To be honest up front, as far as I know no one's actually thinking about creating an alternate, improved version of Cardcaptor Sakura--this post is just my thoughts on what could make a great series even better. You might well be thinking the idea of improving on Cardcaptor Sakura is insane, even blasphemous--and don't get me wrong, in my humble opinion it's the best mahou shoujo series ever, with a great cast of likeable characters, solid animation, and a compelling story. It avoids falling into the 'defeat the bad guys with the exact same attack every week' trap like other series in its genre do, as Sakura has to think about what card or combination of cards to use to prevail, and she doesn't always get it right the first time or without help from her friends, which makes it more realistic. But I already sung CCS's praises when I reviewed it earlier, so if someone were to do a CCS Alternative what could make it even better than the original? Or to put it a different way, where are its faults?
Here are the things I would change, if it was up to me:
- Take away Tomoyo's camcorder. Tomoyo could be just as interesting a character if she wasn't saying "I'm so happy to be filming Sakura's ultra-lovely self" every five minutes. Tomoyo is at her best towards the end when she's the perceptive one who sees that Shaoran likes Sakura, making comments about how tough it is for Shaoran and generally amusing herself with the situation. But when she's swooning over how cute Sakura is...it just gets old after a while. Tomoyo doesn't need the camcorder gimmick to be a solid character in the series, and since her obsession with Sakura just gets played for comic relief most of the time, I don't think if she was just her best friend (versus a borderline stalker), that her character would really suffer as a result.
- Let Shaoran and/or Sakura smack the smirk off of Eriol's face. I know, Eriol's not an evil person, and blah blah blah, but wouldn't it be awesome if after Rika nearly drowns, Sakura found out Eriol was responsible, she confronts him, he says something smarmy, and she just smacks the stuffing out of him? For all the trouble he put her through, regardless of his intentions (and you can't tell me there wasn't a less obnoxious way to get Sakura to convert the cards) he deserves SOME punishment. It'd be a little out of character for her, but I'd love to see Sakura just snap and knee him in the balls. THAT would be a look I'd love to see on Eriol's face, dropping to the ground after taking a hit to the family jewels.
- Pair Touya and the Mirror Card. I think the idea of a human and a Clow Card falling in love would be cool, and could explore some more of the nature of the Clow Cards--can they exist all the time, like before they were captured, or just at their master's command? Would their kids be half-card, half-human? Or would they just have really badass magic? I know this is blasphemy to the yaoi fans, because it'd mean no Touya x Yukito, but this is an alternative CCS we're talking about here. I think I'm rooting for Touya x Mirror just because Touya x Yukito never seem to have any chemistry to me. Maybe that's just narrow-mindedness on my part, I'm not sure--but the couple episodes with the Mirror Card, especially where Touya gives her the ribbon, makes me think they'd make a really cute couple. I know I'm probably the only person on Earth to think that though, and Touya's doubtlessly just giving her the ribbon because he's a good guy and nothing more, but if you re-wrote the story I think they could have an interesting relationship. It's pretty clear the Mirror card likes him, and a Clow Card falling in love would be a good storyline to watch.
- More Meilin. Meilin comes across as really annoying in her first appearance, and seems to hate Sakura with the burning flame of a thousand suns--but one of the best parts of the anime, for me at least, is watching her relationship with Sakura change to where towards the end she views her as an important friend. The fact Meilin sees Sakura as her friend in spite of Shaoran falling for her just shows how mature she is--if Meilin was Kaede from Shuffle she'd be screaming at Sakura with a boxcutter in her hand, but Meilin bows out gracefully when she sees she's lost. In a way Meilin's a more interesting character than Sakura, she comes across as more human sometimes, and it would have been cool for her to be in Tomoeda throughout instead of having to go back to Hong Kong.
- Lose Shaoran liking Yukito. The way they explained this away in the third season, with Yue telling Shaoran he was just attracted to his power and not he himself, felt like a copout to me. Why didn't Shaoran like Kero-chan then? If you want to make an anime series that shows gay love can be as meaningful as straight, I have no problem with that, I'm not a bible-thumper--but they could have better developed Touya x Yukito if that was the goal. I can't help thinking the Shaoran-likes-Yukito thing was really just fanservice for the yaoi fans out there, and they could have better developed Shaoran's relationship with Sakura without it.
- Lose Big Kero-chan. Kero-chan is awesome, but Big Kero-chan--just kind of creepy. I don't have a rational explanation for why, but I don't like Big Kero-chan. My wife's with me on this, so I know it's not just me. I guess the best way to describe it is if Sakura suddenly turned into a 230 pound linebacker with a really deep voice, and tried to play the same character. Something about it's just...WRONG.
Those are just my random thoughts though, feel free to chime in if you think I'm nuts ;)