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Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card Saga (Madhouse 2017-18)

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After insisting that their celebrated manga was finished for good, CLAMP nevertheless revisited the Sakura/Syaoran romance in the conjoined Tsubasa/xxxHolic saga. Then in 2016 they began a new CCS manga series picking up at the point the old one finished. (This is, as of March 2022, still running.) That new beginning led to an OAD [Original Animation Disc], released by Madhouse in September 2017 with a special edition of vol. 3 of CLAMP’s Clear Card Saga manga. This prologue to the new anime retold the ending of the original CCS plot, following the manga closely and omitting the preparation for the Sealed Card movie. A 22-episode anime adaptation of the Clear Card saga followed in 2018, with Morio Asaka returning as series director and Nanase Ohkawa again handling scripts and series composition.

However, character design and overall animation direction were passed to Kunihiko Hamada, who had worked as a key animator and animation director (Eps. 57, 68, Movie 2) on the previous version. An artist with a long resume, Hamada worked on many projects, including Chobits, Galaxy Angel, Monster, X (movie and TV series) and the Mamoru Hosoda films Summer Wars and The Boy and the Beast. He served as character designer/chief animation director of NANA (2006-07) and Chihayafuru (2011-13). Hamada shared the role of chief animation director with Koji Odate on Episodes 2, 4, 7, and 8.

The CGI-based animation of this newer series was designed to mimic the "superflat" appearance of the earlier cel-based artwork, though with a wider palate of special effects. It was intriguing to find, during one of my Yahoo Japan trawls, that the backgrounds were still being done in the old brush-on-paper way before being scanned and layered with the CGI-based animation. The layouts and artboards that came with these backgrounds are studio-made photocopies, though some of them also show holograph elaborations by some of the studio artists. They also demonstrate that the animation itself had also been worked up from hand-drawn sketchwork in the old way before being scanned and completed digitally.

 OAD: Sakura thanks Kero-chan: copy sketch

 Sakura thanks Kero-chan: Background

 Sakura sees Yukito transform: background

 Sakura sees Yukito transform: sketches

 Yue and Kero inspecting the Cards: background

 Yue and Kero inspecting the Cards: sketches

 Yue and Kero inspecting the Cards: more sketches

 Mr. Kaminuma explains how to use a loupe: background

 Mr. Kaminuma explains how to use a loupe: copy sketch

 Sakura’s Science Textbook

 Sakura talking to Fujitaka: background

 Sakura talking to Fujitaka: sketches

 Sakura talking to Fujitaka: more sketches

 Sakura admiring the weather: background

 Sakura admiring the weather: sketches

 Sakura’s reverie: copy sketches

 Sakura’s reverie: background

 Sakura running toward Syaoran: background

 Sakura running toward Syaoran: art board

 Sakura by the kitchen wall

 The Kinomotos’ breakfast table: Background

 The Kinomotos’ breakfast table: Copy sketch

 Yue Hovering: Background

 Yue Hovering: Sketches

Curator: 60something-sensei
Gallery Created: 8/3/2002
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