Genre: Shoujo / Magical Girl
2000 Madhouse. CLAMP/Kodansha.
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Sakura wins a trip to Hong Kong! Or does she? A mysterious force calls out to Sakura in her dreams, and she discovers a dangerous legacy lingering in the alleys of Hong Kong. Thank goodness Sakura can depend upon Li and his family to help her against one of Clow Reed's long lost enemies!
It was nice. ^_^ >>> by thundersenshi (10.11.2001)
It was just another day for Sakura, who, with Tomoyo, went inside a store to buy herself a new notebook for homework. Her timing couldn't be more perfect--the store was having a contest, where customers could draw for a prize. As good fortune would have it, Sakura managed to pull out the golden ball--thus winning her the grand prize: a trip to Hong Kong!
Not used to having such luck, Sakura ecstatically prepares for her vacation trip. But something strange is going on. The dreams she had been having about water, turn into living nightmares as she reaches Hong Kong. Everyday, even stranger events occur to Sakura...leading her to believe that her vacation trip was brought about by no mere coincidence.
I must say that CCS the Movie 1 was quite nice, though not up to par with the second movie. In fact, after raving about Card Captor Sakura Movie 2, I don't know what else to talk about this one, the first movie. It doesn't compare, is all. Well with the exception of the music, and the light humor, that is. Even the art, beautiful as it is, doesn't rival the second movie's. I think you should watch this first so you can save the best for last. CCS the Movie 1 is actually quite interesting, as its storyline deals with the mysterious Clow himself. Not much, actually, but we get to see glimpses of his past in this one. Aside from that, we get another bonus: Li Syaoran's family! Haven't we been curious all this while, as to what kind of relatives he has, especially his mother? I was in for a surprise with this one. We get our answers in this movie, and more. The only thing I didn't quite like here was the end of the battle. Again, it's that typical magical girl victory--but I guess CCS isn't above that. After all, it is a shoujo, and not to mention, a kiddie series as well, so I guess I shouldn't complain. I'd still say it's a pretty good watch. I didn't give it an 8 for nothing, you know. Forget my ravings about the second movie for a while, and simply enjoy this one.
Thundersenshi's Ratings: Art: 10; Story & Plot: 7; Characters: 10; Sounds: 9
Beauty Abound >>> by Kenryoku Maxis (01.01.2002)
Well, just like Thundersenshi, I am writing this review after writing one for the second Card Captor Sakura Movie. But unlike Thundersenshi, I do believe this movie is in many ways as good or even gaining in parts of story and overall graphics. As I have just gotten done watching the movie, I am now remembering why I was left with such a great feeling after seeing it more than a year and a half ago. The characters, who were already given a full season of development are expanded even further with the use of their wonderful voice actors and, like in the second movie, show so much emotion and power through the characters that the childishness between them begins to fade. The movie well balances it's use of "happy moments" with the dark and sad parts. The use of the repetitive dream is not as original as some might wish, but no doubt added to the plot greatly and in my opinion was better than the process of straight-explanation given in some shows or movies. Then, when you add the graphics and movement of the characters, the emotion goes further, many times displaying their emotions through movement as is a trademark of the CardCaptor Sakura series. But just as the characters were animated well, the amount of detail to everything in the movie takes a step beyond normal. The process of developing a realistic Hong Kong environment was a major focus of the development team. Many of the key personnel working on the movie, such as the director actually went to Hong Kong and took over 2,000 pictures of the city.
(Key Note: I heard this from the director himself at a seminar where he and the director for the Kero-chan Special from the Second Card Captor Sakura Movie were discussing of all things, the second Card Captor Sakura Movie).
But the full attention to detail didn't stop at the graphics alone. As much as it was a story about Sakura, it gave many storyline and plot points about Clow himself. A lot of the backstory for Clow is only found in the manga as Sakura was the major focus in the show. This movie will enlighten you with some of what Clow was like, just as the second will better explain the power and use of the Clow Cards. It is a good story full of alot of Drama and mystery. It does pretty much explain most of who Sakura is in the beginning of the movie, but there are still parts one will not understand unless that person has seen the show (example: why Li-Kun is getting mad when Yukito is giving Sakura a gift). Ah yes, there was only one complaint I had. Some of the sounds were kinda strange. One in particular sounded like a tractor beam from an American cartoon, but I can't quite remember it's name. But it was done well, whenever there was action or a real-life situation.
The voice acting was superb, especially coming from Sakura herself, Li-kun's mother (the voice actor for Ryoko in Tenchi) and the villain who was played by Megumi Hayashibara (Lina from Slayers, Lime from Saber Marionette, she's done over 250 individual roles...don't make me write them all). This movie is still one of my favorites and I believe it is, like the second movie, one of the best parts of the Sakura series.
Did I mention Sakura's costume was one of my favorites this time?
Kenryoku Maxis's Ratings: Art: 10; Story & Plot: 9; Characters: 10; Sounds: 8