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Fujitaka Kinomoto is the father of titular character Sakura Kinomoto, and a reincarnation of the creator of the Clow Cards, Clow Reed. A busy professor of archaeology at Towa University, Fujitaka is a kind and caring father. He met his late wife Nadeshiko while doing his first year as a teacher at her high school. Nadeshiko had climbed a tree to return a baby bird to its nest, but fell out of the tree, landing on Fujitaka. Upon seeing her, he stated that "an angel has fallen from the sky." They fell in love and married when she was sixteen. Though Nadeshiko died seven years before the start of the series, Fujitaka is shown to still be very much in love with her and devoted to her memory. He keeps a picture of her in the dining room, changing it each morning.
Little is initially said about Fujitaka's family or past. During the second half of the series, it is revealed that when Clow Reed divided his soul, seeking to no longer be the most powerful magician in the world, he split it into two halves, one which became Eriol Hiiragizawa holding all of the magic and memories, and the other being Fujitaka, who has no magic of his own, but fathered the one who would inherit the cards. It is stated that Fujitaka has no magical powers of his own, but he is also unaffected by other people's magic, such as the Eriol's sleep spell. At the end of the series, Eriol gives half of his magic to Fujitaka. This enables Fujitaka to finally see the spirit of Nadeshiko, who has been watching over her family since her death.
In the anime adaptation, Fujitaka's role as the other half of Clow Reed's reincarnation is completely removed as is his immunity to Eriol's magic and he is never able to see Nadeshiko's spirit. He is voiced by Hideyuki Tanaka. In the Cardcaptors English adaptation, his name is changed to Aiden Avalon and he is voiced by Brian Drummond.
(Source: Wikipedia, Chapter Eight of "Cardcaptor Sakura")
"He thought religion hadn't adapted enough. He wanted something new, something that made sense in today's world.
So one day, he started preaching stuff to the congregation that wasn't in the bible.<brPeople got upset, stopped coming to his sermons. The church kicked him out and after that, well, nobody cared about what he had to say." ~ Kyoko Sakura in Episode 7.
The Sakura family consist of a father, a mother, and two daughters, Sakura Kyoko and Sakura Momo. Kyoko is the oldest daughter, making Momo the youngest. Kyoko's father was the priest of the Sakura Church. In the anime version it is implied that the family resided in Mitakihara, but according to the Drama CD "Farewell Story", Kyoko and her family resided in Kazamino at the time. To make things more confusing, the Sakura Church is either believed to be in Mitakihara or in Kazamino city.
Kyoko's father was a sensitive and an idealistic man who added his personal beliefs within his preaching that went against acceptable church orthodoxy. As a result he was excommunicated for deviating from acceptable religious doctrine. For a time the family went hungry as people stopped attending their church. Kyoko used her wish to make people "believe her father's words" so his audience would be more accepting of his lofty ideals. Suddenly, people started to flock to the Sakura Church and they accepted the new beliefs unconditionally. This new vigor and devotion to the new beliefs convinced Kyoko's father that people were now devoted to his ideals. When a Witch invaded the Sakura Church her father found out that Kyoko was a magical girl. In the process, he also learned of Kyoko's wish which was the reason why people started to become unconditionally faithful to the new beliefs. Her father started to drink heavily after that. He realized that the only reason people started to accept his new doctrine was because of magic, people felt under his "spell" and obeyed his words without any question. This was a result of magic and not because of personal devotion. This realization began his descent into madness.
One day, Kyoko's father (in a fit of madness) killed his family and committed suicide by hanging himself. Kyoko was the sole survivor of the gruesome event. After seeing what had become of her family, Kyoko's ideals were shattered and she began to live selfishly.
- Kyoko's father was a priest who was responsible for the overseeing of a large cathedral. As a result of preaching new ideas and deviating from church doctrine he was excommunicated from the order, he was also alienated from his congregation as a result of preaching heresy (?).
- Kyoko's father could be an Anglican priest since he is married with children, also his clergy outfit is similar to their style. Another evidence is that his cathedral shares some architectural similarities to the Canterbury Cathedral.
- According to Kyoko, her father was an extremely kind and sensitive man. So sensitive that he was in constant worry due to the state of the world's affairs. In her own words: "He was too honest. Too kind. Every morning reading the paper, the worries of the world brought him to tears". As a result of this he started preaching new ideas born more from his convoluted (idealistic) emotions rather than continue to preach the acceptable doctrine, which got him and his family to become destitute and hungry. Driven by hunger and pity, Kyoko made her wish to help his father find new followers by making anyone who listened to him to believe his words. But Kyoko's father soon learned the truth behind the miracle that he experienced, that his preaching was only accepted as a result of magic and not by real devotion to his radical ideas. The fact that his followers' hearts and minds were manipulated by magic shattered his mind and worldview. Once Kyoko's father is confronted with the awful truth, probably driven by madness, he decides to kill his wife and Kyoko's little sister, after murdering his family in cold blood he commits suicide. It is unknown how or why Kyoko survived or if her father tried to take her life. It is assumed that she most likely survived as a result of her being a magical girl who cannot die unless her Soul Gem is destroyed.
- Because of Kyoko's wish her father had the mental ability to influence and manipulate the mind of others to believe him. Perhaps he even had the ability to persuade others to follow his orders without forcing them. It is not known what is the extension of his powers. The only clue that exists is that whoever listened to Kyoko's father they would listen and believe him (no matter how absurd his statement or lofty his ideals). It is not know what is the duration of the spell (if there is any), its effects on the individual, or if there is any mental damage in the person (and if there is, if it is permanent on the target).
Not much information is given about Kyoko's mother other than she was a caring and patient woman who supported her husband and family to the best of her abilities.
See Momo Sakura
See Kyoko Sakura
- It is suggested in the manga that Kyouko's father was physically abusing his wife.
- In Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Different Story a news broadcast indicates that a private residence in Kazamino City was caught on fire, inside the residency they found the bodies of the three members of the Sakura family. According with police the residents were forced in a multiple suicide act but the broadcast doesn't mention any other details. It is not known if the police suspected Kyoko's father as the perpetrator, or if the private residency was the Sakura Church. The manga seems to leave a strong impression that the Sakura Church functioned as their private residence as well.
- The first character for Sakura (佐) means "to help" while the second (倉) means "warehouse."
- Kyoko's father and mother don't have an official name.
- The studio drew an official anime design for the character of the father but it was never used in the series.
- The studio never drew an official anime design for the character of the mother.
- Instead, they depicted both of them as stylized paper cutouts in Episode 7.
- The manga Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Different Story has a more detailed design of Kyoko's father. The mother's appearance in the manga is the first detailed design of hers.
- Banjou Ginga is the voice actor of Kyoko's father in the Drama CD: Farewell Story. The character doesn't have a speaking role in the original series.
- Kikuko Inoue is the voice actress of Kyoko's mother in the Drama CD: Farewell Story. The character doesn't have a speaking role in the original series.
Sakura Family as it is depicted in the anime.
Kyoko's father commits suicide by hanging himself after murdering his family in the anime.
Kyoko's mother and sister dismembered in the anime.
Kyoko's mother in Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Different Story.
Kyoko's father and Momo in Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Different Story.
Kyoko's father discovers she is a magical girl, which is what starts his descent into madness.
The manga version of Madoka makes this event in Kyoko's life more gruesome than the anime version.
Kyoko recalls her father's sensitivity and idealism.
Mami has dinner with Kyoko and her family.
Today, in our ongoing series of Ten Things I Hate about Cardcaptor Sakura, we come at last to something I’ve been alluding to all this while. Brace yourselves; we’re now diving headfirst into the cesspool.
One thing is clear from reading comics by CLAMP: The CLAMP ladies have never met an inappropriate teacher-student liaison they didn’t like. They’ve got so many teachers chasing students that reading their manga feels like perusing a police blotter in an American newspaper.
I present now, in order from least to most disgusting, all the child-molesting I remember from the Cardcaptor Sakura franchise. It’s possible I’ve forgotten some.
Child-molester Fujitaka Kinomoto and victim Nadeshiko Amamiya.
First, we have Sakura’s parents. Her dad, Fujitaka Kinomoto, is an archaeologist. He seems like kind of a wuss for a guy who digs pits all day, but never mind that. Formerly, he taught high school, where he met and married Nadeshiko, a teen model and Mr. Kinomoto’s student, who became Toya and Sakura’s mother.
When they got married, she was sixteen and he was twenty-five, and she was still his student. They walked hand-in-hand to school together. Can you say “conflict of interest”? How about “non-fraternization”?
I’m pretty sure this is not okay even in Japan, but Kinomoto-sensei apparently faced no discipline. Her side of the family, it is hinted, hates his guts, and I don’t blame them: parents give teachers their kids to teach them, not impregnate them.
Nadeshiko gave birth to Toya at the age of seventeen. It’s not stated, but she must have finished high school heavily pregnant. She died at the age of twenty-seven, three months after giving birth to Sakura. Cause of death unknown.
Her cousin Sonomi Daidouji, Tomoyo’s mother, remains weirdly obsessed with her and blames her widower for her death. I blame Sonomi.
I’m a little worried for Sakura: she seems like a nice girl, but her family is full of nutcases. Tomoyo or Sonomi is likely to crack sooner or later, and I’m not sure what Daddy might be capable of. It’s a good thing she’s got all those magic powers, except we know from observation that, though she can create lightning, shoot fireballs, make earthquakes, and wield a magic sword, she fights like butt.
Serial child-molester Kaho Mizuki and victims Toya Kinomoto and Eriol Hiiragizawa.
I already discussed child molester Kaho’s relationship with Toya, so I won’t retread that ground here.
Kaho is Sakura’s math teacher, apparently because she’s scouting the elementary school for new boyfriends. By the end of the manga, she is officially an item with eleven-year-old Eriol Hiiragizawa, the quote-unquote “villain” of the second story arc. Eriol is the reincarnation of magician Clow Reed, complete with Clow’s memories—but he’s also an eleven-year-old boy.
By the end of the story, he and Kaho are officially an item. There is an utterly absurd scene right at the end of the manga series in which they declare their love for each other:
Just look at that picture. Look at the difference in their heights, which emphasizes the difference in their ages: How could whichever artist produced this picture not pause midway through and ask herself, “Wait, what the hell am I doing?”
Let’s think for just a moment here: What era is Clow Reed supposed to be from? He lived in the past, and he was half English and half Chinese, which suggests that he was probably the son of a stuffy British colonialist. He could see the future, apparently in great detail. I picture him sitting there, thinking to himself, “I better make sure my magic cards are taken care of after I’m gone … let’s see … ah, they’re going to end up in the hands of a sweet little Japanese girl. Well, that’s nice … whoa! The Japanese in the future are a bunch of perverts! What the hell happened? I better find some way to protect her from this—”
But then he actually shows up, and all these sexual shenanigans are apparently a-okay with him. He’s totally down with putting the moves on a woman who’s probably three times his age, and is his teacher. Criminy, it’s like he’s running for president of France.
Also, as an aside, I hate Eriol because I can never remember how to spell his last name.
Child-molester Yoshiyuki Terada and victim Rika Sasaki.
Yoshiyuki Terada is a fourth-grade teacher. Rika is his student. She’s ten. Ten.
I don’t think his age is given, but this guy estimates it as mid-thirties, which is reasonable. He’d at least have to be in his late twenties.
This is probably the most infamous “ship” that CLAMP has ever created. A quick Internet search immediately turns up memes like this:
Here’s the thing that a lot of people are missing: This may be shocking, but if you know CLAMP, it shouldn’t be surprising. This is what they’re all about. But I’ll discuss that tomorrow.
As the meme creator above notes, Rika is repeatedly said to be “mature” for her age. But that is not, as the meme implies, a miscalculation or slip-up on CLAMP’s part. That’s deliberate. Its purpose is to get the reader to accept something horrific as if it’s normal. That is not unique to Cardcaptor Sakura; it characterizes CLAMP’s work as a whole.
The manga actually treats us to a scene of Terada-sensei grooming his victim. In case you think I must be joking or exaggerating, I reproduce the entire scene here:
Yes, that’s it. That’s all of it. As I’ve stated before, this comic isn’t graphic. But that’s how it works: It makes evil look sweet by giving it a heavy coating of sugar and by keeping the implications out of the picture. Remember that this is a series for children, too; by romanticizing predatory relationships in this way, CLAMP is potentially making its audience more vulnerable to predators.
Notice how they set up the scene: First, CLAMP reminds us that Rika is supposed to be “mature,” a point made earlier in the same volume. They avoid the mistake they later make in their depiction of Kaho and Eriol; they do this scene through close-ups so you can’t see him towering over her, though you can see just how huge he is in the last panel of the first page. It doesn’t help that CLAMP draws ten-year-olds to look like six-year-olds and draws men as anorexic yet massively broad-shouldered giants.
If you’ve seen Cardcaptor Sakura the anime and don’t recognize this, that’s because the anime deletes it with extreme prejudice. In the animated version, Rika has a crush on the teacher, but the teacher doesn’t reciprocate and is unaware of it. In other words, the anime takes something grotesque and replaces it with something normal.
What I’ve given here are only highlights (or lowlights) of the series, but there is a seedy atmosphere that pervades the whole thing. That will be our discussion for tomorrow.
To be continued …
Author: D. G. D. Davidson
D. G. D. Davidson is an archaeologist, librarian, Catholic, and magical girl enthusiast. He is the author of JAKE AND THE DYNAMO. View all posts by D. G. D. Davidson
Fujitaka Kinomoto (木之本 藤隆, Kinomoto Fujitaka) is a fictional character in CLAMP's manga and anime series Cardcaptor Sakura. He is the husband of Nadeshiko Kinomoto and the father of Sakura Kinomoto and Touya Kinomoto. Despite his very busy job as a college professor of archaeology at Towa University, he still finds time for his children whenever he can. He is labelled as a "perfect man"; he cooks and sews very well, which Touya sometimes does too. He also made Sakura's kimono. His children love him very much and try to help him as much as they can, often rotating duties at home.
One of the major differences between his characterization in the manga and the anime is that in the manga, he is explicitly stated as half of the reincarnation of Clow Reed's spirit, however holding no magical abilities himself whatsoever.
In the anime, this connection is erased altogether and never mentioned, as he is shown as one of the people affected by Eriol Hiiragizawa's sleep-spell at the end of the series (the spell is not supposed to affect those with strong magical ability). In the manga, being half of Clow's reincarnation, he is unaffected by his spell and even shows up after Sakura manages to transform The Light and The Dark, passing Eriol's last trial. Fujitaka receives half of Eriol's magic as part of Eriol's final task of reducing his magical ability, leaving Sakura the strongest magician alive. With the infusion of magic, Fujitaka is able to see Nadeshiko's spirit and be reunited with her once again.
Fujikata is an extremely kind and caring man who has never been seen to get angry or upset at anything at all. Even when Sakura Kinomoto destroyed his laptop which had his work stored on it whilst trying to capture the Sleep card. He loves his family dearly, especially Nadeshiko Kinomoto (Fujitaka's late wife) to the extent that he keeps the promise he made to her on her deathbed: never to cry over her and sadden himself. In the second volume of the manga, Touya Kinomoto stated that Fujitaka was very athletic, a possible reason why both Sakura and Touya are good at sports. He is very good at running, which is a trait that Sakura inherits from him.
Fujitaka is mostly rivaled by Sonomi who strongly believes that he stole Nadeshiko Kinomoto from her in high school. At the time, Sonomi and Nadeshiko were high school students, and Fujitaka was starting his first year as a student teacher there. One day, Nadeshiko had climbed a tree to tend to some birds in their nest, but she accidentally fell. Luckily, Fujitaka broke her fall, and after seeing Nadeshiko on top of him, he commented, "It appears that an angel has fallen from the sky." This sparked the relationship that would lead to their marriage when Nadeshiko is sixteen. In Episode 10, Sonomi recounts in a rant about how they would arrive at school together with matching packed lunches, husband and wife.
Sonomi is upset, because she herself had feelings toward Nadeshiko, but Fujitaka took all her attention away. Sonomi also initially believes they married too young, and Nadeshiko's unfortunate death just three years after her second child may have been related to this. Sonomi does not have any hatred towards Fujitaka, however, as his consistent optimism and kindness make it clear to her why Nadeshiko liked him so much.
In Chapter 13 of the manga, Sonomi explains as such to Sakura: "Your father was a disgusting person." "He was cool, nice, and a good cook. He was the person who Nadeshiko loved. So he was really disgusting". "That's right. He didn't have any defects. What can you do with someone without defects?", saying the last line while giving Sakura a genuine smile and winking, with a finger up to her lips. Sakura responded by beaming happily, though Sonomi next said, "don't tell him I said that". On the same page, Fujitaka (at home) sneezes, and assumes someone is gossiping about him (in Japan, when one sneezes, one may assume they're being gossiped about.)
In the anime, Nadeshiko and Sonomi's grandfather and caretaker Masaki, also used to disapprove of Fujitaka, especially because they both helped to raise Nadeshiko. Sakura meets her great-grandfather for the first time when on summer vacation, though she is unaware of his relationship to her. Sakura later discovers that her great-grandfather disapproved of Fujitaka as Fujitaka mentions it in their conversation about Masaki, so on the day of Masaki's birthday, she sends him a present through Sonomi. Masaki, wanting to repay that act of kindness, asks Fujitaka for a meeting and, along with giving him presents for Touya and Sakura, in an act of forgiveness and regret, apologizes for the resentment and estrangement after the latter's marriage. However Sakura never realized she met her great-grandfather already.
While being one of the two reincarnations of Clow Reed in the manga, Fujitaka possesses no memories and powers from that of his past self, since they were all held by Eriol before his final confront with Sakura. However, he displayed an immunity against his powerful sleeping spell which affected everyone else in Tomoeda.
After Sakura split half of Eriol's magical powers to Fujitaka to fulfill his (Eriol's) wish of no longer being the most powerful sorcerer in the world, he gained an affinity with the spirits, and thus was able to see the spirit of his dear wife.
In the English dub, Fujitaka's named was changed to Aiden Avalon and his background with Sonomi and Nadeshiko has changed. All three of them were high school students together instead of Fujitaka being a teacher. Fujitaka and Sonomi were best friends and athletic rivals, but Sonomi felt left out when he and Nadeshiko started dating and married. The final straw came when Fujitaka outran Sonomi during school finals to enter a national running championship and they drifted apart following Nadeshiko's death.
Fujitaka in Tsubasa
Fujitaka is mentioned in Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle as an archaeologist who came to Clow Country to study the ruins there. He also adopted Syaoran, and later dies while working on the mysterious ruins that lead to the breaking of Sakura's memories. In Tsubasa, Fujitaka seemingly has no relation to Sakura nor Touya, though Sakura and Touya remain siblings in the series (they are the children of the king, Clow), although later this is reconnected, when it is revealed that Fujitaka was the King of Clow Country before "Syaoran" reversed his time. Fujitaka knew of the "Seal of Death" on Sakura.
Fujitaka makes an appearance in Episode 31 as a mechanic on a ship, but as a young boy about the same age that Syaoran was when Fujitaka first adopted him.
- The name Fujitaka means "wisteria" (藤) (fuji) and "noble, prosperous" (隆) (taka).
- Fujitaka's surname Kinomoto means "tree, wood" (木) (ki), "this" (之) (no) and "base, root, origin" (本) (moto).
- In the English dub, Fujitaka is voiced by Brian Drummond, who also voices Mr. Terada.
- Being a reincarnation of Clow Reed, Fujitaka is foreshadowed when Sakura Kinomoto and Syaoran Li compare his appearance to Eriol Hiiragizawa, the other half of his reincarnation.
- In Chapter 13 of the manga, Sakura states when speaking with Sonomi; "Dad doesn't have any relatives and I don't know any of Mom's relatives, so...", implying that Fujitaka had (in the manga) no other living relatives that aren't from Nadeshiko's family.
- His voice actor, Hideyuki Tanaka, provided the voice of characters from other anime adaptations of Clamp's manga series: Ashura-ō from RG Veda and Seiichirou Aoki from X (Movie).
15 Ways Cardcaptor Sakura Had To Be Censored In America
Imagine a show that combined the stylish heroics of Sailor Moon with the addictive "gotta catch ‘em all" angle of Pokémon or Dragon Ball Z. It is no wonder that CLAMP’s iconic magical girl series Cardcaptor Sakurabecame so popular both in its native Japan and during its run in Northern America.
The series centred on schoolgirl Sakura Kinomoto, who opens a mysterious book and lets loose a set of magic cards, accidently making it her duty to capture the dangerous freed cards.
Rather than conforming to the stereotype in many contemporary shows which necessitates female heroes adopting masculine traits to achieve their goals, Sakura maintains a conventionally feminine persona. Her power stems from love, pureness of heart, and cute, frilly outfits. In turn, the show explores the complexities of love, both platonic and romantic.
All of that is changed in the Americanized version. The original Japanese Cardcaptor Sakura version and the English dubbed Cardcaptors version released in North America are vastly different products. It was not simply translated – it was completely transformed.
To appeal to a Western male audience, all the most evidently feminine aspects are removed. The series is reduced dramatically from 70 to just 39 episodes.
Here are 15 Ways Cardcaptor Sakura Had To Be Censored In America.
15 That Girly Title
Originally Cardcaptor Sakura was consciously aimed at young Japanese girls. The female lead, her relatable personality, her costume changes, and the focus on young romance were all stereotypically aimed at a young female demographic.
The series began as a manga and was adapted into a 70-episode anime television series by Madhouse, airing in Japan from 1998 to 2000. During this period, Japanese animation was beginning to break into the American market and adventure series aimed at boys were most popular.
When Nelvana re-commissioned the show for American audiences, it was shifted to fit into what was perceived as a more lucrative market. Cardcaptor Sakura became Cardcaptors. This removed the gender-specific focus to appeal more to American boys, who showrunners thought would not watch a program with a icky girl’s name in the title.
When Cardcaptors came to America, the originally girly heroine was deconstructed to appeal to a different market. Through changes to the dub, Sakura’s personality became less naïve and more assertive to reflect both the cultural shift and the new audience stereotyping.
This change was in line with changes to all the characters. While Cardcaptor Sakura featured more polite and soft-spoken Japanese children, Cardcaptors portrayed the young characters to be far more outspoken. The dub aims to match what the new target audience would expect and appreciate.
The most drastic change came to Sakura’s best friend, Tomoyo Daidoji. Renamed Madison Taylor, the rich and elegant character’s speech pattern was changed to “valley girl” speech. This was thought to be more relatable to the audience.
13 Girl Crushes
Tomoyo (AKA Madison in the American dub) is Sakura’s best friend. She is also entirely infatuated with Sakura.
When she learns of Sakura's new duty as a Cardcaptor, she is over the moon, insisting that Sakura wears "special outfits" which she provides. She follows Sakura on her missions so she can film the events on her video camera and is shown to dream about the other girl.
Predictably, in the American dub, Madison’s crush on Sakura is removed.
Any dialogue hinting that her feelings are anything other than platonic are edited out.
In general, LGBT relationships are far more common in Japanese animation than in Western ones. This particular flavour of Girls’ Love is especially common when depicting growing up. It seems dishonest to edit out.
Even with the changes in the dub, it is difficult to read Tomoyo's obsession with dressing Sakura in frilly costumes and videotaping her as anything but a young crush.
12 Guy Love
The handsome, musically talented, hard-working Toya Kinomoto is Sakura’s elder brother.
Working multiple jobs to pay for his college tuition, Toya is kind, athletic and a hit with the ladies. He has multiple girls confess to him throughout the show but for some reason he always turns them down.
Toya is very close to his friend Yukito and it becomes obvious that the two have unspoken feelings for each other.
When Toya sacrifices his supernatural power to save Yukito’s life, they finally admit their love for each other. Although a lot of the young loves keep shifting and changing in the show, Toya and Yukito are together through it all.
Unsurprisingly, this romantic subplot is totally obliterated from the US dub. Multiple obvious references are removed from the dub and the two are presented as close friends. Very close friends.
11 Theme Music
Desperate to overhaul the perception and audience of Cardcaptor Sakura for Cardcaptors, the American version even changes the theme music and introduction.
The original Japanese opening sequence and credits are backed by a couple of different songs. The soundtracks are all upbeat, cheerful numbers, sung by sweet female voices.
In contrast, the new American version features a more aggressive song, sung by a male vocalist. The visuals are also changed from the slice of life, cutesy school visuals to focus more heavily on scenes of fighting and adventure.
The themes of love and young life are replaced with adventure and conspiracy. It is unusual for censorship to try to add in more violence, rather than attempt to edit it out.
10 Crushing on an older guy
Although lamentable, much of the removal of LGBT relationships from the version shipped across to American audiences was not unexpected. It had already been seen in Sailor Moon with the removal of any trace of Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus’ long-term relationship from the US dub.
Similarly, a few relationships between more mature characters and minors were removed for obvious motives. It is unusual that almost every relationship in the show is watered down for seemingly no better reason than thinking romance was too girly for American boys.
Before recognizing his love for Sakura’s brother Toya, Sakura had a huge crush on Yukito. In the American version, the crush is still there but entire episodes are rewritten to avoid bringing it up. It is true that Yukito is several years older than Sakura, as he is a similar age to her brother, is it a large enough age difference to be dubious?
9 Random ordering of episodes
Cardcaptor Sakura originally ran to 70 episodes and two movies. Though Nelvana technically adapted all 70 episodes, only 38 episodes originally aired in the US. That cuts out almost half the story.
The series opened with Episode 8 as this episode introduced an important male character, Syaoran Li (AKA Li Shaoran). He is Sakura’s main rival throughout the series, also seeking to capture the cards and take advantage of their power. It was thought that boys would not be able to relate to a female lead and so starting the series with Syaoran’s introduction was set to appeal most to the anticipated male audience.
The rest of the series was aired in a random order, with entire sequences hacked apart, mostly to remove the aspects seen as inappropriate for the Western audience.
This led to inconsistencies and plot holes, as well as ripping out the heart of the show.
8 "The Final Judgment" plotline
The Americanization completely rewrites certain crucial plotlines of Cardcaptor Sakura.
The season two finale, the "Final Judgement", reveals that the price to pay for Sakura losing to Yue is that everyone related to the Clow Cards would lose their love for the person they cared for the most.
In the English version, the episode runs similarly, except that the motivation is changed so that the price for losing is now that everyone's memory would be erased from the time the Clow Cards were released up to the Final Judgement.
No doubt, the shift in focus is to move away from certain love stories that have been left out of the dub. Yet is can’t help but come across as expressing the opinion that love would not be a strong enough motivation in the eyes of the new audience.
7 Young Love Triangle
In their effort to change the feel of Cardcaptor Sakura, almost all the romantic relationships are removed. This even applies to relationships which are quite crucial to the development of the main characters.
Before Sakura and Syaoran develop their rivalry into affection, both characters have a crush on the same character.
Syaoran is attracted to Yukito (AKA Julian Star). The young man will often blush or run away when he meets Yukito. In parallel, Sakura has a crush on Yukito so the main characters would often compete with each other for his affections. The pair are truly rivals, both in their quests to capture the Clow Cards and in their love.
It should be unsurprising by now that this young love triangle is removed from the US dub. By this point, it is hard to tell if it because part of it is a same-sex crush or just because it is a romantic subplot at all.
6 Creepily close family relations
The familial and romantic loves in Cardcaptor Sakura do become a little "intertwined."
To fill in the background, it has to be pointed out that in Japan a relationship with your first cousin is not considered wrong and cousins can legally marry.
With that in mind, Sakura’s mother and Tomoyo’s mother are cousins.
In the show, Sakura’s mother has passed away, three years after giving birth to Sakura. Tomoyo’s mother adores Sakura, treating her like her own daughter. In part, this is revealed that it is because she has loved Sakura’s mother since kindergarten.
Now, it is pretty normal to love your cousin. Yet, it is less normal to hate your cousin’s husband for getting to spend more time with her. Tomoyo’s mother’s love is presented as slightly more than familial love, seeing Sakura’s father as a rival.
In Cardcaptors, this subplot is written out. To avoid any confusion, the mothers are even said to be friends rather than cousins.
5 Parents’ Backstory
One of the many relationships that are edited in the American dub is that of Sakura’s parents.
A problematic theme of the show appears to be teacher/student romance. Sakura’s father, Fujitaka Kinomoto, was a teacher at her mother’s high school, and they married while she was still a high school student. Nadeshiko was a beautiful, cheerful girl, as well as a part-time model. It is described how the two would come to the high school together while married with disgustingly romantic matching packed lunches.
Romanctic lunches aside, Fujitaka, as a teacher, was in a position of authority over Nadeshiko and their relationship while she was still a student was questionable.
To make things a little more respectable in the American dub, she didn't get married at the age of 16 but fell in love with her husband at that age.
4 Yet Another Teacher/Student Relationship
Another pairing that is played down in the Americanization is Sakura’s brother Toya’s brief relationship with his student teacher Kaho.
Kaho is a beautiful, spiritual woman with wisdom beyond her years. Toya meets her at a Shrine under a cherry blossom tree and they are attracted to each other due to mutual magical powers. It is only afterwards that Toya realises that Kaho is his new student teacher. Their friendship eventually grows into a romantic love, which Toya touchingly confesses under the same tree where they had originally met.
Despite the tutor/student angle, the relationship is less eye-brow raising than previous relationships due to Toya being slightly older. Toya and Kaho are not a couple for long.
A year after their romance starts, she moves overseas for studies and the couple part.
3 A Young Engagement
With her cute black buns and bratty personality, Meilin Li adds a little spice to Cardcaptor Sakura.
She arrives on the scene with Syaoran to help him capture the Clow Cards. Actively disliking Sakura, she is impulsive and has been friends with her cousin Syaoran since childhood. When Syaoran rescued Meilin’s escaped pet bird as children living in Hong Kong, Meilin became devoted to Syaoran - declaring them to be engaged.
Fourth grade does seem a little early to be engaged.
In the English adaptation Cardcaptors, her name is changed to Meilin Rae and her engagement with Syaoran (and their familial relationship) is omitted. Instead, she is portrayed as a friend of Syaoran and her romantic feelings toward him become a crush, meaning she still fulfills her position as rival for Sakura.
2 20 year age difference
Yoshiyuki Terada, or Terada-sensei as he is addressed by all of his students, is the teacher at Tomoeda Elementary School. He is the homeroom teacher throughout the fourth grade for Sakura Kinomoto and every other recurring elementary student character.
In the manga, kind-hearted Terada maintains a secret relationship with one of the other students, little Rika. In the anime, Terada and Rika are not officially engaged, but the couple maintain a close relationship. Rika has an obvious schoolgirl crush and Terada always accepts the cakes and presents she gives him.
The references to the relationship are eliminated entirely in the US versions. Rika's shyness toward Mr. Terada is presented in a way that implies that she is afraid of him rather than fancies him.
Of all the relationships edited out of the US dub, the one between the 10-year-old and her 30-something tutor feels like a fair one to remove.
1 Final Scene
The main romance of the original show is the competition-turned-affection between rivals Sakura and Syaoran.
This seemingly innocent subplot is avoided as much as possible in the American dub. It is still visible but it is hugely played down.
In the American adaptation, the last scene where Syaoran confesses his love to Sakura is removed. He does not even make and gift Sakura with a teddy bear. He simply says he is going to go home now and then exits. It leaves the series inexplicably incomplete.
As we begin the new series Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card, almost 20 years since the end of Cardcaptor Sakura, the first scene is Syaoran and Sakura’s reunion and the return of the bears to their original makers. It’s almost like the American dub missed the point of Cardcaptor Sakura.
What do you think of the changes made to Cardcaptor Sakura? Let us know in the comments!
NextWhat If...?: The 10 Best Characters
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