Manga of the Month: Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card

Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card by CLAMP

The first Cardcaptor Sakura manga debuted in 1996 and quickly became a high bar in the magical girl genre which is still beloved all these years later.

Despite CLAMP’s evolving art style, the current of which is much more clean and simplified, they were able to return to an earlier form embracing the chibi faces, asides, screentones, and many other staples of their 90s manga which allows this new Cardcaptor Sakura story to feel seamless. The only thing that points to a different era is a more decompressed storytelling as Clear Card surpasses the length of the original CCS stories.

In Clear Card, Sakura is making her middle school debut! As the school year opens, Syaoran returns from Hong Kong to join Sakura and their friends. Sakura is excited by all the new possibilities of the future, but soon she is having strange dreams of a cloaked figure and the Clow Cards mysteriously turn clear.

It probably goes without saying, but you should definitely read the original CCS to follow along with Clear Card. Although there are new characters and a lot of new developments, the core cast and their relationships are still at the center of this story. I don’t think I would have been quite so moved by seeing Sakura and Syaoran meet again without knowing the history.

As the series progresses and they start to unravel why the Clow Cards have evolved, this becomes a story about adolescence. Sakura is growing and changing, her magic powers are as well, and the path ahead is one of her own making.

CLAMP came back to one of their iconic series after two decades away and it feels perfectly aligned.



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