Have you ever thought of setting a world record? Sometimes we don’t think much about such records, but they can be amazing and touch upon any topic. I couldn’t resist the chance to chat with a holder of a very geeky, but great record. Sofía Pichihua is a Peruvian journalist, otaku, and holder of the Guinness Book of World Record as the owner of the largest CardCaptor Sakura collection. In fact, she won her record just in time for the 20th anniversary of the manga series. Below is the press release of her awesome record.
Pichihua began her collection as a schoolgirl over 17 years ago. The largest collection of CardCaptor Sakura memorabilia consists of 1,086 items including games, trading cards, action figures, calendars, stickers, comic books, DVD, and stuffed animals.
“I wanted to honor Cardcaptor Sakura,” Sofía said. The manga series celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2016.
In order to obtain some of the products she travelled to Mexico and imported items from the USA and Japan. “My next dream is to travel to Japan and interview CLAMP,” she said.
Among the most difficult products to import were items marketed since 1996 in Japan. The collection is valued at more than $15,000.
Happy for her winning the Guinness World Record, I wanted to know a little more about Sofía. So I asked her for a brief interview—just in time for the premier of the new CardCaptor Sakura anime series.
What originally drew you to CardCaptor Sakura? Were you an anime/manga fan before getting into CCS?
I saw anime series before CCS. But I didn’t recognize them as ‘anime,’ an industry. So CCS welcomed me to the otaku world. I saw Dragon Ball, Magic Knight Rayearth (also from CLAMP), Candy, Sailor Moon, and other 90’s anime series. But CCS made me explore more about anime, thanks to my passion for this animation series. After the CCS ending song I realized that the program shared a link. Animekai.com was a popular forum about anime and manga. I entered to look for more information about CCS and I discovered a whole world about anime and manga. After that I found other anime fans, made friends, and now I continue this hobby.
What was the hardest item to obtain for your collection? Also, which item is your favorite?
The hardest item to obtain was the first CCS publication in the Nakayosi magazine. It was difficult because the first chapter was published in 1996. Not only was scarce, also real fans didn’t want to let it go. I think the most difficult items to get are the oldest ones and… the heaviest items. I’m from Peru, a country 15,000 kilometers far from Japan, so the shipping costs usually elevate the price by 30% or, sometimes, 50%-80%. That’s a problem if you are a collector of original items! And my favorite item is a Syaoran figure. Why? Syaoran is my favorite male character and this figure is a gift. So I have sentimental attachment.
What made you decide to go for the Guinness World Record? Are you the first person to hold a CardCaptor Sakura items collection record?
I’m a journalist. And in 2014, a Saint Seiya fan got a Guinness World Record for his collection. I interviewed him and after that I asked myself if my collection, the one that I began as a schoolgirl, could get recognition. So I investigated more about the request process and got some items (the old ones) I thought I must have before calling myself a CCS collector. The requesting process is long, more than six months. My family was behind me, motivating me. I tried to get it in 2016 because CCS celebrated a new anniversary. I want to honor CLAMP. I want to show that a fan from far away from Japan admires them and respects their work. Yes, I am the first person to hold a CCS record.
What are your thoughts about the upcoming CardCaptor Sakura anime?
It’s a dream come true! Old fans (as me, hahaha) are in love with the return of CCS. Maybe the story won’t follow the way old fans want. I became a CCS fan when I was 12. And Sakura is 12, hehehe. But the most precious thing is that the new anime will conquer new audiences. And this series deserve more love. CCS marked my childhood and teen years.