Also Known As: CCS, Card Captor Sakura: Master of the Clow (Volumes 7-12)
Genre: Drama/Romance
Length: 12 Volumes
Allegiance: Kodansha
Mangaka: CLAMP
Vintage: 1996 – 2000
Intelligence Agency Report by: Kuzu Ryu Sen
Nights in Tomoeda have just become a little more interesting recently, ever since the appearance of some weird events. Most people have passed them off as mere weather phenomena or maybe hooliganism, but if one would observe closely, they would see that these events are caused by supernatural spirits. Enter Kinomoto Sakura, a.k.a. Card Captor Sakura, a 10 year old fourth grade girl who attends Tomoeda Elementary School, likes PE, and hates math. You see, it was Sakura who unleashed these spirits, known as “Clow Cards,” into the world in the first place, and now it is up to her to recapture them with the help of the newly awakened Guardian Beast of the Seal, Cerberus (a.k.a. Kero-chan).

Research Agent Report by: Kuzu Ryu Sen
Plot
Characters
Impact
Visual
7.50
9.00
9.25
7.50
Overall 8.50
(not an average)
The Card Captor Sakura TV series was best summed up as CLAMP not being CLAMP, and ironically, tended to be considered by neutral (read: non-fangirl) parties as the best CLAMP work. While the manga is slightly more traditionally CLAMPian, the Card Captor Sakura charm still manages to carry through – it’s just a tad obscured by all the useless flowers. For the most part, the plot of the manga and anime are consistent, although the anime chose to reorder some events due to the difference in medium. Nevertheless, it’s still the same repetitive “card of the week” style plot, but it also displays the same small deal of variety that made it quite tolerable. The main point where the anime deviated from the manga was with regards to certain relationships. While the majority of character development portions could be kept intact, there were just… certain things that I suppose couldn’t be aired on Japanese television. Needless to say, the manga takes quite a few relationships a step up, a move that works for some characters, and really doesn’t for others. One thing though, it’s a pity that CLAMP didn’t think of creating Li Meilin (an anime only character) to add that final bit of polish to the strong and surprisingly deep cast. Visually, well, it’s CLAMP. There are a lot of flowers, curls, wavy lines, and sparkles, and frankly, it’s all very distracting. Thankfully, the main character designs are rather simplistic and there’s a lot of super-deformity. It’s the simple art that gives Card Captor Sakura a lot more atmosphere than all the cheap frills. Still, one has to credit CLAMP for the attention to detail in their works. 

Mahou shoujo is clearly not everyone’s cup of tea, and CLAMP really even less so. Yet astonishingly, Card Captor Sakura, a marriage of the aforementioned two components, really is quite a good read for just about everyone (of course, an open mind would help for those few relationships that aren’t readily found in everyday society). It may be sugary cute, but that doesn’t mean it can’t tell a good story with a strong cast now does it?