All TopicsNewsTravelAnimeKawaii CharactersKawaii FashionJapanese StationeryMember Spotlight
YumeTwins Kawaii Culture BlogHow is Cardcaptor Sakura Different From Other Magical Girls?

How is Cardcaptor Sakura Different From Other Magical Girls?

By Serena
February 22, 2022

What is a Magical Girl

If you are familiar with Japanese anime and manga then you are probably familiar with the magical girl genre. Stories in this fantasy genre usually have a female main character or group of main female characters that have special powers and can use or process some kind of magic. 

These girls and their relationships with magic and each other form the basis for their stories. This includes how they interact with the world around them and generally right wrongs. Of course, as the genre develops the more nuanced and complex these ideas have become.

The genre came about first by two popular stories in the 1960s, namely Sally the Witch who was based off of the American character Samantha from Bewitched, and The Secrets of Akko-Chan. Both stories were aimed towards girls and feature a young woman with special powers who help others in some way. 

The genre has continued to grow since the 60s into today, though modern audiences might be more familiar with series such as Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Check out this blog about why the magical girl genre is one of the most influential genres in anime.  

Love magical girls, the power of friendship, or kawaii things in general? Check out YumeTwins, the monthly subscription box from Japan to have carefully picked kawaii Japanese items sent to you once a month!


Who Is Cardcaptor Sakura?

Cardcaptor Sakura is a fantasy story about a young girl named Sakura Kinomoto, who happens upon a book filled with magical cards called Clow Cards. This kick starts her magical quest to capture and control said magic cards. 

By finding and capturing the Clow Cards, Sakura can use the power from each card to help her on her quest. We also have more background information on Cardcaptor Sakura, for those who want a deeper look into the series. 

How Sakura Kinomoto is Different from other Magical Girls

Magical girl anime may all seem the same, girls with their flashy outfits and their love of friendship and love of well…love. But that does not mean each of their stories are all the same. Aside from Puella Magi Madoka Magica which is a bit of an outlier since it is a deconstruction of the magical girl genre, most of the magical girl series are pretty similar. How, then, is Cardcaptor Sakura different?


One of the main and obvious things that sets Sakura apart from other modern magical girls is her age. While other girls are often in junior high or high school, Sakura starts her adventure in elementary school. This makes her one of the youngest protagonists in the modern magical girl genre. Though it is important to note that Sally Yumeno from Sally the Witch from the 1966 series also appears quite young when she enters our world.  

By having a younger main character with magical powers Cardcaptor Sakura is able to appeal to an even younger and more impressionable audience. This also means that the things that Sakura goes through in her story are a little different from her older counterparts. Although it is possible to have romantic story lines for young kids, their scope and how they are handled is a bit different from those who are 17 and almost adults.

She Isn’t Fighting Evil

Another thing that sets Sakura apart from other characters in the genre is the enemy she “fights.” While other magical girls are fighting pure evil incarnated, Sakura is really just dealing with restless spirits that don’t want to be confined or controlled again…and to be honest that’s fair.

The cyclical and repetitive nature of many popular anime and manga series can either feel cohesive and necessary or frustrating and stressful. Cardcaptor Sakura does a good job of making the weekly “villain” trope feel bearable and interesting. These are not just copy and paste villains of the week but unique characters. There are also fewer fillers in each episode such as action hero screams or a transformation sequence. The use of different attacks on said villains also keeps the show feeling like it is moving at a faster pace. 

Does Not Transform 

Another big point that separates Sakura from some of the other magical girls is her costume. First of all, the obvious one is that her costumes are actually that, costumes that are made by hand and put on by hand. We don’t really know the mechanics behind how the Sailor Scouts get in and out of their magical outfits other than….magic and glitter? 

Sure, Sakura possesses and can use magic to help her in her adventures but that is not extended to shape changing clothes or beams of light that vaporize and materialize clothing. Nope, Sakura has more in common with standard and old school superheroes who need physical costumes. 

What she does have though is a very rich best friend with an eye for fashion who has made it her personal mission to make sure Sakura looks good on her missions. That’s right, her best friend Tomoyo makes and provides Sakura with all of her costumes and a large van to change in when she knows she is going on a card capturing mission. Check out our pick for Sakura’s top seven best costumes. 


What is Sakura’s Impact on the Real World? Cardcaptor Sakura’s LGBT+ influence has had a profound effect on many of the not only the women and girls who are fans of the series but boys, men, and non binary fans as well. Cardcaptor Sakura has multiple same sex couples portrayed without any mentions of homophobia, along with gender nonconforming characters as well. 

In addition to being progressive, the series empowers young girls to stand up for themselves, their beliefs, and the people around them. The show does a good job of telling generations of young girls that emotional strength and kindness is a super power in itself and is just as necessary as something like super strength or speed.  

Are there any differences we might have missed in our list? Comment below and let us know.

Enjoy Popular Japanese Kawaii Merchandise Every Month!

Starting from $32.50 USD

Get YumeTwins

Author avatar

Kawaii culture lover since birth, I am beyond excited to share my passion for cute with the world!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enjoy Popular Japanese Kawaii Merchandise Every Month!

Starting from $32.50 USD

Get YumeTwins

Related Articles

Best Winter Anime to Watch This Year!

December 04, 2023

Winter is just around the corner. As the days get shorter, darker, and colder, we’re looking for things to keep us entertained and happy. And what better way than with winter anime to watch with family or friends? 

Pokemon Events: Yokohama Pikachu Outbreak Unveiled!

November 29, 2023

Pokemon events are one-of-a-kind in Japan! The exciting energy, characters, and electrifying atmosphere make them unforgettable experiences for fans worldwide.

Best Anime Christmas Movies and Shows to Watch!

November 22, 2023

Christmas means many different things to different people. It’s a great time of the year because of its wintry weather, bright lights, and fun gift-giving!

Ghibli Fest: The Classic Anime to Enjoy!

October 26, 2023

Studio Ghibli has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide. Whether you’re a longtime fan or new to anime, a Ghibli fest is the perfect opportunity to dive into these amazing movies!

Best Halloween Cartoon Movies to Watch This Year!

September 28, 2023

Whether you’re a fan of the spookier and more adult movies or simply like light-hearted Halloween aesthetics, there’s a fantastic movie out there just for you!

Anime Moon Characters: Top Five Lunar Icons!

September 11, 2023

Anime characters with the powers of the moon tend to be calm and mysterious but also quite powerful! Plenty of moon-powered characters exist, so let’s look at the top five most popular ones and their fantastic abilities!

YumeTwins logo

Be a YumeTwins Insider!

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive kawaii news!


Accepted Payments
Visa payment availableMastercard payment availableAmerican Express payment availableDiscover payment availablePayPal payment available

YumeTwins Logo

Be a YumeTwins Insider!

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive kawaii news!

Ichigo Logo
Copyright © 2023 YumeTwins™. All Rights Reserved.
Accepted Payments
Visa payment availableMastercard payment availableAmerican Express payment availableDiscover payment availablePayPal payment available