New animated instalment to be released before start of new TV series, bridge gap between old and new story arcs.
The spring anime season has just kicked off in Japan, bringing with it some highly anticipated premiers such as the second season of Attack on Titan. Fans of classic magical girl series Cardcaptor Sakrua, though, still have a long wait ahead of them for the start of the anime’s Clear Card Arc, which is scheduled to begin airing next winter, 18 years after the end of the series Sakura Card Arc.
But the producers of the follow-up are throwing the Cardcaptor faithful a bone by releasing a preview video of yet another new piece of animation titled Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card Arc Prologue: Sakura and the Two Bears.
Billed as “the story that leads to the Clear Card Arc,” Sakura and the Two Bears is a continuation of the events of the Sakura Arc’s final episode, in which Sakura receives a stuffed bear from fellow magic-user Syaoran, who has confessed his love for her before leaving Japan for Hong Kong. “I have to tell Syaoran my true feelings,” says Sakura in the preview video’s narration, and to do so she begins making “a certain something.”
The soft, introspective tone of the video suggests that there won’t be any earth-shattering, high-stakes magical action or adventure going on. After almost two decades, though, it’s likely that even some passionate fans have forgotten some of the details of just where the Sakura Card Arc left off, and a nostalgic look back should also serve to jog viewers’ memory to get them ready for the Clear Card Arc. The prologue anime’s length is unspecified, but the clips released so far indicate that it’s long enough for the characters Tomoyo, Toya, Yukito, Eriol, and, of course, mascot creature Cerberus to all get at least a little screen time.
But while the Clear Card Arc itself is a television series, Sakura and the Two Bears isn’t scheduled to air on TV. Instead, it’ll be released as a DVD bundled in a special edition of the third-volume reprint of the original Cardcaptor Sakura manga which goes on sale September 13, which will cost 3,480 yen (US$31). That price point is quite a bit below the 5,000 yen or so that two-episode anime DVDs are usually priced at in Japan, which suggests that Sakura and the Two Bears will probably be a brief visit with the beloved characters, but still, it’s nice to have something to tide fans over until the Clear Card Arc anime officially begins in January of 2018.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s always down for a little ’90s anime nostalgia.