Cardcaptor Sakura is a Japanese comic, commonly called manga, that is created by an all female team who style themselves as CLAMP. Fourth grader Sakura Kinomoto found an old book in her dad’s library, when she opened it a deck of cards flew out and disappeared. The cards were created by the magician Clow Reed and are colloquially called the Clow cards. Each card represents a different power, such as the four elements but also things like flying and illusion. Only someone with magical ability has the power to open the book so Sakura has some latent magical talent she was previously unaware of. Opening the book also awakens Cerebus, or Kero-chan as Sakura calls him, the guardian of the cards. He looks like an adorable lion cub with wings that becomes Sakura’s mentor in being a Cardcaptor, the title she gains as it is now her duty to retrieve all the Clow cards and return them to the book. Upon being released from the book, the cards become alive and wreck havoc, and should Sakura fail, it is told that disaster will befall the world.
The basic set up is that Sakura will discover something weird is going on that is the result of a Clow card. She then goes out and through the use of magic captures the card. Once captured, Sakura writes her name on the card, binding it to her and allowing her to use the card’s magical ability to capture future cards. Some cards are stronger than others and Sakura often has to figure out how to creatively use the cards she has successfully captured to assist with the current card. The story is also about relationships between family and friends and how Sakura deals with the loss of her mother seven years prior. Determined and caring Sakura is unwavering in her goal to capture all the cards and protect those who are harmed by their release.
CLAMP’s artwork is beautiful and you can’t help but root for Sakura as she finds her feet in the role she was thrust into. Both my girls, seven and ten, adore this series and heaven help me should they learn it was adapted into an anime television series.