Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card, Vol. 1

By CLAMP | Published by Kodansha Comics

It’s been a long time since I read anything by CLAMP. After failing to love Kobato. and Gate 7, I just sort of drifted away from paying attention to what they were doing. When a beloved favorite got a new arc, however, my interest was piqued. And when Kodansha Comics not only licensed it, but released the first volume digitally months ahead of the print release, I might’ve squeed.

We rejoin Sakura Kinomoto as she begins her first year as a middle-school student. To her surprise and delight, Syaoran Li meets her on her way to school and announces that he’s back from Hong Kong and will henceforth be a permanent resident of Tomoeda. Everything seems to be coming up roses, except Syaoran looks troubled…

Soon, Sakura has a dream in which the cards she’s captured turn transparent and wakes to find it’s true. Her texts (yes, we’ve entered the modern age) seeking advice from Eriol in England go unanswered, and the next night, she dreams she receives the key to a new staff, which also comes to pass in reality. A couple of supernatural attacks follow, and Sakura is able to “Release!” the new key into the Staff of Dreams, with which she acquires two new cards. Kero and Yue are as clueless as Sakura is about what’s going on, but by the end of the volume, it’s clear that Syaoran and Eriol know more than they’re letting on and are probably colluding to keep Sakura in the dark about something.

It’s a cute start—not very different from what we’ve seen before, but it sure is nice to spend time with these characters again. What surprised me most, actually, was how much I loved seeing Kero-chan again. I seriously adore him, especially when he’s being sweet and supportive. Plus, the art is so lovely and familiar. I grew fond of the art style in xxxHOLiC, but this is the kind of art I associate more with CLAMP. I am a little worried this will turn out to be a disappointing sequel, but for now I’m keen to see how it develops.

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card is ongoing in Japan, where two volumes have been released so far. Kodansha has made the first English edition available now in digital format, but it won’t see a print release until November.

Review copy provided by the publisher.

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