Cardcaptors: A Mystic Liveblogging:

Total posts: [34]
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The Long Marathon

Madison can't run in the marathon because of a sprained ankle, but as long as she can watch Sakura, that's all right. The girls are all impressed as usual...except one. Meilin brags about how Li and her are going to take first and second place. Why aspire for second? After Sakura and Li's practice, Meilin tells Sakura she's going to leave her in her dust. "You'll leave me in your dust?" Li gives her a dose of reality by pointing out she's never run a long-distance race before, and indeed while she initially shows incredible speed in running the first of 5 laps, she becomes so tired out that she doesn't even complete the lap and her character model outline shows. She tries to excuse it by saying she wasn't feeling good, but Li knows it's because she's never run any more than the 100-yard dash.

Sakura, last year's champion of the race, describes the long run throughout the suburban area, but she doesn't mind since she loves running. Tori sardonically remarks she's got a lot of practice by waking up late for school. Meanwhile, at the Li residence, Meilin sets off immediately after dinner to train for the marathon. Wei warns her she'll get stomach cramps from running so soon, but Meilin ignores the warning. At night, she stops at the penguin slide, her stomach hurting, when Wei shows up to offer her a blanket. He imparts words of wisdom, telling her she should focus on her breathing rhythm and move slower, conserving her energy for the finish line. It turns out Li felt bad for the girl, so he told Wei to help her out. A little segment of her training keeping those warm words in mind shows, and she feels a lot better about herself.

It's the day of the big race, and Meilin of course taunts Sakura about her "top trainer". She brags Sakura will not be able to keep up with her, complete with Evil Laugh. Someone was having fun with her voice. And yet, the girl tries so hard that I actually want her to win. Julian and Tori are going to be waiting at the finish line cheering Sakura on, and Madison and Kero are reporting the race sports channel style. And the race is on, as Sakura, Li, and Meilin easily take the leads and head off just around the corner.

There's a point on the horizon Where the mountains meet the sea. Just around the corner Great possibilities!

Meilin's training seems to have paid off, as she's barely trailing behind Li but ahead of Sakura.

Where every tomorrow All around the world Still holds a promise To every boy and girl

Sakura waves to Maggie as the three pass by. Yay, Continuity Nod!

Now we're getting warmer Look, here comes the future

Meilin is on a roll! She's seeing the fruits of her labour, and yet she still is only counting on second place. Seriously, girl.

Look, here comes the future Just around the corner

Tori and Julian are waiting at Cherry Tree Street where the racers haven't arrived yet. Kero locates the trio on the trail about to round the corner, and Sakura waves to the camera as they head in.

We made a promise We cross the heights for keeps Now everything that's old is new Great possibilities From the mountains to the sea

Kero can no longer spot the racers amongst the cherry trees, so it's off to the park. The standings have not changed yet, but Li sees a shocking sight on the horizon.

Now we're getting warmer Look, here comes the future

Julian's very presence inspires Li to pick up the pace, and Sakura too sprints past Meilin. Alas, Meilin is losing steam as the race cranks the heat up.

Just around the corner Now we're getting warmer

The older boys are concerned that Sakura and Li are moving too fast, and might not make it. The camera then cuts to the last-place runner Nikki, followed by Madison's words of encouragement. Unfortunately, as the awesome song ends, ominous music begins. The main three pass by that same place yet again. Sakura senses something's up, but Meilin is unconvinced. Kero is shocked to see Zachary as the first to cross his position, and is informed that the three have passed Madison twice in the same direction. Meilin suddenly trips and twists her ankle, but despite her condition, she's still determined to keep going, even denying Sakura's suggestion of help from the teacher. Unfortunately, Mr. Terata thinks Nikki was the last runner, and the team recognizes they've been running in circles. Kero informs Sakura that The Loop is behind this, and Li gets out his Lasin Board to identify the target. Sakura is surprised that he always carries it around. That's called responsibility, sweetheart.

Kero tells Sakura to find the connection before Li does, and with the Colette method, she trips over a weird red laser line. There's the mismatched scenery. Simultaneously, Sakura and Li summon their swords to cut the connection and seal the red band. It's a little indecisive, but it goes to Sakura since in the sword scene, Sakura's sword came down a little more than Li's. This is despite Sakura's summoning animation taking longer. Main character status has its perks. Of course, Meilin whines that Li should have got it.

Meilin is in no condition to run, yet she doesn't want any help from Sakura and insists on continuing anyways because she trained so hard. Li nonetheless manages to convince her to hop on his back as he'll carry her to the finish line. The audience applauds this heartwarming gesture as Meilin gives him a hug. She turns to Sakura and yells at her for getting lucky, affirming that she'll capture the rest of the Clow Cards with Li. Sheesh, let it go missy. You're choking your boyfriend.
No Time For Sleep

Dad's late! He rushes to the kitchen and prepares to apologize for the delayed breakfast, but to his surprise, Sakura and Tori have prepared breakfast for him instead. They wanted to help out around the house to relieve him of extra work besides his lectures and related commitments. Nice kids. Dad promises it'll only be for another week, and heads off.

Sakura tells Madison about how he has this research paper he has to finish and present at a seminar. Madison asks if he has ever done a lecture before. You don't remember that Time episode lecture where he talks about time? She also is amazed Sakura is actually getting along with Tori, but of course he's okay, sometimes. Sakura runs into Julian ordering a book for Aiden Avalon, since Tori had to run late. He compliments Sakura on helping her dad out, and gives her the book.

Dad has to stay up late yet again to finish his paper. Tori notices Sakura looking through the door crack and gestures her away. He prepared a snack, but he tells her not to hang around too long as he's busy. Dad tells her he'll have to stay at the university for another couple of nights, saying that the kids will have to bear with a grumpy old man, but Sakura refuses the remark, as he's not grumpy at all! He tells her about his anthropology field, about the mysteries of the past, the ancient civilizations that may have recorded their culture in a way we haven't discovered yet. Now, it's Sakura's bedtime.

Kero isn't initially interested in going to the university to learn, but he's bribed with food. Sakura and Madison encounter three teenagers there, who show them to the lecture. They tell of how popular and exciting Aiden's lectures are. Um...who are you people? Most students doze off during lectures, at least from what I've seen. But of course, they're his assistants! It's off to Aiden's room next, where Sakura comes bearing snacks. He is grateful for his assistants helping him out with the research and Sakura and Tori for helping him out with the chores. Just as Sakura tells him it's nothing, magic pixie dust puts him in a small snooze. The girls, not noticing the dust, pass it off as Dad not getting enough sleep and decide to get coffee for everyone. However, the fairy puts the assistants to sleep as well. Not too hard to guess which card it is. Sakura is worried that it might prevent Dad from finishing the paper, so it's show time! Madison is disappointed she didn't get to bring the costume she spent this episode planning and designing, but she'll get some time to dream about what could have been. Why are her and the assistants in a deep sleep while Dad only got a light snooze, though? Meh. It escapes, causing more mischief in another room, and Sakura eventually chases it back to Dad's office, where it gets Kero. In desperation, she uses Windy to snag the fairy. Um...isn't that going to mess up your dad's papers? Regardless, she manages to nab the card, but she trips off a stack of books, and...oh dear....

Staring at the broken computer screen amongst the fallen books and papers, Sakura wonders...

"Kero, Which card will return things to the way they were?"

"I wish there was a card that could instantly fix everything, Sakura, but there some things even magic can't do."

When her dad reenters the room, she confesses that she just wanted to get him coffee because she knew how tired he was, but now she's ruined everything. Poor girl. She tried so hard to help him. Dad simply tells her that it's his fault that he didn't have enough time to spend with his favourite girl, and tries to cheer her up by bringing her home to a nice dinner. You're not mad?

Sakura is still depressed as even her dad's forgiveness won't automatically make up for the work lost. Tori, noticing his sister's guilt hasn't gone away, makes her pancakes. "You'll never cheer up if you don't eat." Suddenly, they hear the sound of books falling. Sakura goes to pick things up, and she desperately wants to help somehow to make up for what she's done. Luckily, he's finished the research, so all he has to do is rewrite it. He just needs a capable assistant. Sakura enthusiastically accepts the job proposal, and together, they'll finish the job. Aww.... It's nice that parents will forgive even for the times we screw up. Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, everyone!
Practice Makes Perfect

It's just another school day. Sakura and Madison are discussing usual school stuff, like tests, hunting Clow Cards...Wait, Clow Cards? Where? No, Li, it was just a trick by Kero. Sakura is unnerved by this sudden outburst. After all, it did seem like they were beginning to get along based on the last few episodes. Of course, this gossip lures Meilin in, prompting Sakura to change the subject to the singing competition Madison is practising for. Meilin brags about her singing ability, but when Madison asks if she wants to come to practice with her friends, she claims she's too busy helping Li. While everyone is still on the topic, Nikki tells another ghost story of a singing voice heard in the music room at night. Great, now Sakura is unable to concentrate on the music lesson. Just as the teacher asks who wrote the piece she was playing, she senses something strange.

After hearing the story, Kero reveals that the voice in the music room must be the work of, eh, it's probably just a ghost. What a reassuring thought for Sakura, but he's just playing with her. Obviously it's a Clow Card, yet she still is scared of the possibility of a ghost. Kero is disappointed that she decided to chicken out even after the other 23 cards, but, er, his meal's getting cold!

Tori and Julian also heard the ghost story, it turns out. A "reliable source" informed Tori that the janitor permanently quit his job in fear of the voice in the music room. And yet, Julian is intrigued as he heard the voice was quite beautiful. That's motivation enough for Sakura to get a recorder and go ghost-hunting.

If there's something strange In the neighbourhood, Who ya gonna call? Cardcaptors! The unlikely team of petite paranormal investigators arrive at Reedington Elementary School, but not without frightening each other first. They're off to a good start, arguing amongst themselves. Kero taunts Li, which gets him annoyed at being called "kid", and then directs his attention to Meilin. Li is still unconvinced that she should be hanging around, but she asks about Madison, who's in charge of video taping. "I could have brought a camera too! It's so unfair!" Oh, Meilin. Her whining is suddenly cut off by the sound of a lovely disembodied singing voice. After it!

Madison seems to recognize the song, but can't quite fully recall it yet. Sakura, still skittish, suggests it's just one of the music students practising, but they never practice this late at night. Against her will, the team continues onward towards the music room. Sakura realizes that she recognizes the song as well, but Meilin scares off the spirit in a blur filter by opening the door. Good job. You've...helped Sakura identify it as the song Madison was practising for the competition. The song begins again, and Li beats Kero to identifying it. Though rudely interrupted, Kero explains, "The Song card is able to sing." Besides the Captain Obvious statement, it imitates the best singer in the area. Meilin believes it to be her, but her whiny voice scares it off.

They follow the spirit to the rooftop, where Kero instructs Madison to sing to it perfectly for it to reveal its form. She's not sure she can do it, since she hasn't been able to hit the high notes, so Meilin's going to take over instead! Yeah, right. Kero relegates that idea to a backup plan instead. With a bit of coaxing, Madison begins the performance.

She starts off flat, sounding strained. And yet, it's enough to pique the spirit's interest. As she continues, the voice slowly becomes purer, as if she merely needed some time to filter out nervous emotions. As she repeats the lyrics, the undulating ball of sound waves begins to resonate along with her, and the two sing together in perfect counterpoint:

A twinkle in the night sky far, far away,
A golden star I gazed upon in my dream.
On a sleepless evening I sing alone,
Tomorrow I'll sing with you on the wings of a dream.

On a sleepless evening I sing alone,
Tomorrow I'll sing with you...on the wings of a dream.

The majesty of mortal and supernatural's duet reveals a form just as enrapturing as the melody, to be returned to card form, to happiness in oils. But alas, Sakura forgot to record the performance. No problem. Li informs her she could just summon it, pleased at deflating Kero's pride by beating him to the advice. So the episode concludes with an encore. Pity it's tainted by some unfitting dramatic music at the end.
No Problem Too Small

I really love this little recurring BGM tune that plays in the intro. Can't say the same for Madison's tacky Girlish Pigtails hairstyle this episode, though.

Madison has come over to Sakura's house bringing homemade strawberry shortcake. Unfortunately, before Kero can dig in, there's some "official Cardcaptor business" to attend to: taking Sakura's measurements to another catchy ditty. Yeah, no weird implications here. Even more not so that her clothes are shown on the bed as the camera zooms upwards on her Alice In Wonderland costume. Kero, growing impatient with this dressup game, just wants to eat, but he is interrupted again as Sakura's Clow sense is tingling. She tells Kero to stay behind with Madison, who tells her in all seriousness to be careful. Oh, what's the worst that can happen? The Clow Cards are often cute pixies anyway.

Slowly, she feels around, leading her to investigate her dad's room. She thinks she notices something, but the window merely shows the happy, sunny environment outside. She notices this tiny glowing white dot, which she underestimates. That's a bad mistake.

When she wakes up from being touched by the dot, she notices that everything has grown bigger, even her magic key. Upon realizing what just happened, a breeze violently blows her outside. Kero and Madison, hearing her screams, notices her key just lying there in her dad's room, not knowing what just happened.

Outside, Sakura is about to become a cat's lunch, but luckily, she manages to get away by a leap of faith onto a flower. Unfortunately, a praying mantis is waiting to capture her as well, and she only gets away thanks to the cat stomping on it. Inside, Madison and Kero prepare to face their own threat: Tori and Julian. Madison hastily justifies Sakura's absence by claiming she just went grocery shopping for bit and will be back very soon.

Sakura meets up with the devilishly mischievous pixie at the bathtub, who giggles as she furiously relays how she was nearly eaten and cheerfully jumps away. Madison continues to distract the two, though Tori is suspicious. Suddenly, she melodramatically drifts around acting dizzy, then falling behind the couch. Then she's perfecly fine. ...What?

The Mini adventure continues as Sakura bounces on a sponge to get down from the tub. A mad chase against the squealing pixie ensues, leading Sakura to the kitchen and a giant Tori wearing...plushie slippers? Sakura remarks he looks like a monster from down there. No kidding, it's like he killed a stuffed animal and used its body for shoes. As expected, he makes loud, slow giant steps, almost towards the Clow spirit, but Sakura stops him in time by yelling out to him. He thinks he heard her, but brushes it off. The pixie gets away up the stairs, but just when it seems hopeless, a larger-than-life Kero shows up as her steed. He explains that The Little card doesn't just shrink objects, but magical powers as well, which is why the staff turned back into the key. But all Sakura has to do is touch the card again to turn back to normal. Still, she'll need the key to be rid of the pest for good, yet Madison has it. This can't be good.

Madison notices the diminutive sprite in the hallway. Intrigued, she raises her finger. Don't touch it! Fortunately, Sakura saves the day and grabs onto Little before Madison's Idiot Ball could put her in any danger, proceeding to seal it away. Well, that was certainly one of the more dangerous cards, even if it doesn't look the part. Elated at her capture, she forgot her restored size was too large for Kero's back. Just another day as the guardian beast.

Everyone gobbles away at the strawberry shortcake in the living room, leaving Kero with this teensy tiny bit with only one lousy strawberry. Fortunately, that's no problem too small for the Little card, with which Kero now can munch away at a syrup-coated strawberry mountain. "Well, I guess that's one way of using the card."

edited 5th Nov '10 2:57:29 PM by Cliche

Double Take

Just another day shopping downtown wearing floppy ears for Sakura. She's ready to go skating, but alas, she still has to finish cleaning the house. Meanwhile, Meilin wants to try on a wedding dress, but of course, Li doesn't share her enthusiasm. She catches him staring at Sakura, disappointed he's more interested in her, but then, a miracle! She knocks down the stack of plush penguins smiling all the way. "So, Li, can't you see that I'm the one that understands you? Been here all along, so why can't you see, you belong with me?" Seriously girl, how petty. Li is still not giving a hoot, sensing something suspicious about the whole thing.

The Sakura doppelganger is still up to no good, vandalizing an entire store next while the real Sakura is vacuuming. Julian suggests there should be two of her, but she realizes she'll have to do twice as many chores. Speaking of which, the other Sakura passes by the house. Sensing someone coming, she flees just as Tori opens the window, remarking his sister would probably clone herself just to spite him.

Sakura's friends are rather unenthusiastic about her arrival at school the next day, but are pretty nervous about telling her. Fortunately, in comes Meilin's loud mouth to relay the account of her vandalism. Sakura of course tells everyone she wouldn't do such a thing, which merely leaves everyone confused as the culprit looked just like her. Well, everyone but Meilin, still determined to take Li's attention away from her. All he has to say to Sakura is, "Be careful."

Distracted, she drops her baton during practice. Nikki reassures her that at least she's more worried about that than her evil twin damaging her reputation. Very reassuring. The clone continues her trail of trouble, vandalizing flowers and destroying children's sandcastles, which gets Nikki's and Chelsea's attention. The real Sakura broods over this issue when suddenly, she sees her image passing by smiling all the way.

Kero tells her first, "Don't Panic". This time, Kero instructs her to use the Clow Cards in a different way. A children's card game? Eh, tarot reading. Close enough. "Ancient cards of Clow, give me vision now. Show me if you may, who is standing in my way." The first card reveal Windy, which creates channels of connection and means that the rogue cards know who she is. Shadow, Water(y), and Illusion are the next clues, which the card can use for guidance. The Flower represents what the card is after. Whatever does that mean? Um...Tori was standing amongst flowers, so it must be him! Yeah, Dub-Induced Plot Hole.

Doppelganger Sakura leads Tori deep into the woods to find something she's missing, which is never a good sign. She instructs him to go further, just a little bit more, right off the cliff! Sakura chases after him, but her Clow senses suddenly go muddy at the forest. Li shows up, prepared to activate the Lasin Board as Tori hangs on for dear life. Long live the king.

The malicious twin is prepared to stand triumphant over her real counterpart's brother, but is shocked to hear that he knows she isn't really her sister. He inquires the spirit as to her true nature, coming to the realization that she's lost. "Everybody gets lost sometimes, and we have to help each other find the pathway back home again." These words seemed to penetrate within her soul. A wayward spirit who could find no place in the world outside the Clow Book? A lonely incarnation jealous of her double having a loving family? It's left ambiguous. Yet, it's amazing how even when this show pulls out one of the usual stock plots, it still manages to surprise you. Expect the unexpected, after all.

The true Sakura, concerned over her brother's severe injury, confronts the now guilt-ridden soul. Wind and water fail to perturb the body. Kero refers to it as a "helix", symbolizing a hidden, hard to find form. Sakura now has to identify this form with her three clues and the doppelganger imitating her moves to the point of even holding an invisible staff. "Shadow moves like a body's twin. Water reflects, and Illusions aren't the real thing!" The Clow Card is Mirror! The spirit's true form rises over to gently kiss Tori's wounded body, sorry for the harm she has inflicted, and willingly prepares to return to her power confined. Its sadness nonetheless caused Sakura to pause for a bit.

Back at home, Kero congratulates her on her latest capture, yet Sakura recognized that it wanted to be captured. Tori acts ungrateful for his sister bringing food, claiming he could have walked downstairs himself, but the doctor said to keep off it for a week. As Sakura walks out of the room to get the door, she tells him she's "just sorry", leading him to suspect something rotten about the pancakes. Friends have come over to wish him well, but Tori seems to not remember a thing. Sakura is nonetheless upset about the ordeal, as she feels she's putting the ones close to her in danger by taking up the position of Cardcaptor, but she reaffirms her commitment to finish the job, an encouraging sentiment. Yet Kero claims behind her back that she's going to need powers she dreamed she never had. Ominous foreshadowing!

...everything's going to be perfectly fine with Sakura's relations next episode, isn't it?
No Way Out

Sakura's late getting home again, and so a frantic rollerblading run is on. She manages to avoid slamming into moving men holding up a couch, but a cat causes her to lose balance! She's saved from falling by a mysterious woman in shades, remarking about how cats are such troublemakers. She doesn't stop to talk, but merely says she'll see Sakura again tomorrow.

That next day, she still hasn't learned her lesson about keeping time, but maybe that woman could give her some pointers. After all, she's the new math teacher.

Layla McKenzie

Things in life, like mathematics, is full of puzzles, and sometimes, you need a little help to solve them successfully.

  • Japanese Name: Kaho Mizuki
  • Age: not given (I'd guess in her 30's)
  • Voice Actor: Linda Rae
  • Debut: Episode 26 - No Way Out

Oh, yes, Ms. McKenzie. As a kid, she creeped me out a lot, She, along with the Harry Potter professors and other such characters, was the reason why I used to believe my teachers had hidden magical powers involving some dark school conspiracy. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Li instantly distrusts the woman, as he senses something strange. While discussing matters with the crew, Ms. Mckenzie suddenly shows up out of nowhere, snooping in on the conversation and going into a math derail. She tells Li he's a great math student, so she doesn't know why he has to be on guard. Proceeding on to the girls, she then recognizes Madison's aptitude, Meilin's struggle, and Sakura's commendable performance. Sakura thanks her teacher for yesterday. "Destiny, I guess."

Nikki tells the girls about good luck amulets, which instantly catches Sakura's attention, though not as much as Meilin's. Trying to save face, she badly attempts to feign disinterest, but that doesn't stop her from dragging Li over to the vendor. Sakura senses something wicked this way come, and at the sound of a bell, the fearless foursome are transported into a giant labyrinth. Okay, technically, it should be called a maze, since labyrinths are defined as only having one path, but whatever.

I'm puzzled as to why the show still displays her using her Clow senses, since it's not like the other mystical obstacles were anything else. Li informs the team that it will only vanish when they find the exit, so they should work together. Meilin is suspicious of Sakura's intentions, but she's at the point where she tells her to give it a rest.

They try following a single wall, but that only leads them back to the beginning. The next plan: the Lasin Board, but its magnetic field (?) gets neutralized. So how about flying over the entire structure? Nope, the maze has countermeasures against such cheating. Meilin gets increasingly frustrated and kicks her foot against the wall, which doesn't help according to Li. Sakura, however, gets some inspiration yet again. Cutting through the wall should do the trick...or not. The wall merely regenerates quickly, and, in response to Sakura's attempted "cheating", it shifts the dimensions from 2-D to 3-D. Li manages to rescue Madison in the transition, and they find out that there's more to it than the 3-D Leap. The labyrinth has now become something like one of those abstract paintings, with an assortment stairs and passageways that seem to have no rhyme or reason. Further complicating the madness, it has taken on Super Mario Galaxy physics, as they find Meilin trapped and sideways. Li's Element: Wind spell has no effect on the Gravity Screw, so they resort to a different plan: taking the stairs.

It's getting late and the Avalon family is getting worried. Tori goes off looking for her. The team continues to make their way through the twisted dimensions as Meilin cries for help, saying she's sideways. Wait, how would she know? From her view, it would be everyone else who is sideways, unless it's the gravitational pull, but then wouldn't it still be felt under her direction, unless it's the Earth's, and...why am I trying to make sense of this? Anyways, to progress further, the trio has to go inside a dark passageway, so they tell Meilin to count so they can figure out her relative direction. Within the tunnel, her voice suddenly goes silent and outside, they can no longer see her. Sakura gets the genius, unexpected idea of going back the way they came, but before they can do that, a bell sounds and a shadow approaches. No need to fear, it's Meilin! But before the happy reunion can go on long, yet another shadow approaches. Ms. Mckenzie shows up in front of the class to teach them the subject of life. It turns out she was trying to warn them of the impending maze with her magic bell, but it was already too late. She tells them the solutions don't always appear as they expect. In other words, she cheats by blasting away the wall. Though I guess it's only fair. The maze strongly hinted at cheating itself. And that's the lesson for today.

Sakura is prepared to seal away The Maze, but she's nervous about doing it around Ms. Mckenzie. Understanding her cue, she turns around so she can finish the job. It goes over to Ms. Mckenzie, but she has no apparent need for it as she gives it to Sakura. Tori shows up to reprimand her sister for staying out this late, but as Sakura tries to wildly justify the situation, Ms. Mckenzie apologizes on her behalf. Suddenly, another crisis strikes! Meilin and Sakura realize that the amulet shop is closed, but Ms. Mckenzie has them covered.

Parting ways, Li admits to being mildly impressed by Sakura, and he then has to deal with Meilin, who is so eager to show him her new amulet. Ms. Mckenzie too has to go, but it's been a pleasure meeting Tori. The episode ends with her almost vanishing off into the distance.

edited 26th Nov '10 3:19:58 PM by Cliche

Return To The Future

To get this out of the way, no, it doesn't involve flux capacitors, 80's cars, or 1.21 Gigawatts of electricity. Well, there's sort of the latter, actually.

It's that dream again, this time featuring Ms. Mckenzie's shadowy figure amidst cherry blossom petals. Why am I thinking she looks like Carmen Sandiego in this pose? Sakura wakes up from fixating on her ominous eye to realize...she's actually up early for once! She even lets Kero sleep in as she heads off to enjoy some scenery. Still pondering the significance of her dream, she arrives at the shrine, mumbling about how fond she is of Ms. Mckenzie despite Li's distrust. As usual, she appears out of nowhere eavesdropping. Her excuse for showing up so coincidentally was that she's helping out at her father's shrine, and who else shows to help but (gasp) Julian! While sweeping the grounds, Sakura gets a flashback moment of the last episode's ending where Li tells her to be wary of Ms. Mckenzie. Wait, what? Why can't the dubbers ever keep these flashbacks consistent?

For helping out, Sakura and Julian get shrine garden chestnuts. Julian tells her that they'll walk together to school, but before she can go, Ms. Mckenzie has something to tell her: Nothing! After all, she can tell her later. I've got a bad feeling about this.

Sakura is ready to show Madison her new gift, but Li seems pretty angry about helping Ms. Mckenzie out. But in comes Meilin to save the day by snapping at Li for leaving her sight! Of course, she thinks the chestnuts are for her, but Sakura rolls with it and Meilin even demonstrates how to peel them. You know, Li, she's acting nice for once, so you don't need that grumpy face. But he's too fixated on Ms. Mckenzie's seemingly friendly smile.

That night, Sakura's dad gets the memo that Ms. Mckenzie is her new math teacher. She's surprised that he seems to know her, and he tells her that Ms. Mckenzie happened to be Tori's math teacher before she went off to England, and yet they seemed to not know each other last episode.

Meanwhile, at the shrine, it's a full moon tonight, and Ms. Mckenzie is standing there with a grin as a swirling shadowy mass gathers in the sky. Something wicked this way comes. Kero senses the presence of a Clow Card here, with Li coming along later. Meilin had to stay home to finish her book report, knowledge which Kero revels in, but Sakura points out it's because she's new to the school. Madison didn't come either since it was too late at night for Sakura to call her, so it's just the two of them then. And Kero.

After an hour of searching, they couldn't find anything. Kero decides to go get drinks for all of them, even Li, as he grumbles about getting one for "The Kid". Both Sakura and Li resent that remark. So now they have some alone time to discuss matters. Li thinks the card might just be hiding, and Sakura points out that they found the Maze card here too. This shifts the discussion to Ms. Mckenzie, which leaves Li increasingly frustrated at Sakura's lack of caution around her. As he finally begins to leave, the card strikes. Kero's back with drinks a little too late as Sakura gets sucked into the dimensional rift within the tree. Looking at the full moon, Kero realizes that it's The Return card!

Sakura awakens to a purple-tinted world where the tree is in full blossom. She sees a shadowy figure in the distance and goes to hide within the tree branches with the Jump card's help. Um...wouldn't anyone notice something strange about someone in the distance suddenly having inhuman jumping ability? Anyways, Tori shows up to investigate the tree's strange aura, in his junior high school outfit but still looking the same as ever. Ms. Mckenzie meets up with him, knowing about his ability to see magical things others cannot. He tells her that Sakura just turned six, which means this is a vision from the past!

Kero tells Li that the Return card requires a lot of energy, but a combination of the sacred tree's magical power and the full moon was sufficient. Wonder if all that adds up to 1.21 Gigawatts. Back in the past, Tori's next meeting has started. Ms. Mckenzie reveals that she too has special powers, and that is how she could sense his little sister. She says they are connected by someone special, someone she cannot reveal now, someone he can't know about until about 40 episodes later. Yep, that trope rears its ugly head.

The next vision shows Tori and Ms. Mckenzie at the "Chinese" festival, where she reveals she's going away! No! She asks Tori not to tell Sakura about any of this as she gazes at the full moon. "When...a disaster...befalls the world." Suddenly, she turns to Sakura. It's not just a vision! "It is...our destiny."

After a fade to white, Sakura shows up perfectly normal at the tree, ready to seal up the black maelstrom that is the Time Card's Distaff Counterpart. Li had to give up a lot of his energy to use The Time card and bring Sakura back to the future. As Sakura thanks the exhausted Li, Kero merely mentions one word to the full moon: "Yue". At the episode's conclusion, Ms. Mckenzie smiles at the events, her eyes in a sinister narrowing.

edited 3rd Dec '10 2:35:47 PM by Cliche

Buyer Beware

Sakura's cooking dumplings for the very first time! She reaches over to drop one in the pan when she suddenly flies backward! Forgot to check the temperature, her dad sees. He doesn't mind. Everyone makes mistakes, and there's always next time. Tori decides to grab one to eat, remarking that since Sakura didn't make them, they're safe to eat. Just another day of sibling love.

Nikki is nervous about taking the gym test, but when it's her turn, she clears the jump! She owes it all to some "magical" card which looks suspiciously like The Jump card. Cue long, inconsistent flashback in which it looks like she nabs it with the Wood card. Her memory must be pretty bad. Incidentally, the Clow Card lookalikes come from Maggie's shop. Who's the delivery person sending her this stuff?

Sceptical of their supposed magic, Sakura and Madison head over to investigate. Meilin, of course, denies any interest in them. So it turns out they came from some stranger company. Nothing suspicious in the least. Sakura tells Kero back at home that it's a pity they aren't real, since she could have used the cooking help.

The next day, Sakura's Clow senses are tingling, coming from the fake card rack. A red outline indicates the card had already been bought. She interrogates Maggie, who informs her that one of her friends had already brought The Shot card. So off they go, with Maggie undoubtedly wondering why she seemed so angry. Meanwhile, Kero is playing some Top Gun-like game when he gets the message. He warns Sakura that it's a dangerous card, since it'll constantly pursue whomever it sees first. She uses Fly to search for her friends before it's too late.

Nikki and Chelsea, none the wiser, reveal their Clow Card clones aren't the real deal. Chelsea informs Sakura that Meilin might have bought one. Sakura and Madison split up to search for her, and Sakura runs into Li, who had also been sensing trouble. At first, he is reluctant to get on the staff with Sakura, but it's not like he has a choice at the moment. Besides, he has the ever-handy Lasin Board (which, for some reason, only sees one card at a time).

They finally catch Meilin at the playground, admiring her chance to score with Li. Unaware of the magnitude of the danger, she only insists on her own ability to capture cards too. Li demands she hand it over. No. "The Shot Card is mine!" Oh, Crap!. Sakura bides some time by protecting Li with the Shield Card, but he has other plans. He runs off to distract the laser pulses. Finally, it scores a glancing hit on him. The situation getting desperate, Sakura gets the idea to use The Mirror. Li tricks the card into colliding with his reflected image, enough to weaken it for the capture. Madison reveals in the midst of all this, Meilin turned out all right, not even getting any reprimands for her irresponsibility. Guess Li's used to her Hot-Blooded attitude at this point.

Sakura gets a second shot at cooking the dumplings, and gets them in this time! See? No magic to it. Kero gets to savour the taste of sweet victory as they deliver the Aesop. "Wishes can come true, Sakura, but not because of a card. You can do anything you want to if you put your mind to it." Wait, didn't she initially believe in that amulet two episodes ago? Of course, but I guess she realized she didn't need it after all.

edited 4th Dec '10 6:09:17 PM by Cliche

How Sweet It Is

Kero's reading a manga when he smells something good. It turns out to be coming from downstairs, where Sakura's baking a cake with her dad. Suddenly, the loud sound of manga toppling forces Sakura to head upstairs before her dad can suspect anything. It turns out she's getting some practice for tomorrow's home economics class, and promises to bring Kero some if it turns out good.

At school, the students are all preparing for the class. Nikki is nervous as usual, but Madison reassures her that Rita and Chelsea will be of great help in her group, and eventually, the three decide on a strawberry shortcake. Li plans on doing a custard cake, since it's easy, but in comes Meilin with designs on, what else? A wedding cake! Sakura and Madison look at a chocolate cake recipe, when all of a sudden, Ms. Mckenzie shows up suddenly to wish them luck. Sakura promises that she'll bring her a slice if it's good.

The two girls spot Li, who's spying on some bakers to try and get some pointers. Julian meets up with them, and Sakura asks what kind of cakes he likes. Turns out he likes all cakes, including chocolate and custard. With their simultaneous response, Sakura and Li gaze at each other in rivalry for Julian's attention.

Meilin is getting some practice in of her own. Increasingly impatient at waiting for the oven to work its magic on the cake, she decides to crank the heat up. That can't end well. Li ends up breathing fumes as he gets home. She wanted to make the cake to surprise him. "Mission accomplished." Enraged, Meilin goes out to get more ingredients to try again, with Li making a futile effort to call her back to clean up.

And so, the cooking class begins. Everything seems to be going well, bar Meilin's ill-guided attempt to help out Li with his mixture, but something is off about their taste. "Too sweet!", says the entire class in unison. Kero simply thinks everyone messed up, but they all get another shot at it next week. Meilin tries to carefully study the recipe book to get better at the craft. "Oh, how I can be so perfect at everything else, but I am lousy at baking a stupid cake?" Oh, you silly girl. She gets the idea of some kind of magic to make her good, yet she's disheartened as then she wouldn't be able to use it. Li goes to her room and he just wanted to say that it wasn't her fault that the cake didn't turn out right. How sweet those words are, somehow. Regardless, she's spurred on to do her best. Sakura is ready to make her cake perfect too after seeing the artistry at the bakery. Yet, there's something strange about how the collective class's cakes turned out. Li's Clow senses are tingling. A reflection suddenly appears at the glass. Ms. Stalker, er, Mckenzie. In her usual seemingly reassuring, yet strangely detached voice, she remarks that she's craving something sweet, and wishes Sakura luck at her second try.

Sakura's class is not the only one that had problems. The other home ec. class had their cakes turn out all sweet too! "Maybe a Clow Card is behind this." Uh, yeah, ya think? Still, this time, Madison is even more prepared, very carefully measuring the sugar. Meilin seems to be fighting with the mixture with her forceful stirring. Ms. Mckenzie appears for a bit at the door, sparking Li's usual suspicions. And back at home, Kero suddenly realizes that maybe, it wasn't just a coincidence. Been snoozing on the job for too long, he has.

Sakura and Li naturally stay behind during break to prepare for Clow Card hunting, and Kero tells her that The Sweet card is behind this. Well aware this is a timed mission, they feel around the classroom, finding this little pixie sprinkling dust on a cake. Sakura closes the doors as Li chases it like a fly right into a bag of flour. The Sweet card continues its flight, turning the classroom into Wonka's Chocolate Factory. Li gets the idea of using his own cake to lure it, but Sakura insists it's not worth sabotaging his groups' efforts even though time is running out. She gets her own idea of throwing salt on it, and Li manages to immobilize it with an entire bag. After its capture, the classroom returns to normal, and it seems they won't have to deal with cleaning up any salt mess either.

The cakes turned out nicely after all. Meilin invites Li to try some of hers, and they both realize it's awful. The teacher suggests she just mixed it too much. That must be humiliating.

Julian and Tori try out Sakura's cake, and even Tori is impressed in his own sarcastic way. Li looks on behind the fence, when a pair of hands reach out in front of his eyes. "Guess who?" Li's not interested, wanting to be left alone. Meilin rushes after him anyway, excited to try again and get the cake right this time! So persistent, and yet, you gotta love her spirit.

"Hey are you listening Li? Li?"

edited 8th Dec '10 2:03:17 PM by Cliche

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