You do realise you’re reading the accounts of a man in his early 20’s as he embarks on a quest to watch a franchise of foreign cartoons aimed at 4-8 year old girls, right? Just so we got that clear, let’s move on to Yes Precure 5, and see how far I get this time.
I lasted 6 episodes.
Yes Precure 5 is not as lazy as Splash Star, although an 18 year old cat on Ketamine can’t even reach the pinnacle of laziness the production staff on Splash Star achieved. At the very least, Yes Precure 5 at least tries to something mildly different from the original. The main character has a different personality at the very least (even if orange-haired friend in this version is pretty much a carbon copy of the same girl from the original Precure). There’s also 5 Precures instead of 2. Even the magical pet looks slightly different, and is really a transforming bishie, Fruits Basket style. They’ve kept most of the rest of the scenario. Precures have to stop evil organisation of dreadful villains from an alternate world, using the powah of friendship, all while collecting these magical sausages or whatever random artefact it is they have to travel across the country to find. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, because powah of friendship to defeat baddies is a decent formula. However, it appears that’s about the point the production staff decided to call it a day.
We’ve changed the formula enough from the original, now lets use the rest of our budget to hire some strippers! Animation? Script writing? Fuck that, give it to the intern. Actually no, scratch that, give it to the monkeys in Toei’s basement.
The writing in this is horrendous to quite extraordinary levels. What particularly bugged me was how stupid it assumed its audience was. Yes, I know the audience are girls with only one digit in their age, but the original Precure didn’t talk down to them this much. If we see a shot with a bunch of super excited girls hoarding around the student council president, it’s pretty obvious that’s she’s popular. We don’t need our braindead main character and her carbon-copy-from-original-Precure-friend pointing out to the audience how popular she is.
There are other instances where they simply stop trying to give characters reasons for what they do. I know a regular occurrence in Precure is how shit the villains are, but it’s something I’m going to rag on yet again. When someone fires a weak beam at you that totally misses, what sort of excuse is that to then run away? Or the villain catching one of the magical muffins the Precures are trying to hoard, then giving it back to them for no adequately explored reason. And this guy was apparently the leader of the villainous group. I’m guessing the aptitude test for entering this villainous group involves a high-hanging banana and a stick, and if they get the banana in under a minute then they’re not allowed join the group.
Even worse than the writing is the animation. This is a friggen Precure series! These things rely on a combination of advertising toys and pretty visuals. This series got the advertising toys aspect down, for better or for worse. Well, no, just for worse. But the visuals are awful. An large amount of this series is incredibly lazy panning shots. You know, the ones where the characters don’t actually do any movement of their body. They’re just held up on a stick and waved about by one of the basement monkeys at Toei just below the bottom of the screen. The backgrounds were probably going for that watercolour look from the likes of Honey and Clover and Nodame Cantabile, but instead just looks like childish scribbles.
But you know what’s the worst part of all? The very reason I decided to watch these blasted Precure series in the first place? The bitchin’ transformation sequences, that even Splash Star managed to get off their backsides and producing something visually spectacular for. Yes Precure 5’s transformation sequences aren’t bitchin’ in the slightest. I was looking forward to the prospect of 5 different transformation sequences for each Precure. What normally characterises a Precure bitchin’ transformation sequence is how the costume billows out ins some sort of crazy way, combines with epic music and swooping camera angles.
Yes Precure 5’s didn’t bother with something as cool as swooping cameras, instead simply opting to pan down to the next segment of the characters body that would spout new clothing. Worse still, each Precure would go through this same process with little variation. The one interesting bit of transforming was Cure Lemonade’s swirly hair-pieces, but even that transformation sequence has the same uninspired music the rest of them had. Plus, it cycles through each and every transformation sequence in the episode, so by the time we had all 5 Precures, we had to sit through that same lame transformation sequence 5 fucking times. You think it’s all over BUT NO! Then they all have to go through their signature moves, all of which look the same and have the same damn music all over again.
You know you’re a shit Precure if you don’t even have good transformation sequences.