Cardcaptor Sakura Review 10/10 (very rare coming from me)

1 May

Alright, after my talk about how to review things animejournal style on the last entry, this time I am going to review one of the greatest animes I’ve seen so far, even when I thought it wasn’t going to be that great. This anime is what 100 percent of the fanbase would agree that it is awesome and not deserving of much criticism. I don’t see a THING wrong with it! Absolutely! This anime is Cardcaptor Sakura! Yes! I will be discussing the following things in my review: story, characters,music, writers, other adaptations/versions, design and art. It took me awhile because i had gone on an anime frenzy for the last couple of days, preparing for the ANIME AWARDS coming up. So here it is:

Story-Mysterious-The story is about a 9/10 year old girl named Kinomoto Sakura who lives a normal life in the quiet suburbs of Tomoeda Japan (fictional town I heard).Sakura lives with her father (Fujitaka-san) and her older brother (Touya). He likes to tease her and call her "kaijou" (monster). His best friend is Tskishuro Yukito-san. Touya calls him Yuki and Sakura calls him Yukito-san. Well, one day, she hears a mysterious sound in the basement (ooo, scary) and so she goes down there only to discover a glowing book. She decides to open it…she picks up the first card and reads it…"Windy"…. and then WHOOSH! all of the cards blow away in the wind. This stirs Keroberos (Cerberus) from his sleep, and then he realizes that all of the cards he was supposed to be protecting are gone. He panicks and orders Sakura to retrieve them. Thus, she becomes a cardcaptor, sealing away cards to capture them. What she doesn’t know is the mysteries and adventures thqat are involved with beong a cardcaptor…..This story is the Shisnack. It is well-crafted, original, and just overall enjoyable. Rarely, do you see a Magical Girl anime with this much originality. The story is mysterious at times, romantic at others, adventurous and exciting at most points, and just overall a great and wild time with the cards. The suspense can kill you, and the ending will never be what you expected. It is not too long of a story (where is drones on and on..) and it is not too short (where you don’t even know the plot yet and it stops). There are 3 seasons full of story. The stories tie in well together from each episode escalating to the final episode (and often there are hints to what it will be like if you are perceptive). The way to describe the story most in one word is mysterious. There is plenty of alchemy used in this anime (like a girl full-metal achemist) and there are upgrades. NO TRANSFORMING, THANK GOD, though Sakura’s best friend tends to dress her in a new costume with almost every new battle or event. You want excitement and mystery? Try to watch this…if you don’t mind the little girl. Some people are AFRAID to watch an anime about a little sweet and innocent girl. Trust me, this is not for babies and there is a lot to this story than childhood games in the story. There are some things you might question…..

Watch at the end who shows up out of nowhere! Characters-Well-developed and interesting-Not one character is useless in the story…well Meilin, but she was removed towards the end of the last season, and even she had SOME use. She was never in the manga anyway. But for the most part, all of the characters needed were in place. The coolest part about the anime is the mysterious way all of the characters enter into the story…. Sakura:appears ep#1: She is the main protagonist of the story. She is light-hearted, a little naive, but powerful and strong. She is always cheerful, and many people love her (even girls are in love with her…). She’s athletic, but hates math, but likes music. She also has magical powers. She at first has just future dreams, but eventually becomes a cardcaptor, and gains the power of the cards. She eventually makes her own power, which only a few rare socerers can do. In the English version, she seems more competitive and tougher and tomboyish than in the Jap version. In the manga, she seems the most girlish. My overall view on her is she’s good for the main character. She isn’t one of my favorite characters, but she fits the role. How many girls can hold their own like her? Not many. She’s not whiny, neither is she clingy (*Ran* I always mention her when I think of clingy). She’s a pretty good protagonist. Her powers are cool and she handles situations pretty nicely. So she’s ok. Syaoran: One of my personal favorite characters (I was so excited when he got his own anime…until I saw it, it isn’t bad, just not the same). He is serious, hard-working, focused, and knows his stuff. Thats why the ending of the second season shocked me…so anyway I feel he is adorable. He is a descendant of Clow Reed, the magician who made the Clow Cards, and Syaoran wants to be the master of the Clow Cards. Eventually, he and Sakura were rivals (more one sided in the Jap version and manga on his part), and he proves that he is skilled in the art of magic ASIDE from the cards. He comes from a wealthy family of famous sorcerers in Hong Kong. Eventually, he and Sakura became good friends after battling alongside each other for so long and being trapped in the same situations. Also, they both were the few people (the only children) who had magic. In this story people with magic are naturally drawn to one another in a negative or positive. Eventually, this relationship took a surprising turn and escalated, as he began to fall in love with Sakura, without wanting to AT ALL. For awhile, he was in a state of denial. If you want to know her response to that, watch the final episode……Tomoyo-Sakura’s best friend who loves to make costumes for Sakura and record Sakura’s special moments. She has some weird feelings for Sakura that seem almost…hmm..like obsession. She cares about Sakura TOO much. But she is not the jealous type and she’s beautiful, wise, and and rich (her mother is president of a toy company). She helps Sakura to capture cards sometimes, and even gives Syaoran some advice on many things. She’s awesome! Kero-Keroberos is the beast of the seal, the guardian of the clow cards and the clow book. He’s funny and loves to eat. He is also sooo cute in his disguise form! Eriole-He is a new transfer student in the third season and is very…mysterious. Lets just say all of the characters have a bit of mystery in them, and if I told you too much about them, it would spoil the story…

MusicThe music in Cardcaptor Sakura is spell-bounding! Every song is mesmerizing and gets you into the story. Epic and exciting music at times, sweet and melodic tunes at other times, and fun and happy songs for any other time. It is magnetic and can draw you into the story (Think Kingdom Hearts or Myazaki magnetic music). The soundtrack is fulfilling.

Writers-CLAMP-Thats all I have to say. The genius behind this beautiful piece of artwork and story is CLAMP. If you have not heard of them as writers, you might know some of their works, which includes Tsubasa and xxHolic, one is On Demand, and the other is on TBS. They are excellent at story-lines and other-meaning messages in their stories. They are also good at creating interesting romances in a story. That have a gift for that. They have a gift for creating stories from myths and legends, and many occult things, at the same time, relating to things in real life. Not to mention, their characters aren’t completely annoying. If they are, they are removed. Not to mention, they are the first and only ALL-WOMEN manga group/corporation in Japan. Girl Power, baby! They are truly good at what they do. I have never known four more talented women in my life.

Other Adaptations and versions-Cardcaptor Sakura has a jap anime, english version, and manga. All three are different from each other, but so good in so many ways. You may hear some people bash out the English version for being so far away from the original anime, but in truth, the original anime is far off from it’s original story in the manga. The most distinct of all changes was the addition of Meilin in the anime period. In the Jap version she was Syaoran’s cousin and in love with him. They grew up together. But in the Eng version, as it would not be appropriate for a cousin to be that madly in love with her own family member, they made her his "childhood friend" and changed her name to be Meilin Rae, instead of Meilin Li of the Li clan. She was more useless, but hey, she left the show anyway. She wasn’t in the original story AT ALL, so her appearance is not needed anyway. She’s just another obstacle to get in the way. Another change was the fact that Syaoran’s name was changed to Li in the english version. yes, his name is Syaoran Li in the Jap and manga versions,but he is Li Showron in the english version. Syaoran was not in Japan to collect the clow cards in the manga version, which gives Syaoran a whole new appearance to the audience. He also lived alone, even without his butler and any guardian whatsoever. Rika’s relationship with Terada-Sensei even changed. They were in love with each other in the manga, it was more one-sided in the jap version on Rika’s part, and she was afraid of him in the eng version. I feel you should look at all three adaptations. They each have something to offer to the story. There are a lot of explaining of the story in each story. Like all of CLAMP’s work, you will not see the manga being anything like the anime, but this particular story doesn’t need to be like the manga. On it’s own, it makes a great story. I look at them as three versions of the same story. I first saw the english version, then the jap, then I read the manga. The manga by far to me is the best, depending on what you are looking for. If you just want total action, more Syaoran, and mystery, no mushy stuff, and a more boy-and-girl anime, watch the eng version, if you want beautiful music, an involved storyline, and excellent character development (and no cut and pastung and editing of scenes), watch the jap version, if you love the romance, are unsure about the story, want more from it, aren’t satisfied with the end, possibly was hoping for more in the anime, or want to see more character feeling, read the manga.

Design and Art-The design i would desribe as deep colors, juicy-looking, like Kingdom Hearts 2. It has has a realistic approach to the character design in the sense that all of the humans look human, and not overly skinny, or stratchable, and not unrealistically dis-proportioned in any other way, like some of CLAMP’s work. The eyes are googly. Their eyes are mesmerizing and tells a lot about the individual being represented. it almost seems intentional, as when every new character comes for the first time, the focus of the camera zooms in on the eyes….Also, there is a need for juicy colors to bring out the bold and flashy outfits that Tomoyo has Sakura wear for every occasion. Also, the brilliance of the The town is not an abnormal world, it looks like a quiet suburb. The only thing other-wordly are the magical elements and beings themselves, which Kero is a beast, so he looks like a lion. He doesn’t look like something no one has ever seen before (except he has wings) and Yue is in the shape of a man. Even Kero-chan looks like a stuffed animal, rather than just something outlandishly ridiculous. There are some characters in CLAMP’s work that look totally and completely bogusly weird….The anime style is really unique of New Age animes, and it is captivating and beautiful. It is what the essence of a magical girl anime should be. So you have my review on Cardcaptor Sakura. I recommend you watch this one NOW!

~Over and Out~

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