The new TV anime series of Cardcaptor Sakura will air from January 2018 on NHK. It has been 18 years since the last episode. The new arc is titled the Clear Card Arc and the special edition of third volume of the manga Clear Card Arc, which comes with a DVD featuring the original animation Sakura and The Two Bears, will be released later this year. The world premiere of Sakura and The Two Bears took place at the largest anime convention in North America, ‘Anime Expo 2017’, at Los Angeles Convention Center in the US.
Cardcaptor Sakura was created by CLAMP, who have also created many popular manga including Magic Knight Rayearth and XXXHOiC’. Cardcaptor Sakura was serialized between 1996 and 2000 in Nakayoshi (Kodansha) and was adapted into TV anime as the Clow Card Arc and Sakura Card Arc, as well as two anime movies.
The new anime series Clear Card Arc is based on the manga, which commemorates the 20th anniversary since its serialization, started in the July 2016 issue (release date on 3 June). The original cast members from 18 years ago have reunited, and that raised fans’ expectations even higher. The story of the original anime Sakura and the Two Bears is said to connect the Sakura Card Arc to the Clear Card Arc.
The advanced screening of the original anime, which even fans in Japan haven’t watched yet, took place in one of the main halls with 3400 seats at Anime Expo 2017.
Prior to the screening, Chiyo Kawazoe, the producer of the anime, explained the purpose of the new series as, “we created the new anime series with hope for today’s readers of Nakayoshi to enjoy Cardcaptor Sakura. She then read out the message from the director, Morio Asaka, who wasn’t available on the day for the production of the anime. (The message is written at the end of this article.)
The prologue of Sakura and the Two Bears started and the hall became totally silent. Every audience member gazed at the screen enthusiastically for 20 minutes. After the screening, they erupted into cheers and applause. There were even some female audience members who cried with joy of the return of Cardcaptor Sakura.
Cerberus, a popular character from the series, appeared in the hall and the ‘Rock-paper-scissors Tournament’ began. The person who won the tournament got a ‘Cardcaptor Sakura 20 year-Anniversary Illustration Book’, Cardcaptor Sakura Volume 2 Special Edition, and a promotion poster for bookshops with the signature of CLAMP, prizes which are every fan’s dream. A group photo with the audience, Kawazoe, and Cerberus was taken and the advance screening event ended.
Message from Director Asaka
▼What is your memory regarding the old series of Cardcaptor Sakura?
Although 20 years have passed since I started directing Cardcaptor Sakura, it’s still one of the most memorable anime I’ve ever made as it’s the first TV anime series I ever directed.
I remember that the anime wasn’t so popular at the start, so that I didn’t feel any pressure when creating each episode. The production had begun before a broadcasting station was selected, so I had a flexible schedule and was able to spend time to create them. I think that’s why I could challenge new things, such as changing clothes in each episode.
After the broadcast on NHK started, the schedule became tight. My staff members must have had a hard job, as I wasn’t used to making anime series. However, the experiences during the making of the series, including doing what I wanted to do as much as I liked, taking what is needed and leaving others, and meeting various people are definitely had a significant influence on my later works. By the way, the ‘Leave it to Kero-chan’ segment at the end of the episodes was made to make the episodes fit in the NHK’s time frame. [NB: NHK doesn’t show commercials, so the anime run-time is a little longer than for other channels]
It was during the production of Cardcaptor Sakura that I took part in Anime Expo for the first time.
▼Could you give us an account how you were involved in the production of the new anime and your thought on that?
I felt that was done with the series and wouldn’t make sequels when the series ended. However, as time passed, I became to take interest in how Sakura will be received today, so I accepted the offer to direct the new series.
I was worried if I could depict the purity of the characters, but now I think I’ll enjoy the difference time makes. At this moment, the production of the new series is going really well!
▼Could you give a comment to Sakura fans in the US?
Thank you very much for watching Cardcaptor Sakura. I appreciate you not forgetting Sakura. I’m grateful that you still love her. Please wait a bit for the Clear Card Arc. You are going to love it!
Title: Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card Arc Prologue Sakura and the Two Bears
Original work: CLAMP Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card Arc (Currently serialized in Kodansha’s Nakayoshi)
Director: Morio Asaka
Screenplay: Nanase Okawa
Character Design: Kunihiko Hamada
Animation Production: Madhouse
Sakura Kinomoto: Sakura Tange
Cerberus: Aya Hisakawa
Tomoyo Daidouji: Junko Iwao
Shaoran Li: Motoko Kumai
Yukito Tsukishiro: Megumi Ogata
Touya Kinomoto: Tomokazu Seki, etc
Advanced Screening Product Information
Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card Arc Special Edition with DVD
Price: 3480 yen (excluding tax)
Release date: 13 September 2017
Pre-order closing date: 14 July 2017
Sakura and the Two Bears Synopsis
This is the story that leads to the Clear Card Arc.
Sakura faced off against Eriol, who is a reincarnation of Clow Reed, and obtained the dark and the light cards.
The peaceful days didn’t last long, as Eriol is going back to England. Hiding her loneliness, Sakura sees him off.
Sakura is bewildered when Syaoran confess his love for Sakura, because she doesn’t know her true feeling herself. Tomoyo gently encourages her. However, before she makes up her mind, Syaoran is due to return to Hong Kong…!
Sakura has decided to make ‘a certain something’…!