Cardcaptor Sakura Omnibus 02 Manga Review

カードキャプターさくら
Cardcaptor Sakura Omnibus Edition 02

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Note: Rakuten and Barnes & Noble pages have wrong cover displayed.

Well, it certainly took Dark Horse what seemed to be an insanely long time to get this second omnibus volume out after teasing us with numerous release dates and then pushing the release date for the manga further into the future..  That being said, I’m glad Cardcaptor Sakura has been licensed-rescued by Dark Horse because even though they can’t meet a deliverable date to save their lives, they do put out a quality product.

*SPOILERS!*

The second omnibus covers volumes four through six of the original Cardcaptor Sakura manga release.  In brief, the story had Sakura continue her card collection as she gets a challenge by LI Syaoran, who is a Chinese boy that has transferred to Sakura’s school because of the Clow Cards.  Indeed, he is a descendant of Clow Reed and doesn’t approve of Sakura being a cardcaptor even if Cerberus chose her. At the same time, he finds himself a “rival in love” for the high school boy Yukito, whom is Sakura’s brother’s best friend.  If that weren’t enough, a new teacher named MIZUKI Kaho, whom Syaoran doesn’t trust but whom Saskura finds she goes “hanyan” around, namely because of Mizuki-sensei’s magical abilities.

Eventually, Sakura captures all of the cards and Cerberus regains his normal form, though he still disguises himself as the plush toy Kero-chan.  The guardian of the moon, Yue, reveals himself and challenges Sakura as the Master of the Clow.  Sakura has to pass his challenge, which proves quite difficult, before he will accept her as his new master and thus worthy to hold the  Clow Cards.

For those who’ve watched the anime but never read the manga, I’m guessing there will be two big surprises.  First, the character of LI Meiling is not present in the manga.  She was an inclusion for the anime to provide a romantic rival for Sakura x Syaoran.  I had no problems with the character in the anime, though the episode where she and Syaoran capture the Twin card together was one that had me scratching my head because it made no sense to have a card that required TWO people to capture it if Sakura was the LONE, chosen cardcaptor.  Of course, that’s because the TWIN card is an anime-only creation as the anime had 52 cards (53 with the 2nd movie) whereas the manga had only 19 cards to be captured.

Regardless, Meiling’s presence really isn’t missed in the manga because frankly, the manga flows at a pretty quick pace and thus the reader doesn’t have time to consider her absence until the volume is done and Sakura is the Master of the Clow.

The second big surprise will be that Syaoran captures NO cards.  In the anime, he used his sword to capture cards, which never made sense to me since it was established that Sakura’s wand was created to not only capture the cards, but to activate them as well.  Back when I watched the anime for the first time, I accepted the notion of Syaoran using the sword to capture the cards, but since reading the manga, I now find it hard to accept the concept in the anime.  The manga makes so much more sense in regards to story flow, though I still like the anime on the whole (well, most episodes).

Considering how difficult CLAMP’s Gate 7 can be to slog through at times, it is refreshing to read a CLAMP title that isn’t weighed down by historical references and chapters of setup.  Granted, Cardcaptor Sakura is filled with nearly every popular Japanese sexual pairing imaginable (yaoi with Touya implied to be attracted to Yukito; shoutacon yaoi with Syaoran attracted to Yukito; lolicon yuri with Tomoyo in romantic love with Sakura; yuri with Tomoyo’s mother in love with Sakura’s mother (and Sakura herself as far as I can tell); shoutacon with the past romance between Mizuki-sensei and Touya; and lolicon with Tereda-sensei engaged to the 10-year old Rika-chan), which at times gets to be too much in my opinion.

As to Dark Horse, I do like the larger book size for the omnibus just for better art enjoyment, though it does make carting the manga around not as easy as a traditional manga volume. I love that Dark Horse includes color pages to capture the original color artwork for the manga.  Of course, the full use of core Japanese honorifics meets with my approval, which also includes the “oniichan” term/honorific when Sakura refers to Toya, which is right and proper in my opinion.

While a minor thing, I wasn’t too keen on Sakura’s trademark “hanyaan” noise being translated as “floaty” or as a sigh.  The noise is the same in both instances and means nothing more than being Sakura’s trademark “catchphrase” for lack of a better term.  I suppose this is because I saw the anime and am well versed in Sakura’s “hanyaan” noises, which never struck me as a sigh, nor did it strike me as being “floaty.”  That’s just me though.

There are no translator notes in the manga, which is a bummer.  I’m a huge fan of translator notes.  The above “hanyan” thing would have been a good translator note, in my opinion.

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3 Responses to “Cardcaptor Sakura Omnibus 02 Manga Review”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Darkhorse has released the cover for vol 3 ^_^ I think it’s gorgeous! http://www.darkhorse.com/Books/17-763/Cardcaptor-Sakura-Book-3-TPB Haven’t given a release date though, maybe it’s 15 Feb 2012, but knowing them, maybe not so much… -_-

  2. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Thanks for the link. ^_^ The cover art does look good.

    As to a release date, I’d rather they not get one until they can commit to.

  3. […] pose. (As an aside, I still chide Dark Horse for “translating” that in their official English manga publication as […]

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