So its almost old news now but this year marks the 20th anniversary of one of the most beloved magical girls in anime and manga history. Cardcaptor Sakura turned 20 years old this year.
Now this series brings up many fond childhood memories for me. When I got the notification about it I was hit with a wave of nostalgia that is undefinable. Who can imagine that one of their most beloved childhood memories would turning 20 years old? It's a marker in life that so long has passed and it gives you a chance to look back at something that meant so much to you. Now I was a little kid in the 90s, I grew up with the pokemon craze, the digi-volution, fighting evil by moon light and many others americanized anime. I remember trying my hardest to wake up early enough to catch the episodes of Cardcaptors. I remember literally stalking my library and card shops for new volumes when I learned of what manga was and a lot of my favorite shows had a book to them. I remember begging my mom to take me to toys r us just to find the latest merchandise. .
And when I did find the mangas, I was inlove. There was something about the softnesss, the way the characters looked to me that just made me fall in love. The costumes, the scenes, it was all beautiful and so different from what I was used to. It gave me a sense of surrealism that I dont find in comics or other media.I also remember trying so hard to learn how to learn Japanese and read hiragana and kanji just so I could read my favorite books. I know there is a lot of debate going on about american openings for shows but CardCaptors had one of the coolest but I am biased. I ran around singing this to myself while wishing I could be just as cool as our heroes in the story.
I mean what kid could help not wanting to sing along with such a cool opening. It was actually later in my teens I was first able to see the japanese version after stumbling on it in my local SunCoast video store. I even found copies of the original movies and picked those up with what little money I earned, lamenting when catalogs didn't have any of the original stuff.
The movies were some of my favorites. The first movie was was pure fluff and cuteness with some darker undertones you wouldn't expect from the series. Then with the way the American anime ended and the japanese version seemed to ( i think this is one reason why I'm distrustful of anime only or cliffy endings so much, blame this series and Inuyasha) the second movie brings us some closure to it also with some cute moments for two of our heroes. Which brings me to the next topic.
Raise your hand if these two were just plain adorable? *raises both hands* Sakura and Syaoran are the epitome of school time crushes. While they aren't as complicated as some crushes can be, there is something to their simplicity that makes me sad that we don't see that much anymore. It's a time when things weren't so complicated and the strength of the feelings you had for a person were what mattered. Sakura spends much of the time on her crush on Yukito but does realize that along the way, she did develop real feeling for Syaoran. Syaoran started as her rival but after he realized where is heart lay, it was cute to see his demeanor change as he let Sakura's friendship deep what he felt.
Plus who can not look at that face and not want to pinch his cheeks? While he is a bit of a brat, he definitely does grow on you. And while there is a correlating alternate universe series by the same mangakas it makes you wonder what kind of adult he would be with Sakura by his side. And then let's not forget another important couple from the manga, yes they are important because they were my first shounen ai couple that made me look for more.
Kinomoto Touya and Tukishiro Yukito. These two were definitely up there on my favorite couples list. Maybe even higher than Sakura and Syaoran. The way they interacted and helped Sakura on her journey as a Card Captor while trying to understand themselves was another added layer on to the manga plot. Plus I blame Yukito for my white haired boy obsession because I am pretty sure he is the culprit of where it started.
Why do you show this to young girls anime?? This is the reason I can't help but drool over white haired anime characters.
Ok getting back to my rambling. Since this isn't really a review I won't go into details. But the characters do make you feel and the anime makes you pay attention to rhe characters interaction. The story I think has held up pretty well and the animation, while you can tell its older, is definitely beautuful and a marker in time.
I'm rewatching the series currently in the original japanese. While I do have a watch list a mile long, I wanted to look back on this because it was such a hallmark of my life. It makes me remember some better times and for a moment smile at the wonder of it. This series will probably hold a special place in my heart for being one of the few that led me to many awesome times.
Does anyone else remember this series? Have you seen it, read the manga, seen the american version? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below please.
And congratulate one of our favorite magical girls on a new milestone.