After the first volume set the stage for Sakura’s new adventure, Clear Card part 2 arrives to wrap up this new arc, and with plenty of questions around mysterious clock-based dreams, hooded figures and suspicious magical butlers there are plenty of threads to be brought together as Sakura continues her latest card-capting adventure.
After the final episode of the first volume raised questions about transfer student Akiho’s butler, Yuna D Kaito, this volume reveals him to be immensely powerful, with control over an extremely strong and taboo form of magic and a desire to take Sakura’s cards. Akiho and Sakura continue to have overlapping and somewhat prohpetic dreams, and in the waking world Sakura continues to collect the Clear Cards. As Kero, Yue and Li observe her power growing exponentially, Sakura herself is blissfully unaware of just how powerful her own magic has grown or indeed that it is her own power and desires that are creating the new cards. Perhaps most importantly, this volume reintroduces Meiling Li as she heads back to Tomoeda from Hong Kong for a visit and stays with Sakura, and it was great to see her back among the cast again, albeit in a remarkably less bratty form than her first appearance in the original anime.
As much as I enjoyed the first volume I really felt like heading in to the last 11 episodes the pace of the story needed to pick up, but the show sticks to it’s fairly slow pace and while these episodes drip feed just enough information to keep the stakes rising ever so slightly, there’s very little in the way of moving the story pieces towards a payoff until we are thrown into the last episode, at which point I almost felt a little cheated.
After the final tussle turns out to be a bit of a non-event, we end the series back at status-quo. The spectre of Kaito still looms, Sakura still has her cards, Akiho is still none the wiser about her butler’s true intentions and that’s kinda it. Sakura and friends are off to school again tomorrow with a smile.
I really hate to end this on a negative note, but with no news on a second season of Clear Card almost two years later, the ending left me feeling a bit empty and I really feel like they could’ve done a better job of moving things forward in a substantial and satisfying way instead of offering crumbs followed by a shrug and a cliffhanger. It’s still fun, it still looks great and it’s absolutely got plenty of trademark CLAMP magic mixed in, but as much as it pains me to say this about a Cardcaptor Sakura series, as the credits rolled on the last episode I felt a bit let down by the lack of resolution here.