Reviews: Cardcaptor Sakura
When I started this series, I did not expect high-brow thought-provoking social commentary. I did not expect a perfect series nor a prequel to Tsubasa nor a coherent plot. I got what I expected. The series starts well. Sakura, a lazy third grader, opens a book and the mystical Clow Cards fly away and the now-awakened guardian demands them back. About as random as Harry Potter: Magical being declares you magic and demands you go get more magic COMPLETELY RANDOMLY. Fine. This "plot" soon falls over. They introduce Shaoran, an exchange student from China, who also wants the Cards! This is where the series turned from "marginally interesting for little girls" to "uninteresting romance". In fact, as soon as they showed him, I knew that he and Sakura would be together forever. ARGH. I don't know why people think that an eight-year-old's crush will end up being their PERFECT LIFE PARTNER OMG. It's sort of creepy. In fact, the entire plot is a moot point: what is the difference between Sakura or Shaoran getting the cards? What is the point in getting the cards? The series says "if they're not sealed the WORLD WILL END" or something to that effect HALFWAY THROUGH. Then why not give the cards to Shaoran? We're supposed to root for Sakura but we see no reason WHY. WHY is she meant to have the cards? Clow saw it? If SOMEONE has them, shouldn't that save the world? WHY is she better than Shaoran? The minor characters get so little screen time that it becomes even more clear that SAKURA is the best and YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO LIKE ANYONE BETTER. I realize that this series is meant for little girls, usually defined as "below 12", but how much difference can two years make? Why are we not allowed to have an Ensemble Darkhorse due to lack of character? BECAUSE THE MAN SAYS SO! Any attempts to widen the backstory unrelated to Clow (like Fujitaka and Nadeshiko's romance) is so overdone and boring that I literally had to skip the pages it took place on. I like world-building and character development as much as the next girl, but we have no idea what Sakura's mom was like. How are we supposed to like her if we only see a picture of her? The world they try to widen is too small to widen! The series could be considered for young girls of about six. Otherwise, give it a wide berth.
Crowning Moment Of Heartwarming: The Series
I donít think I ever seen or honestly will ever see again a manga so good natured about everything as this one, and to be completely honest its one of the main reasons this appeals to me so much. Not only each characters is downright adorable in both looks and personality, making each of the character both funny and heartwarming when you get to their familial and friendship like connections with each other but the fact that the inner working of this universe seems to run on Rousseau Was Right, Machiavelli Was Wrong, and Silly Rabbit Cynicism Is For Losers with a good healthy dose The Power Of Friendship and The Power Of Love is just completely icing to the cake. And the fact that it has one of my favorite ideas of magic styles of all time while still managing to look and feel impressive on both anime and manga eally doesnít hurt But in my mind itís actual biggest positive point is the fact that this magma just radiates sweet times, kinda like the Anthropomorphic Personification of good naturedness. Other plus points it usually doesnít take itself seriously, its humor is goofy and quick, its heartwarming moments are spectacularly so and it ends on a Happily Ever After that some might call tooth aching in its sweetness, but I more than like it. To be completely honest ever sense I was a young lad this series used to be one of my biggest ďfeel good after watchingĒ series and for me it still retains said power, which actually makes me quite happy Itís a charming little Manga that while not for everyone, it will always be in my heart as part of not only my childhood (I acutally used to both watch and read this manga with my sisters. Hey, they watched the Anime I enjoyed with me, it was the least I could do. I just didnít expect it to like it as much as they did, but Iím very glad I did), but something now in my grown up years actually still enjoy, being the idealist that I am. I know the fact that itís a Shoujo manga might and almost created in a fairy tale kind of way might put some of the other lads way from this but as a fan of the whole combination it manages to bring I see absolutely no problem with it
Cute and classic
As a bit of an animation junkie, I have fairly high standards for good shows. I originally was introduced to CCS by the lackluster dubjobs from the 90s, and was not impressed by the dub chopjob. I later got a chance to see the original episodes, and ended up buying the DVD set. While Sakura has a lot of the classical magical girl tropes, the series messes around with some of them and even lampshades some of these conventions early on, as Kero and Tomoyo poke gentle fun at a lot of the usual expectations one makes of your typical magical girl series. The action scenes remain quite interesting, with a lot of creativity and some lore of traditional magic and elements required for Sakura to prevail against some cards, and practical knowledge of limitations required for others. Somehow even the simple everyday things Sakura is content to enjoy as a growing child manage to keep me interested in the series in general, although her character as a generally good child is a simple one. It helps that under her somewhat meek and easily-embarassed character is a strong-willed and unshakeably resolved person who is willing to believe the best of others and unwilling to give in to despair even in harsh times. The anime's simple colours and linework belie the beauty of its admittedly old, yet classically timelessly good-looking visual style, and the music is always engaging, even when it dips into sugary-sweetness. All in all, I'd say that Sakura is an excellent product of its era and a must-see for most young people in its lessons about growing up mixed in with the magic and action.
Charming in its own way
Among the Anime community, or to use a less pretentious and more accurate word, among the people who watch anime and then discuss what they just saw on the web, there is an ugly habit of absolutely overlooking what the target audience for an anime originally was. Thats why, reviews slamming the first season of Pokemon (I dislike Pokemon alot by the way) usually miss the essence of a show that was made according to following guideline "make something a 5th grader would like to watch after school". Sakura Card Captor fits in that same kind of category. Thats why the Quality of the animation comes as a surprise, among the best the 90īs have to offer. Indeed the animation is enough excuse to watch it on its own. The faces Sakura (the main character) makes (and the way her reactions are animated)are truly priceless, and have provided me with some of those rare, true, LOL moments. Besides... in this show the "I watch it for the plot" excuse could easily be replace for the "I watch it for the clothes" excuse since this is the exact opposite of those shows where the characters always use the same clothes (Pokemon!). Sakura is a lovely character, girlish (aldo she is portayed somewhat as tombay by the dub which I discourage)with the mindset of a 4th grader, but quite cleaver and able from time to time to perform certain stunts. Her best friend Tomoyo is always at hand to film her exploits, and seems to have a crush on her, which adds an element of Yuri to the series which in my personal experience (I watch it on the Spanish Dub) was the last thing Ill ever though Ill see being broadcasted in Cartoon Network, completely strange and unprecedented, but somehow amusing. The weak point of the series is the plot (which is not bad). But the characterisation and style put into it make up for it. Indeed, for a show meant to be watched by your average elementary or middle schooler it reaches a level of quality that very few series actually even try to accomplish when it comes to the target audience at hand. Such is its success, that is has come to be taken quite seriously by more mature audiences. If you dont like it, then thas perfectly understandable (unless ur a girl under 14), but for those of us who loved the series in our childhood, or those who are young at hearth, this is a nice little, (and not manufactured but truly feminine) good show.
Cardcaptor Sakura is a Magical Girl series that stands out from the crowd with its premise. Spirits formerly sealed in a book of tarot cards are released and cause strange occurrences to happen. Sakura must first identify which card is responsible and then figure out how to seal it. It's naturally a formulaic Monster Of The Week setup, but the mystery behind each card is compelling enough to prevent boredom. It even invites viewers to follow along and attempt to solve the puzzle. The cards themselves vary from simple inconveniences to powerful widespread entities wreaking havoc (yet everyone still goes about their daily lives), each with distinct personalities, so there's enough variation to keep things interesting. Though the cards are a major attraction, equal charm comes from the human characters (and Kero). Sakura is easy to relate to, and differentiates herself from many lead characters by relying more on her wit and resourcefulness as opposed to direct combat to solve her problems. Tomoyo / Madison proves her worth more than the usual Muggle support character and provides an amusing fangirl relationship with Sakura. Li is compelling as a foil and rival, being more aggressive in his approach while still having a heart of gold underneath. Meilin may be exclusive to the anime, but she is a natural fit in the main cast with her bratty, yet endearing personality. Even support characters get in some of the action, with the various cards directly affecting them and Sakura's older brother even proving to be more than meets the eye (a very attracted eye, I'll say). In addition, there's enough Slice Of Life elements that even without the cards, it's just nice to see everybody live out their daily lives. Admittedly, the second arc is significantly less appealing than the first season, primarily since the first was already conclusive. With all the cards already sealed, weird occurrences are literally invented to keep them relevant, and the whole thing is poorly justified in-universe. It suffers from the typical sequel syndrome of trying to find a reason to exist. Regardless, overall, this anime has familiar elements, yet is definitely its own series. Certainly worth checking out for Magical Girl fans.