(NOTE: This is most often spell "Card Captor Sakura" on the
Internet (note the space between "Card" and "Captor"). But both
the Mixx Entertainment and Kodansha bilingual translations
gives the title as "CardCaptor Sakura", with no space, so I'm
sticking with that title.)
A magical girl series, both manga and anime,
produced by the lovely ladies of CLAMP. First is a description
of the anime series, followed by a description of how the anime
and manga differ, and then a more detailed description of the
major characters. How the original CardCaptor Sakura differs from
the dubbed English version CardCaptors, someone else can write
that up, but you can go to http://www.cardcaptors-uncensored.com/
if you really want to know.
Sakura, a kawaii, genki 10 year old girl, accidently scatters
the Clow Cards, which where in a book in her basement.
Immediately afterwards a little stuffed toy thing pops out of the
cover of the book and thanks Sakura for waking him (he'd been
taking a 30 year long nap), and then freaks out when he discovers
that all but one of the Clow Cards is missing; he's Kerberos,
the Guardian of the Seal, and it was his job to make sure the
cards stayed in the book. He tells Sakura that the cards are
magical creations of the great magician Clow Reed (rhymes with
"glow", not "plow"); each card was alive, had a non-card
shape/form, and had great magical powers. "If the seal is broken,
disaster will befall this world", so he performs a ceremony to make
her a Cardcaptor, and later that night she goes out to capture her
first rogue card.
The enchanted dohickey which all magical girls have is the "Seal
Key", a key slightly smaller than Sakura's thumb which she wears
on a string around her neck. When she says her incantation over
it, instead of transforming her, the key transforms into the Seal
Staff; her clothes remain the same, so her best friend Tomoyo
provides her with her battle costumes. Once she has constrained
or immobilized a card which is in it's false form, she uses the
staff to return it to it's true card form. She also needs the
staff to use the cards she already has captured.
After she gets her first eight cards, a rival shows up, Syaoran
Li. A distant relative of Clow Reed, he was sent by the Li clan
of Hong Kong to collect the cards, once it was realized that they
had escaped. He considers Sakura to be too weak for the task of
collecting the cards, and tries to take them from her. He is
stopped by Sakura's older brother Touya, who is extremely
pissed that Syaoran was messing with his sister. Syaoran
continues to be Sakura's rival, but doesn't try stealing the cards
from her again.
Some more time passes, and Meiling Li, Syaoran's fiance(!) and
cousin(!!), shows up, because she missed him. She has no magical
powers (which is unusual for the Li clan), but it very good at
martial arts. She sees Sakura as a threat to her relationship
with Syaoran, and thus constantly tries to outdo her; she also
tries to compete with Sakura in card capturing by helping Syaoran
catch them, but since she has no magic, she usually ends up
getting in the way.
There's a lot more to the story than that, but I can't reveal any
of it without giving away surprises and plot twists.
Alright, now for the differences between the anime and the manga:
- There are more cards in the anime than in the manga. The
anime has 52 cards total; I can't remember how many are in the
- The order in which the cards are caught are sometimes
changed. Also, the manner in which they are caught is
- In the manga, Syaoran doesn't catch any of the cards,
but he does so in the anime. In the anime, whoever does the
most to subdue the card becomes it owner.
- Meiling does not exist in the manga.
- In the manga, Syaoran lives by himself in Japan, rather than
with the Li clan butler Wei.
- In the manga, Sakura doesn't scatter the cards. Rather, she
finds the Clow book when it's already empty; they escaped while
Kerberos was sleeping.
The characters. The dub names are in parentheses.
Sakura Kinomoto(Sakura Avalon): Cute, nice, kind,
modest, cheerful, energetic, athletic; considered by many to be
one of the adorable characters in anime. She is very brave when
facing the Clow Cards, and the only thing that really scares her
are ghosts. Her big flaw is that she is completely clueless
about people; this manifests itself primarily in her having no
clue when someone is in love with her (even when it should be
screamingly obvious), and her being very gullible.
Sakura has a big crush on her older brother's friend, Yukito.
However, she eventually ends up with Syaoran at the end of the
Sakura means "cherry blossom".
Tomoyo Daidoji(Madison Taylor): Sakura's best friend
and classmate. She's the daughter of a very rich woman, but she
isn't snoby like a lot of rich kids; in fact, she's even nicer
and kinder than Sakura, and doesn't have a mean bone in her
body. Smart, talented, and a great singer, but not athletic
like Sakura. Her least favorite food is bell peppers (a girl
after my own heart :-)
Tomoyo is very obsessed with Sakura, and clearly thinks that
she's the coolest person who ever lived; that much, everyone
can agree on. However, some people (like me) think that
Tomoyo is madly in love with her; others think that they're
just friends. Since this is my write-up, I'm going to go for
the madly in love theory. ;-) My arguments for Tomoyo having
feelings of romantic love towards Sakura are on the Tomoyo
Even though she's in love with Sakura, Tomoyo never displays
any jealousy. She encourages Sakura's crush on Yukito, and
later, when she decides that Syaoran would be the perfect
match for Sakura, tries to set them up, even before Sakura
shows any interest in him. It's a shame that she didn't go
after Sakura herself; I'm one of the small minority who think
that Tomoyo and Sakura would make a perfect couple.
Syaoran Li(Li Showron): 10 year old boy of the Li clan
of Hong Kong. The most powerful magician of the Li clan (even
at the age of 10), he is extremely serious, rarely smiling and
frequently scowling. After joining Sakura's class as a transfer
student, the first things he does is earn the enmity of Sakura's
brother, and getting a huge crush on Yukito; as Tomoyo notes,
"He's your rival for both the cards and for love!" He starts
out disliking her and being her rival, but eventually becomes
her friend, and soon after falls in love with her.
The Sakura/Syaoran pairing is one of the most popular ones in
anime fandom, especially in fanfiction. I personally
don't see what all the fuss is about, since I'm a big
Tomoyo/Sakura fan, but I guess that Syaoran is such a cute
bishonen, and Sakura is so cute and adorable, that the
thought of them together just melts people's brains.
Meiling Li(Meilin Rae): Syaoran's cousin and fiance.
A while before the start of the story, Meiling lost her pet bird
while it was raining outside. Syaoran went out, in spite of the
rain, and got her bird back for her. At that moment, Meiling
got a huge crush on him, and made him promise that, if he
didn't find anyone he loved more than her, that he would marry
her. Thus they are, technically, fiances.
Meiling starts out as bossy and arrogant. However, this is
just to cover up her insecurities, which are rather large,
since she is one of the few members of the Li clan who have no
magical powers, and is afraid that she'll lose Syaoran to
someone else. She is the character who matures most over the
course of the series.
Kerberos(Keroberos): The Guardian Beast of the Seal,
and the obligatory cute anime animal of the series. He looks
like a stuffed toy lion with a spherical head and beady eyes,
and has small white wings on his back. This is not his true
form, which he claims is "totally awesome", but he can only
assume the tiny form unless Sakura has both The Firey and The
Kero has a rather high opinion of himself, freely speaks his
mind, and can really hold a grudge; he's never forgiven
Syaoran for calling him a "stuffed toy", refers to him as "the
brat", and bites him on the finger whenever he makes him mad.
He also loves food, especially sweets, even though he
doesn't need to eat. However, underneath it all, he's really a
Touya Kinomoto(Tori Avalon): (Touya means "peach
blossom arrow) Sakura's older brother, 17 years old and a junior
in high school. He constantly teases his sister, calling her a
"monster", but he really cares for her; woe be unto anyone who
does anything to her. ("Only I can mess with her")
Touya's best friend is Yukito. Touya and Yukito and in love
with each other, but it takes the entire series for them to
confess their love to each other.
Touya has a very strong 6th sense, which lets him see ghosts,
and also lets him vaguely sense the Clow cards; him seeing
ghosts and telling Sakura about them when she was little is
the reason she's afraid of ghosts. He can also sense that
there's something not quite right about Kero, who pretends
to be a stuffed animal in front of him.
Touya means "Peach blossom arrow".
Yukito Tsukishiro(Julian Star): A 17 year old boy,
Touya's best friend; very nice and sweet to just about
everybody. As Sakura puts it, "He's good at sport, and smart,
and he can do anything!"
Yukito means "snow rabbit", and Kero gives him the nickname
A great source of information on CCS (and my primary source for
this write up) is http://www.miraclegenki.com/cherryblossoms/