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Cardcaptor Sakura Vol.1
Original cover of Vol.1 published by Kodansha in Japan.
Kanji: カードキャプターさくら
Romanji: Kādokyaputā sakura
English Title: Cardcaptor Saukra
Genre(s): Magical Girl, Romance
Publisher: Kodansha
Demographic: Shojo
Magazine: Nakayoshi
Run: May 1996 - June 2000
# of Volumes: 12
Cardcaptors Anime Profile
Director: Morio Asaka
Producer(s): Madhouse
Writer(s): Nanase Ohkawa
Studio: Madhouse
Composer(s): Takayuki Negishi
Publisher: Geneon
Network(s): NHK BS2
Original Run: April 7th,1998 - March 21st, 2000
# of Episodes: 70
Films: 2
OVAs: 4

カードキャプターさくら (Kādokyaputā Sakura, Cardcaptor Sakura), also is a shojo manga series written and illustrated by the mangaka team artists CLAMP. The story focuses on Sakura Kinomoto, an elementary school student who discovers that she possesses magical powers after accidentally freeing a set of magical cards from the book they had been sealed in for years. She is then tasked with retrieving those cards in order to avoid an unknown catastrophe from befalling the world.   

The manga started its publication on May 1996 by Kodansha editorial. It was serialized by the Japanese monthly magazine Nakayoshi until June 2000. It consists of 12 volumes and 50 chapters. Tokyopop published the series in English, with the second half of the series having the subtitle "Masters of the Clow." In 2009 Tokyopop lost many Kodansha licenses, Cardcaptor Sakura included. Along with a few other CLAMP titles, DarkHorse has now picked up Cardcaptor Sakura and will release them in omnibus format. The first omnibus volume is to be released in the summer of 2010.

Later on, the manga's story was adapted to anime, which was produced by Madhouse. It was aired in Japan from April 7th, 1998 until March 21, 2000 and broadcasted by TV network NHK. It consisted of 2 seasons, which include 70 episodes. Two movies were produced, many video games and complementary books, and many other merchandise. The anime in the dubbed version was licensed by the now defunct Geneon.

Both the anime and manga series have reached a great success inside and out of Japan. In 2000, Cardcaptor Sakura received the Anime Grand Prix on the category "Best Anime", while on 2001 it received the Seiun prize on the category "Best Manga". On a TV ranking poll by TV Asashi of the "100 Best Anime of 2005", the series ranked #69, while ranking #44 in 2006.

Plot Edit

Ten-year-old fourth grader Sakura Kinomoto opens a mysterious book in her father's study and accidentally releases the magical Clow Cards. Created by the half-English half-Chinese sorcerer Clow Reed, the Clow Cards were sealed within the Clow Book upon his death and represent a combination of magic from Clow's mixed heritage. Each card has its own personality and characteristics and can assume alternate forms when activated.

Cerberus, the Guardian Beast of the Seal, awakens and emerges from the book's cover. Upon learning the cards are gone, he tells Sakura that she must have special powers, and that it is now her responsibility to retrieve the missing cards. As she finds each card, she must battle its magical personification and defeat it in order to seal it away. Cerberus acts as her guide and mentor throughout the quest, while her classmate and best friend Tomoyo Daidouji films her exploits and provides her with costumes, insisting that she must "wear special clothes for special occasions." Her older brother, Touya Kinomoto, watches over his sister while pretending that he is unaware of what is going on.

As the series progresses, a rival in the form of Syaoran Li appears. A descendant of the late Clow Reed, creator of the Clow Cards' and their guardians, Syaoran travels to Japan from Hong Kong to recapture the cards, but finds his goal complicated as he comes to respect Sakura and begins aiding her instead. Once Sakura has captured all of the cards, she must undergo the Final Judgement. Yukito Tsukishiro, Sakura's crush and the best friend of her brother, is revealed to be the false form of the card's second guardian Yue. Yue is the one who must test Sakura and Syaoran to determine which one is worthy of becoming the cards' true master. Sakura is aided in the test by Kaho Mizuki, who is later revealed to have been sent by Clow to ensure Sakura is able to pass the test because he chose Sakura to be the cards' new master when he knew he was going to die.

With Sakura as the new master of the Clow Cards, life initially is peaceful until the arrival of a new transfer student from England, Eriol Hiiragizawa, which coincides with new disturbances occurring in Tomoeda. Yue and Cerberus find themselves unable to aid Sakura during a magical attack, and Sakura is unable to use the Clow Cards. Sakura transforms her wand and creates a new activation spell for it, enabling her to then transform one of the Clow Cards into a Sakura Card. As the series progresses, she continues finding herself in situations which cause her to have to transfer the cards, unaware they are being caused by Eriol and two guardian-like creatures, Spinel Sun and Ruby Moon. Yue, who requires the support of another to generate his own energies, begins growing weaker as time passes, though he initially does not tell Sakura that it is because her magic is not yet strong enough. The problem does not affect Cerberus whose power, like the sun, regenerates on its own with no need to draw extra power from other sources.

During these events, Sakura finds herself having to deal with the pain of Yukito's gentle rejection of her feelings, as he instead loves her brother Touya. Touya, in turn, gives all of his magical abilities to Yue in order to ensure Yukito doesn't fade away, making Yue promise to protect Sakura in his place as his loss of powers prevents him from knowing when she may be in trouble. Syaoran helps her recover from the hurt, while finding himself falling in love with Sakura but unsure of how to tell her.

When there are only two cards left to be transformed, The Dark and The Light card which must be converted together, Eriol reveals himself to Sakura. Once she has successfully transformed the cards, he explains that he is half of the reincarnation of Clow Reed, with her father being the other half. Eriol has all of the memories and magic, enabling him to assist Sakura in converting the cards so that they would not lose their magical powers. With the task done, he asks Sakura to split his magic between himself and her father, so that he will no longer be the most powerful magician in the world. He then returns to England.

In the aftermath, Syaoran confesses his love for her, but Sakura is unsure how to respond. When he tells her that he is returning to Hong Kong, Sakura finds herself hurting and upset. After running into several of her friends, she realizes that it is because she loves Syaoran too. She rushes to the airport to tell him and he promises to return when he has taken care of some things. At the end of the series, he meets Sakura a year later having moved to Tomoeda permanently.

Main Characters Edit

Sakura Kinomoto

CCS Sakura Kinomoto Manga

CCS Sakura Kinomoto Anime

木之本 桜, Kinomoto Sakura

Age: 10
Gender: Female
Voice: Sakura Tange (JP), Carly McKillip (Cardcaptors)
Andrea Kwan (Animax) (EN)

Cameos & Appearances: Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, CLAMP IN WONDERLAND2, Horitsuba Academy, CLAMP no Kiseki


CCS Cerberus

CCS Cerberus Anime

ケルベロス, Keruberosu

Age: Unknown
Gender: Male
Voice: Aya Hisakawa (false form)
Masaya Onosaka (true form) (JP), Matt Hill (false form)
Richard Newman (true form)
Sarah Hauser (false form, Animax) (EN)

Cameos & Appearances: Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, CLAMP IN WONDERLAND2

Tomoyo Daidouji

CCS Tomoyo Daidouji Manga

CCS Tomoyo Daidouji Anime

大道寺 知世, Daidōji Tomoyo

Age: 10
Gender: Female
Voice: Junko Iwao (JP), Maggie Blue O'Hara (Cardcaptors)
Sarah Hauser (1st voice, Animax)
Claudia Thompson (2nd voice, Animax) (EN)

Cameos & Appearances: Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, CLAMP IN WONDERLAND2

Syaoran Li

CCS Syaoran Li Manga

CCS Syaoran Li Anime

李 小狼, Ri Shaoran

Age: 10
Gender: Male
Voice: Motoko Kumai (JP), Rhys Huber (Clow Cards Arc)
Jordan Kilik (Sakura Cards Arc)
Candace Moore (Animax) (EN)

Cameos & Appearances: Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, CLAMP IN WONDERLAND2 Horitsuba Academy



Cardcaptor Sakura began as a manga series written and illustrated by the manga artist group Clamp. It was serialized in the monthly shojo (aimed at young girls) manga magazine Nakayoshi from the May 1996 to June 2000 issue. The individual chapters were collected and published in 12 tankobon volumes by Kodansha from November 1996 to July 2000. Kodansha released the first six volumes in bilingual editions that included both Japanese and English from May 2000 to July 2001. The bilingual volumes were part of an experimental line for helping Japanese children learn English. Kodansha stopped releasing the bilingual editions after the series was licensed in English for distribution in North America by Tokyopop.

Tokyopop released the volumes of Cardcaptor Sakura from March 2000 to August 2003. Tokyopop initially released the first six volumes with the book "flipped" from the original Japanese orientation, in which the book is read from right-to-left, to the Western format with text oriented from left-to-right. These volumes were later re-released with the original orientation in two box sets, each containing three volumes. Volumes seven through twelve were released in the original orientation with the subtitle "Master of the Clow". Madman Entertainment used Tokyopop's English translation to release the series in Australia and New Zealand. Dark Horse Manga is publishing an English edition of the series in four omnibus volumes containing three of the original volumes each. The first omnibus volume was released in October 2010. followed by volume 2 in July 2011, and volume 3 in January 2012. The manga series is licensed for additional regional language releases by Pika Édition in France, Star Comics in Italy, Egmont Manga & Anime in Germany, Editora JBC in Brazil, Ever Glory Publishing in Taiwan, Ediciones Glénat in Spain, Editorial Ivrea in Argentina, and Editorial Toukan in Mexico.


A 70-episode anime TV series adaptation produced by the animation studio Madhouse aired in Japan on the NHK television network spread over three seasons. The first season, consisting of 35 episodes, aired between April 7 and December 29, 1998. The second season, with 11 episodes, aired between April 6 and June 22, 1999. The third season, containing 24 episodes, aired between September 7, 1999 and March 21, 2000. Directed by Morio Asaka, Clamp was fully involved in the project, with head writer Nanase Ohkawa writing and composing the screenplay and Mokona overseeing the costumes and card designs. The series also aired across Japan by the anime satellite television network Animax, which later broadcast the series across its respective networks worldwide. The series was later released by Bandai Visual to 18 VHS, LD and DVD compilation volumes from September 1998 to May 2000.     

Nelvana licensed Cardcaptor Sakura in North America, which dubbed the series into English and released it under the name Cardcaptors. The initial version of the dub covered all 70 episodes and were left mainly intact, although character names were changed, some Japanese text was changed to English, and controversial subjects such as same-sex relationships were edited out. The musical score and sound effects were completely replaced with new music and sound effects, although the opening and ending themes were dubbed into English. This version aired in Australia on Network Ten and Cartoon Network, in Ireland on RTÉ Network 2, in the UK on CiTV and Nickelodeon, and in Canada on Teletoon (which also aired the episodes with a French dub). Animax created an English dub of the series as well, which it broadcast on its English-language networks in Southeast Asia and South Asia. Cardcaptors first aired in the United States on Kids' WB between June 17, 2000 and December 14, 2001. The version aired on Kids WB featured heavily edited and reordered episodes, with some episodes left out completely. The editing to the original dub was done to refocus the series to be more action oriented for the appeal of male viewers, as they were seen as the largest audience of animation at the time. The first episode aired in Kids' WB's version was "Sakura's Rival", the eighth episode of the series, having removed episodes focusing on Sakura and to have the show start with Syaoran's arrival. The series ran for 39 episodes, changing the original episode order but finishing with the show's actual final episode. Pioneer Entertainment released the dubbed Cardcaptors episodes to nine VHS and DVD compilation volumes from November 2000 to July 2002. It also released the unedited Cardcaptor Sakura series with the original Japanese audio tracks and English subtitles to 18 DVDs from November 2000 to November 2003; the first 11 volumes were also released in VHS. Pioneer also contracted with Nelvana to release the dubbed episodes. The Cardcaptor Sakura TV series DVDs went out-of-print at the end of 2006 when the license expired.          

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