For such a trashy show, Kampher is oddly well plotted, and the delicious mystery is set up impressively. In many cases when I see something odd, it is explained later in a convincing fashion. There was one issue case though which they will have a difficult time retconning: how did Prez replace Sakura during the idiot dance in ep.2 (and kept her away from the scene)? It took only a few seconds. Although Natsuru closed her eyes, Akane did not (I’m certain she watched). So, Akane knows what’s going on. What is it, then?
The only explanation I can see is that Sakura took part in the proceedings, either willing, or as a medium/puppet. So, we may discover what’s going on when Sakura’s complete story is revealed. What would it be, then?
One possibility is that Sakura is the Moderator (which is why she gaves away companion toys). A variant on that is that she’s an agent of Moderators. Since her normal identity is rather complete and includes feelings for Natsuru that look pretty genuine, I would suspect that she transforms and most likely her regular form doesn’t know what’s going on.
There are two more problems with this, although potentially tractable. Firstly, if we take Prez’s confession on its face value, she does not know Moderator’s purpose or anything about the game overall, and there’s an adversarial relationship of sorts. Therefore, if Sakura is a Moderator’s medium, Prez should not be able to transform her at will and Sakura/M definitely would not be ordered around. Secondly, the memory of normal Sakura was erased, which is hard to explain from the motivations of Moderators (Prez might want it, but then we’re granting her some very strange, non-combat and magic powers (while she’s a user of Schwert, not Zauber (but… her Schwert repels magical attacks, so strictly speaking she’s a magic user))).
Why didn’t Akane volunteer to share ker knowledge about what’s happening to Sakura from that incident? Jealously probably played a role and a desire to keep cards close to her chest. So mach for being “partners”.
I’m wondering if a rewatch would help me to pick any extra clues, or I already have all the necessary inputs, only cannot deduce the answer.
UPDATE: on second thought, there was another quick transport: when Prez fought the partners in the library, she transferred Sakura in her place at the end. The exchange went in the opposite direction, but otherwise it was the same and even made me (and Akane) suspect the two were the same person. We were wrong, but what was the explanation, then?
In general it was heavily hinted at Sakura’s larger role. For example, the three veggiepuses in her launch box clearly represent three Kampfers (which makes Makoto special somehow, but no matter). Maybe Sakura/M can figurally speaking eat the trio. A smaller hint is that Sakura and Prez are on first-name basis. In any case it’s likely to be explained and I’m straining myself for no good reason. But it’s fun.
UPDATE: DS says that “There are not enough hints of a larger story to make viewers care.” Madness — or plain inattention.
BTW, if anyone has ideas, comments by e-mail or link are welcome. Spoilers are fine. Good shows cannot be spoiled: I knew that Archer was a returning Shirou when I watched F/SN. And bad shows, too bad for them.