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In my crash course on the Precure universe, I have made it a point to watch some series produced before and after Smile Precure, the premier series I had seen first as Glitter Force, then the fuller treatment as Smile Precure. The early series at this point is Suite Precure, while the later is Mahoutsukai Precure (Maho Girls, or Magician Girls). Honestly, I have been enjoying both, but at this moment, I feel a little Maho-ed out. As of now, I'm into the second portion of Maho Girls where the genie-villain is setting up the second phase of the battle with the forces of dark magic. As for the Maho Girls Precure movies, I have seen both the movie devoted to this Pretty Cure team (honestly, whenever I see a teddy bear, I think of the plushie as a boy ... wow, Cure Mofurun is a girl!) and this version of a Pretty Cure All Star movie. I normally won't review such a movie unless there is a compelling reason. This presentation is the first of the All Stars which makes a startling new approach: 1) the pattern of a set of three teams of precures will be showcased, and 2) the vast number of cures will have limited screen time. The movie concludes with a brief gathering of all the precures to smackdown the evil entity and then go off to a celebratory dancing routine to accompany the movie credits. In normal All-Star movies, these serve as a medium to introduce the new precures using the previous team. For example, in DX3, Suite Precure meet at the mall and run into a fashion show hosted by the girls of HeartCatch Precure. In the next movie, New Stage, Smile Precure enters the battle against Fusion by first running into Suite Precure. In Minna ... Mahou, Cures Miracle and Magical wonder about becoming more powerful precure and meet the team of Go! Princess before encountering the threat of the sorceress Lady Solcieel and her flunky, Trauuma. He is the only dominant male in the movie, and of course, is a true jack-ass (no really, a jack-ass, or donkey if we need to be polite). Her quest for revenge on her mentor in the magic arts calls for a special ingredient ... a tears of the Pretty Cures. All 52 of them, or just from one ... this was never made clear. Here, the vast number of cures are of limited use, having been captured and are in the sorceress' dungeon, pressured by any means to get them to cry (shock and awe, I don't recall seeing that paragon of crybaby-dom, Cure Peace, in the whole flick!). Quick glance appearances of these unlucky girls. Meanwhile, Happiness Charge Precure arrive on the scene. Miracle and Magical are separated, and are protected by a team of precures who battle to get these girls to escape until the teams are themselves captured. A quaint addition to the plot is an assimulated team of Pretty Cure consisting of the leaders from Fresh to Smile Precure, battling to liberate the members who had been captured before them. But Miracle and Magical, being separated, cannot become cures, being of the Futari wa School of Precure who must hold hands to transform. But the power of friendship allows them to meet in a fantastic magical realm and together invade the stronghold of the sorceress. Surprise! The true enemy is not Lady Solcieel, but Trauuma who gains the needed tear of a Pretty Cure from an emotional Cure Miracle. Then, the true plot become an assault of the forces of darkness to obliterate the universe. While Minna ... Mahou has advanced the concept of an All Star Pretty Cure movie without an equal representation of all cures or precure teams, it has excellent songs, featuring a hauntingly beautiful lullaby which becomes the resolution of the mystery of Lady Solcieel's hatred of her old instructor. The defeat of the donkey-esque villain depends on the unified efforts of all precures holding hands to encircle the ravaging demon and see to its come-uppance. No series of this team walloping the bad guy, then tagging off on another team until all eleven to thirteen teams have had their whack and attack. Throwing all of them in a maximum team effort cuts down on the time needed to bring on the happy ending. And, that's basically it. This is the first in a series of All Star movies which adopted the new formula. No more take time to bring up each precure team and give time to create a disjointed feel for a growing sisterhood of legendary warriors. Perhaps it's the best that had to be, but something was lost in the process. Or was it that something was gained?
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