New anime will reunite voice actors and director from original 1990s TV series.
Christmas is still a few weeks away, but if you’re a fan of anime franchise Cardcaptor Sakura, you’re getting an early present. On December 1, the Cardcaptor Sakura official Twitter account proudly announced that a new arc of the anime is in production, and even told us when the follow-up will premiere.
カードキャプターさくら（公式） (@ccsakura_info) November 30, 2016
It’s hard to talk about Cardcaptor Sakura without also mentioning Sailor Moon, its ‘90s magical girl contemporary. But whereas Sailor Moon brought back only its lead voice actress when the series was rebooted as Sailor Moon Crystal, the new Cardcaptor Sakura will be reuniting practically its entire core vocal cast. Sakura Tenge will once again voice main character Sakura Kinomoto, and Aya Hisakawa will reprise her role as magical sidekick/adorable mascot character Cerberus. The original voices of Sakura’s friends Tomoyo, Syaoran, and Yukito, as well as the heroine’s older brother, Toya, will also return.
The new anime, which shares the designation Cardcaptor Sakura-Clear Card Arc with the franchise’s manga continuation, is so committed to not fixing what wasn’t broken that Morio Asaka, director of the original 1998 Cardcaptor Sakura TV series, will be reclaiming his spot in the director’s chair, and animation production is once again being handled by venerable studio Madhouse. The new anime will even be broadcast by NHK, which had the same honor the first time Sakura appeared in animated form, and the new series is scheduled to start in January of 2018.
While some may question the seeming reluctance to bring new blood into the production team, Cardcaptor Sakura occupies a unique place in the anime world. Many fans get drawn into the hobby by an influential or vibrant series, falling head over heels in love with it as they watch every episode, movie, and spin-off available. But once they wade further out into the vast ocean of Japanese animation, and find something that fits better with their individual definition of “quality,” it’s not uncommon for them to look back on their personal gateway title and exasperatedly say, “Wow, I can’t believe I was ever so into that.”
It’s an accusation you’ll hear lobbed at such groundbreaking shows as Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, and Evangelion. But two decades later, hardly anyone has a bad word to say about Cardcaptor Sakura, which makes the decision to stay the course in terms of production staff sound like a very good call.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where all this talk of gateway anime has him wondering where his Project A-ko and Bubblegum Crisis VHS tapes are these days.