Cartoon Network (Toonami)


June 4, 2001[1] - June 22, 2001[2]


70 (List of Episodes)

Cardcaptor Sakura abbreviated as CCS or simply Cardcaptors, is a Japanese anime series based on the manga series of the same name written and illustrated by the manga group 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 70-episode anime series was produced by Madhouse and aired on Japan's NHK from April 1998 to March 2000. Two anime films were produced by Madhouse in August 1999 and July 2000. Nelvana licensed the anime series and first film for North American broadcast and distribution, renaming it Cardcaptors.

Cardcaptors first aired in the United States on Kids' WB between June 17, 2000[3] 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 Li's arrival. The series ran for 39 episodes, changing the original episode order but finishing with the show's actual final episode.

Cardcaptors premiered on Cartoon Network's Toonami block on Monday, June 4, 2001 but was short lived on the block, ending on June 22, 2001.


Cardcaptor Sakura begins when ten-year-old fourth grader Sakura Avalon accidentally releases a set of magical cards called Clow Cards from the Clow Book, created and named after half-English, half-Chinese sorcerer Clow Reed. Each card has its own personality and characteristics and can assume alternate forms when activated. The guardian Beast of the Seal, Cerberus, emerges from the book and tells her it is now her responsibility to retrieve the missing cards. As she finds each card, she battles its magical personification and defeats it to seal it away. Cerberus acts as her guide, while her best friend and second cousin Madison Taylor films her exploits and provides her with battle costumes. Sakura's older brother Tori Avalon watches over her, while pretending that he is unaware of what is going on.


Sakura Avalon — Sakura Avalon (Sakura Kinomoto) is the titular protagonist and the eponymous heroine of Cardcaptor Sakura. Sakura is portrayed as a well-loved, pretty, cheerful, cute and at times a naïve ten-year old. Named after the Japanese word for "cherry blossom", Sakura is skilled in sports at school, being called the "best baton twirler in school" by her friends. However, she hates math and has an open fear of ghosts. Sakura maintains a crush on Yukito Tsukishiro for most of the manga and anime, but when she finally confesses to Yukito, she is gently rejected and she realizes that she loved him because of his resemblance to her father. Soon after, Sakura develops similar feelings towards Li, although she doesn't realize them until he confesses.

Li Showron — Li Showron (Syaoran Li) is the supporting character and a distant relative of Clow Reed, the creator of the Clow Cards. As such, he believes that he should be the one to inherit the Clow Cards and tries to capture the cards for himself. As the series progresses, he comes to respect Sakura and becomes her friend and ally. He eventually falls in love with her, though she is slow to realize it due to her own feelings for Yukito. Li manages to catch several cards by playing a major role in helping Sakura seal them. He is allowed to attempt the final judgment but fails. Li is shown to have similar powers to Sakura, such as sensing Clow Cards and magical auras, is a skilled martial artist, and wields a sword which he can use to cast spells when equipped with incantation papers. He can also use a device dubbed a "lasenboard" in Cardcaptors, which can detect and direct him to magical entities.

Cerberus — Cerberus is the appointed guardian of the book which holds the Clow Cards. He is one of two magical creatures created by Clow Reed along with the Clow Cards. Before his death, Clow appointed Cerberus as the one to select the potential candidate to be the next master of the cards. After Sakura accidentally releases the cards, Cerberus chooses her to be the candidate and teaches her the basics of capturing the cards. Throughout the series, he displays an extensive knowledge of mysticism. After Sakura passes the Final Judgment to become the Clow Cards master, Cerberus remains with her as a friend, companion, adviser, and protector when new threats appear.

Madison Taylor — Madison Taylor (Tomoyo Daidouji) is the best friend of the series' protagonist, Sakura, and her second cousin on their mothers' sides. The daughter of the president of Taylor Toy Company, Tomoyo lives a life of wealth and is watched over by a team of female bodyguards. She has access to a variety of prototype technological gadgets from her mother's company, and supplies Sakura and Cerberus with different communication devices throughout the series. She is depicted as being mature, kind-hearted, intelligent, and regularly speaking using more formal verb conjugations and expressions than normally seen in elementary students. She is a talented singer, and is shown performing in various school events. Her musical ability causes her to be targeted by both the Voice and Song cards. When she learns of Sakura's new role as a Cardcaptor, she insists that Sakura must wear "special outfits" and begins providing Sakura with the various costumes she wears during her captures as well as accompanying her on missions to record the events with her video camera.

Meiling Li — Meiling Li is a character that appears only in the anime adaptation of Cardcaptor Sakura. Introduced in episode 20, she is a very impulsive and overconfident girl, as well as Syaoran Li's cousin and fiancée. As children living in Hong Kong, they both trained in martial arts under the tutelage of Wang Wei. In coming to Tokyo, Meiling intends to help Syaoran gather the Clow Cards, and actively dislikes Sakura. As the series progresses, Meiling develops a grudging respect for Sakura that turns into a good friendship by the time Meiling returns to Hong Kong in episode 43. During her initial visit, Meiling seemed to recognize that Syaoran was falling in love with Sakura, but it wasn't until she briefly returned in episode 60 that she acknowledges and accepts Sakura as the person Syaoran loves. Unlike Syaoran, Meiling has no magical abilities, relying solely on her physical fighting abilities and a healthy dose of pride. Her lack of powers and tendency to leap before thinking, however, results in her hindering more than helping Syaoran in most battles against the cards.

Tori Avalon — Tori Avalon (Toya Kinomoto) is Sakura's older brother. Though he teases her frequently, he cares a great deal for her and works to protect her. He is fully aware of what she is doing as a Cardcaptor, and regularly takes on several part-time jobs that put him in a position to be nearby when she is working on capturing a card. He also initially dislikes Li, knowing that one day Li will "take her away" from him. Tori possesses several magical powers, including the ability to see ghosts and other non-humans, the ability to sense when Sakura is in danger, and mild precognition. He has a close relationship with his friend Yukito, despite knowing he is the alter-ego of Yue. To save them both, he eventually gives all of his magical powers to Yue, making him promise to protect Sakura in his stead as well as himself (and, by extension, Yukito).

Yue — Yue is the one of two Guardians of the Clow Cards, along with Cerberus. His name, which is written in kanji rather than hiragana is the Mandarin Chinese word for "moon". Whereas Cerebus is the elector of the new Clow Card Master, Yue is the judge who is allowed to test the candidate for their worthiness. He spends most of the series in his temporary form, Yukito Tsukishiro, who initially has no memory or knowledge of his other self. Unlike Cerberus, Yue's powers are heavily dependent on the power of his master. Sakura's power is not yet strong enough to sustain him after he awakens, particularly after she begins transforming the Clow Cards into Sakura Cards. Yue's growing need for power is reflected in Yukito's ravenous appetite, and later constant sleeping. Similarly, the deficit affects Yue himself in instances such as the blatant failure of his magic which causes he and Sakura to fall out of the sky during one of Eriol's synthesized 'situations'. Eventually, Sakura's brother Tori reveals that he knows Yue and Yukito are not human and gives his power to Yue to sustain his existence so he does not lose Yukito.

Kaho Mizuki — Kaho Mizuki is a shrine maiden and the daughter of the priest at the Tsukimine Shrine. She first appears in the series as a new substitute teacher at Tomoeda Elementary School for the math class of Sakura Kinomoto and Syaoran Li. While Sakura instantly likes the teacher and feels a connection with her, Syaoran is distrustful and believes she is up to no good. When Sakura, Syaoran, Meiling and Tomoyo are trapped by the Maze card, Kaho uses a mysterious bell to break through Maze's walls allowing Sakura to capture it. After this incident, the readers learn that Sakura's older brother Toya dated Kaho when she was his junior high school teacher and that they broke up when Kaho left to study in England. Before she left, she told them that when they met again, they would be in love with different people which he acknowledges is now true.

Eriol Hiiragizawa — Eriol Hiiragizawa is the principal antagonist in the second half of the series, commonly called the Master of the Clow arc. The reincarnation of Clow Reed, Eriol has both Clow's memories and all of his magic power. He has a magical staff similar to Clow Reed's, can restrain Clow's creations Yue and Cerberus, and has created his own similar pair of guardians: Ruby Moon and Spinel Sun. He moves from England to transfer to Tomoeda Elementary school after Sakura Kinomoto passed the Last Judgement and became the official master of the cards. He is depicted as a quiet, mature boy while at school, though he also shows a mischievous side when he regularly joins classmate Takashi Yamazaki in weaving complex lies about the history of objects, places, and events. While seeming a normal student to Sakura, Syaoran Li is suspicious of him, mainly due to that Eriol is overly nice to Sakura which makes Syaoran jealous. It is soon shown that Yue and Cerberus are able to detect his magical signature as being Clow's, and Eriol must erase Yue's memories after he is accidentally seen by him.



Color Season Episodes Season Premiere Season Finale
1 35 April 7, 1998 December 29, 1998
2 11 April 6, 1999 June 22, 1999
3 24 September 7, 1999 March 21, 2000

Cardcaptor Sakura consists of 70 episodes spread over three seasons: the first season contained 35 episodes aired between April and December 1998, the second season contained 11 episodes aired between April and June 1999, and the third season contained 24 episodes aired between September 1999 and March 2000.

Cardcaptor Sakura was initially licensed in North America by Nelvana, which dubbed the series into English and released it under the name Cardcaptors. The series ran for 39 episodes, which were heavily edited and reordered. The editing to the 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 series premiered in the United States on Kids' WB from June 17, 2000 to December 14, 2001.

Pioneer Entertainment released the dubbed Cardcaptors episodes in nine VHS and DVD compilation volumes between November 2000 and July 2002. It also released the unedited Cardcaptor Sakura series with English subtitles in 18 DVD compilation volumes between November 2000 and November 2003. Pioneer also contracted with Nelvana to release the dubbed episodes. The Cardcaptor Sakura DVDs went out-of-print at the end of 2006 when the license expired. Madman Entertainment released Cardcaptor Sakura in its uncut form in two DVD collection boxes in September 2012 and November 2012.

In 2014, NIS America acquired the rights to the series and plans for a North American English dubbed DVD and Blu-Ray release in August.[4]

Broadcast HistoryEdit

  • Japan (NHK) — April 7, 1998 - March 21, 2000
  • United States (Kids' WB!) — June 17, 2000[3] - December 28, 2001
  • United States (Cartoon Network) — June 4, 2001[1] - June 22, 2001[2]
  • Canada (Teletoon) — August 23, 2000[5] - 2002[6]
  • Latin America (Cartoon Network) — November 1, 2000[7] - 2003[8]
  • United Kingdom (Nickelodeon) — 2001[9]
  • India (Cartoon Network) — September 2001[10] - 2002
  • United Kingdom (CITV) — 2001
  • Australia (Network Ten) — 2001
  • Australia (Cartoon Network) — 2001

Toonami Broadcast HistoryEdit

  • Toonami (United States) — June 4, 2001[1] - June 22, 2001[2]
    • Toonami (Kids' WB!) — September 17, 2001 - December 28, 2001
  • Toonami (India) — September 2001[10] - 2002

External LinksEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Toonami to gain CardCaptors? ". April 25, 2001. Retrieved on September 30, 2015. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Upcoming Toonami Schedules ". June 16, 2001. Retrieved on September 30, 2015. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "CARD CAPTORS COMING EARLY? ". May 30, 2000. Retrieved on November 20, 2015. 
  4. "NIS America Licenses Cardcaptor Sakura TV Anime ". Anime News Network. April 30, 2014. Retrieved on May 1, 2014. 
  5. "Canadian TV Anime News ". August 12, 2000. Retrieved on September 30, 2015. 
  6. "Daily Listings: Wednesday, August 7th, 2002 ". August 7, 2002. Retrieved on January 10, 2017. 
  7. "CARD CAPTOR SAKURA AIRING IN LATIN AMERICA ". October 30, 2000. Retrieved on November 20, 2015. 
  8. "Schedule ". February 1, 2003. Retrieved on January 10, 2017. 
  9. "Card Captors ". May 6, 2001. Retrieved on January 10, 2017. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Cartoon Network launches programming franchise Toonami on 8 September ". August 28, 2001. Retrieved on July 31, 2016. 
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