Cardcaptor Sakura poster

Cardcaptor Sakura

Sakura Kinomoto is your garden-variety ten-year-old fourth grader, until one day, she stumbles upon a mysterious book containing a set of cards. Unfortunately, she has little time to divine what the cards mean because she accidentally stirs up a magical gust of wind and unintentionally scatters the cards all over the world. Suddenly awakened from the book, the Beast of the Seal, Keroberos (nicknamed Kero-chan), tells Sakura that she has released the mystical Clow Cards created by the sorcerer Clow Reed. The Cards are no ordinary playthings. Each of them possesses incredible powers, and because they like acting independently, Clow sealed all the Cards within a book. Now that the Cards are set free, they pose a grave danger upon the world, and it is up to Sakura to prevent the Cards from causing a catastrophe! Appointing Sakura the title of "the Cardcaptor" and granting her the Sealed Key, Keroberos tasks her with finding and recapturing all the Cards. Alongside her best friend Tomoyo Daidouji, and with Kero-chan's guidance, Sakura must learn to balance her new secret duty with the everyday troubles of a young girl involving love, family, and school, all while she takes flight on her magical adventures as Sakura the Cardcaptor. [Written by MAL Rewrite]

Ranking 405

User Count25730
Favorites Count862
Start Date7th Apr 1998
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank405
Rating Rank395
Age RatingPG
Age Rating GuideChildren


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The story and characters are just fun to watch, in my opinion. Replay value? Lots. The story is very simple, but I just like it for some reason. I just kept watching and watching, almost non stop! I just like everything about this anime, it's just a lot of fun! the characters are mostly great, every now and again you'll notice they don't behave like kids, which gets kinda weird, but who cares, it's fiction. Some other characters are there for no reason, but they do add to the fun (in my opinion). The animation is great, and not just for its time, I think it still holds up! Sound & music? Perfect, I enjoyed it more than if it were modern! In my opinion, you'll either love it, think it's OK, or hate it. I. Love. This. Anime. For some reason.

There are many ways that you can enjoy this show. Each episode guarantees at least one well executed action set; it works as a light, multilayered romance; the humor of the show is character-based and mostly timeless. But all of these are subservient to the fact that *Cardcaptor Sakura* is a show that teaches the audience how to mature the innocent care that grows for friends, family and lovers. *Cardcaptor Sakura* is structurally a formulaic show, where a supernatural problem arises in town and Sakura and friends must use magic, teamwork and creative thinking to prevail. Never does this feel repetitive, as Sakura learns from each encounter and gains more magical abilities every episode. Even the summoning sequence for her magical powers is reanimated, never recycled, to reflect the latest outfit of the week. What will ultimately affect your enjoyment of this show is how you feel about seeing the world through the eyes of fourth graders. The stakes are always personal and practical, such as getting home before 9:00 pm to avoid worrying the parents or going to bed early for the next morning's choir practice. It is this grounding for the conflicts between supernatural entities that partly constitutes *Cardcaptor Sakura*'s charm, which I recognize may delight some and bore others. Even though the characters are children, the show is never patronizing to their world view and motivations. It recognizes that their romantic feelings, admiration for the adult figures in their lives, and burgeoning appreciation for civic duty, while innocent and not fully comprehended, are still complex and worthy of respecting. By allowing the children characters the same agency as the contrasting and benevolent adults in their lives, the show allows their motivations, simple as they seem, to be the backbone for the real peril they experience in their encounters. **STORY** I keep using generally obtuse terms for the magical encounters in this show because this is a universe with no evil intentions in it. There are no villains, only characters who are hurt, misunderstood, prideful, or at worst mischievous. One could not say this is strictly a problem, as the show prioritizes its atmosphere of childhood innocence and goodwill, and thus creates conflicts of the nature that result from a lack of communication or empathy. For those looking for a deep conflict that resonates with hard choices, this show might disappoint. Its focus is not on continually escalating the magnitude of what's at stake, but in showing us the nature of Sakura's character and her relationships with others. This is not a fault in its own right, but does lead to some foreshadowing and character reveals that feel disingenuous to the feel of the show. **ANIMATION** Although the loud late-90's color palette and simple art style may cause doubt in screen shots, this show is a joy to watch in motion. With a premise of multiple powers being used multiple times, the threat of dreaded clip reuse is a real fear, and this show avoids it completely. Each episode has Sakura in a different outfit, negating the possibility of transformation or summoning sequences being reused unaltered. This is indicative of the amount of love and detail invested in all they dynamic elements of this show. Between the flowing magical elements and the small gestures characters give in conversation, <i>Cardcaptor Sakura </i>always feels dynamic and lively. **SOUND** The score has a full orchestra for the most emotional and visually exciting set pieces that rarely get old even after 70 episodes. That said, this show doesn't quite escape its decade of creation, and occasionally cheap sound effects from the late-90's will intrude for some comedic moments, usually for lesser quality synth tracks that accompany school scenes or certain secondary characters. Having watched this show in Japanese, I can imagine that some people may be more annoyed than enchanted with Sakura's constant exclamations of surprise and bemoaning bewilderment. Likewise with the very high breathiness of her best friend Tomoya. However, the rest of the cast does a respectable job and are all easily recognizable and endearing. **CHARACTER** As the focus of the show, it should be noted that the characters of *Cardcaptor Sakura* are as much instructive ideals as they are believable people. Every adult character is patient and soft-spoken, Sakura's classmates are all adorably good-natured and happily cooperative, and Sakura herself is compassionate, sometimes to the extreme that the plot exists to showcase it. Every character, even the background ones, have distinctive personalities that are consistently portrayed with enough variety to keep interactions fresh and engaging. One of the faults of *Cardcaptor Sakura* is the show's attempts to drum up mystery around certain key characters by having them give cryptic hints and knowing sideways glances without any context behind why they are trying to be so mysterious. On its own, this would be fitting within the narrative style of *Cardcaptor Sakura*'s trusting innocence, but some instances are dragged out across dozens of episodes for minimal pay-off. This is tied in with the show's comfort with ambiguity in how it leaves certain key character's relationships. If you need definite closure and definition for how characters feel about each other and where their relationships are going, this show might provide some frustrations for you. Instead, Cardcaptor Sakura is a show about creating space for exploring the complexity of emotionally laden relationships, including all of their ambiguity. One final comment is this show is very loose and liberal with its characters' sexualities. This show is comfortable depicting innocent forms of bisexual and homosexual relationships with the same naturalness and reverence as its heterosexual ones, recognizing that all orientations are multidimensional in how attraction is formed, sustained, and lost. Those who find this to be a good trait will appreciate the effort, and those who are more conservative should be aware going in that this show makes room for this kind of discussion for its characters. **ENJOYMENT** Cute kids in cute outfits with a magical talking beasty performing magical feats of daring-do with some slick animation and a rousing score is pretty entertaining. Most of my enjoyment of this show was due to the magical talking beasty, Kerberos, and the juxtaposition of his knowledge, earnestness, and child-like enthusiasm and priorities. Which speaks largely to the juxtapositions the show plays with for advancing all of its charms. If stopping a mage who can control time because he erased your save file on Dragon Quest sounds like a good motivation to you, then you'll enjoy most of what this show has to offer. The rest of it is well-grounded enjoyment of watching these well-meaning characters struggle with authentically engaging with love, losses, and how to keep loving each other as the nature of their relationships change. Not every character as an arc in the traditional sense, but the audience's understanding of their motivations and desires deepens in a way that is subtle and satisfying. **CONCLUSION** Cardcaptor Sakura is a good show. It's endearing, whimsical, and maintains a sense of purpose that grounds its light-hearted appearance. The faults of its individual components are all in service to its adorable atmosphere, which leaves a greater impression than all of them combined. I can easily recommend this show to anyone who likes shows that involve magic, slice of life genre comedy and romance, young girl's coming of age stories, fluid and mature interpretations of sexuality, and thoughtful, respectful contemplation of the innocence of youth and retaining one's virtues with age and experience.  I would not recommend this show to people who aren't engaged with elementary schoolers as the protagonists, require intense violence to feel a sense of peril and engagement with action sequences, care more about plot consistency than character's emotional journeys and self-understanding, or don't laugh at G-rated humor.

My childhood. I love every character and every relationship explored in this series. The drawings are so cute and lovely. \*DO NOT watch the English dubbed version as it removes every aspect of romance and replaces it with flashbacks.

Beautiful series. Seriously. Best series ever.

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