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DGFischer

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

Haru no Carnival (Spring Carnival) is the pivotal Pretty Cure movie in the run of seventeen.  It would be the last that followed the expanding team of Precure (we're now at 40 … and counting) that graced the franchise through three DX and three New Stage movies.  Haru no Carnival is the first 'free-standing' one shot production which ended the All-Star concept before drifting into the crossover concept of two-three Precure teams with a hint of all the Pretty Cure.

I once did not consider Haru no Carnival a true musical rendition of the adventures of Legendary Warrior Girls.  It was more or less a recapitulation of all the Precure song and dance routines for the first ten teams, from Max Heart to Go! Princess,  I couldn't be more wrong.  At least three original songs worked into this piece, including a lively show-stopper sung by the two villains Oderen and Utaen.  But the memorable part of the movie is the selection of songs and dance numbers by all teams, drawn from the footage of each series.

Think of Haru no Carnival as a mosaic.  It really is an immense piece of file footage of scenes throughout the years.  It can be a careful study of the development of the animation techniques through these first eleven years of Pretty Cure.  But much of the song footage is heavily remastered.  So, it should not come as a shock that the first group to perform at the Spring Carnival is not Futari wa Pretty Cure Max Heart.  It is Fresh Precure.  Why?  Fresh Precure is the first series which incorporated the first efforts at CGI.  But all the performances have been refigured to give a more 3D conception of the Pretty Cure teams in song and dance (hint: song and dance was the movie's theme).  But strewn during and between performances are stills and footage that are truer to the techniques used during the seasons that ran from 2004 to 2015 (Q: When did Cure Diamond of Dokidoki Pretty Cure play karuta?).  And, when you compare Haru no Carnival to the 15th anniversary work Memories, you see vast improvements in the style of anime circa. 2018 to 2019.

But it was no accident that in one scene, Cure Black/Nagisa and Cure Bloom/Saki stood next to each other to prove that their similarities were overblown.

The plot is simplicity itself, taking a page from the second New Stage movie, where the evil entity hit the Precure and crystalized them before they could react.  In this case, the master thief Oderen has stolen the kingdom of Harmonia.  Learning that the Precure were invited to the kingdom's Spring Carnival, he plots to separate cure from fairy and then steal their transformation devices.  Once doomed to remain normal girls, they could not possibly fight the thief's army of Robbrum.

This puts the focus on Cure Flora of Princess Precure, the normal girl in a team of elite aristocrat and polished model (Cure Scarlet was not part of the team at production time).  She is intimidated by the upcoming singing exam, and the thought of attending the Spring Carnival would take her mind off the pressure ... until she learns that Princess Precure is part of the singing celebration.  Talk about nerves!  But Oderen hatches his plot to neutralize and eliminate the Precure.  Not having to sing vs. rotting in the castle's dungeon ... not the choice one wants.  But Princess Precure is the new team and they are mentored by the recent squad Happiness Charge (part of the formula since the first DX movie).  Guided by the advice of the veterans, Haraka/Cure Flora gains the confidence to sing and voila!  Girls get their transformation devices and each team goes forth to escape the dungeon, beat up the bad guy army, avoid the traps, save the royals ... typical Precure heroics.  But the last battle is with the dragon which is the kingdom's protector.  Riled that the Carnival is ruined he runs amok.  It will need a good dose of song and dance to placate him.

Song and dance?  Hey, with 40 Pretty Cure on the scene, no prob.  And all you really need is the Princess Precure to do their thing.

One high, one low.  Haru no Carnival did not use the traditional Miracle Lights which have appeared in every All-Star Pretty Cure and consequential crossover movie.  But ... the credits were run opposite a routine of co-players instead of animated dance routines of every Pretty Cure team.  A little give, a little take.  Overall, a good effort, and not to be the last.

9/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
9.6/10 overall
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