The cards were created by powerful wizard Clow Reed who used his American & Chinese identity to combine Western & Eastern magic into a set of cards similar to tarot cards. Realizing their power and the danger they pose if they were to fall into the wrong hands, Clow Reed sealed the cards into a book before his death and appointed one of his guardians, Cerberus, to watch over them.
However, as luck would have it, Cerberus fell asleep during his long guarding assignment. This, coupled with the curiosity of our young protagonist Sakura Kinomoto, allowed the cards to break free of their seal and scatter across Tokyo.
As mentioned before, Sakura goes on an adventure to capture these cards and use their power to help her on this journey. The cards lend their powers to Sakura as well as lend their powers to tarot readings that allow Sakura to have a deeper look into the future.
After collecting the cards, Sakura eventually transforms them into Sakura Cards through her own magic abilities. A later series, Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card sees the cards turn blank when Sakura gets older and becomes unable to control her growing magic.
The Clow Cards are present in the anime and manga, but there are some differences in appearance and ability. For starters, the Cardcaptor Sakura manga only names 19 Clow Cards while the anime series has 53 cards.
Check out our article if you want more information about Sakura and the Cardcaptor Sakura series. And without further ado, here are our picks for the top 5 Clow Cards and abilities.
The Windy Card is one of the original 19 Clow Cards that appeared in the manga. It is ruled by the power of the moon and thus falls under the protection of Guardian Yue. This card is also an example of Eastern magic. Windy appears as a beautiful woman with long hair and feathered wings.
Windy is one of the first cards that we encounter in the series. In the manga, Windy returns peacefully back to Sakura and the book after the cards are scattered, but in the anime Sakura accidentally uses Windy when she reads the name of the card, causing the other cards to fly off in a whirlwind. Thus, because she was holding The Windy Card it is one she does not have to go out and capture.
As for her personality, Windy is generally calm and well mannered. She generally does not like to fight so her powers are often used for non attack reasons. Her wind can be used as normal wind to blow things away or to act as a cover and blind others. Windy is also one of the most used cards by Sakura, making her a great ally.
The Fly Card is made from The Windy Card so it has the same attributes as Windy. It is controlled by the moon and Guardian Yue, it uses Eastern magic, and was one of the original 19 cards from the manga. The Fly Card takes the form of a giant crane-like bird.
There is a bit of a difference in how Fly was captured between the manga and the anime. In the original manga Sakura attempts to catch Fly using the powers of Windy. However, because Fly is made from the same power as Windy this does not work. Sakura eventually learns in a dream that The Fly is actually hurt, so when she returns to capture him she uses The Jump to just hug him to show that she means him no more harm. This touches Fly deeply and he ends up going with Sakura willingly.
This is different from the anime in which The Fly Card is the first card that Sakura catches in the first episode of the anime simply by using Windy. The Fly Card goes on to be one of the most used cards as it can be used as an escape or mode of transportation for Sakura.
The Fly Card normally has a nice temperament, and we learn that he was only causing damage due to being scared and in pain from his injury. Fly can grant the ability of flight to whoever uses it. He often appears as the wings on Sakura’s wand and sometimes on her back to allow her to use his ability together with other cards.
The Sword Card falls under the power of The Firey Card which means that it is under the power of the sun and Western magic. This also means that it is protected by Guardian Cerberus. It was also one of the original 19 cards from the manga.
The Sword Card is one of the more violent cards as it is often shown being chained down. It is also capable of changing form and possession as we first meet it while it is in the form of a brooch and in possession of one of Sakura’s friends, Rika. Through Rika, Sword attacked Sakura and was only able to be defeated when Sakura used The Illusion card to distract Rika and separate her from Sword.
The Sword Card is quite powerful in that it is also able to fight against other cards. For example we see him cut through The Shield Card and pin down The Shadow Card. Although Sword is stronger, it does not do damage against Syaoran’s jian, or Chinese longsword.
Sword normally looks like a European Rapier, which is slender with a two-edged blade, with wings on the hilt and gems in between the hilt wings and one on the pommel. Although this card has a violent nature, it proves to be a powerful and high quality ally to Sakura.
The Mirror Card falls under the magic of The Earthy Card making it also fall under the power of the sun and protection of Cerberus and Western magic. This card is also one of the original 19 cards from the manga.
The Mirror Card is interesting because at first Mirror was very mischievous. She is a shapeshifter and when we first meet her she is causing mayhem as Sakura. While as Sakura, she tricks and badly hurts Sakura’s older brother Touya by causing him to fall off of a cliff. After being confronted with the real Sakura and the pain that she has caused, coupled with Touya’s forgiving nature she feels deep remorse.
After her capture Mirror goes on to become one of Sakura’s best allies amongst the cards, often taking her place when Sakura needs to sneak away. Mirror is also the only card able to speak to Sakura, so she often speaks on behalf of the other cards without a voice. Due to this unique trait she is also able to give Sakura verbal encouragement during her adventure.
The Dream Card is the first card on this list that is not part of the original 19 cards named in the manga. The Dream falls under the magic of The Dark Card, making it a part of Eastern magic and thus ruled by the moon and guarded by Yue.
The Dream Card has the ability to give a few different types of dreams. She can show people their greatest wishes, a fortune, or their future. In the anime we first meet Dream as a blue butterfly who shows visions to Sakura, Syaoran and Tomoyo as they tour Tokyo.
Dream gives the most information to Sakura, showing her a battle that she has been dreaming about for a while but from a different angle. When she starts to panic, Dream also tells her through a dream image of herself that she will surely be okay in the future.
We later catch The Dream Card with the help of Syaoron and The Time Card when he realizes that she had The Dream Card, the blue butterfly, stuck under her foot at Tokyo Tower. Although everyone was surprised and a little shaken after their encounter with The Dream Card, it was able to give Sakura more insight into what will come for her and some much needed encouragement.
There are so many different Clow Cards, Sakura Cards, and Clear Cards that it can be hard to keep them straight. But we can definitely agree that some cards are more useful than others.
Have different Clow Card favorites? Comment below to let us know which cards you think we missed.
Like this list? Check out our picks for Cardcaptor Sakura’s 7 best costumes.
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