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Dated 21 September 2021: Tropical-Rouge! Precure? Still good

Cure Flamingo and Cure Papaya
I appreciate how quick Cure Papaya is with them eye beams.

We're past the halfway point now for Tropical-Rouge! Precure and it continues to do basically everything right. One of the things it does right is not sweating details that don't matter. Like why Shrimp Chris is dragging around a pail underwater. How does that even work? Or what's the deal with the mermaid's clothes? Are those ruffles actually part of her body? Can she hear better now that she has ears?

Chongire, Elda, and Numeri
Child labor.

Tropical-Rouge! Precure is also happy to ignore its cosmetics gimmick most of the time, although it does re-appear often enough that I imagine it probably still moves merchandise. Remember when First Pretty Cure had that whole thing with cards being swiped in magic cell phones in the beginning? Maybe they had to abandon it when the cards all went to pin-and-chip infrastructure that proved incompatible with Mepple and Mipple.

Asuka
For a show about motivation, Tropical-Rouge! Precure is fairly quiet about Asuka's motivation.

One thing that Tropical-Rouge! Precure glosses over, though, is why Asuka is still slumming with these dorks. She doesn't have that much in common with them outside of their weekly battles with demotivating invaders from the sea. I guess it's not that different from the dynamic previously found in Yes! Precure 5, but I also feel like Karen and Komachi had more of a reason to hang out with the rest of the Yes! crew than Asuka does with the Tropical-Rouge! squad. In any case, I'm glad she's there.

Dated 8 June 2021: Tropical-Rouge! Precure is an average installment of the franchise, but that means it's pretty good

Laura
Just so you know, this is canon.

Is it racist to regard the mermaid character as the mascot of Tropical-Rouge! Precure? Because I'm gonna. The way I see it, Coco and Nuts from Yes! Precure 5 were both definitely mascots, even though they had human forms. (I think it's more appropriate to consider Milk and Syrup as sidekicks instead of mascots, but that's a digression.) Based on that precedent, I don't think it's inappropriate to also consider Laura as the team's mascot, even though she's more humanoid than, say, Hummy or Tarte.

Laura
It's lucky for the mermaid that the school and the city have so many canals.

I can see how someone might take issue with the mascot category in its entirety, due to various interpretations and implications of what "mascot" means. Some people like to refer to these sort of Pretty Cure characters as fairies, but that's clearly inappropriate here. Fairy is a biological designation which happens to apply to most of the mascots, but certainly would not apply to Laura. Mascot is a role, not a race. See, for example, the Phillie Phanatic, the San Diego Chicken, or Tainan's fish thing, Sababoy.

Laura, Minori, Manatsu, and Sango
Playing "Hide the Mermaid" is a good recurring gag.

In any case, Laura is pretty great, and a significant reason why Tropical-Rouge! Precure is so good. Really, all of the characters are enjoyable, but that's basically the norm when it comes to Pretty Cure characters in general. I like the unmotivated villains as well, even if sometimes they're a little too relatable. Through 15 episodes, if I were to rack and stack it along with the previous generations, Tropical-Rouge! ends up in the middle, but among some good company. It's a testament to how many exceptional years this franchise has produced so far that it doesn't place higher.

Dated 8 September 2020: Healin' Good ♡ Precure hasn't made me care about Cure Earth yet

Cure Earth
Cure Earth's transformation hasn't been integrated with the other three.

There have been five Healin' Good ♡ Precure episodes already featuring Cure Earth and I still find her presence entirely pointless. Mid-season additions to the Pretty Cure franchise aren't always popular. Maybe everyone liked Cure Passion (because she's fuckin' awesome, okay), but there were definitely viewers who were less receptive toward Regina when she became Mana's friend and started absorbing screen time in Dokidoki! Precure.

Cure Fontaine, Cure Sparkle, Cure Grace, and Cure Earth
Lot of scenes showing Cure Earth saving the others.

Granted, I am well outside the target demographic of the Pretty Cure franchise (i.e., little Japanese girls), but I'm struggling to identify anything Cure Earth brings to the show. You would think her arrival sets up a variety of fish-out-of-water scenarios, but this isn't even like the alien girl trying to adjust to traditional anime society in Star☆Twinkle Precure. Asumi (what Cure Earth is calling herself when she isn't calling herself "Cure Ass") is a cipher whose main characteristic is not having any characteristics. It doesn't make her particularly compelling. Maybe I'm wrong, and maybe little Japanese girls are actually huge fans of Cure Earth, but that would come as a big surprise.

Dated 23 June 2020: Healin' Good ♡ Precure is returning because sometimes a punch to the face is the best medicine

Cure Grace
If it doesn't work the first time, punch him again.

Healin' Good ♡ Precure has been on hiatus since episode 12 because of Covid-19 production delays, but will reportedly return 28 June. I'm curious whether this means Healin' Good ♡ Precure will have fewer episodes than its predecessors, or if it will still have the same number of episodes but just shift the turnover date for the next installment to the right.

Nodoka
Maybe the Cures spent their time off vigorously training.

I also wonder if episode 13 will pick up right where episode 12 left off (i.e., unchanged from what was planned when the next-episode preview came out), or if there will be some adjustments to account for the delay. If I had to guess, it'll probably just drive on as originally planned, but I would be interested in seeing a real-world timeskip corresponding with the pandemic. I mean, this is a show for children, and it coincidentally has a health and medical theme. It suggests there may be an opportunity to explain to young viewers what happened by depicting how it affected Pretty Cure as well.

Dated 10 March 2020: AmiAmi sells swords online

Alice's sword
I don't remember Alice Synthesis Thirty's sword having any special backstory.
Maybe the pope simply pulled it out of a parts bin when she gave it to her.

I'm not sure what use a 15-centimeter die-cast anime sword made out of zinc is, but if you ever wanted a scale model anime sword, I guess this is your chance. Maybe use it as a letter opener? Those of you who still get letters, at least. Anyway, this is not an endorsement of AmiAmi in particular, although I do order from it on occasion. It's pretty likely you can get these from other vendors. Besides, the available selection is not particularly deep.

Excalibur
Make sure you holler its name the same way Saber do.

I can't deny that I could potentially be interested in gimmick merchandise of this sort if it turned out the quality is reasonably good. As anime swords go, I expect that would require making them out of steel instead of zinc, but I imagine that would probably raise the price considerably. As it is, fifty bucks for a six-inch zinc "sword" is pretty steep, especially since I don't see any indication they come with display stands or whatnot. I am, however, quite amused that Sakura's key qualifies as a sword in this context. I have to admit that's pretty sweet.

Dated 4 February 2020: Healin' Good ♡ Precure is off to the races

Chiyu and Nodoka
Short-sleeved sweatshirts are pretty great otherwise, though.

The first episode of Healin' Good ♡ Precure covers a lot of familiar ground for anyone who has seen a fair share of Pretty Cure; this is the franchise's 15th generation since 2004. Cure Grace herself is off to a good start. Her very first attack consisted of an overly complicated kick, and I'm generally in favor of Cures who understand the value of extraneous style points. I joked in my previous post about Cure Grace being "joined by Cure Fartlek and Cure Pain Is Just Weakness Leaving the Body." Well, we do briefly meet the other girls who will become the next Cures, and Chiyu does appear to be an avid runner, so maybe we will get a Cure Fartlek this season. Never mind that she's dressed in attire only non-runners would expect actual runners to wear, at least in that weather. Sorry, if you're not wearing the least amount of clothing you can get away with without getting stared at by spinsters and police officers, I'm going to assume you're a casual jogger or a someone getting a slow start on her New Year's resolution—doubly so if you're wearing some sort of matching ensemble instead of ratty old clothes that look like shit.

Hinata
This was 100-percent your fault.

The first episode of Healin' Good ♡ Precure also briefly introduces Hinata. Based on the OP, it seems she's going to be the yellow Cure. She's done a fair amount of mugging already, so she's out in front so far as this Precure generation's Best Girl. There are a lot of stereotypes about how each "color" of Cure is supposed to behave, but I'm hoping this will evolve so that yellow represents less defensive bullshit and more...Cure Twinkle-type behavior. It is too early to tell, though, since I'm literally making tenuous predictions from a few seconds of screen time and cuts from the OP. Speaking of which, the OP is as good as you've heard from the Twitter, and the ED continues to advance the all-singing, all-dancing 3DCG agenda. It's come a long way from the Fresh Pretty Cure ED.

Dated 28 January 2020: Star☆Twinkle Precure hands the torch to Healin' Good ♡ Precure

Hikaru
There's also an epilogue again with the characters grown up.

I liked Star☆Twinkle Precure well enough, but never got particularly enthused about it. This might be a sign of general Pretty Cure burnout, since I feel this way about each Pretty Cure iteration now more often than not, but standouts like Go! Princess Precure and Hugtto! Precure still recapture my attention, so I don't think I'm necessarily tired of the franchise as a whole. In any case, Star☆Twinkle Precure was "fine" and had good parts, but overall will end up towards the bottom if I'm pressed to rank every Pretty Cure season from most-to-least favorite, alas.

Nodoka and Latte
The new Cure seems very normal.

The final episode of Star☆Twinkle Precure introduced Cure Grace, the lead Cure of its successor season, Healin' Good ♡ Precure, as the series is now wont to do. I don't actually know much about Healin' Good ♡ Precure, because I haven't been following the reports about its development or seeking out the usual buzz that precedes upcoming seasons of Pretty Cure. I don't even know what the Healin' Good ♡ part of the name references, although I'm sort of hoping it's about improving cardiovascular fitness. Maybe Cure Grace will be joined by Cure Fartlek and Cure Pain Is Just Weakness Leaving the Body. Well, I guess I do know that Cure Grace is voiced by Yuuki Aoi, but it seems she's not using her Youjo Senki voice. It's a huge missed opportunity, honestly.

Dated 17 September 2019: Senki Zesshou Symphogear is an anime miracle

Maria
I like this power-up, but I admit I was hoping for another Gungnir jacking.

I'm going to start out by insisting it's not just preschool girls who enjoy shows about mahou shoujo punching things. It's okay for boys to like them too. I've been on board with this concept since at least 2004 with My-HiME, First Pretty Cure, and their subsequent sequels. In 2012, Senki Zesshou Symphogear took this idea, expanded it to include singing while punching things, and raised both the intensity and absurdity levels. From my seat in the stands, this was an anime game-breaking home run. Amazingly, the popularity of Symphogear has proven sufficient enough that we gotten five seasons of it, all five of which are currently streaming on the Crunchyroll. Moreover, Discotek has even licensed it for a U.S. Blu-ray release next year.

Hibiki and Chris
Somehow, despite all the shit they've seen, it's still
possible for them to stare at something in disbelief.

Urgings on the Twitter for followers to "watch Symphogear" has turned into a meme of sorts, but I assure you the sentiment behind these admonitions is genuine. Granted, the appeal of magikal girls singing while punching things isn't always immediately apparent to every anime fan, but there's an old graph that accurately captures the trajectory of impressions by initially skeptical viewers. It's not easy ramping up the stakes continuously, but Symphogear has kept its intensity up through all five seasons. Now on the verge of its series finale, expectations are pretty high, but Symphogear has never let me down before.