Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card
|Also Known As||Li Showron (Cardcaptors)|
Syaoran-kun (by Sakura)
Syaoran-sama (by Wei)
Brat/Kid (by Kero and Touya)
Xiao-lang（by Meiling, in Cantonese)
9~10 (Clow Card Arc)
10~11 (Sakura Card Arc)
12~13 (Clear Card Arc)
|Relations||Yelan Li (mother) |
Unnamed father (deceased)
Hong Kong, China (originally)
|Likes||Sakura, chocolate, math, cute things, plush toys, video games, fighting, physical education and activities, the color green, books written by Clow Reed, studying magic, being useful|
|Dislikes||Japanese grammar, konjac, Kero calling him "kid"|
|Sakura's First Attempt As A Thief|
(at the end of the episode)
|English||Rhys Huber (Clow Cards arc, 1st movie)|
Jordan Kilik (Sakura Cards arc)
Mona Marshall (2nd movie)
Candace Moore (Animax dub)
Jason Liebrecht (Clear Card)
Syaoran Li (リ・シャオラン) is the deuteragonist of the Clamp's Cardcaptor Sakura manga series and its anime adaptation. He is introduced as Sakura’s rival for the Clow Cards but they gradually becomes friends and close allies. He also falls in love with Sakura and they start dating in the Clear Card arc.
- 1 Name
- 2 Appearance
- 3 Personality
- 4 Relationships
- 5 Magical Abilities and Techniques
- 6 Appearance in Other Media
- 7 Cardcaptors
- 8 Trivia
- 9 References
- 10 Navigation
The name Syaoran is of Chinese origin, and both in this language and in Japanese, it means "little wolf". His last name is very common in China and that means "plum".
Syaoran's name has different pronunciations and translations according to the different countries, such as Syaoran, Xiaolang, Shaoran and Showron.
Syaoran has short chestnut hair and large amber eyes. He is short in height compared to his male classmates, such as Yamazaki, but is overall taller than Sakura and Tomoyo. He appears to have grown in Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: The Sealed Card and, later, the Clear Card series.
His summer uniform is a white, T-shirt with short sleeves along with a red neckerchief with a black stripe and a black pants, along with a white sailor-like hat with a black tassels. He wears white socks and black shoes. His winter school uniform is a black long-sleeved shirt with red and white sleeve cuffs, a white neckerchief with a red stripe, black pants, white socks and black shoes.
It is also said that he looked like his father, when he was young, but there are no pictures of him in his house to actually compare.
Syaoran Li is initially a cold and cynical ten-year-old boy. As the heir of the famous Li clan of sorcerers from Hong Kong, of which Clow Reed's mother herself was also a member, Syaoran had firmly believed that he should be the one to capture and inherit the Clow Cards, not Sakura Kinomoto.
Unlike Sakura, who enjoys sports, skating and playing video games, Syaoran is more serious, especially in studying magic. He enjoys reading books that Clow Reed had written, and hates Japanese grammar.
He first appears as Sakura's rival in the story, capturing a few cards for himself in the anime. His initial attitude towards her was cold, critical, and socially awkward, to the extent of never even addressing her by her first name until the third season, and often criticized her bluntly for her flaws and clumsiness.
He was also portrayed as somewhat of a loner, given that he had been taught to be independent and self-reliant since childhood. However, as the series progresses, and especially after Sakura is officially deemed the new mistress of the Cards, Syaoran drops his rivalistic attitude towards her, and becomes a reliable ally and a beloved friend. As they spend more time together, Syaoran begins to develop romantic feelings for Sakura and becomes annoyed when she pays more attention to another guy. He himself would not admit these feelings until late in the series, after the advice from Yue and Tomoyo, the latter of whom served as his confidante about his feelings. However, the naive and innocent Sakura is completely oblivious to these feelings, and thinks of him simply as an intimate friend. It was only after their final magical duel with Eriol did he find the courage to confess to her how he truly felt about her. By the end of the series, he has completely mellowed in comparison to his initial attitude, becoming a genuine caring and friendly person.
"I...I love you."
―Syaoran finally confessing romantic affections for Sakura
In the beginning of the series, Syaoran is extremely antagonistic towards Sakura; spawned from his belief that they should compete for the cards to see who is worthy of wielding them. On his first day at Sakura's school, before he even knows her name, he glares hatefully at her, causing her to worry. During recess, he proceeded to say she was hopeless as the cards' holder and physically attacked her in an attempt to steal them but was thwarted by Touya and Yukito. This was the start of a rocky relationship between the two.
Syaoran would ignore Sakura and reject her constant attempts to befriend him, seeing her as nothing more than a rival. Despite this, he does at times save her in critical moments and provides her with information about the cards. Trying to capture the cards at the same time, gradually allows the two to learn to work together and they build a friendship that Syaoran doesn't fully recognize until halfway through the series.
In episode 27, he blushes when Sakura hugs him and the following episodes show him being shy around her and growing increasingly worried for her safety and well-being, something that confuses him.
After the Final Judgment, Sakura is declared the new master of the Clow Cards, leaving Syaoran, essentially, a failure. However, he congratulates her and even smiles, showing his respect for her.
At the start of the third season, Syaoran plans on returning home to Hong Kong, now that Sakura is the official mistress of the cards, and promises to visit her someday. Then, the newcomer, Eriol Hiiragizawa, comes from the United Kingdom and starts charming Sakura; much to Syaoran's dismay and disgust. When Sakura becomes quite sad that Syaoran is leaving, he decided to extend his stay in Tomoeda.
At this point in the series, Syaoran's feelings toward Sakura have slowly changed from that of rivalry to that of an elementary school crush, and then to true love. Sakura's consistently cheerful attitude and warm smiles cause more and more blushes to form on Syaoran's cheeks. Much to his surprise, Syaoran finds himself jealous over the fact that Eriol is getting closer Sakura. As he becomes more aware of his deep feelings for her, his denial over the romantic nature of them also increases. However, with advice from Yue and Tomoyo, he eventually accepts that he indeed loves Sakura and wants to be with her. He tries to confess to her several times, but something continuously happens and derails the conversation.
After Sakura confesses to Yukito and is rejected, Syaoran comforts her and assures her that she will find the person she truly, deeply loves. While he feels grateful at being able to help her, he is worried that his true romantic feelings may be a burden to her. Tomoyo manages to convince him that if he does confess, Sakura will really think about it and give him her answer.
Some time later, after the final battle with Eriol, Syaoran finally confesses that he is in love with her face-to-face at the end of episode 69. The news comes as a major surprise to Sakura, who had always viewed Syaoran as a close, good friend. Sakura broods over the thought, especially after he tells her that he is glad he met her.
At the same time, Syaoran is planning to leave for Hong Kong. Sakura hears about his unannounced leave just in time to run and catch him at the airport. He is holding a homemade teddy bear, which he had considered giving to Sakura, but never found the right time.
Instead, Sakura asks if she could have the bear in his arms. There is a tradition stated in the series (it is not a true Japanese tradition) that when someone gives someone else a personally-made plush, and the receiver names the plush after its maker, then both people will be together forever. Sakura is never seen giving a name to the bear, but the symbolism of her accepting his bear is enough to suggest that Sakura returns the feelings, despite how sudden they appeared.
In the second movie, four months after the final episode, Syaoran returns to Japan with his cousin Meiling Li, who had been having secret phone calls with Tomoyo, who helped plan their return.
Tomoyo and Meiling attempt to organize outings for Sakura to tell Syaoran about how she feels but, rather amusingly, she gets interrupted until the end of the movie, where Syaoran sacrifices himself to The Nothing card's attack.
In tears upon his return, Sakura confesses her deep romantic love, believing that Syaoran had forgotten his romantic love for her. She begins to cry but Syaoran surprisingly replies "Me too, Sakura." Sakura is so overjoyed by the revelation, that she recklessly leaps across a large hole in the floor to reach Syaoran, despite his protests for her safety.
The film ends with a still of Sakura halfway across the cap in midair. A special bonus poster released with the film along with it's DVD shows that she does in fact makes the leap, right into Syaoran's arms.
The manga (as well as the sequel Clear Card Arc anime) concludes the development of their relationship differently. After a major battle, Syaoran finds a quiet moment in Penguin Park to confess his love to Sakura. Sakura, again, is left in a mild state of shock as she tries to absorb the words, while Syaoran, content after revealing his feelings, tells her to be careful going back home and then leaves.
The rest of the volume of Cardcaptor Sakura is focused on Sakura trying to work out her feelings for Syaoran. She eventually runs into Syaoran as he is packing up to leave for Hong Kong. Now that the purpose for his coming to Japan is over. After Sakura realizes (with help from her friends) that she too loves Syaoran, she succeeds in confessing her feelings to him just as he is about to leave; along with giving him the teddy bear she made. Syaoran promises her that he will return once his work in Hong Kong is finished, and she promises to wait for him as long as it takes.
Two years later, a 13-year-old Sakura. now in Middle school is walking home, when she suddenly comes across Syaoran waiting for her, holding the bear that she gave him. Syaoran is happy to announce that he is through with his duties in Hong Kong and is now in Tomoeda to stay; there would be no more need for letters and phone calls any longer. Sakura, filled with happiness, jumps into Syaoran's arms and happily exclaims that they can be "together forever".
From then on, they begin dating. Syaoran is concerned over Sakura's powers increasing as he has been told great power will lead to the unhappiness of the one who wields it.
Before his relationship with Sakura, Syaoran had a sensed on Yukito Tsukishiro; often blushing madly and abruptly running away at the sight of him. While Sakura also had a crush on Yukito, Syaoran would often compete with her for his affections.
As he shows no interest in Sakura in the first season, the impression is given that he and Sakura are rivals, for the cards and for love. It is revealed later that Syaoran was attracted to the magic-energies of the moon, which sometimes gave the sensation of "love". Syaoran drew his magical power from the moon, as Yue, the guardian under the sign of the moon, resided within Yukito. He still admires Yukito as a friend and upperclassman.
In the beginning, Syaoran neither liked nor disliked Tomoyo Daidouji, seemingly preferring to not take much notice of her. However, as he grew to open up his heart to others, they became good friends, though it did not stop Tomoyo from frequently teasing Syaoran about his secret love for Sakura, or provoking his jealousy by pointing out how gallant and charming Eriol is. Nonetheless, she proves herself to still be a reliable friend and ally to Syaoran by giving him advice on his feelings for Sakura. Like Sakura, Syaoran gets bemused by Tomoyo’s obsession to record Sakura’s card capturing adventures and he is dismayed when Tomoyo begins making outfits for him in Clear Card.
Since the beginning to the end of both anime/manga series Syaoran Li and Touya Kinomoto (Sakura's older brother) never got along well or friendly with each other at first. Their first encounter was when Syaoran harassed Sakura for the Clow Cards. Since then, every time they met, they'd either have a competition or give each other a wicked stare, like they were trying to pick a fight. Even after Syaoran became close to Sakura, both of them still continued to resent each other. In Touya's part, it is due to his overprotective attitude to his sister and his awareness of Syaoran's feelings towards her. When Syaoran and Sakura start dating, him and Touya still did not get along, as Syaoran states he doesn’t know how to act in front of Touya due to the latter’s grumpiness. However, Touya considers Syaoran to be the one person he trusts to protect Sakura.
"The Beast of the Seal is...a stuffed animal?"
―Syaoran first meets Kero
Due to Syaoran’s initial cold treatment of Sakura, Syaoran and Cerberus did not have a good relationship: they often get into passionately heated arguments, Syaoran calls him a "plush toy", or a "stuffed animal", while Cerberus retorts with patronizing terms like "kid", and "brat". It was stated that this was probably because Syaoran draws his magical powers mainly from the moon, while Cerberus draws his from the sun, which is why they do not get along, which is utterly unlike Sakura, whose powers have a balance of both the sun and the moon. Though they do not get along at all, they put up with each other for Sakura's sake, and were shown to be actually capable of civil conversations, especially in Clear Card, despite the fact that such instances are extremely few and far in between.
Syaoran and Meiling had known each other since they were little kids due to them being cousins. Despite the fact that Meiling had no magical powers, she trained in martial arts alongside with him. Syaoran initially brushed her off and preferred to be alone rather than play with her and other children. Later on Meiling would lose her pet bird and Syaoran runs out into a storm to find it and after hours pass he returns with it. Meiling later pressures Syaoran into becoming engaged with her. Although Syaoran's romantic feelings for Meiling were non-existent, he did care about her as his cousin, or the way a boy would care for his family. She would recklessly join him in collecting the Clow Cards, much to his chargin, as she tended to cause more trouble than help him. Syaoran and Meiling call off their engagement after Syaoran falls in love with Sakura. Despite Meiling’s heartache, they remain friends.
Magical Abilities and Techniques
- Magical & Supernatural detection: Due to his life long tutelage, Syaoran possesses a greater degree of magical sensitivity than Sakura. He is able to not only sense the Clow Cards in a greater area, but is also able to discern their presence even through attempts at cloaking or hiding. He can greatly extend his ability to detect magical activity and Clow Cards with the use of his Rashinban.
- Master Swordsmanship: Syaoran is shown to be an excellent swordsman. He wields a Chinese jian, which takes the sealed form of a hanging pendant. This sword serves as the focus for his magical powers.
- Martial Artist: Syaoran was trained in martial arts since he was a little child. One example that demonstrates this is when he shows a pose that is reminiscent of Chinese martial arts when he first met Touya. He also used his martial arts when fighting with a few Clow Cards, like when he kicked The Fight card aside when it was about to harm Meiling, and when he fought The Twin card with Meiling.
- Elemental Magic: Through the use of ofuda - slips of enchanted paper - Syaoran can summon and control the four main elements of nature:
Element Incantataion Effect Lightning (Thunder) Raitei Shourai Project blasts of yellow electricity and thunderbolts Fire Kashin Shourai Generates fireballs; can be used to illuminate Wind (Air) Fukka Shourai Create shields of air for protection, or for a soft landing Water Suiryuu Shourai Create small waves and whirlpools, douse things in cold water Ice Hyouka Shourai Freeze a target with ice
Although he claims nine Clow Cards for himself in the anime, Syaoran does not actually capture any cards, as the act of capturing can only be performed using Sakura's sealing wand. However, if Syaoran has played a major role in weakening or cornering the Card entity prior to its capture, credit for the capture is awarded to him (as the materialized Card floats autonomously to its owner after capture). While Sakura writes her name in romaji on the Clow Cards, Syaoran writes his name in Chinese characters.
During the Clear Card arc, Syaoran used his teddy bear that he made for Sakura, which was enchanted by his mother, to take possession of all fifty-three Sakura Cards. This was done to protect Sakura from her powers as they grow exorbitantly while creating the Clear Cards. With the collaboration of the cards, who also wish to protect Sakura, Syaoran is able to rewrite the contract of the cards, replacing Sakura’s name on them with his name and allowing him to utilize their powers, which essentially makes him the new master of the cards; but doing so is extremely exhausting for him and takes longer than desired.
Appearance in Other Media
Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle and xxxHolic
In Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, Syaoran is mentioned by Sakura Li as she stated she met her counterpart in her dream alongside her boyfriend, as she received the wand, but he was not shown in the dream.
Syaoran is mentioned in xxxHolic as living in the same world as Yuuko Ichihara and Kimihiro Watanuki. In a later chapter he is mentioned as living with Sakura. Watanuki expresses a desire to one day meet the both of them.
In Nelvana's English dubbed version Cardcaptors, Syaoran's first and last name are switched around as Li Showron and many other changes were made to his character. Particularly in the English adaptation, his feelings for Yukito (Julian) are portrayed as fear and his romantic feelings for Sakura are watered down but still evident. In Cardcaptors he also seems to be more arrogant and his initial hostility towards Sakura is elevated. While the two still eventually become friends, Syaoran still feels some resentment towards Sakura, instead of developing love.
A major change to Syaoran's character in Cardcaptors involves elevating him to become the male lead character, rather than a supporting character for Sakura in Cardcaptor Sakura. Here, Syaoran is also referred to as a Cardcaptor, while he has no such title in the original series, as Cerberus never selected him, and he has no initial ability to seal cards for himself.
- Despite possible timeline inconsistencies for either the anime or manga versions, Sakura's age was confirmed to be 13 in Clear Card arc's start by the official CCS app and Sakura’s Japanese voice actress, Sakura Tange. Going by this, Syaoran would be around the same age, plus a bit older (due to his birthday being July 13, while Sakura's is April 1st. In Japan, the Japanese school system begins in April and ends in March; thus, Syaoran would age before Sakura does, as Sakura wouldn't age until the next April 1.)
- Like Sakura, Syaoran enjoys more boyish hobbies, and is very good at sports and video games.
- The "Card Captor Sakura Memorial Book" (2001) contained an interview with Clamp and a statement regarding the nature of Sakura's relationship with Syaoran, Ohkawa stating: she was glad the readers were happy Sakura and Syaoran got together, "but that anyone would think it’s because they make a normal couple… it’s a little disconcerting. Sakura didn’t choose Syaoran because he’s a boy close to her in age. If Syaoran had been a girl, if they had been far apart in age, as long as he was still Syaoran, I think Sakura would have fallen in love with him. It’d sadden me if you thought they’re a good couple because they’re normal."
- Syaoran's four sisters are mentioned in the anime and are only seen in the first Cardcaptor Sakura movie. His sisters are Fuutie, Shiefa, Fanren, and Feimei. His mother and sisters are briefly mentioned in the Cardcaptor Sakura manga when Sakura, Tomoyo, and Syaoran are trying to capture the Maze Card. His mother's name is Yelan.
- A common theme in fan fiction is that Syaoran is a prince (with Sakura taking various roles). It may have been this which at least partially influenced Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle.
- Syaoran's father is deceased. In the anime it is implied he is responsible for the wealth of the Li family.
- Syaoran's voice actor Motoko Kumai sang Syaoran's theme called Ki ni Naru Aitsu (That Girl I Can't Ignore) which was first in episode 57 of Cardcaptor Sakura
- As stated in the seventh chapter of the original manga series
- His favourite color is green
- His favourite food is chocolate and Dim Sum and least favourite is Yam Jelly
- His favourite subjects are gym and math and least favourite is Japanese
- His blood type is O
- He also speaks English, as he picked it up from his time in Hong Kong.
- He is very talented in playing the piano.
- Speaks at least 3 languages. Cantonese, Japanese, and English. He possibly speaks Mandarin too. In the English dub of Clear Card, he can speak French, too.
- Syaoran's name (meaning "little wolf") sounds similar to Shao Long, "little dragon", which is one of famous Bruce Lee's given names (李小龍, pinyin: Lǐ Xiǎolóng, often romanized as Lee Shao Long).
- He made a cameo appearance at the end of episode 7 of Cardcaptor Sakura.
- Other than the Return, Sand, and Twin Cards, all the Clow Cards Syaoran had fall under the power of the Moon; the same as his magic.
- Syaoran's Brazilian voice actor, Fabio Lucindo, also voices Pokémon's Ash Ketchum, Dragon Ball Z's Krillin and Bleach's Kurosaki Ichigo.
- His Japanese voice actress, Motoko Kumai, is also known for portraying Tyson Granger/Takao Kinomiya on Beyblade, Coffret on Heartcatch Pretty Cure, Spike on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and Chocolove McDonell on Shaman King, among other roles. Miyu Irino, his voice actor in Tsubasa Chronicle, was also the voice of Sora in the Kingdom Hearts video game series, Haru in Tsuritama, Parappa in the PaRappa the Rapper anime, Shoya Ishida in the "Koe no Katachi" anime film and Erial/Ariel in the "Sayonara no Asa ni Yakusoku no Hana wo Kazarou" anime film.
- Syaoran's fifth English Voice Actor, Jason Liebrecht also voices his counterparts, Syaoran and Tsubasa Li from Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle.
- In Tsubasa:RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE, an adult form of Syaoran is seen towards the end of the series. Since he is based on Syaoran Li, it can be assumed this Syaoran would have a similar appearance as an adult post-series.
- In xxxHOLiC, it is revealed by Yuuko that Syaoran and Sakura are living together as boyfriend and girlfriend.
- Syaoran Mini Drama Album
- Cardcaptor Sakura Chapter 6
- Cardcaptor Sakura Episode 57
- Cardcaptor Sakura Episode 66
- Cardcaptor Sakura Episode 69
- Cardcaptor Sakura Episode 70
- Cardcaptor Sakura Volume 12
- Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle chapter 224