For the past three weeks, I’ve been binge watching an old Japanese anime from my childhood: Cardcaptor Sakura. This year marks Cardcaptor Sakura‘s 20th year anniversary, and it looks like CLAMP has added a new arc to the Cardcaptor Sakura series to celebrate: The Clear Card Arc. There is also an anime project in the works. ❤ I did happen to read the first five chapters of the new arc. So far…Regrettably…I’m once again addicted. 😄
Recently, I got wind that Cardcaptor Sakura had also been re-dubbed by Animax. As an anime fan, I couldn’t pass the opportunity to watch it up.
A little bit of nostalgia and a little bit of a fascination with mysteries and wonders in the world brought me into Cardcaptor Sakura in the first place. Re-watching it again, no matter how bad the dub sounds, how bad I have to focus to read subtitles, or how poor my Japanese skills are, I can’t help but want to watch and read the whole thing over and over again.
No matter how many times I’ve watched this anime, I never get bored or tired of it. I couldn’t put my finger on it for the longest time. Why can’t I ever get tired of this anime? What about this anime draws me in every time?
Sure, there are plenty of great Shoujo animes out there. I’ve watched my share. But this one always seems to capture my heart every time I watch it. I usually consider myself tomboyish…But this anime brings out my “girlish” side (?). It’s just so darn sweet and cute. ❤
With that being said, I gathered 5 things I love about this anime and I would like to share them with you, readers, and maybe you might find you like these things about the anime too! For all of you newcomers to Cardcaptor Sakura, I recommend you give this manga/anime a try.
1 .Love Has No Definition
In the Cardcaptor Sakura universe, and fans know this, love isn’t clearly defined, isn’t one-dimensional, and it evolves. Truly, CLAMP, the writers of the source material, had no qualms with inculcating relationships that defy the traditional. In many respects, it was ahead of its time (since it did come out in the 1990s).
For instance, there is one couple in the series that consist of two teenage boys (though technically one isn’t human, but whatever). However you take their relationship, the material doesn’t hesitate to express that these two individuals love one another the most. They don’t turn this into something perverted or unaccepted. It seems to flow naturally in the story, is accepted, and is very romantic. It still carried a level of innocence that is not common with this kind of relationship. All of the relationships could be taken any way according to the reader. There are relationships between family that are highlighted to be stronger than relationships between lovers within this story. However you want to see love and romance, this story has a lot to offer.
Other relationships expressed in the story are still not considered acceptable. However, I applaud CLAMP’s bold approach to the romance genre and their ability to look outside of the box. Even with their canon romance, throughout everything, it was anything but boring.
I usually hate the romance genre. In anime especially, the love interest is usually super obvious and is developed long before the story takes off. It makes the following episodes boring. But I am completely obsessed with this story’s romance story.
2. Everything is Mysterious
I love anything mysterious and unexpected. Cardcaptor Sakura is full of magic and mystery. There was always a suspicious new character being introduced, always a mysterious card lying around, and the story behind most all of the characters are very peculiar and interesting. All of the characters could have their own spin-off series and it would be interesting. Though there was a lot of information left out, it didn’t stop the characters from growing,learning, and changing.
3. The Characters Are Layered And Evolve
Adding on from the last point, the characters are very individual, unique, and evolve. Even the characters one would think is the most stereotypical has something different happen to them that changes the character’s whole perspective on life, thus changing the reader’s opinion of them. The main character is an example of that. One would think that everyone would be in love with the main character. Isn’t that how it is in most Shoujo (directed to girls) anime? But not in this one. Though sure, everybody likes her, this character is not immune to heartbreak. And her idea of a love interest…certainly not someone people would initially think of as “love interest” material. In most shoujo anime, the main love interest is a handsome, tsundere/cheerful guy, who is usually older than the lead character. While this anime starts typically, it evolves into something entirely different…
All characters have strengths and weaknesses, annoying traits and charms. I can’t really say I hate any characters in the story.
4. The Music
This is particularly a point about the anime. The music is mystical and soothing at the same time. The scores are epic.
5. CLAMP-The Creators
What isn’t cool about an all female manga group? I’d say that’s pretty empowering. The four businesswomen who came together to make this project have managed to create a “stamp” for all of their creations. In many of their stories, there is always an element of mystery and intrigue. However, the most notably intriguing part of their animation is how similar all of their characters look. Many times, references are made regarding the similarities throughout most of their other anime and manga work. It almost seems like all of their characters are a part of one big universe and are all connected somehow.
There are four ways to get into the Cardcaptor Sakura story if you’re an English speaker: the translated manga, the Japanese anime subbed, the Nelvana dubbed version, and the Animax dubbed Version…
There are typically two arcs: The Clow Card arc and the Sakura Card arc. But, in the anime, they are covered by 3 seasons with 70 episodes in total. With the new Clear Card arc, there may be more. There are also two movies for the anime series.
The manga is the original source material. NONE of the animes are super close to the original story in the manga, not even the Japanese anime, aside from certain key events and characters. In the anime adaptations, there were many new scenes, extra cards collected, and new characters that weren’t in the manga. At the same time, the animes equally left out other interesting scenes you can only find in the manga. Still, the animes added all the main characters and the most important card scenes.
The Japanese anime was the first adaptation of the manga. You can watch this version with subtitles now.
The Nelvana dub changed the feeling and tone from the original Japanese anime. The cast sounded more “American” (with popular American names and customs replacing Japanese names and customs) and there are hardly any Japanese undertones. Many scenes were edited and chopped up, the opening and ending songs were changed, and the title was changed to Cardcaptors. Season 3 never aired on tv in some countries, so it may all be new to some Cardcaptors fans. They can be found online and in DVD sets. This anime was meant to appeal more to boys as well as girls. I enjoy the dubbing and music on this version. It feels more natural to me (and less cutesy 😉 ). It may be because I’m American and I started with this version. 😄
The Animax version was meant to be the direct dub of the original Japanese anime. It does a decent job, but some parts aren’t completely dubbed, for whatever reason…
My advice is to read and watch whichever suits your fancy. I’ve found charms in all versions. ❤
Fans can also look forward to a new chapter in the story! I’m both excited and exasperated. I do love this anime and used to want to know what happened next. But I’m afraid that the anime will outwear its beautiful simplicity. I really liked where the manga and anime ended and I’m afraid things may be ruined or may turn sour with more added to the story. One thing that has ruined other anime and manga was having too many episodes and volumes. Everything must find an ending. I feel that this anime will be more of a gem where it’s at. At the same time, I wasn’t satisfied not seeing the rest. So maybe just one more arc would be fine…
I’ll tell you this…I don’t want to wait two more years before the anime is released. I hope the manga and anime are released simultaneously. I’m too excited! 😄
Leave me a comment and let me know what you think! Have you watched this anime before? Do you agree with my reasons? If you love this story, what are your reasons for loving Cardcaptor Sakura? Do you plan to watch and have any more questions? I’m open to any discussions.