I won’t describe the plot in detail as there’s a fairly extensive summary on The Sealed Card’s wikipedia page.
Instead I want to talk about how The Sealed Card fits with the series, and with the characters. There will however be spoilers for the Card Captor Sakura TV series .
The first CCS movie is an insert that feels like an episode writ large minus the capturing or converting of a card. The first movie is, to be brutally honest, completely ignorable.
The Sealed Card can’t be ignored so easily. It constantly calls back to the continuity, and builds seamlessly from the final episodes. Some of the call backs, such as Tomoyo retrospectively completing her film collection, simply add to the fun of watching Card Captor Sakura.
Others are more serious. The Final Judgement of the Clow Card arc risked a world without love, The Sealed Card reminds Sakura of this and it isn’t something that Sakura ever wants to see again.
The Sealed Card also references the incantation(s) by which Sakura activates her staff. The original incantation referred to the key hiding “the powers of the dark” which I now believe to be a reference to the Sealed Card . In contrast the incantation for the Sakura Cards invoking “the power of the stars” may be why [SPOILER] .
The call backs add immensely to this film, at the possible risk of locking out viewers who are not familiar with the series. Overall I think it is clever scripting that provides a platform for some excellent character work.
Speaking of which…
For much of the TV series Meiling Li is a spoilt brat made tolerable by her courage, and the fact that she truly does care for Syaoran. As the series progresses Meiling begins to like Sakura as a friend, and even recognises that Sakura is the best person for Syaoran to be with.
Meiling accepting that truth in the TV series does involve a fair bit of time sobbing her heart out on Tomoyo’s lap, and I do remember feeling sorry for Meiling when it happened.
In The Sealed Card Meiling is just as energetic as she was in the TV series, but is now a blatant Shipper on Deck conspiring with Tomoyo  to bring Sakura and Syaoran together. This makes Meiling genuinely likeable and funny to watch. There is also a satisfying sense that Meiling will find her own path from here on, even if we won’t get to see it.
Tomoyo Daidouji is very much the same character in the movie as in the TV series. That said, Tomoyo has one glorious moment towards the end of the film when she produces a battle costume for Syaoran.
Sakura has always returned smiling in her battle costumes, and Tomoyo wants Syaoran to do the same for Sakura’s sake. This was just beautiful to watch, and the consistent theme of the costumes was also a nice touch.
Syaoran’s arc was mostly finished in the TV series when he declared that he loved Sakura. The Syaoran here never wavers from that, or from fighting at her side, but is enough of a gentleman to give Sakura the time to respond when she chooses.
Much of this movie is about Sakura Kinomoto wanting to reply to Syaoran but being unable to either spit it out or interrupted before she can. Inevitably this ties into the story, and also calls back to the Final Judgement of the Clow.
In a way the existence of the Sealed Card makes that judgement incomplete and Sakura must now find the courage to finish it.
The resolution is predictable, but as I observed re Girls Und Panzer, predictable does not have to mean unsatisfying or unpleasant. Instead there’s a real heart to the resolution that brings joy to the viewer.
If you’ve cared enough about Sakura to watch the entire series then her final, enthusiastic, declaration will bring a smile to your face.
You really can’t ask for much more than that.
The single biggest strike against The Sealed Card is that it didn’t even try: this is unashamedly a capstone to the 70 episodes of the Card Captor Sakura TV series. If you haven’t seen, and loved, the series this movie is not for you.
On the other hand I have seen, and still adore, the TV series. So for me the reliance on continuity is what provides the emotional depth of the story, and really makes The Sealed Card sing as a movie.
For me this is a wonderful film and one that I’m happy to recommend, although I would probably rate Ah! My Goddess: The Movie or Galaxy Express 999 as better treatments of long running series.
Day 2 – Naruto Shippuden The Movie (2002)
Day 3 – Galaxy Express 999 (1979)
Day 4 – Steamboy (2004)
Day 5 – Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer (1984)
Day 6 – Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)
Day 7 – Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
Day 8 – Ah! My Goddess: The Movie (2000)
Day 9 – Summer Wars (2009)
Day 10 – Macross: Do You Remember Love? (1984)
Day 11 – Silent Mobius I (1991) & II (1992)
Day 12 – Space Firebird 2772 (1980)
Day 13 – Junkers Come Here (1994)
Day 14 – Whisper of the Heart (1995)
Day 15 – Patlabor: The Movie (1989)
Day 16 – Card Captor Sakura Movie 2: The Sealed Card
Day 17 – ???
Day 18 – ???
Day 19 – ???
Day 20 – ???