A normal school girl with the name of Sakura (Suh-KOO-ruh) Avalon has lived a normal life talking to her friends, but all that changes when she ventures into her father's library in the basement and finds an odd book. She unknowingly sets free the spirit of the Clow (Kl-Ouw) Card and her destiny is to retrieve them with the help of far superior Card Captor Li Syaoran (Show-Ron) as well as with a few others.
This isn't funny anymore. Not one single bit of laughter or anything reminescent of joy is ringing out over the crowd.
This is the worst thing that has ever happened to Anime that had a good Japanese name. Nelvana snipped every scene that meant something between Sakura and Yukito or Syaoran and Sakura (Nelvana flipped his name so it became Li Shaoran) and they went so far as to change whole characters' personalities just for appeal. We saw Tomoyo become a costume designer and supermodel type photographer and cameraman known as Madison (More American from Nelvana). Other important characters that were renamed were Touya (Tori), Yukito (Jullian), Meiling (Mei Lin), Ms. Mizuki (Ms. MacKensie or something), Chiharu (Chelsea, whereas the name "Chiharu" is used as a name for the main female character in Eiken, and you know what that means), Rika (Rita), and Naoko (Niki?).
The plot was demolished by many different ways, many of which had been by scene cuts and episode drops. Some episodes (namely Sakura, Kero, Syaoran, and..., which would later become "The Switch") lost vital plot scenes and even lost some aspects of the show, like when Syaoran started talking in the Osaka Dialect in aforementioned show, but got replaced with a character voice transfer to Kero-chan in the English episode. Many other shows received other plot shifts, but listing them all would make this review too large.
The characters were drastically changed and are now just horrible. Sakura is now a bratty, self-obsessed girl. Syaoran (now Li) is now a bully and unkind idiot unlike the kind and caring one from the original. Touya is now a bossy older brother. Tomoyo is now an supermodel-paparazzi type girl (see above). I wish I could proceed, but this is enough to tell you to avoid this Americanization at all costs.
This dubbing deserves credit as being one of the worst if not the worst dubbing done for a program. This is one awfully bad trade-in that includes the above character changes as well as the episode changes. I will mention the worst mistakes later.
We also have some music...some very bad music. Some vocal songs are just not necessary. "Guardian of the Cards" is basically a lesson to a fanbase (cricket sounds) that says "You can do anything if you believe it's true." That's worse in execution than what the messages Pokemon 2000 and Bonkers' SNES Game were trying to convey (One person can make a difference and one person leads the way for everyone else in a dark hour, respectively). The song that plays in the American episode "The Third Element" (Formerly known as "Sakura's Wonderful Christmas") is just not fantasy or fantastic at all.
The worst part is the scenes that were altered by Nelvana. Several scenes have to be noted because of the senseless brutalization and ridiculous editing Nelvana inflicted onto them, but then this review would be too long. Some words got changed for AMERICAN SLANG! The words "360s" and "Blading" are not supposed to be in this at all. Little Japanese is on anything in here (even a book that appears for only about 3 seconds) and everything got switched for no reasons (except to stop all the underlying love scenes and anything that shows Sakura as a person who has fears or phobias) and got replaced by dumb stuff.
Speaking of scene edits, one odd scene edit occurs in the episode formerly known as "Sakura, Kero, Syaoran, and...". The scene involves Sakura, Touya, and Yukito at a table eating "burgers" (this is in the English episode BTW, the one known as "The Switch"). So what's so bad about this scene? Most of us love burgers! I agree, though you don't eat them with SPOONS! I couldn't make this up. They are enjoying so-called "burgers" (which don't appear) with spoons. It's called "soup" Nelvana. How many members of your editing team go to culinary institutes? I'm willing to bet on zero.
The weirdest thing is that while Nelvana has shown it has the capability to chop out scenes and add unnecessary ones, they don't seem to know how to make it look like there were no scene edits. Sometimes the scene will "skip" and others have a character just going over to a spot when nothing occurs there.
Unfortunately, there were at least thousands of ways this could have become a good dub, but Nelvana doesn't take any of those ways. As a result, this ends up as one horrendous way of how NOT to do dubs.
There is a reason why Nelvana's logo is a polar bear and the North Star. It's because they're cold. What's worse is that the Card Captor Sakura DVDs in America around here are really rare and I'm glad just to have one. — Jake L Godek
Recommended Audience: Sanitized for your, ahem, enjoyment.
Version(s) Viewed: Television broadcast (US dub)
Review Status: Partial (15/70)
CardCaptors © 1997, 2000 CLAMP / Kodansha / NHK / NEP21
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