(Reposting to fix several bits of bad coding. Never HTML when drunk, people.)
I'm not entirely sure why, but this episode did not really seem as appealing to write about as others. I suppose that even though it had a great deal of future plot points introduced, the actual episode itself was not, well, dramatically charged or otherwise compelling. It was one step up from filler, so to speak. (Note that I have absolutely nothing against filler, and indeed, in some cases, prefer filler to actual plot.)
Anyway. Episode 12 of Card Captor Sakura, "Sakura's Never-Ending Day", deals mainly with one of the basic truths of the universe, being Time. Experience with playing a Time-focused character in Mage: The Awakening implies that it is a tremendously powerful ability (I mean, seriously, it's near-broken), but also quite draining (I blow Mana points like water). This matches up quite well with uses of the Time card in future episodes.
I should also note that I'm finding fewer things to say about this episode as I go on. So if this summary seems less entertaining than usual, well, there's always next time. Or the next one after that, if needed. I do have fifty-eight more episodes and two movies to go.
Sakura's father, Fujitaka, is giving a presentation on the pyramids of Giza to what seems like a rapt audience of elementary school students. I can attest that a suitably eloquent and enthusiastic speaker, one who clearly loves his (or her) subject matter and has the public speaking skills to pull it off, can truly ignite an interest in things which the listener may previously not have even conceived of.
We don't really see Fujitaka's speech, though. I suppose it would derail the plot otherwise for no good reason, but occasionally I'm irked by how the series tells us about the Kinomoto family's various skillz, but never actually shows us.
At speech's end, Fujitaka gets cut off by the bell chime, thus setting up the theme for the episode. It does get pretty anvilicious by the time the episode really gets underway, but this is a series aimed at elementary school kids.
Syaoran gets all HOT-BLOODED about Egyptian archaeology, and completely fails to notice that Fujitaka's surname is Kinomoto, ie Sakura's dad. I have to wonder if Syaoran's interest stems from the "science is COOL" factor which I discovered in my late teens, or the "woo, Indiana Jones" bit which my much younger self would probably have seen as more relevant.
Upon discovery about Fujitaka's relationship with Sakura (prompted by Yamazaki, who, surprisingly, is not lying through his teeth this time), Syaoran glares at Sakura in disbelief, prompting the above screenshot. Fujitaka, like every other male in the series, is clueless about this.
Later that night, Kero-chan is playing a video game on… you know, I have no clue what system that is. The controller reminds me of the SNES, but the console itself doesn't look like anything I recognize. It could be that it's simply a Generic System, and the graphics (and music) are deliberately dumbed down for simplicity's sake when animating.
Here, he has just finished beating up a mid-boss (no, really, that's what it says on the screen). Gaming experience indicates that mid-bosses can range from utterly wimpy to stupidly hard, or, for the recurring characters, both. I'm not really sure any game actually calls them "mid-boss", except when they'd probably rather be called Dark Adonis Vyers.
I'm not sure if Sakura ever plays the games she has. It's not like Kero-chan can go out and buy his own, so presumably everything he plays is Sakura's. There's a rather substantial library of games, too, but we never actually see Sakura playing any of them.
Sakura, meanwhile, is trying to figure out the best way to greet Yukito, who is being Bishounen studying in Touya's room. I get the feeling that with all of Sakura's efforts in getting Yukito to Notice her, Yukito is either ignoring these efforts, or simply very, very dense.
The door suddenly opens, and Touya grabs the tray from her. Sakura, for all her preparation, is only able to utter a stunned "nikuman…"
CHECK!Point: Resulting in Sad Sakura. While the scene immediately cuts to her quietly sobbing in bed, her clothes have changed, which indicates that at least some time passed, probably after taking a bath. Oddly, Kero-chan is still playing his game.
That night, the bells, the BELLS, THE BELLS OF NOTRE- um, I mean, the bells of the school begin to chime. Ask not for whom the bells toll, because it's just a plot point anyway.
The next day, Sakura's class has a music class, where they have to play the recorder to "Yoru no Uta" (one of Tomoyo's image songs, as it happens). I'm not sure if recorder practice is a common thing in schools, but in Singapore primary schools, it's pretty much standard. It does actually help if one wants to join the secondary school band in the woodwind section, since I know that the fingerings for the saxophone are pretty much basically the recorder fingerings, but with extra details.
Incidentally, in Lucky Star episode 8, Tsukasa was practicing her recorder (and failing quite badly at it). Kagami notes that it's best to just relax when playing, and it does work (no, really, it does). This is also what Tomoyo tells Sakura to do when Sakura is all nervous about her own performance, thus forcing a segue back on topic.
Sakura messes up, somewhat predictably. I can sympathize with her mortification.
After music class, Sakura laments her mistake, while watching the football team (with Yamazaki in there somewhere) play a match. Along comes Syaoran, who, despite not messing up, is apparently unhappy with his own performance, and so is practicing while walking. I have to note that playing a wind instrument while walking (or marching) requires a bit more training, mostly in learning to control one's breathing.
A stray kick sends the ball hurtling towards him, whereupon Syaoran slams the ball back, right into the goal. Everyone is impressed. I know I was.
That night, everyone drinks to their respective success, or at least having whatever major exam/test/presentation be over already. (Always a cause for celebration.) Sakura apparently gets inebriated on orange juice, turning into the Complainer variety of drunk. Super Baito Touya dismissively says that he did "so-so" on his exam, and Fujitaka notes that even though the test is over, it's still a good idea to continue revising.
While Sakura practices some more on the recorder, Kero-chan discovers (only now?) that he had forgotten to save the last fight, resulting in No Data. Why he hadn't saved anytime before the actual fight is beyond me; I'm not saying that he will definitely be able to repeat the victory over the stupendously difficult mid-boss, but I do have to wonder why there is no save data of any sort.
That night, the bells ring again. And Sakura wakes up the next day to discover that she has been placed in a movie.
I have no screenshots of the repeated day, since, well, the repetition is the entire point of it all, and the only new things are Sakura passing the recorder test with flying colours, and experiencing the next step up from deja vu: instead of thinking that she's done it all before, she knows that she's done it all before. And Syaoran appears to be just as cognizant of this Endless Eight as her.
Tracing the source of the temporal disturbance to the clock tower, the group decide to sneak in at night, with Sakura in a familiar costume. Sakura had to join in the "celebration" at her house, and so the group are bound by time constraints. Fittingly, their target this time is the Time card.
Sakura flies up to confront the Time card in its tower head-on.
Here is when the animators had a bit of fun playing around with slowing down and reversing the footage and sound. The Time card casts Shifting Sands (Time 3 spell, page 263 of Mage: The Awakening source book) to send Sakura back in time.
CHECK!Point: "You based this off of a fairy motif, right, Tomoyo-chan?" "Why, yes, that's it exactly! Sakura-chan is so observant!"
More screenshot opportunities are skipped over as much the same things happen once again. I can say that none of the footage is recycled, in the same sense as the Clow Card summoning sequences are not recycled: the details differ, but the overall actions are the same.
The Time card did vary its attacks, though. Apart from rewinding time, it also sped time up towards midnight, when the day would reset back to twenty-four hours earlier. And so the day's events were performed once again, including Kero-chan and his mid-boss battling. I do have to wonder why Kero-chan doesn't just give it a rest, since he's certain that all his progress woiuld get erased anyway.
Syaoran turns up this time with a band-aid over his nose, presumably where the ball hit his face. (It did, however, still sail into the goal.) I haven't a clue why this is the designated band-aid area when someone gets a facial injury that is not a Cool Scar.
The gang plan to sneak into the clock tower this time, instead of a frontal assault. Sakura and Tomoyo climb up all the way, while Syaoran prepares… a grappling hook. I don't think I have anything else to say about that which isn't slack-jawed bemusement.
Points should be given for Syaoran's matter-of-fact deadpan expression. One feels that he's done this too many times before, which raises a few inconvenient questions.
Sakura and Tomoyo reach the top of the clock tower, albeit without having to traverse a platformer game obstacle course of whirring gears. After Sakura's Lupin III-esque maneuver in the very first episode up the side of the wall, maybe we've seen all that we have of any more emulation from The Castle of Cagliostro.
Just as the Time card (unscreenshotted, since he's, well, an old man, and thus probably meant to evoke imagery of Father Time and whatnot) is about to manipulate the timestream further, we get interrupted by Syaoran crashing through a glass window and showering everyone with glass shards and nobody getting even mildly scratched. I can't even blame this on anime physics or MAGIC, since countless live-action movies have done the same, mainly with sugar glass and such. In fact, I think the trope is so common that there are several examples of subversions out there: off the top of my head, lampshaded and subverted in Last Action Hero.
Still, Cool Syaoran Action Scene.
CHECK!Point: And Tomoyo is happily filming it all.
Syaoran yells at Sakura to use the Shield card, which can apparently negate the use of Time magic in small bubbles surrounding the shielded. The Time card attempts to escape, but is caught in a trap set by Syaoran at an unspecified earlier time, which seems a little unlikely considering the relative location of the trap. As the tune from Ghostbusters runs through my head, Sakura seals the Time card, dealing decisively with the current Something Weird In The Neighbourhood.
The captured card evades Sakura's grasp, and floats to Syaoran's hand. Normally I'm preferential to Sakura and indifferent to Syaoran (and head-over-heels in love with Tomoyo), but I have to say that after all of Action Star Syaoran's antics, he deserves the card.
In this episode's Kero-chan ni Omakase, Kero-chan goes into some detail on the fairy costume, before switching randomly to the schoolbag used by Tomoeda Elementary. I seem to remember that in my elementary school (equivalent), there was a sort of "official school bag" which was not required, but simply recommended. Sadly, it was made of sub-standard material and lasted for maybe a month before falling apart. Nowadays, I use expensive Samsonite backpacks entirely because they last; my current one is eight years old and still going strong.