I was hugely impressed by the bitchin’ transformation sequences in Suite Precure. Mind you, that was all I was impressed by. The drama was awful, the characters boring and the villains dumb. But the Precure franchise is huge, giving me plenty more places to get bitchin’ transformation sequences from. So I moved onto the original Precure, the one that started the franchise, Futari wa Precure. Maybe this time I’d get a story and writing quality to match the level of those bitchin’ transformation sequences.
I lasted 9 episodes.
Let’s get this out of the way: Futari wa Precure made me realise exactly how bad Suite Precure is. Suite Precure can probably top Futari wa when it comes to music, plus it has that awesome CGI ending dance (although I did rather like the Futari wa Precure ending song, because I liked going “woooh!” along with the music), but otherwise pales in comparison on every other front. The relationship in Futari wa Precure feels honest and realistic, giving legitimate reasons for the characters to get in arguments and giving them real goals in life. Suite Precure’s drama is lame and contrived.
Even the animation in Suite Precure isn’t better, despite having 7 years advantage. Not the the animation in Futari wa Precure is that good. For something made in 2004, it’s animation looks older than that. It has a grainy look that I usually associate with cel animation, while Suite Precure is all nice and shiny. Even so, Suite Precure doesn’t do anything with this extra animation budget. The fight scenes are lame and mainly consist of a jump followed by falling over. Futari wa Precure’s characters do stuff like, you know, throw punches and leap on rocks.
Even the bitchin’ transformation sequences are fairly equal in quality in both. Or maybe that’s just because I cared about the characters in Futari wa Precure more so I got greater joy from watching their transformation. Actually, do you know what makes Futari wa Precure’s bitchin’ transformation sequence better? There’s not as much pointless spinning about. It’s much more controlled and that makes it all the more memorable. If anything, there’s probably too much going on in Suite Precure’s transformations. Either way, they’re both pretty bitchin’.
That said, Futari wa Precure still isn’t that good. One thing that bugged me from the off is how much the show wore its blatant toy advertisement on its sleeve. The magical girl creatures are friggen cell phones! And look, here’s a mid-bitchin’ transformation sequence shot of them being put in a pretty little pouch you can buy for a stupidly large price. I wouldn’t have minded so much if it didn’t feel like it was getting in the way of the story. These magical creatures are hundreds of years old, yet this is the form they always turn into when they go to earth? Really now? They took the form of cell phones in Sengoku Era too? Or how they went through this entire battle sequence so the two main characters could get their hands on a magical journal you can buy at your local toy store today. Again, this kind of stuff normally doesn’t bother me, but Futari wa Precure wore me down in that regard.
I did quite like the two main characters though. They had obvious personalities that weren’t over-reactionary but also different enough that it made some interesting character interaction. I just wish they didn’t have to carry around the magical cell phones. Good lord those things were annoying, what with their mipo~ and mepo~ along with repeating the same blasted jokes every single episode. Worse, it tried to make me care about these stupid creatures. They had a dramatic tearful episode where one of them got sick. My body could hardly take it, it was so heartbreaking! Yeah, no it wasn’t. All they needed to do was swipe a card to make him better (buy these cards at your local toy store!).
The villains shot themselves in the foot in the most dramatic fashion. I quite liked the bad guy in this one, especially when compared to the stupid ones in Suite Precure, but lordy me was his demise the worst thing I’ve ever seen. Bear with me on this one, for this is classic villain stupidity. The cool and scary villain had just been chewed out by his boss, telling him that he only had one last chance to take down the Precures. The Precures can’t transform unless they both have their magical cell phones. So he succeeds in capturing one of these magical cell phones so they can’t transform. But what does he do? Waits until they come together and then gives them back the cell phone he stole for the final fight! Fucking idiotic for a villain that, until then, had been portrayed as being intelligent. Guy deserved to die.
So, while better that Suite Precure, Futari wa Precure still isn’t any good. But it did have a bitchin’ transformation sequence, which is all I really came for anyway, so I’m pleased. On towards the next instalment!