- Archive for Yes! Pretty Cure 5.
Love gets excited when she talks, okay.
Between minutes 58 to 60 in the Pretty Cure All Stars DX movie, you'll find wall-to-wall mahou shoujo beatdowns. It also starts off with Love doing that thing she does where the longer she talks, the faster and louder she gets.
Nice of you to join the fight, Peach-han.
Cure Peach also does a rather simian run for no reason, but it looks cool. Actually, it's probably to keep her enormous hair from dominating the screen entirely.
Max Heart is here to eat takoyaki and kick ass.
And they're all out of takoyaki.
The Max Heart crew doesn't save anyone's ass during these two minutes. They already bailed out all the rest of the Cures earlier in the movie. Well, not the Fresh Cures; they were too busy being incapacitated to need saving.
Cure Rouge, Cure Aqua, and Cure Mint need to learn to spread out more.
I lied. Shiny Luminous totally bails out Cure Rouge, Cure Aqua, and Cure Mint from the Yes! Pretty Cure 5 Go Go! team.
A signature move of the original Cures.
You'll also find that signature wall-stick move of the original Cures with all the flips. I'm still pissed they eliminated and then retconned out Cure Black's superfluous flip after she sticks, just so you know.
Cure Aqua gets to attack without reciting extended incantations.
You'll also find a lot of beam spamming by the Yes! Pretty Cure 5 Go Go! team. At least they get to whip that shit out in real time during the movie.
Your flying attacks are unsynchronized, rookies. UNSAT. Try it again.
The Fresh Cures also finally get into the act after spending most of the movie imprisoned in the La Brea Tar Pits.
Never mind. Cure Black and Cure White have got this.
The Pretty Cure All Stars DX movie didn't do too much with the experienced Cures overshadowing the newer Cures, but it's there. There is one extended sequence when the Fresh Cures see all the other Cures in battle costumes for the first time. Appropriately, the rookie Cures are completely awestruck.
Airborne Cure, Airborne Cure, where have you been?
Taking me completely by surprise, the two most telegenic of all Cure attacks in the movie belong to my least favorite Cures. Easily taking the top spot is the high altitude synchronized drop the much maligned Splash Star Cures execute just to show off. I might have to reconsider the possibility that what I originally assumed to be blatant ripoffs of the original duo are, in fact, actually re-imagined imitators in the flattery-type vein. Too soon to be an homage, but perhaps embodying the same spirit. I might have to watch Splash Star after all.
That's not lemonade.
Probably the second-best looking attack is the one where Cure Lemonade Spider-Mans the dog shit out of the Big Bad. I didn't know she had it in her. And there you go. Two solid minutes of hard core wall-to-wall ass kickings in a 70-minute movie that's 90 percent ass kickings anyway.
Milky Rose is a one-shot wonder.
Oh, I forgot to add that Milky Rose's big contribution to this fight is also really showy. I'm not entirely sure what to make of Milky Rose. She's actually one of the annoying mascots just transformed into a human dekochin ojousama form. My initial impression is she must think she's better than the other familiars. Why wasn't she at that meeting with the rest of the mascots? Even Coco and Nuts were there. Too good for staff huddles, eh?
If you all know each other, why didn't your Cures ever team up before?
To be fair, being at that staff meeting would drive me insane too. ALL the Pretty Cure mascots in one place at one time yammering back and forth at each other? Uh, no thanks. I will take your free rainbow flashlight, though.
Cure Rouge gets loose.
So what about the other 68 minutes of the Pretty Cure All Stars DX movie? Not bad, but pity it couldn't have been longer. I guess you can't really have a kids movie run too long, but were little girls even the movie's real target audience? I'm thinking that's the demographic that went to the theaters, but most of the movie is heavy on the fight scenes, even for Precure.
The sky is falling, Cures. And, uh, you too.
I noticed similarities in the Pretty Cure All Stars DX movie to the climatic battles in My-Otome to tell you the truth, but All Stars DX outperforms My-Otome in mahou shoujo beat downs by a mile. These girls make the welkin ring.
Does this count as fan service? I know there's an armpit
fetish. How about the back of the knee?
Overall, Pretty Cure All Stars DX is Pretty Satisfying. It hits about all the notes you might reasonably expect, including making the Max Heart and Splash Star Cures more capable than the Yes! Pretty Cure 5 Go Go! sentai team and the almost ineffectual rookie Fresh trio. All Stars DX obviously takes place early in the Fresh timeline—before they could dance, even. If there's another All Stars movie (and I'm betting there will be, as long as Precure remains a cash cow), I wonder how the inclusion of Cure Passion will change up this dynamic?
Cure Bloom and Cure Egret discover new powers.
Futari wa Precure Slash Star is the redheaded stepchild of the Pretty Cure franchise. It "only" ran for one 49-episode season whereas the original and the Precure 5 series each had about 100 episodes. (It looks like Fresh Pretty Cure will join Splash Star after its current run; it is already due for replacement by Heartcatch Precure.) Because of its close similarities to the original series, Splash Star is often regarded as a ripoff.
Mai and Saki get along better than Honoka and Nagisa did at first.
However, after giving Splash Star a chance, I am prepared to suggest its similarities to the original series are more evolutionary than derivative. Obviously Toei realized it was giving Splash Star very similar elements to the original Futari wa Pretty Cure. While these parallels were likely motivated by conservative financial considerations, they aren't direct copies. For example, the Splash Star fighting styles are noticeably softer, with many more circular sweeps and flourishes than straight linear strikes. As a result, Splash Star might have some of the prettiest fights in the Pretty Cure franchise.
Mai has an observatory dome and telescope on her house.
I hope that doesn't violate local zoning codes.
Each season of Pretty Cure seems to have more beam spamming than the one before it. Yes! Precure 5 GoGo! is famous for it. But back when it was still okay for musclebound goons to punch 14-year-old girls in the face, Cure Black and Cure White in Futari wa Pretty Cure, the first and most openly violent series of the franchise, spent quite a lot of time trading blows with humanoid opponents. This is a far cry from the current series, Fresh Pretty Cure, which has foregone hand-to-hand combat almost entirely; the Labyrinth goons are almost always content to monsterize some random nearby object to do all their fighting for them.
Beam spamming is for losers, Kira.
Because of this progression, Splash Star occupies a nexus of sorts between the two styles, combining the two forms to mix flowers and sparkles with kicks in the gut and energy beams blasting down from the sky. It's a good combination, and had I watched Splash Star before, I would not have been surprised Cure Bloom and Cure Egret had the most telegenic attack of the first Pretty Cure All Stars DX movie.
I can see my house from here.
Admittedly, I've not seen enough Splash Star to conclusively determine whether or not the criticisms levied against the show are wholly unjustified or not. However, from my initial impressions, it seems very likely a lot of potential viewers simply dismissed the show out of hand (as I originally did) without giving it a chance. So far, these aren't ripoffs—they're the sincerest form of flattery, and they don't prevent me from declaring Futari wa Precure Splash Star the most underrated title in the Pretty Cure franchise.
Erika and Tsubomi before they learn their place.
It turns out the second Pretty Cure All Stars DX movie is really the first Heartcatch Precure movie in disguise. Whereas the first All Stars DX movie was basically a greatest hits album of fan-favorite Pretty Cure attacks and moves, All Stars DX2 sort of has a narrative as we watch the two least effective Cures of all time stumble their way through battles way beyond their abilities. I've accused Cure Blossom and Cure Marine of being the worst Cures in history before, but that has always been part of their personae; Heartcatch Precure itself accuses Cure Blossom of being the worst Cure ever. While this is generally true during Heartcatch episodes because Cure Blossom is a dojikko, capable of only fighting bad feelings (no, really), it's especially true in All Stars DX2 because Cure Blossom and Cure Marine are the rookies and somebody at Toei does take the whole Cure Senpai bit seriously.
Try not to laugh in their faces, Fresh Cures.
All Stars DX2 does allow the Heartcatch Cures to take the first stand and act as if they're going to solo the newly discovered enemy by themselves, but then the movie subjects them to the humiliation of being patronized by the Fresh Cures (who themselves spent most of the first All Stars movie incapacitated by sticky, sticky goo) before being promptly bailed out of trouble. The express train of shame doesn't stop there, however. The Fresh Cures end up saving the hapless Heartcatch duo twice during the course of the movie. Really, if you count Love keeping Tsubomi from getting pegged in the face by a plastic flashlight any other character in the Pretty Cure franchise could have easily dodged (including that walking mailbox thing), Fresh saves Heartcatch three times. By my count, one or both of the Heartcatch Cures is rescued no less than six times in the course of a 70-minute movie. No wonder the other Heartcatch characters with cameo appearances in the movie pretended not to know them. Oh yes, there are cameos. Everyone and her mother is in this movie.
Purses are so Freudian, Love.
If the first Pretty Cure All Star movie was the Home Run Derby (and it kinda was, really, with Cures just teeing off at will), DX2 is the actual game. There's an assortment of "All Star" bad guys from seasons past in DX2, most of which I'm pretty sure returned from beyond the grave. No David Bowie, though. Sorry. Take it up with the Ghost of Olivia Newton-John. No Zakenna butlers either. Man, those guys sure got shafted. They probably weren't even evil!
But I digress.
Although previously vanguished enemies return, it's obvious the Precure All Stars movies cannot be canonical. Besides the temporal anomalies and the characters playing fast-and-loose with their secret identities and those of the mascots, there's just no clear way to rationalize the various inconsistencies and contradictions among the various Precure generations. For example, Max Heart non-combatants conveniently pass out during Zakenna attacks. Conversely, the Fresh-verse populace suffers the kind of gruesome fates you might expect of civilians on the mahou shoujo battlefield; they simply just don't care. (I think Clovertown should probably be named after a different plant.) Even differences in character designs have to be handwaved away just so the successive generations can play ball.
After hanging around Erika and Tsubomi, Buki and Love got a lot less...aerodynamic.
In the case of Fresh Pretty Cure and Heartcatch Precure, it means the amount of time characters from both series are in the same frame simultaneously is limited, and the Fresh girls' famously pronounced bosoms are whisked away, leaving all the characters uniformly flat. [Setsuna: Ha! Now you know how I feel!] They also don't stand shoulder-to-shoulder much, since Miki would be about two feet taller than Erika, for example.
Poor Easy. First they took her powers, then they took her adulthood,
and then they took her bust. Now they've taken her nose.
Towards the end, this conglomeration of vastly disparate character designs gets mushed into a rightfully maligned CGI battle that doesn't fit with the rest of the movie at all, but probably heralds the future of Pretty Cure animation if I don't miss my guess.
It's the circus, Pretty Cure.
One thing All Stars DX2 did get right was addressing the disparity in the limitations each Cure generation faces. For example, Nagisa and Honoka are unable to transform into Cure Black and Cure White unless (1) they are together, and (2) they have Mepple and Mipple with them. On the other hand, girls from the Yes! crew can transform individually whenever the Hell they want. Although this liberates the Yes! girls quite a bit in terms of the restraints on their abilities, this freedom does introduce a number of hazards from which the traditional restrictions safeguard. Really, they're just asking for trouble in Nozomi's case. You know it's just a matter of time before she dozes off in class and transforms into Cure Dream in her sleep. Five will get you ten Nozomi eventually levels the entire school with a stray somnambulistic PRETTY CURE SHOOTING STAR one afternoon after eating a big lunch.
Nozomi? Dojikko basket case. Cure Dream? Full-time ass kicker.
So what else does All Stars DX2 do right? Well, the Splash Star Cures once again have the best looking moves of the movie, especially the part when they simultaneously Fastball Special the Heartcatch Cures into almost doing something useful. After the first All Stars movie and 26 episodes (and counting) of the series proper, I have newfound respect for Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash Star. This is easily the most underrated and overlooked generation of all the Precure series. I'm guilty of it too, but it really was overshadowed by the first generation and overlooked by Honoka & Nagisa loyalists. They'll probably always get the short end during future Precure projects, but they certainly make the most of the little screen time they do get.
It's also nice how All Stars DX2 packs in essentially every single character that ever had a speaking role in any Pretty Cure series or movie. It didn't get everyone, or at least I didn't see everyone, but they damn near very well did. The entire movie is a "Where's Waldo?" exercise in identifying as many supporting Precure characters as you can. Still, I hope they don't attempt to do this much more. It really doesn't make sense to me to have supporting characters with superpowers of their own riding the pine, contributing nothing to the fight except some half-hearted Miracle Light waving. Cure Moonlight, Cure Sunshine, Cure Grandma, Wester, Souler, et al., I see you. Way to be only as useful as the six-year-old girl sitting in the eighth row of the theater. Thanks for nothing.
Yeah, there are spoilers in this picture.
I do hope there are more All Stars movies, although with the ever ballooning cast of Cures crowding the 70-minute-attention-span ceiling, maybe Toei will be better off making Pretty Cure Team-Up movies, wherein the (presumably) eventually competent Heartcatch Cures show next year's newbies the ropes. Hope Tsubomi keeps Love's phone number on speed-dial.
I don't know which explanation would be the
more appalling: That Cure Black and Cure White
missed, or that they fired a warning shot.
Oh, and to answer the titular question, the two hottest minutes of Pretty Cure All Stars DX2 are the combined sequences of all the times the Heartcatch Cures had their necks saved by other Cures. I knew Cure Blossom and Cure Marine were good for something.
Nice boots, Moon.
For some reason, I've never watched a single episode of Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon until now—not even dubbed. Long heralded as a mahou shoujo classic, Sailor Moon ran for hundreds of episodes spread out over numerous season, although Pretty Cure has since surpassed it in terms of episode count. I'm passably familiar with some of the basic Sailor Moon elements such as the talking cat, the "punish you" catchphrase, and the A-list voice cast.
Mahou shoujo faceplant in the making.
After two episodes, I've learned a few things I did not expect: I love Mitsuishi Kotono, but her Usagi voice is horrifying. It's closer to her Ebichu or her Suite Precure Hummy animal voices than her Misato or Mireille voices. Usagi doesn't even have Excel's charm, so this is going to make for a long batch of episodes if things don't improve. Second, the show is not as good as I had hoped so far. Granted, I've not even seen the tip of the iceberg yet, but so far it sits pretty low in my "Also Watching" queue. Finally, I understand Pretty Cure is unique for its heavy focus on combat, but I was under the impression Sailor Moon was a bit of a departure from the standard magikal girl party line for having a relatively higher emphasis on fighting than traditional mahou shoujo shows. So far that is not the case.
Get some, Cure Dream.
Speaking of which, if pressed to choose Usagi's closest Pretty Cure analogue, I'd say so far she and Nozomi have the most in common. Usagi is a self-described clumsy girl, but thankfully I've yet to see her in full-on dojikko mode. There's one important difference between Nozomi and Usagi, though: Cure Dream would beat the living daylights out of Sailor Moon in a fight. Cure Dream doesn't play.
Erika and Tsubomi spray on some clothes.
I figured out why I have low opinions of Cure Blossom and Cure Rhythm: No game faces. When a Cure goes through her transformation sequence, she gets a battle costume upgrade and some fancy charm points. But in most cases, the transformation doesn't just change a Cure's appearance; it also changes her personality, or at least her demeanor. This didn't happen with Cure Blossom in Heartcatch Precure! and it doesn't really happen with Cure Rhythm in Suite Pretty Cure now.
"Go ahead, make our day."
Contrast this with, for example, Cure Black and Cure White who announce with authority their readiness to whoop some ass, both during their transformations and while powering up their finishing attacks. Yukana going off about Pretty Cure's "beautiful souls" is basically the best smack talk in all of anime.
Cure White gets pissed.
Honoka is a sweet kid, but Cure White will boot you upside the head if you annoy her. Cure Rouge from the Yes! Precure 5 crew yammers on about her purity a little too much, which admittedly is not an especially effective threat, but her soliloquy does signal some serious beat downs on the way that would be out of character for Rin.
These are some pretty smug-looking veteran Cures.
Even a complete ditz like Nozomi knows the score. When she's transformed into Cure Dream, it's Game On. Hell, Cure Dream doesn't just have a game face, she has a freakin' War Face.
I recommend backing the Hell away from Cure Dream. She's psycho.
When Cure Dream announces a finishing move, you know someone is about to get fucked hard core:
[Puts her hands in front.]
[Unleashes searing energy beam.]
Cure Dream doesn't play.
"I get to transform into a GIRL!" [Turns hair blond.]
This kind of thing didn't happen so much in Heartcatch Precure! and doesn't occur often in Suite Precure either. I can't take Cure Sunshine as seriously because she is all smiles during her transformation sequence. I'd have my doubts about the whole crew were it not for Erika's willingness to sucker-punch people in the face while she's transformed as Cure Marine.
Kanade falls on her cake. Did I say cake? I meant ass.
However, Cure Rhythm is basically just Kanade in a white dress instead of an apron. Hell, I bet her battle costume even smells like cake.
Cure fire team in wedge formation.
Even Shiny Luminous has a game face. Shiny Freaking Luminous! Shiny Freaking-Thirteen-Year-Old-Girl-with-Zero-Offensive-Abilities-Not-Really-a-Cure Luminous. Good bluffer, though.
"Cure Muse, Cure Muse, how do I work this thing?" [Points
berthier belltier at own face.]
13 episodes down and none of the singsong goons take the local Pretty Cure team seriously. Given that Cure Rhythm and Cure Melody keep getting bailed out by a free agent Cure, it's no wonder even the scrub bad guys feel confident screwing with these rookie Cures. Yeah, go ahead and try that weak shit on Cure Egret, Bassdrum. She'll jack you up.
Even Cure Pine had a game face. CURE PINE.
Maybe I'm just being impatient. It took Buki a while to get going too. But feel free to tear that apron off anytime, Kanade.
Here we go again.
If the first Pretty Cure All Stars Deluxe movie was the home run derby, and Pretty Cure All Stars DX2 the all star game, then Pretty Cure All Stars DX3 is the benches-clearing brawl. There are simply too many Cures (and Not Cures) for one movie. 21 by Nozomi's reckoning, which is surprisingly accurate, given that Nozomi only has 10 fingers. (Three Max Heart characters, two Splash Star characters, six Yes! characters, four Fresh characters, four Heartcatch characters, and two Suite characters. This total excludes Kaoru and Michiru (who appear, but get shafted from the movie once again, relegated to gawking from the peanut gallery with Bunbee), Cure Flower (who also has a cameo), and the Suite Precure characters Cure Muse, Cure Beat, and Cure [SPOILERS] who had not been introduced yet when the movie was released.
One of these is not like the others.
As a result of this massive cast list, All Stars DX3 is not as good as the previous two Pretty Cure All Stars movies. Most people seem to like the first movie the best. I'm not sure if I do or not, but I do believe DX2 had a better narrative. Despite only being 70 minutes in length like the two previous movies, DX3 seemed too long even though it split a lot of this time switching among four separate settings.
Get Cure Egret to show you how to stick a landing
before the next movie, Cure Rhythm.
Dividing the Cures up into teams was a good (and necessary) idea, but not entirely effective. Really, what Toei should have done—and what it needs to do if Toei intends to make more All Stars movies in the future—is select a small handful of characters for the movie and focus exclusively on them. Whether this means All Stars DX4 (Pretty Cure Team Up 1?) will feature only the Splash Star and Fresh Cures, for example, or possibly only feature the "leader" main character Cures, I can't say, but it would make for a better movie despite the risk of disappointing fans of the omitted Cures who may have to wait who-knows-how-long before they get their turn. The team-up idea is basically what DX3 does by dividing the characters into multiple camps, but by making time for all of them it really made time for none of them.
Guess what happens to people who don't get
out of Cure Dream's way. Go on. Guess.
Probably the greatest casualty of this megas crowded movie is, unlike the two previous installments, I am unable to identify the most telegenic attack. At least there is no clear winner. If pressed, I'd have to nominate either the scene where Cure Dream does that thing where two people exchange blows while leaping past each other and the winner refuses to turn around until the loser falls, or the one where she plows through a giant pile of grunt suits, with an honorable mention for the MARBLE SCREW MAX that Cure Black and Cure White execute while in midair. Speaking of which, I noticed the Cures that are able to fly conveniently forgot about this ability when it would have quickly resolved their predicaments. Eh, wouldn't be the first time.
Nice try, Moon.
I was much less impressed with Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon than I thought I would be. Being so iconic, I expected more from it. Compared to truly great mahou shoujo fare like Cardcaptor Sakura or Princess Tutu, Sailor Moon is really disappointing. In fact, contrary to critics who dismiss Yes! Precure 5 as a Sailor Moon ripoff, I can now counter that what I've seen of Yes! Precure 5 is better than the 46-episode first season of Sailor Moon.
This usually means someone's about to get fucked.
Most of my problems with Sailor Moon relate to its poor fight sequences which mostly consisted of Usagi shrieking until each Bishoujo Senshi used her ONE canned attack or relied on Tuxedo Kamen to subdue the opponent. Before anyone responds by claiming I'm not giving Sailor Moon a fair shake because of its age, Cutie Honey predates Sailor Moon by more than 20 years and Honey certainly has no problems finding new ways of smoking Panther Claw deadbeats. Unfortunately, it's not just that the fights don't change; Usagi doesn't change either.
Get pissed, Luna.
Hopefully things will be much better in the later Sailor Moon seasons, but when a mahou shoujo series can't muster enough emotional resonance to get me to care about the characters' lives, it had better have some bitchin' moves. I don't want to dwell on comparisons with Pretty Cure, the modern iteration of the Sailor Moon fighting-magikal-girl genre, but there are obvious similarities, such as the ages of the characters (14), the talking mascots, the transformation sequences, and magic weapons. (Granted, these are elements common to many mahou shoujo shows in general.) Curiously, the modern form is much more chaste. In Pretty Cure, romantic love is almost always unrequited, and there is never any fan service (unless you really want to see it). In Sailor Moon, however, panty shots are uncommon, but still overt when present. And one episode involved making out with an underage girl after getting her drunk. P.S. Spoilers.
Unfortunately, @byglu warns:
@Evirus And the first thirteen episodes of the second are the worst in the franchise. Enjoy.
Oh, balls. If I'm lucky, I'll start caring in the later seasons whether these Bishoujo Senshi live, die, get date raped, or find true love, but I guess I'll have to power through the next 13 episodes at a minimum first.
Nozomi:Ditz::Cure Dream:Mahou shoujo wrecking machine.
The number of Pretty Cure series has nearly doubled between the time I started my still uncompleted viewer's guide to Precure and the present day. In the past (even though it wasn't really the reason why), I was able to blame the plodding pace of Pretty Cure subs for my lack of progress on the treatise. Well, I can't use that excuse anymore. Now that Doremi and Dreaming Roses have finished off Yes! Precure 5 GoGo!, every single episode of Pretty Cure has English subtitles.