|Also Known As||Meilin Rae (Cardcaptors)|
Meilin-sama (by Wei)
Brat (by Kero)
|Age||10-12 (Anime - before Clear Card Arc)|
13 (Clear Card Arc)
Yelan Li (aunt)
Unnamed uncle (deceased)
Syaoran Li, Fuutie Li, Shiefa Li, Fanren Li, Feimei Li (1st cousins)
Wang Wei (guardian)
Clow Reed (ancestor)
Eriol Hiiragizawa (reincarnated ancestor)
Hong Kong, China
|Likes||Romance, physical education and activities, martial arts, cooking, singing|
|Dislikes||Cerberus' attitude towards her (calling her a brat)|
|"Sakura and the Summer Holiday Homework"|
|English||Nicole Oliver (Cardcaptors)|
Julie Maddalena (2nd movie)
Sarah Hauser (Animax)
Trina Nishimura (Clear Card)
Meiling Li (リ メイリン Ri Meirin; Chinese: 李 苺鈴, Pinyin: Lǐ Méilíng) is a character in the anime version of Cardcaptor Sakura. She is the first cousin of Syaoran Li and was his betrothed since early childhood.
Meiling's given name uses the Chinese characters 苺鈴. 苺 translates to "berry", while 鈴 means "bell" or bell shaped objects, it may also include plant buds. Given the first character 苺, it is more likely that her name falls under the latter. So her name may mean "budding berry". Meiling's name also translates from Chinese characters, such as "beautiful jade"
Meiling has black hair which is parted in the middle, into two buns on either side of her head and the rest hanging down—the Chinese niújiǎotóu (牛角头) hairstyle. While card-capturing, she wears Chinese garb, with a prominent yin-yang symbol in the middle.
Meiling was initially a spoiled, brash, selfish, and obnoxious young girl. This was due to her single-minded devotion to Syaoran, which made her extremely jealous of Sakura Kinomoto and made her care little for everybody else. She tried to assist Syaoran in his mission to capture the Clow Cards but would often end up interfering or making the situation worse due to her lack of magic powers, which was another reason for her jealousy towards Sakura. After some time in Tomoeda, she slowly integrated into her new surroundings and became friends with the people around her, including Sakura and Tomoyo. Sakura tells her that she wishes she could stay longer, and Meiling says that she'll try and visit soon. She then suggests that Syaoran and Sakura could visit her as well. Sakura complies, and she and Syaoran say goodbye to Meiling as she boards the plane. When she briefly returned to Tomoeda, she had become more calm and friendly, but it was here that she learned that Syaoran loved Sakura. Meiling spent the night at Tomoyo's house after she called off her engagement to vent out her heartbreak and sadness, but eventually accepted the fact that Syaoran loved Sakura and rooted for him to be happy with her, showing maturity she had never shown before. She would continue to help the couple with their relationship throughout the series and in the second movie.
In Clear Card, Meiling displayed her maturity and calmness. She was no longer goaded on by Cerberus' attitude towards her and she displays respect to people around her, notably to Fujitaka during her stay at Sakura's house. She also displayed awareness of other people's feelings, particularly Syaoran and Sakura's, and often knew the right words to say at a given situation. During her visit to Tomoeda, she also managed to bet on a first-name basis with Sakura, showing just how much she treasured their friendship.
Before Clow Card Arc
One day, one of Meiling's birds escaped from its cage, leaving her in tears. Syaoran, after witnessing the situation ran into the woods to find the lost bird. It began raining while he was away, and after what felt like hours he finally returned, successful. Meiling was not only very happy that he found the bird but also quite touched.
Since then Meiling has watched over Syaoran and been by his side. Not too long after the bird rescue, Meiling confesses her feelings to Syaoran. This appeared to be a random outburst, as Syaoran had been quietly reading opposite her on the patio table. Meiling continued to declare that she liked him more than anyone else, and she argued that Syaoran liked nobody else more than he liked her. Syaoran stuttered in agreement and just looked at her, which further led Meiling to declare herself engaged to him. The promise was that she would give him up if he ever found somebody he liked more than her; until then, she would be his bride. The promise itself took some persuasion, as Meiling leapt onto the table, nearly shrieking "All right?!" in his face until he finally accepted.
Meiling encounters Tomoyo and Sakura when they had come from Sakura "winning a contest" at school. In the Li house, she introduced Syaoran's older sisters to a dazed Sakura. Due to her lack of magic, she is abducted by the vengeful spirit of the hydromancer Suyong, and imprisoned in a bubble. She is eventually released and falls unconscious, thanks to Sakura's bravery and compassion towards Suyong's feeling of betrayal.
Sakura Card Arc
Meiling briefly returns to help Sakura sort out the strange occurrences that are happening with the cards. They come across the park where several stone penguins start attacking them. Meiling fights them and hurts her hands in the process while Syaoran and Sakura take the larger one on. Sakura knew that she couldn't stop enough time with the Time card, but Meiling told her to try using the Freeze card. Once that worked, Syaoran used his lightning spell to destroy them.
Later, at Syaoran's house, Meiling tells him that he is lucky for being needed. She says that he will always be tied to the Clow Card's destiny, as he is a better Clow Reed descendant than her, and he has magical powers. She stays at Tomoyo's house and the next day, goes to the airport.
Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: The Sealed Card
Meiling returns with Syaoran over their summer break to visit Sakura and Tomoyo back in Tomoeda, mainly to help Sakura confess her love to Syaoran. She gets a part in the school play performed during the Nadeshiko Festival when Syaoran has to fill in for Yamazaki after he is injured during an attack by the Nothing Card. Meiling and Tomoyo are erased by the Nothing Card at the beginning of the final battle against it, and are returned safely after Sakura seals the fifty-third card, and confesses her mutual love for Syaoran.
Clear Card Arc
At one point, Sakura and Meiling had a video chat on their cellphones. She eventually come to surprise Sakura and the two hit it off quite good. She was then introduced to Akiho, and noticed how she and Sakura were similar.
At Sakura's home, she encountered Kero, who berated her for making fun of his stuffed animal form again.
Meiling's fascination with Syaoran began when she was about five, when they were both living in Hong Kong. She fell in love with Syaoran and vowed to marry him if he didn't find someone he loved more than her, a promise Syaoran reluctantly agreed to. Due to this, she tried to involve herself in his mission to capture the Clow Cards despite having no magical powers to the point of being abrasive to others around her.
She eventually mellowed down as she adapted to the people around Syaoran. She was initially heartbroken when she found out Syaoran loved Sakura, but after a heart-to-heart with Tomoyo, accepted the fact and gave her support to Syaoran. Afterwards, she remains a close friend to Syaoran and sometimes assists him in his relationship.
Meiling was initially hostile with Sakura, beginning when she visited Syaoran in his apartment to find Sakura tending to him. This one-sided rivalry was further aggravated as Syaoran continued to spend more time with Sakura to capture the Cards, something she has little knowledge about. Despite the rough start, Sakura's kind-hearted personality eventually wore her down and Sakura became a close friend to her to the point that when she found out Syaoran loved Sakura, she couldn't bring herself to hate Sakura. She has remained a close friend to Sakura and looks out for her, even managing to get on a first-name basis with her, though she considers the Japanese girl to be quite slow on perceiving other people's feelings.
Meiling didn't have a strong initial reaction, mostly considering her to be nothing more than Sakura's companion. As time passed, Tomoyo became one of her close friends in Japan. Their friendship was further solidified when Tomoyo offered her a shoulder to lean on after ending her engagement to Syaoran, an offer she readily accepted. Since then, Tomoyo has been a close friend to her and her ally in helping the budding relationship between Syaoran and Sakura.
Powers and Abilities
Martial Artist: Like Syaoran, Meiling has shown great skill with martial arts. This is demonstrated at one point when battling on equal footing with The Fight card. She also fought The Twin card with Syaoran, and much later in the series, during Eriol's test, she fought several rock penguins, though this did leave her hands injured.
Perceptive Combat: Despite not having magic, she is able to analyze situations and come up with a solution. This is seen when she tells Sakura to use the Freeze card to stop the penguins.
In the US version of the series re titled Cardcaptors, Meiling is renamed Meilin Rae so that the relation between Syaoran as cousins is nonexistent due to Nelvana deeming it inappropriate, and is instead presented as a childhood friend of sorts. Although Meiling's infatuation for Syaoran is drastically edited, it is still somewhat presented as her having a enormous crush and admiration for him.
Meiling's personality is basically the same, as she is shown to be a braggart, somewhat conceited, and defensive when it comes to anything to do with Syaoran, yet at the same time, having guts, consideration, and determination. Although she still shows jealousy towards Sakura for being with Syaoran all the time, in the English version, the relationship between Syaoran and Sakura is scaled back to being close friends as opposed to lovers. Furthermore, all of the moments pertaining to Meiling having an engagement to Syaoran have been edited out.
- Despite possible timeline inconsistencies for either the anime or manga versions, Sakura was confirmed to be 13 in Clear Card Arc by the official CCS app and Sakura’s Japanese voice actor, Sakura Tange. Because of this, Meiling would be of a similar age, not aging until the next year's March each school year (but aging before Sakura [April 1st], due to the Japanese school system beginning in April and ending in March. As well, children who have their 6th birthday on or before April 1 enter the first grade of elementary school of that year; this would include Meiling, albeit being portrayed a year older than typical.)
- When Sakura's class performs Sleeping Beauty, the role of the witch is played by Meiling in the anime, while it is played by Takashi Yamazaki in the manga.
- Because Meiling's character was created for the anime only, she has only three "manga styled" pictures.
- Meiling's niújiǎotóu (牛角头) hairstyle is basically the Chinese equivalent of the Japanese odango (お団子) hairstyle worn by Usagi Tsukino from Sailor Moon and Mint Aizawa from Tokyo Mew Mew, while her fighting outfit bears a likeness to one worn by Yohko Mano from Devil Hunter Yohko.
- Since she and Syaoran have the same last name, it is likely that their fathers were brothers before Syaoran's father passed away.
- Her blood type is B.
- Meiling Li is voiced in the original by Yukana, also known for voicing Cure White (Honoka Yukishiro) in Futari wa Pretty Cure and its second season, and Cecilia Alcott in Infinite Stratos.
- She is voiced in the original English dub by Nicole Oliver, who also voices Princess Celestia in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Zoe Trent in Littlest Pet Shop (2012), and Hsien-Ko in the Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge anime.