A few magazines run the same feature lately: getting some celebrity to detail their Perfect Day. I guess it is part of our era of Lifestyle Branding and aspirational living. People don’t want (just) beauty and wealth but to, say, wake at 6am to do yoga on the beach with 3rd wave coffee before a 9am fashion shoot and 1pm instagrammable green concoction for lunch. Well, whatever BUT, I was thinking about the flow of the Perfect Day when watching Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card.
First of all, Cardcaptor Sakura (or any successfully edited narrative of everyday life) ought to feel like an Instagram feed. It works because each episode is essentially a “slice of life” utopia, full of the small details that make her life feel so full and active (– presumably not JUST in contrast to us slobs, sitting in front of our computers watching kids anime).
The Ending Credits is a good example of how good pacing becomes the fictional equivalent of an IG or Facebook scroll. In sloppy screen capped summary, Sakura has a date on March 31. She dashes out in her weekend clothes and meets her friends/quasi-boyfriend at a park. Tomoyo comes over afterwards and they hang out all night. When the clock strikes midnight, Sakura is super pleased to get a text on her phone. We can guess that her quasi-boyfriend wished her a Happy Birthday. With a happy little ending song and”stream” of snapshots of Sakura’s highlights, you really get a sense that she is living the Best Life Ever. Certainly, the episode I saw (Episode 8 “Sakura, the Clock, and a Hide-and-Seek Game”) had the same flow of perfectly edited action scenes. I was filled with that familiar sense of “awww, what a cute and happy adventure!” that I always get when watching shows like this.
If I was transported into a shoujo anime, I wonder how my life would get edited. Stop laughing – that is a dead serious question. No really, what would my Perfect Day be like? I don’t mean this in a FOMO way where you’re constantly seeking out social media validation. This is apparently a common exercise among arm-chair therapists, as a quick Google showed me. Everyone is “working hard,” or basically living their life. I get the privilege to “work hard” too.
For example, the episode I watched did give me a perspective shift of how the story would be edited from Tomoyo’s perspective actually. We began in her sewing room with her iconic designs, materials, and vintage sewing machine. We see Tomoyo “in action,” living her dream. While she is a side-character in Sakura’s story, Tomoyo is no “secondary” character in the sense that she is underdeveloped. She has her own goals and ways of making life meaningful.
What would my Perfect Day be? What would the Ending Credits look like?