Unlike Sailor Moon who spends roughly 40 seconds every episode twirling in a kaleidoscope of colors & sparkles, Sakura Kinomoto has to put on all of her costumes by hand just like the rest of us. Not only does she have to get dressed like your average human, her costumes aren’t magic. All of her costumes are exactly that, a costume that has been gifted to her by her very best and very rich friend Tomoyo Daidouji.
When fighting in a magical girl story half of your power comes from your heart and the love that your friends and family give you, while the other half is from your amazingly adorable costume. Of course my math might be off a little there, but it works out.
Without further ado, here are (in no particular order) seven of Sakura Kinomoto’s best costumes from her anime and manga, plus one bonus!
The OG costume, the one worn in the first anime’s opening animation and in many promotional materials is the red and white frilly dress with the beret. If you know nothing about Cardcaptor Sakura but went near an anime convention at any point in the past two decades then you have probably seen this costume recreated many times by cosplayers.
This costume is so iconic that an updated version of it was created for the second series, Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card, for her first battle costume in the second episode.
The next Cardcaptor Sakura costume on this list is special not only because it is a leotard with the most dramatic of capes and bows, but because it is the first costume that Tomoyo makes for Sakura, as well as the first costume she wears on her adventure to capture the cards, specifically The Shadow Card.
This costume appears in the second episode of the first anime, Sakura’s Wonderful Friend, but was however not included in the English dub version called Cardcaptors that was broadcast in North America.
This costume has elements that definitely seem easy to move around in, like the stretchy leotard. However, there are also elements that seem like they negate this feature, like the long billowing cape. Either way, this costume is adorable on Sakura and looks like such a fun cosplay costume to wear for warm weather shoots and conventions.
This next Cardcaptor Sakura cosplay and costume come from episode 12, Sakura’s Never Ending Day, while trying to capture The Time Card. This light green and yellow tutu dress with wings gives strong ‘princess of the pixies’ vibes. Though it’s the little bloomers under the frilly tutu-like skirt and the little shoe pom poms that really tie this costume together.
This next costume might be a little familiar even to people who have never seen an anime once. Worn in episode 24, Sakura’s Little Adventure, this blue dress with a white apron might remind you of another young girl who accidentally shrinks to the size of a teacup.
Yes, this Alice in Wonderland-inspired costume is worn by Sakura who is shrunk by the magic of The Little Card. The only difference in this costume is the color of the hair bow, Alice’s bow in Disney’s animated movie is black. However, for Sakura’s costume the bow is very large and blue in the manga and red in the anime.
Perhaps a controversial opinion, but the next costume on this list is the battle costume from episode 31, Sakura and the Nameless Book. In this episode she captures The Big Card and The Create Card. Made by her friend Tomoyo, this outfit has strong futuristic and regal vibes.
This next costume is not a battle outfit but one that shows up in the third opening of the first anime series. Although the costume isn’t present in the series, that did not stop cosplayers from falling in love with this beautiful dress and making it a popular Cardcaptor Sakura cosplay. As is a common motif in not only Cardcaptor Sakura but many CLAMP series, wings are present in this costume.
This list would be nothing if it didn’t include the absolute best costume, froggy raincoat. This costume is brought to us from the second anime series, Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card, which takes place after Sakura enters middle school. This froggy raincoat appears in the second episode, Sakura’s Heavy Rain Alert. The coat’s yellow & green vinyl is designed to resemble a frog, with the eyes on the top of the hood.
It would not be fair to have a list of Cardcaptor Sakura costumes without talking about the girl behind the designs of said costumes. As depicted with these two cosplayers below, Tomoyo designs and makes all of Sakura’s costumes.
Being described as mature for her age and having extreme selflessness towards Sakura, Tomoyo constantly puts Sakura and her feelings above her own. It is no secret that Tomoyo is a best friend to Sakura, but she also thinks of Sakura as her most loved person. Take that how you will, but it means that these costumes are all an extension of Tomoyo’s love for her best friend.
So if you are looking for your next con cosplay or some Halloween costume ideas, hopefully this list was able to help or at least gave some inspiration. If not, check out this article for Japanese Halloween costume ideas. And if you are into cute costumes or magical girl anime, and liked this list, then check out our favorite magical girl outfits we would love to have.
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