Defeat The Forces of Evil In Other Anime
While Cardcaptor Sakura appears more niche in comparison to Sailor Moon, it managed to capture the hearts of many fans who watched it. Cardcaptor Sakura follows a girl named Sakura Kinomoto, who stumbles upon a book in her parent’s basement. After opening said book, a supernatural phenomenon ensues as many cards start to fly out and scatter across her town.
Then she meets a little lion-like creature named Keroberos, who informs Sakura of her mistake and that she must reclaim every card that flew out of the book. Armed with a magical wand, Sakura embarks on a quest to retrieve all of these mystical cards before they end up destroying everything and everyone she cares about.
If you’re having trouble finding anime similar to Cardcaptor Sakura, fear not! We’ve discovered 10 alternate shows that’ll give you a similar experience as Cardcaptor Sakura.
For your reading pleasure, we have included the similarities they all share. Additionally, for each anime we’ve reviewed, we’ve included a link that allows you to view our full thoughts about the series to see if it’s worth your time.
So without further ado, we present 10 TV shows that should whet the appetite when you’ve finished streaming Cardcaptor Sakura!
Similarities – Episodic Structure & Fantasy Quest
Shugo Chara offers the same episodic formula and harmonious atmosphere as Cardcaptor Sakura. With its focus on its main character’s fantastical quest and inclusion of magical creatures and enemies, this is a great anime to follow up with for Cardcaptor Sakura fans.
Shugo Chara’s main female character comes off as more over-the-top in her reactions to things, though. While it may bother fans, this main character exhibits similar character traits as Sakura. These include her love of discovery, protecting others, and forming new bonds.
Shugo Chara follows Amu Hinamori, who has a tough time making friends because of the cruel rumors about her. One day, she wakes up and notices three colorful eggs called Heart Eggs in her bed. These eggs house a Guardian Character, who are living embodiment of one’s desired self. With their help, Amu manages to become a more enlightened individual. But her newfound love for herself doesn’t last long.
A council group takes notice of these three guardians’ awakening. They end up enlisting Amu as the “Joker,” who must find mysterious X Eggs, the corrupted version of Heart Eggs. With this new responsibility on Amu’s shoulders, she will discover the truth about the X Eggs, its characters, and the organization at the center of everything.
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
Similarities – Concept & Magic
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha tackles similar concepts like the importance of establishing bonds with family and friends and developing those relationships over time. The main protagonists in both anime embark on missions to find supernatural items that’ll prevent their friends from succumbing to dangerous circumstances.
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha leans toward more technological aspects, though. Its main character also exhibits mature behavior, unlike Sakura, who comes off as an adorable girl to everyone she meets. Regardless, both anime gives off this comfy and lighthearted atmosphere while also appealing to action fans. Many of its scenes will come off as a spectacle due to the anime’s use of color and effects.
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha follows Nanoha Takamachi, who stumbles upon an injured ferret and rescues it. The following day, she reunites with the ferret to discover that he’s a mage from another world named Yuuno Scrya. He requests her help in finding 21 Jewel Seeds that are scattered across the world.
After Nanoha accepts, Scrya grants her a magical wand and trains her in the mage arts. Now a trained mage, Nanoha must secure every Jewel Seed before they wreak havoc over the world. Unfortunately, there’ll be others who’ll stand in her way.
Similarities – Wholesome Characters
The story follows Kobato Hanato, who must help mend people’s broken hearts. Once mended, a small candy-like fragment will fill a supernatural bottle. Once full, her wish to visit a particular place will be granted. She’ll encounter many troubled individuals on her quest.
Most of these people suffer from grief, low self-esteem, and everything in between. However, with her trusty stuffed toy companion Ioryogi at her side, Kobato aims to give everyone a happy ending. Like Cardcaptor Sakura, this anime tackles themes regarding romance, family, and friendship in cutesy and wholesome ways.
Kobato and Sakura have similar clumsy personalities and travel alongside a little cutesy creature. The girls also exhibit warm feelings for the lead male characters in both series. These male protagonists also start off as cold-hearted individuals who have their hearts warmed by our clumsy yet wonderful female protagonists.
There is a bit more action in Cardcaptor Sakura, though. This mostly has to do with Kobato’s premise, revolving around Kobato meeting strangers with internal conflicts. She mostly uses her kind words to resolve their issues and doesn’t need to resort to violence like Sakura. However, if you’re looking for a series that captures the same childlike and cozy tone as Cardcaptor Sakura, Kobato’s worth a watch.
Similarities – Spiritual Sequel To Cardcaptor Sakura
Tsubasa Chronicle feels like the spiritual sequel to Cardcaptor Sakura. It features characters with similar names but portrays those characters in a more mature-like setting. It also does away with many magical girl tropes established in Cardcaptor Sakura. Furthermore, it replaces those tropes with a storyline that leans more toward the adventure angle.
Some characters from Cardcaptor Sakura that end up in Tsubasa Chronicle receive more screen time, too. For example, Sakura’s love interest Syaoran participates more in this anime in comparison to his role in Cardcaptor Sakura. Despite that, the protagonists in both anime must find specific artifacts to prevent the world from spiraling into chaos.
Tsubasa Chronicle takes place during Syaoran’s excavation of Clow Country’s mysterious ruins. During this said outing, he meets his winged-friend Princess Sakura. Suddenly, Sakura’s wings start to disperse into many feathers, and as they vanish, so do Sakura’s memories.
To save his friend’s memory and her livelihood, Syaoran travels to multiple worlds to seek help. Along the way, he befriends mysterious beings, from an exiled ninja to a runaway magician. However, like Sakura’s previous endeavor for the Clow Cards, fans can expect Syaoran to struggle during his journey.
Phantom Thief Safe Tail
Similarities – Likable Characters & Episodic Format
Phantom Thief Safe Tail is an underrated magical girl anime with a lot of charm, likable characters, and a wonderful narrative. It follows a girl named Meimi Haneoko, who is a normal girl by day and a heroic thief by nightfall. Think Robin Hood, but with the powers of Sailor Moon, and you’ll know what you’re in for concerning this anime.
Like Sakura, Meimi is an athletic and charming girl who wants to make everyone happy. There are a few hints of romance in the anime, but they’re not brought to fruition. Moreover, the anime has an episodic structure, but you’ll never find yourself bored with the anime. The scenarios Meimi finds herself in will entertain you from a comedic and pleasant angle.
Phantom Thief Safe Tail’s animation isn’t as spectacular as Cardcaptor Sakura’s, but it does hold up well for a series that aired during the late 90s’. Those looking to ball their eyes out should be wary, as Phantom Thief Safe Tale does contain a few heart-wrenching moments. If you’re looking for another magical girl series that delivers the same heartwarming aroma as Cardcaptor Sakura, then check out Phantom Thief Safe Tale.
Similarities – Magical Girls & Romance
Kamichama Karin is another magical girl romance anime with enough cuteness and charm to warm any fans’ hearts. From its adorable character designs to its focus on teamwork and friendship, there’s a lot of harmonious energy frolicking about in this series.
Kamichama Karin does delve into some darker topics, though. The anime’s storyline may also leave you confused, as it leaves many unanswered questions. The plot can also be predictable at times, leaving little room to speculate. However, fans of Sakura’s clumsy persona will enjoy the shenanigans Kamichama Karin’s main protagonist finds herself in. There’s also a romance that blossoms throughout the anime.
Kamichama Karin follows Karin Hanazono, who lives with her rude aunt because of the death of her parents. One day, she’s approached by two individuals named Himeka and Kazune Kuujo, who are looking for a goddess of some kind. Upon meeting them, Karin’s mother’s ring glows and grants her powers beyond her wildest dreams.
This ring makes Karin smarter, faster, and capable of granting anyone’s wishes. Himeka and Kazune take note and inform Karin that she’s the goddess they’ve been looking for. However, the information they share with her isn’t anything but pleasant. Essentially, evil people will be coming after her because of her powers.
Thus, the anime follows Karin’s quest to help out others in need while trying to protect herself from the evil people planning to harm her.
Similarities – Themes & Magic
Gakuen Alice is a cutesy anime featuring school students with magical abilities. It is a series that leans more toward school life than a magical adventure. Despite that, the characters in this series undergo the same internal struggles Sakura encounters in Cardcaptor Sakura. Some of these include grief, sorrow, and low self-worth as these characters will plunder and make multiple mistakes.
Gakuen Alice tackles romance from a different angle than Cardcaptor Sakura. Its main character ends up in a romantic love triangle. This love triangle fills in for the missing mystery vibes one would attain from Cardcaptor Sakura’s Clow Cards and their origins. It allows fans to have something to speculate about concerning who Gakuen Alice’s main character will end up with by the series’ conclusion.
Gakuen Alice follows two girls named Mikan Sakura and Hotaru Imai. These two have been best friends for a long time despite having conflicting personalities. Unfortunately, Hotaru ends up transferring to a new academy that’s rumored to treat its students terribly. This angers Mikan and encourages her to run away from home to reunite with her friend.
Mikan’s previous worries transform into bewilderment when she arrives at Hotaru’s new school. She finds out this school was built by the government and houses gifted individuals with supernatural powers called Alices. She also learns that she herself has unique powers, and enrolls in the academy a reunites with Hotaru. The anime follows Mikan and Hotaryu’s daily antics in this strange school.
Similarities – Story & Characters
Nanatsu-Iro★Drops follows Tsuwabuki, a boy who lives a mundane lifestyle. One day, his teacher forces him to join the gardening club for unknown reasons. When he attends the club he meets Sumomo Akihime and another girl, both of whom greet him with open arms.
When getting something to drink, he bumps into a strange man with dog ears. During their scuffle, their drinks get switched around. Tsuwabuki is unaware of this and ends up taking and drinking the man’s beverage. He’d wish he had paid attention since this drink transforms him into a stuffed animal.
He rushes to his teacher to ask for advice on how he can get his body back. His teacher tells him he must find the “chosen girl” and help her find the seven-star drops. He also can’t reveal his true identity to the girl. After some investigating, he learns that Sumomo is the “chosen girl” and he asks her to help him. She accepts his offer, and the two begin their quest for the mysterious star drops.
Nanatsu-Iro★Drops’ premise is mildly similar to Cardcaptor Sakura’s. Both anime involve a girl needing to find a variety of items to restore balance to a segment of the world. These girls are accompanied by talking animals, who must help them on their quest. The character designs for both anime are cutesy and welcoming.
There’s also a romance subplot that’s introduced in both anime. Arguably, Cardcaptor Sakura handles it better, but the relationship that blossoms in Nanatsu-Iro★Drops is wonderfully developed. If you’re looking for another wholesome magical girl anime, watch Nanatsu-Iro★Drops.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Similarities – Magical Girls
Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a well-acclaimed magical girl anime. It was one of the few magical girl anime to challenge the norm by delving into darker tones and themes. At the same time, this allowed it to feel more mature than its predecessors in showing violence and death.
Nevertheless, Madoka Magica still inhabits the genes of a cutesy magical girl show. Like Cardcaptor Sakura, Madoka Magica features a group of girls making deals with higher beings to become magic-wielding sorcerers. The higher beings also attend to the girls’ needs (to some degree) and serve as guides. Both anime feature glorious transformation scenes that depict them in an adorable fashion.
If you take away the anime’s darker elements, it’s no different from any other magical girl series. Therefore, if you’re looking for a darker take on the magical girl sub-genre then Madoka Magica’s got you covered.
Little Witch Academia
Similarities – Characters & Magic
Little Witch Academia captures the joys and wonders of the wizarding world in anime form. It features a colorful cast of characters and engaging sub-plots with enough twists to keep you guessing. Like Cardcaptor Sakura, it evokes feelings of harmony and goodwill.
Little Witch Academia also dabbles into gloomier themes like grief and hopelessness. However, it does maintain a child-friendly innocence throughout. Like Sakura, Little Witch Academia’s main protagonist Atsuko starts off as a naive girl. She gradually develops into a formidable wizard by the end and you’ll get to witness her progress throughout the series.
Little Witch Academia dabbles into romance in a similar vein to Cardcaptor Sakura. However, it chooses to focus more on Atsuko’s progression as a witch. On the other hand, the moments we receive of Atsuko and her love interest are heartwarming and adorable.
So there we have it, our 10 anime/TV show alternatives to watch when you’ve caught up with Cardcaptor Sakura!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!