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Twinkling, shining, the light of the future! Cure Happy! The brilliant sun, hot-blooded power! Cure Sunny! Sparkling, glittering, rock-paper-scissors! Cure Peace! Courageous, high-spirited, a clean-cut match! Cure March! Snowing, falling and gathering, a noble heart! Cure Beauty! The five lights that guide us to the future! Sparkle! Smile Precure!
The 9th entry in the Pretty Cure franchise, which aired from February 2012 to January 2013.Once Upon a Time, there was a kingdom of fairy tales called Märchenland where all the good characters lived together in harmony. However, one day the kingdom was attacked by the evil characters of the Bad End Kingdom, led by the Evil King Pierrot. At the climax of the conflict, both the Queen of Märchenland and Pierrot were sealed away by each other, leaving the ending to the story unfinished.Miyuki Hoshizora is a New Transfer Student who absolutely adores fairy tale books, and hopes that one day she too will live Happily Ever After. Her first day gets off to a wild start when she literally comes face-to-face with Candy, a fairy from Märchenland sent to recover the scattered Cure Décor that can revive the Queen.Faced with the agents of the Bad End Kingdom, who seek to plunge humans into despair and collect the resulting "Bad Energy" to revive Pierrot, Miyuki's belief in standing strong against adversity despite her own fears grants her the power to transform into one of the legendary warriors, Pretty Cure. It's just a shame that no-one told Miyuki that part of being a "legendary warrior" is actually fighting.Eventually, Miyuki assembles a complete team of Precure from her classmates:
Absurdly Youthful Mother: Ikuyo Hoshizora and Chiharu Kise. Both look incredibly young to the point where you would be forgiven for thinking they're older siblings and not parents.
Adult Fear: In episode 42, two of Nao's siblings leave the house while Nao is in charge (as her parents are at the hospital), without telling her. And then while they're in town, all alone, Majorina finds them.
Episode 27 has Tengu and Kappas, though they stay out of sight and are only somewhat alluded to.
Always Chaotic Evil: Deconstructed hard!Being the character that is always hated turned Majorina, Wolfrun, and Akaoni toward Pierrot's side. If you have nothing invested in the world and it always hated you, you would want to destroy it too just to make the pain stop.
An Ice Person: Cure Beauty, complete with a sword made of ice and the power to make a blizzard. Bad End Beauty is this too, thanks to her being Cure Beauty's Evil Knockoff.
Bad Luck Charm: Miyuki draws a Terrible Luck fortune on the Kyoto trip, which says "Watch where you step, what you carry and what you eat". Hilarity Ensues. For once they do not go into the 'tying it to a tree to get rid of the luck' thing, as the bad luck ends when the fortune gets turned into the Monster Of The Week and beaten.
Being Evil Sucks: The Big Bad Three were used to live as fairies in Märchenland. However, due to being fairy tale villains they were disowned, hunted and despised by other fairies. Joker used their negative emotions and brainwashed them.
Bittersweet Ending: Episode 48. The Grand Finale. To wit: Remember Pretty Cure All Stars DX 3's end? The Grand Finale may be just a similar reused scenario, but no less effective, imagine the Smile Precures going through what their predecessors went through when they tried defeating Black Hole last time, except for the Smile Precures against just Pierrot. Less people involved, but no less effective to make you tear out. They get their turn in crying over the possibility of losing their fairy just for one final attack against the Big Bad with the world at stake, and unlike All Stars which kinda ruin the sad moment with happy music, you get to hear all girls bawling at Candy's departure... and instead of still pictures, the bawling is ANIMATED. Of course, the ending also share similar Heartwarming moment afterwards.
Blow You Away: Cure March. Her attacks have a wind theme to them and she gains the power to run very fast. Bad End March, being Cure March's Evil Knockoff, is this too.
Bookcase Passage: Interestingly, the bookcase itself becomes a warp portal with careful moving of the books.
Book Ends: More than appropriate for a season based off fairy tales. During The Stinger of the last episode, Miyuki and Candy reunite in the exact same spot where they first met.
Borrowed Catch Phrase: Near the end of episode 5, Cures Sunny, Peace and March borrows Miyuki/Happy's "Ultra Happupu~" and said it in tandem.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: Subtly done in the opening by one of Nao's little brothers, Yuuta, who grins upon noticing the camera behind him.
Break Them by Talking: Joker attempts this on Reika during episode 43, using her conflict between quitting being a Cure and disappointing her friends by not studying abroad to drive her into a breakdown and cause her to lose her transformation. It takes the other Cures showing up and confessing that they really don't want her to leave to make her snap out of it.
But Now I Must Go: Earlier than most Pretty Cure examples. Pop is basically just there to dump some info for the Cures. Then he flies into the sunset (in his book!), back to Märchenland. It's implied that the kingdom is facing a serious threat, requiring his presence; otherwise he would rather stay with Candy.
Catch Phrase: Quite a bit, including things like Miyuki's "Ultra Happy!", "Happupu~", or Nao's "Straight-up bout!" or Reika declaring that "Path X' is a hard one". However, the Bad End Kingdom generals have a certain shared one in order to initiate Bad End space:
"The worst possible ending in the world! Be covered in Bad End! Your white future shall be painted black!!" *Bad End space initiated, Heroic BSOD abound, person laughs* "The Bad Energy of *insert relevant infected creature here* will revive the Dark Emperor, Lord Pierrot!!"
Cherry Blossoms: These are in the background when the girls discuss about various guys around school that Miyuki might like.
Children Are Innocent: When Wolfrun, Akaoni, and the Cures are all turned into kids by accident, more time is spent with all 7 playing games than fighting each other. When Majorina shows up to end the fun, even Wolfrun and Akaoni join in on the game of tag the Cures start with her.
Clark Kenting: Averted for once. Everyone who's snapped out of the Bad End spell easily recognizes the Cures. It doesn't help that Miyuki can't keep her big mouth shut.
Class Trip: To Kyoto in Episode 13, and later Osaka in Episode 14, where the villains coincidentally are going too.
Color-Coded Characters: In addition to their color-coded Nonuniform Uniforms, the girls usually wear street clothes in their designated colors. At their secret base, they even drink out of color-coded mugs.
Comically Missing the Point: In the Shaggy Dog Story episode Miyuki, Akane, Yayoi and Nao were looking at Reika during their remedial class, and Reika concluded that they must be thinking "Don't worry about us, you can go home!". When in truth, they actually meant, "Help us, Reika!!"
Couch Gag: It appears that every episode the Ending Theme will start with a different Cure (Happy in Episode 1, Sunny in Episode 2, and so on and so forth).
It seems to be rotating through five versions, one for each Cure. It rotated through the five versions three times, then repeated Beauty for Episode 16 instead of Happy.
Peace's Jan-ken-pon is a really good examples of this. The sign changes every episode.
Crash-Into Hello: Miyuki is very Genre Savvy and excited to experience this trope. In the first scene of the first episode, she is Late for School and sees a corner; she thinks about this trope, goes full speed into the corner to encounter no one, laments about it for a second, then turns around for a Mentor Mascot to the face.
Dancing Theme: Both ending themes count, complete with CGI dancing of the Precures!
Darkest Hour: Episode 22. Joker has appeared again, curbstomped the Precures, gained the last batch of Bad Energy from them, and runs off with the single remaining Cure Decor to revive Pierrot.
Episode 47's ending even more so. Just when it seems the ultra forms of the cures seems to defeat Pierrot, he absorbs all the darkness monsters he unleashed into himself and becomes as big as BLACKHOLE!
Dangerously Genre Savvy: Episode 6, Majorina tried to prevent the girls from transforming. Then she attacked them while they were posing AFTER transforming.
When a Monster of the Week is defeated, that's the cue for the villain to retreat, right? Well, not in Episode 31. In Episode 31, Joker actually stays after the Akanbe's defeat to trap all the Cures but Miyuki in a Ball of Neglect.
In Episode 39, the Precures are trapped in the Cinderella world. The Bad End Generals, who appear as Cinderella/Miyuki's stepmother family, use many tricks to prevent a happy end. First, they treat Miyuki even worse than the actual stepmother family do, since Miyuki knows the happy end, that's why she enjoys taking care of the household, at first. Second, they stuck her in a cage and they have already caught the fairy-godmother/witch Yayoi. Later, Wolfrun destroys the pumpkin coach. Then, the three villains scare Prince Reika's party guests away, becoming the only three party guests before Miyuki arrives. To prevent the midnight part, Wolfrun turns the glass shoe into an Akanbe that runs away. In the following day, they bring a big fitting shoe for Akaoni... that shatters immediately.
Death or Glory Attack: Using finishers will leave the Cures exhausted, justifying why they can only use it once per transformation. This lessens as the season goes on, though.
Depending on the Writer: Miyuki's flashback on how she got her optimistic view are different between the TV series and the movie, though the premise is the same; a 'fairy' encouraged her to always smiling so she could have friends. In Episode 44, the 'fairy' came from a mirror necklace given by her grandmother, while in the movie, the 'fairy' is actually the main character in a storybook Miyuki read. It can be chalked up that Miyuki is being a Unreliable Expositor, as by forgetting the exact circumstance of her meeting with the 'fairy', the storybook character, AKA Nico, becomes vengeful and it kicks start the movie's plot.
Downer Ending: This is the villains' goal, to give the world a "bad end".
And Joker, with his sadism to Miyuki's desire for happiness, and tendency to manipulate his teammates against Reika's role as The Smart Guy.
Fountain of Youth: In episode 38, a potion made by Majorina turns the 5 girls, Wolfrun and Akaoni into kindergartners and Candy into a baby. They turn back to normal 5 minutes before the episode ends.
Four-Temperament Ensemble: Like with Yes! Pretty Cure 5 before, the Smile team also has this among 5 people; but it's done a little differently here: Miyuki is Sanguine, Akane and Nao are Choleric, Yayoi is Phlegmatic, and Reika is Melancholic.
"Pretty Cure Rainbow Healing" — the girls lose their Feather Motif and gain crowns and a few additional frills during the move.
Later, in Episode 23, the girls get the Princess Forms and Princess Candles exclusively for their new attack, Pretty Cure Rainbow Burst.
And then they got the Royal Clock, allowing them to use a power-up of the aforementioned attack, Royal Rainbow Burst.
As if these weren't enough, The Movie has Cure Happy get a third upgrade, Ultra Cure Happy, which takes the "Frilly" part of "Frilly Upgrade" Up to Eleven. The other Cures gain this for the final fight alongside Cure Happy against Pierrot in episode 47.
Funny Background Event: Two during the ending. The first involves Peace falling on top of March, while the second has Sunny volleying a ball right onto Happy's face.
Peace's variation of the ending adds a third one to the mix. At the very beginning, she face plants while skipping away from the camera to join the other Cures, and the next time we see her there's a noticeable red spot on her face.
Good Wings, Evil Wings: The Smile Precures have little white angel wings adorn their hairs while the Bad End Precures have black bat wings.
Gratuitous English: Besides the obvious, Episode 7 has a toy shop which has a sign that says "Stuffed Shop."note Yes, the period is included.
Despite the Surprisingly Good English in Episode 36, a letter later comes that is strangely written in a low level for a native speaker. Could be justified that it was written simply so the recipient could have an easier time understanding it.
Gretzky Has the Ball: The relay race in Episode 18 has five runners, while normal relay races in the real world have four.
Hair Decorations: All five Cures sport angel wing hair decs and tiaras when transformed. Also, both Miyuki and Nao sport ribbons on their hair in civilian form, as does Candy. Yes, even the Mentor Mascot gets a turn in this carousel.
Hope Spot: At the end of Episode 21, it seems like the Cures have accomplished their goal of completing the Décor Décolle and reviving the Royale Queene... When suddenly Joker comes along and steals, not just the last Cure Décor, but also the entire Décor Décolle and Candy.
Idiot Ball: Candy making a fool of Miyuki in Episode 8 could've been avoided if they'd claimed she was sick or used some similar excuse to get her out of class.
Nearly every episode due to an unfortunate oversight in the format of the show, in which the villains always achieve their goal before summoning any Akanbe and the only thing summoning said Akanbe does is allow the Precure to collect a Decor. If they never summoned anything but the blue noses, which don't drop Decors, they would have won by episode 23.
ISO-Standard Urban Groceries: In Episode 4, Nao is carrying several grocery bags, with a leek protuding from one and a daikon radish from the other, when she encounters the panicking Miyuki on the street.
Visible Invisibility: Partial Transparency and Complete Invisibility are demonstrated in the above clip, here, here, and here. It's even possible to see both methods used simultaneously in some parts of the episode.
Kansai Regional Accent: Akane/Cure Sunny speaks like this, given that she originates for Osaka, where this accent is normal.
Light 'em Up: Cure Happy and Royale Candy. Both of them have sparkles in their attacks and a steady glow; pink for Cure Happy and white for Royale Candy. Bad End Happy has these powers too as Cure Happy's Evil Knockoff.
Though, it still has its more serious moment as noted on the Tear Jerker section.
Lotus-Eater Machine: Joker's Ball of Neglect that appears in Episode 31 and 32. Inside is a Crap Saccharine World where you're drowned in endless pleasure, while you're subtly encouraged to care about nothing but your own indulgences. Joker states quite clearly this is the Bad End waiting for the whole world.
Luminescent Blush: Constantly. It's somewhat justified in Cure form as they tap themselves with the Smile Pacts' powder puffs while transforming.
Non-Uniform Uniform: Apparently, Rainbow Hills Middle School is quite lax about uniform rules, as a good portion of the students has a different way to wear the uniform. The Cures are no exception, but take it a step further by having ties of their respective colors.
Omnicidal Maniac: Pierrot, whose idea of a Bad End at the very least' involves ripping out a chunk of the planet''. That's not even getting into his plans for the rest of the universe either. Bad End Sunny too, since she wants to become the sun that burns everything up.
Playing with Fire: Cure Sunny. Her transformation involves fire literally over her body and her hair changes in a fiery fashion. Bad End Sunny, being Cure Sunny's Evil Knockoff, has this too.
Pummel Duel: Cure Sunny and Wolfrun get into one after the latter goes completely berserk at the thought of losing to the former.
Psychosomatic Superpower Outage: In episode 43, Reika lost her powers as Cure Beauty during a fight with Joker because the latter used the former's conflict between quitting being a Cure and disappointing her friends by not studying abroad to drive her into a breakdown.
Psycho Rangers: The Bad End Precure created by Joker at the end of episode 45.
Many episodes' plots are kicked off by one of Majorina's newest inventions going missing because of Wolfrun and/or Akaoni, said inventions usually ending up wherever the Pretty Cure are. And she usually runs to the same police station to ask for directions before finding the invention on the Pretty Cure's hands.
Seiza Squirm: Miyuki briefly goes through this in Episode 5.
Shaggy Dog Story: Episode 29. On the last day of summer vacation, the Cures resolve to stop playing around and finish their summer homework. Instead, they're dragged into a theme park world they're forced to play through all day to escape, and by then it's already too late. Despite the Aesop, they still have to take remedial classes after school for something not their fault.
Shock and Awe: Cure Peace; her main attack is "Pretty Cure Peace Thunder!" and involves lightning. Bad End Peace is this too, being Cure Peace's Evil Knockoff.
#8: The shots in which Majorina proudly announces the (lazily thought of) names for her body-switch rings and their antidote are a reference to this commercial.
Also in that same episode, there was a possible shout out to Garfield and Friends. In one "Screaming With Binky" short that played before "Attack of the Mutant Guppies" about a diamond cutter, seconds after Binky disrupts a diamond cutter, he sneezes, blowing away the diamond dust. In the Pretty Cure episode, Akaoni blows away the rings with a sneeze. This might have been a shout out to Akaoni's voice actor doing Binky's voice on the Japanese dub of Garfield and Friends.
Episode 25 contains another shout-out to Garfield and Friends. Akaoni is the main villian. This is yet again another "Screaming With Binky" shout-out, as in one episode of that quickie, he went to the beach, screamed and disrupted a man building a sandcastle.
Candy is very similar to another Toei character: Culumon (Calumon) from Digimon Tamers. Not only do they have the same Verbal Tic, but Candy has some special power the bad guys want, just like Culumon did.
#23: The way Cure Happy uses Happy Shower to avoid falling into lava lake is reminiscent of how Son Goten avoids ring-out during the Tenkaichi Budoukai in Buu saga.
#35 The face of Happy Robot is more like Rosie. Not to mention the episode basically consisted of seeing how many Super Robot cliches and shout outs could fit into one episode. The show even gets Masami Obari in as a guest animator!
To the Sailor Moon series, there are the Precure's Princesses Form, the Princess Candle looking just like Sailor Moon's Kaleidomoon Scope, and gaining power from the Pegasus but is really a Winged Unicorn.
#41 When Cure Peace obtains her Ultra Decor and powers up, her stance and energy field almost mimics the Super Saiyan mode from Dragon Ball.
Special Guest: Japanese comedy duo FUJIWARA appear as themselves in Episode 17.
Spoiler Opening: Aside from the Princess Modes being spoiled in the opening theme, we also see battle footage straight from the opening being reused in Episode 23. And Pierrot's giant hand being reused and mirrored in the final episode.
Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Invoked by Pop in Episode 33. The girls play in an edo movie with kunoichi Nao as the main character. However, after she's defeated by Jorogumo (Akane) and tries to kidnap Princess Reika, vagabond Pop appears, defeats the villain and goes away, like a lonely samurai hero. Then he tries it to do again, when the girls are trapped by Akaoni's Hyper Akanbe, but he fails, so Candy saves them. And finally, he cuts the movie by himself and removes the recorded Precure scenes, and the movie is only about vagabond Pop and the girls are entirely removed, the latter was to preserve the girls secret identity, though.
Status Quo Is God: Episode 23 was practically a Season Finale: all of the Cure Decor are recovered, and all of the major villains (including the Big Bad) are fought and defeated thanks to a new Super Mode. Episode 24 reveals that the Big Bad was not destroyed, all of the villains are resurrected, and the show returns to the exact same plot as before: the villains try to collect Bad Energy to revive their Sealed Evil in a Can, while the heroes collect the Cure Decor to revive their Sealed Good in a Can. The director stated in an interview that this was done because he wanted Smile to be "simple".
Student Council President: Reika is the vice president until episode 37, where she is elected president. Wolfrun, Akaoni, and Majorina got the idea to run after seeing the trope played straight on TV, and turned themselves human to do just that.
Take a Third Option: Episode 29, during the game level 5. Wolfrun vs Cure Beauty in a swimming contest. There's an Akanbe-Shark on Beauty's line, her options are either stare the Akanbe while stuck in place, or jump and swim with the Akanbe hunting her underwater. Solution: Precure Beauty Blizzard the WHOLE POOL (with Wolfrun), then get to the goal by ice-skating.
Toilet Humour: Rare for a Precure series (unless you count the Heart Seeds and toilet scenes in episode of Heartcatch and Fresh ), but after drawing a Terrible Luck Fortune a bird flies by and poops on Miyuki's head.
In episode 10, Majorina says she made a potion from frog farts.
In episode 38, poop flies out of Baby Candy's diaper when Kindergartner Yayoi trips on a rock.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The three Bad End generals, who are actually fairies from Märchenland. Because they were based on villains of fairy tales, they were hated and treated badly for no reason other than the fact, even if they weren't even doing anything at the time. This gave Joker the perfect chance to change them.