Whatever that means.

[Doremi].HeartCatch.PreCure!.49.[1280x720].[65389408].FINAL_Jan 31, 2014 4.58.05 PM

Welcome to Sandra’s post on ten years of Precure. What that entails is actually aimless and completely pointless ramblings about each series (no movies, sorry), hopefully with a focus on what I loved and liked in each series. Important warnings to take note of: this is long, and each section has SPOILERS for that series. And Doki Doki has spoilers for The Happy Prince but it’s not like you’re ever going to actually read it, so… so… :(

My History With Precure

My history with Precure is really easy to describe. I wasn’t a person who grew up watching magical girl shows. Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura never caught my interest whenever I’d see that they were on TV (when I even had TV). In all honesty, the first magical girl anime I had ever watched for more than a few seconds was Madoka Magica. So after completing that, though my opinion was more negative than positive, I grew curious about other magical girl series. The first seed was planted with that curiosity.

A few years before that, I started to take an interest in a certain voice actor based on his roles in Guin Saga and Tales of Rebirth. I didn’t do anything with this interest until I had finished Madoka Magica, I believe. Around that time, I replayed Tales of Rebirth (because it’s awesome) and remembered that this one voice actor was cool and I wanted to hear more of him. I looked up all his roles in anime and saw a few things I thought were noteworthy.

1. He voiced a character in some space anime called Tytania.
2. He voiced a character in some magical girl anime called Suite Precure.
3. He voiced The Rapeman.

What did I do with this clearly very special list? I watched Tytania, I watched Suite Precure, and I watched maybe two minutes of The Rapeman before deciding that it was a mistake to ignore my initial hesitation at downloading it while being fully aware of what it was. And then while Suite Precure was airing I gradually moved backwards in the series chronology, watching Heartcatch, then starting Fresh and Yes! Precure 5, eventually moving on to Splash Star and Futari wa Precure, and then finally watching the two sequel series: Max Heart and GoGo.

To summarize that, I started watching Precure solely because of Ken’yuu Horiuchi.

Futari wa Precure

The series that started it all. A lot of the time, people will demand that “the first” of something, or “the first” to do something is respected and kept in a nice bubble, free from criticism but not free from endless love. I abhor that behaviour. I can respect something for being the first, but that won’t change my opinion of it as a whole.

18[MnT_&_Aoi]_Pretty_Cure_-_18_[DVD][FED3BF40]_Jan 3, 2013 11.44.37 PM

Futari wa Precure was the very first Precure series (though it was the sixth series I watched), and it’s not my favourite Precure series. That said, I can definitely understand why it’s the favourite of many other fans. Hint: it has little to do with the fact that it was the first.

The fighting is way more brutal and way more varied than the other series. It actually looks like it hurts when the main characters get blasted into walls or punched in the face. Heck, even in the opening when Cure Black and Cure White are trying to pick themselves up from the rubble. These magical girls do not fight with magical invincible high heels of justice, nor do they fight only with energy attacks. These girls brawl. It’s just not the same in other series.

There’s the whole design dealio, too. I guess it might be a silly thing to even mention, but I absolutely love how Cure Black and Cure White have completely different outfits that are united by minor similarities. This is opposed to what’s become normal for Precure — everyone have the same base outfit with minor variations for individuality. I really prefer Futari wa Precure’s approach. You get ten times more individuality without sacrificing the feel of unity, that feel that these guys are on the same team fighting for the same cause. Not to mention it’s just kind of boring when everyone’s basically wearing the same clothes. And don’t try to tell me clothes aren’t important in a magical girl show!

21[Arienai]_Pretty_Cure_-_21_[DVD][2A3746C8]_Jan 5, 2013 2.17.11 AM

I really loved how gradual Nagisa and Honoka’s friendship grew. They didn’t start out as best friends, and it took them some time to become more comfortable with each other, still referring to each other by last name with a distancing, respectful honorific. By the end they’re best friends, but that we got to see them grow into this gradually was one of my favourite things here.

Another thing I think I think this series did really well is hammering in how alone Nagisa and Honoka were in this whole Precure ordeal. They couldn’t tell anyone, even though in a lot of cases they would probably feel ten times better just being able to talk, even if if wouldn’t change anything. Everything was burdened on to them, whether they liked it or not, and they were expected to just suck it up and deal with it. Man, at least in Madoka Magica you could refuse.

Even though Nagisa and Honoka bond a lot specifically because they alone share this experience, there’s still a feeling of loneliness that permeates most of the serious episodes. And instead of loneliness you get frustration for the less serious episodes. I’d be pissed off if I had to go fight for justice in the middle of a game of lacrosse, too.

And then there’s Kiriya. Kiriya was a really good lad. You get someone who has attachments to both sides, but sides that could never come to any sort of compromise. The best kind of drama happens. I was a little disappointed with how little what happened with Kiriya seemed to have an effect on the main characters long term, but then again, I watched this directly after Splash Star. Which means Splash Star fixed it. Besides, they at least didn’t completely forget that Kiriya existed. That was awesome of Toei.

Futari wa Precure also has its fair share of stylish as fuck combat and special attack sequences. Just thought I should throw that out there since I’m a big fan of this kind of thing. And don’t mistake “stylish as fuck” for “best” or “best animated” because then you’re just doing it wrong that’s not what I said.

12[MnT]_Pretty_Cure_-_12_[00562ECF]_Jan 2, 2013 10.04.28 PM

Futari wa Precure predicted that one day we would have talking phones. It also predicted that it would be really annoying. Instead of talking about talking phones, let me just say a few miscellaneous things before moving on with the post. I love Cure Black’s design and would like to point out that we’ll never get another one quite like it ever again. I love arienai. I love how Cure White sometimes gets really aggressive when Cure Black is in trouble. I like Poisony way more than I should. With all that out in the open, I think it’s safe to continue.

Maybe there were a lot of boring episodes. Maybe there were a lot repetitive episodes. Whatever, that happens in every Precure series. It doesn’t change the fact that Futari wa Precure did a lot of things right and was able to be surprisingly compelling when it wanted to (episodes 21 and 42, anyone?). And there is no Precure like Futari wa Precure.

Pretty Cure Power Rankings: 1. Cure White 2. Cure Black. … That’s all, folks.

Futari wa Precure Max Heart

The second series, and one of only two Precure series that I’ve never really warmed up to. You wouldn’t think there would be any issues since it’s just a sequel to Futari wa Precure, but “lack of issues” was actually sort of the issue. The story seemed pointless. It did have a few really good episodes, but they were few and far between, with episodes that didn’t seem to have much value of any kind in them filling up the vast majority of the series.

I really like the idea of a three-Cure team. I also really like being able to call people veteran Pretty Cures. But Hikari was boring, and ate up all the focus from Nagisa and Honoka while only rarely feeling like she was really part of the team.

05[Arienai]_Pretty_Cure_Max_Heart_-_05[29274839]_Feb 21, 2013 2.05.27 PM

On the bright side, I noticed quite a bit of awesome music in Max Heart. I only rarely notice the music from this composer and to be honest I really have no idea how much, if any, of Futari wa Precure’s music was reused in Max Heart but I liked what they had in Max Heart.

As another good point for Max Heart, the percentage of stylish as fuck animation™ was higher in Max Heart than it was anywhere. I’m talking about the same kind of style we had at times in Futari wa Precure that we never get to see again. Maybe it wasn’t for everyone, but I was a pretty big fan of it. In fact, that was the best thing about Max Heart save for its awesome opening sequence.

Precure Power Rankings: Cure White > Cure Black > Shiny Luminous.

Futari wa Precure Splash Star

The third series, but the second continuity and my fifth Precure series. Fifth as in, I saw it fifth. Not rank it fifth. I’d have to think about that.

Seems to share the title of “worst precure” with Fresh Precure among the general fanbase, and I think they’re literally insane. Sure, Splash Star spent a lot of time being boring. But it was also filled with more of the same. And by more of the same I mean how can you possibly not like Splash Star if you liked Futari wa Precure? They have plenty of differences, but they’re still incredibly alike. You can’t deny that.

Now, let’s have all my random thoughts exploded into one post. The fairies in Splash Star are like, the worst. They actually kind of gross me out sometimes. Good job, Toei. Your cute fairies gross an adult out.

I actually rather like Splash Star’s first transformation scenes. While they’re slow-paced, they have great use of sound effects and special effects. So I forgive them. Plus, the “naming” part of the transformation is amazing. They’re both fast-paced AND have awesome use of a single stupid sound effect. That’s all it needed. Is there anyone alive who does not feel awesome every time Cure Egret introduces herself at the end of her transformation?

Where it might have been lacking in some fierce butt-kicking and great animation (it had its moments! Just because there were a few episodes that loved to blatantly reuse animation from the same episode does not mean it was never cool about this!), it makes up with ENERGY ATTACKS. Plus, special effects made stuff look a lot cooler than it should have. Splash Star is certainly the Prettier Cure.

[PCSS] Pretty Cure Splash Star 49 (DVD) [59294F55] [END]_Feb 9, 2013 10.50.19 AM

Maybe Splash Star’s friendship wasn’t as good as Futari wa Precure’s friendship. But that’s because Splash Star is a four-person Magical Girl team, and it must take its time with the last two. And let’s face it, it was really cool that they actually gave Kaoru and Michiru the power they had previously used for their second transformations, Cure Bright and Cure Windy. Kaoru and Michiru are, I suppose, the next logical step from Kiriya. Only, they took the concept all the way this time.

There’s a lot of tension in episode 22, because this is basically the turning point for Kaoru and Michiru. In this episode, Saki finds out (Mai already found out before and had been worrying about it for… probably days) that the two are actually from Dark Fall. And the four of them fight. In fact, they fight for a rather long time before they realize that this isn’t what they want to do. I loved that episode for its constant sense of danger and tension. It was perfect.

When bad things happen in Splash Star, it manages to do a pretty good job of making you care. Usually when it’s about Michiru and Kaoru. Did I mention yet that Michiru and Kaoru are my favourite aspect of this series? I thought that whole thing was handled so well that I find it very easy to forgive Splash Star’s other problems. To the point where I don’t even remember for sure what its problems were… In fact, I even wrote in my notes while rewatching this in February 2013 “All bad things about Splash Star are made up for with Kaoru and Michiru!” So there you go. My opinion.

Besides, Moerumba dances in the second ending sequence and I’m pretty sure that’s the most important thing.

[PCSS] Pretty Cure Splash Star 41 (DVD) [FC902ADB]_Feb 9, 2013 5.28.30 AM

Magical Girl Power Rankings: Kaoru & Michiru > Cure Egret > Cure Broom > Cure Windy > Cure Bright.
That’s right, I went there.

Yes! Precure 5

As much as I enjoyed watching this through the first time, I had a really hard time forcing myself through this on a rewatch. I think it’s because the nature of the series and how it handles its characters and their development.

Rather than having huge moments for each character, each character just gets a bunch of episodes that happen to be focused on them or an aspect of their life (or perhaps THE aspect of their life is more appropriate, as these are not particulaly complex characters). A totally ordinary filler episode that mostly just reinforces what we already knew about the characters. There might be one or two where they actually undergo a bit of growth, but it does seem very small.

19[Arienai]Yes_Pretty_Cure_5_-_19[640x360][913307ee]_Oct 6, 2013 8.19.31 PM

It’s a really “cool” Precure though. All these cool poses, some really cool voice actresses (I’m a pretty big fan of Yuko Sanpei’s and Ai Maeda’s performances) and they say things that sound really cool. If there was a Precure that I wanted to act out in real life, it would definitely be this one because of all those cool things I can annoy my mother with by imitating at home now because I am an impressionable young girl.

I rather liked that Karen actually failed at first to become a Precure. But that’s just because I think failure should be present in everything since it makes me feel better about my own failures. But maybe this type of failure made little girls in Japan think that they could definitely never be magical girls or something. I don’t know, but Toei never tried this again even for an episode and I’m kind of disappointed…

I really liked Despariah as a villain because all of her villainy and everything was ultimately just because she was scared. Really scared. I think it’s good to have villains who have their own problems instead of having them just be PURE EVIL WOW SO FUN TO HURT PEOPLE… Because most people in the world, including those who seem to exist only to piss you off and hurt you at every chance they get, just have their own problems and aren’t really coping with them in a healthy way.

And Nozomi! Nozomi is lovely. A main character whose academic struggles are not there solely for comedy, and who takes a while to come up with an idea of what she wants to do with her life. When she finally comes up with an answer, it… makes sense. I’m actually in education myself, and it’s specifically because I struggled so much in school up until the university level. I’ve also spoken to many people in my school’s education program, and it seems that the motivations are universally either a simple to desire to help people, or a desire to help people that stemmed from their own struggles in school.

11[Arienai]Yes_Pretty_Cure_5_-_11[640x360][f259d47e]_Sep 9, 2013 7.36.18 PM

Nozomi, I think you will be a very curecure teacher and I hope you never turn away from your glorious future!

I guess objectively speaking this was one of the worst Precure series, but it is easy to enjoy a lot the first time through, and it’s also very easy to just jump in and watch one episode. If nothing else, it’s definitely got charm. It just falls short a lot as a series because it almost always lacks impact even in the most serious and emotional scenes, and that really drags it down a lot.

As much as I might have enjoyed my first watch and certain aspects of this, after my struggles getting through the episodes a second time, I’m not sure if I’ll ever touch this series again.

Cure Power Rankings: Lemonade > Dream > Aqua > Mint > Rouge.

Yes! Precure 5 GoGo

The sequel of Yes! Precure 5. As you’d expect, it’s pretty Yes! Precure 5. But do I like it?

[Doremi-Anonymous].Yes.Pretty.Cure.5.Go.Go!.09.[1280x720].[E7D25244]_Nov 9, 2013 6.41.32 PM

Because of Nozomi’s face, my friends. And speaking of faces, my goodness is this filled with silly faces. I believe they’re tagging along with all the amazing animation that’s in like every other episode of this. Not even exaggerating, here. I really do remember it to be just about every other episode.

One thing that GoGo improved on from Yes! Precure 5 was making Rin a way cooler character. She was my least favourite Cure in the previous series, and unfortunately that had nothing to do with her personality and everything to do with the way she was portrayed. Her episodes weren’t usually very interesting, and, well, she never seemed interesting. But they worked harder on her this time, and now you actually get to really see the friendship that Nozomi and Rin have. It was sort of present in Yes! Precure 5 but it’s so much stronger here. I loved those moments.

On the other hand, it felt like Karen and Komachi took a huge backseat compared to the first series. Actually, the cast size in general seemed to become a massive issue in this. It’s not like Yes! Precure 5 could even handle a cast of its size properly. I guess it would be no surprise that the introduction of another main character would make things even more rocky.

But I mean, it’s so bad that Milk actually feels less present in this series after she returns to the rest of the main characters proper than she did in the original series, which makes no sense because her role is far more important now…

Oh well. Milky Rose’s stock footage was cool enough that is was very befitting of the Coolest Precure Series. And Syrup was a nice character.

Precure Power Rankings: Lemonade > Dream > Rouge > Aqua > Milky Rose > Mint.

Fresh Precure

The sixth Precure series. Fresh Precure was wonderful. It had a great sense of humor, giving us gimmick episodes like everyone everyone switching bodies with animals, or the episode about wigs. I also think there’s great humor in the fact that they essentially caused a revolution in Labyrinth with donuts. The humor in this was just wonderful, and really strong for the first time, I thought. Actually, with the change of composers to Yasuharu Takanashi I actually thought the music was really strong for the first time, too. Not that the previous composer was bad, or anything, mind you.

[CureCom] Fresh Pretty Cure! - 10 [HD][CA0377A7]_Jan 11, 2014 4.23.37 AM

You know what else Fresh did wonderfully? The whole community theme. We actually know what everyone’s parents are up to and see most of them with a fair amount of frequency. There are characters like Daisuke and Miyuki who are like just short of being main characters themselves, too. Having all these characters around as an ever-present aspect of the series adds so much to the story.

Also, I’m just gonna admit this right now. Episode 6, where Soular decides to erase everyone’s mommies, made my cry the first time I saw it. See the thing is Fresh Precure is great at emotional things without ever overdoing it. It has the perfect balance of the characters expressing the emotions they’re feeling and implying that they’re currently feeling those emotions without anything hugely dramatic.

There’s a lot of great emotional scenes involving Setsuna, too. First with her conflict with Love as Eas just before becoming Cure Passion, and they continue to show up after that because, as expected, she doesn’t settle into the group and that different way of life perfectly. It takes time for her to get used to it, and it takes time for her to recognize that despite the crimes she committed, she deserves happiness and love.

The entire arc where Eas becomes Cure Passion is really great in general. It actually explores the difficulty with pursuing two things so strongly. The Precure team gets some crazy exhaustion because, between practicing overtime to prepare for a dancing contest and their duties as Precure, their bodies just can’t handle it anymore.

I really liked that, both from the standpoint of someone who wants more down-to-earth problems like overextending yourself to actually be presented as a problem rather than a joke used for “characterization,” and from the standpoint of someone who just loved how the situation raised the tension for every single fight that happened during this arc. You never knew when their bodies would finally give out, and for them to be struggling with this issue while Eas had reached the critical point of using a last resort to try to eliminate the Precure really raised the stakes.

[CureCom] Fresh Pretty Cure! - 12 [HD][8ECF53B7]_Jan 11, 2014 5.02.12 AM

And aside from that, Westar’s just too darn cute. All the props to Fresh Precure. All of them! It is indeed the Freshest Precure, and everything after is just a pale (or really colorful, in Heartcatch’s case) imitation!

Precure Power Rankings: Passion > Peach > Pine > Berry.

Heartcatch Precure

The seventh Precure series, and the second that I watched. I don’t plan on writing as much about this here as I think I’ve written enough on this particular series (in my original/negative review and my re-rereview thing). But despite everything I just said about Fresh Precure, Heartcatch Precure is actually my favourite because I am super original.

I really love Yoshihiko Umakoshi’s art and animation style. I adore everything about Heartcatch’s visuals. The designs themselves, the great animation, the Erikafaces, the colors, and everything else I never mentioned.

The music was a pretty huge step up from Fresh Precure’s too. It felt like Takanashi got more brave with this. I mean, am I allowed to say that despite feeling it was good, I also think that Fresh Precure’s music is very shy? Do you guys want me to draw a picture of the difference between Fresh’s and Heartcatch’s music? I know that words like shy and brave might not be making any sense to anyone.

Anyway. Heartcatch did have a stronger grip on its minor characters than every Precure that wasn’t Fresh did, so that’s another huge plus. The characters were wonderful in general. In fact, they were the best. Tsubomi was this perfect shy person who blossomed out whenever she was finally able to open up to others, and she also had her whole conflict with hating herself. Or rather, hating herself because who she was tended to make certain things harder for her, and definitely made others laugh at her.

It kind of takes more than being shy to truly hate yourself. Heartcatch doesn’t go there, and I’m okay with that.

The Best Picture.

Erika is a fabulous character and if she were real I would want her to be my best friend, obnoxiously loud and everything. I don’t have such a good grip on Itsuki’s character, but I did appreciate how she struggled with her attachments to both masculine and feminine things. And then there’s Yuri, who is just a really cool Veteran Pretty Cure. I wasn’t terribly into her initial inner struggles, but my fosh. She makes such cool speeches and I abolutely love how her negative tendencies are kept in check by the fact that she acts as a role model to Tsubomi.

I should probably stop there. If you want more thoughts, read that re-review I was talking about earlier.

Precure Power Rankings: Marine > Flower > Blossom > Fire > Dark Precure > Moonlight > Sunshine… but I mean they’re mostly bunched up pretty close.

Suite Precure

The eighth Precure series. This was the very first Precure series I ever watched. My introduction to Precure was filled with “wow all these cakes are they sure they didn’t mean Sweet Precure,” “are these people seriously fighting over this,” “my heart can’t handle the glory of these transformation scenes,” and “THERE HE IS IT’S THE KEN’YUU HORIUCHI GUY.” I also wrote a review so you can read that, and there’s some really interesting things to read in the comments also, from other people.

Even with all its problems, I really do like Suite Precure a lot. I don’t think it can be argued that it’s because it was my first Precure series, either, as the things I liked about it are pretty clear and undeniably actual things other Precures did not do better.

Let’s start with that music. Takanashi must have hit some kind of really inspired point of his career around the year he composed for Suite Precure or something. I don’t even know. It had some really amazing music, though. There’s also a thing he did, and I’m sure you all saw it, but there’s genius in the exact differences between the Melody of Happiness and the Melody of Sorrow (and I’m sorry if those aren’t even the right names, I only had the chance to rewatch a small handful of episodes for this and Heartcatch because rewatching everything else took me so long).

[Doremi-CureCom].Suite.PreCure!.03.[1280x720].[E4CF482F]_Nov 15, 2012 5.31.02 PM

I wasn’t as big a fan of the later transformation scenes, but the first one with just Cure Melody and Cure Rhythm was breathtaking. They really did transform with each other, and some moments have such a beautiful, loving undertone to them from the combination of the movements and the music.

I mean I’m pretty sure my dopamine levels went up every time the transformation got to the part where the two had their hands close together as their arms got their outfits magicked on, and also the moment where they seem to linger like that for just a moment before falling away from each other. I don’t even ship them like so many others do but this was just perfect in every way.

And you know what else? Noise is the best. I love Noise so much. I loved his motivations for things and I loved that the Cures actually tried to give him a reason, a real reason (not just “IT’S GOING TO GET BETTER I PROMISE” or “YOU’RE JUST CRAZY, GO OUT AND BE HAPPY”), why he/everything should continue to live. They never shut down his arguments with false promises. In fact, they didn’t even really shut down his arguments with violence, and when he came back at the very end they welcomed him with open arms.

Suite Precure is not my favourite Precure series, and it’s far from the best. Its problems irritate me a lot, and I don’t want to forgive it for those flaws so part of me really dislikes it… But it holds a really special place in my heart that only Fresh ever came close to, because of Noise and personal reasons. “Personal reasons” is short for “it’s a long story and I don’t know if I’m comfortable going in depth even though you can probably guess pretty easily” so I’m sorry for being such a lamer, but there you go.

I will at least say this, though: I genuinely think my childhood could have been salvaged (probably not outright saved, but not every good thing has to miraculous to be worthwhile) if I had only seen this back then.

Precure Power Rankings: Shockingly difficult! I guess Beat > Melody > Rhythm > Muse sounds good.

Smile Precure

Maybe I am a bad person, but I didn’t like Smile Precure very much. It’s my least favourite Precure. Not that there’s nothing to like about it, though. I especially liked it early on, where the humour was there left and right. Most of it was humour caused by its self awareness of the genre (and the franchise itself, of course). A lot of what I liked about it faded after the first ten or so episodes though, and I wasn’t able to find anything else to enjoy in the mean time, save for a few good episodes here and there.

It used the same formula as Yes! Precure 5, but decided to keep its characters as very simple personalities without much in the way of personal goals, conflicts, or development. I mean, I’m not saying that Yes! had the bestest characters ever or whatever, but Smile’s are waaay more simplistic in comparison, in a bad way. It’s a lot harder to like them, so it was really hard for me to care about what was going on whenever the story decided to try to be serious.

[Doremi].Smile.Precure!.46.[1280x720].[E5AA2792]_Sep 2, 2013 4.48.15 PM

I also didn’t like the last few episodes very much, for once. That’s kinda crazy. Way too much time spent literally on snot-nosed crying. And I’m going to be honest. I really hate the way most series end up animating crying people. Actually the last few episodes made me a little mad, and I remember that scene being a big part of it.

Speaking of the last bunch of episodes, the Bad End Precure were frustrating… They looked really cool so I was happy for that, but the whole thing was so preachy and inane. “guyz I like hurting people it makes me happy!” “No way, that isn’t true happiness at all!” “You’re so ugly and I’m so pretty!” “no way beauty is in a heart that cares for others!” I mean, come on, guys. This is so black and white.

Yes, Smile Precure was made for little girls. But little girls (and boys, and other genders, and combined genders, and also the genderless) are all capable of understanding more realistic issues. This sort of shallow black and white view of things in like everything meant for that age group seriously contributed to some pretty strong feelings of isolation I had when I was a kid. I hope it doesn’t work that way in Japan.

Anyway let’s talk about things I DID like. The gimmick episodes in this were so great. So were the every-episode gimmicks. And by every-episode gimmicks I am of course referring to having the opportunity to play Rock Paper Scissors with Cure Peace every time she transforms. The episodes centered around Majorina’s tricks and inventions were great fun, most of the time. Kid Precure? Yes please. A Fairy Precure? Please do this again.

[Doremi].Smile.Precure!.15.[1280x720].[47149D9B]_Apr 11, 2013 8.03.00 PM

And while I thought Smile mostly mishandled its minor characters, I will give it props for Brian and Miyuki’s grandmother. They were pretty cool. But I don’t actually remember any of the other minor characters and I’m now wondering if I was wrong to say that it mishandles its minor characters… I mean, WERE there any other minor characters to mishandle? Hm.

Another thing I liked was that we had two sporty Cures, and they just so happened to be the best Cures. I liked the motivations of the three prominent villains in Smile, too. They were just upset because everyone hates them. If everyone hated me you bet I’d be mad about it. And the episodes near the end that gave each Cure their power-up were great.

41 in particular had a beautiful message. Anything you create is a part of you, at least a little. There’s a bit of everything you create in your heart. It’s a great message that makes me realize that no matter how much I think I suck, I’m ultimately a bunch of potential just waiting to be realized. Those thoughts, that creativity — that’s all proof of that potential. While this episode wasn’t my favourite of Smile’s episodes, I’d definitely say that was the most profound message Smile had to offer.

Precure Power Rankings: March > Sunny > Peace > Beauty > Happy.

Dokidoki! Precure

[Doremi].DokiDoki!.Precure.48.[1280x720].[A0718E5B]_Feb 3, 2014 8.58.18 PM

Similarly to Smile, I thought DokiDoki started out really strong but then kind of lost its charm. My problem with DokiDoki wasn’t that I found the episodes boring, though, it was that it kept pushing out more plot developments and plot points that ultimately just get squandered for no good reason. Well, maybe there was one possible reason. That reason being that it was putting way too much on its plate, causing the plate to be far too heavy to be carried even by the huge number of magical girls they had, so they dropped it and then had to get back to school so they never had time to clean it up and just sort of forgot about it.

Also Cure Ace stunk really bad. I liked the episodes that focused on her and her grandmother’s acceptance that she’s not some normal kid, but that was more because her grandmother’s an awesome.

But I really did like Mana, Rikka, and Regina a lot. I wish Regina’s problems had been handled properly right from the beginning, with her doing things that hurt Mana for the sake of her father. I mean, that’s what they ended up doing in the end anyway so why even bother turning her purple? Red looked way cooler on her and was a much better way to get great emotional moments.

And my goodness. Oscar Wilde in my Precure? I pretty much exploded when I realized that was happening. I cried the first time I read The Happy Prince. Actually, most of his fairy tales made me cry the first time I read them. And quickly on this subject before I forget… NOTE TO RIKKA: I know you didn’t actually read the story, and I’m really sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but I thought you should know that the swallow dies too.

Precure Power Rankings: Diamond > Heart > Rosetta > Sword > Ace.

okay, so

[Doremi].DokiDoki!.Precure.22.[1280x720].[9D339F3A]_Jan 18, 2014 9.25.08 PM

Precures Series Power Rankings: Heartcatch > Fresh > Suite > Splash Star > Futari wa > Doki Doki > Yes! > GoGo > Smile > Max Heart.

It’s pretty cool to watch Precure evolve as time goes by. I mean big things like how we progressed from Kiriya to Cure Passion and Cure Beat, and even small things like realizing certain visual things that show up in stock footage in Fresh and Smile were first experimented with in Yes! Precure 5 GoGo.

I had a lot of mixed feelings about the first episode of HappinessCharge Precure. I thought that was a very poor way to start out and I really don’t have a good grasp on a darned thing in that series, save for MEGUMI NAKAJIMA IS A MAGICAL GIRL NAMED MEGUMI MY LIFE IS COMPLETE.

I’m seeing a lot of reminders of Heartcatch (in particular the twisting around of the cool speech Moonlight makes when she finally comes back), which excites me a bit as I love Heartcatch, but with how all over the place the first episode was I’m not totally convinced. Hopefully everything will fall into place soon. I haven’t watched the second episode yet and I actually meant to post this two weeks ago so you’ll have to forgive me for not having a more current opinion on it. Time is not on my side right now.

And now a final word…

Precure has shown me amazing, beautiful things. The glory of Poisonny in a cupboard, the growing friendship between Nagisa and Honoka, the dancing of Moerumba, the (admittedly small but shut up!) growth of Nozomi, the sheer style of Milky Rose’s stock footage, the beautifully gradual development of Setsuna, the pure high quality of Heartcatch, the personally affecting Noise, the goofiness that permeates early Smile, and Oscar Wilde references in girl cartoons. Needless to say, I’m really looking forward to where Precure’s going to go from here.

[Doremi-CureCom].Suite.PreCure!.01.[1280x720].[979152CB]_Dec 13, 2012 8.06.37 PM

Thank you, Mephisto, for getting me to watch Precure.