The first volume of Cardcaptor Sakura, published in Japan by Kodansha on November 22, 1996
|Genre||Magical girl, Romance|
|English publisher|| Kodansha (bilingual books)|
Tokyopop (North America, United Kingdom)
Dark Horse Manga (North America)
Madman Entertainment (Australia, New Zealand)
|Original run||May 1996 – June 2000|
|Volumes||12 (List of volumes)|
|Directed by||Morio Asaka|
|Music by||Takayuki Negishi|
|Licensed by|| Geneon (North America)|
Madman Entertainment (Australia, New Zealand)
Contender Entertainment (United Kingdom, Ireland)
|English network|| Kids WB, Cartoon Network, Teletoon, YTV (North America)|
Network Ten, Cartoon Network (Toonami) (Australia)
|Original run||April 7, 1998 – March 21, 2000|
|Episodes||70 (List of episodes)|
| Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie|
Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: The Sealed Card
Cardcaptor Sakura (カードキャプターさくら, Kādokyaputā Sakura), also known as Card Captor Sakura (with the space) and often abbreviated as CCS, is a magical girl manga series from the well-known all-female artist team CLAMP. Cardcaptor Sakura is published in Japan by Kodansha and was serialized in Nakayoshi. The series consists of twelve volumes. The manga is well-known for its emphasis on the shoujo genre of the series; nearly every page has detailed flowers, bubbles, or sparkles around the main characters. It won the noted Seiun Award for best manga in 2001.
The anime television series (1998-2000) based on the manga consists of 70 half-hour episodes (spread over three seasons), two theatrically released movies, and several specials. The second season of TV series won the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize in 1999. Nelvana produced an English dub of the anime series, titled Cardcaptors, which aired in English-speaking countries. An unedited English translation, bearing the original title, Cardcaptor Sakura, was broadcast in its English-language networks by the anime television network Animax. Cardcaptor Sakura has also been released in North America (but not the UK or Australia) on unedited and subtitled DVDs under its original title.
As the series progresses, there is a pattern of foreshadowing and dreams that lead to an unusual conclusion. Like Magic Knight Rayearth, one of Clamp's previous works, Cardcaptor Sakura is a new twist on an old genre.
Most of the characters in Cardcaptor Sakura also appear in one of Clamp's later manga series, Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, which has also been adapted into an anime.
The series begins as a simple girls' comic of the magical girl genre. Ten-year-old fourth grader Sakura Kinomoto opens a mysterious book in her family's basement and accidentally releases the magical Clow Cards. By her ability to open the seal, Sakura is revealed to have special powers, and it becomes her responsibility to retrieve the missing cards.
The task involves finding each card, battling its magical personification, and sealing it away. She is assisted by Cerberus (Keroberos, also known as Kero-chan), the Beast of the Seal assigned to protect the cards, who was asleep when Sakura opened the Clow Book (He was on a "nap" at that time, which lasted 50 years). Kero, who is in his "borrowed" form, similar to a plush toy, throughout the majority of the series, guides Sakura as she develops her Cardcaptor powers. In the first episode, he presents her with the Key of the Seal, which allows her to capture and seal the Clow Cards.
Clow Card Arc
The first six volumes of the manga and the first and second seasons of the anime focus on Sakura's attempts to capture the released Clow Cards. Cerberus acts as her guide and mentor throughout the quest, while classmate and best friend Tomoyo Daidouji (who is also her second cousin) assists in designing Sakura's battle costumes and filming her adventures.
Sakura also competes with Syaoran Li, the descendant of the Clow Cards' creator, Clow Reed, in capturing the Cards. The first half of the series ends after the Final Judgment, in which those who have attempted to capture the Clow Cards are tested by the mysterious Yue for the right to become Master of the Clow.
This arc in the anime series also brings in a second rival, Meiling Li, who is Syaoran's cousin and fiancee. Meiling aims to defeat Sakura, as Meiling thinks that Sakura was trying to steal Syaoran away from her.
Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie
- Main article: Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie
Occurring between episodes 35 and 36 of the 1st and 2nd seasons, respectively, (or the middle of the 1st season in international releases), the first movie takes Sakura and company to Hong Kong during spring break.
Still in her quest to capture all the Clow Cards, Sakura encounters new challenges, some of which take place in ominous dreams. Sakura must defeat a vengeful sorceress called Madoushi who was rejected by Clow Reed in the past or risk losing her family and friends.
Sakura Card Arc
The latter six volumes of the manga and third season of the anime introduce several new characters, including the enigmatic Eriol Hiiragizawa. Since Sakura has now become the new Master of the Clow Cards, she must transform them under her own magic into Sakura Cards. At the same time, new strange disturbances are occurring in Tomoeda, which adds further pressure to Sakura's task. Meanwhile, Syaoran falls in love with Sakura and tries to find a way to admit his feelings to her.
Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: The Sealed Card
- Main article: Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: The Sealed Card
Occurring after the end of the 3rd season (2nd in international releases), the 2nd movie brings closure to the relationship questions between Sakura and Syaoran, which were left somewhat unanswered in the last episode of the TV series.
Like the 1st movie, the 2nd movie does not follow or adapt from any events depicted in the manga and, therefore, closes the anime series in a different manner. Syaoran has already admitted his feelings to Sakura, but she has yet to answer him. She gets several opportunities when Syaoran and Meiling visit Tomoeda from Hong Kong over the summer and participates in a school play with Sakura during the Nadeshiko Festival. However, Sakura has more issues challenging her than finding the right moment to confess to Syaoran. A strange force begins stealing the Sakura Cards and erasing portions of Tomoeda. Sakura soon encounters a mysterious Clow Card called The Nothing, the antithesis of the 52 Sakura Cards with as much negative power as all their positive powers combined.
While several characters can be considered main characters due to their importance to the plot, Sakura Kinomoto is the protagonist of the story. Other characters who have supporting roles often have recurring appearances in the story.
- Sakura Kinomoto - The main protagonist of the story, she accidentally opened the Book of Clow and released the Clow Cards, leaving her the task of collecting and sealing them away.
- Syaoran Li - A boy from Hong Kong, a member of the Li Clan of Sorcerers who is initially after the Clow Cards, believing himself to be their rightful inheritor, but later falls in love with Sakura.
- Tomoyo Daidouji - The best friend of Sakura Kinomoto. She becomes Sakura's primary assistant by designing "battle costumes" and filming all of her magical (and non-magical) endeavors.
- Cerberus - The guardian of the book of Clow Cards. He appoints Sakura the title of Cardcaptor, and sends her off to retrieve the cards. He is referred to as Keroberos in the English adaptions.
- Yukito Tsukishiro - Yukito is the classmate and best friend of Toya Kinomoto and Sakura Kinomoto's object of affection.
- Yue - Yue is the one of two Guardians of the Clow Cards, along with Cerberus. While Cerberus acts as the selector, choosing a candidate to become the next Master of the Clow, Yue is the judge who will test the candidate.
- Clow Reed - The powerful sorcerer who originally created the Clow Cards, and their magical guardians Cerberus and Yue.
- Eriol Hiiragizawa - The principal antagonist in the Second Arc, and the reincarnation of Clow Reed.
- Clow Cards - The nineteen (fifty-three in the anime) magical cards created by Clow Reed. They are accidentally scattered by Sakura Kinomoto and is assigned the task of collecting and sealing them.
- Other Characters
- Main article: List of Cardcaptor Sakura chapters
The manga was translated into English by Tokyopop (Formerly Mixx). Characters kept their Japanese names in the translated manga, however Yukito's nickname, Yuki, which is used by only Toya in the original version, is used by the entire cast in the English version. Plotwise, the manga is 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, released under the name Cardcaptor Sakura: Master of the Clow, read the original right-to-left way. The original six volumes were later re-released in the original right-to-left format with the same cover style as the latter six volumes.
Kodansha also published bilingual editions of the manga to help Japanese children learn English. 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 had all of the volumes translated.
TokyoPop lost the license to Cardcaptor Sakura in 2009 and the license went to Dark Horse Comics. Dark Horse is re-translating the manga and releasing the entire 12-volume series in four omnibus editions. Dark Horse's editions are taller and wider than the original release from TokyoPop, are unflipped, and contain a great deal of color art that CLAMP did for the series. Volume 1 has already been released and volume 2 is tentatively scheduled for release on June 1, 2011.
The TokyoPop translation is imported to Australia by Madman Entertainment.
- Main article: List of Cardcaptor Sakura episodes
Cardcaptor Sakura was adapted into an anime television series, which was animated by Madhouse and directed by Morio Asaka. The character designer and chief animation director for the series was Kumiko Takahashi. It premiered on NHK from April ], 1998 and finished airing on March 21, 2000.
CLAMP were fully involved in the project, with head writer Nanase Ōkawa writing and composing the series's screenplay and Mokona Apapa overseeing the costumes and card designs. In addition to this, the anime featured 34 more Clow Cards than the original manga series, taking the total number of cards from 19 to 53.
Cardcaptor Sakura was adapted into English by Nelvana and brought to the United States and other English-speaking countries under the name Cardcaptors.
The anime television network, Animax, aired an uncensored English translation and dub of the complete Cardcaptor Sakura series, entitled under its actual name Cardcaptor Sakura, featuring their own English dubbing team, and staying faithful to the original, retaining all of the original names, plot and dialogue, for broadcast across its English-language networks in Southeast Asia and South Asia.
Madhouse produced two, 82-minute anime films as an extension to the TV anime series. The first, Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie, was released on August 21, 1999. Set between the first and second seasons of the TV series, the film shows Sakura and her friends going to Hong Kong where they encounter a vengeful spirit who was hurt by Clow Reed in the past. It was released to VHS, LD and DVD in Japan by Bandai Visual in February 2000. Nelvana released an English dubbed version of the film, retaining the same name and story changes as its main Cardcaptors dub. As with the TV series, Pioneer Entertainment released the film without editing, including the original Japanese audio and English subtitles. Both the edited and unedited versions were released on VHS and DVD in March 2002.
The second film, Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: The Sealed Card, was released in Japan on July 15, 2000. It provided a conclusion to the TV series, in which Syaoran returns to Tokyo in hopes of getting Sakura's answer to his love confession, but her own confession is interrupted by the appearance of a 53rd Clow Card. It was released to LD (as a limited edition) and DVD in January 2001, and to VHS in July 2001. It was released in North America to DVD by Pioneer in November 2003 and featured a new English dub by Bang Zoom! Entertainment. The Cardcaptor Sakura films remained in print in North America until Pioneer, now called Geneon Universal Entertainment, stopped direct distribution in fall 2007. A bonus short film titled Leave it to Kero! was played with the theatrical screening of the second film.
The series has been adapted into multiple video games, developed for Game Boy, PlayStation, WonderSwan, Dreamcast, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo Famicom, and PlayStation 2. All games have been released in Japan only. The games were made by several companies like MTO, Arika, Bandai, Sega, TDK and NHK, and as well as a dōjin soft.
Cardcaptor Sakura (Tower of Druaga Hack)
Cardcaptor Sakura: Itsumo Sakura-chan to Issho!
Animetic Story Game 1: Cardcaptor Sakura 
Cardcaptor Sakura: Sakura to Fushigi na Clow Cards
Cardcaptor Sakura: Clow Card Magic
Tetris with Cardcaptor Sakura: Eternal Heart
Cardcaptor Sakura: Tomoe Shougakkou Daiundoukai
Cardcaptor Sakura: Tomoyo no Video Taisakusen
Cardcaptor Sakura: Sakura Card de Mini-Game
Cardcaptor Sakura: Sakura Card-hen Sakura Card to Tomodachi
Cardcaptor Sakura: Sakura-Chan to Asobo!
There is also a well known dōjin fighting game called Card Hunter Sakura 2. There was no first installment of this. The dojin circle who created the dōjin soft was called DK Soft.
In 2000, Kodansha published the Clow Card Fortune Book. Written by CLAMP, it contains information on how to use the Clow Cards like Tarot or Oracle cards. The book is now out of print in Japan and was never licensed for an English release.
CLAMP has also has created the Cardcaptor Sakura Memorial Book, a 152 page book containing various illustrations, character designs and as well as merchandise from the series.
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- ↑ Animax Asia's Page for their Cardcaptor Sakura (Season One) Dub
- ↑ Animax Asia's Page for their Cardcaptor Sakura (Season Two - Last Two Seasons) Dub
- ↑ Animax South Asia's Page for their Cardcaptor Sakura (Season One) Dub
- ↑ Animax South Asia's Page for their Cardcaptor Sakura (Season Two - Last Two Seasons) Dub
- ↑ 劇場版カードキャプターさくら Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie
- ↑ [http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B00005EEVT/ カードキャプターさくら【劇場版】 (VHS) Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie (VHS)
- ↑ [http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B00005EDNP/ カードキャプターさくら【劇場版】 (DVD) Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie (DVD)
- ↑ Cardcaptors - The Movie [VHS (2000)]
- ↑ Cardcaptor Sakura - The Movie (1999)
- ↑ [http://www.madhouse.co.jp/works/2001-2000/works_movie_cardcapturesakura.html 劇場版カードキャプターさくら 封印されたカード Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: The Sealed Card
- ↑ 劇場版 カードキャプターさくら 封印されたカード (DVD) Cardcaptor Sakura Move 2: The Sealed Card (DVD)
- ↑ 劇場版カードキャプターさくら 封印されたカード~ばっちしV (VHS) Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: The Sealed Card Batchishi V (VHS)
- ↑ Cardcaptor Sakura - The Movie 2 - The Sealed Card (Special Edition)
- ↑ Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2 Licensed, New Dub Cast
- ↑ [http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2007-09-26/geneon-usa-to-cancel-dvd-sales-distribution-by-friday Geneon USA to Cancel DVD Sales, Distribution by Friday
- ↑ [http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2000-04-17/card-capture-sakuraCard Capture Sakura News
- ↑ This game is often mis-titled as "Anime Chick" instead of "Animetic", an easy mistake to make when translating the katakana (|アニメチック).
- ↑ See IGN's page on the game, which lists the correct translation there.
- ↑ Cardcaptor Sakura Fortune Book
- ↑ Cardrdcaptor Sakura Memorial Book
- Official NHK Cardcaptor Sakura website (Japanese)
- Official Nelvana Cardcaptors website
- Making Anime A Little Safer For Americans
- Cardcaptor Sakura (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia