Original Japanese version
Ultra cute and with lots of fun and comic scenes, this episode is more than just a "card of the week" episode. Based around school Sport's Day, we are introduced to Tomoyo's mother Sonomi and see more of Sakura's father Kinomoto Fujitaka. While we have learned a little about Sakura's family life, most of this information has been kept hidden to date. Here, we are introduced to some background information about Sonomi and Fujitaka as well as Sakura's mother Nadesico. More than actual information however, is the sense of rivalry that exists between Sonomi and Fujitaka.
While the story continues to be saccharine and cute, it continues to impress me with the story of growing up and the many moral values it imparts to viewers. Here it's the concept of doing one's best even though someone's trying their hardest to beat them; it wouldn't be fair to the other person to deliberately not do one's best.
Likewise, there is good development of Fujitaka and Sonomi's characters and their rival-like relationship. We also learn more about Nadesico and her family; who they were, their social status, and some of the situation around her and Fujitaka's marriage and the troubles they presented. More than anything, it's the character development and background information that is revealed which makes this episode special.
The animation continues to be nothing particularly special, but does have its moments. This episode has more than its share of face faults partially for comic relief and are at times used to good effect. While there are a number of stills and less detailed shots, there are other times where there is some good detail in the background.
The voice acting continues to be solid in this episode. Also, even though the music isn't exceptional, for a TV series it continues to be above average and introduces some new melodies again in this episode. Perhaps what really catches my attention everytime I watch this series is the sweet, yet slightly melancholic melodies as well as the wonderful story of growing up. More than anything else, this is a character background building episode with a card to catch tossed in the mix. This continues to be a wonderfully sweet series for kids to watch.
- JN, 2001.05.24