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Americanized version of the shoujo anime Card Captor Sakura. Translated, dubbed and edited by Nelvana. Generally recognized as inferior to the original, even by my six-year-old daughter.

Cardcaptors tells the story of Sakura and Lee, and young girl and boy each about ten years old. They are charged with capturing magical cards that were created by a great sorceror called Clow Reed. Each Clow Card is also a creature, with its own powers, desires and intelligence. Capturing a card requires the captor to creatively use the powers from cards they already have.

The original show skates mischievously along of the line of adult/child and homosexual relationships. It's no secret that Japanese culture doesn't stigmatize these the way Western cultures do, and the references are fairly oblique, but Nelvana felt it necessary to remove just about every element of affection from the show - even harmless stuff like Rika's crush on her (male) teacher. Also, additional cuts must be made for the extensive commercials aired during children's shows. As a result, episodes are shown out of order, and may consists of two Card Captor Sakura episodes spliced together in unexpected ways. The translation is also a sticking point, as just about everybody comes out sounding like a smartass, even Tomoyo, the sweetest, kindest girl you'll ever meet in an anime.

There are many Card Captor Sakura episodes that de-emphasize Sakura's quest for the Clow Cards in favor of developing the characters and explaining how they interact. All of these episodes get completely butchered when they come over here, for reasons I can't fully explain. If it's so hard to keep the show intact, why try?

And Tomoyo sounds so cute in the original!

Ack. I didn't mean for this to turn into yet another "subbed vs dubbed" screed. And there are episodes of the original that I haven't allowed my daughter to see, since it makes some of the relationships more overt and that would simply confuse her.

But if you want to watch the show, get the original Japanese version.

I was going to pad this out with the names of the American cast members, but Nelvana is apparently loathe to release any such information. So I'll just stop here.

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