Cardcaptors General Overview
Card Captor Sakura has been dubbed by Nelvana and is being shown in the US on the KidsWB. It began by airing on Saturdays, but will no doubt hop around some. Pioneer will be releasing it on VHS and DVD, at least the latter will include the Japanese track and English subtitles. There is no reason to believe the DVD version will be cut. They're releasing this for the fans, so will do their best to please us.
Nelvana is only dubbing and airing a select few episodes (some sources say 13). This means they're deciding what episodes to dub and which not to. The first seven were apparently thrown out a window or something, because their episode 1 is episode 8. But they're not just skipping episodes to get to the "good ones". They're jumping back and forth. More than that, they're airing the episodes out of their own order, as you can see on their webpage. To help us keep track of this confusion, we've created our own episode guide. As you can guess, this means that any continuity or storyline that Card Captor Sakura had is shot to hell.
Of course they redid the opening sequence. We have a narrator telling us the plot of the story, because they cut out the episodes that actually explain that. We have some funky cgi of the book and the cards coming out of it. We have an English theme song, and some clips of our Cardcaptoring heroes doing this and that. The ending sequence is also cut, replaced by nothing more than credits scrolling up half the screen while KidsWB advertises its other programs.
Kero-Chan Check, which always occurred at the end of the episodes, is also cut. For those unfamiliar with the original, this was a funny little bit where Kero-chan highlights an outfit or location that occurred in the episode. Nelvana's site gives us the hint that these will be available on the Web in the eventual future. The Kero-Chan Check is replaced with the narrator telling us about a particular card. This won't necessarily be a card that appeared in the episode, but will be a card captured in an episode that was cut. They show us clips of the episode in question.
Background music is changed more often than in the Cloverway Sailor Moon dub. There are sometimes English lyrics to an entirely new background song. Occasionally the art will be changed. In one episode, Terada-sensei writes Li's name on the blackboard and nothing shows. In a later episode, Terada-sensei writes Meilin's name and this time it shows up in English.
We have a cast listing with all the name changes. What this list doesn't show is the mangling of the pronunciations of the names they kept. Sakura is now SaKOOra, Kero-chan is now Kiro, Clow now rhymes with cow. They changed poor Sakura's mother's name to Natasha, but we haven't even heard mention of her once.
I truly hope Yue doesn't show up, or we'll have a Yooey on our hands.
As for the Keroberos thing, Keroberos is one possible spelling of it, but any Japanese products I've seen with his name romanized, it's Cerberus. Cerberus is the guardian to the gates of hell, so it makes sense. FYI, the bilingual manga I have writes it as Cerberus and Cero.
Oh boy. Well, Tori and Sakura at least got to stay brother and sister. Two of Sakura's classmates (Takashi/Zachary and Chiharu/Chelsea) who were, while maybe not boyfriend/girlfriend per se, but had at least a close friendship and mutual crush on each other, are labelled cousins in Nelvana's dub. (see The Cave) Why? Who knows.
Inexplicably, Li and Meilin who are cousins, now aren't. In the original, they're also engaged to be married. While not a common thing, it's certainly not unheard of in China. In the dub, they're just friends. This changes Meilin's character quite a bit. In the original, she has no magic and is rather an outcast in her family because of it. In the dub, she just has no magic because her family doesn't. Well, hello, Li is her family.
Rika (Rita) in the original has a crush on her teacher, Terada-sensei. In the manga, this is more of a relationship. Well, obviously a relationship is taboo. It's taboo in Japan as well. That's what makes it so interesting! But a simple crush on a teacher is common and no big thing, isn't it? Nelvana doesn't think so. They change a harmless crush to her being afraid of Terada-sensei. (see Double-Edged Sword)
Of course Touya and Yukito (Tori and Julian)'s relationship isn't made obvious. They really didn't have to do too much hiding of that, since it was an understated current throughout the earlier episodes. We still get to see them being cute, hanging out in Tori's room, and eating dinner together.
They had to cut as carefully as possible any hint that Li was crushing or otherwise interested in Yukito though. They weren't entirely successful. There's still one scene in the first episode (Sakura's Rival), where Li blushes and runs away from Julian.
Why did they also have to cut Sakura's crushing? No idea. Seems like that would be the most normal of all the relationships involved here. Girl crushes on her brother's friend. Happens all the time. Heck, it's Yukito for crying out loud. Worry about her if she doesn't crush on him! Anyway, all the crushing is what led to the most scene and frame cuts.
And lest I forget (I nearly did), Tomoyo (Madison) has a serious crush of the Marcy/Peppermint Patty variety on Sakura. This is downplayed in the dub, but it probably wasn't too hard to do.
The voice acting is not too bad. Kero's voice is the worst, since it's totally wrong for him. His seiyuu is also Sailor Mercury, so that should give you some of idea of what he's supposed to sound like. Instead, we get a very masculine mentor-like voice. Not right. He's also constantly spouting, "Expect the unexpected!" like a mantra.
We have a cast listing for your perusing pleasure.
In the original, Sakura's shouting "Release!" to do various cardcaptoring type things. In the dub, she usually says "Release and Dispel!" when capturing a card. What's most noteable though, and this is no doubt intentional, is Li's little magical phrase. "Force, know my plight! Release the light!" Catchy isn't it?
I'll end this with a little rant. This series was clearly editted and cut to pieces to make it as Pokemon-like as possible. It wasn't enough that Sakura went around capturing cards, finding out the secrets of the Clow, and figuring out all her many relationships with people. This wasn't interesting enough for them. They changed the name from Card Captor Sakura to Cardcaptors. That was the first hint right there.
Well, Sakura is the star of the show. She is the Card Captor. She is the only Card Captor. Li is catching the cards for his own reasons. Meilin is helping him for her own reasons (jealousy mostly). Tomoyo is helping Sakura, but more often she's just designing outfits and videotaping. Kero-chan is helping as well. None of these people can be called Card Captors except Sakura. Forget "in the end, there can be only one". There is only one.
First they left out the first seven episodes where Sakura is acting on her own with dubious help from Kero-chan and Tomoyo. We first meet Sakura in relation to Li. Then Li is a major player in every episode afterward. Then Meilin shows up to help him. Who will capture all the cards first? Who will be Grand Cardcaptor Master? Fah.
Pioneer, please hurry up! We need our yuri, our yaoi, our shoujo
heroines, our actual continuing storyline! Hayaku onegaishimasu!!
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