Cardcaptor Sakura is now available for streaming on Crunchyroll here. This is big news for American anime fans who have gone for years without a legal way to watch it. (DVDs and Blu-rays are also available.) I reviewed the series based on the old Geneon DVDs here.
If you haven’t seen this show you probably should. This is a true classic, probably the best straight magical girl series ever. (By “straight” I mean that it is not a parody or a deconstruction like Madoka Magica.)
Some of the old classics really show their age, but this one holds up very well. In fact it still looks great!
Both subtitled and dubbed formats are available. Unfortunately the Crunchyroll link above opens first to the dubbed episodes. To see the subtitled episodes (which I recommend) you need to close the first group header
and open the one that looks like this.
This is not the notorious Nelvana dub, which was an bad rewrite rather than a true translation. The new dub makes more of an effort to be faithful to the original text but the quality of the English voice acting is far inferior to the original. The English voice actors set my teeth on edge by constantly mispronouncing all the Japanese names (e.g. “Sa-KUU-ra.”) Even worse, they make all sorts of stupid mistakes, e.g. “Her father [sic] owns a big company.”
Presumably the dub actors and director had the sub translation to work with. I can only assume that they felt free to alter the dialog as they went along, and often introduced errors in the process.
The subtitles are different from the old Geneon release, but I haven’t seen anything I object to in the new translation. Notably the name of Sakura’s rival is given as “Xiaolang” instead of “Shaoran.” This is a judgement call. The character is Chinese and “Xiaolang” represents the correct Chinese pronunciation of his name–but of course that’s not how the Japanese actors pronounce it.
I’ll probably buy the BD release and I’ll post an update if I see anything particularly notable about it.