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Cardcaptor Sakura (カードキャプターさくら Kādokyaputā Sakura?), abbreviated as CCS and also known as Cardcaptors, is a Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by the manga artist group Clamp. The manga was originally serialized monthly in Nakayoshi from the May 1996 until the June 2000 issue, and later published in 12 tankōbon volumes by Kodansha from November 1996 to July 2000. The story focuses on Sakura Kinomoto, an elementary school student who discovers that she possesses magical powers after accidentally freeing a set of magical cards from the book in which they had been sealed for years. She is then tasked with retrieving those cards in order to avoid an unknown catastrophe from befalling the world.

The series was adapted into a 70-episode anime TV series by Madhouse that aired in Japan on NHK between April 1998 and March 2000. Two anime films were produced by Madhouse in August 1999 and July 2000. Ten video games were produced based on the series. Kodansha published art books, picture books and film comics for the manga and anime series. Tokyopop released the manga in English in North America from March 2000 to August 2003. After Tokyopop's license for Cardcaptor Sakura expired, Dark Horse Manga acquired the license and began releasing the series in omnibus editions starting in October 2010. Nelvana licensed the anime TV series and first film for North American broadcast and distribution. Heavily edited and dubbed into 39 episodes, the series was renamed Cardcaptors and aired on Kids' WB, Cartoon Network and Teletoon. The TV series and films were re-licensed by Geneon, which released them unedited with English subtitles.

Critics praised the manga for its creativity and described it as a quintessential shōjo manga, as well as a critical work for manga in general. The manga series was awarded the Seiun Award for Best Manga in 2001. The TV anime adaptation was praised for its ability to transcend its target audience of young children and be enjoyable to older viewers too. The artwork in the anime was also a focus of attention, described as above average for a late-1990s TV series, and Sakura's magic-casting scenes were complimented for being nearly unique, because of the regular costume changes. The TV anime won the Animage Grand Prix award for Best Anime in 1999. The Cardcaptors version was heavily panned by critics, who called the editing ridiculous and cutting out vital character backgrounds essential to understand the plot.


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