Card Captor Logo
Written by Jeaninne Thorpe Copyright 2001.

(cont. from page 1)

In the original Japanese first episode, Sakura accidently opens a magic book in her father's library, called The CLOW (said like 'glow'), and the magic cards contained within escape and fly out into the twilight. The guardian of the book, a small flying cat-like creature calling himself Keruberosu, scolds Sakura in an Osaka accent, for letting the cards escape.

Keruberosu, whom Sakura quickly nicknames Kero-chan (Keh-ro-chahn), decides that Sakura's duty is to retrieve these magic cards, gives her a magic wand, and calls her the one and only card captor, Card Captor Sakura. Kero-chan tells her that the cards were created by the magic of the powerful sorceror Clow Reed, many years earlier in China. The cards often take human-like form, representations of the mystical elements such as lightening, water, fire, etc.

Although Sakura is at first reluctant to take the job, she slowly changes her mind as she sees the destruction the cards can cause. She lets her friend Tomoyo-chan in on the secret, and subsequently on each battle with a card, the enthusiastic Tomoyo-chan both sews elaborate outfits for Sakura, and video tapes the event for posterity! Episode 8, where the North American series began, introduces Li Shaoran, a boy in Sakura's class. Because Li-kun is a descendant of Clow Reed, he is also trying to collect the cards, so he appears to be Sakura's rival.

Li-kun And with Li-kun having a crush on Yukito-san as well, this adds another layer to the story. Later, Li-kun and Sakura-chan work side by side, and Li Meiling, Li-kun's cousin, also joins the group. The original story is embellished with the all encompassing cuteness of the girls, the great music and design, and the ever present romantic interest of the aloof Yukito-san.
Some fine anime voice actors in the cast, including Tange Sakura as Sakura, Iwao Junko as Tomoyo (Perfect Blue: Mima, Oh! My Goddess: Skuld), Hisakawa Aya as Kero-chan (Sailormoon: Mercury), and even the great Ogata Megumi as Yukito (Sailormoon: Uranus, Evangelion: Shinji, Rayearth: Princess Emeraude and Eagle)..... we feel make Card Captor Sakura one of the best anime in the past few years.

If you are reading this essay and only know the North American version of CCS, than you may be shaking your head in confusion right now. This is due to the copious editing and changes made by Nelvana and WB, both to censor the content of the story, and to make it more marketable to North American audiences.


In the North American program, Sakura is pronounced sa-CURR-ah, and they have changed her last name to "Avalon". Tomoyo is called "Madison", Li is "Lee Shoran", Kero-chan is "Keero", Touya is "Tory", and Yukito is "Julian". Both Sakura's AND Li-kun's crushes on Yukito have been edited out, and the dialogue has been changed to make Li and Sakura bitter rivals. The focus of the N. American show is the competitiveness of catching the cards.. the goal not being saving the city, but beating the other captor. Kero-chan, originally voiced by a woman and with a gender neutral voice, has a tough surfer dude voice as Keero.

And one of the best elements of the original Japanese series, the adorable "Kero-chan CHECK!" ending segment of each episode, in which Kero-chan reviews the fashions and set design of that episode, is absent in the N. American version in favor of an ill-conceived "biography" on the week's Clow Card. These "biographies" are made up of scenes that had been edited from that episode and spliced together with some computer graphic effects.

All that makes Card Captor Sakura a shoujo anime is gone in "Cardcaptors", the American version being more crass, flashy, and competitive... trying to appeal to American boys rather than Japanese girls. These changes both arouse anger in otaku (serious fans) like us, but also raise questions. Why? Why did these changes have to be made?

Why was the original lavish music removed? Why couldn't the cute voices of Sakura, Kero-chan, and Tomoyo have been left intact? Why is a ten year old girl's crush on a 16 year old boy appropriate for audiences in Japan by not in America? Why is a ten year old BOY'S crush on a 16 year old boy appropriate for audiences in Japan by not in America?


Why, once again, has an anime been taken out of context, and American audiences led to believe that this was an American product? Why did CLAMP allow such changes to be made, and will American viewers ever learn the truth? As fans of the show, we demand correct translations, airing of lost footage, and above all, subtitled Japanese language video and DVD releases.

We hope you have found this site informative, and we will do our best to provide a broad range of information and products so that visitors like yourself can learn about both anime and Japanese culture. But here in the BLACK MOON mansion.. only subbed copies
of Card Captor Sakura will grace our TV screens, and everyone here knows the words to its opening theme... "Hora catch you catch you catch me catch me matte...", or "Look! Catch You Catch You Catch Me Catch Me Hold on!"

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