The heroine of the series, Sakura wanders in her father's basement one day and accidentally sets loose a deck of nineteen/fifty-two tarot-like magical cards, each containing a magical spirit, into the wild. Annoyed, the book's guardian Cerberus (Kero-chan) declares her the new Cardcaptor who has to track them down and recapture them. Tagging along on the chase is her best friend Tomoyo and Rival Syaoran.
Action Girl: Less so than Mei Ling, though. Understandable, she hasn't been specifically trained in martial arts.
All-Loving Hero: She has a kind and cheery demeanor, she simply loves everyone and it's stated several times that they love her back. She is a firm believer in The Power of Friendship, and is also a Reluctant Warrior when she is forced to battle rather than befriend. She also has quite a streak for granting second chances, defrosting several ice kings, and wanting the best for her loved ones even if at her own expense.
Book Dumb: Has incredible wisdom and resourcefulness, but a bit of a ditz in terms of normal intelligence. She HATES math, though a later chapter has her off-handedly mention she's starting to get better at it and even like it a little.
Break the Cutie: Played hard a couple of times. Both out and in-universe, Sakura in tears is considered an incredibly heartbreaking sight (interestingly the dub downplays a few of these scenes, likely to make her seem like a less vulnerable protagonist, though the remaining examples are still valid).
Butt Monkey: After being drafted into the role of Cardcaptor unwillingly, she falls victim to endless slapstick abuse and intimidation from the cards, self proclaimed rivals and even her haughty mentor.
Cast from Hit Points: Sakura is physically drained by the effort of converting a Clow Card into a Sakura Card.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Despite being extremely naive and occasionally outright ditzy at times (believes every last one of Yamazaki's ridiculous stories and is completely oblivious to the fact that her two best friends are infatuated with her) she has moments of remarkable inspiration, particularly when it comes to the use of her magic.
Cute Witch: Due to her having the Cards and being a young, though powerful, mage.
The Ditz: Has some shades of this, being clueless and somewhat ditzy.
Dogged Nice Girl: To Yukito. Not nearly as clear cut an example as Syaoran however.
Dub Name Change: Averted; she's still called Sakura, but it's now pronounced "Sah-KOO-ruh" instead of "SAH-koo-rah". Since Sakura has her name clearly written in Romaji on a lot of the things she owns in-series, it's likely that they had no choice but to keep her original given name. She does, however, get a Dub Surname Change to Avalon.
The Heroine: In the Japanese version at least. Executive Meddling tried desperately to establish her and Syaoran as co-Heroes for the Cardcaptors dub, but for the large part she is still obviously the main heroine.
Indy Ploy: Sometimes can come up with rather clever wquick solutions to problems related to Card catching. A good example is how she caught The Jump.
Innocently Insensitive: Sakura rarely means harm, but she is rather spacey and terrible at reading other's emotions, so sometimes manages to cause discomfort in her oblivious treatment of them. Syaoran and Kero are perhaps the most frequent victims, though granted she does get it back as well.
Jerkass Realization: Her brother is the only character she is thoroughly cynical of and convinced of his callous attitude. When she finds out he has been secretly watching over her and sacrificed his magic to save her bodyguard, she is left in tearful remorse.
Kindhearted Simpleton: Borderline example. She is more immensely naive and spacey than outright stupid and has incredible showings of resourcefulness and wisdom at times, but it's obvious her heart is much bigger than her brain.
Like Parent, Like Spouse: Part of the reason why Sakura liked Yukito was because of his strong resemblance to her father Fujitaka.
Love You and Everybody: After Tomoyo tells her she really likes her, Sakura says she likes her too. Tomoyo even lampshades the trope by saying that "what you mean with like and what I mean with like are two very different things."
Magical Girl Warrior: Has elements of this. Sakura's mission is to capture all Clow Cards, sometimes using direct combat, sometimes by using other means. In later seasons after she capture all cards, she must turn the cards into her own cards, by applicating it in various task, often involving some kind of combat. Though she does have two or three Cute Witch traits.
Magic Wand: She has a pink wand with a bird's beak and wings at the top. It later changes into a star enclosed in a ring, with smaller wings.
Nice Girl: She is very nice and kind and everyone knows it.
Oblivious to Love: A rare example both for and towards the character since, on one side, it takes her a while to notice Syaoran's feelings and she never picks up on Tomoyo's. Meanwhile she also has problems expressing her crush towards Yukito and later Syaoran.
OOC Is Serious Business: A rare light-hearted example. When she refrains from grinding Toya's foot into the floor after he calls her a monster, you know she's in a better mood than usual. And given that she's in a good mood more often than not...
Power Gives You Wings: After changing the Fly Card into a Sakura Card, she no longer has to use her staff like a Flying Broomstick; instead, the card now lets her sprout wings from her back.
Power Incontinence: Inverted, after gaining half of Eriol's powers in the manga, she becomes more powerful than him and Clow Reed, unlike both of them however, she is powerful enough to negate such magic. This isn't present in the anime where this event does not occur.
Precision F-Strike: In one translation of the manga, she abuses the phrase "What the hell?" to hell and back while impersonating a ventriloquist and using Kero-chan as her dummy early on. Kero-chan is not amused.
Kero: What the hell was THAT all about!?
Precocious Crush: On Yukito. It later turns out that it's really because she's reacting to the magic within him, since Yukito is the false form of Yue. Though she still believes she has a crush on him even after finding this out, she later gives up on it and accepts that Yukito will only love her platonically.
Star Power: In the second half of the series, Sakura turns the Clow Cards into Sakura Cards; this means that instead of drawing from Clow Reed's magic, which relies on the sun and moon, they draw from her own magic, which is from the stars.
Women Are Wiser: Played with, she is Book Dumb and ridiculously naive, but it is hard not to consider her the most normal compared to her teammates. Perhaps best emphasized when she is turned into Alice in one of Eriol's illusions.
Played with in later arcs, while she is maturing into a competent Master Of The Cards, her increased obliviousness and over the top friendliness border Cloudcuckoolander territory.
Wise yet somewhat eccentric guardian of the Clow Cards. Having fallen asleep on duty while Sakura inadvertently sets them loose, Kero drafts her unwillingly as a new Cardcaptor. Secretly resident of her house, the somewhat gluttonous and obnoxious Kero also acts as a bickering close friend and mentor for Sakura.
Berserk Button: He really doesn't like it when people are off eating delicious food without him.
Solar and Lunar: His Power Of The Sun is in direct contrast to Yue, who has to wholly rely on Sakura - according to him, it's because the sun can shine on its own, while the moon can only shine with borrowed light (which is, of course, Truth in Television).
Spell My Name with an S: His real name is often translated as Cerberus, but in Japanese it's written as Kerberos, which is the original Greek pronunciation.
The Worf Effect: Big Kero always get taken down sooner than Yue and Sakura. Due to the ineffectiveness of his powers, often his sole physical usage in battle is rescuing or shielding Sakura from attacks.
Voiced by: Motoko Kumai (JP), Rhys Huber (EN - Clow Cards arc and the 1st movie), Jordan Kilik (EN - Sakura Cards arc), Mona Marshall (EN - 2nd Movie), Uraz Huerta (Latin America)
A distant relative of Clow Reed that initially views himself as rightful Master Of The Cards, leading him to act as a rival for Sakura in her own attempts to retrieve them. As time passes, Sakura warms herself to Syaoran and treats him as a close friend or consultant, oblivious that by this point he has become disinterested in inheriting the cards and has gained an overwhelming crush on her.
Adaptation Expansion: The anime expands more on the character, gaining A Day in the Limelight in frequent episodes and his family is even explored (his cousin Meiling acting as a recurring character, then we meet his mother and sisters). His rivalry in capturing the cards is also upgraded (see Worthy Opponent below).
He's the Archie to Sakura's Betty and Meiling's Veronica. The latter won, in the end.
He's the Veronica to Yukito's Betty towards Sakura's Archie. He won, in the end.
BFS: Though that effect may be due to Syaoran's small size (being a prepubescent boy), it's still a fairly large sword. He can wield it easily, though, and it is a magical sword.
Big Brother Instinct: To Meiling and Sakura (early on anyway). Possibly inverted since Meiling's ambiguous age and Sakura's birthday placement during school year rotation leaves it ambiguous whether Syaoran is the "big brother".
Breakout Character: Arguable Spotlight-Stealing Squad in the final chapters and episodes. Alternate incarnations also take center stage as much as Sakura in other CLAMP works. Ironically Western networks had previously attempted to endorse him as co lead for the Cardcaptors dub so as to appeal to male audiences.
Butt Monkey: Any mystique or dignity he tries to maintain falls to pieces, usually because of Sakura or Meiling.
Cannot Spit It Out: He spends an entire season trying to tell Sakura he loves her, but gets interrupted every time. At least before the final battle.
Characterization Marches On: To perhaps emphasize it best, Sakura first envisioned Syaoran in a nightmare. In the latest arcs and episodes his very presence makes her exceptionally cheerful and warm. This was likely very deliberate however.
Determinator: When Sakura is endangered at least. Yue even notes his surprise at him breaking through the magic of cards such as Maze to protect her.
Deuteragonist: While Sakura is still played as The Hero, Syaoran gets a rather large amount of spotlight and development with a lot of scenes played from his viewpoint, especially in later parts of the anime. The Cardcaptors dub attempts to ascend him into a co-Hero but for the large part he is still this trope.
Disappeared Dad: Syaoran's father is mentioned as having passed away when Syaoran was very young.
Inferiority Superiority Complex: Highly arrogant and aloof early on, though it seems to hide his social awkwardness, particularly around girls and romance. Particularly prominent in his treatment of Sakura (see Jerk Ass Facade below).
Innocent Prodigy: Syaoran is rather knowledgeable, deductive and clever. However, he is also extremely na´ve in certain areas, which shows in his beliefs and failure to recognize his own faults.
Worthy Opponent: His rivalry with Sakura is expanded in the anime, where he is allowed to actually capture cards via certain stipulations. Since the splitting of Eriol's magic does not occur in the anime, his powers are suggested to still contend hers by the finale as well, where the Nameless Card chooses him as the most powerful of the two (albeit after both are rather beaten down and drained from overuse of magic), of course, by that time however, Syaoran is hardly an "opponent" of Sakura.
The greatest happiness is seeing someone you like stay happy.
Voiced by: Junko Iwao (JP), Maggie Blue O'Hara (EN), Michelle Ruff (EN - 2nd movie), Monica Villase˝or (Latin America)
Wealthy, softspoken, and pretty, Tomoyo is Sakura's best friend and second cousin, Tomoyo is one of the few people who knows Sakura's secret as being Master of the Cards, and can always be counted on to be there when one is being hunted down. She's a talented seamstress and is very fond of making Sakura wear... interesting outfits.
Kissing Cousins: Sakura and Tomoyo are second cousins. Early chapters of the manga had her appear to have a crush on Touya, as one of the artists wasn't aware that she was supposed to be in love with Sakura. This was later retconned by stating she crushed on him because he reminded her of Sakura.
Spoiled Sweet: Her mom's wealthy enough to give Tomoyo literally anything she wants which includes hiring full time bodyguards and paying for all those outfits and yet Tomoyo is one of the nicest, caring, giving and selfless people you'll ever meet.
Sakura's big brother. He often teases her, calling her "Monster" ("kaiju" in Japanese) but he has a huge Big Brother Instinct around her. He is best friends with Yukito, and has a tendency to switch jobs a lot. Toya can see ghosts, including his mother's when she visits.
My Sister Is Off Limits: The real reason he doesn't like Syaoran; he doesn't trust his precious little sister with anyone.
Secret Secret Keeper: He knows about Sakura capturing the cards and Kero, but pretends to not know. He also knows Yukito is a fake personality, but is interrupted by Nakuru every time he tries to reveal it.
Death by Origin Story: Died of an unspecified illness when Sakura was three. Her spirit watches over her family, and even saved Sakura's life when she was confronted by the Illusion Card, but only Touya can see her. Later Touya gives up his ability to see her to save Yue/Yukito... but in the manga, Fujitaka gets it and they're happily reunited.
Touya's best friend and Sakura's first love interest. A kind, bespectacled Big Eater, Yukito is incredibly friendly with Sakura and her friends. It is revealed he is actually the false form of Yue, the second guardian of the Clow Cards and assigned to appoint the next owner of the cards.
The Ace: Ridiculously gifted in athletics. Case in point: He can wipe the floor with the basketball team multiple times by himself. It's implied that every sport at his school wants him for their team, but aside from occasionally allowing himself to be recruited as a stand-in for absent players, he refuses to commit to any of them.
The only sport he appears to have a genuine interest in is archery. He enters and wins a competition during the series. Not surprising, given that as Yue his weapon of choice is a supply of beam arrows.
Fake Memories: Most of his background is actually false memories, including his grandparents.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: Yukito can't recall what his Yue side does. That is, until Touya gives him his powers and he gains access to Yue's own side.
Loss of Identity: He angsts for a short while because of the identity issues that come from being a false form.
Meaningful Name: His surname contains the character for 'moon'. Doubly, Yukito's surname can mean "moon castle"; appropriate considering he's a vessel for Yue. His first name means 'snow rabbit' which when put with the rest of his name is a reference to the East Asian folktale about the rabbit in the moon.
Tomato in the Mirror: When Yukito finds out that he's Yue's false form, he has a minor identity crisis until Touya sets him straight.
Yamato Nadeshiko: Toyed with rather interestingly. Yukito only partially looks the part, as he's rather tall and softspoken but lacks the dark hair, yet he is only about equal with Sakura in kindness and politeness. Part of the reason why Sakura liked him was because of Yukito's strong resemblance to Fujitaka, the YN of the series.
An anime exclusive character and Syaoran's cousin and fiancee from Hong Kong. Meiling arrives in Tomoeda to help Syaoran capture the Clow Cards. At first a Clingy Jealous Girl and a Bratty Half-Pint, Meiling eventually warms to Sakura and Tomoyo. She is a Badass Normal, being a pro in martial arts alongside Syaoran.
Fan of Underdog: Perhaps the only other member of the team convinced of Syaoran's superiority and worthiness as Master Of The Cards (aside from maybe Sakura herself).
Genki Girl: Poor Syaoran has to put up with the lion's share of the consequences of this trope big time. While it's usually Played for Laughs, in the beginning this sometimes made her a more serious issue than some of the cards, as her cheerful side also includes some seriously-played thoughtlessness.
Idiot Ball: Her Childhood Marriage Promise to Syaoran. Seriously, if you really love the guy, you don't have to put a conditional statement on your proposal. Of course, she's likely confident that no other girl will get his attention seeing as he avoids associating with girls when they were young, and she's shown to be the only girl Syaoran is shown to really care at the time. Then again, she might have said this out of desperation so he would agree. But, still...
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: When she was younger, she was madly in love with Syaoran, and convinced him to enter a Childhood Marriage Promise via a deal - if he ever found the one he truly loved, she would give him up, but until then she would be his fiancee. When she realises that he loves Sakura (and that she can't bring herself to hate Sakura), she follows her end of the deal.
Kissing Cousins: Syaoran is her cousin and she decided she wanted to marry him since they were kids.
Tomboy with a Girly Streak: She's a loudmouthed martial artist and much less girly compared to Sakura and Tomoyo. But she still is very interested in romance and it's hinted in the episode "Sakura and the Sakura from the Dream" during a montage early on that she may have studied ballet.
Town Girls: The Butch to Sakura's Neither and Tomoyo's Femme.
Tsundere: She's arrogant to everyone except Syaoran; he's the only one that sees any deredere. The change can be instantaneous. And it scares the crap out of Syaoran.
Unlucky Childhood Friend: BIG time! Apparently, because she knew how intimidating Syaoran is and the fact that he's not really into girls when they were young, she's likely very confident that they're gonna end up together in the end because she's the only girl Syaoran is shown to care for at the time. The conditional part of her Childhood Marriage Promise statement suddenly becomes a BRUTAL mistake.
Why Can't I Hate You?: After Syaoran cuts off their engagement because of his love for Sakura, Meiling gets angry because she can't bring herself to hate Sakura for it.
Yandere: Shows some shades of this towards Syaoran.
I didn't know everything. There were a couple things that happened that weren't expected by myself or Clow Reed.
An antagonist of sorts in the final third of the series, Eriol arrives as a New Transfer Student who quickly befriends Sakura and Tomoyo. He is really the reincarnation of Clow Reed, hoping for Sakura to transform the Clow Cards in Sakura Cards so Clow's legacy is continued.
Adaptation Dye-Job: The parts of Eriol's signature mage costume that are red in the manga are blue in the anime.
Badass Bookworm: He looks the quiet studious type when he's actually the most skilled mage alive.
Evil Plan: Invoked. He pretends to be a shadowy villain with a devious agenda to give Sakura opportunities to transform the Clow Cards.
Guile Hero: Pulls his heir and his descendants' strings to fulfill his goal.
I Kiss Your Hand: Eriol kisses Sakura's hand after helping her finish a teddy bear. Because Eriol is an English exchange student, this comes off as very chivalrous and gentlemanlike and pisses the hell out of Syaoran.
Brainwashed and Crazy: Briefly, when she puts on a sword-shaped pin that actually is the dormant form of The Sword card. Sakura debrainwashes her using The Illusion to confuse her, and then disarming her.
Bad Liar: In the eyes of everyone else. Specially Chiharu, who knows him as the palm of her hand and immediately stops him when he goes overboard. Very violently.
Cross Cast Role: In the school play. His role changes depending on the media: in the manga he's the evil fairy, whereas in the anime Meiling becomes the evil fairy and he plays the Queen Mother instead.
Eyes Always Shut: Chiharu calls him "lines-for-eyes" due to this. They actually open on a few occasions. Meiling believes that they open every time he tells the truth. Not really, they were just open because Chiharu was stepping on his foot.
A deck of magical cards created by Clow Reed. Each card is actually a spirit with its own power as described by its name. They grew so strong that Clow Reed created the Clow Book to keep the cards in. Sakura accidentally lets the cards loose leading to the series Gotta Catch 'Em All story. She later has to transform them into Sakura Cards so they can be kept alive via her magical energy.In the manga, there were a mere nineteen cards - there are fifty-two cards in the anime, plus three more by the end of the second movie ( The Nameless and the Nothing cards fuse together to become the Hope card, resulting in 53.)
Brought Down to Normal: Kero explains to Sakura why she must transform the cards into Sakura Cards - without a magical energy source, the cards will lose their magic and thus become normal lifeless cards. This is altered in the English dub, Kero claiming if the cards lose their energy source, they will likely go power mad and level whole cities to look for new magic.
Genki Girl: Flower. Her episode has her unsealing her powers and bathing Sakura's school in blossoms because she wanted to join the School Festival. When Sakura faces her, Flower even takes her hands and happily tries to dance with her!
Instant Expert: The Sword automatically makes its wielder one of these. It's also quite likely The Fight also makes its user an expert martial artist.
Interspecies Romance: Sorta, since Mirror seems to have developed a onesided crush on Touya since he treated her very kindly despite how she got him injured and kept being nice to her afterwards. He even got her a Christmas gift! Squeeee!.
Sealed Good in a Can / Sealed Evil in a Can: The Clow Cards were sealed due to their destructive powers, but their release allowed them to be tamed by Sakura. The Nothing suffers the latter more than the former.
The Unfettered: The Nothing is out and out vehement on rejoining with all it's fellow "friends", the other Clow Cards, and doesn't so much as flinch to erasing an entire town's populace in her frenzied search. It is only when she realises such actions mean the cards won't accept her that she begins to doubt her methods.
Mundane Utility: According to Kero, Clow often created cards either for his amusement or to make his chores easier. Bubbles was made to make laundry and give Big Kero his baths!
My Death Is Just the Beginning: A completely heroic version; his death was the beginning of a plan that would end with all his creations happy and able to continue existing.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Creating well-intentioned spirits that are so difficult to control that they need to be sealed away lest they cause trouble for everyone, and sealing his ex-girlfriend in an alternate dimension to stew for God-knows-how-long because she was practicing dark magic. Also, he accidentally made a wish that broke the universe. See the Power Incontinence entry.
Power Incontinence: The reason he wanted to split his powers between two people. He was powerful enough to predict the future, but he couldn't turn the ability off and it began to feel like a painful burden to constantly know what was to come.
A fact that has no relevance here but is worth noting because it pertains to the exact same character, he accidentally brought someone back to life just by thinking to himself that he wished the person would open her eyes again. It was this incident that triggered the universe warping and Mind Screw inducing events of both Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle and xxxHOLiC which Card Captor Sakura serves as a sort of prequel to.
Grumpy Bear: Though somewhat hard to pin, his stoicism, bitterness, inability to let go, and the fact that he has no qualms about beating the ever-living daylights out of a ten-year-old girl make him this.
One of Eriol's two minions, if you want to call them that. A hyperactive but manipulative Genki Girl, as Nakuru she has apparent affections for Toya. In her true form Ruby Moon she can fly and has similar powers to Yue.
The Ace: Like Yukito, is also ridiculously good at sports and also refuses to join any team. Must be a magical-guardian-affiliated-with-the-moon trait.
Adaptation Dye-Job: Nakuru's hair goes from light auburn in the manga to dark brown in the anime. Likewise, Ruby Moon's color scheme changes from red and black to pink and indigo.
Personality Powers: Inverted; for a moon guardian she's very upbeat and cheerful. Justified as she was designed as Yue's counterpart.
Purely Aesthetic Gender: She has No Biological Sex, but Nakuru chooses to present "herself" as female simply because girls have cuter school uniforms and clothes. As she puts it, "I look good in a skirt!", and she then adds "Well, it's not like gender really matters... I'm not a human being anyway..."
Token Evil Teammate: Sorta. She is perhaps the nearest to being genuinely antagonistic out of Eriol's posse. Is intentionally interfering with Touya and Yukito so the former can't save the latter as his magic fades, in a sense she is attempting to ensure Yue fades and dies (the creepy smirk she frequently gives Yukito as she plays it out doesn't help). When she realises it is futile, however, she gives in quickly and limits herself to aiding Eriol in his plans.
The second of Eriol's minions, and a counterpart to Kero. Essentially The Eeyore, Spinel is quiet and calm but can go hyperactive when he eats sweets. His true form is a butterfly-winged panther who has powers similar to Keroberos.
The Big Bad of the first movie. She was a fortune teller, foreseeing a person's future through water. However, her predictions attracted Clow Reed who disputed her claims, leading to a number of battles between the two until he imprisoned Madoushi. She uses dreams and forces events so Sakura can win a trip to Hong Kong and attacks her because she carries the Clow Cards, since she is searching for Clow Reed, unaware that he's been dead for decades.
Dark Magical Girl: The contrast with Sakura, the Magical Girl, is revealed over the course of the movie. She's lonely, she's turned sour after Clow sealed her away. As stated in the trope, after fighting the Magical Girl and losing, she has a Heel-Face Turn and passes on in peace.
Good Parents: She spoils Tomoyo like there's no tomorrow and gives her anything she wants, not to mention more space and privacy than any parent would dare. Yet, Tomoyo is completely respectful, and giving to everyone she knows and is the most caring and selfless person you could ever meet. Sonomi is definately doing something right.
Parents as People: Even busier than Fujitaka, always feels bad since she's unable to be with Tomoyo as much as she wants. Specially showcased when Tomoyo completely loses her voice (unbeknownst to Sonomi, as the effect of a Clow Card).
Voiced by: Osamu Saka (JP), Esteban Siller (Latin America)
Sonomi and Nadeshiko's grandfather and Sakura's great-grandfather, Masaki cherished his two granddaughters and heavily objected to Nadeshiko marrying Fujitaka. After her death, Masaki did not see his great-grand children, until Sakura meets him.
The Atoner: Masaki regrets his rejection of Nadeshiko and Fujitaka's marriage.
Everything's Better with Rainbows: Masaki's fondest memory of Nadeshiko is when she pointed out a rainbow to him after a downpour. Sakura repeats this years later when she meets him, with a little help from the Rain Card.
Forgiveness: Thanks to Sakura's efforts, Masaki and Fujitaka make peace with one another in one of the show's most wonderful Crowning Moments of Heartwarming.
Grumpy Old Man: Came across as this which led to his isolation from his family. He regrets it very much.
Overprotective Grandad: He was very objective to Nadeshiko marrying at such a young age, and did not want to be alone when she married. The last time he saw Nadeshiko was when she invited him to the wedding, implying he did not attend.