…is finally here!
This must be the first time i blog about manga. I was into manga and anime when i was younger, but by the time i started reviewing things and posted them online, i guess i’ve grown out of them (though my love for animation movies never wanes). I still read, yet it’s been a few years since i finish a comic book or simply a book, so i didn’t expect to get this excited over a new manga series. However, this isn’t an entirely new one; it’s a sequel of Cardcaptor Sakura, one of my favorite mangas from my childhood — how can that not thrill me?
Now, if you’ve followed my blog for a while, you may have noticed my love-hate relationship with sequels/prequels. Yet strangely, i felt nothing but excitement for the new chapter. I was perfectly satisfied with the original ending, which did close on a happy note, and the reason i was this open about the sequel after 16 long years was the ending wasn’t the happily-ever-after kind — Sakura and Shaoran were still on their first year of junior high, okay! I am not really sure, but i guess the story can still be developed further. Hopefully it won’t be too repetitive, since the 12-volume manga could be divided into two seasons whose plots centered around essentially the same thing.
I first heard about this not-one-shot continuation, which serves as the franchise’s 20th anniversary project, about one or two months back, but not until after i saw posts on the latest Nakayoshi issue did the thrill kick in for real. The more when i noticed that the English translations were out on roughly the same day! I dropped everything and let my 12-year-old self took over me one more time…
It’s been two decades since the first chapter was featured in the same monthly shoujo manga magazine back in 1996, and 16 years since it wrapped up with the memorable hug between Sakura and Shaoran, yet it took no time for me to be immersed in their magical world. The story picks up at the original’s epilogue, the first day of Sakura as a middleschooler. The panels aren’t verbatim but the point is the same: Sakura reunited with Shaoran on the way to school. Only this time, the page doesn’t end with the hug. Duh.
We’re re-acquainted with the other key characters as we go along: Sakura’s warm father, bullying yet overprotective brother Touya, quirky camcorder-holding bestie Tomoyo, and gluttonous gamer guardian Kero. The rest are either mentioned or appeared briefly: Yukito/Yue, Eriol, Mizuki, her batchmates, out of whom only Rika (the girl who dated the teacher) is schooled elsewhere that this may be the last time we hear about her.
As the introductory chapter, it naturally doesn’t reveal much about the plot. But we’re already foreseeing an unexpected happening to occur soon. The uneasy look on Shaoran’s face; the close-up shot on Sakura’s bear; the new strange dream Sakura’s having wherein the Clow Cards are transparent and a hooded figure appears before her, shattering the cards; the shocked expression on her face upon opening the Clow Book… Just a few scenes before, she thought to herself it’s been a while since she used her star wand, oh well, she might have just jinxed it.
At first glance, everything looks and feels the same — from the drawings, characterizations, down to the style — that only the readers have aged since that day. Other readers/reviewers, however, are a lot more observant and analytical they spotted things i didn’t even realize, like how the Sakura and Shaoran actually look younger here than their epilogue version, which i didn’t catch since i’m so used to their elementary-school versions. It isn’t a big deal for me per se, albeit liking Shaoran’s older look a lot better.
I don’t have much to say yet, neither do i know if i’m gonna write more about it as the story progresses, but i look forward to what the Clear Card Arc will bring.
I thought waiting one week for a new drama episode is already long enough, now i gotta wait one full month for the next chapter to be published. Nice~ (How long this series is gonna be, by the way?) In the meantime, i shall re-read the original to refresh the memories of my youth. LOL.
~ first two images are from ccsakura-official, the last scan is from mangareader ~