The magic of CLAMP's 1990s anime adaptation of Cardcaptor Sakura continues to enthrall viewers more than twenty years later. Following schoolgirl Sakura Kinomoto on her fantastical mission to recapture the mystical Clow Cards (after accidentally releasing them into the world), Sakura fights to become the Master of the Clow Cards with the help of her best friends and stuffed animal mentor, Cerberus. Thanks to the show's loveable characters, captivating plot, beautiful animation, and incredible costume design, Cardcaptor Sakura gave the magic girl genre a new lease of life.
For those craving more enchanting adventures after finishing Cardcaptor Sakura's 70-episode run, we've compiled a list of similarly charming, exciting, and interesting anime to watch next.
10 Shugo Chara!
Part of Cardcaptor Sakura's appeal is the happy-go-lucky nature of the titular heroine, always acting with a pure heart and good intentions. Amu Hinamori, heroine of Shugo Chara!, grows to develop that same joyful outlook.
Although Amu appears popular, she's deeply introverted and shy. After wishing to become her ideal self, she awakens to find three colorful eggs in her room, hatching to reveal three tiny Guardians inside. Helping Amu discover her true self, tackling self-doubt and internal conflict, these Guardians guide Amu through the most difficult aspects of life and growing up. However, nothing is quite as it seems. As the anime unfolds, Amu must use her new-found inner strength to overcome unexpected obstacles.
9 Kamichama Karin
Thirteen-year-old Karin finds herself living a lonely existence when she moves in with her mean aunt following the loss of her parents and beloved pet cat. Her only memento of her parents is her mother's ring, which just so happens to hold the power of a deity. As bearer of the ring, Karin discovers she has the powers of a goddess and was always destined to have great strength. Sadly, mystical strength is a beacon call for villains, and Karin soon finds herself having to evade enemies desperate for her power.
Filled with romance, humor, and cute animal sidekicks, this magic girl anime is full of twists and turns which will keep you guessing until the end.
8 Nanatsuiro Drops
Based on the shonen light novel, this anime adaptation is a mere twelve episodes long (perfect for those looking for a quick adventure). When student Masaharu Tsuwabuki mistakenly drinks a potion instead of his soda, he turns into a lamb plushie. To return to his normal form, he must collect seven stardrops.
To do this, he'll need the help of a Stellar Spinner — a magician who specializes in catching stardrops. Fortunately for Masaharu, his classmate Sumono Akihime — a Stellar Spinner — and her best friend, Nadeshiko Yaeno, agree to help him. While Nanatsuiro Drops relies on magic girl tropes, at its core, it's a charming story of love.
7 Tokyo Mew Mew
This adorable anime is fun, bright, and full of heart. When eleven-year-old Ichigo discovers she has special powers, she joins forces with four other girls to form the Mew Squad, protecting Earth from an alien race led by the evil Deep Blue. Battling against Deep Blue's minions and monsters, the five girls rise up to defend Earth and every living creature on the planet.
Tokyo Mew Mew brought a modern twist to the magic girl formula when it first aired in the early 2000s. Featuring extravagant costumes and a central heroine with all of Sakura's winning qualities, this anime will surely thrill fans of the Cardcaptor series.
6 Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card Arc
Fans of the original Cardcaptor Sakura will surely love the 2018 sequel. Recapturing the core elements of the first series while updating the story and characters for a new generation, it is a stunning follow up from CLAMP. As Sakura starts junior high, she discovers all of her Sakura Cards have turned blank and powerless. The series follows Sakura and friends as they try to solve the mystery, gaining new, stronger Clear Cards as they go.
Clear Card saw the return of a fan-favorite character, allowing the relationship between Syaoran and Sakura to (finally!) blossom. It's a triumphant return which retains all the charm, friendship, adventure, and magic of the original series — and incredible outfits, of course!
5 Little Witch Academia
Originally a short film, Trigger developed Little Witch Academia into a short series in 2017 to further explore the mysterious world of Luna Nova Magical Academy. The anime follows Atsuko Kagari, who enrolls in the prestigious school of witchcraft to follow in her hero's footsteps, despite not coming from a magic background. With the help of her friends Lotte and Sucy, Atsuko works hard to become a powerful witch while championing wizarding traditions which are losing favor with a new generation of sorcerers.
Little Witch Academia is not only full of wonderful art, captivating adventures, and heart-warming friendships, but also champions the power of holding onto your dreams and believing in yourself, making it an entertaining series for all ages.
4 Princess Tutu
When a prince's heart is shattered and the pieces scattered, a duck transforms into Princess Tutu to find all of the pieces and return them to the young boy, defeating all the forces of evil standing in her way.
While the premise sounds bizarre, it's a fun, emotional adventure that puts a new spin on the magic girl format. Heavily inspired by ballet and fairy tales, the show successfully mixes magic girl elements into a fantasy ballet. Violent battles are replaced with dance sequences, with a soundtrack that perfectly complements the story. Enhanced with beautiful artwork and a captivating plot, Princess Tutu is sure to charm.
3 Sailor Moon
Perhaps the most famous magic girl franchise, Sailor Moon quickly became a global phenomenon, with Usagi Tsukino and her fellow Sailor Soldiers fighting against evil forces to protect love and justice. Tasked with collecting crystals to help in their missions, the Sailor Soldiers embarked on an epic adventure filled with comedy, romance, and drama.
For an ensemble cast, each of the characters were strikingly different with their own distinct personality, which didn't stand in the way of the five girls making strong, empowering friendships. A series that's both magical and moving, it's a classic anime deserving of its iconic status and reputation.
Another series from CLAMP, Kobato is enchanting and heart-breaking, and often takes unpredictable turns to keep the viewer on the edge of their seat. Kobato is tasked with filling a mysterious bottle with healed hearts before the end of the four seasons. She's aided in her mission by Ioryogi, a spirit in the shape of a dog plush toy who must ensure Kobato succeeds in order to return to his human form.
Kobato has all of CLAMP's trademark features, from stunning animation to jaw-dropping costumes, all combined with a magical fairy tale style. However, it's the delightful, often funny, heartfelt storyline that really makes this anime stand out.
1 Reservoir Chronicle: Tsubasa
Created by CLAMP in an effort to tie their various characters together, Reservoir Chronicle shows Sakura and friends in an entirely different light. Set in an alternate reality, Princess Sakura of the Clow Kingdom loses her memory. Childhood friend and budding architect Syaoran offers to help her, discovering it is possible to restore Sakura's memory by venturing through different realities to collect the scattered fragments, but the princess will forget Syaoran if all the pieces are restored.
This fantasy adventure revisits our favorite characters in an entirely new setting with new stakes. Filled with beautiful artwork, romance, and magic, it's a must-see for anyone looking for more Sakura on their screens.