The anime follows closely to the plot of the manga though there are notiabe changed between the two. 

Clow Cards

  • In the Manga there are only 19 cards whilst in the anime this is increased to 52, however not all cards get an episode or are explained how they were caught. The original 19 are:
  • Windy
  • Woody
  • Jump
  • Fly
  • Watery
  • Illusion
  • Shield
  • Flower
  • Sword
  • Thunder
  • Shadow
  • Glow
  • Mirror
  • Maze
  • Erase
  • Light
  • Dark
  • Firey
  • Earthy
  • The anime starts at the beginning of the story where Sakura opened the Clow Book, however in the manga she has already caught two and how she obtained the Clow Book is shown in a flashback.
  • The order in which the Clow cards are captured are changed, for instance, Jump and Woody are the first two that Sakura captures in the manga but in the anime she captures Fly. The location of the captures are sometimes changed as well. 
  • The way some of the cards are captured are also altered.
    • She captures the Fly card using Windy in the anime but in the manga this doesn't work because Fly is under the Windy Card and therefore it's power is enhanced. She uses the Wood and Jump card instead. 
    • Sakura uses the lights in the school to capture the Shadow card however in the Manga she uses the Thunder card. 
  • Despite using the Thunder card in the manga Sakura nevers uses it in the anime in it's original form. 
  • The Dream Card and the Return Card allow Sakura to see certain events in the anime. However in the manga these two cards do not exist and Sakura has prophetic dreams throughout the series. 


  • Ceroberus returns to his original form after the capture of the Firey Card in the manga. However in the anime he needs both the Earthy and the Firey Card.

Character Differences

  • Syaoran Li is shown to have minimal magical power in the manga but in the anime he can activate the cards that belong to him using his Ryekti.
  • Syaoran also takes part in the Final Judgement but loses to Yue. 
  • In the Manga Syaoran lives on his own but in the anime he lives with his housekeeper Wei and for a short while his cousin/fiancee' Meling.
  • Meling appears in the anime as Syaoran's Cousin and Fiancee. She does not exist in the manga.

Storyline Differences

  • The Moon Bell, though created by Clow and used to help transform Sakura's staff, had a different purpose in both stories. In the manga it was a way for Sakura to defeat Yue without hurting him whilst in the anime it was to allow Sakura another chance against Yue. 
  • Mizuki Sensei told Sakura she knew about the Clow Cards before the Final Judgement in the manga. In the anime she shows up during the battle and explains her involvement. 
  • In the manga, after Clow died, he spilt his soul into two parts; Eriol and Fujitaka (Sakura's Father). At the end of the manga Eriol gives half his power to Fujitaka to allow Sakura to be the most powerful. Fujitaka then received the ability to see his late wife. In the anime this is never mentioned. 
  • Sakura does not make a bear for Syaoran in the anime. She receives his bear from him at the end of the series.


  • Despite knowing one another in the anime Kaho and Eriol do not end up in a romantic relationship. In the manga they do have a romantic relationship that is noted throughout the second saga. 
  • Rika and Terada's relationship is noted though it plays a minimumal role. In the manga the two become engaged and Sakura see Rika on several occasions for help with love because she know Rika is seeing an older man. The same applies for Chiharu and Yamazaki's relationship. 
  • Syaoran is originally engaged to his cousin Meling in the anime but later breaks off their engagement because he falls for Sakura. No character exists in the manga. 
  • Syaoran's feelings for Sakura progress faster in the manga than they do in the anime. By the time Sakura had captured the Firey card they started calling each other by their first name, however this happens when Sakura is changing the cards much later on in the anime. 
  • Tomoyo's love for Sakura is downplayed in the anime compared to the manga.


  • In the Manga Syaoran confesses his love in Penguin Park a bit after the final battle, before telling Sakura that he will be leaving for Japan. Unsure of her feelings Sakura consults serveral people before making a bear for Syaoran and chasing him to the station. She confesses her love and states she will wait for him to return. In the epilogue the two reunite two years later in high school after Syaoran finishs his duties in Hong Kong. During the two years it was noted they phoned and wrote letters to each other throughout that time. 
  • In the anime Syaoran confesses his love to Sakura after the battle ended. After some awkward encounters Syaoran receives a phone call from his mother who orders him to return to Hong Kong now that the cards have all been transformed. Syaoran tells Sakura who is hurt by the news. In her room, being upset and confused over her feelings Sakura starts to cry which causes her to create the 'Hope' Card. She chases Syaoran to the airport where he gives her the bear he had made earlier in the season. In the second movie Syaoran visits Japan four months later. Sakura tries to tell him her feelings only for the 'Nothing' card to cause disruption and chaos. In the end Sakura admits her love (believing Syaoran to have lost his feelings for her after being absorbed by the 'Nothing' Card) and the two are united.