Cardcaptor Sakura is directed by Morio Asaka and animated and produced by Madhouse. Art direction is handled by Katsufumi Hariu and character design is done by Kumiko Takahashi. The series composition was written by Nanase Ohkawa of Clamp, who also scripted most of the episodes. Other scriptwriters include: Hiroshi Ishii, Jiro Kaneko, Tomoko Ogawa, and Tomoyasu Okubo. The music is composed by Takayuki Negishi, with sound direction by Masafumi Mima.
The series contains 70 episodes spread over three seasons. The first season, consisting of 35 episodes, aired between April 7 and December 29, 1998 on the NHK Japanese television network. The second season, with 11 episodes, aired between April 6 and June 22, 1999. The third season, containing 24 episodes, aired between September 7, 1999 and March 21, 2000. The episodes were later released by Bandai Visual to 18 VHS, LD and DVD compilation volumes, each containing four episodes, though the first and twelfth volumes contain three episodes. The VHS/LD volumes were released between September 25, 1998 and May 25, 2000. The DVD volumes were released between September 25, 1999 and May 25, 2000. Six volumes of an abridged selection of the series titled Cardcaptor Sakura TV Series Selection were released on VHS between April 25 and June 25, 2001, containing 12 episodes. Three DVD box set volumes were released between April 1 and August 10, 2005 by Geneon Universal Entertainment. Two Blu-ray Disc box set volumes were released by Geneon, one on March 27, 2009 containing the first two seasons, and the second on June 26, 2009 containing the third season.
Three short, bonus original video animation (OVA) episodes were released with the first-print, limited edition versions of the VHS, LD and DVD releases. The first episode was released with volume one of the VHS and LD releases on September 25, 1998. The second episode came with volume ten of the VHS, LD and DVD releases on September 25, 1999. The third episode, also released on September 25, 1999, was with volume one of the DVD release.
Cardcaptor Sakura was initially licensed in North America by Nelvana, which dubbed the series into English and released it under the name Cardcaptors. The heavily edited episodes were reordered, with some episodes left out completely. Potentially controversial material was removed, and the series was refocused to be more action oriented to try to appeal to male viewers, as they were seen as the largest audience of animation at the time. Cardcaptors first aired in the United States on Kids' WB between June 17, 2000 and December 14, 2001. In the Kids' WB broadcast, the first episode aired was "Sakura's Rival", the eighth episode of the series, having removed episodes focusing on Sakura and to have the show start with Syaoran Li's arrival. The series ran for 39 episodes, changing the original episode order but finishing with the show's actual final episode. In Nelvana's airing of the series in the United Kingdom in 2001 on Nickelodeon and CITV, the skipped episodes were restored, but other edits remained. The Cardcaptors dub, including the episodes skipped in the North American broadcast, also aired in Australia on Network Ten and Cartoon Network (with an English cover of the first opening theme instead of the American one), in Ireland on RTÉ Network 2, and in Canada on Teletoon (which also aired the episodes with a French dub). Animax created an English dub of the series as well, which it broadcast on its English-language networks in Southeast Asia and South Asia. The series was broadcast under its original name in Latin America and Spain.
Pioneer Entertainment released the dubbed Cardcaptors episodes to nine VHS and DVD compilation volumes between November 14, 2000 and July 9, 2002. It also released the unedited Cardcaptor Sakura series, with the original Japanese audio tracks and English subtitles, to 18 DVD compilation volumes between November 14, 2000 and November 11, 2003; the first 11 volumes were also released in VHS. Pioneer also contracted with Nelvana to release the dubbed episodes. The Cardcaptor Sakura TV series DVDs went out-of-print at the end of 2006 when the license expired.
Two pieces of theme music are used for each season: one opening theme and one ending theme. For the first season, the opening theme is "Catch You Catch Me" by Gumi, and the ending theme is "Groovy!" by Kohmi Hirose. For the second season, the opening theme is "Tobira o Akete" (扉をあけて?) by Anza, and the ending theme is "Honey" by Chihiro. For the third season, the opening theme is "Platinum" by Maaya Sakamoto, and the ending theme is "Fruits Candy" by Megumi Kojima. The Cardcaptors English adaptation replaces the Japanese theme songs with an original song created for the adaptation, "Cardcaptors Theme", except in some countries such as Australia where the opening is the Japanese theme with English lyrics. In France and the United Kingdom, "Razzmatazz" by Froggy Mix is used for the second and third seasons. Eight insert theme songs are also used throughout Cardcaptor Sakura and are played during the episodes. These include: "Yoru no Uta" (夜の歌?) by Junko Iwao (episodes 5, 23 and 59), "Hitorijime" (ヒトリジメ?) by Gumi (episodes 34 and 40), "Tomo e" (友へ?) by Iwao (episode 37), "Shiawase no Mahō" (しあわせの魔法?) by Sakura Tange (episode 37), "Yasashisa no Shushi" (やさしさの種子?) by Iwao (episodes 37 and 49), "Prism" (プリズム?) by Tange (episode 38), "Ki ni Naru Aitsu" (気になるアイツ?) by Motoko Kumai (episode 57), and "Mienai Chizu" (見えない地図?) by Anza (episode 68).
Read more about this topic: List Of Cardcaptor Sakura Episodes
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