Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and I wanted to write a Valentine’s Day themed post. I may not have a Valentine of my own to share the day with, but I can indulge in the warm and fuzzy feelings of love through my favorite mangas. As you can see from the title, I have chosen to feature one moment from Cardcaptor Sakura. My favorite moment from the series has got to be the bear exchange between Sakura and Syaoran.
Sakura and Syaoran of CCS are one of my favorite couples in anime/manga. Watching their relationship go from rivals to friends and eventually to love is one of the best things to watch in the anime/manga.
In the anime, Syaoran has finally admitted to himself that he has fallen for Sakura and has taken the time to make a stuffed bear for her. I haven’t been able to watch the full Japanese episodes of CCS but my knowledge of the bear exchange comes from the heavily edited North American airing of CCS. There are a lot of cute moments when Syaoran is trying to admit his true feelings for Sakura and finding the right time to give her the bear too. Unfortunately, each opportunity is interrupted and Syaoran is forced to try and express his feelings another day. I love how Syaoran blushes every time Sakura is around him or Tomoyo calls Syaoran out on his feelings for Sakura. It’s so sweet it’s enough to give you a toothache.
I was so happy when Sakura races to see Syaoran off at the airport before he flies back home to Hong Kong. It’s in that moment that he is able to finally give her the bear he has been carrying around with him in the final half of the series. Sakura accepts Syaoran’s handmade bear and the image you see in the anime is the gentle exchange of the bear giver’s hands passing the bear into the hands of its new owner. Focusing on the hands with the bear being passed on is a simple image you see in that particular episode. It’s very touching and poignant when I saw the episode a long time ago.
The manga does it a little differently. Anime Sakura never gives a bear to Syaoran, but in the manga you have Sakura and Syaoran with their own handmade bears to give to each other. I remember in the manga how Sakura would work extra hard at making her bear for Syaoran. The bear became a labor of love because I think I remember seeing stitches on Sakura’s hands from all the needle pricking it took to make her bear for Syaoran. There is also the added sense of urgency to finish the bear just before Syaoran leaves to go back to Hong Kong to settle last minute things there.
I liked the idea of Sakura and Syaoran having a little piece of each other which is symbolized through the bears. Time passes, and by the end of the manga you see a high school aged Sakura being met by a high school aged Syaoran. They are both in uniform and Syaoran is seen holding the bear Sakura gave to him all those years ago. Syaoran is back in Japan and here to stay for Sakura.
My heart swelled and I was grinning like a goofball when I reached the end of the manga series. It was a wonderful way to end such a magical series.
Sakura and Syaoran are such a sweet and innocent couple. Like Tomoyo, you really can’t help but gush every time you see them. No matter how hard they try, there is nothing they can do to make themselves any less adorable. Syaoran in love is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. CLAMP does a really good job on drawing his expressions. The way he would blush and get shy around Sakura is for lack of a better word––kawaii!
I dedicate this Valentine’s Day to the sweetest anime/manga couple I know. Love doesn’t have to be dramatic, sexy, or tragic. It can be simple, innocent, and cute with a smile and a subtle expression of the emotion with something like a bear exchange. Who needs roses when you have stuffed, handmade bears?