The other beloved magical anime girl from the ‘90s is ready to mix old and new in a more fan-pleasing way.

I think it’s safe to say that Sailor Moon Crystal, the reboot of the Sailor Moon anime, hasn’t been quite the success the producers were hoping for. Perhaps the problem for Sailor Moon Crystal is that it has different directors than the original TV series, and very different character designs, limiting its nostalgic appeal, but retells the same story as its predecessor, meaning that the narrative is something existing fans have already experienced.

So it’s sort of a relief to see that the new Cardcaptor Sakura anime is going down the completely opposite path, something that’s apparent from the first official trailer for Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card Arc.

If that sneak peek looks and feels a lot like the 1998 magical girl TV series from creative team Clamp, it’s probably got a lot to do with the fact that venerable anime studio Madhouse is handling the animation production, and also that Morio Asaka is once again serving as director, just like he did back in ’98.

In the anime industry, projects are often handled by one-time contracts, meaning that once the work is done, the staff often scatters to work on other shows. Going to the trouble of bringing Asaka back suggests that the new Cardcaptor Sakura anime will be sticking close to the tone of the original series from nearly two decades ago.

But at the same time, the Clear Card Arc isn’t interested in revisiting 20-year-old plotlines, Instead, it’s an honest-to-goodness sequel. As the video begins, Sakura announces that she’s now in junior high (she was an elementary school student in prior arcs), and that she’s had a mysterious dream prophesying “the beginning of the end,” prompting her to search for a new set of cards.

While Kumiko Takahashi is no longer handling character design duties, that role is now being filled by Kunihiko Hamada, animation director for the first Cardcaptor Sakura TV series and its two associated theatrical features. Content to leave well-enough alone, Hamada’s designs stick close to Takahashi’s, with just a few subtle updates to go along with Sakura’s increased age in the new episodes, which should prevent the need for the sort of redesign backpedaling Sailor Moon Crystal ended up doing.

Add it all up, and it looks like Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card Arc is set to continue giving fans of the series what they love about it when it premiers this coming January.

Source: YouTube/ボンボンTV via IT Media
Images: YouTube/ボンボンTV

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s still hoping Clamp’s X manga gets an ending someday.