Cardcaptor Sakura is one of the most beautiful and adorable manga series (a Japanese comic) ever created. The series was written and illustrated by the manga artist group CLAMP between 1996 and 2000, but is still extremely popular today.
The series focuses on Sakura Kinomoto, a fourth grade elementary school student. After opening a book in her father's library she releases a set of 19 magical cards, which start to cause different kinds of mischief. The Guardian of these cards, Kero, a cute magical stuffed-animal-like lion, tasks Sakura to retrieve the cards in order to avoid an unknown catastrophe from befalling the world.
Sakura has one sibling, her 17-year old brother Toya Kinomoto. He has magical powers, however, unlike Sakura, his manifest themselves with him seeing ghosts and being aware of magical beings, but also having a "sixth sense" for detecting impending threats.
Human with magical powers
Sakura's father, Fujitaka Kinomoto is a college professor of archaeology at Towa University. He's extremely kind and caring, and although he's very busy with his work, he finds time for his children whenever he can. Her mother, Nadeshiko Kinomoto sadly died when Sakura was only 3. She was exceptionally beautiful and used to work as a model. In the series Nadeshiko is sometimes seen as an angel, although only Toya is able to see her.
Sakura's best friend Tomoyo Daidouji designs and creates the cute outfits that Sakura wears while capturing cards. She also makes sure to record any special event with her video camera. Tomoyo's mother, Sonomi Daidouji, is the president of a big toy company, but also the cousin of Nadeshiko.
Early on, Syaoran Li joins the class. Being a distant relative of Clow Reed, the creator of the Clow cards, he is sent to Sakura's city by his family to start collecting the cards.
Yukito Tsukishiro is Toya's best friend and Sakura's big crush. He is very kind and gentle and is hardly ever seen without a smile. We slowly learn during the first arc that there is more to him than meets the eye.
Halfway during the first arc, Kaho Mizuki joins Sakura's school as a substitute math teacher. She remains a kind and mysterious person throughout the arc.
During the second arc, Eriol Hiiragizawa joins Sakura's class. He creates a series of "magical disasters" in order to force Sakura to convert the Clow cards into her own Sakura cards. Eriol is helped in this by his own two Guardians: Spinel Sun being the counterpart of Kero and Ruby Moon being the counterpart of Yue.
Green annotations around the main circle explain how to read the visual
Pink annotations around the main circle are story explorations.
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The visualization above is an ode to this wonderful series. The outer rings (outside the lines) focus on all 50 chapters. Such as which Clow cards were captured in each chapter or the smaller groups of circles showing the main colors present in each chapter's cover art, all practically a piece of art. The inner ring (on the inside of the lines) concentrates on the main characters and their connections.
These two main circular areas are connected by lines that change depending on which area you hover over (or click on mobile). Hovering over a character name shows all the chapters she or he appears in. Hovering over a chapter pil instead shows the reverse; which characters appear in that chapter. Finally, hovering over a group of colored circles will reveal the characters that are present on the chapter's cover art.
Discover all of Cardcaptor Sakura and see why it's one of the most beautiful manga ever made
If you enjoy (the art of) Carcaptor Sakura, definitely check out the new Clear Card Arc & CLAMP's follow-up series 'Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle' where you'll meet everyone again in a parallel universe!