Thursday, April 18, 2024

Can we give Cardcaptor Sakura another shot?

Do you remember Cardcaptor Sakura? I barely do, so I had to put in a little bit of effort when penning this article. This is also, honestly, why the franchise needs some sort of rebirth – whether it’s an anime remake like Sailor Moon Crystal or a stand-alone video game. Speaking of which, the magical girl saga inspired by a limited manga saw ten instalments launched on consoles ranging from Gameboy Color to PlayStation 2. However, they were only released in Japan, which partially stifled the series’ popularity in America, the UK and other countries. But that’s getting ahead of myself! If you’ve never heard of Cardcaptor Sakura, let me give you a quick rundown! 

Based on the manga created by artist group “Clamp,” Cardcaptor Sakura exists in a world filled with magic, might and mystery. A sorcerer known only as Clow Reed captures dangerous spirits with unique abilities and imprisons them inside rectangular cards. Both to keep them from using their power on civilization or seeking a more sinister ruler, Clow Reed uses his own abilities to wield the spirits and their abilities whenever he needs them, whether in battle or a simple trick of travel. Eventually Clow Reed disappears and a 10-year-old girl named Sakura Kinomoto accidentally unleashes the 19 spirits (or 52 if you follow the anime) into the world. Accompanied by a mystical, mini flying lion and her own signature wand, the young girl is tasked with recapturing all the spirits that she allowed to escape. 

In its various forms, Cardcaptor Sakura began as a manga that ran from 1996 to 2000, before becoming an even shorter anime from 2000 to 2001; although it started airing two years prior in Japan. Two movies, Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie and Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: The Sealed Card, were released during this time and the saga fell to obscurity shortly after the Canadian run ended in early 2003. A reboot of the manga following an older Sakura in high school, Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card, is currently being serialized in Japan. And an Android and iOS game, “Happiness Memories,” launched in late 2019 but was taken out of app stores just nine months later citing bugs and operation failures. 

This got me thinking that Cardcaptor Sakura needs a major rebirth in America and other countries where it was even mildly successful. With platforms like Netflix and Hulu producing their own original content, I don’t think it would be a major gamble to air a reboot on either of those networks. But since this is a Gayming website, let me focus on why I think Cardcaptor Sakura needs a big console adaptation. I mean, the RPG possibilities are endless. If you ever watched the anime or the movies, you know Sakura often teams up for battle with a variety of allies and even a friend who videotapes her fights to offer her strategic advice. These are characters and magicians that could easily become allies in a video game, and let me not forget to mention how the mini flying lion, Kero, has the same likeability factor as Final Fantasy’s Moogles.

Let’s be honest, you can’t throw a video game controller without hitting something Pokemon related. Then there’s its lesser-known cousins Digimon and Monster Rancher. Gaymers are infatuated with the idea of capturing unique critters and training them to their advantage. With so many mystical and spiritual entities to be discovered and sealed away, that “hunt and capture” aspect seen in Pokemon could become a big draw for interested players. With a wide arrange of hero and villain cards, elemental and battle cards, pink and black cards, there truly is something for everyone’s niche. Although The Windy, a kind spirit capable of creating focused wind gusts, has always been my personal favourite. 

Entire video game series have been created based on the simple concept of a girl with special powers – even seen with darker editions like Control and The Medium. So, why not give Sakura another shot?

Michael Therkelsen

[He/Him] Michael was born and raised at the Jersey Shore and he loves love horror films, video games, hiking and cooking. He auditioned for American Idol in season 6 and worked as a vet tech before finally discovering his passion for writing. He has several short stories available for purchase on e-readers, and is obsessed with UFC, American Ninja Warrior and running half-marathons. With a wide area of interests and hobbies, he's excited to help other people in the LGBT community discovery the world of gaming.

One thought on “Can we give Cardcaptor Sakura another shot?

  • It’s also a very queer-friendly show: Tomoya, throughout the show, is clearly in love with Sakura and *both* Sakura and Li have a crush on Sakura’s older brother’s boyfriend.

    Yeah, the relationships get pretty convoluted for a kid’s show

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