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Cardcaptor Sakura (カードキャプターさくら Kādokyaputā Sakura?), abbreviated as CCS and also known as Cardcaptors, is a Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Clamp. It was originally serialized in Nakayoshi from 1996 until 2000, and published in twelve tankōbon volumes by Kodansha. The series focuses on Sakura Kinomoto, who learns she has magical powers after she accidentally frees a set of magical cards from a book and must recollect them to avoid an unknown catastrophe from befalling the world. Along the way, she befriends Syaoran Li, a descendant of the maker of the cards, who initially is her rival for the cards and in love.

The series was adapted into a 70 episode anime television series by Madhouse that debuted on NHK on April 8, 1998; the final episode aired March 21, 2000. Two anime films were also produced by Madhouse, the first, set between the first and second seasons of the series, was released on August 21, 1999. The second, providing a conclusion for the anime series, was released July 15, 2000. Ten video games have been created for the Cardcaptor Sakura series for a variety of game platforms.

Tokyopop licensed the manga series for English-language publication in North America and released the complete series as both individual volumes, and in three-volume box sets. Its licensed expired and was not renewed, causing its editions to go out of print. In July 2009, Dark Horse Comics acquired the license for the series with plans to release it in omnibus editions. Nelvana licensed the anime series for North American broadcast and distribution. Heavily edited and dubbed, 39 episodes of the series, renamed Cardcaptors, aired on Kids' WB and Cartoon Network. The episodes were released to DVD, and later all 70 dubbed episodes aired in other English-speaking countries. The series was subsequently re-licensed by Geneon Entertainment, which released the entire series in unedited form to Region 1 DVD with the original Japanese audio track and English subtitles. Both companies also released their respective English versions of the two films.

The manga series was awarded the Seiun Award for Best Manga in 2001, while the anime adaptation won the Animage Grand Prix award for best anime.

PlotEdit

Template:Seealso 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 Toya 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, who tests Sakura to determine if she is worthy of becoming the card's 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 Toya. Toya, 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 Light 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.

Differences in anime adaptationEdit

In the anime adaptation of the series, the plot is slowed down to fit the longer length and to avoid catching up to the on-going manga series. Some of the manga's most dramatic moments are stretched out and delayed, such as Cerberus true form not being revealed until just before Yue's appearance.[1] The anime also greatly increases the number of cards to be captured, stretching the original 19 from the manga to a full set of 52 in the main television series.[1] In the second anime film, Sakura creates a 53rd card, "The Hope", a talent she is not shown to have in the manga yet. Some of the circumstances around the capturing of the cards seen in both media are changed. Syaoran's role is expanded some, with his capturing several cards and being tested by Yue before Sakura's test. An additional character, Meiling Li is introduced as Syaoran's cousin and fiancee, positioning her as a romantic rival for Sakura later in the series. The ending is modified some, with Sakura's father role as the second half of Clow Reed's reincarnation removed, as well as the splitting of Eriol's magic. The anime television series leaves the relationship between Sakura and Syaoran unresolved, with Sakura having not responded to Syaoran's love confession. Instead, the second anime film has Sakura attempting to confess throughout the film, but being unsuccessful until the last moments of the film, where she confesses to Syaoran.

ThemesEdit

The central theme of Cardcaptor Sakura is love and human relationships. Throughout the series, many forms of love are showcased, including "sibling love, childhood crushes, unrequited love, [and] true love." At times, Clamp even ignores the Clow Cards for several chapters to focus more on the relationships of Sakura and those around her. Each of these relationships is presented as is, with Clamp carefully avoiding passing judgment on the correctness of the relationships. In particular, the romantic relationship between elementary student Rika Sasaki and her teacher Yoshiyuki Terada is presented in such a way that it can be seen as a sweet and innocent tale of "wish fulfillment", or if examined more seriously, as a mildly disturbing story of pedophilic love.[2]

MediaEdit

MangaEdit

Written and illustrated by the manga artist group Clamp, Cardcaptor Sakura was first serialized in Nakayoshi magazine between May 1996 and June 2000.[1] The individual chapters were then compiled into twelve tankōbon volumes by Kodansha. The first volume was released November 22, 1996, with the final volume released July 31, 2000. Kodansha re-released the series in a hardcover edition from March 2004 to February 2005.[3] Kodansha also published volumes one through six in bilingual editions that included both Japanese and English as part of an experimental line for helping Japanese children learn English. The company stopped its releases after the series was licensed for English language release in North America by Tokyopop.[1][4]

Tokyopop released its first English volume in March 2000 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. The first six volumes were released in this format. The final six volumes, released with the subtitle Master of the Clow, followed, but in the original orientation. The final volume was released on August 5, 2003. In October 2003 and May 2004, Tokyopop re-released the first six volumes in two box sets, each containing three volumes. The re-released volumes were updated to match the orientation and cover styling of the final six volumes. They were also released on an individual basis from July 2004 through June 2005. Tokyopop's English translation was re-released in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment. It is licensed for regional language releases by Pika Édition in France, Star Comics in Italy, Egmont Anime and Manga in Germany, Editora JBC in Portugal, Ever Glory Publishing in Taiwan, Glènat España in Spain, Editorial Ivréa in Argentina, and Editorial Toukan in Mexico.

At the San Diego Comic-Con International 2009, Dark Horse Manga announced that they would be publishing a new English edition of the series in an omnibus format. Each volume will contain 3-4 of the original Japanese volumes.[5]

AnimeEdit

See also: List of Cardcaptor Sakura episodes

Madhouse adapted the manga series into an anime television series. The manga creators, CLAMP, were fully involved in the project, with head writer Nanase Ōkawa writing and composing the series' screenplay and Mokona Apapa overseeing the costumes and card designs. Directed by Kumiko Takahashi, the series premiered on NHK on April 8, 1998 where it ran for 70 episodes until its conclusion on March 21, 2000. The series was also aired across Japan by the anime satellite television network, Animax, who later broadcast the series across its respective networks worldwide.

The series used rotoscoping for Sakura herself, and the part was shot using chromakey by a then-unknown British-born actress from Kyoto named Emma Watson. (The live-action footage was used as a middleground for the Streamline dub, and Emma's voice was dubbed in the Japanese original by Sakura Tange. Emma would dub her own voice for the Streamline dub.) An English dub was commissioned by Streamline Pictures which, besides Emma, also featured the voice talents of Wendee Lee, Julie Maddalena, Melora Harte, Tony Oliver, and Robert Axelrod. The dub was produced in association with Turner Entertainment and KCET Los Angeles. Until 1999, the series was distributed on home video by MGM/UA Home Video. The last volumes to be distributed by MGM were the last to use the 1993 logo, which had been officially retired with the name change to MGM Home Entertainment. Since 1999, the series has been distributed by Warner Home Video and PBS Home Video. Dubbing occured at Intersound, Inc.

Cardcaptor Sakura was then licensed for English release in North America by Nelvana, which dubbed the series into English and released it under the name Cardcaptors.[6] The heavily edited episodes were reordered, with some episodes left out completely.[7] Potentially controversial material was removed, and the series was refocused to be more action oriented to try to appeal to male viewers, as they were seen as the largest audience of animation at the time.[1] Cardcaptors first aired in the United States on Kids' WB on June 17, 2000. In the Kids' WB broadcast, the first episode aired is "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.[1] The series ran for 39 episodes, changing the original episode order but finishing with the show's actual final episode. In Nelvana's airing of the series in the United Kingdom in 2001 on Nickelodeon and CITV, the skipped episodes were restored, but other edits remained. The Cardcaptors dub also aired in America on Kids' WB, in Australia on Cartoon Network, in Ireland on RTÉ Network 2, and in Canada on Teletoon (which also aired the episodes with a French dub).

Pioneer Entertainment released the dubbed Cardcaptors episodes to VHS and DVD formats. It also released the unedited Cardcaptor Sakura series with the original Japanese audio tracks and English subtitles in both forms of home media.[1][7] The company 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. The Cardcaptor Sakura movies remained in print until the company, now called Geneon Entertainment, stopped direct distribution in the fall of 2007.

Animax created an English dub of the series as well, which it broadcasted on its English-language networks in Southeast Asia[8]Template:Dead link[9]Template:Dead link and South Asia.[10]Template:Dead link[11]Template:Dead link

The anime adaptation uses six pieces of theme music, three opening themes and three ending themes. The song "Catch You Catch Me", performed by Gumi, is used for the first season opening, "Tobira wo Akete" (扉をあけて?) by ANZA is used for the second season opening. In the third season, the opening changes to "Platinum" (プラチナ Purachina?) by Maaya Sakamoto. The first season uses the song "Groovy!" by Kōmi Hirose for its ending theme. In the second season this changes to "Honey" by Chihiro and "Fruits Candy" by Megumi Kojima is used for the third season. The Cardcaptors English adaptation replaces the original theme songs with an original song created for the adaptation, "Cardcaptors Theme", except in some countries such as Australia where the opening is the Japanese theme with English words. In France and United Kingdom, "Razzmatazz" by Froggy Mix is used for the second season onwards.

FilmsEdit

Madhouse produced two full-length films for the anime adaptation. The first, Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie (劇場版 カードキャプターさくら Gekijōban Kādokyaputā Sakura?) was released on August 21, 1999. Set between the first and second seasons of the television 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 in dubbed form to VHS and DVD formats by Nelvana, retaining the same name and story changes as its main Cardcaptors dub. As with the television series, Pioneer Entertainment released the film without editing, including the original Japanese audio and English subtitles.

The second film, Cardcaptor Sakura — 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 Gekijōban Kādokyaputā Sakura Fūin Sareta Kādo ?), was released in Japan on July 15, 2000 and provided an ending for the anime series, in which Syaoran returns to Tokyo in hopes of getting Sakura's answer to his confession, but her own confession is interrupted by the appearance of a 53rd Clow Card. It was released in North American to DVD by Pioneer Entertainment on November 18, 2003, and featured a new English dub by Bang Zoom! Entertainment.[12]

Both movies were dubbed and produced by Streamline and PBS Pictures and used the live-action footage of Emma Watson as Sakura for the dub, which was distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. (The animation rotoscoped from the footage is present in all other versions of the films.) Again, the dubs were produced at Intersound. Both films used the 1998 PBS ident after the end credits. (Early episodes of the series used the 1996 PBS ident, but the 1998 ident replaced that ident on later re-broadcasts since November 1998; the MGM/UA VHS and DVD releases of those episodes use the 1996 ident, though.) The films were released on home video by Warner Home Video (under their Warner Bros. Family Entertainment imprint) in association with PBS Home Video. Strangely, the usual Warner Home Video logo is absent from both films, its function being performed by the abridged version of the 1998 Family Entertainment logo (which starts as the WB shield zooms out). The 2008 Blu-ray release also replaces the WHV logo with the Family Entertainment logo, followed by the 2004 PBS Home Video logo. All home video releases are THX-certified.

Video gamesEdit

The series has been adapted into multiple video games for a variety of platforms.

  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Itsumo Sakura-chan to Issho! (1999, Game Boy Color, MTO)[13]
  • Animetic Story Game 1: Cardcaptor Sakura (Playstation, Arika)[14]
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Sakura to Fushigi na Clow Cards (1999, Wonderswan, Bandai)[15]
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Tomoyo no Video Daisakusen (1999, Dreamcast, Sega)[16]
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Clow Card Magic (2000, Playstation, Arika)[17]
  • Tetris with Cardcaptor Sakura: Eternal Heart (2000, PlayStation, Arika)[18]
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Tomoe Shōgakkō Daiundōkai (2000, Game Boy Color, MTO)[19]
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Sakura Card de Mini-Game (2003, Game Boy Advance, TDK Core)[20]
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Sakura Card-hen Sakura Card to Tomodachi (2004, Game Boy Advance, MTO)[21]
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Sakura-chan to Asobo! (2004, PlayStation 2, NHK)[22]

CDsEdit

Four CD soundtracks for the anime adaptation were produced by Takayuki Negishi and released in Japan by Victor Entertainment. The first, Cardcaptor Sakura Original Soundtrack, was released in Japan on July 23, 1998, with 26 tracks, including both instrumental background music and the series theme songs. Cardcaptor Sakura Original Soundtrack 2 was released December 19, 1998 with 34 tracks. The third soundtrack with an additional 19 tracks was released on June 23, 1999, and the final soundtrack was released on March 23, 2000 with 25 tracks.

Victor Entertainment also released two drama CDs for the series. Sakura to Okaa-san no Organ, released July 23, 1998 featured a script written by Clamp author Ageha Ohkawa. It depicts Sakura having a dream about her mother playing an organ and choosing to write about her the following day for a school project. In Sweet Valentine Stories, released February 10, 1999, the various tracks depicts a single day in the life of the girls in Sakura's class, including Sakura herself.

Tomoeda Elementary Choir Club Christmas Concert, released December 1, 1999, contains seven tracks by a children's choir, including five where they are joined by Junko Iwao, the voice actress for Tomoyo Daidouji. A 4-CD compilation set, Cardcaptor Sakura Complete Vocal Collection was released on February 21, 2001 containing a total of 38 tracks, including a new song and remixes of previously released songs.

A soundtrack for each feature film was also released. Cardcaptor Sakura The Movie Soundtrack, released August 25, 1999, contains 30 tracks of instrumental music and songs, with a CD cover designed by CLAMP. The Cardcaptor Sakura Movie - The Sealed Card Soundtrack, released March 23, 2000, contains 32 tracks of instrumental music and songs.

OtherEdit

Kodansha published several art books of both the manga series, and ones featuring art from the anime series by character designer Kumiko Takahashi.[1] In 2000, Kodansha published Clamp's Clow Card Fortune Book which contains information on how to use the Clow Card replica set as Tarot cards. Clamp also released Cardcaptor Sakura Memorial Book, a 152 page book containing various illustrations from the series, as well as information on branded merchandise based on the series.

ReceptionEdit

The Cardcaptor Sakura manga series was popular with Japanese readers, ranking among the top five sellers during its release.[23] In May 2000, volumes 8 and 17 of the anime laser disc release were among the top selling titles, with volume 17 being in first place.[24]

Animerica contributor Kevin Lew felt the series had a "sophisticated design sense" that allowed the series to transcend its target audience of young children and be enjoyable to older viewers as well.[1] Fellow contributor Takashi Oshiguichi found the character Sakura to be appealing and praised the series art work. He felt that while it was "very calculated" to attract male readers, the series was attractive to fans due to Clamp's "unique entertainment style" that incorporates "perfectly time[d] appearances of "fascinating villains" and the unusual element of having the main character change costume for every capture.[23] The magazine's Winnie Chow felt the series' animation was "far above average for a TV series", and compliments Sakura's magic-casting scenes for being nearly unique due to the regular costume changes.[25] In Manga: The Complete Guide, Mason Templar states that the series is not "just one of the best kids' manga in translation, it's one of the very best manga available in English, period." He praises Clamp for its creativity and its shrewd business sense, in being able to create a series that "clearly has merchandising in line" and an "utterly forgettable premise" into a story that is "brimming with warmth and joy and wonder" and is "much more than the sum of its parts."[2]

The anime adaptation was popular with viewers in Japan, despite having a timeslot that normally has low viewership.[1] The Cardcaptor Sakura anime adaptation won the Animage Grand Prix award for best anime in 1999.[26] The 18th DVD volume was the eighth best selling anime DVD in Japan in June 2000.[1]

In January 2002, the restaurant chain Taco Bell began a month long promotion in which four Cardcaptors toys were available in their kids meals and the company expected to distribute up to 7 million of the toys during the month.[27] The "conservative Christian political orientation" American Family Association complained about the promotion as the organization felt the Clow Cards in the series were too similar to tarot cards and Eastern mythology. However, the organization's complaints did not begin until the promotion was already scheduled to end, so it's unsure whether the complaints had any actual effect.[28]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Template:Cite journal
  2. 2.0 2.1 Template:Cite book
  3. "CLAMP公式ウェブサイト" (in Japanese). Clamp (April 1, 2009). Retrieved on June 28, 2009.
  4. "Kodansha to Publish, Sell Manga in U.S. in September (Updated)". Anime News Network (July 1, 2008). Retrieved on May 24, 2009.
  5. "Dark Horse - San Diego Comic-Con International 2009". Anime News Network (July 25, 2009). Retrieved on July 25, 2009.
  6. Template:Cite book
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Sailor Moon Explained, Plus Fushigi Yugi, Cardcaptors, More Pioneer Has Loads of Shojo". ICv2 (2001-08-2001). Retrieved on May 24, 2009.
  8. Animax Asia's Page for their Cardcaptor Sakura (Season One) Dub
  9. Animax Asia's Page for their Cardcaptor Sakura (Season Two - Last Two Seasons) Dub
  10. Animax South Asia's Page for their Cardcaptor Sakura (Season One) Dub
  11. Animax South Asia's Page for their Cardcaptor Sakura (Season Two - Last Two Seasons) Dub
  12. "Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2 Licensed, New Dub Cast". Anime News Network (June 18, 2003). Retrieved on May 24, 2009.
  13. "Card Captor Sakura: Itsumo Sakura-chan to Issho!". GameFAQs. Retrieved on June 28, 2009.
  14. "Animetic Story Game -- Cardcaptor Sakura". IGN. Retrieved on May 24, 2009.
  15. "CardCaptor Sakura: Sakura to Fushigi na Clow Cards". GameFAQs. Retrieved on May 24, 2009.
  16. "Card Captor Sakura: Tomoyo no Video Daisakusen" (in Japanese). Sega. Retrieved on May 25, 2009.
  17. "Cardcaptor Sakura: Clow Card Magic". GameFAQs. Retrieved on May 24, 2009.
  18. "Tetris with Cardcaptor Sakura: Eternal Heart". GameFAQs. Retrieved on May 24, 2009.
  19. "Card Captor Sakura: Tomoe Shougakkou Daiundoukai". GameFAQs. Retrieved on May 24, 2009.
  20. "Card Captor Sakura: Sakura Card de Mini-Game". GameFAQs. Retrieved on June 28, 2009.
  21. "Card Captor Sakura: Sakura Card-hen Sakura Card to Tomodachi". GameFAQs. Retrieved on June 28, 2009.
  22. "Card Captor Sakura: Sakura-Chan to Asobo!". GameFAQs. Retrieved on June 28, 2009.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Template:Cite journal
  24. "Japan's Top 10 Bestselling Anime". Viz Media. Archived from the original on July 6, 2001.
  25. Template:Cite journal
  26. "第22回アニメグランプリ [2000年6月号]" (in Japanese). Animage. Retrieved on May 24, 2009.
  27. "Taco Bell's Cardcaptor Promotion Runs through January 30". ICv2 (January 8, 2002). Retrieved on May 25, 2009.
  28. "Was Cardcaptors Promo Pulled Due to 'Occult' Complaints? Or Did It End on Schedule". ICv2 (February 5, 2002). Retrieved on May 25, 2009.

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