Anime Meta-Review


Card Captor Sakura Manga


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-10 of 10+
  • type: manga
  • grade: worthy
  • genre: magic_girl
  • people: CLAMP
  • Series state: Can't find any more to watch.
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

This manga series is currently being translated into english by Mixx, but this review is from the chinese versions with a net translation. See my translation page for links. The basis of card captor Sakura is pure magical girl. It turns out that cute and energetic 10 year old Sakura has magical powers. Sadly this is discovered by unsealing a book and scattering a number of clow cards throughout the world. The cards each hold magical `spirits' that have various personalities and grant her power when captured. As Cerberus, the guardian beast of the cards (now a smart mouthed winged teddy bear) informs her she's the only one who can be a Card Captor and fix the problem she unwittingly created. And thus the quest to recover the cards is on.

But the best thing about Sakura is that the story is much richer than the above suggests. There is a strong shoujo element throughout with a strong humor and romance sub-text. This is enhanced by those surrounding her being strongly involved in both the mundane and magical story. Indeed centrally involved, much more so than the anime seems to suggest. And the story is also strong, with the cards and magic system being interesting, well developed and systematic in how it works. There is also the existence of deeper, more threatening, sub-plots to keep the story going. At times you get the feeling that Sakura really is in mortal danger, and it is only her abilities and spirit that allow her to overcome very real obstacles. On the other hand the development of this story through the manga is somewhat weird. The story seems quite willing to take time on side-trips and then deliver the story in `jumps' that can be quite sudden. Almost as if the focus was on the episodes and the story just evolved out of them. In addition those who like the anime will find the manga quite sudden. The manga are not very dense, and with 12'ish books for two story arcs things can move fairly quickly. The second story arc does not seem quite as strong as the first. However, the strength of the manga is on the characters, and there are some excellent character moments.

The artwork matches the `unbalanced' feeling of the story. It takes a while to get going and an awful lot of it is sparse and simple. The character's are often in sketchy cartoon mode, and then suddenly there's a wonderful drawing (often of magic, or romance) taking up a full page. It's almost as if the designers had a strong idea of look and feel, but couldn't really get interested in the story to support that. There's also the fairly familiar clamp weird design, and unusual romantic attractions, to deal with. Don't get me wrong, there's enough attractive art, wonderful character and interesting events to make this a very wortwhile read...but is it something you want to buy and treasure? A more difficult question (even before considering that it is the much derided Mixx doing the translation).


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:16 WST 2009