Really, it shows how the authors have changed. Their first works presented a basic plot right away. Like in the first manga, the cards were sealed in a book, Sakura opened it, cards go wild, Sakura gets the job of capturing them because she opened it, later Syaoran shows up as reinforcement because she's taking her sweet time. There were plot twists later on, but the reader had an idea what was going on from the start.
But now they must keep everything a mystery for multiple chapters!
Like Sakura's old cards are conveniently useless now for no given reason. Which however fits with CLAMP's love of video games, the protagonist loses most of their abilities/levels/items between games.
But not to worry, Sakura's wand gets a second upgrade to capture new shinier cards! Except this time they're literally popping out of nowhere for no reason besides strange dreams (my bet for now is alternate reality Sakura because that's how CLAMP's been rolling recently). Also mirrorring her old cards. Sorry, I mean reflecting. Yes, there's a Reflect Card, along
Aqua. Only the Siege seems remotely original, but can be defeated by a literal pinprick. And none of them manifest like magic women.
And the crowning point is that Syaoran spends every chapter doing nothing besides hinting behind Sakura's back that he knows what is happening but refusing to actually tell her anything. So far you're the worst magical boyfriend manga Syaoran, even manga Tomoyo helped more with card capturing this new season. And of course Eriol also knows something, but Eriol's always been a jerk and refused to reveal anything important until the last chapter, so that's business as usual.
Also newcomer to the class, drill hair girl. Don't see a lot of those in CLAMP's works. Fails to trigger Sakura/Syaoran's magic detectors. Maybe it's actually a normal transfer student? In a manga? Ssuuuurrreeee.
Still all in all enjoying it, gorgeous cute art is gorgeous cute, and plenty of slice of life CLAMP style.