Ah, I’d almost forgotten how the last episode ended on a cliffhanger. At least it made for an exciting start to this week’s episode!

Sakura can see the unknown card burrowing underground and heading towards the main road, so she quickly uses Seige to enclose Tomoyo’s mansion and the surrounding grounds. Sakura succeeds in capturing the card, but only temporarily as it turns around and starts heading back towards the house!

Sensing Sakura’s anxiety, Flight kicks into overdrive and propels Sakura away from Kero and towards the mansion. This has potential consequences for Kero later, ha.

In the process of heading for the mansion, the card causes extensive damage to the hedge maze, water fountain, and other parts of the Daidouji family’s property. Right as the card arrives at the house, it emerges from the ground and rears up like it’s about to attack. Hey, it kinda looks like the dragon demon thing form Sakura’s dream, no?

Anyways, thanks to Flight Sakura arrives right at this moment and captures this new card. It’s called Swing, for reasons I’m not quite sure of yet. Back inside everyone wakes up and thankfully they’re unharmed. Sonomi prepares some tea for everyone, and they touch base on what happened. Awww, poor Akiho feels guilty for falling asleep at another friend’s house.

Afterwards Meiling, Sakura and Akiho head home. At their usual meeting spot Akiho leaves Sakura and Meiling, but encounters Yuna D on the way home.

This meeting with Yuna… this was the first time I got some genuinely sinister vibes from him. Very subtle and well-hidden, but still there. He appears his usual friendly self, but he expertly probes Akiho for information on her friends, especially Sakura. And when Akiho mentions Sakura’s dad (who in the manga, and presumably CCH as well, is half-Clow Reed’s incarnation), we get to see Yuna D’s magic for the first time!

Yuna D pulls out his sun timepiece and casts a magic circle similar to Sakura’s. Actually the circle itself is like Sakura’s, but the shapes within the circle are the opposite (Yuna’s magic is based in the moon and Sakura’s is based in the sun, after all).  Yuna rewinds time about 3 seconds so that Akiho doesn’t remember asking Yuna whether she’d already told him about Sakura’s dad, whom Yuna knows is an archaeologist. Again I am not quite sure what the importance of Sakura’s dad is, aside from that he’s one half of Clow Reed’s reincarnated form (Eriol being the other half), so I imagine there is something of importance somewhere that I’ve either missed or aren’t aware of yet.

Meanwhile Meiling and Sakura are walking back to Sakura’s home together. Meiling describes for Sakura what the people back home in Hong Kong are like, and she had this to say:

“When you believe the people around you are good, you attract only good people. And when you believe all the people around you are bad, you don’t notice when you meet good people.”

For whatever reason, this quote made me think of Yuna. We know he’s up to no good, and perhaps the reason why he’s using his magic against Akiho and Sakura is because he has some grudge against the world, against magic, or maybe even against Clow Reed. This theoretical grudge could be what prevents Yuna from connecting with or reaching out to people who could help him. * shrug *  Or maybe I’m just grasping at straws. xD

Sakura and Meiling’s walk is interrupted by a young, pink-haired martial artist who attacks them. Meiling helps protect Sakura from being hit several times, and the girls eventually figure out that the gold-coloured diamond pieces decorating the girl’s outfit (specifically the ones on its shoulders) are its weak spot. Sakura remembers capturing the Twin Card in the original series, and this new card is similar in that it is like two halves making up a whole (or two twins in one body, if you will). Namely if Sakura and Meiling can hit the golden gems on both shoulders at once, the card should be weakened enough for Sakura to capture it.

So that’s exactly what happens. Mimicking Meiling and Syaoran’s partnership in the Twin Card episode, Sakura follows Meiling’s prompts so that both girls dodge the card’s attacks at the same time. Together they leap up and smash the necessary gems on the card’s outfit, freezing it in place long enough for Sakura to capture it. And which card is this one, pray tell? Struggle.  …This episode sure has some unique cards.  >>

After the fight is over, Kero finally wakes up. You see he’d been hiding in Sakura’s bag since everyone woke up back at Tomoyo’s house, and now knowing that he’d missed a card capture when he should’ve been awake, Kero gets super terrified at the thought of what Tomoyo’s reaction might be. ^^;;   To bite the bullet and tell Tomoyo or simply brush it off and quickly mention it in passing the next day? Hmmm… xD

During their last night together, Meiling and Sakura have a bit of a heart to heart. Meiling reminds Sakura of her earlier words (that sometimes seeing good people makes her sad) and explains her feelings to Sakura. Meiling sees lots of “good people” around her always thinking of others, but she wishes that sometimes they would put themselves first and think of caring for themselves more than others once in awhile. Specifically, Meiling wants Sakura to “find her own happiness first” because this will help Syaoran to open his eyes, so to speak.

To give her credit, Sakura doesn’t turn down this idea. Rather she voices her feeling that something very important is missing, and perhaps that’s why she’s always thinking of others first. Could she be picking up on what Syaoran is keeping hidden from her, or maybe it’s just her sense that he’s holding himself back from her?

In the morning Meiling takes a cab to the airport and Sakura’s dad Fujitaka is there to see her off. Before she leaves Meiling asks Sakura if she can call her by her first name, like Syaoran does, and Sakura of course agrees. As Meiling rides in the cab, she calls Syaoran to gently rub in his face that now she can call Sakura by her first name too. Meiling also hints that there was something that happened (the card captures), and encourages Syaoran to call Sakura so they can talk about it together.

This was a nice episode about Sakura and Meiling’s friendship, something that hasn’t had a lot of development throughout the series. Sakura even points out they both had never really done anything together with just the two of them, and so even though Meiling got hurt in the process, Sakura admits that she was glad they could capture the Struggle card together.

This episode also had the first mention I can recall of Sakura’s grandfather, but I know from Sonomi’s Wikipedia page that Sonomi has helped nuture a relationship between Sakura and her grandfather, which I think is awesome of her to do. She really does have Sakura’s best interests at heart.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we got to see Yuna’s magic for the first time! Now we know he has the ability to manipulate time, although I guess that might’ve been obvious given all the references to Yuna’s pocketwatch and the clocks in Sakura’s dreams, and I just missed it… eheheh. Oops.  I feel really bad for Akiho; I get the feeling she might have her heart broken when she learns how much Yuna has been manipulating her without her knowledge.

We’re down to the final few episodes now, and I can’t wait to see how the series resolves itself!  I’ll miss Meiling though.