New from Japan: Anime Film Reviews
(continued from page 1)

Cardcaptors is the U.S. version of Cardcaptor Sakura. © Pioneer Entertainment.

Cardcaptors. V.1, Tests of Courage. V.2, Power Match. V.3, Misdirections. V.4, New Lessons.
(More to come.) (The edited American version.)
TV series, 1998-2000. Supervising Director: Morio Asaka. 60 minutes. Price & format: $14.98 dubbed VHS/$24.98 dubbed DVD. Distributor: Pioneer Entertainment.

Cardcaptor Sakura is clearly designed for young girls. When it was acquired for American TV to ride the Pokemon bandwagon, the decision was made to re-edit it to appeal to both boys and girls. It was renamed Cardcaptors, and it began with what was episode #8 in Japan, "Sakura's Rival," introducing Li. Other changes include Americanizing many names (Sakura is Sakura Avalon; Tomoyo is Madison Taylor), and turning Li's sister into a jealous girlfriend. Only 17 Cardcaptors episodes were re-produced for the first season (shown on KidsWB! from June 17 to December 2, 2000; now in reruns), in a completely different order. The two versions are so different that it was not possible to combine them in the same video release with just different English and Japanese audio tracks. Instead Pioneer and Nelvana have agreed on two separate DVD releases. Cardcaptor Sakura, uncut with four episodes per video, is available only in Japanese with English subtitles. Cardcaptors is only in the English dub, three episodes per video.

Watch Cardcaptor Sakura is see how Cardcaptors was edited for the U.S. TV market. © Pioneer Entertainment.

Cardcaptor Sakura. V.1, The Clow. V.2, Everlasting Memories. V.3, Friends Forever. V.4, Sakura, Fight!
(Later volumes to come.) (The unedited Japanese version.)
TV series, 1998-2000. Supervising Director: Morio Asaka. 100 minutes. Price & format: $24.98 subtitled VHS/$29.98 subtitled DVD. Distributor: Pioneer Entertainment.

This DVD release is bannered as "The Original Japanese Uncut Version." That is an important distinction. Pioneer is also releasing "The American Cut Version" (produced by Nelvana for KidsWB!) which is titled Cardcaptors. The two are quite different.

Cardcaptor Sakura is the latest big hit in the Japanese "magical little girl" genre that began with Sally the Little Witch in 1966. (Sailor Moon is a well-known 1990s example.) This is also another winner from the mega-popular CLAMP team of 4 woman cartoonists who have created several of the most popular comic book series of the 1990s, which have been turned into even more popular anime series; Rayearth and X, to name two. The Cardcaptor Sakura comic-book serial by CLAMP began in a girls' monthly magazine in June 1996. It became a 70-episode weekly anime TV series from April 7, 1998 through March 21, 2000; there were also two theatrical features in the summer of 1999 and 2000.


1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5