Friday, September 24, 2010
Cardcaptor Sakura is a popular anime based on CLAMP's manga of the same name. It sold around twelve million and ended with the twelfth volume. It is aimed at younger audience although teens can enjoy it a lot. In the anime version, it ran three seasons.
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" whilst promising to keep Sakura's abilities a secret. 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.
The story was pretty good and so was the art. The concept of clow cards was unique. The characters were good and the supporting characters were better than the main characters. The appearance of Ruby, Elliot and his guardian beast in the second season furthur adds spice and story to the series.
The episodes progressed well and certain amout of character debvelopment was evident. I liked the last season with Maaya Sakamoto's Purachina as the theme better than the first two. The development of Sakura and Li's romantic relationship also begins in the third season.
The music was good and the art and colouring was rich and well detailed. The events, especially the school plays and cultural events were nice. The addition of fantasy element helped this series. The story had great plot.
Two movies followed the series. The first one focuses on Sakura's abilities as a cardcaptor while the second one predominantly focuses on Li and Sakura's romantic relationship.
Li's cousin, Rika, the teachers, Eriol, Ruby and Tomoyo were good supporting characters.
Overall, I consider this Clamp's best work to date. It had all the essentials of good story, art, characters and plot. The movies were very good too. I'll review it some other time. The story had fantasy, high school as well as romantic elements.