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Cardcaptor Sakura, a classic anime and manga that was highly popular not just in Japan but also worldwide. With many lovable characters, it is one of the most influential anime of our time. A childhood favorite amongst many fans as it brought joy and wonder in following the journey of a young girl, using her magical powers to save the world by retrieving lost cards.
Are you having a moment of Nostalgia? Perhaps you miss the old days when magical girls used to be at the forefront of anime, or maybe you’ve only recently discovered this genre and you are looking for more.
Look no further! As here are 6 anime that are similar to Cardcaptor Sakura:
Similar Anime to Cardcaptor Sakura
1. Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Oct. 2004 – Dec. 2004
Our first recommendation is Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha, an anime about a girl named Takamachi Nanoha who one day finds an injured ferret with telepathic powers. She discovers that the ferret is actually a male archeologist/mage named Yuuno, who is actually from a different world. Yuuno tells Nanoha that he needs help to find dangerous ‘Jewel Seeds’ that were accidentally scattered all around the earth.
It appears that Yuuno has lost his powers and can only stay in a ferret form, but he gives Nanoha a jewel that allows her to transform into a mage. Nanoha learns to use magic to battle monsters that are also looking for the Jewel Seeds, so she can retrieve them to save the earth.
Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha is similar to Card Captor Sakura in the sense that both stories revolve around a young girl protagonist that has a mission to collect something. Whereas Sakura focuses on collecting cards from falling into the wrong hands, Nanoha hunts down jewel seeds to prevent world destruction. Both protagonists have a cute companion following them in their journey full of learning about friendships and gaining strengths.
2. Shugo Chara!
- Episodes: 51
- Aired: Oct. 2007 – Sep. 2008
Next up, we recommend Shugo Chara! This is about an elementary school student named Amu Hinamori, who has a ‘cool and spicy’ reputation at her school, Seiyo Elementary. However, in reality, she is actually extremely shy inside and can be easily intimidated. She makes a wish one night asking for the courage to be reborn into her ‘would-be’ self. Unknown to the fact that her wish would actually come true, the next morning Amu finds herself with three strange brightly colored eggs.
They hatch into ‘Guardian Characters’: Ran, Miki, and Su, who are angel-like beings that were sent to help Amu fulfill her wish. She discovers that she is not the only one with this ability as the student council group also has their own guardians. She joins them on a mission to search for and to seal away the bad eggs, and guardians that are manifested from corrupt dreams.
Shugo Chara! has a similar feel to Cardcaptor Sakura in the sense that both protagonists have similar romances, transformation sequences and the desire to fend off evil. If you are looking for girls fighting for what they believe is right, then this anime is for you!
3. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon (Sailor Moon)
- Episodes: 46
- Aired: Mar. 1992 – Feb. 1993
An oldie but a Goldie, one of the most well-known anime of it’s time Sailor Moon is about a 14-year old girl named Tsukino Usagi, who is an irresponsible, bad-tempered, crybaby that always gets scolded by her family. One fateful bad day, she encounters a magical black cat named Luna that has the ability to talk. She has the power to transform Usagi into a magical fighter known as ‘Sailor Moon’, where she gains the power and abilities to save the world from a threat known as the Dark kingdom.
Usagi’s journey leads her to meet other girls who also gain the power to transform into other ‘Sailor Soldiers’, girls who later become lifelong friends as they fight together against the evil forces led by Queen Beryl. Her companions are Ami Mizuno, Rei Hino, Makoto Kino and Minako Aino.
Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura both feature similar themes, in the sense that they’re both clumsy and naïve, but both are on a journey to find new experiences and learn new things with the power of magic. Sailor Moon also has similar romances and a lot of comedy. Both these anime have been highly influential as the main drive of the magical girl genre back in the 90’s. If you are looking for five times the magical transformation sequences, you’ll find it here on Sailor Moon.
Any Anime Like Cardcaptor Sakura?
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul. 2007 – Sep. 2007
The next one on our list of recommendations is Nanatsu-iro★Drops. Following the story of a student named Tsuwabuki, a quiet boy who hardly ever talks to anyone. Until one day he meets a new transfer student by the name of Sumomo Akihime and her close friend, Nadeshiko Yaeno. They both are members of the school gardening club, which Tsuwabuki ends up joining without much choice.
Tsuwabuki accidentally bumps into a mysterious person who ends up swapping his soda can with an identical one containing potion, which upon drinking it turns him into a stuffed animal lamb. With the help of his chosen girl, Sumomo, he must venture with her to find and capture 7 Stardrops to return him back to normal.
If you are looking for a gentle anime also with an animal sidekick, collecting something to achieve a goal and similarities in the sense of the storyline. Then give Nanatsu-iro★Drops a try and see for yourself the adventures of Sumomo.
5. Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya
- Episodes: 10
- Aired: Jun. 2013 – Sep. 2013
A spin-off to the Fate/Stay night series, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya is about a Teutonic girl named Illyasviel von Einzbern who is an elementary school student living in Japan. She lives with her two maids and adopted older brother Shirou Emiya, whom she has a crush on.
Illya has fantasized of becoming a magical girl when one day she encounters a mysterious magic wand named Magical Ruby belonging to a mage named Rin Tohsaka. Magical Ruby leaves Rin after becoming tired of the constant fighting with another mage and senses Illya’s deep desire of wanting to become a magical girl. Illya is tricked by Magical Ruby to sign a contract and she becomes forced to do the job of a mage, to seek out and collect the seven “Class Cards” of the dangerous heroic spirits.
Perhaps you liked the ideas of collecting cards that Cardcaptor Sakura introduced and want another anime that does a similar thing, well that is exactly what Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya is about, collecting and stealing cards each with their own special ability that the protagonist can use to battle supernatural forces with. If you felt like you wanted more action along with your magical girl cuteness, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya will fill in that gap for you.
6. Tsubasa Chronicle
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr. 2005 – Oct. 2005
Our final pick is Tsubasa Chronicle, an anime also based on a manga by CLAMP. With familiar faces, this is a completely different story that follows the journey of Syaoran, a young archaeologist who discovers his childhood friend Princess Sakura whilst on a job. Drawn in by a mysterious energy from the ruins, Sakura is abducted and appears before Syaoran at the ruins. Her heart, which has the power to transcend through dimensions, takes the form of feathered wings that become lost throughout different worlds. She becomes in critical danger and loses her memory, which are contained within each feather that was lost.
To save Sakura’s life, Syaoran travels to another dimension to meet the ‘Dimensional Witch’, who believes that fate, had brought them and two others together. Kurogane, an exiled ninja who wants to return to his home, along with Fay, a magician who wanted to run away from his world. Together with Mokona, a creature belonging to the dimensional witch, they travel across dimensions in hope to restore Sakura’s memories.
This anime is very similar because its source material is from the same creators, you can feel the same warmth that emanates from the characters and the story. Cardcaptor Sakura and Tsubasa both are about losing a great power that gets scattered around the world, and a protagonist going to find the pieces to achieve their goals. If you couldn’t get enough of the romance between Sakura and Syaoran, then buckle up, as this will bring you on an emotional rollercoaster.
Here you are, a bunch of anime to add to your watch list that will give you hours of cute magical goodness for your eyes and enough adventures to last you until your next craving.
Tell us what you thought of this list, is there anything we missed out or perhaps something else you’d like to recommend to the readers or us? Leave a comment below and tell us what get’s you excited when watching magical girl anime. Is it the colorful sequences, pretty dresses or the overly cute transformation sequences? Let us know!