November 08, 2006

Imported Snack Food, Imported Cartoons... what's the difference?

SDB, in a comment, wanted an update on where The Librarian and I stand in relation to CardCaptor Sakura after the last PockyPalooza. I think I can dredge up enough motivation to cover that!

We're now four full DVDs into the show, and there's still no end to the fun it's bringing us (which is a good thing... four DVDs finished means there's still 14 DVDs left to go!), both intentionally and unintentionally. This really is shaping up to be an amazing show, quality-wise. The animation has been top-shelf. The story, though 'monster-of-the-week', hasn't been dull... the Clow Cards have all been interesting enough to keep our attention. While I don't think CCS will supplant Azumanga Daioh as my favorite anime of all-time, it's going to be right up there.

But Oh! That unintentional humor will kill us yet. Episode 16, "Sakura and the Rainbow of Memories," which was one of the first NOT to feature the hunt for a Clow Card, had us in unintentional humor hell. Short (EPISODE SPOILER) version of the story: Sakura, her family, and Yuuki take a weekend vacation to a country house, Sakura meets her great-grandfather who lives in a house down the road. Sounds simple enough, right? Except she doesn't know it's her great-grandfather, because nobody ever tells her... including GGF himself! He just misses his granddaughter, Sakura's mother. (END SPOILER).

But, since WE don't know that until the end of the episode, the story is a little creepy in our era of Amber Alerts and "cyber-predators," and for once we're not talking about Tomoyo... well, yes, her too, but she's only in one scene (and it's one of the creepier ones for her so far).

The old man asks Sakura, amongst other things, to play in his dead granddaughter's room, play tennis with him, have tea (who made that?), and dress up in some old clothes... all the while, The Librarian and I couldn't help but make jokes about "Sakura disappearing, never to be seen again," or "the amazingly realistic female dolls (ahem) in the closet... and the crawlspace... hanging from a rope in the ceiling...", and so forth. Good times, good times.

Tomoyo couldn't come along on the trip... band practice or some such thing... and since her mother is gone "on a business trip," she's all alone. So what does she do? Bow-chicka-bow-bowwww, she's watching some of the Sakura videos she's shot on her projection screen TV. In the dark. Alone.

Oh-kayyyyyyyy.

But it turns out that her mother ISN'T on a business trip. Remember when I asked who made the tea? Turns out that it was Tomoyo's mother! She's at the Creepy Old Guy's house, too... makes sense, since Sakura's mom and she were bestest friends, she'd undoubtably stay in touch, right? So she stole away from her own daughter to serve Sakura (she even says so at the end of the episode)!

Nice mom... that whole family is seriously screwed up, y'know that?!?!

Good times, good times.

The Elephant Throwing Contest in e13 was pretty good (and Li Shaoran proved he can be an awful dick when he wants to be. This time, though, he did it to a Clow Card, not to Sakura, so that's okay)... and e15 saw Kero-Chan and Sakura have a lover's spat... actually, two or three.

But cross-dressing Toya in a production of Cinderella had The Librarian and I near tears in e14. We also see signs that there's more to Toya and Yukito's friendship than just being friends. My god, three quarters of the characters in this show are gay, lesbian, or stalkers!

Man, it's fun!

Seriously. Go watch this series. Now.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 06:58 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
Post contains 618 words, total size 4 kb.

1 The episode about great grampa isn't quite as creepy as you make it out to be, mainly because Sakura's father pretty clearly set the situation up, and encouraged Sakura to visit both times. He knew exactly what was going on. He knew who lived in that house. I honestly think that Tomoyo's mother arranged it all with the cooperation of Sakura's father, as a gift for great grampa. Even so, it does come off as just a bit strange, until you find out what's really happening.

I really, really liked the ending of that episode. Her gift to him was perfect, and it was something only she could give him.

Shaoran goes through more changes than any other character in the series. You're seeing him at his most repulsive right now. But that's not going to last much longer; wait until Mei Lin shows up. (Poor Shaoran.)

Shaoran is my favorite character in the series.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at November 08, 2006 08:07 PM (+rSRq)

2 "The episode about great grampa isn't quite as creepy as you make it out to be..."

Yes, we know that. We caught the encouragement from dad... but we couldn't help the unintentional humor quotient!

Seriously, though, it WAS a great episode, and you're right about the ending.

The Power reminded me of Sumomo from Chobits. I was half expecting her to start shaking a tambourine. Here's a shocker: also CLAMP.

Posted by: Wonderduck at November 08, 2006 08:23 PM (YadGF)

3 This series has been on my "to watch" list almost since I got into anime. I remember watching--and enjoying--the dubbed, edited version ("Cardcaptors") on Kids' WB back in the late nineties. The original's quality managed to shine through despite the, um, liberties taken with the adaptation.

What's kept me from taking the plunge is the series' length. 70 episodes and two movies? I'm seriously trying to stem the growth of my backlog right now, and don't really feel like adding 20 DVDs to the pile. At least with Right Stuf's bundle the required outlay has dropped enough to be feasible even on my current budget (read: tight). Maybe next year?

Posted by: Andrew F. at November 09, 2006 11:56 AM (b6j/I)

4 Andrew, I will tell you this: there is no better deal out there than TRSI's bundle, if you take the quality of the show vs. the price.

I had the same *gulp* at the price of the whole kit'n'kaboodle... until I realized that I spent $150 on Azumanga Daioh (my all-time favorite series) for almost ONE THIRD the number of episodes.

And to be completely honest, the look of the show is MUCH better than AzuDai and the animation level is better as well. It's just a prettier show... well worth the cash.

Yeah, it's a big stack o' DVDs, but I'll say this right now: if The Librarian and I weren't watching the series on Anime Night, I'd've finished this series long, long ago.

I can't stress this enough: It's Just That Good.

Posted by: Wonderduck at November 09, 2006 02:56 PM (0Co69)

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