Manatsu Natsuumi moves from an island to Aozora City, to live with her mom. There, she meets Laura, a mermaid, who makes her a Pretty Cure using the power of makeup. Manatsu and her fellow Pretty Cures fight against the servants of the Witch of Delays, who stole the motivation power from Laura's Mermaid Kingdom and are now trying to steal it from the human world.
Tropica-shine! Motivation to the Max! Cure Summer!
Manatsu and Laura! What's More Important?
Believe Yourself. Super Cute Cure Coral!
Cure Papaya Pops Out! This Is My Tale!
Here Comes Senpai! Burn, Cure Flamingo!
It Starts Now! The Tropical Club!
Here It Comes! Sea Fairy Kururun!
Our First Club Activity! Tropica-shining Lunches!
Makeup is Magic? Get Tropical with Movie!
Combined Motivation! Pretty Cure Mix Tropical!
Get Excited! Sand Art by the Beach!
Confiscated! The Aqua Pot's Not Allowed?!
Another year, another Precure! Writing this newbie-friendly review a little over mid season which should be enough to give a fair rating. I should also point out I'm rating this as a standalone anime and not how good it is as a Precure series. In this season, the girls are based on a tropital theme, are pushing makeup toys, and are combating laziness. As with most other PreCure series, this is standalone and you don't need to watch any of the other series. Story Story is very standard for magical girl anime, nothing new here. New girl Manatsu comes to town, meets a magical being (in this case, a mermaid, Laura) who gives her the ability to transform into a magical girl to fight evil. She then befriends a bunch of girls at her school who predictably each become her partners in the fight against the baddies. In this series, the bad guys are all based on sea creatures, and their evil boss is trying to suck motivation from humans for whatever evil plan. A lot of the series takes place on their school grounds, and sometimes around various places in their town/ocean. Other than 'not letting evil queen steal evergy' there isn't any ongoing plotline that connects the episodes. Any obstacle is introduced and resolved within the same episode. This makes this show feel like its 90% filler and nothing really 'happens' other than everyday life for the girls who are just temporarily interrupted by monster-of-the-day villains every once in a while. So I can't really give the Story a higher than a 4. Its thankfully not messy, oddly paced, or confusing, its just bland and boring. If you've seen other Precure series before you'll recognize the formula and be able to predict most major reveals. Animation Animation is very hit or miss. I keep assuming with such a huge brand like Precure they'd have good animation, but maybe the time crunch gets in the way (the show is constantly ongoing so no breaks). Extra care is put into the clips that are re-used every episode (special attacks, transformation sequence), and sometimes the regular scenes are decent. However, it happens so often where in wide shots, the characters quickly lose a lot of quality and details and look flat. So many shortcuts, and while I understand why it probably happens, it doesn't make it any better. Characters One of the few things that allow you to tell the Precure series apart are the character designs. And as usual, the show does a good job of making all the characters, in and out of magical girl form, look different. I'm never confused as to who is who or what their role is in the series. Their magical girl outfits also don't immediately look like any other PreCure outfit, which is great, especially after doing them for so long. On the other hand, with maybe the expection of Sango, all the girls are based on common stereotypes. Denki girl, rich-big-ego girl, shy bookworm, and cool/handsome senpai. Other than Laura the mermaid who heavily lays on the "bitch" from episode one, I doubt any will be memorable later. Conclusion Another year, another Precure. As mentioned earlier, I'm rating this based on how good of an anime it is on its own, not how good of a 'magical girl anime for 5-year-olds' it is. And of course, because of the low quality and its target audience, its not a great show. Watchable (or even likeable) if you love these types of shows, but 'eh' if you're not. Its not bad for a Precure show, so if you're a fan of the franchise, you'll probably think this is good. Its possible for these types of shows to be good, and I wish they would put more effort into improving them.
Bottom Line: TroPre is aggressively average and, to me at least, seemingly aimed at a younger crowd than usual. Any given episode is still dumb fun, but for such an ocean-adjacent show, there isn't much depth to be found here. Still, there are some real gems buried in the show. That's an odd thing to say when reviewing a kids' show like Precure, produced with clear intent to sell toys to tweens and pre-teens, but it's also a thing Precure has accomplished many times before. I knew going in that this was going to be a silly season, the OP and pre-season leaks were enough to prove that. The show even started out strong, in particular with Laura and Asuka's characterizations. There was a lot of room for growth, lots of potential. For about a dozen episodes, all was well. And then for a long time, the show went nowhere, little if any character development was attempted, and very little of interest happened in general. Sure, Precure is always a slow burn, but not this slow. I seriously considered, for the first time (I stuck with Star Twi because Lala, and I've never even attempted Mahou), dropping a Precure show. Still, in the past few weeks (as I am writing this, we're on ep 34 of probably 50) things have picked up, and episode 33 in particular was a THING, a very unique THING within Precure. So I'm glad I stuck around. Update: finished it. The show definitely took a turn for the better in the last 10 or so eps, and remained true to its theme throughout. The ending is 100% pure Tropical Rouge Precure. It's nowhere near the best Precure, but it's not bad either. I have rambled enough. So to sum up, in much the same way I did for Star Twi: Things I love about TroPre: Eh. Nothing yet. Ok maybe Laura's meme faces. She totally gives Nagisa a run for her money. If she made them more often she could seriously give Great Teacher Onizuka a challenge. Things I like about TroPre: Asuka's refusal to take Laura's crap. Laura's trashiness. Where I hang out, we don't call her Trash Tsundermaid amd Machiavellian Mackrel for nothin'. The tantalizing possibility that Butler may turn into a Joker-esque (as in Smile Precure Joker, not Persona Joker or Batman Joker) Big Bad. Things I dislike about TroPre: How long we had to wait for Sango and Minori to get any substantial development. The way Manatsu absolutely dominates the show. Actually I've grown to dislike Manatsu, in general. I'm still not sure if she's worse the Hikaru, but it's not hard to be better than Hikaru. Things I hate about TroPre: Nothing, really. Nothing is bad enough about it for me to hate, yet. That's definitely one advantage over StarTwi. I wonder if this is how I would've felt about Star Twi (before a certain...thing happened) had I not been absolutely in love with Lala. One of these days, I will write a review for a Precure show that I actually really like, I swear. I liked Healin' Good. Forgot to write a review.
With the approach of mid-season, it would be a perfect time for the first review of Tropical Rouge Pretty Cure. At this point, things are now just beginning to shape up. The five girls who make up the precure team is a united force of diverse personalities, though Laura (Cure La Mer) has grown from her original smugness, and Manatsu (Cure Summer), starting out with a nice blend of high-energy and ditziness, is beginning to take on the responsibilities of leading the good girls. All the more important as the bad guys, while they seem so lackluster, make up for it with a high degree of persistence. My main complaint has been about the villains in the series. We make so much of the 'legendary warriors,' that we never take a thought of the opposition. The evolution of the Pretty Cure opponent is as interesting as development of the teams of cures through these eighteen years. The basic ingredient of the force of evil is the leader (in TRPC’s case, the Witch of Delays), who is aided by his/her own set of lackeys. It started with a set of aides to the head-honcho who would attack the Pretty Cures alone, in tandem, or as a full force. By Yes! Precure 5, this developed into the concept of the 'general,' usually three in number (as we have in Tropical Rouge). These generals would compete against the Pretty Cures to gain favor from the main nemesis, usually in the form of powers to create monstrosities and teams of henchmen to throw at the precure teams. The villain-force of TRPC follow this formula, but to this point, they have been duds. For the record, here are the main superstar villains of the Pretty Cure franchise (IMHO). Three best bad-dudes: 1) Joker (Smile Precure, aka Rascal Glitter Force). Black eye sockets framed in a mask, concealing a mind so twisted, that no one could trust what this imp would be up to. 2) Close (Go! Princess Precure). His punk-rock mannerisms were so vicious that even the leader of the forces of darkness, Dyspear, withdrew so Close could make that last brutal attack to defeat Cure Flora. 3) Kumojockey (HeartCatch Precure) His flowing red hair so matched his martial spirit. A worthy opponent to the fighting skills of Cure Sunshine, it was heart-warming to have this general end up at her father’s dojo. Three best monsters: 1) Tetsuborg (Go! Princess Precure) A fighting force of hideous form that could battle against the Princesses with a high degree of skill. 2) Zakenna (Futari wa Pretty Cure) The original, and still one of the best. Assuming forms of inanimate objects, they had the scary aspect which kept Cures Black and White wondering when they’d attack next. 3) Byo-gens (Healin’ Good Pretty Cure). Developed in the time of Covid-19, these monsters could infect and take over rapidly. Monsters that would be a reflection of the moment. But … because we are talking about Tropical Rouge Pretty Cure … Three best ‘bozo’ bad-niks: 1) Jikochuu (Dokidoki! Precure aka Disdains Glitter Force Dokidoki!) The fun came in their silly concession speeches as they were purified by Cure Heart et. al. 2) Notraiders (Star Twinkle Precure) The scourge of the universe, huh? Best comedy martial arts team since … 3) Choinks (Happiness Charge Precure). They fight, they sing, they dance. The lowest form of family friendly villainy in the franchise. Honorable mention: Akanbee (Smile Precure, aka Buffoon Glitter Force)) The fact that these monsters were based on the ‘clown premise’ made them scary enough. But not too, though. Enough mulling about the bad boys. The main hope for Tropical Rouge series is the persistence of the three generals who withdraw as quickly as they fail ... which can be quick. Their monsters, the Yarane-de, are the more comically drawn than the other fiends of the franchise, but they have been getting better, and a recent find by the youngest general Elde, might spell a more intense second half of the season. So much for the forces of the Witch of Delays, who is after 'motivation power.' Activity is the theme of TRPC (along with makeup, similar to Smile Precure), and there is no one livelier than Cure Summer. The other members of the team balance Summer's more outlandish actions. Fashion conscious Cure Coral, intellectual Cure Papaya, scrappy Cure Flamingo. Then comes a precure from the land under attack, the Gran Ocean, the mermaid Laura who trades in her fish tail for legs to become Cure La Mer. A neat take on the ‘Little Mermaid’ concept. The animation is lavished on the Precures who shine (or, to be exact, tropi-shine) in comparison to the other characters. The battle sequences against the doofus-y Yarane-de are so-so, but they end with a remarkable 'victory blast.' And the music is well set to the tropical beat which makes one want to dance ... which is what the Pretty Cures try to have you do at episode's end. But the enemy still remains the enemy of the series' success. But don't give up hope. With the acquisition of a mysterious cup, the opposition may get stiff, and then we hope to see the 'tropi-shine' become 'tropi-spectacular.'
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