Cardcaptor Sakura

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Cardcaptor Sakura the movie DVD cover

Cardcaptor Sakura (カードキャプターさくら kādo kyaputā sakura), also known as Card Captor Sakura (with the space) and often abbreviated to CCS, is a manga series from the well-known all-women artist team CLAMP. It is also an anime show (1998-2000) created from the manga, consisting of 70 half-hour episodes in three series and two theatrical-release movies.

The series begins as a simple girls' anime of the magical girl genre (similar series include Sailor Moon and Pretty Sammy). Ten-year-old Sakura Kinomoto opens a mysterious book in her father's study and accidentally lets loose the magical Clow Cards. As she lost them, it is her job to retrieve them, which involves finding each card and battling its magical personification. She is assisted by Cerberus (a.k.a., Kero-chan), the beast of the seal assigned to protect the cards, but who was asleep when Sakura opened the Clow book. Kero-chan, who appears throughout most of the series rather like an animated plush toy, makes Sakura into the Cardcaptor and gives her the key of the seal which allows her to fight and capture the cards.

As CCS progresses, there is a pattern of foreshadowing and dreams that lead to an unusual conclusion. Like in Magic Knight Rayearth, one of CLAMP's previous works, CCS is a new twist on an old genre.

Due in part to its animation, Cardcaptor Sakura has a wide fanbase on the Internet, particularly in the yaoi, shōjo, yuri and lolicon fandom.

The Cardcaptor Sakura characters also appear in a manga called Tsubasa.

CCS is published in Japan by Kodansha. CCS was once serialized in the magazine Nakayoshi.


English adaptations

Cardcaptors English Anime

Cardcaptor Sakura was dubbed into English by Nelvana and brought to the United States under the name Cardcaptors - but it is almost universally believed that Nelvana could not have been completely aware of show's content, as the assorted romantic pairings are clearly questionable for an American children's programme. Practically all romantic subtext - not just the shojo-ai and shonen-ai - was excised from the show, and entire episodes of the original series were taken apart and spliced together in a haphazard manner, ostensibly to make Cardcaptors more appealing to American teenage boys, as the conception that, with the exception of Sailor Moon, girl-oriented series would not succeed. It's not surprising that this led to the dub of the series being almost completely reviled by viewers of the original, who swiftly dubbed it "Cardcraptors".

For a while it was on the WB Television Network, the same network that carried Pokmon in the United States, where ran for 39 episodes (as compared to the original series' 70-episode run) before it was ultimately cancelled. These episodes ran in a different order compared to the original episodes, and, as mentioned above, some consisted of multiple episodes spliced together, thus there is a feeling that the plot was disjointed. However, in Canada and other English-speaking countries (such as Australia and the Republic of Ireland), it ran in a more complete form, with all 70 episodes being shown in its original order (although in edited form), in some cases eschewing the English opening and closing themes in favor of dubbed versions of the original themes. The DVD line was cancelled after the ninth volume (the beginning of the second story arc).

The series also aired in Israel, with all 70 episodes, except with full hebrew dubbing.

The two movies have also been dubbed into English, and as both the Cardcaptor Sakura version and the Cardcaptors version can be found on the same DVD, the only major differences between the two are the dialogue. The second movie is more faithful to the original (retaining the original names and much of the original dialogue), and has a different voice cast from Cardcaptors.

In addition to its negative reviews, Cardcaptors merchandise was not widely received as certain parents were concerned that, as the Clow Cards vaguely, but significantly, resembled the tarot cards, the series could be seen as promoting witchcraft or the occult. So much so that when Cardcaptors toys were released in Taco Bell in 2002, two of the four (Sakura's tarot-like card book, and Li's Lasin Board) were pulled within a week due to articles published by Christian groups.

Cardcaptors Uncensored ( provides an incomplete list of changes between the two series. The site was last updated in 2001.

Initial Dub Analysis (, written by Moonbrat of Cherry Blossoms ( contains an in-depth review of many of the aspects in Cardcaptors, as well as multiple comparisons between it and its original.

English Manga

The manga was translated into English by TOKYOPOP (Formerly Mixx); the characters kept their Japanese names in the translated manga. The manga was mostly unchanged from the original. The earlier edition of the first six volumes, were flipped to read left to right, while the later six volumes, under the name Cardcaptor Sakura: Master of the Clow, read the original right to left way. The original six volumes have been re-released as the original right-to-left format manga.

Kodansha also published bilingual editions to help Japanese children learn English. Many English-reading fans preferred the paper quality and translations of these editions to the TOKYOPOP editions. Kodansha stopped publishing the editions when it was found that English-speakers in North America imported Kodansha's translations ahead of TOKYOPOP's releases and did not buy TOKYOPOP's releases. Therefore, only TOKYOPOP has all of the volumes translated.

The American translation is imported to Australia by Madman Entertainment.


Names are written using the Western naming order (given names first), with the original name listed first, followed by the name used in the Cardcaptors dubbed anime. Names are romanized according to the TOKYOPOP manga. The name romanized according to the Wikipedia:Manual of Style for Japan-related articles is notated in Japanese order next to the name in Japanese characters. In the case of the Syaoran Li (Shaoran Li in the uncut anime), the TOKYOPOP name is given first, with the actual pinyin notated. In Meiling Li's case, the pinyin in Western order is given first.

Sakura Kinomoto/Sakura Avalon

(木之本 桜 Kinomoto Sakura)

article: Sakura Kinomoto

The main character of the series. Sakura is a student at Tomoeda Elementary School in Tomoeda (Cardcaptors calls the town Reedington). She is very good at athletics, but hates mathematics. Among her extracurricular activities is cheerleading, but during baton twirling practice she sometimes gets distracted, which results in the baton hitting her in the head (a detail which is omitted in Cardcaptors). She finds herself in love with Yukito, despite the fact that he is her older brother's best friend, but as the series unfolds, she finds out that this is because Yukito reminds her of her father. Her birthday is April 1. Sakura was originally going to be called "Nikki" in Cardcaptors, Nelvana kept her name as Sakura due to fan demand and the difficulty and expense of editing out numerous appearances of her name in romaji. In the English dub, stress is put on the "ku", while in Japanese the stress would be on the "sa".

At the end of the manga, Eriol tells her that she has inherited Clow's ability to see the future, but she can choose whether to use this ability or not. From her expression, it seems she never will.


(ケルベロス Keroberosu) (usually referred to as Kero-chan)

Cerberus is the Guardian of the Seal, sleeping when Sakura opens The Clow and releases all of the cards. When the family is not at home, Cerberus is often playing one of Sakura's video games. Although Cerberus does not need to eat, it has an affection for snacks and sweets. Due to the fact that The Clow had been in Osaka for a long time, Cerberus speaks in an Osaka accent. Cerberus appears in two different forms, the smaller of which is referred to as simply "Kero-chan". He is based on Cerberus, from Greek mythology.

Tomoyo Daidouji/Madison Taylor

(大道寺 知世 Daidōji Tomoyo)

Tomoyo Daidouji is Sakura's best friend and distant cousin. One of Tomoyo's hobbies is filming Sakura and providing her with the various outfits that Sakura wears. She first finds out of Sakura's magical abilities when she captures Sakura on film and Kero-chan in her backpack. Because she often appears with a camera while accompanying Sakura with her quest to find the various Clow Cards, Tomoyo is sometimes referred to as the Videocaptor by fans. She is an excellent singer, and a few episodes showcase this talent (the Song and Voice card episodes, and the episode in which Song is transformed). She is also in love with Sakura, and she is pretty much in the same scenario as her mother, who was in love with Sakura's mother. She once told Sakura that she loved her, but Sakura misinterpreted her to mean a "friendship" kind of love. Tomoyo always takes pleasure in knowing Syaoran likes Sakura. She also has very sharp perception, as she was able to tell right from the start that Eriol mean no harm, due to the kindness he always had in his eyes when he looked at Sakura. Her birthday is September 3. In the English dub, Madison has a "Valley Girl" accent.

Toya Kinomoto/Tori Avalon

(木之本 桃矢 Kinomoto Tōya)

Sakura's older brother. He holds the belief that as Sakura's older brother, he was the only person entitled to make fun of her, a belief that his best friend Yukito refers to as a "sister complex". However, he is also protective and caring of her, which led him to dislike Syaoran when they first meet. He is often working, and a running gag in the series involves Sakura and Yukito running into him while at work. Toya was born with some magical ability, and used to be able to see ghosts (including that of his late mother). He gave up his magical abilities to keep Yukito from fading away. He's in love with Yukito. He has a vague idea of what Sakura's been up to as the Cardcaptor, despite Sakura's attempts to keep it a secret. His birthday is February 29.

Fujitaka Kinomoto/Aiden Avalon

(木之本 藤隆 Kinomoto Fujitaka)

Sakura's father. Fujitaka is a college professor of archaeology at Towa University, who still finds time for both Toya and Sakura. One of the differences between the manga and the anime versions is that in the manga, he is explicitly stated as one of the two reincarnations of Clow Reed, creator of the Clow Cards, but holds no magical abilities himself, while in the anime, this connection was erased altogether, as he was shown as one of the people affected by Eriol's sleep spell in Ep69. In the manga, being half of Clow's reincarnation, he was unaffected by his spell and even showed up after Sakura managed to transform Light and Dark cards and dispel Eriol's sleep spell. Towards the end of the manga, after he received half of Eriol's magical power, he is able to see the spirit of his deceased wife, Nadeshiko. His birthday is January 3.

Yukito Tsukishiro/Julian Star

(月城 雪兎 Tsukishiro Yukito)

Yukito is Toya's best friend, with similar athletic abilities to that of Toya. He moved to town at the start of his tenth year, where he quickly became Toya's best friend. He eats a lot in the later half of the series as Sakura's inability to support him magically manifested itself as an insatiable hunger. Sakura has an enormous crush on him, but he treats her more like a little sister because he's in love with Toya. His birthday is December 25.


(月 Yu or Yue4, ユエ), also spelled Yueh

Yue is the alter-ego of Yukito. While Cerberus selects the Cardcaptor, it is Yue who tests them. However, with Sakura and Syaoran owning all the cards between them, Yue battles both of them, one at a time, with the condition that should both lose, a great disaster would befall all who were involved (which Sakura believes to be some kind of physical disaster). Yue is more serious and intimidating than Kero, and shared a special bond with Clow that makes it hard for him to accept Sakura as a "replacement" for his creator.

Syaoran Li/Li Showron

(李 小狼 Lǐ Xiǎolng or Li3 Xiao3lang2) (spelled Shaoran in the uncut anime, sounds similar to the name Lee Chaolan)

Syaoran is a student from Hong Kong who travels to Tomoeda in order to try to capture the Clow Cards. At first he tries to bully Sakura out of the cards in her possession, much to her brother's displeasure, but later goes on to work with Sakura, and eventually begin to show affection for Sakura. He also has feelings for Yukito, but it is generally because of Yue's power of the moon. He has a certain dislike for other characters with magical abilities, most notably Mizuki-sensei and Cerberus, who, in its small form, he calls a "plush toy". In the manga, he lives alone, while in the anime, he lives with Wei, one of the family butlers. In addition, his mother, Yelan Li, is a direct descendant of the Clow Reed.

One of the major changes made in Cardcaptors was to push Li so that he becomes a male lead character, rather than a supporting character in the original. In the manga, he did not manage to seal a single card and thus played no role in the final judgement. In Cardcaptors, Li is referred to as a Cardcaptor, while he is not referred to as such in the original (as Cerberus never selected him). His birthday is July 13.

Meiling Li/Meilin Rae

(李 苺鈴 Lǐ Milng or Li3 Mei2ling2)

Meiling is Syaoran's cousin and fiance (something that isn't rare in Japan), helping Syaoran capture the Clow Cards, much to Syaoran's displeasure. Although she has no magical abilities (a rarity for someone of her lineage), she believes that her physical talents would more than make up for it. Although initially jealous of Sakura, Meiling's feelings for Sakura changed later on, when she tries to help Syaoran express his love for Sakura. Meiling does not appear in the manga version. Her birthday is March 25. lee is truly boy because he is a gay because he loves ukito

Chiharu Mihara/Chelsea

(三原 千春 Mihara Chiharu)

Chiharu is a girl in Sakura's class, and Yamazaki's childhood friend (and girlfriend). She is in the cheerleading squad with Sakura. Her birthday is May 28. In Cardcaptors, Zachary is Chelsea's cousin. Chiharu is the girl that usually beats up Yamzaki because of his lies.

Takashi Yamazaki/Zachary

(山崎 貴史 Yamazaki Takashi)

Yamazaki is a boy in the same class as Sakura, and often tells stories that are obviously false, but somehow Sakura and Syaoran accept as truth, until another character, usually Chiharu, expose it as a lie. Yamazaki is also very athletic, with abilities near that of Sakura or Syaoran. His birthday is June 1. In Cardcaptors, Chelsea is Zachary's cousin.

Naoko Yanagisawa/Nikki

(柳沢 奈緒子 Yanagisawa Naoko)

Naoko is a classmate of Sakura, and is into reading various types of stories. Among them are fantasy stories, which Sakura quickly gets hooked on, and ghost stories, which scare Sakura. She is into cheerleading with Sakura and Chiharu. Her birthday is October 11.

naoko is the one that gets the card of illusion

Rika Sasaki/Rita

(佐々木 利佳 Sasaki Rika)

Rika is another student in Sakura's class. Although she is one of the more mature students, she has a crush on her teacher, Yoshiyuki Terada. Rika, who is engaged to Terada in the manga, has this crush as he reminds her of her father, who is often away. Her birthday is July 24.

Nadeshiko Kinomoto/Natasha Avalon

(木之本 撫子 Kinomoto Nadeshiko)

Nadeshiko Amamiya was a student of Fujitaka Kinomoto in his first year as a teacher, and also worked as a model while in school. She married Fujitaka when she was sixteen, much to the displeasure of her various relatives (especially her cousin Sonomi and grandfather Masaaki). She fell ill and died when Sakura was three, although Fujitaka kept her memory alive by putting a picture of her in the Kinomoto household and changing the picture every day. Her birthday was May 20.

Sonomi Daidouji/Samantha Taylor

(大道寺 園美 Daidōji Sonomi)

Sonomi is the cousin of Nadeshiko and mother of Tomoyo, and was once a student of Fujitaka. Sonomi runs a large toy corporation, and owns a large estate. She treats Sakura as if she was her own daughter despite the fact that she does not hold Fujitaka in the highest regard (because he stole Nadeshiko's heart). Her birthday is October 13. The Cardcaptors episodes that Samantha Taylor appears in never aired in North America.

Kaho Mizuki/Layla Mackenzie

(観月 歌帆 Mizuki Kaho)

Kaho is a teacher, having instructed (and having had a relationship with) Toya when the Kinomoto family moved to Tomoeda. She later broke up with him to study abroad. Later in the first season she returns to Tomoeda and becomes Sakura's mathematics teacher. Kaho has strong magical abilities related to the moon's power, and is shrine maiden at the Tsukimine Shrine. She often tells Sakura about events that are about to unfold, and watches over Sakura as she captures Clow Cards. She was entrusted with a relic of Clow's, a mystical bell, which she used to help Sakura both in capturing the Maze card and in the Final Judgement with Yue. The bell provided the moon power necessary to transform the wand and power a single use of Windy. This is why Sakura was able to use Windy against Yue in the final judgement, but later had to transform the cards before she could utilise them, as the wand no longer had any residual power left. Her birthday is February 11.

When Kaho broke up with Toya, she said that when she returned, both she and Toya would have found their partners. She is of course, refering to Eriol and Yukito/Yue.

Yoshiyuki Terada/Mr. Terada

Mr. Terada is Sakura's homeroom teacher. Rika Sasaki has a crush on him, and they are engaged in the manga.

Eriol Hiiragizawa/Eli Moon

(柊沢 エリオル Hiiragizawa Erioru)

Eriol is a student from England, and is one of the two reincarnations of Clow Reed, with much of his magical powers. Eriol is also the mastermind of various incidents in Tomoeda that forces Sakura to change the Clow Cards she collected into Sakura Cards. He is in many ways, more elegant and refined than others of his age (largely due to possessing some of Clow's memories), but also because he is actually much older than he appears. He stopped himself from aging so that he could get near Sakura as a student in the second part of the series, and has been waiting for the right moment ever since.

He had always intended for Sakura to become the new mistress of the Clow cards, as evident by his making the wand a cute pick colour, and the entrusting of the moon bell to Kaho to ensure that Sakura would prevail against Yue in the final judgement, knowing full well that with her kind nature, she could never bear to hurt Yue in the slightest bit.

It is also hinted that he has a romatic relationship with Kaho. His birthday is March 23. This is verified at the end of the manga, but only hinted at in CCS: The 2nd Movie, in the short scene of him and Kaho together when he calls Sakura to warn her of the sealed card.

In the anime, his sole purpose was to help Sakura in transforming all the clow cards into sakura cards, but he is portrayed as somewhat more self-serving in the manga. In the manga, his true objective was to make Sakura a more powerful magician than him, thus getting her to split his magic equally between him and Sakura's father, who was the other half of Clow's reincarnation, something he was unable to accomplish himself. With this, he is finally rid of his ability to foresee the future.

Spinel Sun

(スピネル・サン Supineru Sun)

Spinel is one of Eriol's guardians, and is Cerberus' counterpart. Whereas Kero tends to be more mellow, Spinel is more calm and refined, and spends much of his time on-screen reading. Spinel gets "drunk" after eating snacks or sweets, and because of this, it has a certain distaste for it. Though maybe be because Nakuru likes to force him sugar and cookies most of the time. Like Cerberus, Spinel has a smaller and larger form, and Spinel is often called Supi (Suppi-chan, known in the English cartoon as "Spinner") by Nakuru in its smaller form, a fact which annoys him to no end.

Ruby Moon

(ルビー・ムーン Rubī Mūn)

Ruby is one of Eriol's guardians, and is Yue's counterpart. Despite the fact that she is technically genderless, she prefers dressing in women's clothes as it looks cuter. She also enjoys antagonizing her counterpart, Yue, in both true and "false" forms. In Cardcaptors, both forms share the name of Ruby.

Nakuru Akizuki/Ruby Moon

(秋月 奈久留 Akizuki Nakuru)

Nakuru is Ruby Moon's alternate form, and is a classmate of Toya and Yukito at Seijyu High School. She seems to be attracted to Toya due to his magical power, to the point that he finds her annoying. In Cardcaptors, both forms share the name of Ruby. She always distracts and annoys Toya intentionally, whenever he is about to tell Yukito that he knows he is Yue.

Clow Reed

Clow Reed is the creator of the Clow Cards, a series of cards resembling tarot cards with various magical powers within them. In addition, he is the creator of Yue and Cerberus. In Cardcaptors, he is also a local figure, with the town of Reedington being named after him.

External Links

de:Card Captor Sakura es:Cardcaptor Sakura eo:Cardcaptor Sakura fr:Card Captor Sakura gl:Card Captor Sakura he:סאקורה (סדרה מצוירת) ja:カードキャプターさくら ru:Card Captor Sakura


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