"Eyes of Jewel that Shine, glittering with Luck and Good Fortune"
—The Franchise's Official Slogan
If Webkinz had magic and jewels, and was set in a Harry Potter like world, Jewelpet would be the result.A joint-collaborated character franchise created by both Sanrio and Sega in 2008, Jewelpet is what happens when you combine Alchemy Is Magic, Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry and Ridiculously Cute Critter. It's all about animals named after jewels, birthstones and minerals, who can use magic using their eyes, made of said minerals. This entire franchise is more focused on the sparkly, Tastes Like Diabetes stuff that is present in other franchises focused on girls, except it's pumped Up to Eleven and more. This franchise has the distinction of being the first official collaboration between Sanrio and another toy company, creating a successful Cash Cow Franchise that continues to this day in Japan.The story for the toys goes like this:One day in an antique shop, there is a magical Jewel Box which is sitting there for centuries and shines in very bright colors. A strange girl accidentally encountered the box and opened it, causing a strange light to shine and the girl sucked inside. The next thing she knew, she is now in a strange new world that shines like jewels. It was written in the signs as Jewel Land and the girl is amazed, everything shines in bright colors and decorated in all kinds of jewels. At the center of the town spots a strange tower, also decorated with magical jewels. The girls decided to go to the tower and went inside.The girl was greeted by a princess and is happy to see the girl as she offers her a jewel apple. As the girl accepts it, the jewel is in the girl's hand glows and then magically transformed into an animal-like creature. The Princess said the creature the girl has now is called a Jewelpet, and each of them live in Jewel Land. However, she also told her the crisis that Jewel Land is facing as the magic in the world is starting to vanish. She told the girl that she must raise that Jewelpet she had into a full pledged magician.Jewel Land is the name of the world where all Jewelpets live. Each Jewelpet differs from their magical Jewel Eyes and depends on the Human Partner that awakens them and use magic whenever they needed to. They all study magic along with their partners in a special school in Jewel Land for them to become master magicians and both the pets and their partners must endure a lot of hardships and even trouble. With each care the human partners give to the Jewelpet, the pets loves them back in return.For a Jewelpet to become a Full Pledged Magician, it must go through a lot of rigorous training and studying along with their human partners to prevent the crisis in Jewel Land. If the Jewelpet becomes a Full Pledged Magician, I'll be rewarded with a magical Jewel Cloak, as a symbol of mastery over its magic.The Jewelpet toy line has internet connectivity capabilities using special passwords, which reminds you of something else in particular. Sega Toys collaborated with Sanrio to release a line of plush toys featuring the characters from the series in January 15, 2008. Each plush Jewelpet contains a password to access the Web-Gurumi website, a special site in which the customer "adopts" this pet in the virtual world. If the user doesn't have the password, the user will not get access to the website. Accounts expire within one year, unless another Jewelpet toy is bought, and that animal added to the user account.Of course, toys isn't all there is to such a successful franchise; there are TONS of things related to Jewelpet: stationery, school supplies, bags, raincoats, umbrellas, bento boxes, you name it. The series is capable of rivalling Hello Kitty or My Melody. As the series entered its first year, its first anime finally debuted in Japanese TV. The anime series has distinct storylines, being divided in five separate series, plus a movie and a light novel, with Loads and Loads of Characters you can't even count.
Main Anime arcs by Incarnation
Jewelpet (2009) The first series produced by Studio Comet after Onegai My Melody ended. The first arc of the series, called the Rinko Arc focuses on the main heroine Rinko Kougyoku and the series is set in the fictional Takaragaseki City, a setting modeled after two famous cities in Japan, Tokyo and Osaka with roots itself on My Melody with its Gotta Catch 'Em All plot, in this case, the lost Jewelpets on Earth.Jewelpet Twinkle☆ (2010): The second season of the anime and also the most popular of the five, as it attracted both its intended demographic of little girls and the Periphery Demographic of otakus. It focuses on the main heroine named Akari Sakura and is set in both Jewel Land and in the human world, more specifically Akari's hometown in Kanagawa prefecture, Japan. It's one of the most well received of the five, with several doujins spawned, fanarts and even recognition in Comiket. Takashi Yamamoto, the series director even lampshades this by giving fans updates to the series DVD/Blu-Ray releases on his Twitter account.Jewelpet Sunshine (2011): The third season of the franchise and the first to shift the series' genre from Magical Girl to insane humour and plenty of retro references, which makes is the second most popular of the five. It focuses on the main heroines Kanon Mizushirou and Ruby and focuses on the Plum Section's hilarious adventures and tests in Jewel Land's Sunshine Academy while discovering themselves and stopping the dreaded Dark Jewel Magic. Plus, it involves a love triangle between two humans and a Jewelpet. The series is set mostly in Jewel Land with some scenes from the human world.Jewelpet Kira☆Deco! (2012): The fourth season which focuses on the main heroine Pink Oomiya. The season is a complete departure from the previous three, now involving a Super Sentai-like team called "Kiradeko 5" and having a Lighter and Softer storyline. Alongside Pink, the team is partnered with their Jewelpets on their search for the legendary Deco Stones and save the human world from Eternal Darkness. This one, ratings wise, wasn't all that well received.Jewelpet Happiness (2013): The upcoming fifth season recently announced in the March issue of Pucchigumi in February 15, 2013, focusing on the new human protagonist Chiari Tsukikage. It also involves elements from high school to managing a cafe with the story focusing on Ruby, Chiari and their friends trying to manage the jewel cafe and collect happiness Jewels.
Sub arcs by Incarnation
Jewelpet the Movie: Sweets Dance Princess (2012): The only movie of the franchise and the first sub-arc of the anime metaseries, focusing on the Sweetspet Gumimin and the princess of the Sweetsland Kingdom, princess Mana. Considered to be a separate arc to the main 4, the movie is a completely different story which focuses entirely on the Jewelpets and the Sweetspets themselves.Jewelpet: The Fuss in the Jewel Festival!? (2012): The second sub-arc of the series is a light novel serialized in Kadokawa's Tsubasa Bunko. This one focuses on the Sweetspet Lollip and like the Mana arc, this arc is not officially linked to the anime. The arc tells the story of Lollip's experiences and bond with Ruby and her friends while setting up the Jewel Festival in Jewel Land.
Animation Bump: Starting Twinkle onwards, the animation budget of each series is increased and results to more colorful backgrounds and fluid animation compared to the first series. Happiness pushed the Budget further with the Opening movie having better animation.
This scene in Episode 25 of Sunshine featuring Garnet's Flashdance is animated so well, it closely resemble the original music video.
Big Bad: Dian in the first series, the Battest in Twinkle, the Dark Jewel Magic in Sunshine and Decoranian in Deco.
Bittersweet Ending: Starting from Twinkle Onwards. The Jewel Star Grand Prix is over and Akari is crowned the new owner of the Jewel Star Title as well as three wishes. The sad thing is that the humans must leave Jewel Land forever and graduate, the entire episode focusing on this. The good thing is that Akari wished for happiness of her friends, family and for Ruby's sake, Alma is finally purged of the Batest's curse and can now live a normal life and Opal, Angela, Diana and Fealina are finally brought back from the dead.
Kira Deco. The Mirror Ball is fully repaired thanks to Ruby gathering all the Deco Stones. The Dark General and the entire Decoranian is been defeated and Decorski reveals him to be her former boyfriend who has the last Deco Stone. However this mean its time to say goodbye and leave Jewel Land forever as the humans said their goodbyes to their pet partners and went back in the human world. The good news is that Jewelina and Decorski were revealed to be the same person, Coal and Labra were been revived, Rossa is born and Pink is now happy just being herself back on her own world.
Breather Episode: Episode 45 of Twinkle, a silly Valentine's Day episode set between matches of the Jewel Star Grand Prix.
The last truly light episode in Sunshine is episode 39, a Bizarro Episode about Labra and Angela travelling Easy Rider style.
Brother-Sister Incest: Yes, really. Sunshine applies this trope in a dramatic way. In episode 41, Kanon found a photo of her and Mikage as kids, and she was shocked by it. It was in episode 45 when she and Mikage found out they were twin siblings all along. Episode 46 shed more light on the subject: both of them were separated during birth because Kanon has a spiral birthmark that could link to a future disaster and was forced to live with the Mizushirou family. After a few dramatic scenes, she breaks off her relationship with Mikage and accepts him again as her older twin sibling, to which both families agree.
Camp: Seriously, using elements from Harry Potter, throwing a bit of fluffy fanservice and then a lot of insanity in betweem, Jewelpet is well known to Sanrio to escalating these beyond our imagination.
Can't Catch Up: Akari (her magic was sub-par compared to her classmates at first) and Pink were this.
Cat Fight: No pun intended. In episode 25 of Sunshine, Diana found out Garnet was dating Dian and decided to go all out against her, wanting her to return him. The two fight in the rain and everything got past the radar when Dian stopped them both. What happened afterwards: Diana runs away and Garnet told Dian to go back and comfort her, leaving her seriously heartbroken. But it did further develop her character as a Heart Broken Badass.
Kanon and Ruby engage in these sometimes, but not nearly as dramatically.
Character Development: The characters from each arc learn to overcome their insecurities and become better people.
Christmas Episode: Episode 38 of the first season, Sunshine and Kira Deco and episode 39 of Twinkle.
Cloudcuckooland: Kira Deco's interpretation of Jewel Land. Prepare some brain bleach when watching some episodes.
In Twinkle, Akari gets the ever-popular back-row seat by the window, with Yuma next to her.
In Sunshine, Ruby sits right at the front and middle, so she's facing Iruka most of the time, and so we can get a clear view of the rest of the class. Most of the important Jewelpets sit at her sides and right behind her. Kanon sits in front of Mikage and both are by the window. The delinquents sit in the back rows. Yaginuma oddly gets the back-row seat by the window. Kurara and Rald also sit way at the back of class, which symbolizes their marginalization. Nishigori gets one of the rightmost seats, symbolizing his no-nonsense attitude.
Covers Always Lie: This promotional poster of Jewelpet Sunshine. It suggests that Kanon, Hinata and Shouko form some sort of group; actually, Kanon and Hinata are casual friends at best, and Shouko hardly talks to either of them. It also seems to suggest that Sango and Charotte are major characters, though they're actually secondary. Additionally, Charotte is depicted on Hinata's side, when in the show she's Shouko's lackey.
Cute Witch: And also warlocks. Doesn't need to be explained.
Darker and Edgier: Twinkle had family issues of abandonment and neglect as one of its most recurring motifs. Sunshine started out as a riot, but then became much darker in tone and storyline due to the drama involving the incestuous relationship between Kanon and Mikage, the issue of humans loving Jewelpets and all the angst that results.
Demonic Possession: Dark Dian in episode 51 of the first series. Because he became obsessed with dark magic, it took over him, imprisoning his good self and turning him demonic and evil. His intentions are to destroy Jewel Land and take over the Earth, while eradicating humanity from the world, out of belief that the world is filled with nothing but lies, and plunge the world into eternal despair and darkness.
Alma in Twinkle also gets possessed by the Battest, and later it possesses Akari, though she just fell unconscious.
Distant Finale: Sunshine. Kanon is a tough-as-nails teacher and carries Iruka around, Iruka marries Jill, Garnet hits it big as an actress along with Masago as a director, Sapphie and Nejikawa are renowned astronauts, Shouko and Angela win the Moto GP, Hinata is a firefighter, Peridot is a famous ice-skater, Labra works for Jewelina and last but not least, Ruby finds Mikage, who is now Granite, again and they become lovers.
Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Sunshine - exhibited by Ruby when she hears Kanon asking Mikage out in episode 23; the entirety of the Plum class also had this reaction in episode 27, when they got a lousy prize for winning the Sports Festival.
Dynamic Entry: Each Jewelpet in the first series has his/her own pose. This also applies to the Phantom Herb Thieves and lastly to Miria of Twinkle.
Earn Your Happy Ending: The first series' final episode had Diana and Dian now being happy with their new human partner while they babysit a baby.
Sunshine: The battle is over and the Dark Jewel Magic is sent back to once it came. Sadly Ruby never saw Mikage until 5 years later as a Jewelpet himself.
Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry: The Jewelpets have Jewel Eyes, which are made of pure gemstones. But unlike regular gemstones, they're like normal human eyes in the sense that they hurt if someone pokes them.
In episode 7, Iruka imagines Jill whipping him and rewarding him with fish. Yes, he's basically imagining a BDSM session with Jill. This is repeated several times throughout the season.
Still not it, episode 25 is a tribute to Garnet herself and to top off the gravy, she and Diana had a serious catfight with each other, in front of Dian.
Episode 32 is full of this. First we had a baby Ruby kneading Kanon's chest and complaining that it was too small to have any milk. Then there was Iruka freaking out about every student suddenly having babies to take care of. Then Mikage also turned into a baby and Kanon was freaking out about having to change his diaper and seeing you-know-what (complete with censor Angela!).
Kira Deco pushes this trope Up to Eleven, as the entire series is driven enough by insanity that each episode is full of WTF. In one episode, Coal disguises himself as a sexy female named Coarubi to get Ruby's trust. And the worst part of it, he has bouncing breasts!
The new ending sequence, Zutto Zutto Tomodachi, shows Blue Knight in a more revealing outfit as well.
Intercontinuity Crossover: The 10 minute short movie Onegai My Melody: Yu and Ai got Ruby as a Special Guest character, listening to My Melody's story about her summer barbecue with the denizens of Mari Land.
Kira Deco: Kira Deco! Jewel Flash! and Coal Darkness Cloud! Jewel Yamish!
The Magnificent Seven Samurai: The final battle in Sunshine is seven chosen heroes (Ruby, Kanon, Iruka, Peridot, Labra, Angela, Jasper) against Dark Jewelina. Staying true to the roots of this trope, most of them go down before Dark Jewelina is defeated, leaving only Ruby and Kanon.
Mind Screw: Kira Deco is notorious for pushing this trope Up to Eleven. Everything in the series doesn't make perfect sense. Why? Because the premiere we got a lot of heavily decorated things, a bus with jewel decorations, the moon turned into a television and it gets out of hand as all kinds of insane stuff appears in every episode that is Getting a lot of Serious Crap Past the Radar. Kazuyuki Fudeyasu is notorious on making mind-screw anime for kids, ever since Tantei Opera Milky Holmes came out.
Mon: An interesting version of this trope where the mons aren't fighters, but wizards instead. The first series has a Lilo & Stitch: The Series feel with them being collected or found.
Multinational Team: In Twinkle, we have the magic academy students - Akari (Japanese), Miria (American), Sara (Indian), Nicola (Russian) and Leon (Austrian).
Mythology Gag: Shoutouts from other Sanrio characters and related series in general are all over the place.
Sapphie telling the fishes to help her in episode 20 is more reminiscent of Onegai My Melody. She even did the same stance.
Even the opening card for Kira Deco got the same animation for the first two Onegai My Melody series in general.
Opal's design is pretty much a shout out for Cinnamoroll fans as she resembles a bit of Cornet.
Ruby's the My Melody to Diana's Kuromi.
Noodle Incident: The end of episode 5 of Twinkle, where Sara experiments on Miria. We don't know what exactly happened, but it did sour the relationship between them until they resolved their differences in episode 21.
Official Couple: Rinko and Akira, Naoto and Aoi, Minami and Miyamoto, Akari and Yuma and lastly, Ruby and Granite after the last episode of Sunshine.
Power Trio: Many. In the first two seasons, characters could easilly be grouped into trios, and this included Jewelpets. Sunshine started deviating from this trend by having a very loose-knit group (see Covers Always Lie above), which was followed by Kira Deco having a group of five. Happiness seems to have returned to trios, for the most part.
There are tons of shout outs from Nanatsuiro Drops in Twinkle, considering this series is written by the same person who wrote the anime adaptation of the series.
Sunshine, that entire series and even the songs are a big shoutout to everything pop culture related.
In the second part of episode 1, Kanon and her lackies wear a familiar costume borrowed from Cat's Eye.
The drifting scene Shouko made with Angela in episode 5 is very similar to the one used by Takumi Fujiwara from Initial D.
In episode 7, after the prison explodes, the song "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith can be heard. Also the same walk Kanon, Jill and Shouko after they got out from the burning prison derbits is reminiscent to Armageddon.
On the second half of Episode 15, the Old Magic Academy from both the first Jewelpet series and Jewelpet Twinkle is seen as the refereed haunted house. Also cue references from some Japanese horror movies here.
During the second half of the 16th episode, after Sapphie's dialogue a timer appears in the bottom right on the screen, referencing 24. I had no idea Sapphie was a Jack Bauler fan. Also the music when Ruby and her friends were being chased by a boulder is a spoof of the theme music of Indiana Jones.
The song "A Hard Days Night" by The Beatles is played during the date scene with Garnet and Dian in episode 25. Also, Irene Cara's song, "Flashdance... What a Feeling" was played during Garnet's dance scene. She even did the same dance as Irene did in the original PV of the song.
The M-Kage arc borrows very heavily from Batman, from M-Kage's costume to Nyanjelina's role. The town it's set in is drawn in an obviously American comic book style.
Episode 34 is about the Plum class making a musical similar to West Side Story. Additionally, in one scene, Ruby and co. come out in French Revolution-style clothing, with Ruby looking like Oscar from Rose of Versailles. Jasper also comes out of nowhere dressed more-or-less like Spider Man and shooting web out of his paws.
There's a bit of a Gintama shout out in the second half of episode 38. This is similar to the anime's 252nd episode and ended in the same way. Just don't ask how...
An in-series shout out occurs in episode 42 when Shouko's team, named "Sunshine", is next to a team named "Tinkle".
How both Garnet and Sapphie were defeated is nearly identical to how Kakyoin is defeated in the Stardust Crusaders Arc of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
During Labra and Master's battle scene in episode 50, Labra performed an attack similar to Kenshiro's "Hokuto Hyakuretsu Ken" from Fist of the North Star. Even the opening theme from the anime is played in the fight scene.
Happiness references a lot of things in the previous series, primmerly in Episode 3, where the Angela Cycle makes a return on one scene.
Slapstick Knows No Gender: It's mostly the female characters who get hit with slapstick comedy. Sometimes, the guys also get some, but most of the time they just stand around looking cool, as is the norm with shoujo anime.
Spell My Name with an S: You can easily find Twinkle under the name Tinkle on the web. This is a pain in the butt when you're looking for fan works, because if you use one spelling, you're never going to get the whole amount of it.
Status Quo Is God: Frequent in Sunshine, given its gag-driven nature. The most notorious instance is probably the episode where all characters were replaced by cheap copies through dark magic; nothing was done to solve this, but come next episode, everyone is back to normal and no one speaks of it again.
"Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Twinkle. Miria finally wins the auditions for being a new singing star, Sara meets with her parents after all these years, Leon competes at the Olympics and later becomes a politician, Nicola wins the Junior Piano Championships and gets the respect he deserves from his mom, Yuma, Alma and Fealina are reunited and now live in Earth together and lastly Akari ends up with Yuma, with her wishes having come true. However this isn't the end of the series as it is hinted in the final episode that Ruby is travelling with Angela and Jasper to find the Flower of Happiness in Jewel Land, which leads to...
Sequel Hook: The OVA episode in the BluRay Box Set focuses on Akari's regular life as a Junior High School student and Ruby's search for the Flower of Happiness.