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DGFischer

  • Wisconsin
  • Joined Jun 14, 2019
  • 70 / M

Fresh Pretty Cure!

Aug 19, 2019

Dunno why I chose Fresh Precure for a review, not so much for this specific run of 50 episodes, but for the place Fresh Precure holds in the entire stretch of now seventeen series in the mega-hit in girl power genre.  While in the passage of time, Fresh Precure may not rank as a superior series, but a crucial one.

I see the development of Precure in a set of presentations which followed, then broke trends.  In the history of Toei's work in this concept, I see these phases:

1) Futari wa ... Max Heart; Splash Star:  The small ensemble of Pretty Cure, the principles always obliged to hold hands as they transformed.  The tactic of separating the two cures was pursued as the opposition ranged from the forces of darkness to those pitted against the environment.  The similarity of appearance of Cures Black and White and Cures Bloom and Egret (later Bright and Windy) proved that a conformed plotline (battle the nemesis individually, then in teams, then in entirety) becomes tedious fast.

2) Yes! Precure Five/GoGo:  Advancement of cures who can transform independently of each other, who lose and regain powers over the two season grouping of the same five cures joined by Milky Rose (a non-human Pretty Cure).  The weakness is the inability to attract an audience who will support the same girls over three seasons.

3) Classic Period of Pretty Cure:  From Fresh Precure to either DokiDoki Precure or Happiness Charge Precure.  A strictly followed formulatic approach to the formation and maintaining a plot until the denoument.  Whole seasons driven by theme, whether dance, or music, or flora, or the happy ending to the power of friendship.  The episodes run from origin of a given cure, fun episodes involving all girls in the team, personal glimpses into one of the cures to show the maturing of the personality which usually displays some weakness or flaw, toward the darker episodes where the team moves toward a final battle.  One major development in the series is moving from defeating the enemy towards a purification of the opponent.

4) Trendy Precure: Go! Princess Precure and Mahou Precure:  These episodes are more a mirror of what had been successful into other parts of the world culture.  The fascination of the Disney version of "Princess" which was recently lampooned in the Ralph Wrecks the Internet Movie.  The popularity of the Harry Potter series.

5) Preachy Precure:  Kirakira Precure to Star Twinkle.  Mostly engaging the progressive culture which allowed for what would be controversial issues.  Concepts advanced through emotional appeal rather than logical, analytical standards.  Belief in the unlimited potential of the future, the ultimate triumph of good if despair does not dominant the society.  A quest for truth through novel means ... even telepathy.

As for Fresh Precure, it was the first to use computer aided animation techniques.  It's nemesis, Labyrinth, exposes the danger of a society driven by mindless unity of purpose where the possiblity that the purpose is evil is ignored.  It made the bold decision to make the cures chestier than the previous Pretty Cures, an idea which was scrapped with the less than definitive designs of Heartcatch Precure.  It toned down the bizarre hairstyles seen in Cures Lemonade and Mint, but Peach's blonde braids were eye-catching.  While guided by the theme of dance, the music used in this series was less than assertive (was that an accordion I was hearing in the transformation scene of the first half of the 50 episodes?).  But the inclusion of a cure once a sworn enemy of the Pretty Cure, Cure Passion, was innovative.

In the end, the decision to reveal their secret identities to their family and community before charging off to Labyrinth was questionable.  To note the danger and explain the risk to those feeling the wrath of Labyrinth would not need such drasctic action, but preserving identity as a Precure has been a trait of specific series.  Complete success in Smile Precure, sketchy in Happiness Charge, totally tossed to the winds in Fresh Precure.

Wikipedia claims that the coming of Fresh Precure restored the flagging interest in the Precure franchise lost in the last episodes of Yes! Precure Five GoGo!  I would believe this to be the case.  But in the end, the constant recycling of new faces to keep the mega-series strong has a downside.  Cure Whip must yield to Cure Yell must yield to Cure Star.  This continually reinventing of the same premise will have its own version of collateral damage over the next years.

9/10 story
8/10 animation
6/10 sound
10/10 characters
8.5/10 overall
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DGFischer Feb 12, 2024

Further updating of the Pretty Cure franchise:

7) Re-inventing the concept Precure (Delicious Party to Wonderful Precure.  New ideas and hard tweaking of what works ... with mixed results.  Quasi-abandonment of the henshin hero ideal, boy cures, and pink cures that are originally non-human but quite humane.  Look for things going really wild or off the tracks.

DGFischer Dec 23, 2021

Up-dating the stream of Precure development beyond the three series that made up the era of Preachy Precure:

6)  Back to Basics Precure:  Healin' Good and Tropical Rogue (maybe the nineteenth edition of Delicious Party next season).  After declining plotlines, particularly that of Star Twinkle, a new effort to follow classical Precure story design, without the rigidity.  Battles of Pretty Cure against boss and three generals.  Varied pink precure from former convalescent Cure Grace to exuberant Cure Summer.  While formulaic, look out for major story tweaks.