental spirit. Turns out she's cut out for this job after all.
 
An Unexpected Find

What a glorious Sunday morning! Sakura is heading off to the amusement park with Madison, and it's going to be awesome! Not even Tori can ruin this fine day! Well, in fact, he can. After all, Sakura traded chore days with him. A glorious Sunday morning indeed.

Actually, Sakura gets to it rather enthusiastically. Just an ordinary girl in a magical world. Dang, the background music here is awesome. Who'd have thought watching someone do chores could look exciting? Well, Kero isn't nearly as excited, grumbling about being a guardian beast reduced to such a lowly task.

Along the way, she finds two Clow Cards, one known as The Wood, one shrouded in ink for some reason. Excited at the easiest capture ever, she leaves them on a desk in the basement. However, her dad phones back telling her to get him an envelope he forgot, and in her absence, the sun shines, revealing the inked card to be a jester pixie spirit. I've got a bad feeling about this.

Sakura comes home to an already finished laundry line courtesy of Kero. Gee, what a nice guy after all. Before she can prepare lunch as thanks, a strange rumbling emerges from the basement, turning out to be a giant growing tree. This is the work of the Wood card! Wait, that's the card Sakura found earlier. "You mean you didn't sign your name on it?" reprimands Kero. Well, yeah, that particular condition was never mentioned until now. Regardless, the Wood card is a gentle spirit, so why is it acting up? As the Wood card continues to reach its branches through the door, a much greater threat rings at the door. How is Sakura going to explain the forest in the basement? Fortunately, it's just Madison, come to help with...gardening.

Sakura seals the card, but it doesn't appear in front of her. Just as they are ready to go the basement to get it, it reemerges, following the trio upstairs to the balcony, where it stops to gather sunlight and grow its leaves. What a relief...wait, Kero's laundry work got ruined! This time it's personal. As the tree continues to threaten the structure of the house, trio navigates the web of branches to the basement, with Sakura somehow finding time to change into costume. It turns out that there's water in the basement, which means...The Rain card is the real culprit!

At first, it merely seems to give Sakura a harmless shower, but it becomes a torrential downpour that chases her. Still, it's nothing the Watery card can't handle. After sealing that pesky fellow, it's Wood's turn, but Sakura doesn't need to seal it as it's perfectly willing to go back to card form by itself. After the rain comes a rainbow, but unfortunately, Wood still left a horrible mess around the house. The job's not over yet!

Later that day, Dad and Tori come home bringing cake to a tired Sakura who left the house immaculate. Tori remarks that Dad should write his name on a piece before she gets to it. Wait, does he know something?

edited 11th Jul '10 1:39:03 PM by Cliche

 
I can't breathe in this
D'aawww the rain card. It was always the cutest one. Cool liveblog, brings back so many memories
Hello again tropers
Trouble at Twin Bells

It's a peaceful, tranquil night as a girl sleeps amongst her stuffed animals and dreamy, yet eerie music. Of course, this always means something odd is about to happen. The toys bounce around of their own will and escape, with the panda face featuring most prominently.

She's just a minor character though, so we cut back to Sakura rollerblading, eager to find out what's waiting today just around the corner. Turns out there's a new toy shop opening today! Its owner is a real klutz, though, so Sakura helps her clean up the boxes she dropped. She introduces herself as Maggie (hmm...why does this name sound familiar? She does look like a certain other girl we all know) and tells Sakura the shop will be ready after school. Of course, the falling boxes aren't give a good omen.

Sakura, impressed, just has to tell her friends all about these cute toys, and the gang goes to the store to find out Maggie's still having trouble getting all set up. They're willing to help since they get to see all the animals! Chelsea in particular has a huge collection of stuffed animals! The mysterious panda suddenly bounces out of a box to her adoration and Maggie's horror. Back at her house, as the girls admire Chelsea's collection, her room suddenly becomes a mess of toys and she realizes her panda has gone missing! Quite a fast burglar, Madison observes.

At the athletic field, Madison discusses matters with Sakura, wondering how anyone could have come in unnoticed and escaped so fast. At this point in the series, we can easily figure out this is the work of...A CLOW CARD!

When they return to Maggie's store, they discover that the panda has returned as well. This is not an isolated occurence either. Rumours claim any time someone bought a toy from her store, it would be stolen and brought back. Perhaps she's cursed, and the best option would be to close the store, yet the store is her life! No need to worry, Madam, Sakura is here!

Kero, skeptical, points out that Clow Cards don't play with toys, but agrees they might as well investigate. Madison creates a diversion by asking Maggie to teach her how to make tea and constantly chatters about various things as Sakura and Kero break in. Of course, adults love hearing about those young uns' newfangled technology, so that should keep her at bay! Eventually, Sakura finds the panda, but the spirit had already switched toys, so the search continues. After failing to sense anything in the toys, they find a demonic rabbit; the Jump Card! Its cover blown, it wreaks havoc as the toys bounce around chaotically then fly out the window following Jump. As Madison tends to the fainted Maggie, the chase is on! It's quite a fast little bugger, and even when Sakura catches it, it bounces her high in the sky like those annoying blocks from Super Mario 64. Good thing she has Fly, as that would have been a fatal dive. Eventually, she succeeds in trapping Jump with Wood, but it has other tricks up its fur. Summoning all the toys, it transforms into Jumpzilla, King of the Stuffed Animals! "It's like a bad horror movie!" As it raises its foot to crush Sakura, the force of gravity causes the toys to collapse on itself, leaving it stunned and ready for capture into a friendlier-looking form. It may be quite the fighter, but it's not the smartest card in the book!

In the end, Maggie's shop ends up prospering, Chelsea gets her panda back, and Sakura catches "The Clumsy". All's Well That Ends Well, right? Wait, whatever happened to that girl in the intro? And how could Jump be harassing Maggie for so long if the Clow Cards were only released recently?

Kero's Corner takes us into Sakura's house, except Tori's room since he always keeps it locked. I guess there are some things too mysterious even for Madison's closet.

edited 18th Jul '10 3:21:55 PM by Cliche

 
Seeing is Believing

Nikki narrates her recollection of a ghost in the forest to her friends. Little girls being little girls, Chelsea suggests they go back there to check it out. Sakura attempts to dodge this proposition by bringing up their science project, but her excuse falls flat. In the woods, Chelsea asks what she should give her mother for her birthday, reminding Sakura that same day would have been her mother's birthday. Finally, they arrive at the cliff, but the apparition doesn't show up at first. Suddenly, a white orb flashes and reveals...a mysterious woman! A lizard creature! A swirling eye! Sharp fangs! A big hamburger. Yeah, apparently Madison saw a hamburger. Heh.

Cut to Sakura in the bath still scared of what she saw. Kero points out that she fights Clow Cards all the time, but ghosts are different you see! She can't sense them after all! Sakura makes a mention of Kero's true form wishing that could be her bodyguard, which requires all the Element cards. Oddly, she imagines it to be a giant version of his regular form, you know, despite there being a blatantly obvious hint on the Clow book.

At dinner, Sakura reminisces about her mother Natasha, admiring one of her modelling pictures at 16. She doesn't remember much about her, but her father tells her that she was the most beautiful and kind person in the world. Madison calls her later saying that Chelsea got a bunch of other friends to go check out the ghost. There's no keeping children's curiosity down, is there?

This time, Sakura is ready for action in a bunny suit. Following the white orb to the cliff, the ghost reveals herself to be none other than her mother. Enraptured, she follows her embrace while the force field around prevents Kero from following her. As she falls, the spirit's hand slows her descent. Julian, watching her float down, catches her in his arms and brings her to his house. A girl falling slowly? There's nothing weird about that at all, or so he seems to think.

Sakura remembers nothing about that fall, but instantly worries about Madison and Kero. Still nothing weird about her caring so much about some stuffed animal. Tori comes to bring a sleeping Sakura home, as Julian mentions that she saw their mother in the woods. They talk about Tori's strange ability to see his mother's spirit, which instilled a fear of ghosts in Sakura since he was always talking to "see-through people". He never saw her since junior high, but he understands she must be lonely without her. Aww, he's really so sweet, yet he says it's his job as a big brother to be mean to her.

The next day, Madison comes to see Sakura, who managed to skip school thanks to Tori. She remarks that Sakura is the only one who saw a woman and that everyone saw something different. Kero begins to have doubts about whether they should continue to pursue the spirit since he doesn't want Sakura to get hurt, suggesting it might be a real ghost and not a Clow Card. Okay, that's probably just an excuse, but admittedly I was fooled the first time watching. Regardless, she resolves to come back since her mother might be trying to tell her something.

This time, all three of them see Sakura's mother. Sakura, worried, asks her about her presence while she just floats smiling and with embraced arms. The spirit floats away as a desperate Sakura asks her to come back, following her off the cliff yet again. This time, her mother's not going to come save her, yet she remembers Julian asking whether her mother would really put her in danger. Finally realizing the truth, she rescues herself from the fall and confronts the faker, which causes a static glitch in the spirit revealing a geometric pattern: The Mirror of Erised Illusion Card. Turns out that hamburger thing was a result of Madison being hungry. Sakura, while disappointed, is just happy knowing her mother is watching over her.

The next day, Sakura gives her mother's photo image a present for her birthday. Suddenly, Tori sees her mother's angelic figure hover over her for the first time in ages, reassuring him that Sakura will be just fine. I have to mention Tori sure looks attractive when he's smiling. Sakura skates off to school, reassured and ready to embrace a new day.

edited 24th Jul '10 7:27:59 PM by Cliche

 
The Mysterious Painting

There's a full moon tonight, a signal for strange happenings to occur. An officer patrols the art museum, yet notices nothing. A kid outside barely escapes his flashlight. All the while, a woman with closed eyes in a painting seems to be quietly observing the events.

Speaking of art, Kero is posing for his portrait courtesy of Sakura. When the picture is finally done, he recoils in horror at the cutesy image, wanting to look badass. Sakura has to leave for dinner before corrections could be made, but Kero has diabolical plans of his own....

Today's class is a trip to the Readington Museum as part of an art class. While the rest of the crew go outside, Sakura stays behind with Madison to paint a sculpture, gazing in horror at Kero's vandalism while getting reprimanded for being too loud. Eventually, she decides to go outside where she observes a little boy getting caught by authorities for attempting to damage the painting from the opening scene, although he claims someone vandalized it by painting the woman there. Actually, I can't really tell if it is a he or she since the kid has a high-pitched chipmunk-esque voice. As the kid rushes to the painting angrily, the woman raises a hand, casting a spell on the entire room that mutes every sound. After the incident, Sakura observes the painting to be "The Smile", by Douglas Mills and picks up a tag. Outside, Sakura and Madison discuss matters, coming to the conclusion that this is obviously the work of...you get the picture.

Sakura sneaks out at night, but gets caught by Julian. Nervously, she comes up with an excuse that she was trying to get a closer look at the stars. Oblivious as usual, he tells her to not forget about the moon. Sakura asks him not to tell Tori, and because letting little girls sneak out at night without parental supervision is A-OK, Julian agrees. Sakura thinks she must have come off as a weirdo, but Kero reminds her that she's still got him. How reassuring.

Kero informs the girls that the Silent Card, aside from its obvious muting ability, has another power, but he hasn't had time to figure it out. Thirty year sleeps will do that to you. Sakura, with not so eager anticipation, goes for her Once an Episode costume change, yet she's surprised that it's comparatively tame compared to the usual garish outfits. Regardless, it still makes her look suspicious. Madison managed to borrow the museum schedule which informs them they have only one hour to pull off this heist as the guard will come then.

Sneaking into the museum, they observe someone else has also come. Fearing he might be trying to steal the artwork, they play shadow puppets with Kero to scare him, but unfortunately, he gets knocked back into a heavy vase which takes all of Kero's effort to keep from falling. It turns out to be the kid from earlier that day, and when he wakes up, Sakura pretends she was just doing a ventriloquism act. The kid apparently thinks the girls are the one up to suspicious business, and that bat outfit certainly doesn't help abet suspicions, leading them to reassure him they are not trying to wreck the paintings. Sakura eventually lets slip that she knows the kid's name: Alex. Well, that's helpful.

Alex reveals his intentions were to fix The Smile, as it was a memory of his dead father that someone vandalized. Sakura glares at Kero for his vandalism, and offers to help. The three arrive at the painting as Alex prepares to peel off the woman from the oil painting and Sakura is ready to seal the card. The spirit has other plans, though, and teleports them out into the courtyard. This being The Silent card after all, Sakura convinces Alex that he should be quiet when they sneak in again. On their next trip, Alex accidentally drops his scraper revealing their presence. Okay. Operation Picture Fix: Take III! This time, Kero sneezes, and they get kicked out yet again. Unfortunately, time is up as the guard has arrived and he catches Alex sneaking in. This all looks like a job for a sneaky card. The Shadow. Sakura projects her image into the museum to free Alex and with the help of Madison's flashlight, raises it enough to seal Silent. Well, this makes up for Shadow being neglected in The Watery capture.

The officer, noticing the changed image, realizes the place is haunted and runs for his life. Oddly, The Smile turns out to be an image of a girl, and indeed as Alex runs towards the painting, her hat falls off revealing long flowing hair. Well, what do you know? They part ways in the end as Sakura and Madison anticipates Alex's own paintings appearing in the museum, speculating perhaps she'll paint Kero. Uh, girls, she's just a guest character, ya know.

In the light of the full moon, a young boy clad in green stands observing the surroundings, sensing a Clow Card with his glowing hemisphere.

Next time: Born in the Middle Kingdom, the blood of his ancestors flows inside him. His duty is to save the flower from evil deterioration!
 
Sakura's Rival

Apparently this was the first episode shown in the US broadcast. Eh.

The peculiar dream from the initial episode returns, but something is different about it. In place of Sakura is the green-clad boy from the end of last episode going through what was her routine. Screaming at the boy to come back, she eventually wakes out the nightmare, but not before knocking Kero back. It was a recurring dream, she claims. Tori comes in on their conversation as he heard voices. Passing it off as Sakura going mental, he leaves, but he still suspects the "stuffed toy". Before she leaves for school, Kero reminds her to "expect things when you least expect them".

So once again she rushes to keep with Tori as he taunts her for talking to imaginary friends. She tells Julian that she had a strange dream, who tells her that dreams can tell you what you least expect. I mean, who can tell that he would have French Toast for breakfast from his dream? What a loon.

Today, the class has a new exchange student:


Li Showron

Boy, you really don't have a clue about this, do you?


So, this is Li. Unlike Sakura, he doesn't chuckle. He'd rather flex his muscles. Seriously, the guy is perpetually frowning for his early appearances, and it unnerves Sakura along with the fact she dreamed about him. The teacher oddly writes what clearly would have been his name on the board, but there is no writing. Pretty stupid, really. Anyways, Li ends up sitting behind none other than Sakura. Madison tries to be cordial, but Li continues to stare angrily at Sakura. GRR!

At the playground, Li analyzes Sakura with his Lasin Board and his own catchphrase ("Force, know my plight, release the light!"), revealing that she has the Clow Cards. He wants her to give them to him, but Sakura refuses as she's capturing them for Kero. Li disdains Sakura as a Cardcaptor for accidentally letting the cards out and resorts to force to attempt to grab them from her. None other than Tori comes to save the day. They stare each other down for a fight, but then Julian comes in to save the day...by bringing snacks. Li is inexplicably frightened and runs away. Good job, Julian. Your density actually came in handy this time.

Sakura walks home with Madison, prepared to talk to Kero about Li. However, a violent storm breaks out with no rain. This ain't no ordinary storm either. The lightning jumps from lamppost to lamppost, chases an electrician, and then returns to the cloud from whence it came, which disappears into clear sky. Back at home, the ever reliable Kero is sleeping as Sakura tries to tell him about her day. All Kero can say is "Expect the unexpected" in response. Kero goes on to say Li is insignificant in Sakura's quest and yet another history lesson about Clow Reed's Clow Cards. How this relates to Li? He is a descendant of Clow Reed. Sakura suddenly believes she should have given the cards then, but Kero reassures her that since she broke the seal and signed the cards, she was the rightful owner. However, this chatter is broken up by Madison phoning Sakura about the impending storm. Showtime.

The costume this time is the pink cyber rose cat outfit, apparently normal enough to be in all the magazines and is made of high-tech non-conducting rubber. Sure, let's go with that. Ready to fly, she tells Kero of Li's Lasin Board, which gives him a predictive edge, but Sakura is determined to beat him to it regardless. Kero reminds her to transform it to its visible form, as if we couldn't have figured that out already, but she is only able to flee when Li shows up. He uses his sword to counter the lightning with his own lightning spell, revealing its true form as a Raiju. Sakura initially suggests Windy, but Li tells her to put it away, as it won't work. An impatient Kero tells them to stop arguing, and Li tells her to prepare Shadow instead. He paralyzes the beast with his spell as Sakura traps it with Shadow. She strangely says "Release and Dispel" just before sealing Thunder. Li insults her which causes Kero to reveal his presence. He is surprised that Kero is a stuffed animal, resulting in him biting Li's finger in anger. He leaves, brushing the two off as a joke as Madison comes in. Sakura is visibly upset, remarking that this is only the beginning.

edited 2nd Aug '10 12:11:26 PM by Cliche

 
 11 Nyperold, Mon, 2nd Aug '10 6:44:11 PM from a certain point of view
(points) "Crab Nebula."
Dude's hard as nails, it ain't hard to tell.

Double-Edged Sword

The school bell rings as Madison walks along. She catches up to Sakura, who is still bummed from the events of the previous episode. In class, she nervously tries to make amends to Li by thanking him, but telling him she won't need his help next time. He rudely brushes this off, still believing she doesn't have a clue. Sakura, shocked, changes her tune, taunting him about being chosen despite not studying for her entire life. Her mention of his robes triggers his Berserk Button and he angrily tells her to not talk about things she doesn't understand. As Sakura stands flustered, along comes class president Zachary to break the tension by assigning Li a load of chores.

The mysterious dream with the radio tower reappears, only interrupted by Sakura's teacher yelling at her to wake up. Luckily, class is over anyways. He tells Rita of the test tomorrow she urgently needs to pass. Sakura stays after class to wait for her, but runs into Li's angry stare yet again (insert Twilight joke here). Madison suggests to Sakura that they hang out at her house, with Sakura approving as they could help Rita study.

The three stop by a luxury store and admire the brooches. Sakura gets a winged heart, Madison gets the cross, and Rita, to the others' surprise, picks up the sword. Ominous music plays as she holds it in her palm. This can't be good.

Kero is playing Super Nintendo as Sakura reminds him to stay put as they have guests. The girls go over a few words for the spelling test, and as they get to "brooch", they decide to put them on for inspiration. Unfortunately, Rita comes down with a case of missing pupils and her brooch becomes a magic sword repeatedly striking at Sakura. Attempting to flee, she is temporarily hindered by the stuck door horror cliche. Kero flies down detecting a Clow Card and pudding. Not a good time, ya know. The swordfight is taken outside and Kero explains that the Sword card has taken control over Rita. Sakura is hesitant to confront her friend, and merely attempts to evade her with Jump. Nonetheless, Sword shows no such mercy and continues its pursuit. A street lamp ends up as a casualty (wonder who's going to pay for the damages). But along comes Li to save the day, blocking what could have been a direct hit. Sakura, concerned with Rita, grabs Li out of his fighting stance. Madison asks if they are all right, and rather ungratefully, Sakura claims it's no thanks to him. She is determined to capture the card without his help and she summons Illusion to project an image of Rita's fear, her teacher. Taking advantage of the opportunity, she knocks the sword out of her hand, breaking the spell and allowing her to seal the card. Li is still not impressed, regarding Sword as an easy capture. Suddenly, Julian shows up, oblivious as usual to the awkward scene in front of him. Upon complimenting Li on his outfit, Li flees again. Hmm...maybe they could get Julian to pay up for the broken lamp.

The next day, Rita is at the library. She tells Sakura that she couldn't remember what happened yesterday or what happened to her brooch. Nervously, Sakura gives her a gift in return, her own heart brooch. She felt bad about Rita's brooch going missing, so she wanted to make it up to her. What a nice friend. That's what I like about Sakura: besides being intelligent and resourceful, she's also really kind, an often undervalued trait. This makes her rude attitude towards Li rather jarring in this episode. Sure, he was being a major ass first, but still....

Tori finds out from Julian that Li was in front of his house the other day, and he angrily swears vengeance for the sake of his sister. Julian taunts him about sticking up to her and Tori justifies it by saying no one else has the right to make fun of her. Suddenly, Tori gets hit by a flaming spell paper. Nice job Li. Julian may be dense, but I don't think alerting Tori to your magic was that good of an idea. Sakura walks up and is annoyed to see Li again, but she changes her expression to give Julian a present for the other day. Envious, Li leaves in a hurry. The episode closes with Madison getting a shocked expression of Sakura for her webpage. This show aired before Myspace and Facebook, but considering how many video game characters have their own account, I wonder....

edited 15th Aug '10 1:21:30 PM by Cliche

 
An Unexpected Reunion

Sound familiar? Yeah, these episode titles are pretty unremarkable and low-key. Still, it's better than those awful puns that usually show up in Western cartoon and dub episodes.

Fireworks light the sky and cheerful music plays as the students cheer on the competitors in today's race. Sakura crosses the finish line victorious and gets congratulated by none other than (gasp) Julian! Tori reminds her that their father will come as soon as he's done his lecture. Sakura narrates about her dad being very busy due to being an archaeology professor, but she's excited he'll still be there in time for the rest of the events. Julian informs her of a 400 m race for the parents, and she greatly anticipates her dad participating. Madison's voice informs the cheerleading squad to meet at the front entrance, and Sakura changes offscreen, showing up immediately in costume. Madison tells her that her mother will also be showing up after her meeting. Two random boys, inform that the star athlete from the race is also a cheerleader, decide to check out the goods.

Sakura shows the crowd her moves as Julian captures her poses. Tori sardonically remarks that she always dropped the baton on her head when she started, which jinxes her performance. The final fourth grade event is the 400 m obstacle course, and Sakura's main competitor is none other than Li, who has a deeper, different voice this episode. Just as the two are neck-in-neck near the finish line, Li gets distracted by Julian, trips, and Sakura wins the race! Races in animation are always so fair and balanced.

Madison's mom hasn't arrived yet, so Sakura invites her over to lunch. She nervously invites Li as well, who surprisingly accepts. Julian gobbles everything quickly while Li just stares. When Sakura offers Madison a, um, veggie wrap, a flower petal falls on it. Before the commercial break, many flower petals fall in the sky like snow, signalling the impending Clow Card.

Sakura's dad finally arrives to lunch after Li left, disappointed he missed the cheerleading demonstration, but Madison and Julian luckily got video footage and pictures for him. He brings dessert, prompting Sakura to ask if they still had some left over (for Kero, of course). After the guys go off to clean up, who else shows up but Madison's mother, who looks nothing like her. She remarks that Sakura looks like a girl she used to know, prompting her to ask the odd question of her last name. Before she can answer, her dad shows up and shocked, recognizes her as Samantha King before she married. She remarks that Natasha always wanted to name a baby girl Sakura as she realizes who he is. She is determined to win the race, while he calmly replies "May the best win." Sakura is surprised that the two used to be childhood friends.

Tori asks if his dad wants him to run in the race, but he merely claims he has an old score to settle. Tori tells Julian that his mother's two best friends were his dad and Samantha. Unfortunately, the latter two were rivals and Tori believes they only stayed friends for Natasha's sake. The last straw was when his dad beat Samantha for the only spot in the national championships. Julian is surprised that Tori's family had so much history with Madison's, and is disappointed they couldn't be still friends. At the race, Madison is surprised to see her mother in the race, but it turns out she had motivation. The race begins, and already Sakura's dad gets a sprint ahead of everyone else. Athleticism runs in the family, Madison observes. The flower storm intensifies and the students are buried in petals, but Li is forced to stay behind by Zachary just in case they have to treat someone. The flowers don't stop Samantha or Sakura's dad, though, as Madison's mother really hates to lose. Since everyone is distracted, this is an opportune time for Sakura to use her magic and Fly out of there. Unsure of what to do, Madison reminds her that she could call Kero.

Kero just got his butt kicked in some Street Fighter II clone when he gets the phone call. He tells Sakura to find the source, a glowing pink orb. Samantha is still unfettered, swimming through the petals while Sakura's dad serenely chugs along. Chelsea and Rita, holding up the finish line, are stuck, but Julian comes along to take over along with Tori and tells them to get to a higher place. The Clow spirit turns out to be a dancing woman, and she grabs Sakura to dance along with her. Kero, still wrapped in his techniques, says there's no problem, but Madison reminds Sakura that the flower storm is still going. Sorry, but Sakura is going to have to call this dance off, although the spirit isn't too miffed about it. Kero tells Sakura that The Flower is a fun-loving spirit that loves to show up at parties and celebrations to scatter flowers around. Its power is to create any flower in the world. Sakura is very disappointed at this seemingly lame power. Madison is upset that she forgot to record this capture. And Samantha is furious that she got beaten.

Julian and Tori are stuck cleaning up all the flowers, with Julian joking that it's too bad you can't eat flowers. Well, actually, you can. Samantha is angry at all the things Sakura's dad stole from her, but he tells her that she meant so much to Natasha and that he could have never made the nationals without her. She does not accept these comforting words, but perhaps some magically produced flowers will do the trick. They instantly calm her down, reminding her of Natasha. She then breaks down crying as she was wrong about believing there was no place for her in Natasha's life after she married and that she couldn't tell her what she meant to her. Sakura's dad replies, "She knew." Well, I guess Flower is an awesome power after all.

Madison tells Sakura about how awesome it is that they are best friends 20 years later after their parents were best friends. Sakura replies that they'll be friends forever, and they hope their parents can make it up to each other. The closing ceremonies are starting, and the episode ends with Sakura running off in the distance while Madison happily watches in the background.
 
The Special Box

What's this? Japanese text? Surprised that got left in considering the attempt to Westernize the setting. Anyways, Sakura is off to Madison's residence to help her out with a certain problem, because, after all, that's what friends do. Kero is coming along too, which causes the rest of the passengers to give Sakura odd looks at her seemingly talking to herself.

Even after getting off the bus, Sakura still has trouble finding the place, but Kero flies over to locate the massive mansion. The two are impressed at the scope of Madison's abode, and are even surprised to see she has a maid who formally refers to her as Ms. Taylor. Madison requests tea for three, which confuses the maid. The trio heads off to her bedroom, which is just as magnificent. It even has a video room so Sakura can watch herself get humiliated! Speaking of which, Madison has another green butterfly-like costume all ready, which at least Kero appreciates. Sakura changes the subject to that issue Madison phoned her about, but they are interrupted by Madison's mother arriving. She takes them out to the garden for tea and cake, but before Kero can sulk too much, his Clow Card senses tingle.

But let's forget about that for now, because it's tea party time! The strawberry cake being served reminds Samantha of how Sakura's mother loved strawberries. As the girls eat up, Samantha gazes lovingly at Sakura, reminiscing about Natasha. She then brings up Sakura's athleticism, remarking that it comes from her father's side as her mother was very clumsy. A montage demonstrates, ending with Natasha falling on and for Aiden Avalon. Sakura comments that her klutziness was a good thing then, and that one should expect the unexpected as you never know what's around the corner. Samantha tells her that she will grow up to be the kind, giving person Natasha was, which pleases Sakura. The meeting is interrupted by Samantha getting a sudden job notice, which prompts the girls to return to Madison's room.

Kero is very unpleased, to say the least. He makes a hilarious expression with will-o-wisps surrounding him as he chastistes Sakura for forcing him to watch them eat cake in envy, but Madison fixes the situation with the last slice. He mentions a Clow Card as an aside, and Madison brings Sakura to a jewelry box which neither her nor her mother could open as the lock was blocked by a mysterious force. With wand at ready, she wonders what a Clow Card could want with such an ordinary-looking box, but tapping the force field is enough for Kero to identify it as The Shield card. It protects precious objects, which means the contents must be really special to Madison's mom. Sakura eventually figures to use the Sword and says the Release! chant while calling it. Guess they had to say it at some point this episode. Go, overly dramatic sword cut and seal! Too bad Madison forgot to get her in costume.

Finally being able to look inside the box, Samantha comes to pick up the cherry blossom bouquet inside, Natasha's favourite flower. This is the origin of Sakura's Meaningful Name as she explains. Sakura thus daydreams of standing among sakura trees with her mother in the background. Madison reveals another gift inside, a surprise which once belonged to her mother but will eventually be given to Sakura. A cherry blossom petal falls on the box at the episode's close.
 
 15 Lupine Volt, Wed, 25th Aug '10 2:04:18 PM from No dice, stalkers.
Lupine_Volt
Aw...I used to love this show. It was adorable. waii Keep it up!
Actor, Writer, Gamer, Skeptic and Dreamer.
 16 Nyperold, Thu, 26th Aug '10 9:27:11 AM from a certain point of view
(points) "Crab Nebula."
Put another way, "A mysterious force seals it shut."

Time and Again

Aiden Avalon is giving an archaeology lecture on ancient pyramids, with Sakura and Madison attending. I haven't heard this many uses of the word "time" since Aeon from Castlevania Judgment. Incidentally, he runs out of time mid-lecture. Li (with prepubescent voice back) and Zachary are also present, with Li very enthusiastic about the topic of Egyptology. Zachary puts a damper on his excitement though when he mentions that the professor is Sakura's dad.

That night, Kero is playing SNES again, this time featuring Dragon Quest. He is excited to finally reach the final level (odd thing to refer to a final dungeon) as Sakura nervously brings Julian snacks. The two of them go to sleep as Sakura anticipates that music test she fears she didn't practice enough for. She makes an offhand comment about Kero's game obsession. Which makes me wonder, who is the gamer in the family anyways? One would think Tori, but considering the console is in Sakura's room, hmm.... The two are awakened by the sound of the clock tower striking midnight. Given that they can hear it from a fair distance away, this can't be good.

Sakura stresses about the music test as Kero tells her to relax. Of course, then he realizes he forgot to save last night. Naturally, Sakura screws up and earns the humiliation of the entire class. She expresses her regrets to Madison at break time in front of boys playing soccer. Madison directs her to Li playing the recorder, but Sakura is merely reminded of Li's disdain towards her. Suddenly, the soccer ball comes flying towards him, and he pulls off a shot right into the goal! All the players congratulate him on this impressive feat.

Back at home, Sakura's dad asks her how the test went. Obviously not wanting to tell, she tries to shift the topic to Tori, who calmly replys "as usual" and causes her to break down upset. She decides to get more practice to make it up, finally hitting every note properly, and Kero remembers to save this time. However, mystical forces have other plans tonight....

The next day, Kero is in despair as his game progress didn't save. A glitch, perhaps? Sakura rushes to get ready for school again and when she gets there, she is surprised to hear Madison mention today's music test. In class, she tells her about the music test yesterday, but Madison thinks it's just a bad dream. According to Li's stare, this was no dream. At least Sakura gets everything right this time, so it's not all bad. At break, she tells Madison about her sense of deja vu, but Madison doesn't know what she is talking about. Li, however, does, and tells her about the Clow Card in the clock tower that must be responsible. The soccer ball flies towards him again, and he hits it in the net right on target. Sakura sarcastically remarks that he's getting good at that.

Today's battle costume is rather risque, for undetected night flight, of course. Kero thinks Sakura detected the card and congratulates her for it. Indeed, her Clow senses are tingling as she approaches the clock tower. The card defends itself by causing Sakura's speech to slow as she flies towards the tower, followed by a time reversal. On her second attempt, the spirit tries something else: speeding up time to midnight, the only time it can restart the day.

So, card capture, Take 3. Madison is impressed that Sakura could guess her outfit's purpose, but of course she doesn't know what is going on. Sakura and Kero unfortunately do, and they lament taking the same music test and getting to the final level of Dragon Quest Xylon Warriors yet again respectively. Li shows up with a nose bandage, as this time he got hit by the ball. Can't strike lucky three times, can you? Embarassed, Li suggests solving the problem with violence by destroying the tower. Sakura points out how inconsiderate that is, prompting a little dispute. He does have other plans, but he only needs to bring up time reversing towards the front of the tower for Sakura to get ideas. Sakura and Madison climb up the tower from the inside as Li uses a grappling hook to get up there. An attempted ambush leads to the old man that is The Time card to freeze her in place, but along comes Li to save the day, with a tower window suffering for it. He suggests using The Shield card (wait, how does he know what cards she has? Eh, probably his Clow senses), as it protects her from Time's influence. As it flies flees, Li strikes it down with lightning, weakening it enough for capture. It goes to Li, for reasons Kero can't explain, but are obvious enough. His sneering face transitions into the next day.

Turns out Sakura won't need her recorder this time, as well, time has passed. Must be good to be a normal and not notice a thing, although this time the Weirdness Censor is justified. Unfortunately, there's a spelling test! Go figure.

edited 26th Aug '10 1:03:11 PM by Cliche

 
Power's Ploy

Gigantic footsteps crush down on the ground coming from a first-person perspective. The target, a giant penguin slide, is spotted. This invisible force which creates craters with every step is intrigued by this object, and a sound of upheaval from the ground can be heard from far away.

Dad is cooking with power today as Sakura is headed off to the zoo. Tori is about to set the table when he hears the news report of the zoo's massive penguin slide being upended. Of course, he still has his daily "taunt Sakura" routine to attend to as she comes down, and through this, he introduces her to the sight of the upside-down penguin structure. As she heads to school, she contemplates matters, as it is way too heavy to be toppled like that. She gazes at some gorgeous scenery with light shining down from the trees when none other than Julian shows up to check out the sight everyone is talking about on the way to school. He leaves her off at school, telling her to "beware of those penguin-tippers".

The teacher tells his students not to worry about the incident and worry about their report instead. He expects something unexpected from the students in terms of their photos. Team Sakura nonetheless turns attention to the penguin toppling and thinks about hunting the ghost behind it, but Sakura gets creeped out and runs toward the elephant while the rest of the girls giggle nervously at her fright towards nonexistent entities.

Meanwhile, Zachary has chosen a sloth as the subject for Team Li. Zachary treats it as a creature of awe, but Li is unimpressed by its, er, sloth. Zachary goes on with his What Do You Mean, It's Not Awesome? speech, claiming it watches and knows everything. Li is finally convinced and gets down to it. Team Sakura is marvelling at the strength of the elephants and Sakura mentions they have to see the elephant's natural strength in an unnatural environment. Chelsea tells her they do tug-of-war demonstrations. Their conversation is interrupted by the sound of an explosion resembling a giant foot dropping. It's still out there.

Kero was supposed to stay home, but he showed up anyways for the food. Not wanting to look strange in front of the others, Sakura and Madison retreat behind the bushes. He still came at the right time, since there's trouble lurking around. Li senses it too, and it came just as he managed to see the sloth move. They pursue the Clow Card, which has broken down a penguin cage in the meantime. The craters take Sakura and Madison to the elephants, and one of them is thrown hard right into the sky. Just in the nick of time, Sakura manages to save the elephant with Windy, and seeing this, Kero identifies it as The Power card. Sakura is fed up with Power bullying defenseless elephants and dares it to show herself. Madison is worried, but Kero mentions that Power's biggest weakness is pride. The spirit pursues the trio as Kero tells Sakura to name a contest. Tug-of-War! Power reveals itself as a cute little pixie and accepts the challenge. Power seems to have the upper hand, but the elephant Sakura saved decides to help out. Li, watching from a tree, knows this is still not enough, so he decides to cheat with Time. Sakura believes the elephant to have done the deed with her, and she seals the pride-shattered Power.

Madison congratulates her on her increasing strength, but Li remarks that she's going to need a lot more strength than what she has now. Sakura tells Madison she has some unfinished business to take care of: Food! No, Kero, that's not it. Madison gets a bright idea to take a photo of this, and the next day, carries it to school. Sakura is frightened that her cover might be blown and tells her not to show anyone, which of course means that Julian just happens to get a hold of it. Madison quickly claims she did it on her computer, because they can fake anything these days. It turns out to be the picture of Sakura lifting up the penguin slide, and her dazed expression shows at the episode's end.
 
Play Misty for Tori

No relation to a certain redheaded girl from another popular anime series. Also, we've got a different background this time due to the odd Anachronic Order of the North American airings.

Sakura and Madison have arrived at the Reedington High Culture Festival, with Madison bringing her ever-trusty video camera just in case a Clow Card shows up, but getting Sakura is just as good. Tori is stitching up a dress for the play coming up as a redheaded girl (well, what do you know?) looks at him fondly from behind a door. Sakura sees Julian in a kimono operating the Japanese food booth, where they order soda. Gotta love Americanization of food culture, and I mean that in more ways than one. Sakura's Clow senses are tingling, introducing Li and some crazy gymnastics just so he can pout at Sakura. At least Julian is there to lighten the mood of their rivalry and show them around. Tori and the rest of the cast are shown preparing backstage.

Sakura sees a stuffed rabbit she likes, with Li, perhaps hinting at Kero, informing her that she already has one at home. Of course, it's a carnival game, which means she'll have to pay up a quarter to win it from 5 buff basketball players. However, the scrawny Julian takes up the challenge and wins handily with great agility. He gives the rabbit to Sakura, but he sticks around to win one for Madison and Li, with his resembling Kero incidentally. The team is impressed and tired, trying to convince Julian to join their team, but he merely says "I'll think about it." Julian later tells the kids it's time for their play, chuckling about Tori's part and saying it's a performance they'll never forget. Some green stuff swirls around outside the stage building ominously, because an episode just isn't an episode without the tiny zip of Clow Card.

Piano music finishes up as the intercom announces the play: Cinderella. Li suggests Tori would be playing the part of one of the rats, but as it turns out, the titular character cries on the floor rather man-like. Introduce Bishie Sparkle as Tori turns his face to the audience. The wicked stepmothers and stepsisters are also played by tall male adolescents (classic theatrical tradition, I guess), and as Sakura's recorder music plays in the background, she blushes in embarassment. The characters in crazy makeup prance around in effeminate tone while Tori unenthusiastically acts out his part. Li points out his Bad Bad Acting as Sakura hangs her head in shame and outside, the ectoplasm surrounds the building and enters through the window.

The redheaded girl Vicky plays the part of the prince but loses her cool when Tori shows up in drag, enraptured by the opportunity to dance with the ever handsome young man. As they stand at the balcony, the ectoplasm decides to make an unwelcome visit and cracks it apart, leaving Tori and Vicky at its mercy. It also drops the curtain down. La Commedia è finita. Not for Sakura and Li. They head backstage to ward off the card. Sakura phones up Kero, who was just watching a sad romantic movie, and he identifies it as The Mist card, which destroys things with its fog. He tells the two that they have to round it up somehow. They don't have much time, though, as Tori hangs on to Vicky for dear life and even Julian can't do anything to save them. Nonetheless, Sakura saves the day by employing Shadow to do the job and Li saves the falling actors from the crumbling balcony with his Element: Wind spell. That's one of the shortest captures ever.

That evening, the announcer prepares everyone for the bonfire dance. Madison laments that her film ran out, but is glad everything turned out okay for everyone. Yeah, okay, aside from the fact that the school would be in hot water for compromised safety. Sakura thanks Li for helping her out, but he just blushes and then denies it with arms crossed. Vicky and Tori have an awkward moment by the waterside as she asks him for a dance by the bonfire. "Dancing" of course means the characters simply rock back and forth in embrace. Tori decides to leave to talk to his sister as Vicky sadly stands there, saying she'll wait for him. Too bad girl, he's not interested. Tori is mad at Julian for letting slip that he was Cinderella, but Julian doesn't give him much in the way of conversation as he invites Sakura to join in the minimal animation ritual as a jealous Li looks on.
 
Kero and Sakura's Big Fight

Why is Madison's hair brown? Guess it's one of those episodes.

Sakura is in the midst of fighting a giant tornado and gets blown back. Li daringly pushes ahead despite her warnings, and gets sucked right in! Oh no! Li gets a hold of himself and seizes the opportunity to weaken it with Element: Lightning! Sakura, surprised by this feat, proceeds to seal The Storm card, but as she reaches to pick it up, it flies away towards Li. Kero comments that the card always goes to the person who returned it to its original form. Wait, now he remembers? Li taunts Sakura as usual, with his deep voice again. Egad, his replacement voice actor sounds like an automation (I'd compare it to a certain anime dub voice actor change in the early days, but that's only asking for trouble and that's the kind of trouble I stay out of). Madison attempts to comfort Sakura, but she is still clearly unnerved over her defeat as she trips right into a puddle.

Her costume dripping wet and her self-esteem taking another hit, she laments to Kero at home, but he doesn't seem to be listening to her self-pity. She eventually yells at him to pay attention, causing him to go wide-eyed and shudder in surprise. He furiously informs Sakura that he was thinking of a plan to beat that Li kid, but he forgot thanks to a certain someone nearly breaking her ears! Sakura stubbornly denies it and bad-tempered, goes to bed after the ensuing argument.

The morning sun has vanquished the horrible attitude as Sakura desires to set her anger aside. Unfortunately, she can't find Kero. He calls down to her, sniggering, as he took over her cabinet drawer. Sakura is infuriated as Kero dumped out all her special stuff for his personal decorations. Well, so much for making peace. She tells Madison about it at school, saying that Kero called her a monster which she hates and he knows it. On Kero's side at home, he writes "Sakura is a BRAT" in Japanese. Yep, subtitles translate it. Strange, isn't it? Kero finds a present which he knows he shouldn't open, but he goes ahead and devours the chocolatey goodness inside when he realizes he's mad at her anyway. At school, Madison, ever the counsellor, tells Sakura that Kero didn't mean to hurt her feelings and that they both said stuff they didn't mean. She is confident they will eventually make it up, because they always do in these shows.

Sakura comes home to an empty box of chocolates, which were supposed to be for her dad. She also sees the nasty message Kero wrote, and wonders where he went. Kero, drunk, is out on the streets emoting to an alligator mascot statue and deciding to spend the night on a junkyard couch by the gator's direction. The next morning was one fateful day for Kero as he gets picked up as a pet by a girl named Anita, who calls him Nono. Sakura naturally realizes how much she misses him and waits at her open window for his return. Tori passes by her talking to herself on the stairs, attempting to get her to repeat herself while she exclaims "It's nothing", then seemingly passing by without a care, but stopping to pat her on the head. What a nice gesture.

The seemingly Elmyra-like Anita thus proceeds to torment Kero by washing him and getting him a pretty ribbon. Kero is flustered, but he then sees a picture of Anita with her odd-looking dad. She reveals that he died a year ago, but she can now have a lot of fun with Nono. Oh...I'm sorry. Later the two watch television, where Anita tears up at a reunion of a girl with her long-lost father. Unable to stand the sadness, Nono switches off the TV and proceeds to cheer her up by doing a dance, all the while chanting No No No No No No. Kero has now become a Pokemon.

Madison is informed of Kero's absence, deducing that Kero ran away. She tells Sakura that he's just as sorry as she is and that the two should go look for him. They are intimidated by the immense size of downtown Reedington, being uptown girls, and Sakura is spotted by Julian as she looks inside a trash can. He is concerned and tells Tori about it, who takes over Sakura's cooking night to ease her stress. She finds Kero's fax from Anita's place, and hides it away from Tori snooping as usual. Excited, she tells Madison that it says he's fine and he'll be in touch again soon. Tech-savvy Madison locates the house and the two head right to it.

Kero, worried about Sakura, accidentally lets slip that he can fly. Anita is impressed and is excited to show Nono to all her friends. That can't be good. She wishes she could fly as well, and she gets her wish courtesy of The Float card. Unfortunately, she gets pushed around by the wind and Kero tries to rescue her, but eventually runs out of oxygen and falls into Sakura's hands. She's just in the nick of time as she seals up Float, which doesn't even resist. Okay, this is the shortest capture. Unfortunately, Sakura misses Anita's falling body and Kero desperately tries to hold on to her for dear life with his tiny body. Sakura saves the both of them by releasing Wood to catch them with the tree's vines. That's a stretch. Good thing Anita is animated.

Anita is moving out, offering Nono back to Sakura as she anticipates having many new friends in kindergarten. Kero is pleased that her mother will be hanging out with her more in her new job. After she leaves, Kero still feigns being irritated with Sakura, but she makes it up to him with his very own bed. Kero is overjoyed until he bounces on it too hard and it breaks. Cue yet another argument about whether Sakura's just a lousy bed-maker or Kero just got fatter. All Is Well That Ends Well, right?

edited 6th Sep '10 11:11:07 AM by Cliche

 
The Summer House

The Avalon family (and Julian) are going off on vacation. Aiden remarks that Julian should come over for dinner one day, since he hasn't met his parents yet. Julian answers that he only lives with his grandparents, but he'd love to come over. Finally, the four arrive at the summer house, which is close to Sakura's grandfather's place. It's a quiet, cozy place and Sakura brings out a summer picture of her mother to place inside, expressing her joy towards that memory. As she cheerfully leaps onto the bed, she forgot that Kero was along for the ride as usual and nearly squashes him in the luggage. Also as usual, all he can think about is food, and Sakura remarks that one day she'll make him exercise.

The boys all decide to go to town to get groceries as Sakura goes to meet her grandfather. She is amazed at the size of the place, as her family used to be there, but she didn't come because she was too little. She spots her grandfather on the patio and he invites her over for a snack. Ho ho! That night, the family has a barbecue, where Sakura tells them all about her visit. Her grandfather couldn't come over because he had to go into town, probably to replenish his supplies as Tori remarks. He tells her to visit again tomorrow. She also tells Madison about her vacation over the phone, who couldn't come over, but at least she gets to go to the film museum the next day. Upon hearing about the immense size of Sakura's grandfather's place, Madison is amazed he lives all alone and that the two should get houses by the countryside when they get older, with Sakura adding they should be neighbours.

The next day, Sakura's father gives her a bag of cookies to give to her grandfather. When she arrives, she is unsure of how to get up to the balcony, but he instructs her to go through the spacious mansion. She arrives in her mother's bedroom and learns she too loved stuffed animals and Grandpa reminisces that she used to take them for walks in the garden. Upon Sakura asking what else she liked to do, a montage of the two playing tennis is displayed. Grandpa claims that Sakura's mother was a good tennis player, but Sakura seems even better due to her "killer instinct". He prepares to grab a snack when Sakura remembers Dad's cookies. Grandpa thus asks about Sakura's dad, and she excitedly tells her about him, bringing up that he even tried to learn how to sew.

Back inside, Sakura tries on her mother's favourite dress and Grandpa remarks she looks just like her. Um...I don't see it. He tells her to keep it, and she refuses such a precious gift at first, but he tells her that her mother would have really wanted her to have it. Sakura later encounters a peaceful picture of a rainbow that her mother painted as Grandpa loved rainbows. The two simply stare at the view outside the window.

At home, Sakura tells Kero that her grandfather seems kind of lonely. Well, the other guys didn't even bother to pay a visit, so yeah. Kero inquires as to what Sakura plans to do for him, but he seems to have everything according to Kero. Finally, Sakura remembers he loves rainbows, and hatches up a plan....

Sakura tells Grandpa that she has to be leaving, but she asks him for a favour: to go up to her mother's balcony. As she leaves, she asks him to visit soon and that she'll take great care of her mother's dress. Time to put this gambit into action. She summons Rain, and her grandfather stares out at the sudden unexpected downpour that ends as soon as it begins (more likely than you'd think depending on where you live). The ensuing rainbow brings back memories of Natasha in that dress and he drops his head downward reminiscing. Sakura remarks he must have been pretty happy as she leaves.

Tori is annoyed that she's late, but Sakura apologizes to Dad and tells him that she realized she had a lot in common with Mom. Dad tells Tori not to be too hard on her for not being on time, as she had a lot of catching up to do with her grandfather. The last photo is that shot of Natasha in a sundress they brought along.

Hey wait, that entire episode went without a single card capture! Well, I guess it's better than shoehorning in one, and there's always next episode.

EDIT: One thing I said was unnecessary.

edited 8th Sep '10 7:11:09 AM by Cliche

 
The Cave

Kero is sitting this Beach Episode out, and the episode begins with him throwing a tantrum over it. Unfortunately, Tori is not going to be showing his stuff either as he's sitting at home studying with Julian. The two think they hear something, but Julian brushes it off as him studying too hard.

We transition to Sakura with a splash. She finds a mysterious cave while swimming, which gives her the creeps. She also discovers none other than Li in swimming trunks at the entrance. But before she can admire his figure, he dives away and her friends call her over to play beach volleyball. Sakura misses a bump, and while she goes to pick it up, Zachary rises out of the water to tell a tale of how beach volleyball originated in Hawaii with coconuts. Chelsea is unimpressed by his tall tales and claims he'll be a science fiction writer when he grows up. As Sakura just stands embarrassed, Zachary does a seal imitation with the ball.

Madison comments on Li's swimming ability, claiming it is almost as good as Sakura. "Yeah, almost", Sakura comments. As Madison suggests Li might challenge Sakura to a race, Zachary pops up to say that Eskimos invented swimming, but gets dragged off by Chelsea. They're cousins, so it's a habitual thing, although Madison and Sakura admit they actually like his stories. All the students prepare a fishing net as part of their Environmental Studies field trip, and as they all tug the ropes together, the best song in the show plays in the background. Guardian of the Cards is amazing, but only a short bit plays here, so I'll get to it later. For now, this friendship brings an impressive haul of fish, and at the barbecue, the girls marvel at Sakura's potato peeling. "She swims, she pulls" "And peels potatoes!" "Our hero." Their attention then turns to Li, who chops onions fast and precise. "You have...a little competition!"

At night, the girls anticipate the ancient shrine walk in the cave. Nikki and her Scary Shiny Glasses tell a ghost story brought to you by Zachary. There were students just like them who went into the cave bringing candles and gifts, but when they got to the centre, they sensed a strange presence. Their candles went out, and they heard the sound of a door opening all around them. At that moment, the professor opens the door and scares the heck out of Sakura.

Sakura is unable to sleep, and goes to tell Mr. Terata that she doesn't want to go inside the cave because she's scared. Suddenly, a hand grasps at her shoulder. Oh, it's just Li. At the beachside, he tells her that he thought he saw something at the cave earlier. Sakura suggests a Clow Card, but he shakes his head, which scares her as it might be a ghost. Li disdains her fear, and suddenly sees a strange light at the cave. Sakura tells him to change the subject, so Li tells him about his mom's cousin and guardian Wei. She asks him whether he knows about the Clow Cards, and he replies matter-of-factly that the Clow Cards are important to his family since Clow Reed is his ancestor. She comments that they are important to her too, prompting Li to arrogantly claim he doesn't need her help, which is fine since Sakura doesn't really need his help either. Upon getting burned, he heads back.

The next morning, Sakura suggests leaving Li at the cave when Madison asks how she felt about the shrine visit. In the afternoon, she notices a strange fog coming from the cave. Finally, night falls and the class prepares to venture in with only their candles and senses to guide them just like the ancients. Nikki anticipates the horror, but Sakura is much less eager, requiring Madison to drag her along. They arrive at the bridge leading up to the shrine, but no one else is around. A scream breaks out from the other side as Chelsea tells the two Nikki just vanished. Rita vanishes next, and so does Chelsea. The remaining girls run for help, but Madison disappears at the middle of the bridge and her candle drops, burning it up. She could have used Watery or Rain to put it out, but I guess she was too frightened. Li shows up and tells her to get a grip, pointing his Lasin Board at the source of this presence: the shrine. Sakura takes a while to overcome her fear, getting the pair across the broken bridge with Float. Li leaves it up to Sakura to seal the card as he becomes semitransparent. She rushes to the shrine, opens the doors, and seals the spirit. Sakura offers The Erase card to Li for helping him, but he refuses, claiming he doesn't need her. Then he realizes he needs to cross the water.

Once again, no one besides Sakura and Li remembers what happened. Li tells her they don't want to remember because they can't understand it. Sakura tells him she doesn't want to compete with him, and Li as usual arrogantly claims she can't beat him at anything. The rest of the crew offers a beach volleyball game and Zachary begins one of his usual stories, but Sakura and Li snitch the ball and immediately get into a heated duel. Some things never change.
 
A Fair to Remember

A green orb glides across the water. Plenty of them gather around Sakura, and she is about to identify them when Kero's face wakes her up. In her fright, she forgot the significance of the words "Gotta be..." in her dream. Kero chastistes her, telling her dreams are important to people with powers. He also reminds her of her summer homework, which of course, she hasn't even started. She is suddenly reminded that it's her turn to make dinner and bolts off with this excuse. Upon heading to the store to get food, she stops by Julian's house and to her delight, he invites her in for tea. He tells her his grandparents went to Florida (?), so she contemplates bringing him over for dinner. Opportunity strikes when Julian asks if she would like him to walk her home. On the way back, Sakura tells him that he secretly ate her brother's food. Immediately afterwards, guess who she runs into.

Sakura and Tori are cooking dinner with Julian hanging around. Sakura asks him to stay for dinner, which prompts him to help. He tells her of the fair in town which Sakura is already going to with Madison. Tori, concerned about the young girls going alone at night, tells her he's coming along too, but of course, he couldn't let her know it's because he cares. In the end, the four of them decide to go together.

Sakura picks out a kimono for the fair, with Kero demanding she bring him a present. At the fair, she tries picking out a water balloon, but the rod snaps, so the ever-kind Julian gets it for her. They plan on heading off to the ring toss next, and Sakura suggests Madison should play too, but she is content with videotaping. On the way, they met Chelsea and Zachary and playing a (uncensored) rifle game, who else but Li? He's won a lot of prizes, but it is embarrassed at Julian's presence. Madison suggests Sakura out to get more prizes for Kero, maybe asking Li for some. Before she could say it, Tori rushes to defend her from whatever Li would do. Finally, Madison decides on a white rabbit which Tori and Li put on the line in an epic battle of Ring Tossing proportions. Unfortunately, they are terrible, but persistent. Madison lets Sakura and Julian go off on their own while she watches the show.

The pair spot green glowing dots. Julian is surprised, as he's never seen fireflies here before, so they investigate. It turns out there's a whole bunch of them in front of a tree. The mesmerizing lights remind Sakura of her dream, and the two stand there admiring the scenery. Sakura suddenly has a confession to make, but of course, before she could get it out, Tori and Li come bringing bunnies because the stall operator wanted to get rid of them. What a relief. She doesn't have to tell Julian she's a Cardcaptor. Everyone else goes off, leaving Sakura and Madison alone as Sakura seals the harmless green lights. All The Glow wanted to do was spread some beauty, dagnabbit. Eh, it seems some of the spirits like being a card.

Wow, these episodes go by so much more peacefully without Kero around. Speaking of which, Kero's Corner puts on display Sakura's kimono which she wore to the, um, Chinese festival. Yeah. What the heck?

edited 15th Sep '10 3:15:33 PM by Cliche

 
Nothing to Report

Okay, I guess this dub does have its share of bad puns, especially since there is someone special showing up this episode.

Like most cartoon protagonists, it's the last day of summer and Sakura has barely got any of her homework done! She is a whole month behind on her summer journal and has a load of other stuff to get caught up on. At least she can cheese it, getting each day's weather from her dad's digital camera, get Kero to do her math in return for pastries, and get Tori to do her shop project for five dinner duties. Surprisingly, ace student Madison isn't finished her homework either, so the two agree to do their book reports together at the library. They are about to take a break at Penguin Park when Sakura's conscience stand-in Kero reminds her she was supposed to go to the library. It's packed with students who decided to save their homework for the last day, including Li. He decides to get away because he doesn't want girls hanging around her. What's up with him?

Kero brags that he got half of Sakura's math problems done, telling her she doesn't even need to check, but she goes ahead and finds non sequitur answers. "Bye-bye pastries!" Later, she tries to find Earl the Hungry Pig for her book report. Madison suggests her summer novel, but it's gargantuan. They search the bookshelves only to find that it's not on the shelf. The librarian tells the girls that there is one copy left which should be around somewhere.

Kero laments the loss of his beloved pastries when he decides to go pester Li in the library. He notices how grumpy he is today and eventually lays off him since he's studying. When he leaves, Li notices his book has vanished. Meanwhile, Sakura and Madison continue to search. At one point Sakura spies on a book someone else is reading, even checking inside the words. Snooping as usual, I see. Eventually, Kero tells her that Li had it, but of course, Li now has to search for it too. Every time the trio thinks they found the book, it disappears before they can get it. Sakura notices ghostly wings levitating the book away. The chase is on. It shows up all over the library in random places and every time, it teleports somewhere else. It eventually decides to take the book outside on a bike, and Kero explains that it's The Move card. Its power sounds awesome, but it's so limited that it simply moves relatively small objects for lulz. Madison screams in realization that...she forgot her video camera. How dreadful. As much as Sakura tries, she can't catch it, so Kero tells her to use the Clow senses. A cycling of images later, the triumphant Clow sealing music starts up and she nabs it just as it reappears. Unfortunately, she loses her balance and drags Li into the water with her in an embarrassing position.

Li offers the girls a stay at his place and the book Sakura needs after he's finished. Who are you and what have you done with Li? Guess that cave ordeal made him softer towards Sakura. Wei tells her that he's looking after Li since the rest of the family is overseas and his father passed away. Li suddenly stares in shock at the T-shirt Sakura borrowed, and then, a Chinese girl shows up at the door. Oh, so that's why he was so uptight about girls this ep. I'll tell you about Meilin next episode.
 
The New Rival

Thus begins character introduction opening Mk. III. Kero bragging about his gaming skills, Sakura and Tori getting into a dispute and being told to play nice, the two travelling to school with Julian, the usual. Tori tells Sakura of a girl in the park her age who consistently beat up martial arts experts, and suggested she must be that girl. Hmm....

Madison tells Sakura that Mr. Punctual, Li, hasn't shown up yet. They wonder what could have been keeping him when he walks in, embarrassed. What could possibly have put the hard-as-nails Li in such a state? But of course:


Meilin Rae

You may have your Guardian Beast of the Seal, but Li Showron has got me.

  • Japanese Name: Meilin Li
  • Age: 10
  • Role: The Big Guy
  • Voice Actor: Nicole Oliver
  • Debut: Episode 20: The New Rival
  • Char A + Char B: Chun-Li + Amy Rose


Finally here is the last member of the Cardcaptors crew. She's bratty, whiny, impulsive, full of herself, clingy, obsessive, and really cute. Her voice acting helps a lot for the last bit. And fortunately, her name is actually spelled out on the board so I don't have to resort to guessing how to spell it.

Sakura is surprised that Meilin comes from Li's hometown, but as she asks him if he knows her, Meilin rushes over to get her to back off, further putting Li in an awkward expression. I am thoroughly amused.

Sakura's girl troupe discusses Meilin's surprising display at lunch period. Unfortunately for Li, he has to eat lunch with her. She reminisces about old times pretending to be card captors, which eventually points in the direction of Sakura as Li tells Meilin he needs to help her. Uh-oh, that's her Berserk Button. She tells Li that she can do a better job than Sakura. Sigh. She just doesn't get it.

Gym class is up, and Meilin is determined to beat Sakura fair and square. She puts on an impressive display of two consecutive cartwheels, but gets done in by Sakura's three consecutive cartwheels! This does not make her happy. Noticing the fire of competition, the instructor decides to put the two on freestyle. Meilin does a sequence of cartwheels and flips, but of course, Sakura does the same routine with an added aerial spin. Meilin is now really pissed. You could have simply gone after her ya know.

Sakura tells Kero how competitive the new girl is, but she doesn't want to fight back. She only wants to capture cards. At dinner, the family discusses that girl fighting in the park. This girl doesn't fight for money, but simply challenges strong opponents for a test of strength. Tori, a karate practitioner himself, says that one is always looking for a worthy opponent. Julian adds that the girl is wearing a mysterious costume. Hmm....

Sakura is decidedly unpleased by her own mysterious costume, and Kero isn't happy with his either. "I'm not lovin' it." (Not a McDonalds reference incidentally) The girls ponder what the card could be when Meilin shows up in her own battle costume and identifies it as The Fight card. She tells Sakura to take a hike, as she's going to catch the card for Li. Kero goes to remind her who Sakura is, and of course Meilin is unimpressed, swatting him away like a fly. The glowing blue Fight spirit emerges from the water, and Meilin accepts the challenge.

Reedington: Meilin vs Fight

Round 1. Fight! (cue epic music)

It doesn't take long for Meilin to retaliate Fight's punches and kick her right into the bridge. You Win! Sakura and Madison are impressed, while Meilin rubs it in Sakura's face. But it's not over. Round 2. Fight! She puts up an impressive display of punches, but Fight counters her kick and pummels her into the ground. You Lose. Fight is about to deal a fatal blow when Li shows up suddenly and kicks her back into the water...for now. Meilin is prepared to congratulate him, but Li yells at her for going off on her own and stealing the Lasin Board. Sakura is confused, thinking they were partners, and Kero taunts her for having no magical powers, which ticks her off. Li continues to reprimand her, telling her capturing cards is Not a Game. Meilin, saddened, thinks Li just has to teach her, but Li tells her it's magic, so she doesn't belong here. You kind of have to feel sorry for the girl despite her attitude. Madison suggests this might be the end of Meilin, but Kero is unconvinced she's going to go home and be a family man. Fight isn't a quitter either, as it returns with the element of surprise. Meilin, realizing Li's injury is her fault, rushes to him in grave concern. She confronts the card again, this time for revenge. Round 3. Fight!

Her righteous indignation gets her pretty far, but Li is concerned for her safety. Of course, Fight once again gets the upper hand and pursues Meilin. The weakened Li is prepared to rush to her aid, but Sakura blocks him, as she'll handle this. Heh, talk about girl power in this ep. Speaking of which, Sakura gets The Power to her wand, the strength which lures The Fight to her instead. Despite the power-up, Fight still has speed on its side, and she is only beaten by being tapped on the neck as Sakura prepares to defend herself. Wow.

Meilin is physically okay, but her pride is not. She throws a temper tantrum about being beaten to the card. Sakura tries to comfort her by lying that she couldn't have sealed it if Meilin didn't wear out the card beforehand, but she stops her flattery mid-sentence and clings onto Li. Madison is overwhelmed and Li is sweatdropping, but Kero regards her as just a little glitch.

edited 24th Sep '10 3:06:42 PM by Cliche

 
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