Retrospective: Cardcaptor Sakura

I don’t think it’s possible to overstate how excited I am about Cardcaptor Sakura return. It was the first anime I ever watched outside of Pokemon that truly captured my imagination and my heart. My first exposure to the series was when I was a young girl in 1998/1999 where it first aired on my tv screen. It was at this age I could relate to the main protagonist Sakura who was only a little older than me when I first started watching the series. I adored everything about Sakura. I thought she was sweet, funny, smart and relentlessly fearless in spite of being placed in sometimes astonishing odds. She never asked to be a keeper of the Clow. It was something that was thrust upon her.

She doesn’t even take to heroing it in typical hero fashion. She stumbles, fumbles and frankly lucks out of her early encounters with her first couple of cards. It’s only with the people who surround her that she ever manages to get anywhere at all! Honestly, if you haven’t seen or read it by now, stop what you’re doing and go and read it. I’m not going to spoil anything about it in this love letter.

If you’re concerned about the age barrier for it, I’d like to alleviate those fears. The manga has a different tone in its entirety to the anime, which got censored for western audiences. Subject matters that get discussed are along the lines of same-sex relationships &
Other relationship sensitive issues. So, there is plenty for adult readers too.

Though, there is a lot to be said about the beauty of the art design of the series. It is nothing short of captivating, and there is few manga that will openly leave me aghast at their beauty. Clamp and the art team behind Cardcaptors care so much about the series. You see it in every detail of the panels and character design. Even in the minor characters, they are given the same level of care and consideration as the major players. The scenery is immaculately and intricately detailed.

For those who are concerned that the romance & magical girl genre may be slightly off-putting to some readers, I’d like to take the time to reassure you of the narrative elements of the story. There is no angle in this manga that isn’t tastefully executed by the narrative team. From the teenage experiences of relationships and love, through to death and family bonds. There is nothing about the relationships in these stories that feel strained, forced or overplayed. You’ll have to read it to believe it, but trust me. There is precious little that is cringy or will make you shudder in your seat. It’s a beautiful story, executed superbly. Simple as that.

I genuinely think this is a manga that can be appreciated by everyone and something that should be on peoples reading list of the manga they should read before they die.

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