Hello Island Guests, last week I finally managed to reach the halfway point of Futari Wa Precure, the first series of the Precure Franchise. It took me waaaay longer than I expected to get through 26 episodes. Does that mean I think the series is bad? Not Really… However it’s one of those shows I have to watch leisurely or else it does come crashing down hard.
A Cure Best taken in Moderation
While the first episode and the subsequent four, thoroughly entertained me I began to struggle enjoying this show at around the sixth episode. Mind you that Episode 2 through 6 I watched in one long haul. The show starts with VERY low stakes and that Edgy Guy I described in my first review was called Pisard. He is not the main villain of the series instead he is one of five henchman of the Dark King. He summons this demon called the Zakenna which possesses an object each episode for about 8 episodes I think creating your standard monster of the week. At the end Pretty Cure holds hands to do their ultimate technique the “Pretty Cure Marble Screw” and Pisard is either blown away.. like team rocket.. or flees the seen as his new monster is destroyed.
In itself this is perfectly fine and to an extend I do enjoy this trope. I loved Power Rangers when was young and this basically is the same. Like Sailor Moon even.. yet feeling somewhat more “mundane”. The biggest issue I had with the show stemmed from binging the first 12 to 15 episodes or so. PreCure is very self away and uses the tropes of the genre to a maximum. However when consuming 10 episodes a day… seeing that same transformation sequence 10 times.. and seeing that exact same opening, that exact same special attack animation for that many times in a span of a few hours something breaks.
The transformation sequence is fun.. but it’s not special enough to be fun 10 times in a row. The Pretty Cure Marble Screw.. which follows the exact same animation and dialogue doesn’t have enough oomph to it to justify it seeing it on repeat so many times within a few hours.However when I started watching 2 episodes at lunch , 2 at dinner.. my troubles vanished and I got to enjoy the show a whole lot more.
A cure with the sweetest after taste
Medicine usually has a bitter after taste, however with this season, the bitterness comes around the time the first henchman is defeated. The second and third antagonist suffer from a lot of weird speed ups. A few episodes feel like they just happen because they happen.
While the episodes with Pisard function as a sort of tutorial for Precure with enough exposition, the dumb ogre that is next.. and poisonny.. the vampiric looking woman just function as “episode instigators” It results in a hit or miss kind of scenario when it comes to episodes. The Dumb Ogre guys episodes , I can’t even remember his name .. all are sorta meh. With 2 nice episodes to his name, and a few stinkers I cared for him the least.
Poisony has a few amazing monster of the week scenarios but that happens because of the fourth antagonist actually forming bond with precure. It’s a slow build up to something very nice.All in all Poisony had a few nice episodes and challenges to her name.. but her coolest one.. where she traps Pretty cure in a dark dimension and eventually a mirror .. when she is about to shatter them gets completely Deus Ex Machinad.Pretty Cure faces certain death and suddenly.. they are not.. it’s never explained.. we just see a the good guy bad guy shown from behind making a smiling hmph! ish noise and we are supposed to be… “oh he saved them”. Even Poisony doesn’t bring it up anymore the episode just ends on a whimper.
This stuff happens a lot in the middle part of the show. For some reason PreCure decides not to hold hands and beam their enemies to death until they noticed kicking doesn’t work…which it never did…the middle part has a LOT of stuff happening because it needs to happen and I almost gave up hope… and than I reached episode 18.
Boy does the quality of this show skyrocket after that episode. We get so much great stuff. We get to see the build up of the fourth antagonist story. I was wrong about Honoka possibly being a lesbian character because she shows chemistry with fourth Dark Zone member, Kiriya. It was done quite well, with him becoming more human and trough their final fight being able to grasp what the side of light was all about and choosing to believe in them. I wonder if he will be back, we never saw him die. So anything can happen there and I am actually curious to find out.
The fifth warrior the face Illkubo is truly menacing and he actually has a plan. There is shift in the status quo multiple times and it feels great. The way he is defeated makes a lot more sense than how they did it with.. Gekidrago.. that’s the ogre guys name I remember now! Where they just “hold hands harder” We get introduced to the Garden of Light… which is kinda like any other magical girl series world of goodness thing.. which is fun and charming and it just fits the tone of the show so well with all the cute creatures yelling something-po. I even started to binge a bit again.
A Cure that works fast
Episode 25 , the official midway point is…. a bit mediocre due to the same speed up, deus ex machina mechanics the middle of the show uses.. albeit at least a bit more cleverly. It felt kinda rushed. In one episode the Pretty Cure wipe out the Dark King… using the same normal attack they always do…although boosted by an ally this time. It took takes them 5 episodes per villain (on average) to defeat the others.. but the Dark King is one shot?
I kinda like it… it felt anticlimactic but it was that type of villain they could not do a lot with.So in PreCure style it is dispatched and replaced.
I cried when Nagisa and Honoka had to say goodbye to Mepple and Mipple their adorable companion creatures.. even though I knew there were going to be like 50 more episodes with them or so…(counting other seasons to follow as well) so I did form some bonds. I had this same experience in caring for Honoka’s grandmother.. or feeling bad for her when here parents had to work on her birthday and even though she got kept a hostage.. did not get to see her parents that much and was in life peril .. it was her best birthday ever. Even simple stories as a classmate loving a painting or a science club friend of Honoka discovering their invention was named after her managed to touch me! So it does play on the heart strings.
Still I can not escape the fact that a lot of stuff is glossed over. We never get explanation what that Zakenna actually is.. what those cute apologetic star guys are..it’s just a cute exit animation? It’s a show where stuff happens because it needs to happen for the majority of what I watched so far. The Garden of Light and the hero side gets highlighted pretty well and feels pretty fleshed out but the counter part.. kinda is just there to have some semblance of a plot. It’s something I hope to see improved in the future. Having watched episode 26 .. the first one into a new story arc.. it seems hopeful, it was much better paced even though it was still fast. This enemy also seemed a bit more menacing. Still the show skips a lot of time and in doing so it often misses a lot of details.
A Pretty Cure
Overall I definitely had a pleasant experience.. but it’s one that will not necessarily stick with me. I like the cute elements, which in later series seem to have been boosted and I like the visuals even if there is a lot of repetition. While the transformation scenes are static.. any condition is transferred over to them… like if they are held by tentacles..(hue hue) that carries over in that samesie transformation scene any damage and such will show.
I like how transformation scenes come over as cute and don’t emphasis the “naked” body growing clothes as much as some of their peers. There is a fluidity in this show I really like and a certain type of retroness..that makes it more sailor moon like to me. Except for Geki-Drago I really enjoy the character design. Everyone feels unique and the monsters have that “power ranger campiness” to them that makes me really enjoy them. The evil vaccuum cleaner, the possessed legendary armors, the museum coming to live. As forced as the plot progress goes, so natural feel the situations. (with the exception of both accidentally going to the same summer camp). The choice of monsters and situations.. even if very trope like is done well. The way characters fit into these tropes really worked for me and their transformation gimmick is unique and caters to those tropes.
Honoka and Nagisa can only transform ..and do ultimate attacks by holding hands and with a tricky set up like that, you are going to have to make some weird leaps.. to actually separate them… as well as get them back to being together. Setting wise… episodic wise they do this fine. However it also means this show feels more like Power Rangers.. as Sailor Moon.. as in “half of the fight” can feel pointless because we all know the monsters is going to grow and they need the megazord to finish things. Pretty Cure..always goes in kicking and tossing their way ..getting hit a few times before firing a beam. Would it have been explained that they have to “weaken” a monster first before finishing it off with the signature attack.. I would have been perfectly fine with it…but as you may expect by now this has been glossed over.
It’s a pretty show that I might be just a bit to old for, but just because it is made for younger people doesn’t mean your writing doesn’t have to make sense. There is a deep love for the genre in this show though that keeps it quite infectious. I’d say the first 17 kinda feel like as if the show is being told to me by an adoring fan.
“Have you Seen Pretty Cure it’s amazing.. in the second Episode Honoka and Nagisa have to fight Pisard again.. oh yes he is revealed to be Pisard by an evil guy named the Dark King..and he uses a Zakenna to possess a vacuum cleaner that sucks up all the electricity in the town! It’s amazing!.. so they kick it and punch it but it has a really long neck and goes woosh..and swwwwwwwsh and then he tries to suck Nagisa up.. but Bam Honoka saves her with some weird throwing technique .. but than she is in trouble and Babaf.. Nagisa Kicks th vacuum right in the mouth”
It feels like the show is that kind of story telling turned into a show, which means it is full of energy and flavor, but it takes a nosedive in cohesion. Great for a leisurely watch, but if you are not drunk, fourteen or younger or for some reason have only access to half of your brain, I would not recommend binging it. I was thinking of dropping this one and moving three series ahead to see if it picks up… but the last 7 episodes or so got me back supporting this squad. I will back with you in 24 episodes! Go Go Pretty Cure!
Remember that I love you all, keep smiling and stay positive! I will see you all for more PreCure when I get to it! Despite it’s flaws I am still excited!
Previously on Precure Pinkie
Futari Wa Precure: First Impressions!
Futari Wa Precure: Full Season Review!