Charanalysis: TARGET: Syaoran Li (Cardcaptor Sakura)

1 Nov

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Okay this is my character analysis. I’ve been so busy, so, yea I know you’re shocked I had the guts to return. But college work is a monster especially during midterms…so, anywho, this is the first character analysis. THE TARGET FOR THE DAY:

Syaoran Li


Syaoran Li is from the Cardcaptor Sakura series. This is one of Cardcaptor Sakura’s most complex characters. His role changes so much within the story, that the ending can surprise the audience in oh so many ways.

9/10/11 year old Syaoran Li is the descendant of Clow Reed from Clow’s mother’s side. It’s safe to say that in this show, Clow is GOD…no…Clow is the strongest sorcerer in the world mostly because he uses British and Chinese magic, two extremely spiritual countries. Clow Reed invented the Clow Cards, which Sakura Kinomoto, the main character, broke the seal of the book containing them, thus scattering the cards….so Syaoran, who comes from China, moves to Japan to collect them back. Even though he already knew that Sakura was collecting them, he felt that she was incapable of doing so. And somewhat, I think he was jealous. He wanted to gain the power of the Clow Cards to enhance his own magic, which was revealed in the manga that his magic had been perfect replicas of Clow Reed’s magic…except for the Clow cards. So he knew all of the ancient spells of Clow.

His magic spells mostly consist of the basic elements of wind, fire, thunder and water.Note: All of this is changed in the English dubbed.. He’ll call out “Petals of Wind, Answer my call!” or something like that. One of his other spells deal with the Lasin board, or his compass, which helps him find Clow Cards. In the manga, has far more magic. In fact, he is the strongest in the Li Clan in the manga…But the chant he uses for the compass is: “The kings of gods commands the gods that appear from all directions. Gold, wood, water, fire, earth, thunder, wind, lighting. The New Command. Soft Thunder, Spinning Thunder. Obey the command!” He is also able to walk on water or float on top of snow with his magic. He can also find someone far away just by using an item of theirs and his “alchemy ring” will usually appear. This was only performed in the manga, though clarified in the anime too. He’s disciplined, hard-working, and knowledgeable when it comes to the history and unique powers of the cards. He even knows all 52 (19 in the manga) by name and power. This attitude he has for the the Clow Cards shows he’s serious about magic and Clow Reed’s magic too. He is also skilled in Chinese martial arts and soccor. Not to mention he can’t go anywhere without his lucky sword, which helps him also perform magic. He’s very athletic, not to mention a good cook…very domestic, though he hides it. Well, he doesn’t need to do his own cleaning and cooking in the anime. In the manga, he lived on his own. In the anime, he had his butler and trainer with him. Syaoran comes from a famous, and wealthy family of sorcerers. His father died when he was seven, and he has a strict mother and four energetic older sisters. He is the man of his household…This may be the reason for his stony personality, and may be the reason why he is domestic. Syaoran doesn’t talk about his family much, but we did get to see them in Movie 1, which his mother proved to be very elegant, but *shivers* VERY firm. His sisters…a little obsessed over cute things…three of those things being Touya, Sakura, and Yukito. Syaoran really does stand out among his family. When his mother walks in, he stands straight up like in the military. In fact, it seems Syaoran has a hard time gaining charm and winning the hearts of people…which is his downfall. He doesn’t have many supporters…and it also seems he doesn’t have many friends as Meilin made clear. Meilin had often said all he did was sit alone by himself. The only other known friend he has is Yamazaki, who mostly tells factual stories *cough lies cough* and dupes Syaoran into believing him. So Syaoran is a loner, not by will, but by…unluck. He’s a different silent type. Not always the “cool” kind. How did he win the heart of Sakura, the most liked girl EVER? Watch it and you’ll find out.So, anyway, The Clow Cards is also the root of his rivalry with Sakura Kinomoto, the main heroine of the story. In the first season of the anime, he served as the antagonist, also collecting some cards of his own. The cards go to the person with magic that did the most work in capturing them or had the most magical power at the time that person revealed the card’s true form. Syaoran acted cold toward Sakura and even mocked her power and skills. He was really hard. He was basically only concerned with capturing the cards to enhance his own power. Towards the end of the season, he was just beginning to gain some mutual respect for Sakura, when his cousin and fiance burst in.
Actually her presence caused Syaoran and Sakura to get closer. The circle of companions and people around Sakura started to increase. As a result, the people collecting Clow Cards often stood out and became isolated among the people with no magical powers, and the weirdos who knew all about Clow Reed and his plan (many who were not human). Syaoran and Sakura were the only Cardcaptors, same age, with magical powers. This, in turn, caused them to work together a lot.
Eventually as the second season blew in, Syaoran’s feelings began to change. At first, Syaoran had these weird feelings for Yukito, Touya’s best friend, Touya being Sakura’s older brother, whom Syaoran also did not like… Some would consider it homosexual feelings. Others consider it admiration that he confused as a crush. However you take it, it was concluded later on that those feelings were only there because he felt Yukito’s power.

Yukito was really Yue, the moon gaurdian of the Clow Cards (did I mention Yukito isn’t human?). And in this show, people with magic are naturally drawn to each other. But in the second season, Syaoran really was developing a REAL crush on someone: Sakura Kinomoto. Still struggling to hold on to his stony demeanor, he tried shaking the feelings out of himself. And yet, his protective side began to show, as he was constantly there when she needed him.

By the third season, there was no escaping it. He had fallen in love with his worst enemy. It was even harder to hide it be the third season.

With the third season I have to say that though he became more sure of his feelings, which added to the complex love story, he became more pointless to the main plot in the third season. The manga was different. But in the anime, after he lost the final judgment, he was no longer needed, and I think that contributed to the ending being so dramatic when he was going home…but they picked the right season to make him pointless…if he had been still fighting for the cards, he wouldn’t have realized he loved Sakura…which might have been the reason he lost, because he was so distracted by her…well, he lost focus.

On another note, I still can’t understand how someone who is supposed to be so skilled and hardworking would lose the Final Judgment….well, aside from the fact Clow Reed cheated for Sakura, but still. Syaoran could’ve at least put up a stronger fight. It just seems so bogus. But hey, its a shojo…

His feelings and character are so complex and tense, it’s hard not to analyze his behavior. Very unique and inspiring character. It must be the reason why CLAMP decided to recycle and use him again.

In the end, even though he lost the cards and the Final Judgment…he ended up winning the girl over all the other guys. The most hated enemy becomes the lover. Now THAT is my kind of love story.

Syaoran is a good example of a bad boy gone good. Though it isn’t rare that there is a quiet silent type that wins the girl’s heart, it’s rare that the girl doesn’t fall for him first, making it seem like all girls love bad boys and only care about romance and the next hot guy (prime example is Ghost Hunt). In fact, he fell for her first, and changed for HER, without her even knowing it. So, this particular character has the all the facets I find interesting. And also, what makes it interesting is for once, the main girl is turned down by the guy she loves, though she is oh so lovable, apparently, not everyone is IN LOVE with her. And the boy she least expected to like her AT ALL was the one who loved her the most, and the one she loved the most. Cliche for America, different for Japan….well except for the fact that the guy who turned Sakura down wasn’t a jerk, wich would make it American cliche… Oh well, Syaoran rocks! If there ever was an awesome character with so many complex emotions, it would be him.

~Over and Out~


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