While Sakura, touched by her usual kindness as well as her love for those close to her, is deeply concerned to see Akiho suddenly start crying, our heroine at the same time finds herself in a very strange situation with Momo: the “plush” of rabbits that Akiho used to carry with her seems to be finally revealed. about her game by coming back to life, which doesn’t surprise our little card hunter who’s already seen such pretty cards with Kélo and Spinel. But where Sakura is likely to be more surprised or even saddened, that is what her mysterious conversationalist decides to admit, without being able to say much, by plunging her into the mysterious world of “Alice in the Land of the Hour” the book Akiho holds…
The final pages of the fairly soft 10 volume of Clear Card Arc have the advantage of leaving us with certain promises, and fortunately, the CLAMPs, this time around, want to keep those promises, by presenting the eleventh opus that brings us the truth. It advances into a plot that, however, continues to play with a certain skill over the unspoken, because even when we hear the revelation we come out with more ambiguity, especially since most characters generally avoid getting too wet and prefer observation rather than accusation.
So, from this usual perspective, Momo, unable to reveal things clearly and directly due to his special situation with Kaito, tries to signal doubts about the latter more than ever. And even if the intriguing and ambiguous aspect of Akiho’s server is nothing new at all, here it works well for two main reasons.
First of all, revealing the famous half-word: what exactly is Momo’s role, what could be hiding behind Sakura’s ability to create cards now, and the possible target of Kaito who is still very mysterious but reveals himself a little more in his mysterious quest. …are all things that are more or less disclosed or properly maintained, which raise expectations for the future.
Then there are two opposing concepts placed here at the heart of reading: the concept of happiness and unhappiness. What is happiness and what is unhappiness? There too without saying much, thanks to their knack for not saying too much, CLAMPs make us feel that happiness lies above all in one of the core values of the CCS saga, already present in the first series: being around the ones you love and the love you share with them. Thus, the brief passage of Sakura in the Other Mysterious World, where she is not present to anyone and then deeply disturbs her, is very important in this case, while readers will have reason to be briefly torn by some small scenes (“not at all” from the page 39 Tomoyo, and “Who are you?” from Syaoran on next page). As for the rest of the volume, he plays more beautifully on these beautiful and honest relationships, both through Kélo and Spinel’s concern for their bearer, notes by Syaoran who clearly sees that his lover is currently unhappy, Tôya warning of the end of the volume if someone has a bad idea of harming his loved ones (Including Syaoran!), or the anxiety our heroine feels from Akiho, or even the sincere concern that Sakura’s sweet friend shows toward Kaito… could that be enough for the latter to revise his dark, dark designs? Nothing less confident…
It doesn’t take much Card Captor Sakura – Clear Card Arc to get us out of our slumber once CLAMP decides to shake things up a bit more, and this eleventh volume is a pretty good proof of that overall. The Mangaka quartet offers significant volume, as much as it reveals without saying much as in some of the themes that remain dear to the young card hunter’s saga. What is more, in light of the last pages, there is reason to hope strongly that this renewed interest will continue or even increase in Volume 12.
Tension rises in this mystery that links the new cards, their sudden appearance, and the place that Akiho and Kaito occupy in this case. Momo, the mascot accompanying Sakura’s new friend, reveals himself to the card captor. And if she cannot reveal the truth to him concretely, it is by making him see a strange world, a world in which Sakura has no place, and she intends to put her on the road…
After several floating volumes in which Clamps takes advantage of returning to the world of Sakura to capture small moments from everyday life, even if that means making the main plot a true backdrop, this eleventh volume represents an important turn of events. A bit like the first series, by introducing us to several gray areas, the scenario is pushed forward, and the strong point of the scale is the confrontation between Sakura and Momo for a scene that clearly does not lack in intensity. In the end, the reader comes out with more questions than answers, but this result does not bother us at all: arc transparent cards at the elbow and carefully prepare something more dense, for the plot we are looking forward to. To find out the last word.
And if that doesn’t prevent the mangaka from returning to the main formula for this sequel, by developing scenes from everyday life, the main script never fades. Even better: doubt about Kaito is constantly swirling, so that the epilogue of this composition does not hide this element. Then the balance is perfectly preserved in this volume, both in terms of the strength of the events and the rhythm. While giving the various characters from the saga a place, Clamps maintains their story, moves them forward, and forms powerful interactions, sometimes even with gritty narrative games that juggle between the series’ new humor and the unspoken tensions that exist between characters who regularly suspect each other without explicitly acknowledging it.
For all these reasons, this eleventh volume of Clear Card arc remains, today, certainly one of the most striking in the series, and perhaps even one of the best balanced. While the atmospheric authors remain very particular about Sakura, a true Madeleine of Proust, the authors gradually bring in elements that could lead us to a potential climax of the series. Since the sequel, in its numbering, is about to reach the length of the original work (for less dense but more breadth content), we necessarily expected a lot more to come. So far, we are not disappointed. After the previous, rather soft volume, the pleasure of this twist only increases.