The anniversary celebrations continue with the shows turning
June 24, 2023
June 17, 2023
WB, June 17, 2000-December 14, 2001 US
Teletoon, August 23, 2000-March 8, 2003 CAN)
As anime was gaining in popularity outside of Japan, Cardcaptor Sakura was licensed out for localization in other markets. For the English-speaking markets, three different companies created their own dubs independently of each other. Animax Asia’s dub was used for Southeast Asia. The version to air in North America and Australia was handled by Canadian company Nelvana in association with The Ocean Group, which included the first film. The second film, often considered the 25th episode of the third season and the series finale of the anime, was done by Bang Zoom! Entertainment.
That meant romantic entanglements were removed as much as possible, with the central romance between Sakura and Li being drastically downplayed to the point that their love for each other was never confessed and the series ended with Li simply returning home. Problematic relationships were outright eliminated; such as teacher/student relationships like Sakura’s father being a teacher at the high school her mother attended, the remaining traces of Rita and Mr. Terada’s forbidden flirtations, and Tori’s brief fling with student teacher Layla, and ones with an incestuous tone, such as Meilin becoming a childhood friend of Li with a crush on him rather than his cousin. Chelsea was also turned into Zachary’s cousin, removing all possibility of their being a couple and her “strangling” him being given a twinge of sibling energy. Additionally, the price for Sakura failing the final judgement was changed from everyone connected to the cards losing their love for the person they cared for most to everyone’s memory being erased from the time the cards were released. The reason the cards needed to be changed to Sakura Cards (Star Cards in the dub) was changed to their needing a reliable magical source to survive on unless they ran wild looking for one and potentially destroyed the world.
It particularly meant the elimination of any queer relationships, of which the manga featured many and the anime carried over in some form. Li was no longer attracted to Julian (magical influence or not), with his reactions to him being explained away as being off-put by his general personality; Julian and Tori were no longer attracted to each other and just remained the good friends they were initially depicted as. Madison and Samantha lost their attractions to their respective cousins. In fact, Natasha’s familial connection to Samantha was removed altogether to make them just friends, and Samantha’s dislike of Aiden came from her feeling like a third wheel when they got together rather than romantic rivalry. Sakura’s crush on Julian, which was prominent throughout the early half of the series, was also downplayed.