Anime Underground Why Cardcaptor Sakura Was The Most Queer Inclusive Anime For Kids Ever Made  

Shamus Kelley
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Cardcaptor Sakura was a super gay kids' show. Running in manga form from 1996 to 2000 and in anime form from 1998 to 2000, the series was one of the gayest options for children around. Even when the show was brought over to America as Cardcaptors and heavily edited, they still couldn't get rid of everything. Even if some missed it, they certainly didn't when the manga was brought over to America, where the LGBT themes in Cardcaptor Sakura were maintained.

They had lesbian characters. Bisexual characters. Ally characters. Even characters that weren't afraid to defy typical gender stereotypes. By today's standards it might seem relatively tame, but back in the '90s it was huge. When kids' media did everything they could to hide even the smallest gay subtextCardcaptor Sakura was a light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

Tomoyo Is Without A Doubt A Lesbian


Tomoyo Is Without A Doubt A Le... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Why Cardcaptor Sakura Was The Most Queer Inclusive Anime For Kids Ever Made
Photo:  Kodansha

While she never comes out and says it, Tomoyo is clearly interested in women throughout the series. Her sights are set on Sakura, and the original show and manga are not shy about expressing this. Tomoyo designs literally hundreds of magical girl outfits for Sakura, and expresses her love for Sakura in other ways as well.

In episode 46 of the anime, Sakura goes to a world where everyone forgets how they feel about the people they love the most. In this altered plane, Tomoyo treats Sakura like a total stranger. Therefore, the audience can deduce that Sakura is the person Tomoyo loves the most in the world. 

Tomoyo Even Proclaims Her Love for Sakura


Tomoyo Even Proclaims Her Love... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Why Cardcaptor Sakura Was The Most Queer Inclusive Anime For Kids Ever Made
Photo:  Madhouse

At the end of episode 10, Sakura and Tomoyo discuss their families histories. Afterwards, Sakura says she loves Tomoyo, although it’s clearly meant to be friendly and platonic. When Sakura turns away, Tomoyo quietly whispers that she really loves Sakura. It leaves no question that Tomoyo is feeling romantic love. 

Yukito Is Super Femme And Super Popular


Yukito Is Super Femme And Supe... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Why Cardcaptor Sakura Was The Most Queer Inclusive Anime For Kids Ever Made
Photo:  Madhouse

Yukito falls very much into femme guy tropes (the uke in Yaoi terms), and he's one of the most popular boys in school. The girls all love him, and he guys want him to play on their sports teams. There's something beautifully refreshing about both women and men in anime accepting a guy who isn't tough and macho in the traditional sense. 

Toya Is Both Macho And Bisexual


Toya Is Both Macho And Bisexua... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Why Cardcaptor Sakura Was The Most Queer Inclusive Anime For Kids Ever Made
Photo:  Madhouse

It's one thing for series to hit the gay and lesbian sides of LGBT, but it's much less common to get into bisexual territory. Cardcaptor Sakura establishes that while Toya has had some serious feelings for women before (in the case of Kaho), his affections are now squarely focused on Yukito. Toya is more of a traditionally masculine guy, but that doesn't stop him trying to act on his feelings. Cardcaptor Sakura shatters stereotypes left and right.