Genre: Shoujo / Magical Girl
Parental Guidance Recommended
Credits: 1998-2000. Madhouse. CLAMP/Koudansha/NHK/NEP21
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Curiosity is a part of any 10-year-old's life, but Sakura just broke the seal on a magical book and released all of the mischievous spirits imprisoned on the cards inside! Kero, the Guardian of the Clow Cards is horrified to find all of the cards gone and tells Sakura she must become the Cardcaptor and retrieve the spirits before they work their mischief in the world...
Are you sure this is for elementary school kids?>>> by skysenshi
In Firesenshi's review of Card Captor Sakura the anime, she explicitly stated that this title was meant for elementary school children. In the manga, however, I find it hard to see how Card Captor Sakura could be aimed at kids who are aged 12 and below. The first thing that struck me here is that nearly ALL of the characters are sexually disoriented. Love polygons fly everywhere. Females have yuri tendencies. The males have yaoi tendencies. Everybody has incestuous tendencies. There's even a good-looking professor with Lolita complex! Okay, wait. ALL the older people here have Lolita/Shouta complexes, it's not even funny. Everywhere a character looks, there's always somebody out there who gives him/her an adrenaline rush. As a result of these complicated love affairs, everyone seems to turn beet red for every page you turn.
No, there's nothing remotely erotic about CCS. It's just that the love situations are so bizarre, you'd think twice about showing this reading material to your own children. Granted, were I ten years old and completely enamored of my professor, I'd surely find it flattering to have him attracted to me. But I'm not ten years old. I am an adult who is old enough to raise her own ten-year-old kid and I don't like the concept. It freaks the bejeezus out of me. Hm. So maybe it IS targeted towards the younger audience. Only the innocence of children could overlook legal factors and think something like this could be absolutely romantic.
That aside, I still couldn't help but feel thoroughly involved with the story. I spent two whole days reading all 12 volumes of this manga. Even with a raging flu, I couldn't put it down. Sure, it's kiddie magic, but there are a lot of twists in it that are enough to drive one up the wall. The action scenes are beautifully drawn, albeit a bit confusing. I could never understand what's happening in manga battles since everything seems surreal.
The protagonist Sakura is not your regular magical girl who depends on magical items for solutions. She thinks and analyzes her moves. She has very quick reflexes because she's very athletic. She has with her a talking stuffed toy, who is actually the Guardian of the Clow cards that she has sworn to collect. With her are a bunch of interesting supporting characters (if you can get past their sexual disorientation) that are so well-developed that you'd never forget their names. In fact, they are the main reasons why I couldn't take my hands off CCS manga. I just felt that I had to unravel all of their mysteries or I'd get even sicker figuring them out. My personal favorites are her brother Touya and his best friend-and inevitable love interest-Yukito. Both are very vital to the story, since Sakura would be depending on these two as her pillars of strength.
Other equally amusing characters are Eriol, a powerful child who appears midway; his cohorts; Touya's ex-girlfriend Kaho; Clow's descendant Li Syaoran; and all of Sakura's funny classmates. There's also Tomoyo, who makes Sakura all the more different from other magical girls in that Tomoyo sews all of Sakura's battle clothing. No henshin sequences needed if you have a rich best friend who is completely obsessed with you, ne? Sakura is also lucky to have such a handsome father, who, despite his age, never seems to grow old. Well, of course there's a secret to it, and you, the reader must discover it for yourselves.
One quick note: Cute cute Mei Ling of the anime is not present in the manga.
Individual Rating: Art 8; Story 9; Characters 10