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Cardcaptor Sakura 03: Sakura In Action

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“Zettai daijoubu da yo!”
Source: TV
Layers: 1
Sketches: 1
Cel Number: A17
Standard size

Key Cel
No Background

Added 10/10/2008
Updated 10/14/2013
Episode 46 (Sakura and the Final Judgment). After escaping from Yue’s doom with the help of the Moon Bell, Kaho warns Sakura that there will be no more second chances. “Hai!” she snaps back, then turns sternly back to the hovering Judge, saying that she won’t take it easy on him this time. Then the perspective zooms in dramatically to Sakura’s face, as she looks up in the sky toward Yue and bursts into a brilliant smile.

“Nantoka naru yo!” she exclaims, Then she pauses an instant -- right here, in the cel shown above [A17] -- before speaking the rest of her famous Credo: “Zettai daijoubu da yo!”

And after this -- well, lots of things happen all at once. Go watch the episode and feel the goosepinkles go all the way down to between your toes.

Screencap [a hair after the cel above] courtesy of

A lesser studio would have centered Sakura’s face right from the start, then used mouth/eye/hair layers to animate these lines. Not Madhouse: if you watch the cut, you’ll see that Sakura’s head bursts into the screen from below, flies up to the top of the frame, then comes back down, just as if she were Kero-chan saying “Konyanyachi-waaaaaa!” at the start of the Omake feature. As she continues to bob around while saying the Motto, this is actually one of relatively few cels from this cut that are decently centered.

Another is now owned by In My Dreams, the A31 END cel in this great sequence.


Sakura’s “Credo” plays an important part in both the manga and anime versions of the first and second story arcs. In the manga Sakura first speaks it at the climax of her confrontation with The Dark in the “Sleeping Beauty” adventure (v. 5, p. 122), while in the anime it’s introduced twice: first during the Dream sequence (Ep. 40) when Sakura’s future self appears and reassures her with it, then, in the anime version of the Dark confrontation (Ep. 42). Then in both manga and anime it shows up again at the crucial moment of the Final Judgment (and at the climax of the battle with Eriol in Ep. 69 as well).

The Japanese here is simple, literally translated “Somehow, [it] is going to be! Absolutely—all-right [it] is!” “Daijoubu” (all-right) is a common word that could mean many things: a person being physically unhurt, in good health, or out of danger, or a situation that presents no problem, is being resolved, or is going the protagonist’s way. Because there are no pronouns expressed in the phrases, the word could have either range of meanings, and so Sakura could as be saying “I am going to be safe!” or “This battle is mine to win!”

Or some mix of the two: the available translations of Sakura’s Credo give a sense of this ambiguity:
  • Tokyopop manga translation: “I’ll make it through somehow. I know I’ll be okay!”
  • Kodansha bilingual manga: “I’m okay. I’ll think of something. I’ll figure something out FOR SURE!!!”
  • Pioneer DVD “I’m sure something will come of this. I know it will be all right!”
  • Rabi’s fansub: “I can do it! It'll be okay for sure!” (my favorite).

  • In her final words to Sakura after being sealed, The Light quotes her phrase, somewhat ambiguously, saying, in essence, “You have a magic that cannot be defeated: absolutely [it/you?] will be all-right.” This could mean that her powers are strong enough now that her victory over Yue in the Final Judgment, though it will be hard-won, is inevitable.

    But the phrase could also mean that the Credo itself is a mantra with supernatural properties, and, when it's used at the right moment, it makes Sakura invincible. This in fact is how Kodansha translates Light’s words: “You’re unbeatable ... because you have the OKAY FOR SURE magic spell” (v. 5, p. 134).

    As a lapsed medievalist, I can’t help thinking about the 14th-century mystic Julian of Norwich, who in one of her “XVI Shewings” [Revelations of Divine Love] describes a vision of the Crucified Jesus (whom Madhouse has already recalled in one of the creepy images earlier in this episode).

    In the vision, Jesus reassures the anxious Julian that “al shal be wele, and al shal be wele, and all manner thing shal be wele.”

    The phrase, modernized in various ways, has become a mantra for many Christians to this day, and its triple repetition was famously echoed by T. S. Eliot in his poem “Little Gidding” (the last of the Four Quartets.). Julian’s original, however, plays on the ambiguity of the Middle English word “wele,” which (like “daijoubu”) could mean many things: “good” or “fine” or “made whole” or “fixed” or “made well again” or “healed” or just plain “okay/all-right.” And “al manner thing” means every one of these meanings rolled together into one = zettai = absolutely!

    Sometimes common words, in their very simplicity, say volumes.

    So many, many
    Things you make me think about,
    My dear Sakura!
    --after a haiku by Basho Matsuo (1644-1694)

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