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Cardcaptor Sakura Filler Episodes You Should Always Skip

"Cardcaptor Sakura" was one of the classic magical girl anime series of the '90s and 2000s. Running from 1998 to 2000 (with a sequel series debuting in 2018), the anime is based on the manga by CLAMP (via Anime News Network), who also made the anime series "Code Geass." The shoujo (younger female-targeted) anime series follows Sakura Kinomoto as she tries to capture the Clow Cards. These items are Tarot-like cards that turn into magical creatures. Sakura discovers that she is a magician, and she uses her newfound powers to capture each card (hence the name of both the manga and anime).

Anime and manga fans will recognize the "Gotta catch 'em all" element of the plot of "Cardcaptor Sakura" from shows like "Pokémon" and "InuYasha." Nothing fills out a television show quite as well as unleashing a seemingly endless supply of monsters on the world that only your protagonist can tame. Even "The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo" follows that monster of the week formula.

Together, the "Cardcaptor Sakura" (via IMDb) and "Cardcaptor Sakura: The Clear Card Arc" (via IMDb) TV shows ran for a total of 92 episodes and led to three movies, with varying levels of fidelity to the original manga. The anime adds non-manga elements, such as rival-turned-friend Meiling Li and Sakura's ability to create a card of her own. The anime also expands the Clow Card deck from 19 to 52 original cards. So, which of these episodes are really important, and which are extra Clow Cards designed to spin off toys for viewers?

Cardcaptor Sakura contains around one-third filler material

According to Anime Filler List, the original "Cardcaptor Sakura" series is 35% filler. If you want to avoid any non-manga content, the site recommends viewers skip episodes 12 through 15, 19 through 24, 27 through 34, 36 through 38, Episode 40, Episode 43, Episode 53, 55 through 58, and 60 through 64. Most of these episodes show Sakura and her frenemy-crush Syaoran capturing various cards that weren't in the manga. For example, in Episode 12, the first filler episode titled "Sakura's Endless Day" (via IMDb), Sakura gets stuck in a stable time loop. The "Groundhog Day"-style loop turns out to be the work of the Time Card, which Syaoran captures for himself.

In many ways, the filler episodes of "Cardcaptor Sakura" are indistinguishable from the manga-compliant ones. In a "monster of the week" show, does it really matter if those monsters appeared in a manga first? However, if you are looking for a tighter story in line with CLAMP's original outline of the series, then skip these filler episodes. Notably, none of the 2018 revival series is filler, according to Anime Filler List, indicating that it's a true love letter to the fans of the manga.