24 CommentsPrecure / By Scamp /

I lasted 10 episodes into Fresh Precure

I had rather low expectations going into this to say the least. Four Precure series so far and each one had been varying levels of poor, from awful dialogue to painfully stupid villains to increasingly contrived methods to create drama. The first episode of Fresh Precure did show some promise though. Maybe, just maybe, Precure had learned from its mistakes?

I lasted 10 episodes.

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There are a lot of things Fresh Precure did right. For one, the magical pets did not have a stupid verbal tic! There were two magical pets. One of them was a wise-cracking ferret with a kansai dialect, and the other was a baby who was pretty darn cute. In short, no annoyingly squeaky voiced morons with jarring verbal tics at the end of their sentences as a substitute for an actual joke. Another improvement is the villains actually have a reason to retreat after each battle, instead of running away because they’re idiotic pussies. Each time they summon a magical creature, it is to gain magical juice of despair created from people crying because a big scary monster has appeared. When the Precures charge in and defeat the monster, it would be unwise to try continue fighting as it would not be an efficient use of their powers. They’ve got their magical juice so it’s time to retreat. I know these sound like minor changes, but they are two of my biggest problems with Futari wa Precure, which until now had been the best Precure I’d seen.

What Fresh Precure really excelled in was it had a sense of humour about itself. It knew how ridiculous the whole Precure set up was, and the characters would frequently drop lines highlighting this. For example, the Precure’s first thought upon becoming super powerful magical girls was that they’d become famous and be brought onto talk shows. In retrospect, it’s kinda obvious that is what would happen if Precures really existed, much like the plot to Tiger and Bunny, but for the show to admit that itself was pretty funny. The stupidly flamboyant villains had this trait too. One of the funniest moments in the series was the vending machine monster that sprayed its victims with orange juice, with the victims crying out lines like “that’s going to take forever to get out!” while screaming in terror. Considering these monsters are always made out of everyday items, it was nice to see the show acknowledge how ridiculous it was to be attacked by a giant vending machine, instead of the incredibly deadpan approach taken by Futari wa Precure.

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There was, of course, the token bitchin’ transformation sequence, which honestly wasn’t all that bitchin’. But I’m willing to forgive them because this was the first Precure to introduce the glorious CGI dancing in the ending song. Ah yes, I was certainly prepared to like Fresh Precure after the first few episodes. If only it could have stuck to that sense of humour. You see, while Fresh Precure was great at poking fun at itself, someone at the top must have hit the staff over the head after about 3 episodes for not taking this extended toy advertisement seriously. So, begrudgingly, they started to bring in some conflict and drama which, surprise surprise, they were utterly awful at. The self-mocking sense of humour was sucked out of the show to be replaced by the same sense of humour the other Precures had. That is, none whatsoever. The drama doesn’t work either because each character is so shallow. They work as funny stereotypes, but they were incapable of holding an episode up with their frowny faces on.

And, just like that, all the old Precure problems reappeared. Contrived methods of creating drama that get ignored in future episodes. Main character relegated to utter idiot, which I suppose she always was, but now being idiotic simply to create drama and episode plotlines. Even the villains started to do idiotic Precure Villain things again. So this guy can erase anything from the world, including humans, right? So why doesn’t he, you know, erase the Precures? But no, the first thing that comes to mind for him to erase is hamburgers. My other great friend, the crowbarred in toy advertisement, makes its appearance too. Spending a good 5 minutes making fragrances with these pieces of plastic and talking about how wonderful they are. Or the Brand New Precure Power unlocked in episode 9, that turns out to be a magical wand made out of incredibly cheap plastic, with its own drawn out transformation sequence to show off that you can touch the buttons on it to make a tune. That transformation sequence was particularly funny because it had some amazingly high quality animation in it, only for the character to finish the transformation and go back to panning because they can’t afford actual character movement. I wouldn’t mind the toy advertisements if they weren’t so blatant and crowbarred in that they jar your entire experience of the episode.

Argh Precure! There’s a good series in here, somewhere. But it keeps doing the same damn awful things over and over. Futari wa Precure got the drama, animation and characterisation right, while Fresh Precure had the sense of humour and tolerable magical pets, but the same problems keep cropping up. I only have Heartcatch left, but it is the one Precure with near universal praise. I can’t say I’m expecting to be blown away by the series, but here’s a list of 8 things I would like it, and all new instalments of the Precure franchise, to include.

  1. Bitchin’ Transformation Sequences
  2. Magical pets that don’t make me want to attack their face with a cheese grater
  3. Fluid animation for the fight scenes
  4. Credible villains
  5. A sense of humour
  6. Conflicts between the characters that aren’t awfully contrived
  7. The toy advertisements to be integrated seamlessly into the episode
  8. CGI dancing in the ending song
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24 Comments

  1. Posted June 7, 2011 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    I’m watching Heartcatch right now, on episode 28 of the series. I didn’t watch the other Precure series so I don’t know how they compare, but despite my complaints (stupid villains and product placement) it is still very enjoyable. I’m not sure whether you would want to use the pets to grate into cheese, but I don’t find them that annoying – I actually find them pretty cute at times. Compared to the clips you embedded the toy advertisements are better (or maybe I’m just so used to it that my brain filters it out), and the action scenes are DEFINITELY better. I make a lot of banal tweets so you wouldn’t see me talk about it, but the action actually looks a lot like a mecha show to me. It’s fluid, well done at least by my standards, and has Trans-AM, Honeycomb Barriers, and Macross Missile Massacres. Most of the villains are stupid, but there’s one Dark Precure that as MyssaRei puts it “A level 80 Rogue in a server full of noobs”. Oh, and yuri. Everywhere.

    • Posted June 7, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      Ahaha, Dark Precure. Whenever she appears she COMPLETELY overwhelms Blossom and Marine. Even with reinforcements arriving almost two cours in, they STILL don’t stand a chance. She’s that powerful.

      The only reason she’s not beating up on the resident Cures is because of her hangup regarding Cure Moonlight, and because Sabaaku keeps her chasing the Heart Tree almost 24/7.

    • Posted June 7, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      For 5camp: Dark Precure, while appearing in episode 1 of Heartcatch, demonstrates just how overwhelming she is in episode 10. Even then she lets the small fry go, since her real beef is with Cure Moonlight.

      When she shows up again in episode 24 she STILL almost sends Cure Blossom, Cure Marine, and their new kohai running. This happens again in episode 32-33, and if not for Cure Moonlight the three would have been pounded into the ground.

      • Posted June 7, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        I’m saying this now, because I don’t expect you to get past Momoko’s episode. :P

      • Posted June 8, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        Moonlight: “WHY ARE YOU SO OBSESSED WITH ME!??!!”
        Me with yuri goggles going full-powered: “OBVIOUSLY SHE WANTS TO FUCK YOU!”

  2. Posted June 7, 2011 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I wonder if Chiffon could compare to the adorable Pollun.

    You gave up Splash Star too soon! The first few episodes are subpar compared to everything after. The slice-of-life, developments and drama are so well done (although I suppose there isn’t much drama). And the fact that Splash Star is a rehash of Futari wa Pretty Cure actually makes me appreciate the differences in Splash Star since it’s doing most things better (exclusion #1: action). The plot isn’t as vague either. >_>

    >they can’t afford actual char­ac­ter move­ment
    No, not after they blew their budget on GoGo!

    The original series’ animation was great during the first two cours, but I believe they only planned to have two cours in the beginning, thus goodbye to the budget for the rest of the series…!

    >”The toy advert­ise­ments to be integ­rated seam­lessly into the episode”
    Yeah…no, never happening, bro.

    Their toy advertisements work though gosh do I want the Belltiers and Fairy Tones and Module from Suite. ;__;

  3. Posted June 7, 2011 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Hey Scamp, define “bitchin'”.

    • romulus
      Posted June 7, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      Yes, please do.

    • Posted June 7, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      You don’t need to define “bitchin'” — you know it when you see it.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted June 7, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

        Anri’s huge knockers are pretty bitchin’

    • Scamp
      Posted June 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Bitchin’ is like, woah, look at that awesomeness like woah dem colours and swirling and wooaaahhh

      Yeah, that’s bitchin’

  4. Redcrimson
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    As someone who has seen all of Heartcatch, I will say it’s probably the closest anything’s ever come to being a Super Robot Show for girls. The slightly exaggerated character designs and bright visuals give the show a much lighter tone than previous incarnations. The characters are a little cliché(Shy glasses-girl, pushy hyper-girl, reverse-trap tomboy), but they’re believable and their interactions seem genuine. They also exhibit a fair amount of growth throughout the story.The story itself is well… standard magical girl fare. The plot is linear and advances at a snail’s pace and the “plot twists” can be predicted episodes in advance. The villains are pretty dumb and the mascot characters are pretty annoying, sorry. But hey, the transformation sequences are pretty bitchin’ if you ask me.

  5. Posted June 7, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Wow, so I CAN post at work after all.

    Anyway if you want I can just compile a list of the ‘plot-relevant’ episodes of Heartcatch, if you want much of the ‘fluff’ episodes.

    • Posted June 7, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

      I meant, AVOID much of the fluff episodes.

      My kingdom for an edit post feature!

  6. Adamar
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    Your checklist for Heartcatch:
    1. Bitchin’ Trans­form­a­tion Sequences: check
    2. Magical pets that don’t make me want to attack their face with a cheese grater: Nope. The third one introduced later on is even more annoying. There are a couple of badass ones occasionally but details would constitute spoilers.
    3. Fluid anim­a­tion for the fight scenes: My goodness, check. The fight scenes in this show are incredible. OST is also very strong.
    4. Cred­ible villains: sort of? As mentioned, Dark Precure is dangerous. The others are a vain pretty-boy, a hot-blooded dude in the wrong show (he is glorious, regardless) and a woman with a ponytail used as a stinger.
    5. A sense of humour: check, I think.
    6. Con­flicts between the char­ac­ters that aren’t awfully contrived: check, I think.
    7. The toy advert­ise­ments to be integ­rated seam­lessly into the episode: it wasn’t too terrible?
    8. CGI dan­cing in the end­ing song: Check x2, both songs are also excellent.

    Regardless, I will be waiting for the “I lasted 8 episodes into Heartcatch Precure” post in the couple of weeks.

  7. mcm38
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    This is weird, for me to suddenly feel the urge of watching a magical girl anime. I’ll try Heartcatch out I guess. And I actually felt the urg to watch because the enemy of Dark Precure. I mean the enemy of a magical girl is another magical girl. Whole lot more interesting than some stupid evil laughtering old guys or crazy women.

    • Random
      Posted June 10, 2011 at 4:27 am | Permalink

      Madoka?

  8. Scamp
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Heh, guess nobody cares about commenting on Fresh Precure. Just another comment section filled with Heartcatch.

    Ah well, I’ve started watching it anyway, so we’ll see how things go

    • Posted June 9, 2011 at 2:18 am | Permalink

      I wanted to, but I pretty much said what I thought about the series via tweets when I was watching it real-time.

      While Fresh tried to try something new with the franchise, post Five Go! Go!, one had the feeling that the staff were trying to insert TOO MANY stuff into the series. There didn’t seem to be a single unifying theme to the series. Unlike Heartcatch, where you had flowers EVERYWHERE, Fresh had dancing, cardinal directions, FOOD, and musical instruments, without something to bring them together cohesively.

      The redesign were a welcome change though, but at times it’s hard to believe that Love and her friends are supposed to be 14, when they look like they’re about five years older. This is especially obvious when they’re put together with all the other Cures in the DX movies.

      • Posted June 9, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        I hear everyone calling GoGo! the last of the “old” Precure. I really didn’t like Fresh designs when I first saw them. :c Liked the outfits to a certain extent (hated how they dumped the battle gloves and the plain boots). And ugh simplified hair. I can’t get my hair porn like that!

        Curves are a welcome change though.

        It’s really strange seeing the Fresh girls on a DX height chart.

  9. Posted June 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Just go watch Heartcatch already!!! It’s infuriating seeing you torture yourself with a series that isn’t even supposed to be for your age group.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 8, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      And Heartcatch is for my age group?

      • mcm38
        Posted June 8, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

        He/She probably meant that you should get it over with fastly/’already’. XD Torture yourself, good point. Altough not sure if it’s the case. Scamp seems to have a good time raging about the bad points in the Precures.

  10. Posted June 9, 2011 at 4:27 am | Permalink

    Just get over with this Precure franchise already since the only one you’ll have a chance to actually like is Heartcatch. And you might not like it even that much, making this project moot and depressing.

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