Now that I've sufficiently apologized for my prolonged lack of CCS episode summaries by scarring your minds, let us continue.
This episode summary suffered from Great Indecision, regarding which pictures should be kept and which should be discarded. As mentioned previously, this meant that even if I had inexplicably lost interest in blogging CCS (which, to head off any unfounded rumours, I have not; I just haven't found the solid chunks of time needed to write these up), I would definitely have finished this episode summary anyway, since damned if I would let all the anguish of "but it's Tomoyo" go to waste.
Episode 11, Sakura, Tomoyo, and a Mansion, deals mainly with Sakura's first visit to Tomoyo's house. It also has plenty of flashback scenes, more evidence that Sonomi is a Former Tsundere, and a box containing Precious Things.
CHECK!Point: Starting out strong, we have Tomoyo asking Sakura (during gym class) for a favour, a few days previous. Vague hinting indicates that it has something to do with Sakura's side job as a Card Captor, and Tomoyo's niko-niko smile as she says this just makes me melt into hanyaa~n.
Well, to be fair, just about everything that girl does makes me melt into hanyaa~n.
Sakura takes a bus to Tomoyo's house. The series offers very little about how far everyone lives from each other; occasionally they're shown to be in walking (or at least running) distance, while at other times they decide to take a bus or car. I'm guessing that in this case, Sakura is technically able to walk to Tomoyo's place, but first she needs to know where it is, and it's quicker to take a bus anyway.
Sakura has also received a set of directions, written down on a piece of paper. Personally my sense of direction is such that I have great difficulty following these, largely because if they are not accurate to the most minute details, I get lost anyway. I do not, as it is, actually have a sense of direction. Presumably Sakura is better at this.
Sakura discovers that sometimes "you can't miss it" is a tad misleading: occasionally, you can miss it, because it's right there.
I've personally not really figured out why the very rich are often depicted as living in huge mansions. I suppose it's due to Appearances, except in a more genteel way than the connotation of that concept implies: "everyone" thinks that Rich People Live In Big Houses, and if you turn out to be living in a tiny little apartment, that would be seen to be losing face.
If I were a rich man (yah bah dibby dibble buddah buddah dibby dibby dum), I'd probably end up living in a tiny apartment anyway, on the basis that it's probably easier to maintain than a giant house. (Heck, with the rent on my current apartment…)
Tomoyo comes out to meet Sakura, and Sakura discovers that Tomoyo is an ojou-sama. This is a term that I've seen in many anime, and I'm not sure if it's an actual feature of Japanese culture. The ojou-sama (perhaps best translated to "Lady", in the old formal title kind of way) is the sort of girl who's family is rich and respectable, able to employ maids and butlers and servants who address her as "ojou-sama". The stereotypical ojou-sama acts like, well, Tomoyo: polite, refined, "high-class" in all ways. Occasionally they're sweet and kind as Tomoyo; other times, they're arrogant and pushy. (And then there's the "but you don't look/act like an ojou-sama" trope subversion.) More often than not it's the "nice and polite" version that gets portrayed as the "typical" sort, unlike what I understand of Western stereotypes of preppy bitchiness. (Whichever one is more "true to life" probably depends on personal experience and how cynical one is, I suppose.)
The fact that Sakura discovers now that Tomoyo is an ojou-sama is somewhat puzzling, I have to admit. Tomoyo hasn't exactly been hiding it, what with her, yanno, bodyguards.
Tomoyo's room is something like a normal (stereotypical) girl's room, supersized. This includes a large projection screen in a special theatre, although why such a thing was installed raises some interesting questions.
I've only really met one person with an actual projection screen home entertainment system, and yes, he lives in a huge house. (He invited a huge bunch of us, about thirty or so, over to a party. I'm sorry to say that we ended up mostly trashing the place inadvertantly, even if he didn't seem to mind. The projection screen was fine, though.)
Some things, like Epic Movies (say, Lord of the Rings), are meant to be watched on projection screens for the Full Cinematic Experience. Evidently Tomoyo thinks Sakura's videotaped adventures are worthy of this.
One has to wonder how Tomoyo edits her footage; I don't think I saw a computer in her room, but it could just not have been shown onscreen. Also, Tomoyo is probably the Goddess of Filmography, seeing as how she managed to get the best angle in necessarily just one take.
CHECK!Point: Tomoyo brings out what looks like a ready-made costume for Sakura to try on or something. Exactly how she gets the inspiration for these, or why some of them can only be described as "skimpy", is best left to the viewers' frequently questionable imaginations.
Note this costume. It will turn up later. (Not in this episode as such, though.)
Meanwhile, the men are off doing Manly things, like spring cleaning. Super Baito Touya uses the "easier and quicker, but wastes more water" method of washing the car, while Fujitaka takes out the trash and Yukito turns up mysteriously just because.
And that's enough about them.
Tomoyo's mother Sonomi arrives on the scene, bursting forth in a way which makes me think that she's a former Genki Girl/Tsundere who learned respectability. She commandeers Sakura and leads her out onto the veranda (I think?) for tea, where she reminisces about her days with Nadeshiko.
I wonder if CLAMP ever thought about making a CCS prequel featuring Sonomi and Nadeshiko. It doesn't even have to be Mahou Shoujo, although obviously I'd prefer it. Mahou Dojikko Nadeshiko, sanjou!
Sonomi remembers Nadeshiko being rabu-rabu over Fujitaka…
… and then remembers that she's in public.
Kero-chan produces hitodama to express his displeasure at Sakura and Tomoyo eating cake outside in full view of Tomoyo's room, where he was stuck in. Sakura is nonplussed.
Tomoyo, however, has shown some forethought by smuggling some cake up to her room. Kero-chan, predictably, forgets his depression and starts chowing down.
CHECK!Point: "People with a grudge about food are scary, aren't they?"
Girls whispering and giggling to each other always make me nervous. This may be an instinctual male reaction that they're laughing at me.
The primary objective of this visit is brought out with some ceremony: a small chest which cannot be opened, due to violently rejecting the key. The mysterious way in which this happens obviously means that it's the work of a Clow Card, or at least somewhat related to a Clow Card. If nothing else, maybe Sakura can use a Clow Card to solve the problem.
One wonders if Sakura ever used the Clow Cards for minor things like heating cup ramen or something.
Tomoyo, of course, whips out the video camera. What she is expecting to see and record is unknown.
This being CCS, the problem is, in fact, a Clow Card: the Shield card, to be precise. It produces a barrier invisible to non-magical people, probably permeable by various means (like light, else it would be opaque), and summarily sliced open by the Sword card. There's that Chinese phrase about the spear and the shield (used to imply contradictions), which I doubt I need to elaborate on here. I suppose that in this case, like most shounen anime, the one which wins depends on whichever one has greater willpower backing it up.
Why the Shield has a wing motif is left unexplained. Clow Reed has evidently foreseen that Sakura Is Not Allowed To Own Anything Without Wings.
The box is opened, and inside is revealed to be a bunch of flowers plus miscellaneous objects. This is, apparently, the Daidouji family's Special Secret Precious Things stash, starting with the wedding bouquet from Nadeshiko's wedding to Fujitaka. Exactly how these flowers (which, from context, are implied to be natural rather than plastic) have not rotted away yet after at least seventeen years is not mentioned.
Any comments involving the phrase "my Precious Thing in a box" will be laughed at. But guiltily.
CHECK!Point: Sakura picks up a petal from the bouquet and is filled with the memory of her mother. Awww.
It should be noted that apparently Nadeshiko (and Sonomi) went to Nadeshiko Academy, and the nadeshiko flower is the town's official symbol. I'm not sure whether this can be considered anvilicious yet.
CHECK!Point: Tomoyo, for her part, has a small object in a little cloth pouch which she claims to be her Most Precious Thing. (Quiet from the peanut gallery.) Yes, I CHECK!Pointed this entirely because it's Tomoyo, dammit.
This object turns out to be the little bunny eraser which Sakura gave to her way back when they started seating next to each other. It's… a bunny eraser. I'm not sure if Sakura ever gives it the same significance as Tomoyo evidently does.
This is getting rather close to the textbook definition of "obsession". But then we all knew that already.
In this episode's Kero-chan ni Omakase, he goes through an assortment of rather random items in Sakura's life (like her slippers or hair-dryer), before focusing on Sakura's cellphone. At least, I assume it's a cellphone; it's called one ("keitai denwa"), but it bears more resemblance to those ancient first-generation mobile phones than the ones around even in the late 90s, when CCS was still in manga form. (I should know, I got my first cellphone in 1996 or so; was a Nokia, I believe. I told my parents that it would make it easier for them to contact me, and this was indeed the case, considering over 80% of the calls I ever made were to or from them. No, I have no life.)
No explanation is ever given as to why it has that Clow sun-and-moon symbol. FUSHIGI MYSTERY.