Cardcaptor Sakura

Cardcaptor Sakura

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Cardcaptor Sakura (japanese: カードキャプターさくら Kādokyaputā Sakura) is a shōjo manga and anime series created by the manga group Clamp and published by Kodansha from 1996 to 2000. A television anime adaptation aired in Japan from 1998 to 2000. A sequel manga began in 2016 and an anime adaptation of that sequel began airing in 2018.


The story follows Sakura Kinomoto, a 4th grade schoolgirl who opened a mysterious book. Doing so unleashed magical cards, known as the clow cards, onto the world. Sakura's duty became to recapture all of the cards with the help of her best friend Tomoyo, a mysterious boy named Shaoran Li, and Keroberos, the guardian of the clow cards. Keroberos bestows Sakura with the magical powers needed to accomplished her mission.


The original manga series was created by the manga group Clamp and was published by Kodansha on Nakayoshi magazine from May 1996, to June 2000, with a total of 12 volumes. The anime adaptation was produced by Madhouse studio and aired on NHK BS2 from April 7th, 1998, to March 21st, 2000 with a total of 70 episodes. The anime was also aired in the West under licensing by Madman Entertainment in Australia and NIS America in North America.

English Dubbing

Nelvana produced the first English dub of the series for western audiences, which made many changes to the series that were seen as unfavorable by the fans.[14] The title was changed to Cardcaptors to de-emphasize Sakura as the main character and make the male lead, Shaoran, appear to be more of a main character. The series was cut down from 70 episodes to 38, and the episode order was shuffled around, including Shaoran's introduction episode (which was episode 8 in the original Japanese run of the show) being shown first. In addition to this, many other changes were made to the series. Most characters and locations had name changes, and many scenes that implied romantic feelings between any characters were altered to remove those romantic undertones.

A second English dub was later produced by Animax Asia to be aired in Asian countries on its English-speaking channels. This second dub stayed faithful to the original anime and did not cut out any content like Nelvana's previous dub, which delighted fans of the series, and was later licensed by NIS America and released to western audiences in 2014. It is also available for streaming on Crunchyroll alongside the original Japanese version with English subtitles.[2]


In 2016, Clamp began work on a sequel manga entitled Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card which launched in Nakayoshi magazine in June of 2016 and is still ongoing. In September 2017, an anime adaptation of Clear Card was announced to be premiering in January 2018 with much of the staff that worked on the original series returning, and an OVA was released to serve as a prequel to the new anime.[15]

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card was licensed by Crunchyroll and premiered on January 7, 2018.[16] Crunchyroll's partnership with Funimation also led to an English dub of Clear Card, which premiered later that same month.[17]


As of the beginning of 2018, the anime holds a user rating of 8.21 on MyAnimeList,[1] a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating on Crunchyroll, an 8.0 user rating on IMDb,[3] and a very good user rating on Anime News Network.[4] The series was consistently praised for its artistic beauty, fluid animation, and creative character designs, most notably Sakura's numerous unique outfits she wears throughout the series. While the original anime was very well received, the first English dub version by Nelvana was heavily criticized for the cuts and changes it made to the original anime.

The second English dub by Animax Asia has received more favorable reviews, and the Clear Card sequel anime has also opened to many positive reviews after the first couple of episodes.

Online Presence

Discussions regarding the series can be found on several sites such as MyAnimeList,[5] Anime News Network,[6] 4chan,[7] and Tumblr.[8] On January 10th, 2004, Urban Dictionary user Steph submitted an entry regarding Sakura Kinomoto.[9] On April 24th, 2004, Urban Dictionary user NeNay submitted an entry regarding The Cardcaptors NIS America dub.[10] On June 18th, 2005, Urban Dictionary user Guardian of the Seal submitted an entry regarding the series.[11]

On Deviantart, typing the keyword "cardcaptor sakura" yields more than 41,100 results[12] as of the beginning of 2018, while typing the keyword "カードキャプターさくら" on Pixiv yields more than 20,200 results[13] in the same span.

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