Cardcaptor Sakura Opening Sextet


It’s not that often that you get to see many different versions of a single anime opening. For most of us Australian otaku, many of us proudly put claim to the fact that the ‘original’ is the best, i.e. the Japanese one is clearly the best. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t localised in many countries though, and that people can’t enjoy dubbed versions as much.

Only as recently as yesterday I listened to the official Japanese Card Captor Sakura opening, Catch You, Catch Me, and without a doubt it suits the animation the most, but that is as expected, considering it was created with the intent of backing up the pace of the musical arrangement.

It’s not what I expected, but certainly quite 90s. The song starts out fairly slow and easy to follow, and slowly builds and the words begin to blur together more quickly in the way only the Japanese can do it.

English (Canadian)

The above is the Canadian, and by extension the Australian, Opening of Cardcaptor Sakura, which is basically a redub of the original Japanese opening song Catch You, Catch Me.

Potentially it could be a good song, and no doubt it suits the opening animation in a tolerable manner. However the particular tone of voice and key of this particular song makes the English singer sound like she’s trying too hard to stay in a range that is somewhat too high for her. The replacing of the Japanese words with the English also doesn’t really fit.

Perhaps it’s the sound quality of YouTube, but the words of the song itself are also quite muffled and difficult to make out. Overall, I’m not a fan of it, but it’s definitely better than the last one on this list..

Latino

I’m unsure of where exactly in the world this is from and won’t even take a guess, but the Latino version of Catch You, Catch Me really manages to harmonise the flowing Spanish with the Japanese tune.

It also manages to capture the feeling and emotion of the original song much better than the Canadian version manages to, although still doesn’t quite emulate the transition of the Japanese song from slow to fast paced, which is a shame.

Regardless of that, because of what they do do well, Spanish really is more versatile than English if you ask me. (Not that anyone did, of course.)

Korean

A music-box effect is employed for this version of the opening, our first in this post which uses a completely different song! This is much slower and quite different in emotion than the original song although still makes use of the original song’s name in it’s lyrics ‘Catch You~ Catch You~ Catch Me~ Catch Me~‘.

You can see they tried to keep some elements of the original song in it as it does move from slow to fast paced, although overall the song is less upbeat and more mellow. I quite like this combination as it pays homage back to the original quite nicely, yet at the same time they work to their strengths and create something quite unique.

Definitely would listen to again. Of course the music doesn’t quite sync up as well with the video as the original one did, and doesn’t seem to quite reflect what is shown as well, but does make quite a good attempt, more of the mismatching moments are at the start of the song than the end.

Cantonese (Hong Kong)

In all honestly, I am completely and utterly biased about this song because I really like it as a standalone, but critically speaking it works awfully (badly, that is) with the original opening’s animations. At the start it works with the foot-tap, but after that it is obvious that it is completely out of sync.

The song is clearly created for the anime as it is both about magic and Sakura herself, yet perhaps alternative animation was in fact used for the opening as none of the aspects seem to match at all. In fact, unlike the rest of the songs so far which come to an end quite naturally, this song simply cuts and fades out to nothing which is quite jarring.

At the same time, the upbeat and energetic tones of this song are certainly something I would love to hear before an anime. Something that gets me energised and excited for an episode to come.

I have to say though, people need to stop thinking that Mandarin is somehow the only form of Chinese that should ever exist. Yes, Cantonese is in fact Chinese too, as are the hundreds of Chinese dialects out there. If I speak ‘Chinese’, I can speak Cantonese and still say that.

THE WINNER: English (America)

As usual, America takes the cake in this extensive list of various versions. It takes the cake for either being the best thing you have seen, or the worst, depending on where you stand. For me personally, the whole spectacle is embarrassing yet at the same time highly amusing.

‘Mystic Adventure’? ‘A quest for all time’?

You can see their approach in making this - completely changing the opening theme and the opening animation as well. They have attempted to ‘American-ise’ it, as I will say. To make this opening more like the action-like openings for other American cartoons that no doubt were airing at the time. It reminds me of Pokemon openings, many of which similarly emphasise the ‘action’ aspects of the show, and even use music that sounds rather similar to boot — even though ‘Cardcaptors’, or Carcaptor Sakura, is really a shoujo. At least Pokemon was shounen to begin with.

It’s a bit of a try-hard approach, but I can see where they were going with it, even as I give a mental wince at what they have managed to achieve. I give them kudos for trying to be different though. You go, America.