Cardcaptor Sakura is . . . is . . .
I think I have to break it up into likes and dislikes, because otherwise I find it a bit difficult to talk about coherently. CCS is one of what I think of as the core CLAMP works, one of the ones that everyone's heard of. But it's also in a lot of ways atypical, especially when compared to their other early works. CCS is one (maybe the only?) long, fully fleshed-out CLAMP manga that has no gore, no sociopaths (in fact, no real villains at all), and apparently unreservedly happy endings for everyone. I'd be curious to know what it was that motivated them to write something like this after having started with much darker plots.
1. I don't normally like overly sweet, light-hearted stories, but every time I read CCS I can't help but like that aspect of it. I suppose it works because the characters are all so young, so a lot of the cuteness seems normal and not forced.
2. Yukito. Yukito. I completely understand Sakura's feelings of hanyan~. Um. Okay. To try to be more coherent . . . I find the basic idea of characters who turn out not to be "real" people in some fundamental sense but who are still people really appealing, and I'll inevitably like those characters. What's peculiar about Yukito's case is how understated it is. I'm not sure if I actually find that psychologically realistic, but it was nice for a change --- the way that Yukito realizes he's not human and then is just sort of "Okay, then," about it. I liked Yue, too. I think the first time I read this, I found him off-putting, but this time I liked him a lot.
3. I found the descriptions of Clow, the few things we know about him, fascinating. It's interesting to me that even Kero and Yue don't talk about him in a completely positive light --- he was "dark," "twisted," etc. apparently --- and yet at the same time, there's no indication that he was anything other than benevolent. That's rather a different perspective to have in kids' series, it seems to me: that "dark"/"twisted" =/= evil. It ties in well with their later works, too, given that dark and twisted is also an apt description of Yuuko. I guess they must have been two of a kind, then.
1. Oh dear God some of the relationships in this. Rika and Terada-sensei stands out most vividly and horrifyingly in my mind, but I'm sure there are others that have similar weirdness values. Now, the thing that really bothers me about Rika and Terada isn't so much that their relationship is pedophilic. I mean, for one thing, it doesn't seem to be sexual, so it really isn't pedophilia per se. I think that if the creepiness of it were acknowledged, it could have actually been fascinating. There's apparently not any actual molestation going on, and Terada does seem to genuinely care about her, and that could make a really unique and strange psychological study. Instead, it's like . . . the whole thing is so creepy specifically because the narrative just totally ignores the creepiness of it.
2. Nadeshiko. This somewhat ties into point #1, but actually it goes way further than that. When you have a character who's already dead at the time of the narrative and who will therefore only be met by the readers in brief flashbacks, it can be challenging to make readers understand how much she meant to those around her. Except . . . CCS does a fantastic job of this with Clow. Nadeshiko on the other hand . . . I feel like I should probably sum it up as, "She was a nice, free-spirited girl, and she was totally hot." There's really no sense of an actual person there. And yes, I find that sexist.
1. Ruby Moon baffles me every single time. How is it even possible for a being that's basically a thoughtform to be trans*? I mean, did Eriol purposefully give her a male body just to fuck with her or something? What's going on here?
2. Sakura collects the Clow Cards and changes them into Sakura Cards, which means that her magic has superseded Clow's. Which is, by the way, completely ridiculous from any practical standpoint; I mean, he studied for years and years and created his own hybrid system of magic, whereas she's a grade school kid with no prior training . . . But the demands of the plot are what they are. So in essence, she's now more powerful than Clow.
Which has really interesting implications in light of Tsubasa/xxxHolic. To wit: Sakura is everything Fei Wong Reed wishes he were. Seriously, think about that for a minute.