Cleaning the Plate is my form of final reflections and maybe a type of mini-review after I watch or read something. Today I’ll be writing about the first movie from the series Cardcaptor Sakura, which I am currently watching. I absolutely love the series and enjoying it tremendously, but I’ll save my thoughts on it another time, this will be specifically on the movie.
This movie could have been a 30-40 minute OVA of Sakura and friends travel to Hong Kong and have fun antics including the Li family. The first half was mostly fun scenes of the group in Hong Kong and was quite enjoyable and cute. Instead we are treated to an extended story with bland filler plot, but with incredible movie production. Its not a bad or disappointing movie, it simply did not much have going for it especially since its a filler move placed in the middle of the main series.
Filler Story, but its okay
The movie’s enjoyment isn’t from an interesting or well made plot, but from the cute moments from Sakura and everyone’s travel in Hong Kong. The story itself isn’t anything grand, but the sheer excitement and grandeur of seeing a Cardcaptor Sakura story in movie format makes up for the weakness of this movie’s plot.
A basic summary of the story goes like this: Sakura wins a trip to Hong Kong from a raffle and travels with Tomoyo, Her Brother, Yukito while trying to hide Cero-chan who keeps up his humorous antics. At the same time Sakura is confronted by dreams or visions of being dragged into the water by a powerful mysterious woman. While in Hong Kong, Sakura and the gang run into Shaoran and Meiling and up visiting the Li mansion where we are introduced to the rest of Shaoran’s family, including his mother who knows about the clow cards. While entranced by these visions Sakura opens up a sealed book which releases the mysterious woman from the dreams and she captures Sakura’s friends, and Sakura has to fight her and free her friends. Its a fairly simple plot, but at least it isn’t lazy.
The movie also expands on some interesting side details and many cute antics natural to the main story. The movie plot, as basic as it is, gave at least little bit of detail on the elusive Clow Reed who has been kept mysterious this whole time. The ending was properly executed as well, which I am glad about. In addition, the casual scenes were especially fun to watch, especially the visit to the Li family and the introduction of Li’s mother. The small details Shaoran’s relationship with his mother through something unrelated to magic like his report card was cute to watch and humanizes them both too. In the end, the story was just a basic filler story, but its okay to take it as such because it wasn’t poorly constructed and the more fun scenes were the main source of my enjoyment of the movie.
More Great Outfits!
The aspect to really emphasize about this movie is its fantastic production quality. This movie made in 1999 looks and sounds much better than a lot of series and movies made in the 2000s. The soundtrack has many different songs and really supports the mood of the scenes, with some good sound effects that don’t detract from the watching. Many times when I’m watching a movie and theres a sound effect, I go “that doesn’t sound quite right” and that thought is distracting (trust me, it makes a difference). More Importantly, the movie contains some excellent animation that is both dynamic and detailed, and contains some vibrant backgrounds. The motions are fluid and quality, also boosting little details like hair waving and clothes flapping. I really liked the visuals and the audio.
Im forgetting the most important part, more great outfits! I love the attention to clothing and outfits in Cardcaptor Sakura. Not just in Sakura’s costumes when she fights, but the fashion and style that is given to all the characters is a very appreciated and is rarely done in anime. The movie continues this trend and has great character outfits and styles, it was so wonderful to see new ones!
Tomoyo is especially cute here!
I enjoyed this first Cardcaptor Sakura movie. It wasn’t anything special, but the great visual and audio quality did not make it wasted time, even though the story wasn’t anything to write about…oh wait! Joking aside, I can see why some people don’t think too much about it, but its still a piece of the Cardcaptor Sakura franchise that should be appreciated.
Overall, I’d rate this movie with an arbitrary 8/10. Weak story, but the great production quality really bumps up my view of it.
If you’ve read this far, thank you very much for reading my article. Its not much, but I simply felt like I wanted to write after seeing this movie. I usually think and analyze a lot while watching anime and I am trying to put it into words and keep up my blog this way. Anyways, thank you for reading and I hope you read more of my work in the future.