Franchise / Pretty Cure
Beating evil into the ground with rainbows and kicks since 2004.

Base entry for the Pretty Cure franchise. Created by Izumi Todo (a pseudonym for the people at Toei Animation, who also created Ojamajo Doremi).

This is a Cash Cow Franchise metaseries created Anime First by Toei Animation and spanning many an Alternate Continuity. The basic formula is as follows: first, a parallel world of fairies is attacked and conquered by an evil invading force. As a last resort, this world sends one or more fairy representatives to Present Day Earth, a place which holds a MacGuffin the evil force needs next. There, the fairies bestow their magical power upon a number of ordinary school girls, who must then Save Both Worlds when the evil force arrives.

The series distinguishes itself from other Magical Girl series in the high amount of physical fighting and Post Modernism included, and through the dynamic of having two central main characters who can only transform and use their most powerful abilities in tandem. The series focuses heavily on The Power of Friendship and the Character Development between the lead characters.

The various seasons are:

    Season Descriptions 
The first series was Futari wa Pretty Cure ("The Two of Us Are Pretty Cure"), a show where a Red Oni, Blue Oni duo of Japanese schoolgirls- Nagisa Misumi and Honoka Yukishiro- are forced to work together to fight the invading inhabitants of the Dotsuko Zone, retrieve all seven Prism Stones and free the Queen of Light. As Cure Black and Cure White respectively, they set the standard for many of the show's recurring tropes. The show is also notable for its Seinen elements, including an abundance of action-packed physical combat (directed by the guy who did Dragon Ball Z!) and blatant homoerotic subtext between Nagisa and Honoka.

The show did so well that it got a direct sequel as Futari wa Pretty Cure MaX Heart. The Evil King of the Dotsuko Zone revives again and the Queen of Light is forced to split herself into pieces, one of which manifests as a young girl called Hikari. Cure Black and White are given a power-up and sent out to retrieve all the pieces of the Queen with the help of Hikari, who can transform into Third Ranger and Support Party Member Shiny Luminous.

Futari Wa Pretty Cure Splash Star is the first to be set in an Alternate Continuity. At first the show was an awkward Expy of the original series, with not-Nagisa Saki Hyuuga (Cure Bloom) and not-Honoka Mai Mishou (Cure Egret) fighting to free the seven World Fountains from the control of the evil Dark Fall. In addition, Moral Guardians had forced many of the Seinen elements unique to Pretty Cure to be downsized, resulting in battles that focused less on hard-hitting fisticuffs and more on non-contact magical attacks. However, once past that initial awkward phase the series grew into its own identity, adding two Dark Magical Girls as rivals and establishing Saki and Mai as their own characters.

Yes! Pretty Cure 5 caused an uproar by diverging from the previous Pretty Cure formula in favour of a more standard Magical Girl show with a Sailor Moon-esque team of five equals. Idiot Hero Nozomi Yumehara (Cure Dream) and her four team-mates have to catch fifty-five fairy critters with their extremely cool and affordable watches before the evil Nightmare Corporation does. Yes! did start one new trend for the franchise: including the phrase "Pretty Cure" in every attack name and transformation phrase.

Yes! Pretty Cure 5 Go!Go! (the 5 is still pronounced "faibu", slightly obscuring the Pun) continues the story of Nozomi and her friends, only this time they are trying to save the four rulers of Magical Land from an evil museum called Eternal with the help of a flying mailman penguin named Syrup. They also pick up a mysterious Sixth Ranger called "Milky Rose", whose true identity is... shocking, really.

The sixth series, Fresh Pretty Cure!, switches to the adventures of Love Momozono (Cure Peach) and her two friends (Cure Berry and Cure Pine) as they fight against the sinister agents of Labyrinth over a mysterious MacGuffin called Infinity. There's plenty of dancing, Mid Season Upgrades that arrive way too early and a pretty epic character arc that results in the birth of the fourth Pretty Cure, Cure Passion.

HeartCatch Pretty Cure! focuses on flower-loving introvert Tsubomi Hanasaki and fashion-loving Genki Girl Erika Kurumi, who transform into Cure Blossom and Cure Marine (respectively) to fight the evil Desertrians and their quest to steal the "Heart Flowers" of innocent people and turn the world into a desert. Highlights include character designs by Ojamajo Doremi illustrator Yoshihiko Umakoshi, and a heart-wrenching series-long subplot about a fallen Pretty Cure called Cure Moonlight.

Suite Pretty Cure ♪ brings the Wonder Twin Powers back again with Tomboy and Girly Girl Hibiki Houjou and Kanade Minamino as Cure Melody and Cure Rhythm (respectively). The two fight against the villains of Minor Land, who seek to sing the Melody of Sorrow and plunge the world into despair. Helping them out is Third Ranger Cure Beat, a mysterious masked Aloof Ally called Cure Muse, and a ridiculous Lensman Arms Race of not-so-Mid Season Upgrades.

Smile Pretty Cure! goes back to having a core team of five. The theme of the show is fairy tales, as the Smile team work with the storybook critters of Märchenland against the baddies of the Bad End Kingdom, who seek to awaken their lord Pierrot and bring the "Worst Ending" to the world. Smile is more episodic than previous seasons; Word of God is they wanted to keep things "simple".

DokiDoki! Precure inherits certain elements from Fresh, such as the number of Cures and the playing card motif. When the Jikochuu invade Earth, Student Council President Mana Aida becomes Cure Heart. She is later joined by her friends Rikka and Alice, as well as Aloof Ally Cure Sword from the fallen Trump Kingdom. Midway through the series, they're joined by the mysterious Cure Ace. In contrast to other seasons, DokiDoki! Pretty Cure has a Myth Arc that runs throughout the series.

Happiness Charge Pretty Cure celebrates the franchise's tenth anniversary. Princess Hime Shirayuki of the Blue Sky Kingdom, also known as Cure Princess, flees her home when the Phantom Empire invades. By chance, she recruits Megumi Aino, who becomes Cure Lovely. They are eventually joined by Cure Honey and Cure Fortune. This season is notable for giving the Cures different forms they can change into, which has not been seen since Splash Star.

Go! Princess Pretty Cure is the first series to take place at a boarding school. Haruno Haruka, a girl who always dreamed of being a princess, becomes Cure Flora when she meets the fairies Puff and Aroma. Along with her allies Cure Mermaid and Cure Twinkle, she protects people's dreams from the evil witch Dyspear and her minions. Midseason, they are joined by a fourth cure, Cure Scarlet, in a Fresh-style arc.

Maho Girls Precure puts more emphasis on the "magic" in "Magical Girl", having a Cute Witch theme. Mirai Asahina, a girl who is easily excited by anything she finds interesting, meets a girl named Riko who is visiting the "No Magic World" to search for the Linkle Stone Emerald. When servants of the evil witch Dokurokushe attack with the intention of finding the Linkle Stone Emerald themselves, Mirai and Riko team up to become Cure Miracle and Cure Magical. They are later joined by Cure Felice.

The seasons are generally divided into different periods according to the producer:
  • Washio Takashi - Futari wa to Yes! 5 GoGo, Go! Princess Pretty Cure (2nd half) - Mahou Girls Pretty Cure (considered "Neo-Washio" by some)
  • Atsutoshi Umezawa - Fresh to Smile
  • Hiroaki Shibata - Doki Doki to Go! Princess Pretty Cure (1st half)

There is also a series of Pretty Cure All Stars movies, teaming up characters from all series, as well as a short film and a video game that do the same. Together, these make up the Crossover Compilation.

Furthermore, most seasons have at least one movie that makes no canonical sense (most of the time) but can't be thrown out because of something really awesome happening in it.

The Franchise seems to have very good relations with Tokusatsu : it's produced by Toei, which also produces Super Sentai and Kamen Ridernote , and the three franchises are aired back to back in the appropriately named Super Hero Time block. The Pretty Cure and Super Sentai movies have been played as double bills, and Nagisa and Honoka teamed up with Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger characters in an audio drama, and later with Mahou Sentai Magiranger. Gundam has a less than amiable relation with Pretty Cure as those who had a role in Gundam went on to play villains for Pretty Cure.note  Ironically, as much as the Toku relationship was smooth, it also has some sort of reverse effect with the Gundam series, that those who once voiced Precures has a chance to end up voicing (mostly) female Toku villains (usually from Super Sentai). note 

This franchise has a character sheet.

There is also a manga for each series, going into depth in various ignored aspects, like Rin's crush on Nuts and Saki's little sister's life.

The franchise is also known as Precure. While this is technically a more accurate transliteration of the title logo (which reads "purikyua") and appears in URLs and such, said logo (as well as much of the truly astonishing amount of merchandise) also explicitly spells out the title as "PRETTY CURE" least until HeartCatch Pretty Cure! and subsequent series, which say "PRECURE" instead.(Incidentially, Yes! Pretty Cure 5 has no caption). The pronunciations purikyua and puritii kyua are used interchangeably, both in theme songs ("1, 2, 3, 4, Purikyua 5! Puritii, kyu, kyu, kyu, kyua...") and in-universe (including one odd instance of a character hearing the name for the first time as purikyua and immediately questioning "Puritiikyua?"). There are two ways to deal with this: one is to directly translate, taking "Precure" as a commonly used short form and "Pretty Cure" as their less-used full title, and the other, used by both fansubs and the first season's official subs, is to use "Pretty Cure" for both. TV Tropes Wiki does the latter for reasons completely unrelated to "Pretty Cure" making a good Wiki Word.

And in case you're wondering: yes, it's a Pun-Based Title. "Purikura", short for "Print Club", is the name given to those photo booths in Japan that print out stickers with your photo on them. note  This is never brought up in the show, save for the Elder of the first continuity constantly calling Pretty Cure "Purikura", nor does it have any significance.

More than one installment of this franchise provides examples of: