I wasn’t in the manga!
But that really doesn’t matter since she’s an awesome character anyway! (It’s been a long time, but I’m back to continue this. Blu-ray Hype A-Go!)
The thing I really love about the Cardcaptor Sakura anime is that CLAMP was directly involved with it. With other anime adaptations, whenever there is an anime-original character or anime-original ideas involved (Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!, both of the original Yuugiou anime adaptations, etc.), it really boggles the original content down because the original writers had no say whatsoever. It’s usually just the employees at the animation studio thinking their ideas are better marketing (or something) and end up shoving ideas into a pre-made story that just don’t belong.
Here, we have a character that fits in perfectly with the rest of the CLAMP multiverse. The manga’s structure is actually very different from the anime, which modified the manga’s storyline + added their own storyline elements in order to extend it into a longer five-cour anime. But as I’ve said in a previous CCS post, the anime completely emulates the same spirit as the original manga precisely because CLAMP was directly involved with it. NOTHING in the anime insults or devalues the ideas presented in the source material. And for the purposes of what the anime was going for in the end, Li Meilin fits in really well and has become an endearing character not only to the fans, but also to CLAMP themselves.