Fourteen-year-old Sakura starts junior high school along her friends, including Syaoran, who had just returned to Tomoeda. After having a dream with a mysterious cloaked figure, all of Sakura's cards turn blank and are rendered powerless, thus she starts her quest to find out what is wrong. In doing so, Sakura and her allies discover and capture new transparent cards using a new key.
Firstly, let me say that this is a series which is not strictly necessary. The original series ended satisfactorily some years ago. This isn't a reboot which is accessible to newcomers, either. It's just a bit of fanservice for fans of the original, basically.
The show acknowledges this pretty squarely. The first episode is enough of an introduction to work as a reminder for returning fans, but probably wouldn't suffice for new viewers. That said, it hits its mark very quickly. If they were looking to hit that nostalgia target, they couldn't have done much better than opening with Kero-chan's
Aya Hisakawa as Kerberos is one of my favorite vocal performances in all of anime, and she's on point as ever. Mascot characters have been a sore point for me in a lot of magical girl shows; I dropped the original Precure because of one. Many others are merely tolerable, but Kerberos is actually enjoyable in his own right. The way he speaks is beyond bizarre and incredibly memorable.
The original cast of Cardcaptor Sakura is in attendance and in character. Sakura herself is my favorite magical girl protagonist. These have tended toward being endearingly flawed; Sakura goes in the other direction. Particularly for a middle-school girl, she's a rather well-rounded character. She's responsible, compassionate, fair, and trusting. If anything, her one flaw might be that she's too trusting, but it suits her fairly well in the overall narrative. Her challenges rarely come from antagonism. Instead, her challenges mainly come from encountering the unfamiliar. The unknown is naturally scary, and she encounters it on a regular basis. This is the meat of the series, recapturing various cards.
I wasn't sure what to expect on the production front from Madhouse in the current year, but this is pretty top-notch. It might be the best-looking TV anime on right now, and the OP/ED are both fantastic. One could be forgiven for confusing the ED for an OP, because it's much more visually interesting and energetic than these tend to be. Unsurprisingly given recent trends, some CG is incorporated into the show, and there seems to be some digital after-effects. Perspective, or depth-of-field, shots are almost common enough to not be worth mentioning anymore.
One was used in an insert song sequence, for example. I never knew I was a sucker for this kind of thing until Girls' Last Tour last season. Insert songs are kind of nice on their own, but it's better when they're attached to an otherwise memorable scene. As with everything else, execution and context still matter. The soundtrack is nice in its own right and its usage fits the show. I already mentioned one notable vocal performance, but the rest are quite good too, even that of the newcomer, Akiho.
All in all, though I don't think this series was necessary, I'm quite glad it was made regardless. It feels nostalgic, and I think the feeling is well-earned. For my part, I only finished the original series last year sometime, so it hasn't really had the time to get that hazy sort of nostalgia. I don't think I could recommend it to people who haven't seen (or read) the original series, but that just means this is a great time to get out there and experience a classic. If you watch a lot of anime, and if you're on this site you probably do, you should watch this one too.
Let me be perfectly honest here: I didn't feel like I needed a sequel. I felt the ending of the second movie gave me enough closure (plus: it was beautiful). So, when it was announced that we would indeed get a sequel, I thought it would be to fulfill the ONE thing that everybody wanted and didn't exactly get: SYAORAN AND SAKURA WOULD FINALLY (FINALLY!!!) BE TOGETHER. FOR REAL.
THAT'S why I started watching. I don't give a shit about the new cards, new characters, etc etc. I give a shit about my childhood otp, the one that never even KISSED yet and that I thought
it would be the center of attentions in this new story.
Boy, was I wrong.
Syaoran barely ever shows up, and when he does, it's just for a short amount of time. The new female character (Akiho) gets more screen time than he does (and he's supposedly one of the main characters!). When the plot isn't focused on Sakura (easily) defeating a new card, it's focused on excruciatingly boring slice of life.
Cooking gets a lot of screen time. The weather gets a lot of screen time. School life gets a lot of screen time.
But romance? Oh no, romance is the LEAST important thing in this goddamn sequel. In 12 episodes, there were only TWO episodes focusing on that (the very first and the 9th episode).
So honestly, I quit. I don't think it's worth it to keep watching something that I'm hating so much JUST in the hopes of collecting little crumbs of romance.
I've seen 6 of the episodes so far.
I love Sakura cardcaptor, I recommend it to all you have watch the first series. In this series we watch Sakura capturing new cards. It give a very similar feeling to the first series. Personally I love it, its very nostalgic, characters are the same as they were when we left the show. Except for Syaoran, who's acting different, but looks like he finally admitted his feelings towards Sakura! If you enjoyed the first series and want more from your beloved characters I recommend it. Art is beautiful, the music is nostalgic, characters are the same. Overall
Not necessarily a review, but I wanted to share something that brainiac1530 said he lacks. The last time I watched Cardcaptor Sakura was almost 20 years ago and I haven't re-watched nor read anything about it ever since, so when I came across the news of this new series I thought I should give it a chance, for nostalgia, I may be a bit off, but I guess this series follows the same steps as Sakura's first arc where she is supposed to collect the cards, nothing wrong with that, it is even bitter-sweet to remember watching her when I was younger, specially my huge
crush for Tomoyo, I wish there was a girl like her in my school, she was really cute.
I don't think there will be many like me that will be watching the series for my last contact with it was almost 20 years ago and I don't particularly like the Mahou Shoujo genre (didn't like it back then as well, but Sakura was an exception); so what I can say is that I'm glad to enjoy Sakura once again, Tomoyo, my girl, looks amazing and Kero is still cool, I remember Toya and Yukito with broader shoulders though, they seemed stronger, robust, but I might be off here it has been sometime, anyway, I'll keep watching it and I hope that I will enjoy Sakura once again, for this last time.