The Summer of Love IV with Cardcaptor Sakura Episodes 56-70: Sakura and her Number One Person

The Summer of Love IV continues! The series is finished! After 70 episodes we have come to the grand conclusion. Does it hold up? Does the ending of the series successfully pull CCS to the finish line? Or has it collapsed under its own weight? Well after the cut let’s take a dive into the final batch of episodes and find out!

With the final 15 or so episodes of the series, more or less everything is wrapped up. The mysterious surrounding Eriol and his connection to Clow Reed. The struggles of Yue to maintain his physical form, Sakura’s feelings towards Yukito, and Syaoran’s own feelings towards Sakura. By the time the credits roll on the final episode, the cards have all been transformed, the day has been saved and a young girl and boy are aware of their feelings towards each other. It is a type of finale that leaves no stone unturned, even if it is some-what different from the original manga ending.

Yue’s plotline getting resolved by Toya is a good way to keep him in the story and show that Sakura still has much to learn.

As with the best of CCS, the strength of the show has always been in its characters and thankfully that is what this final batch of episodes focuses on: characters and their feelings. For Toya, the over-protective big-brother, we see him learn to let Sakura stand on her own and give up his role to help someone else. For Meiling, we see her accept the truth that some childhood romances don’t last and that it is okay. For Syaoran’s we see him find the courage to tell Sakura how he feels and stand by her side. And for Eriol, we see his plans revealed, a guiding figure to help his successor take her rightful place. All of that is well done, spread across episodes that are a mix between filler and not that thankfully lean towards the latter.

Eriol does prove to be a good bad-guy, even if he really is only trying to test Sakura. His final gambit proves to be quite threating for a show like this.

But it is Sakura and her journey that make up the best parts of this last sprint. Our little heroine comes out the other end a stronger and more aware person, having been shaped by her events for the better. Her confession to Yukito and the realization of what her feelings were is handled with a stellar degree of grace and tact. He is gentle and kind, not rejecting her cruelly or being dismissive, but instead pushing her towards a truth she always knew. It’s a great moment of subtle character growth that isn’t thrown in your face or brutally spelled out for you. The same can be said for his confrontation with Eriol where Sakura has to find the courage to face him likes she did with Yue, only finding success when she leans on the person she discovers she needs the most.

I wish the anime had given Sakura more time to ponder her feelings like in the manga.

The relationship with Syaoran and her discovering of her feelings is played a bit different in the manga, than in the anime. While the anime leaves things a bit more vague in order to lead into the epilogue film. The manga wraps everything up quite nicely, with Sakura speaking to others about what love is, coming to the realization that Syaoran is important to her and promising to wait for his return. The anime has a bit of that, but leaves things again on that more vague note that I think doesn’t fully work. On seeing this scene again, my favorite in the entire series, I still deeply love it, but I do see that it probably needed to be play things more closely to the manga in order for the point to be driven home. There needed to be more reflection for Sakura, more conversations where she can express her feelings, and a more concrete admittance at the end. Yet even still, god damn does that final scene, with Purachina playing in the background, and Sakura’s final farewell to the audience, doesn’t get me every time.

Sakura asking Syaoran for the bear…ugh just gets me man…fucking emotions.

Cardcaptor Sakura’s final episodes help bring the series back to the very stable ground it has sometimes stumbled off during it’s (probably overlong) run time. The focus on what the made show great: it’s characters, pays off in spades and reminds you what makes this so enjoyable for everyone both now and in the past. And even though the series is now over, we are still not finished yet, so I hope you join me next week for the final part of this series: The Sealed Card.

Assorted Thoughts

  • I suggest anyone who was wishing for a different, more manga-like ending, to watch the prologue special for Clear Card. It is closest thing to the manga we’ve gotten and it’s really damn good.
  • I was glad they brought Meiling back for an episode, giving her character closure. It was handled really well and her grief and later acceptance feel very real.
  • Toya and Yuki’s relationship is far more vague in the anime, but you can tell these two have a clear romantic attraction to each other. Toya’s sacrifice is great and shows his devotion to protecting Sakura and letting go, which is why he never liked Syaoaran’s.
  • I’d have cared more about the Clow Reed flashback if I didn’t know that Tsubasa and its flow-chart of a plot wouldn’t completely fuck all that shit up.
  • Also, Syaoran’s confession feels very weird in the anime compared to the manga, which is given it’s own scene, not just thrown at the end of the climax. I wonder what the reason was for that.
  • Credit to the show for explaining clearly why Eriol put Sakura through all of this mess, instead of just telling Sakura to change the cards. She couldn’t do it because her magic needed to be tested, well done.
  • Ruby Moon and Spinel Sun are kinda eh with all things considered. I wish they had more of a proper fight with Kero and Yue. I know this isn’t that type of show, but it really amounts to nothing.
  • Miss Mizuki returning helps tie her character back to the story in a great way, though the anime again scrubs out a lot of her relationship with Eriol and bringing that conversation with Toya full circle.
  • Tomoyo’s mom shows up during the new year episode and steals every scene she is in. If this had been an American show I would have expected her to end up with Sakura’s dad, but I’m glad it didn’t go that way.
  • Hoe Count: Over 9000
  • And finally, your last Tomoyo moment.

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