Cardcaptor Sakura Omnibus Volume 2 by Clamp
I finished this volume and I immediately felt frustrated that the third Cardcaptor Sakura omnibus from Dark Horse doesn’t seem to be scheduled to be released anytime soon. I’m feeling a little frustrated with some of the more modern Clamp series – they just seem to either go on for far to many volumes (Tsubasa) or lean towards the insipid (Kobato). But since I’ve only read a couple scattered volumes of Cardcaptor Sakura I am happy to enjoy it from the beginning in all of its pink magical girl glory.
The opening storyline of this omnibus shows Sakura struggling to master the Clow card “The Maze.” She’s aided by her enigmatic Mizuki, who has an alarmingly direct way of dealing with her students being trapped in a maze that automatically adjusts itself to create more confusion. Syaoran is immediately suspicious of Mizuki, but it turns out that she used to know Sakura’s older brother. The question of Mizuki being helpful or having some other agenda runs through much of this omnibus, because she seems determined to remain mysterious. Sakura doesn’t really care because Mizuki makes her feel “floaty inside,” but Syaoran is constantly trying to figure out what Mizuki is up to. Other episodes include a scary class trip and a class play put on by selecting roles without considering gender, with the result that Sakura ends up playing the Prince and Syaoran the Princess. Crossdressing Syaoran is pretty hilarious in the way his dialog is portrayed at being flatly shouted and peppered with exclamation points.
While magical girl activities are the general focus of the book, there’s also a nice summer vacation episode when Sakura and her father go on vacation and she befriends the old man next door who turns out to be her estranged great-grandfather. Having the card battles interrupted by occasional school event or family interaction helps keep Cardcaptor Sakura from feeling too quest-focused. The end of this omnibus is a giant battle as Sakura has to prove herself worthy of the cards she’s collected. One thing I was surprised about was that by the end of this omnibus Sakura has collected all of the Clow cards, so in six volumes the first stage of her quest is complete. I somehow thought the card collecting aspect of the manga went on for much longer, but as you might expect when Sakura masters one challenge she is set up to face new tests in the next volume.
As always from Dark Horse, this omnibus features plenty of color pages and nice paper quality. It might take them forever to release these volumes but they are a treat for Clamp fans. Now, when is volume 3 coming out?