16 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Oh right there’s a new Precure

I got an e-mail the other day.

Good Day [oh wonderful and handsome and amazing Scamp our lord and savoir],

[I am aware of your gigantic intellect so you probably already know that] Smile Precure started last weekend. You should watch the first episode and [in all your glory and wisdom] post about why you [adored this most fantastic gift from the land of anime, or alternatively why you] immediately dropped it. You know [everything this planet has in store for us, but], for completion’s sake [you should check to see if Precure is any different from how your mighty brain predicted it would be].

The words in brackets were not included in the original e-mail, but they were clearly implied regardless.

I was interested in this new Precure because I wanted to see how differently I reacted to a new version after my Precure marathons last year. It may be true that I ultimately didn’t finish any of them, but that didn’t mean that there wasn’t parts I enjoyed. Apart from Splash Star, I enjoyed the first episode of every single one, and merely bailed when I got bored of the formula. Precure by its very nature is repetitive, so you don’t have to watch the entire series to get your fill. I was prepared to watch maybe 5-6 episodes of Smile Precure before the shiny colours and bitchin’ transformation sequences got old. But man, that first episode was bad.

Let’s leave aside comparing it to other Precures for a second and talk about its flaws as a standalone piece. Within the very opening classroom scene, every single female character has their personality explained by someone. Show, don’t tell is completely abandoned to instantly give you a blunt sentence about each person. It robs the interest of figuring out what makes each character tick through hints when it’s blankly spelled out like that. It’s also not funny. I’ve been watching Gakuen Alice recently, a story about a bunch of 12 year olds with super powers. Like Smile Precure, it’s incredibly goofy, but the humour in Gakuen Alice is clever and actually present. Smile Precure’s jokes fall back on reaction faces. So no good characterisation, no comedy, haha Precure plot, what is there left?

Precure has never done comedy. The plot has always been superflous. It’s the colourful and energetic presentation that makes it fun to watch. This episode of Precure was presented the exact same way as every other Precure ever made. It doesn’t need to evolve, because it’s a franchise aimed at small girls. Every Precure is someone’s first Precure. But if you have watched any other, I really don’t see what watching another would do for you. I’ve played every generation of Pokemon, but that is at least always evolving. This isn’t even a good version of Precure. It’s fairly pointless me reviewing Smile Precure though. Toei will rake in truckloads of money regardless. Blame the guy who sent me that e-mail instead.

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  1. luffyluffy
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Man what an asshole.

  2. blazingdead
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Hah, I see what you did there with Pokemon.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      Not sure if laughing at ‘evolved’ joke or that I implied Pokemon has changed at all…

  3. kaei
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Your criticisms of all previous Precure series are probably quite fair, but I thought Smile ep 1 was pretty competently and efficiently made. Like there is a seasoned veteran committee of mahou shoujo makers diligently going through everything on a checklist and making sure it’s there. For instance, the explanation to every single relevant character in the show in one classroom scene was extremely practical! Now I don’t have to spend extra mental energy worrying about irrelevant characters. Not to mention the episode opened with a nod or pretty much every mahou shoujo intro in the book (the entire scene is pretty much borrowed from Sailormoon ep 1). After the debacle that was Suite Precure, predictable comforting competence is is a joy to behold. Face it, people (anyone older than 12) watching Precure aren’t in it for the mind-boggling originality and brain-warping challenges of something like a Madoka Magica. For what it sets out to be, Smile Precure gets it done. Of course there’s still time for it to fall completely to pieces, but one can hope.

  4. Posted February 9, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    I second Gakuen Alice’s excellence. Everyone should watch it and demand a second season.

    • Posted February 11, 2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      ^ I third this. Although actually, I’d recommend that everyone read the manga too since it gets surprisingly darker (for a shoujo manga about super-powered 12-year-olds) later on. But then, from what I’ve heard, it doesn’t seem that Scamp reads manga very often…

      • Scamp
        Posted February 11, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        I plan to write something about Gakuen Alice when I finish, but the gist of the post will be that I don’t want to read the manga because I heard it gets really melodramatic and I want Gakuen Alice to remain silly in my mind

  5. Anonymous
    Posted February 10, 2012 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Eh, it was worth a try.

  6. Kiseki
    Posted February 10, 2012 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    [Oh mighty Scamp, I quite enjoy reading your posts even if I usually disagree with half of what you say.]

    I’m still one of those people screaming to get everyone to watch Splash Star because it’s absolutely amazing after its weak start.

    The series director stated that the character designs were most important and came first, then the quality of the contents (it is a toy show after all). Sounds like we should be prepared for a lack of substance to me. I hope it will surprise me by being more serious than it initially seems. What’s the meaningful theme here?

    Happy was overreacting most of the time…

    • Scamp
      Posted February 10, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      He says character designs are important, yet the designs in Smile Precure are one of the weakest so far? Seriously, Futari wa, Heartcatch, Fresh and Suite Precure all looked better than Smile

      • Kiseki
        Posted February 10, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        I see you failed to mention Yes! 5 (GoGo!’s designs are a personal favorite of mine). Kawamura Toshie is the character designer for both Yes! 5 and Smile. While I absolutely hate their more-same-than-usual-samefaces, I find the Cure’s costumes to be well-designed (nothing beats GoGo! though!!). Better than Suite at least. I don’t know if the girls’ weird hair should be a blessing or a curse however.

        I really do hate their samefaces.

  7. Posted February 10, 2012 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Fucking hilarious how you call Pokemon as an evolved series.

  8. Posted February 10, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    I value your opinion very highly (no brackets because it is not implied), but am going to watch at least the first episode because I like the designs. Probably am going to have nightmares with their mascot as well.

  9. Posted February 10, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    It gets better I promise!

  10. Sputnik
    Posted February 11, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    “I’ve played every gen­er­a­tion of Poke­mon, but that is at least always evolving.”

    Ahaha, good one. I cried laughing.

  11. Poppy
    Posted March 6, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    This sounds like the review of someone who didn’t get the joke. This version of precure show is like 10% serious and is basically referencing all the magical girl tropes for the luls. But it is very charming.

    Sucks that you never finished a precure series though. Those ending battles are always fantastic. You should at least try one.

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