The Magic of Feelings and Thoughts
I saw my childhood love again while browsing YouTube lazily on my extra day off this week. No, it’s not a guy. It’s something bigger. Much bigger. I talked about the identities we construct through our clothes. For me, that identity was in large part shaped by my favorite anime—Cardcaptor Sakura.
It’s about a girl’s (Sakura’s) journey where she discovers her magical powers and helps her friend collect Clow Cards, magical cards that allow their users to summon different elements, which she accidentally scattered when she encountered the book containing these cards. While I love all things magic and the story of the anime is enchanting, it was the fashion that really captured the imagination of my 7-year-old mind.
Sakura’s best friend Tomoyo designs and makes all the clothes Sakura wears to go on her magical missions, like the iconic red and white dress in the opening of the first season and the Alice in Wonderland outfit in the episode where she is shrunk and must navigate the house that now resembles the fantasy world in the story book to return to her normal size. (These Google results will give you an idea of how extensive Tomoyo's portfolio is.) I used to draw inspiration from these dresses and sketch my own designs. At the time, I didn’t know you could actually wear clothes like that in real life or that clothes like these existed.
It was a dream come true when I discovered brands like MILK and LIZ LISA because now I get to wear outfits just like the ones I used to admire on TV. The MILK picnic dress for this week’s post is one example. Even though I can’t wield magic like Sakura, this blue dress, with its delicate, scalloped collar and boxy shape, along with the pink Kate Spade T-rex bag and LIZ LISA daisy-patterned socks, evoked such a strong Sakura vibe that I feel like I have my own kind of magic—the ability to do anything I set my mind to.
That’s another way that this anime has touched my life. Sakura faces many obstacles on her quest (both life-threatening danger and heartbreak), but she doesn’t give up or lose hope. Some people might think the message of strength and hope is naïve or unrealistic, especially when faced with real-life challenges. But I disagree.
Stuck in a few difficult situations right now, I find comfort and support in that message, which is encapsulated in the anime’s theme songs. The song that always gives me courage is "Platinum" (プラチナ). “No matter what awaits me there, even if it’s not ideal, I won’t be afraid” is one of the many lines of inspiring lyrics I turn to for the courage to hold on. (See full English lyrics here.) It’s also about how your thoughts and feelings can change the world. A lot of things in life are outside of our control and we may feel powerless sometimes, but the one thing we can control is how we feel and think about it. And that’s some powerful magic.
That, however, doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. One of the main reasons our heroine overcomes her trials and tribulations is that she has the full support of her family and friends throughout them all. That’s true in my life too—everything feels instantly better when I talk to my friends and family even if my circumstances haven’t changed.
I’m excited to see what the writers of the anime come up with when they release the prologue OVA of the revival of Cardcaptor Sakura next week on Sept. 13. One thing is for sure: no matter how good or bad it is, this series will always be a beacon of strength and hope for me.