Cardcaptors Sakura Collection 2 Review

Anime


Cardcaptor Sakura Collection 1

Studio: Madhouse
Publisher: Madman Entertainment
Format: DVD (Subtitles Only)
Release Date: November 28, 2012
Price: $59.95 – Available Here

Overview:
After 70 episodes of magic Cardcaptor Sakura reaches it’s conclusion in yet another jam-packed uncut DVD release from Madman Entertainment. Without a doubt this series has been one of the most heavily requested by Australian anime fans, so does Cardcaptor Sakura Collection 2 continue the trend of pure quality set by the first or does it fall off?

Story:
Cardcaptor Sakura Collection 2 features the series conclusion and the entirety of the second half of the series, from episode 36 to episode 70. Throughout the course of this second collection Sakura Kinomoto and friends go through a great deal of struggle, failure and triumph. But what is it that sits at the heart of this series – what defines it’s soul?

Early on in the series particular in Collection 1, the story for the most part focused on Sakura capturing different cards and what not, but by Collection 2 things have developed far more to the point that she isn’t simply just capturing her cards, they have really changed her life completely in some ways for the better in others for the worse. But this is what the heart and soul of Cardcaptor Sakura, sometimes something incredibly magical happens and your world as you know it changes.

For Sakura the cards have a profound effect on her life. She once lived a simple life of a young school girl, but now she has a means to be more than that. She can be special, magical even. But the price of that is an almost ever present danger, both from the cards and people with a stake in the matter.

Sometimes magical things happen, we don’t quite understand why they do, but they do and it soon becomes hard to even remember life before it all. Despite the incredible life-changing experiences she is still searching for that one thing that will make her life complete. She may be stuck in a dangerous yet mystical life, but she isn’t alone and it is in the bad boy Syaoran Li that she finds love, albeit unconventional love.

Sakura is a girl that at her core has a sense of loneliness that she does not outwardly portray, she desires connection and purpose and through a little bit of magic she finds it. The soul of Cardcaptor Sakura is the thought that magic can really happen and for Sakura it does.

As the series comes to it’s final moments there is a lot of twists along the way that will leave you enthralled. There is such an incredible depth to the writing in this series and the cast of characters are as colourful as they are well-defined. There is a lot to like here and Madhouse really made a name for themselves with this series, it showed an incredible amount of variety for what they could do as an anime studio and still to this day is an excellent shojo series that hasn’t aged a day since it first aired more than a decade ago.

Visuals and Audio:
Cardcaptor Sakura still holds up incredibly well in this day and age, animation-wise it was far ahead of it’s time. It pulled off visuals that wowed audiences at the time and was sublimely animated with an incredible amount of fluid motion from bell to bell.

The character designs are great and it Sakura’s everchanging wardrobe deserves a mention for creativity and artistic flair. Some of her costumes are jaw-dropping beautiful and no doubt excite a lot of the female fans interested in what clothes she will wear next.

In terms of the soundtrack the series gains two new openings and ending themes in this portion and sadly all of them aren’t too crash hot compared to the instant classic ‘Catch Me, Catch You’. They do a decent enough job though despite not being as strong as the original opening theme.

The voice acting is simply superb with Sakura Tange as Sakura Kinomoto deserving an honorable mention for what is an incredibly varied and at time moving performance as the titular cardcaptor. She really steals the show in every scene, it’s utterly captivating.

Extras:
Much like Collection 1 there is not much more you could ask for from a release that features 30+ episodes, but Madman decided to go right on ahead anyways and throw in some extra goodies anyways. On this release there is of course textless opening and ending themes, but there is also an interesting interview with Sakura Tange herself. The interview was conducted at SMASH! con in Sydney. However the interview is not a video and instead is simply text based, which admittedly is a little hard to read.

Interestingly enough I was also lucky enough to interview the legendary voice actress of Sakura Kinomoto at SMASH! 2012. You can read my interview with Sakura Tange here. The Madman interview covers similar topics albeit they are a little more general. It is still a good read none the less for fans of this series.

Besides the interview with Sakura and the textless opening and endings however there is very little in the way of special features, this isn’t a bad thing though as the release is pretty jam-packed as it is, even if it doesn’t have an English dub.

Overall:
Madman have worked magic here. Like Sakura learns, sometimes magic really does happen and indeed it has with this brilliant release by Madman Entertainment. The series concludes in glorious fashion and this is without a doubt a must-have for any Cardcaptor Sakura fans. Alongside Collection 1, this makes for the most definitive English language release of the Cardcaptor Sakura anime series and for that I must applaud Madman for a job well done. This is pure fan-service and there is nothing wrong with that. Whether you are a fan of Cardcaptor Sakura or yet to be initiated into the magic of Cardcaptors, I wholeheartedly recommend this product. This is about as good as an anime release gets and for that reason Cardcaptor Sakura deserves a place on any anime fans shelf. Magic really does happen and there isn’t much more you can ask for than honest to goodness magic.

9-0-capsules-out-of-10

Senior Editor & Anime Specialist

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