To start from the beginning, there was Futari ha PreCure, which is available to be watched for free and legally on Crunchyroll.
This was followed by a second set of PrettyCure heroines, PreCure Splash Star. I reviewed the Splash Star movie manga last year.
Okazu hero, my good friend and all-around PreCure fan Komatsu-san kindly sent me a copy of the Splash Star movie, PreCure Splash Star: Chikuwaku Kiki Ippatsu! to enjoy. As I expected, the movie is exactly like the manga, only we have to hear the voices of the cute, fluffy sidekicks which were, as expected, quite annoying. :-) The monsters were actually less menacing in the anime than in the manga, which makes sense. The critical scenes when Saki and Mai are being berated by their cute, fluffy sidekicks were very enlightening. Where Mai was being entreated gently and reminded that she is not alone at all, that someone needs her, Saki was being screamed at to STAND UP, DAMMIT. It fit their femme/butch personas very nicely. Their subsequent reunion and power-up was, as expected, full of desperate longing, tempered by a desire to kick the baddie’s ass. I think I preferred the manga, because I can shift the pacing and voices around at my whim. But the movie was a nice adaptation.
After Splash Star, there were a number of other PreCure series, none of which really ever captured my attention.
Then Heartcatch PreCure showed up. I reviewed the anime a few months ago. If anything, the Yuri quotient bumped up with the addition of Itsuki, the cross-dressing President of the Student Council to the PreCure team. Itsuki’s Takarazuka Top Star charm isn’t lessened at all with her transformation into Cure Sunshine. It’s not just Tsubomi that’s wowed by Itsuki’s cool, an entire episode is taken up with another member of the fashion club, Naomi’s, desire to become closer to Itsuki.
The manga for the series, which runs in Nakayoshi magazine, has little of the Yuri quotient. The focus is on the cute, the power of teamwork and the transformations, which are lavishly drawn all over page after page, in the middle of teeny-weeny little plots. The manga for this series can be summed up as form over function, and surprisingly for me, I prefer the anime.
Komatsu-san, wanting to make sure that I can never stop loving this series, sent me a copy of the Heartcatch PreCure “Marugoto Book,”which contains shiny color pages of all the goods I should be buying, and a short extra comic about a totally different Cure.
Komatsu-san also sent me a copy of the Heartcatch Vocal Album, which has full-size versions of the opening and closing, and image songs for all of the Cures…including Moonlight.
There I am, listening to Hisakawa Aya singing a plaintive song as the emotionally broken Moonlight and thinking, “wow…how nostalgic.” Because of course, one of the first anime soundtracks I ever bought was a Sailor Moon album, with Hisakwa Aya singing as Sailor Mercury. This was a pretty fun CD. I’ll be adding a few of the songs to my iPod.
For those of you waffling on the anime – Cure Moonlight is slated to return this autumn. Be there to write slashfic between her and Dark Cure or be unsquare!
As always, my sincere thanks to Komatsu-san for fostering yet *another* obsession in my already unbalanced brain. ^_^;;
Overall, Heartcatch PreCure is a solid 8. If they really do up Dark x Moonlight, I can easily see it shifting to 9.