"We have to find her soon, the one who will turn the snow white."
Shin Shirayuki-hime Densetsu Puriitia — "Prétear: The New Legend of Snow-White", often shortened to just Prétear — is a shojo story with a premise that can be described as "Magical Girl WarriorSnow White And The Seven Bishonen". Exactly what it sounds like — nothing too original, but nevertheless quite entertaining, if you are into this particular genre. Originally a four-volume manga created by Jun'ichi Sato (best known as the director of the Sailor Moon and Princess Tutu anime series) and Kaori Naruse, it was adapted into a thirteen-episodeanime series, with some noticeable changes in the plot and character designs; both the manga and the anime were licensed by ADV; the anime is now licensed by Funimation.The story revolves around sixteen-year-old Himeno Awayuki, who finds herself in a situation quite a bit like in "Cinderella": several years after her mother's death, her father Kaoru married the rich widow Natsue who has two daughters, neither of whom seem to like Himeno. Unable to fit into this new environment, the girl gets more and more depressed, even starting to think that it would be better if she disappeared from the world... that is, until she stumbles upon seven dwarfs Pretty Magical Boys who call themselves the Léafe Knights. They are searching for a girl who can accept their Elemental Powers and become a Magical Girl Warrior named "Prétear". You can guess what happens next...Not to be confused with Precure. Main characters:
Anguished Declaration of Love: Takako to Hayate, plus the anime has Sasame to Takako and Takako to Sasame's dead body...and you could possibly count Himeno's confession for Mawata to Sasame ("She was totally in love with you!") Pretear really likes this trope.
Does This Remind You of Anything??: The Prétear's power is to merge with a Leafe Knight, gaining the power of his element, described at one point as being something like the Knight "entering her body." It's not made as much of in the manga, but the anime plays it up shamelessly in the Transformation Sequence and Himeno, clearly aware of the symbolism, gets quite flustered over it at first.
Personality Powers: The older Knights. The brash and snarky Hayate got Wind, a good listener Sasame - Sound, energetic hot-headed Goh - Fire, intellectual Kei - Light.
Weapon of Choice: Interestingly, it's Himeno who gets to use these. Hayate, the leader, provides her with a sword, Sasame - with "Sound Arrow", Goh - with an axe... Kei's weapon in the manga was a staff, which also fits.
Emotion Eater: The Taiji of Fenrir in the anime is powered by despair.
Expy: The anime versions of Himeno, Hayate, Sasame and Takako appear to have expies in Ahiru/Duck, Fakir, Mytho and Rue from Princess Tutu (another anime directed by Junichi Sato), although since Tutu was first thought up by Ikuko Itoh and Sato during their work on Sailor Moon, it might be the other way around.
Man Child: Karou is so feckless that Himeno somethimes has to act as a parent to him. He means well, but he clearly expects all the women in his life—his daughter included—to take care of him. He takes a level in grown-up by the last episode.
Negative Continuity: In the manga, it is originally established that Natsue is simply divorced and her first husband is alive; later in the series, it is said that he died before she married Himeno's father. He is dead from the begining in the anime, though.
Nightmare Dreams: Himeno at the start of episode 5. It was Fenrir/Takako's attempt to communicate with her.
Not So Different: Fenrir points this out in episode 8, saying that Himeno is going to be abandoned by the Knights after the fight is over, and then she will become an evil being like her. Given that Fenrir used to be the Prétear and was in love with Hayate, this makes perfect sense...
Otaku: In the anime, Yayoi Takato is a big fan of romance novels, to the point when almost anything said by other characters prompts her to give a long speech that sounds like a passage from a poorly written romance novel - and often doesn't make much sense.
Rapunzel Hair: The Princess of Disaster (but not Takako), as well as Mayune, and Hayate in the manga.
Recruit Teenagers with Attitude: Justified with the Knights, who have pretty much been trained from birth, but played pretty straight with Himeno and Takako. The show actually deals with the consequences of putting the fate of the world on the shoulders of a teenage girl.
Scary Shiny Glasses: Sasame has a few face-fault moments in the anime where his glasses are whited-out, which isn't really this trope...but there's another scene in which he stands on a roof, wind blowing dramatically through his clothes and glasses shining right before his Face Heel Turn that's definitely this trope.
Tanaka also has several extremely shiny moments, often highlighted by a gleam of light reflecting off of his (desperately not) bald head.
Sealed Evil in a Can: Takako was sealed away sixteen years before, and broke the seal at the start of the first episode. (In the manga, she didn't break free, which still didn't stop her from possessing people.)
Stepford Smiler: Mawata and Sasame. Mawata is outwardly polite, quiet and mature, but feels hollow and unloved ever since her father died. Sasame's case is even better: is flirty, cheerful and helpful, to the point that none of the Knights or Himeno see his eventual breakdown coming despite numerous hints that he was struggling.
Stock Footage: Some transformations and attacks (not always, though), Shin setting up the barrier, the Knights fighting inside the Phantom Zone.
Where the Hell Is Springfield??: Awayuki Town is shown in the anime to be a city built on a small island connected to the main part of Japan by a bridge—that's about all we know.
Wicked Stepmother: Quite predictable, but also subverted, especially in the anime version. There, Natsue is more strict than evil, not to mention she does care for Kaoru and Himeno. And in the manga, which plays it more straight... not only Natsue neglects Himeno and her girls, but she's also possessed by the Big Bad.