Cardcaptor Sakura Episode 1 Sub/Dub Comparison

Aw, man. This isn’t the Blue Eyes White Dragon.

Card(s) of the day:

Windy: Windy is the only card Sakura was able to hold onto when she scattered the deck. Being one of the four element cards, Windy is a force to be reckoned with, but has a gentle nature.

Fly: An out of control bird, Fly grants the user the ability to, well, fly. Luckily, Fly’s weakness is Windy, so that worked out well. Fly is very frequently used throughout the series.

Plot: Sakura is a normal elementary school student until one day she accidentally sets free the power of the mystical Clow cards. Teamed up with the guardian of the Clow cards, Kerberos, Sakura must become a Cardcaptor and collect the Clow cards before they end up destroying everything.

Preface: Cardcaptors is a show that I only got to watch very little of when I was a kid. It was on some animation block on some channel that I don’t even think I get anymore. By the time I had discovered it, I had only watched a few episodes before it was yanked, but I really liked it.

I believe I discovered the series right around the time I had become a fan of Sailor Moon, so it’s easy to see how I got into it so quickly. When I finally got access to a computer and the internet, I looked up the subbed version and watched the full series. I really loved it, but I never remembered the quality of the dub nor did I really feel the need to find the dubbed version.

Some time later I see a THEM Anime Review showcasing the dubbed version of Cardcaptor Sakura, Cardcaptors, and it was a pretty damn scathing review. So, when I was looking for shows to do SDCs about, I remembered that review and gave it a whirl. Yeah….I can see why that review was so harsh.

I should note that there’s a drastic difference between this comparison and my other ones. Whereas 4Kids is really about digital paint and removing some scenes, which makes screencaps really necessary, Nelvana’s dub of CCS is really more about story changes and removing entire scenes for no real reason. Because of this, I won’t be including visuals of absolutely every shot that has been removed. That would take up way too much time. I’ll only include the pictures that I believe should be shown. If anyone wants to see screencaps of certain removed scenes, feel free to let me know.


Series Name Change: The Japanese version is called Cardcaptor Sakura. The dub is called Cardcaptors. Some people believe this change was to coincide with the more male oriented dubbed version Nelvana was trying to create. They didn’t want to insinuate that Sakura would be the entire focus of the show. I can’t confirm that, but it is possible.

Theme Song: The opening song has been replaced with an English song. It’s not an English dubbed version of the original song. To be honest, I think the opening is pretty good in the dub and original. However, the dub does lead you to more “focus on guys” since it’s a dramatic action-y song and the original Japanese version is very much a cutesy magical girl opening.

Entire show…mispronunciation: They constantly say Sakura (Sah-kur-ah) as SaKERrah (noted emphasis on the KER). It’s semi-minor, but man is it annoying. Also, they change her last name to Avalon instead of Kinomoto. Because she needed to sound like a knock-off make-up brand.

Entire show….mispronunciation: Kero is supposed to be pronounced “Care-oh” The dub says “Key-roh”

Entire Series Edit: A lot of the BG music has been replaced.

Title Change: Sakura and the Mysterious Magic Book is changed to One Fateful Day.

Sakura sounds like a cute elementary school girl in the original. In the dub, she sounds like a somewhat snotty teenage girl.

They edit out Sakura’s giant fist and anime annoyance vein.

They edit out the introductions for everyone. Sakura just keeps blabbing on about the Clow.

Entire show….mispronunciation: Clow is supposed to be pronounced like ‘glow.’ Not like ‘cloud’ as the dub states.

They edit out the scene where Sakura’s brother leaves and she gobbles down her food to go after him.

They add a techy pop song during Sakura’s first rollerblading ride.

Name Change: Toya, Sakura’s brother, is changed to Tori.

Name Change: Yukito, Toya’s best friend, is changed to Julian.

They edit out Sakura popping up on screen when Yukito first appears and having her eyes turn into hearts as she gushes over him.

After they arrive at school, they edit out Yukito giving Sakura a candy as he says goodbye one more time. They also edit out the initial introduction of Tomoyo who has a short conversation with Sakura about Yukito giving her the candy.

Tomoyo has a bit of an implied crush on Sakura. This is not included in the dub because, as we’ll soon find out, Nelvana, like DiC, is scared to death of homosexual implications.

Name Change: Tomoyo, Sakura’s best friend, is changed to Madison.

They edit out Tomoyo gushing some more about how Sakura’s the cutest and Sakura falling to the floor after she says this then saying that Tomoyo’s kind of strange.

“We’re on line 12” – Sub

“We’re on line 48” – Dub

After Sakura drops the baton and the two girls talk about her, there’s a scene where she is holding her head and crying. In the dub, it’s cut out.

They edit out where Sakura is looking at the whiteboard in her home after she arrives and before she goes after the…’pudding’? Is that pudding? They say it’s pudding, but, nevermind…They also edit out her mention that her dad’s going to come home late.

Dubbed version, right before the book opens: “The book from my dream…” The book wasn’t in your dream…. Only the cards, your outfit, your staff and Kero were in the dream.

Kerberos is called Keroberos in the dub. I guess to make his nickname sound more fitting? However this also kinda puts off the meaning of his name. His name is based off of Cerberus.

In the original, Kero has a cute child voice. In the dub, he has an obnoxious pre-teen boy who has at some point smoked voice.

They edit out a short scene where Kero’s back is turned as he’s trying to sense the cards.

They edit out Sakura’s reaction to Kero saying he was asleep for 30 years right before he says being a guardian’s not easy.

After Kero says a Cardcaptor is born, Sakura screams in confusion as Kero eats the…pudding? This is cut out of the dub.

As Kero is setting Sakura down after being blown away by the Fly card, Sakura’s eyes turn to spirals and she acts like she’s dizzy. Cut out of the dub.

Entire series edits concerning Sakura’s “Catchphrases”: Sakura has lines that she says most every episode. A speech she gives before she releases her wand, a line she says before she uses a card and a line she says before she catches a card. Each is changed in the dub.

Original Japanese for releasing the wand:

The key which hides the power of dark

Show your true form before me

I, Sakura, command you under our contract


Dub for releasing the wand:

O key of Clow, power of magic

Power of light

Surrender the wand

The force ignite!


Using a card:

This varies greatly depending on the card and what she’s using it for. However, at the end, Sakura always says the name of the card. Many times, the dub adds “Release and dispel!” to the dub’s scenes with card usage.

Original Japanese for capturing a card:

Return to the guise you were meant to be in…


Dub for capturing a card:

Return to your power confined (Am I the only person who thinks this sentence just doesn’t sound right?)

(enter name of card captured here!)

They edit out where Sakura has a short bit of crying where she said she thought she was going to die.

Leave it to Kero/Kero’s Corner: Though they keep the general idea of this short the same, there are some edits. There are some things they actually forget to edit, too. They forgot to change Cardcaptor Sakura to Cardcaptors in the logo for the short. Oops.

The shorts also are supposed to appear after the credits, but I guess Nelvana didn’t want kids to walk off before seeing the short.

Leave it to Kero was originally meant to explain the main design of Sakura’s school uniform. Instead, Kero just treats it like a fashion show saying Sakura has such great fashion sense (even though she’s forced to wear that to school.)

I also love how they talk about her shoes and socks when 1) again, they’re mandatory, not her choice and 2) the shoes are barely in the shot they’re focusing on. In the original, they were focusing on her skirt, but I guess they didn’t want to focus on a little girl’s skirt for an extended period of time.

Also, they edit out where they show a rough sketch of the male uniform because it wouldn’t fit in the dub segment if they were just talking about Sakura’s (MANDATORY) fashion sense.

Also, I should mention that Kero smokes a pipe at the end of mostly every short, and it’s not edited out or painted off. Granted you never see any actual smoke, but he is holding it. Out of all the stupid changes Nelvana makes to this show for stupid reasons, the one thing that might actually be understandable to edit out, they leave. What the actual hell….

The ending is replaced by an instrumental version of the opening.

There’s no preview in the dubbed version, which isn’t uncommon for English dubs.

Next episode, it’s the debut of Shadow, and it’s wreaking havoc at Sakura’s school. Can she overcome her fears of the dark to capture it?

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