Fairytales are often interesting stories that take us away from the stresses of real life and immerse us in the realms of insatiable romances, sweep us into lavish countries, or give a seemingly normal person powers that make them larger than life.
One thing that I fully admit is that I do enjoy these stories, even variations of similar stories and themes, as long as they have heart and characters I can relate to. Pretear is a series that takes a clever twist on many fairy tales from Cinderella to Snow White, and portrays it in a way that gives it a magical girl spin. Himeno, a jovial girl who resides with her father, finds herself thrust into a new family and standard of high class living when her father remarries - with two new stepsisters who seem to either make her life completely difficult (but in humorous ways: if you watch Mayune, she's relatively harmless), or one who gives her the cold shoulder. Himeno's life changes when she comes across the Leafe Knights, who tell her that she's to fulfill a destiny as the Pretear, one who eradicates the evil demons that come with the red snow sent by the Princess of Disaster (or the Princess of Calamity in the Japanese original). Himeno doesn't quite fill the shoes at first, but she comes to love and associate with the knights in the adventures and battles they face. It's a series which starts with well done situational humor and lighthearted characteristics, but following the fifth episode progresses into a darker tale with heavier undertones.
Pretear's downfalls are its tendencies to fall in traditional mahou shoujo cliches. That means the monster of the day formula and summoning spells, three way love triangles, transformation scenes, and bishounen (which isn't a bad thing if you love bishounen ^^) in every corner, as well as situations that drive Himeno (and the people of her affections) apart in cliched formats that may meet the viewer with frustration if looking for a series that stands apart from tradition. Often it tends to overemphasize the themes of "never give up" that have predominated in series like this beforehand-a la Wedding Peach, Sailor Moon, etc.
One aspect I would argue in Pretear's defense is that it does have quite a few interesting twists in both character revelations and identities, you truly don't find the element of betrayal or the villainess until well into the series. Yet the reasoning behind the twists are relatively simple and underdeveloped. Another stronger is the situational humor, which is arguably what I liked the most about the series. Himeno is a hilarious leading female to start until she falls into the "clingy" stature that tends to predominate in this genre's schematic, but could say that she's a sweet character nonetheless. I also liked the situational humor that her fellow Leafe Knights and the side characters provided before the series shifts focus to develop a darker atmosphere. I find with those who love this series, if you want a traditional mahou shoujo series and favor series of this type, Pretear should not strike you in an ill fashion at all. Matter in point, I actually did like Pretear, though I watched it quite a while after the series was first released and I recognized that it wasn't my favorite shoujo series compared to those that were released in former and latter years.
The ending of the series disappointed in its rushed format. I think the parallel with some of the fairy tales, particularly with the ending could have had slightly more weight if the progression was not as limited, yet the reactions of the characters made it seem more genuine for a series of this type than it otherwise would.
I believe that if you're not expecting too much from this series, you could very well enjoy its parallels to popular fairy tales; I counted about 5 or 6 different stories it lifted, yet I felt it could have been even better if it took liberties to incorporate more of that distinction and less in the cliche realm. It's a decent series, and I would recommend it to shoujo fans who want something that has interesting parallels, but doesn't stray too far from the standard shoujo series formula.
The animation and character desgn in Pretear reminds me quite a bit of character designs from Magic Knight Rayearth, except better coloring and more modern animation sequences, something I could note as nicely adapted for a shoujo series. One could also note the special effects that enhance the atmosphere of the series, including the shading of the darker events. It's what I could call a series that excelled among its time, and continues to maintain standard with contemporary series, but doesn't quite go beyond in its presentation. Cel production, backdrops, and even the transformation sequences are fine, though the latter does become repetitive, and one could note that cels are reused.
There were parts that were done that I did find to be a great addition, including the use of purple butterflies associated with the evil Pretear.
I did like the nice J-Pop and instrumental themes featured in this series, quite well done on most areas. "White Destiny" is actually one of my favorite opening sequences and songs by Yoko Ishida, beautiful vocals and themes that fit the series well. The ending theme didn't quite stand out to me all that much, but if you're a shoujo fan, you may find the sequence quite fun and cute (especially considering the Leafe Knights are portrayed like little mischevious angels).
Voice acting in both the English (licensed by ADV) and the Japanese versions of the series were well done for the most part. I thought Himeno's VA added slightly more humor and convincing stature to her role than the English VA, yet all of the Leafe Knights were well suited in both renditions.
If you like Pretear, it will undoubtedly be for the characters since they give an element of enjoyment - a factor that kept me watching from beginning to end. Himeno, Hayate, and Sasame are the main 3 that the series follows, yet collectively with Go, Kei, Mannen and Haijime when Himeno becomes the Pretear. The focus does shift to the situational family life that Himeno has aside from her duties, which she keeps secret from her family in some humorous situations. This is definitely a series for the shoujo crowd that will have one watching the series think it's very cute and funny. The side characters including Himeno's father and stepmother, stepsisters, have their own endearing flare when it comes to humor, quite different from those who might have read the manga, and as the series takes a darker turn, there's potential to feel for the main characters, yet i found that it pales because of the prominent cliches in points.
Himeno starts as a bold, energetic and vivacious heroine that I would have loved even more if she didn't fall into the typical reactions of magical girl heroines, particularly in the darker setup of the second half of this 13 episode series. Hayate reminded me of what I liked about Tamahome at first in Fushigi Yuugi-quick tongued and humorous, but with a mysterious past that's further explored as the series comes to pass, yet his character does tend to fall into similar cliches. The same is shown with the other main lead of the Leafe Knights, Sasame, the seemingly intelligent and friendly aide to Himeno who gives her advice when times get tough. The remainder of the Leafe Knights tend to take more of a backseat and establish the cute bishounen aspect of the series.
The side characters are interesting to watch when in humorous adaptations of their respective fairy tale counterparts, yet unfortunately find not much development. Chiawata, the quiet stepsister whom at first gives Himeno a cold shoulder, is a sweet girl under the surface, but her backstory seems overblown in some measures, not having quite the weight that it could have had if she were a more developed character.
Overall, Pretear is a series I would recommend more to crowds who enjoy traditional magical girl stories with a slight twist in not only the thematic, but also the overall progression with enjoyable characters.
I really enjoyed this anime, it's on my "favorite animes" list. It's too bad that it's so short. I actually found the anime to be better then the manga, but that's just my opinion. Pretear is a great magical girl anime to watch if you like fantasy and romance combined. The plot was pretty good too, though I found it a bit predictable. I highly recommend it.
Plot:Awayuki Himeno is a normal schoolgirl who is in a bind: her father’s remarriage yielded two new cruel stepsisters, and to top it off, she meets seven men who call themselves Liefe Knights. They reveal to her that she's a Pretear, someone who can lend powers to them when their powers aren’t enough to defeat the evil creatures called mayouchuu. Now, she has to fight the ambitious Fenrir, whose only purpose is to leech the life force from all living beings. Can Himeno save the world and find a way to deal with her growing feelings for one of the Liefe Knights?
Story: Awayuki Himeno starts of as normal school girl thats is really strong. Like most magical ones do. I Love how they take of snow and make their own twist to it. First she tries to run away but the she comes back of she pre with Hayate one the seven Liefe kinghts then she goes into. The first several epsiodes she faces of with Larva with a evil things I guess. then it does take awhile the main villian the Princess of dister Takato who later turns who former pretear herself. From their things get dark and invole her family. The story had alot emtion of some light moments and dark moments. It had good ending and wraped things about 13 eps.
Animation: I thought was petty good. Very detiated. Call me nitpicker the only reason I grave it 9 was cause the ran tarnsformations sences cut them much.
sound: Beatuiful Plus the song White destiny matchs the anime petty well. Other good songs to match certian sences in the show.
Character: Petty well devopled characters they took some time devlope the main character of the took time to delopve the the other ones. Plus alot of emtion. to them and of coruse they did good in Delpoving the main couple of this anime AwayukiXHayate.
Overral: Not a bad anime. Trust if your any self respecting fan of the Magical girl gene you'd to check this out. I liked from the beging to end. And once you get started you can't want watch until the end.
Plot: "Awayuki Himeno is a normal schoolgirl who is in a bind: her father’s remarriage yielded two new cruel stepsisters, and to top it off, she meets seven men who call themselves Liefe Knights. They reveal to her that she's a Pretear, someone who can lend powers to them when their powers aren’t enough to defeat the evil creatures called mayouchuu. Now, she has to fight the ambitious Fenrir, whose only purpose is to leech the life force from all living beings. Can Himeno save the world and find a way to deal with her growing feelings for one of the Liefe Knights?" (not my work, this is the site synopsis)
Story: Awayuki Himeno is a normal school girl with a energetic, chearful, clumsy personality which makes you feel like she does not have any worries.But in this case the appearence betrays because soon after she reveals some weaknesses.Not beeing able to adapt in the new environment she runs away but she returned back and she meets Hayate, one of the guys who call themselves the Leafe Knight's.Soon after meeting him she gets to know the other Leafe Knight's and they told her that she is a Pretear, a beeing that could lend more powers to Leafe Knight's when their powers arent enough to defeat the enemy.In the first episodes she gets to fight Larvas, monsters controled by the Princess of Destruction, Takako which happened to be a former Pretear.As the story develops we discover some other stuff about the main characters and of course about the negative characters.What i liked at this anime mostly was the perfect ending which was way beyond my expectations.
Animation: In terms of animation since this anime was released in 2001 we cannot compare it with the animation from nowadays but still it is well made.I wasnt expecting such a good animation since the production year was 2001.Also im a fan of the Hal Film Maker studio mostly because most of the animes that were made by this studio and i saw i enjoyed.
Sound: The sound in this anime was very well chosen.The ending was decent but i enjoyed especially the opening song.
Characters: Theres nothing to complain related to character development.Even though it took some time to develop the main characters they were developed in a proffesional way especially the main couple Hayate - Himeno and lets not forget about Takako - Sasame.
Overall: In my opinion i find this anime pretty hard to hate but as i said this is my opinion.There werent too many animes that made me enjoy watching it so much like this one did.Its not perfect but close to perfection and i personaly think that this deserves a better rating.Once u started to watch it you will get caught in it and you wont be pleased with it until u finish it.
~Just my thoughts feel free to comment this review~
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~Enjoy and Cya around~
Might cause spoiler
StoryThe story itself was great, I do enjoy watching through this anime and loved the way it developed. Fast-paced. Interesting plot. The only thing that disappoint me was when Himeno came back to live just because Hayate said that he needs miracle. I mean come on, we can't do that. If we could, this world will be like tons heavier than it is. I understand that the author didn't want the ending to be angst and disappoint all the watchers.
The animation was great as well. I love the leafe bubbles and every light.
Sound effect was real awesome.
Totally digged. Almost every characters had their chances to show what kind of person they are.