Cardcaptor Sakura is a 1998 television anime series based on CLAMP’s manga of the same name. The adaptation is directed by Morio Asaka and produced by studio Madhouse. Staff credits also include writer Nanase Ohkawa, and music composed by Takayuki Negishi. The series first aired in Japan on April 1998.
“Ten-year-old Sakura lives a pretty normal life with her older brother, Toya, and widowed father, Fujitaka. Or she did, until the day she returned home from school to discover a glowing book in her father’s study. After opening the book and releasing the cards within, Sakura is tasked with collecting each of these magical cards, while trying to live the life of a normal fourth grader.”Plot Synopsis via Anime Limited, July 2022.
No words can describe the feeling of finally being able to see another classic anime series make its way to the UK in its original form on Blu-ray. Cardcaptor Sakura is a series that a lot of people grew up watching via the edited English version Cardcaptors, which did get a release here in the UK, but the original is what a lot of fans would have wanted to own as they get into anime more.
This franchise thankfully isn’t as messy as Sailor Moon in terms of licensing, as North American fans were able to watch the series uncut on DVD from Pioneer and then in HD as early as August 2014 thanks to NIS America. And let’s not forget Discotek rescuing the films and releasing them on Blu-ray. But what about the UK then for the franchise? Well it’s pretty simple – no one touched it with one of the reasons due to its length as BBFC costs can kill any potential release over there (the longer the series, the more difficult it will be to break even).
The first acquisition from Anime Limited was actually the show’s second film Cardcaptor Sakura: The Sealed Card back in 2018, and many were confused by this news as the main series, which the film requires knowledge of, was unlicensed. Now around the same time the news broke out, there was actually a leak on their site which had images of Cardcaptor Sakura that did not match the one they had licensed. And I remember this clearly because the other image that cropped up was Planetes which they eventually revealed in 2020. The good news is they did eventually reveal they had acquired the main series a year later.
It took a while but eventually news finally appeared in November 2021 when they announced Cardcaptor Sakura was included in the 12 Days of Christmas pre-order line-up, though there were unfortunate delays due to disc authoring issues, like errors in relation to subtitle appearances etc. But the long wait was worth it as Anime Limited had more time to get the right master and materials necessary.
Collector’s Edition Contents:
Despite being a long series, Anime Limited decided to release Cardcaptor Sakura altogether in a single box set. That said this set doesn’t have much in terms of the physical contents.
The package is presented as a rigid box housing two Amaray Blu-ray cases which includes 5 discs each. Also included with the set is a 20-page booklet with character designs and an article written by Andrew Osmond.
The artwork is free of any information or BBFC content and the info sheet covers the information and specification like previous Anime Limited releases. The collector’s edition Blu-ray set is limited to 2000 units for SRP £149.99. A standard edition will likely follow, probably split into different parts to make it more accessible for casual fans.
The series was made available for pre-order during Anime Limited’s 12 Days of Christmas 2021 pre-order line-up for £89.99, but with the Anime (Un)Limited offer for first orders during the sale lowered the price to £76.50.
- Rigid Box with Amaray packaging and clean artwork
- Info sheet for specification and BBFC description
- 20-page booklet
Distributor: Anime Limited
Released: 25th July 2022
The collector’s edition release for Cardcaptor Sakura contains all 70 episodes across 10 Blu-ray discs. The encode & authoring were produced by VDMS, known for their recent work with Anime Limited on titles like BELLE’s 4K UHD, InuYasha, Jujutsu Kaisen, and PSYCHO-PASS: Sinners of the System. The audio options available include Japanese with English subtitles and the Animax English dub, the same one that was also featured on the NIS America release.
The biggest draw for this particular release is the master. While NIS America used what was available at the time, Japan decided to make a new scan of the masters in 2017, this time in 4K which also improved the presentation, and since it’s been a few years Anime Limited were allowed to use this for their release. The subtitles were also cleaned up, opting to go for the Pioneer translation (rather than NISA’s very own) with fixed names and some amendments to make some grammatical sense.
The white subtitles are locked during playback, and the regions are locked to Blu-ray players set to B.
|Audio||English Linear PCM 2.0 Mono|
Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
|Video||1080p High Definition Native format|
1.33:1 aspect ratio
Blu-ray On-Disc Extra Features:
- Clean Opening Ep 1-8 “Catch You Catch Me”
- Clean Opening Ep 9-35 “Catch You Catch Me”
- Clean Ending Ep 1-35 “Groovy!”
- Clean Opening Ep 36-46 “Tobira wo Akete”
- Clean Opening Ep 47-70 “Platinum”
- Clean Ending Ep 36-45 “Honey”
- Clean Ending Ep 47-69 “Fruits Candy”
Cardcaptor Sakura is available to order across multiple retailers in the United Kingdom. The collector’s edition Blu-ray can be acquired through Amazon UK, Anime Limited’s store, MVM’s Anime-on-Line, and United Publications.
(Disclaimer: Amazon links are also included when available. They are affiliated so if you decide to order them, I’ll earn a small percentage if they ship which will help me with any hauls or small bills.)