Card Captor Sakura

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-My feelings of hope, on the wings-

“Card Captor Sakura” (CCSakura) is a TV anime series that was on air from 1998 to 2000. The anime is constructed of two chapters: the ‘Crow Card’ chapter and the ‘Sakura Card’ chapter. From January, 2018, a new chapter: the ‘Clear Card’ chapter will be on air.

Background

The anime originates from a manga that was serialized on a girls manga magazine “Nakayoshi.” It’s illustrated by the manga group – CLAMP, and the story/character links with the other mangas that are illustrated by them (ex: “×××Holic,” “TSUBASA -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-,” “Kobato.” etc.).

Story

One day, Sakura Kinomoto – a normal girl in fourth grade – finds a mysterious book at her house. When she tries to take a look at it, suddenly, the book starts to light up and a number of cards fly out from it. She meets a stuffed animal-like beast, Kero-chan (Cerberus), and is told that her job is to collect all of the Crow cards. Sakura agrees to collect the Crow cards, and she turns in to a “Card Captor.”

There are mainly 5 characters that appear almost in all episodes:

  • Kero-chan (Cerberus) = beast of sealing / protector of Crow card / Sakura’s partner
  • Touya Kinomoto = Sakura’s older brother
  • Yukito Tsuishiro = Touya’s best friend / Sakura’s secret crush
  • Tomoyo Daidouji = Sakura’s best friend
  • Lee Shaoran = Crow card collector from China / Sakura’s rival (Sakura falls in love with him later on in the story)

 

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Heroine Checklist

(Character)

  • Type? = heroine (good)
  • Personality? = outgoing, cheerful, energetic

(Looks)

  • Body – mature or childish? = childish
  • Face = small
  • Size of eyes = large
  • Size of breasts = small (since she’s still in elementary)
  • Demure or confident? = confident
  • Beautiful or ugly? = beautiful, but cuter rather than beautiful
  • Cute or not? = cute (her mother was a fashion model)

(Behaviour)

  • Traditional or modern? = modern
  • Collective or individual? = collective
  • Forward or modest? = forward
  • Aggressive or passive? = aggresive
  • Sexy or innocent? = innocent
  • Serious or flippant? = a mixture of both, but serious about collecting Crow cards
  • Thinking of others or thinking of self? = others
  • Masculine or feminine? = feminine but masculine to her brother (her brother calls her a monster)
  • Normal or out of the normal? = no – she has magical power
  • Strong or weak? = mostly strong but sometimes weak (when it gets to ghost/ghost stories)
  • Intuitive or insensitive? = intuitive
  • Initiates or responds? = responds

(Atmosphere)

  • How do characters show love? = Sakura tries to wake up early to go to school with Yukito, and she makes deserts for him frequently
  • What do characters need to do to win the object of their love? = there’s nothing that a character has to do specifically to earn love; they all fall in love in the course of the story
  • How does anime portray love? = portrays love as something cheerful and exciting
  • What are the triggers that cause a shift towards falling in love? = she had a crush on Yukito because of his kindness, but once she realized that she liked Yukito because she is similar to her father and she gets crushed on by Shaoran, she gradually falls in love with him
  • How do the characters change once they are in love? = she does not change that much

 

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Analysis – Love, Dream, and a Little Spice of Magic

In a way, Sakura is the stereo-typical heroin; she’s a normal girl, but one day, she turns in to a magical girl. She has lots of friends, and she has a secret crush who she loves. This pattern is similar to other Mahou-shoujyo animes such as “Himitsu no Akko-chan” and “Mahou no Tenshi Creamy-Mami.”

Even though it’s a stereotypical pattern, (in my opinion) what made this anime and the characters so popular is,

  1. character/costume design
  2. character development
  3. magical aspect
  4. the atmosphere that CLAMP wished to create (and they did).

First of all, the character design and the costume design was attractive. It made girls those days want to wear the costumes that Sakura was wearing. Sakura’s battle costume is always a different want, and all of it is created by her best friend: Tomoyo. The anime character design reflects the CLAMP ‘touch.’

Second of all, all of the characters are developed well, making them loveable. The main characters appear in almost all episodes, and one character – Kero-chan even has his own section at the end of every episode (“Kero-chan ni Omakase”). Not only the main characters are developed well, but even the mob characters (ex: Sakura’s friends, Shaoran’s friend, etc.) each have their own episode and are developed well.

Third of all, the magic that Sakura uses made the anime itself appealing. It made a lot of girls want to be like Sakura (I wish I had Crow cards too).

Lastly, the atmosphere that CLAMP wished to create is developed well. About this anime/manga, CLAMP said that they wanted to make it a world where “even if someone’s love towards other is an unusual one, Sakura and the others won’t think that it’s unusual.” For example, at the beginning of the anime, Shaoran has feelings towards Yukito (even they are both male characters). Yet, when Sakura finds out about that, she did not say anything to Shaoran that discriminates him; she just said that they are rivals. Also, Tomoyo has feelings towards Sakura, and Touya and Yukito’s ‘most important person’ are each other. The atmosphere that everyone could have their own shape of love made the audience think more freely.

“Sugar, spice, and everything nice” – that’s what Sakura and this whole anime is made out of.

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