Anime: CardCaptor Sakura Season 2

The plot thickens in the 2nd season of Cardcaptor Sakura. As the collection of cards come to an end, it becomes quite apparent that something is afoot. The atmosphere has changed slightly from season 1. It’s much darker and mysterious. Everyone seems to have a hidden motive or agenda and the audience is left to figure things out with Sakura. It actually becomes pretty exciting near the end.

The costumes are as pretty as the 1st season. Even though they’ve been promoted a year, the characters haven’t really changed that much. But it is the ending that really makes this season shine. Sure we’re used to Sakura and all her adorable antics in season 1, but finally there is something that is driving the plot forward. A force that quickens the pace and darkens the atmosphere of this originally happy-go-lucky anime. Not that it becomes dark and depressing, but there is a sense of doom approaching, which makes this season much more compelling. Perhaps that’s why I liked this season much more, and besides my favourite character finally made an appearance!

At this point I’d like to include the warning of SPOILERS AHEAD. You have been warned.

About the relationships that exist in Cardcaptor Sakura, don’t you think they were rather ahead of their time? For example, Toya and Yukito. I’m not sure how frequently homosexual relationships were depicted in anime or manga back then, but I’m guessing not very often at all. Add to that Tomoyo’s obssessive love with Sakura, which was mirrored in their mothers’ relationship as well. Plus Sakura’s parents had a pretty unconventional relationship too. Even Rika’s love for the teacher was sort of disturbing. All this makes for very adult drama. Not for kids, most definitely not for kids. I admit I didn’t realize all of this when I was younger, but now that I watch it, it strikes me as slightly odd. Doesn’t it? Or perhaps it’s just me. Then again, looking at this from another perspective, as a 10-12 year old watching this anime, these relationships don’t seem unusual at all. We all had our crushes on teachers or older brother’s friends. It was very much part and parcel of life. I’m not sure how many of us actually married out teachers (like Sakura’s parents) or dated a teacher (like Toya), but I guess the question is whether love can transcend all barriers?

And of course while on this topic of love and relationships, it all comes to a climax in the last episode doesn’t it? The love Yue had for Clow and his unwillingness to move on from it, to accept a new master. Sakura’s love for Yukito and her understanding of Yue’s love. And that scenario where everyone forgot the person they loved the most was so poignant. That plot device really made clear all the relationships present in the anime and transformed the anime from your typical magical girl shoujo anime to something much more meaningful. It was the perfect ending.

On a much more random note, can I just add to that how awesome an older brother Toya is? Best older brother in anime EVER. The way he looks out for his sister and his dad and his friend/lover is just amazing. And his supernatural instinct which he totally takes in stride. When he sees his mum, when he sees that card that looked like Sakura, when he knew about Yukito and when he knew about Sakura. He just accepts all of it and simply looks out for them.

Gushing aside, the 2nd season of Cardcaptor Sakura could have simply been the end of the series, instead they introduced new elements which leads to the 3rd season. So till the next review!


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