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Cardcaptor Sakura 15: Episode 42 (Sakura and the Cultural Festival Blackout)

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“Well, It Can’t be ‘Black’!”
Source: TV
Layers: 1
Sketches: 2
Cel Number: A6 END
Standard size

Key Cel
End Cel
No Background

Added 10/10/2008
Updated 1/16/2017
Cut 189/193. Absorbed into a world of impenetrable shadow, Sakura beats back her fears, centers herself, and sets herself the task of identifying her opponent. This is visualized by showing her standing with her eyes shut, her head a little bowed, her right hand held in a loose fist over her heart, in deep meditation. To give this static moment some visual intensity, Madhouse had her unmoving image track quickly over the screen, first right to left at a far distance, then left to right at a middle distance, then right to left again in close-up.

Finally, the image centers on the screen, and then Sakura’s eyes open. She looks directly at the viewer and says with total assurance, “Well, its name can’t be ‘Black’!” Sequence number: A6 END.

Screencap courtesy of

As you can see from the screen cap above, Madhouse added some interesting effects in photographing this cel. The face and shoulders have been light-blasted, while a filter produces an aura around them against the flat black background creating the illusion that these highlights are actually glowing. Meanwhile, the rest of the image has been underexposed, making the colors in the hands and the costume look more somber in the broadcast show than they are in the actual cel.


How does she know the Card’s name isn’t ”Black”? (Worth remembering: since Clow Reed used Western magick in designing the cards, Sakura has to guess all their names in English, making the task tougher than it initially seems -- IM how many synonyms do you know in Japanese for “まっくら” [makkura, “absolute black”] ?) The manga shows her rather less confident at this point, and the copy layout (second thumb) seems to follow suit. But the key animator, it seems to me, improved on the original by showing her focused and “all Cardcaptor business.”

She knows! --and it’s no surprise that her next guess is the right one.

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