Meiling in the manga
|Also Known As||Meilin Rae (Cardcaptors)|
Brat (by Keroberos)
|Age||11 (Seasons 1-2)|
12 (Season 3)
13 (2nd movie)
|Relations||Yelan Li (aunt)|
Syaoran Li, Fanren Li, Fuutie Li, Feimei Li, Shiefa Li (1st cousins)
Hong Kong, China
|Episode 19: "Sakura and the Summer Holiday Homework"|
|Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: The Sealed Card|
|English||Nicole Oliver (Cardcaptors)|
Julie Maddalena (2nd movie)
Meiling's name in Chinese characters translates, to "plum jade" or "beautiful jade".
Like Syaoran, Meiling has many alternate spellings to her name, which are used in DVD releases, and some publications. Some spellings include Meirin, Meilin, and Mei-Ling.
Meiling has black hair which is parted in the middle, into two buns on either side of her head and the rest hanging down. While cardcapting, she wears Chinese garb, with a prominent ying-yang symbol in the middle.
Meiling is well-meaning despite her immaturity, and devoted despite her rash attitude. Her view of Sakura changes from rival to valued friend as the series progresses. When she briefly returns to Tomoeda, she acknowledges Sakura as the person Syaoran Li loves. She smiles at Syaoran, tears in her eyes as she concedes that the engagement is called off, then leaves the apartment as he attempts to go after her. Meiling spends the night at Tomoyo Daidōji's house to release all of her sadness through much screaming and tears without burdening Syaoran. This moment shows not only how much Meiling has matured, but also how much she cares for him, as she gives up what she has held dear for most of her life in order for him to be happy. Although Meiling is heartbroken, she supports and helps to progress Sakura and Syaoran's kindling relationship, out of love for both of her dear friends.
In the US version of the series retitled Cardcaptors, she 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 Meilin's infatuation for Syaoran is drastically edited, it is still somewhat presented as her having a enormous crush and admiration for him. Meilin'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 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 Meilin having an engagement to Syaoran have been edited out.
One night, one of Meiling's bird escaped from its cage, leaving her in tears. Syaoran, after witnessing the situation, simply said "Don't cry," and 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 happy that he found the bird but also quite touched that he would do such a thing for her. She embraced Syaoran, crying again (though out of relief), though it only left him confused, asking if she had suddenly hurt herself somewhere.
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 (though it was probably only true because he had never yet thought of liking girls, which placed Meiling as first out of a group of one), 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 leaped onto the table, nearly shrieking "All right?!" in his face until he finally accepted.
Sakura Card Arc
Meiling briefly return to help Sakura sort out the strange occurrences that are happening with the cards. They come across the park where several metal penguins are charging at them. Meiling fights them and hurts her hands, while Syaoran and Sakura take the larger one on. Sakura knew that she couldn't use the Time card, but Meiling told her to try 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. Just before she leaves, Syaoran confesses that they need her too. He apologizes for not telling her that more often.
She stays at Tomoyo's house and the next day, goes to the airport. 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.
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 last card and confesses her love for Syaoran.
Syaoran: Meiling's fascination with Syaoran began when she was about five, when they were both living in Hong Kong. Since then, she had fallen in love with Syaoran, stating that they were engaged at one point.
Sakura: Meiling has a rivalry with Sakura, beginning because she knew Sakura would eventually end up with Syaoran. However, she is unable to hate Sakura, as she is a kind person, and eventually accepts her as one of her best friends.
Tomoyo: Tomoyo, in her greater perception, had told Meiling that she was welcome at her home if she ever needed company. After ending the engagement, Meiling needs someone to talk to who is not Syaoran, and especially not Sakura. Tomoyo provides the sympathetic ear and quietly listens as Meiling sobs into her lap and lets out all of her thoughts.
Powers and Abilities
Martial Artist: Meiling has shown great skill with martial arts, at one point even battling on equal footing with the Fight card. During Eriol's test, she also 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.
- 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 wears her hair with buns on both sides of her head in the Odango Style, similar to Usagi Tsukino from Sailor Moon and Mint Aizawa from Tokyo Mew Mew, while her fighting outfit bears a likeness to one worn by 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 shares the same Japanese voice actress with Yukishiro Honoka from the Futari wa Pretty Cure and Futari wa Pretty Cure Max Heart.