Why I Hate ‘Cardcaptor Sakura’ (and you can, eight!)

The Ten Days of Hate: Day Seven!

Let us continue with Ten Things I Hate about Cardcaptor Sakura. Today’s post again necessarily contains spoilers.

Number 3: The Creeptastic Mid-story Plot Twist.

“Subaru Nakajima can kiss my butt!” (Yeah, I know. I’m running out of good comparisons here.)

Midway through the story, right at the end of the sixth volume of the Cardcaptor Sakura manga, is a little revelation exposited across two pages. These two pages had a strong effect on me when I read the comic, so I was surprised to see that these details were deleted from the anime—which then had to wedge in references to them later, awkwardly, to explain certain things.

As this is complicated, I’m going to reproduce the two pages so you can see them for yourself:

 

If you’re not closely familiar with Cardcaptor Sakura, then that just looks like a big string of names. Let me break it down for you:

Li-kun (whom Kero-chan calls “the brat”) is Syaoran, the ten-year-old boy from Hong Kong who is Sakura’s rival for the Clow Cards. Mizuki-sensei is Kaho Mizuki, serial child molestor, who is Sakura’s math teacher and her older brother’s former girlfriend. Tsukishiro-san is Yukito, Sakura’s older brother’s current boyfriend, and also Sakura’s childhood crush.

Back to front, left to right: Yukito, Toya, Sakura, and Syaoran.

Syaoran spends most of the first arc crushing on Yukito just as Sakura does. This is not only because Yukito has strong gaydar, but also because he has lunar magic. Sakura feels “floaty” around child molestor Kaho and realizes that this floaty feeling is the same one she has around Yukito, because Kaho has her own form of lunar magic.  The rest of it … um … figure the rest of it out yourself.

Syaoran freaks out at the sight of Yukito.
Sakura freaks out at the sight of child molestor Kaho.

The long and the short of it is that these characters have magic powers, and their magic is completely screwing with their emotions. I mentioned this yesterday in my discussion of Sakura’s brother Toya.

This is a way of wrapping up the bizarre and tangled relationships the characters have formed over the course of the series (though it doesn’t explain all of them—but that’s the subject of tomorrow’s post).

When you think about it, this is as much as Clamp admitting that their characters are mentally ill. Their attitudes, their sentiments, their affections are getting jerked around by powers outside their control. Notice what child molestor Kaho says to Syaoran on the second page: “You couldn’t have liked me.” There’s no choice in the matter. This is not only because Kaho preys on little boys, but because she and Syaoran have opposing forms of magic.

Creepy. No wonder the anime downplays this.

As I mentioned yesterday, Toya has a similar issue: his magic causes him to be attracted to magical things, which leads him first into the predatory arms of child molestor Kaho, and then he goes gay with Sakura’s lunar guardian. Even after he knows the source of his decidedly weird infatuations, he’s not even slightly perturbed. He goes full speed ahead.

In fact, the only character who fights his disordered affections—and wins—is Syaoran. After learning why he’s infatuated with Yukito, he ultimately gets over it, and his affections come to rest in a much better place. I’ll talk about that in the final essay of this series.

To be continued …

“I gotta get out of this crazy place.”