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Card Captor Sakura Vol.6: Friends and Family
Subtitled DVD
100 minutes
Eizo Kondo
Four more episodes of everyone's favorite super cute anime.
Overall Rating:

Animefringe Reviews:
Card Captor Sakura Vol.6: Friends and Family
By Ridwan Kha

One would assume that, more or less, Cardcaptor Sakura and the American broadcast Cardcaptors are basically the same show. Same Sakura, same Clow Cards, they should be pretty similar, right? Nope! The Japanese Cardcaptor Sakura is a far different beast from the American edit, broadcast on Kids WB. Being so, the Pioneer discs are the only ones with featuring one of the sharpest, cutest shoujo anime of the last five years. The differences between the uncut Japanese and American episodes are numerous. All references to Sakura's crush on her brother's older best friend have been edited out, as have been Tomoyo (Madison in the English dub) and Li's "crushes" (really more hero worship than anything) on Sakura and Yukito, respectively. In fact, each twenty-five minute episode ends up at about ten to fifteen minutes broadcast (and thus the WB shows spliced up versions of another episode to fill the 25 minute timeslot). All in all, the Nelvana release is put together worse than Frankenstein, which is a tragedy considering the quality of what it started with.

Pioneer's release is the only way to watch Cardcaptor Sakura. So much of the plot (not to mention the show's delightful soundtrack) is cut out of the American version that it comes off as rather convoluted and unintelligible. Having said that, Pioneer's release isn't spectacular. On this disc, number six in the series (actually five, since disc four is missing in action), the only extras present are character sketches. However, the sheer quality of the show is what is the main draw of the DVDs. For a DVD obviously targeted at the anime aficionado (it only has a Japanese track; Nelvana has released their own version, which contains only the edited American dub) it is woefully short on omake.

As for the show itself, Cardcaptor Sakura is one of the sweetest little shows made in a while. Bright colors and cute opening and closing themes make the show stand out from the glut of girl's anime that have rolled in after the success of Sailor Moon. Based on the manga by the all female manga group CLAMP, it involves Sakura, an average Japanese second grader, who one day opens a dusty old book. As she does, dozens of cards fly out. Turns out that these cards were created by a Chinese magician and by opening the book, Sakura is now chosen as the cardcaptor who has to catch the errant little beasties who would otherwise cause a general havoc. In this she has quite a bit of help, including the Clow Book's guardian beast, Kero, her best friend Tomoyo, and the descendants of the cards' creator Li Sharoan.

Disc six of the Pioneer release contains four episodes of the show, 21 through 24. In these episodes, Sakura continues her quest for the cards. In each episode, the Clow Cards cause some mischief for Sakura and company to get to the bottom of, pretty basic fare for the program. In Episode 21, "Sakura's Long Marathon," Sakura, Li, and Meilin run a school race, until a Clow Card causes trouble. Episode 22 features Sakura's father and a misbehaving card at the college where he works in "Sakura and her Kind Father." Next up, "Sakura, Tomoyo, and a Wonderful Song." Tomoyo is stuck singing until she can do so perfectly. Finally, "Sakura's Little Adventure," a super cute Alice in Wonderland Sakura has to deal with the problematic Little Card. It sounds like Pocket Monster meets Sailor Moon with a tinge of the Japanese obsession for trading card games, but CSS has a charm all it's own. Earlier, I mentioned that the DVD contained no extras, but the episodes themselves do have a short "Kero-chan Check!" where the cuddly plushie answers questions and discusses the main character's costumes.

Obviously, Cardcaptor Sakura targets a particular audience - the anime fan into shoujo. Although it's short on extras, if you've seen the finger torture that is the Kid's WB broadcast and looked past the inanities to the cute art style, then Cardcaptor Sakura may be right up your alley.

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