Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle
|Also Known As||Eriol (as his reincarnation)|
|Relations||Syaoran Li (blood descendant)|
Sakura Kinomoto (descendant/successor)
Toya Kinomoto (descendant)
Madoushi (Former lover)
Eriol Hiiragizawa (reincarnation)
Fujitaka Kinomoto (reincarnation; second half)
Syaoran Li (TRC, descendant)
Sakura Li (TRC, descendant)
Fei Wong Reed (descendant)
Kimihiro Watanuki (descendant)
|Residence||Tomoeda, Japan (former residence)|
Hong Kong, China (former resident)
Clow Country (TRC, Former residence)
|Powers||Extraordinarily strong spell-casting|
Creation of the 53 Clow Cards
Creation of sentient life-forms
Power over day and nightt
|Sakura and the Final Judgement (vision)|
|Sakura, the Past and Clow Reed|
Clow Reed (クロウ・リード, Kurō Rīdo) is a fictional character in Clamp's anime and manga series Cardcaptor Sakura. He was known as the greatest magician of all time, drawing magic from both his half-European, half-Chinese heritage.
He is the creator of the Clow Cards (also referred to as "The Clow"), a series of cards resembling tarot cards with various magical powers within them. Additionally, he is the creator of Card's two guardians Yue and Cerberus.
Character and Role
Very little was known about Clow Reed and his past. He was born of a Chinese mother and an English father, both of whom were extremely powerful magicians and, because of the blend of Eastern and Western magic he received in his blood, Clow grew to become the greatest and most powerful magician the world has ever known. In the manga, Cerberus revealed that Clow Reed had lived for hundreds of years without his power weakening.
His masterpiece was the Clow Cards: a series of tarot-card-resembling cards that blended both Eastern and Western magical elements, each of which possessed tremendous powers. He also created Yue and Cerberus, whom he assigned to protect the Clow Cards and ensure that they are passed on properly to their new master(s).
Syaoran Li is a distant relative of Clow, as Clow's mother's family is the Li Clan.
When Clow was nearing death, he chose Sakura Kinomoto to be the new mistress of The Clow. Sakura was not yet born at the time, but Clow's magical ability allowed him to foresee most of the future and plan many of the situations that would enable Sakura to succeed in taking full possession of the Clow Cards. The reason why Sakura's wand is pink is that he wanted to make a suitable wand for the young girl who would be mistress. It wasn't because of chance that Keroberos chose Sakura.
Very little of Clow's personal life is known, although Kero often references his liking for playing jokes, and his constant smile and the likes and interests described in his manga quarter-page indicate that he was a content and mischievous person. Yuko Ichihara once referred to him as a 'creep' and a 'tricky man in glasses'. There are also some hints, especially in the anime, that Clow and his creation Yue had a connection that went deeper than Master and creation.
During the first Cardcaptor Sakura movie, it is revealed that, as an incomparably powerful magician, Clow had a great deal of enemies, one of which is the movie's antagonist, a madoushi (sorceress) who held a bitter grudge against Clow even after she died. She is not named in the original version and is simply referred to as the "Madoushi"; the English dub opted to name her "Su Yung". The Madoushi, who worked as a fortune-teller, found that Clow's ability to accurately predict the future affected her own business and developed a deep hatred for him. She challenged her rival to frequent duels and eventually cast a spell that allowed her spirit to reside in a book after she died and draw Clow Reed to her. Once released from the book by Clow (or one possessing the Clow Cards), that person would become sealed in the book in her place. In the English dub, Su Yung was actually a student of Clow's and they had loved one another. However, her desire to become powerful resulted in spreading destruction rather than using it responsibly. The two were unable to see eye to eye concerning their belief as to how magic should be used and an intense fight ensued. When she lost and died, Clow sealed her in an alternate dimension of his own creation, where she sought to free herself and pass onto the next world after taking revenge on Clow.
Sakura unintentionally releases the Madoushi during a trip to Hong Kong and the sorceress, refusing to believe Clow is dead, attacks the young cardcaptor and endangers her friends. She eventually relents when she realizes she truly loved Clow; she accepts his death and vanishes.
Clow makes an appearance in episode 46 just after Sakura has completed the Final Judgment, thus becoming the new mistress of The Clow. Here Clow explains the coincidences he had planned for Sakura--situations that would allow her to recapture all the Cards. He also advises Sakura to take care of her new power, the power that changed the original sealing wand into one that is completely Sakura's.
In episode 68, Sakura uses The Return to visit Clow prior to his death. Clow recognizes Sakura but does not concisely answer all of her questions. Sakura is mainly concerned that she would never be as great or as powerful as Clow, but Clow reminds her that she cannot keep comparing herself to him. Sakura is her own self, and she has already been fulfilling Clow's final wish, which is to allow his creations (the Cards, Cerberus, and Yue) to live in happiness under a new master. During this visit, Clow gives little to no insight about the recent mysterious happenings, though Sakura finds that out from Eriol when she returns to the present.
According to Kero in the manga, Clow Reed, having both an English and a Chinese parent, was able to combine occidental and oriental magic to create an entirely new type of magic--the Clow Cards. Like his later successor, Sakura, Clow's magic is a balance between the sun and the moon. His power is of darkness, an affiliation which his reincarnation, Eriol Hiiragizawa, shares, and which manifests itself in the chant used to release the sealing staff (which uses Clow's power until Sakura transforms it under her own power of the stars).
Powers and Abilities
Power Level: The extent of Clow's magical powers have been mostly by reference from others and rarely witnessed in the events of the manga or anime. However, it seems that his powers were incredibly vast, mentioned by characters such as Kero, Yue, and even Yuko. His powers earned him the title of the greatest magician in existence, though Clow eventually cursed that title. This is due to how when Yuko was in her moment of death, Clow had made a single thought, and because of his incredible powers, he had inadvertently ceased Yuko's time, preventing her from moving onto death. It was also from this desire that he had also created Fei Wang Reed by mistake, who possesses incredible magical powers as well, but sought only to surpass Clow with the intent of bringing Yukito back to life to prove it.
This causes Clow to eventually attempt to divide his powers between his two reincarnations: Eriol and Fujitaka, though only Eriol acquires the powers, making Sakura to manage to divide the powers for him into Fujitaka. After the division of powers, Sakura's powers were greater than the two halves of Clow's magic, thus fulfilling Clow's wish to no longer be the most powerful magician (This occurred only in the manga). Despite how his powers were mostly gone, he seemed to still possess power to move to another dimension of the Country of Clow to fill in the void left by Tsubasa's wish to turn back time, and eventually sacrificed what magic he had left pay Syaoran's price for reincarnation.
Prophetic Dreams: Clow possesses the powers of a Dream Seer, allowing him to see into the future. However, unlike most other characters, who could only see fragments of the future, Fei Wang stated that Clow can see everything, which gave him free reign to control events, hence how he had managed to foresee Sakura collecting the Clow Cards, making him create a Sealing Wand of the color pink for Sakura being a girl. He even knew that he would, as Eriol, cause problems for her to help her create Sakura Cards. His ability also enabled him to also predict and make countermeasures against Fei Wang Reed, though despite this, the majority of these revolved around the others having their own right to choose.
Sealing Magic: It is also implied that he possessed the great power to seal and imprison other magical beings in other worlds and dimensions; such as when he had trapped the sorceress, Suyong, in the first movie.
Power & Ability Amplification: He had the power to further increase the strength and magical abilities of those around him to even greater power-levels. He did so on Ruby Moon and Spinner Sun.
Rebirth: After his unspecified death, he was capable of transferring his own spirit/soul into the body of Eriol, who served as his host for his second lifetime. In the manga, he had transferred another part of his spirit/soul into Sakura's own father, but generally focuses his great powers and memories through Eriol.
Rebirth and Reincarnation
Clow Reed's present-day reincarnation is Eriol Hiiragizawa, appearing in season three of the anime. In the manga, Sakura's father, Fujitaka Kinomoto is also a reincarnation (but just one-half, while Eriol is the other). Eriol retains all of Clow's memories prior to his death and all of his magic. Clow was not able to split his magic apart into the two new bodies and Eriol's final wish is for Sakura to take half of his magic and give it to her father. This wish not to be the most powerful magician was a result of Clow being precognitive and thus not being able to enjoy life as he knew what would come of it. It was also probably due to Clow Reed's desire for Yuko to stay alive, which led to the events of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle.
Eriol's purpose is to create situations, much like Clow did in season one, that would allow Sakura to convert the Clow Cards into Sakura Cards, putting them wholly under her magical influence and completely finishing the transition of The Clow from Clow Reed to Sakura.
Because Eriol is Clow's reincarnation, Sakura and company continuously detect Clow's presence during Eriol's trials. This leads to suspicion in Sakura when she visits Eriol's manor in episode 65 and feels Clow's presence all over, especially in Eriol's armchair. The manor was indeed inhabited by Clow when he was alive, but Sakura does not fully realize this until near the end of the series.
After learning that Clow was reborn and reincarnated in the body of another, Yue protests the entire situation involving Sakura having to become the new master of the Clow Cards. Stating that if Clow knew he would come back then they shouldn't have needed a new master. Eriol, holding Clow's memories, explains that he is not the actual Clow Reed, who would never return to this world. This is why Clow entrusted everything to Sakura. However Eriol, knowing that Yue's heart is broken from the loss of Clow Reed, offers to talk about his memories whenever Yue wishes.
xxxHolic and Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle
Yūko Ichihara, a main character in xxxHolic, repeatedly talks about Clow. While the exact nature of their relationship is uncertain, they are known to have worked together to create the two Mokona Modoki who appear in xxxHolic and Tsubasa. Fei Wong Reed, who appears in Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, is also Clow Reed's relative, and considers Yuko and Clow as barriers.
Clow Reed is mentioned in Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, and he was personally acquainted to Yūko Ichihara. The two together created the Mokonas that would help Syaoran, Sakura, Fai and Kurogane travel across dimensions. Fei Wong Reed, the mastermind who initially guides the journey of Sakura and Syaoran across the dimensions, is an ancestor of Clow Reed's; though Fei Wong refers to Clow as an interloper in his affairs. Clow Reed is also the 'father' of Sakura, and hence Tsubasa Li is his 'grandson'.
Clow had accidentally wished for Yūko to live, thus severing her time from all dimensions. Clow regretted this wish, and no longer wanted the title of "world's most powerful magician". After "Syaoran" had reversed time, to fill in the void left by the changed destinies of those who knew of the Seal on "Sakura", Clow traveled to Clow Country, leaving behind (he 'died' and was reincarnated) those he knew and cared about (from the manga, it appears to refer to Keroberos and Yue), as well as his power (when he died, he reincarnated himself into Eriol with all his power and memory and Fujitaka, who is the father of Cardcaptor Sakura, and in turn he moved to Clow Country), and took the role of king, becoming father to the clone Sakura and Touya. He allowed the excavation of the ruins in the country under the direction of the archaeologist, Fujitaka, and also allowed Fujitaka's adopted son, Syaoran, to become a close friend of his daughter Sakura. He would later teach Yukito, the current High Priest of Clow, his knowledge of magic. When he died, he passed on what remained of his powers as well as his life to pay the price that allowed Syaoran to be reborn. As a result of this, Syaoran could also use Clow's magic circle.
It is hinted that Fei Wong Reed was the afterimage created from Clow Reed's unspoken wish, due to his strong magical powers.
- According to Cerberus in The Sealed Card movie, Clow's favorite theory is "There is no coincidence in the world". It's also the same phrase that Yūko Ichihara in xxxHolic uses: There is no coincidence in the world, only inevitability.
- Clow is related by blood to at least one of each of the major characters in all of the series he appears in (Syaoran and Sakura in Cardcaptor Sakura, "Syaoran" and his parents in Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, and Kimihiro Watanuki in xxxHolic).
- Given this is the case, Clow Reed is a blood relative to both Sakura Kinomoto and Syaoran Li at the same time as being a blood relative to the reincarnated clones of Princess Sakura and Syaoran. The clones were reborn into a different world to Sakura Kinomoto, and no explanation has ever been given as to how Clow Reed was related to both sets.