This Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card recap contains spoilers for Episode 5 “Sakura Feels a Pull at the Flower Viewing”
In last week’s recap, I discussed how the character of Ahiko made me uncomfortable. I drew comparisons between her and Nadeshiko (omg I just realized both their names end in “hiko”—I’m going to pass out), and I also stressed how Syaoran’s scheming behind Sakura’s back was crossing into “please stop this right now” territory. Well, both of these elements come into play in what is otherwise a very soothing (i.e.aesthetically) fifth episode.
“Sakura Feels a Pull at the Flower Viewing”
So before Sakura feels a pull at the flower festival, she has a busy morning of cooking. As you’ll recall, our girl mustered up the courage to ask Syaoran if she could prepare him a bento box for the next day. In Japanese culture (or at least the Japanese culture Cardcaptor Sakura portrays), making a bento box for someone else is a big step in a relationship. I mean, these kids are in middle school, so this might be as real as it gets for their age group.
Fujitaka, adorable as always, helps his daughter with preparing food for her friends and her more-than-friend. Sakura is in charge of preparing the onigiris (rice balls) and the rolled omelettes. Toya chimes in to judge his sister’s onigiris, claiming they’re tough because she’s tightening them too much. If she is, you can’t blame the girl. (Can you imagine how nervous she must’ve been making these?)
Despite accusations, the cooking progresses without further inconvenience as Toya munches on several other rice balls. There’s a moment where Yukito calls and Sakura inquires about his eating habits as of late after offering to pack him a lunch as well. Both Toya and Sakura are concerned, although they don’t disclose that information to each other, as there is an obvious correlation between Yukito’s eating and Yue’s power levels. Yet, it doesn’t seem like either of them are being affected by the clear cards.
After making some important decisions like cutting little weiners (I cannot with the translations, I swear) into bunnies… Sakura is off to meet Tomoyo so they can walk together to meet their friends. On the way there, Sakura feels a pull at her ankle. (I know, we’re not even at the flower viewing yet!). The scene is reminiscent of those nights as a kid when you imagined your legs being pulled by monsters but in a super scenic road. The pull lets go and Sakura blames it on her imagination.
As to be expected with this show, the BFFs meet the rest of the gang under a beautiful cherry blossom. Earlier that morning, Rika had called Sakura to let her know she wouldn’t be able to make it to the flower viewing. Chiharu and Naoko lament Rika’s absence for a bit, and then everyone brings up the important issue at hand. Where the heck is Syaoran Li? Well, our elusive heartthrob has asked everyone to start without him as he’ll be late. By this point, I’m already having palpitations. And then Ahiko makes her presence known.
But fine, okay. The girl hasn’t done anything yet. The gang decides to eat and things of consequence do come up during the impromptu potluck. For one, we’re given an adorable ChiharuxYamazaki moment when Yamazaki says he made lunch for Chiharu. Naoko comments on her cold soba recipe and how she plans on implementing it in one of her plays (?). But what’s of more significance to the plot is the reveal of Ahiko’s current living situation. After she opens up a perfectly packed bento, she explains she lives with somebody and didn’t cook all the fine delicacies. (Which is good. We can’t have the girl being a triple threat or some crap). My guess is this somebody—whom the girl loves and “has been taking care of her for a long time”—is the guy pictured with her in the intro.
Anyways, look how pretty Sakura and Tomoyo are:
The obvious and polite clear card allows for the fun dining to take place before Sakura feels a pull at the flower festival. Yes, this is the real pull. The kind of pull that lifts her off her feet and into her shoes and sends her running backwards into a tree. She manages to excuse herself by saying she needs to “make a call,” but the call she really makes is that of “release” to active the dream staff.
The ungraceful moonwalking is slowed down by the use of “Siege,” Sakura’s favorite card, tbh. At one point we see weird lightning (because we’re now in the middle of a dark forest) and it reminded me of Syaoran. Like, where is Sakura’s boyfriend? Not that I’m into the damsel in distress trope or think Sakura needs Syaoran’s help to capture a card. But it was FUN when they worked together. And for a second they had me thinking he had been late on purpose so he could show up right at this time.
Instead, Sakura does some Yoga breathing, retrieves “Siege” like a pokémon, and secures the “Gravitation” card found in the trunk of a giant sakura tree. As soon as the card is captured, the storm clears and Sakura finds herself in awe of the cherry blossom tree. (Also, Nadeshiko named Sakura after the blossoms of Sakura trees, as we know. So it makes me uncomfortable that Ahiko is here for this festival). But what can one do? I don’t write this stuff.
Sakura convinces her friends to move camp so they can marvel at the majestic tree. At this point, they start sharing sweets, and guess what the cat drags in? Syaoran Li bearing his famous peach buns. Which Sakura tells Ahiko she should “definitely try” because Syaoran is so good at baking. And then Syaoran is all like “oh, you like them?” with googly eyes at Ahiko and I’m about to cut a—. It’s fine. The girl has a love interest, right? But still, Syaoran what the heck?
Not only does the guy come in hours late, but informs the gang he’s already eaten. Then, he doesn’t get it when Sakura gets SUPER sad about it. I’m sad to say, but even Syaoran Li carries the male gene known as “total obliviousness for the crap your girlfriend puts effort and care into for your sake.” In the end, he gets all soft with Sakura, worrying about her and eventually eating the bento box. He doesn’t really apologize or anything…He kind of just insists he wants to have it and then compliments her cooking.
To end the festivities, Tomoyo (who has since recuperated from the total downer she was experiencing after missing out on Sakura’s heroics again) sings for the group. Here I am, really excited to hear my girl sing who is known for having such an angelic voice. But then what do I hear? A second voice. Coming from none other than Ahiko who then smiles at Syaoran and Sakura smiles at them and I’m fuming.
The point is we end with the nice image of the friends under the cherry blossom trees of Tomoeda, lulled to curtain’s close by Tomoyo’s voice. And that’s enough for most people who aren’t me.
In conclusion, we’ve got one new card that’s as aggressive as the rest of its friends. It worked with wind as have “Gale” and “Reflect,” which makes one wonder about the elemental pattern at play here. Syaoran and Sakura had a cute moment that was undermined by the former’s weird attitude. Ahiko hasn’t done anything yet, but I still don’t trust her. Tomoyo sang nice songs, and we heard from Rika. Oh, and Chiharu and Yamazaki (who were already canon in the manga) are definitely canon in the show as well.
I don’t have any additional speculations as nothing from this episode changed my previous theories or added to them. I did enjoy the cuteness of “Sakura Feels a Pull at the Flower Viewing,” and appreciated that behind all that the tension kept rising. I’m excited for the next episode and for whenever Syaoran’s scheming starts unravelling. (And, of course, for when Ahiko is #Exposed).