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01:25:23 PM Apr 24th 2014
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I'm genuinely perplexed by the split between "Classic" and "Current". I can't think of a single person or organisation that puts such an arbitrary divide between the two, at that exact point. It's certainly not like the way Toei officially splits Kamen Rider into "Showa" and "Heisei" eras.

The split doesn't even make much sense. The "changes" that the "Current" era refers to arguably started back on Yes! Precure 5. That was the first major departure from the previous pattern, and codified many of the tropes that Pretty Cure use today: individual transformations, the use of "Pretty Cure" in the attack names, a heavier use of special attacks instead of martial arts (which varies from season to season).

And what do you call the "Current Era" when the "next era" starts? How ill-thought-out is the naming scheme when you can't think of anything more descriptive than "Current" but can *assure* people that a "new era" will start after Happiness Charge?

It's arbitrary and adds nothing to the discussion. If anything it only confuses the issue by suggesting that there's a clear divide in style and tone at that one specific point. "Futari wa" was different from "Splash Star", which was *markedly* different from "Yes!". There are some broad patterns which have emerged (the move away from martial arts, the use of "Pretty Cure" in the names) but those are very much on a season-by-season basis. Some seasons started with three heroines; some with two, some with five! "Yes!" started with five and ended with six... yet it's considered "classic"? Do you see how muddling and strange this "era" classification is?

I could understand if it was like Showa/Heisei. Or how some Kamen Rider fans refer to the post-Decade series as "Neo-Heisei". But in those instances, there were actual interviews with the production staff who stated that a conscious effort was made to homogenise each series after Decade. There's no such thing here to indicate a radical change in the way each Pretty Cure series was produced or written. There are broad strokes over a long period of time, but nothing as decisive as "an Era". How does the formula of "Smile Precure", a character-based slice-of-life show, compare to the long plot-driven arcs of "Suite Precure"? They are radically different shows because the formula of Pretty Cure changes year-by-year!
01:42:53 PM Apr 24th 2014
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Probably something we the fans of Pretty Cure decided upon elsewhere. Long story, and I don't wish to soapbox about it on this site.
01:47:10 PM Apr 24th 2014
So... you won't even give a reason?
02:20:22 PM Apr 24th 2014
Like I said, it's a long story. In a nutshell, some fans decided that everything pre-Heartcatch wasn't as good as Heartcatch and later and are thus a separate, early era. At least, that's how I remember it. Some others say the current era starts at Fresh. It's just a matter of opinion, really.
03:12:16 PM Apr 24th 2014
So... if the whole "Era" thing is a result of fandom bickering, why are we giving it a place on TV Tropes?
04:30:58 PM Apr 24th 2014
...I don't even know anymore. For all I know, I'm not the one who put it on in the first place. But I do know that factionalism can lead to trouble (see what happened to TABLE?), so I'm going to keep trying to stay out of this one for as long as I can (for the record, I never said I believe the current era started at Heartcatch, only that I remember some fans claiming it started at Heartcatch).
09:33:04 AM Apr 27th 2014
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There's no current names of each of the era, but the classification that the fandom generally agreed upon was started when the staff of Precure was getting a huge overhaul after Go Go's TV rating was in nadir (5.60 even to Splash Star's 6.38). Animators and writers mostly, and we see the most visible change from Fresh's (and its successors) sudden and appearent art style compare to the previous three continuity, heavy use of CG whenever in the ending sequence and some of the wide shots, otherworldly people can become Cures (which is breaking the "only those normal girls can become Cures" rule that the older seasons' writers are officially agreed of). The themes are also getting more and more fantastic (as in fantasy-like), instead of the philosophy heavy of the classics.

So, the overhaul was started in Fresh (the easiest to see the differences is by watching the seasons' movie), Heartcatch is where the Newbie Boom started because a routine fansub, Happiness Charge is said to be a new era because of the Word of God states that it will have many Broken Streak but we still don't know for sure what the new season would be like. All Stars is basically the cornerstone of the era shift, a pass-the-baton of the sort. In All Stars, the first three continuities are getting an Art Shift and always under the same umbrella style of animation compare to the other seasons after them.

I think the division is pretty solid. There are things and details about older seasons that many doesn't know about because of No Export for You, but those we found strengthened the divisions' formation even though Toei never really spoke it out loud.
04:47:37 PM Apr 28th 2014
But is such division even necessary, or does it add anything to the discussion?

I concede that Fresh was the first series to start using CGI endings and the first to have an All Stars Movie, but again, I would argue that "Yes" did more to break the mold than any series before or after it (ironically replacing it with an even older mold). Patterns do emerge over time but the singular point you speak of, the "big overhaul", just does not exist. Considering how future shows would pick and choose older elements to keep or discard (the "two girl" dynamic being a key example) it does a disservice to suggest that all the shows before Point A follow one formula and all the shows after Point A follow a different formula.
12:28:18 AM Apr 29th 2014
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The overhaul existed; the staff were replaced and recycled over time, but it's Fresh that most old people of Izumi Todo didn't have their hands on. The "mold breaking" here is not just about the Futari wa concept got abandoned and reused, but in term of artistic directions, theme, plot concepts, and (again) the creative staffs. Saying Yes5 as not a part of classic Precure because it has 5 Cures line-up is like saying Rondo of Blood is not a metroidvania just because Iga is not the director; one change is not what that makes a breakthrough. If we use the argument "two girl" dynamic, then techically Splash Star is a team of 4 just like Go Go is a team of 6. The only reason why they aren't is because of the same rule the writers of classics agreed of that prevent Luminous and Milky Rose from being called a Cure, which was changed with Passion's arrival (one of the aforementioned plot concepts).

To be honest, I think comparing the term of "era" in Precure with Kamen Rider's Showa and Heisei is not doing Precure justice because there's only 9 Precure continuities now. Beside, the segregation of the Precure eras is a little subtler because of the inner working of Izumi Todo is not that public. You surely heard stories about how troubled some of the Precure production because of many reasons. Including the fact that Go Go might be the last of Precure season because of the rating taking nosedive that I had mentioned.
09:41:05 AM Apr 29th 2014
"Go Go being the last series" was just a fandom rumour though, and a flimsy one at that. It's a documented fact that Precure has been the most valuable brand for young girls in Japan (for Bandai Namco) since its inception, and only lost the title this year to Aikatsu. You don't just cancel one of your biggest money-makers because one season had a dip in television ratings. It would take a steady decline in both ratings and merchandise revenue before such rumours would become feasible. Furthermore, you have to break down the demographics of a television rating to find out which audience is tuning out, and which audience is important for the brand to retain its earning power. Not to mention that, due to the increased usage of streaming services and DVR recorders, live ratings for early morning shows have been on a general decline for years now.

You're right that the inner workings of Izumi Todo and Toei are not that public, and that's how fandom rumours get spread and reported as fact.

I think you're being obtuse by arguing that Splash Star is "technically a team of four". There is a huge difference between a team who are structured as (and interact as) a team of five from the very beginning, and a duo who happen to team up with a second duo in the last few episodes of the series. This isn't about surface aesthetics but looking at the basic set-up of the character arcs. At its heart, "Futari" and "Splash" were about strangers who teamed up to become friends; "Yes5" and "Fresh" had the various friendships established from the very start. Later series would borrow ideas from each approach: Suite had a pre-existing "rivalry" that became friendship after they were forced to team, for example. And Happiness Charge goes right back to "two strangers who team up to become friends", arguably the core of the whole franchise. Do you see how this decisive element flies in the face of the idea that there was a radical overhaul at one point that completely changed everything that happened after it?
01:16:57 PM May 10th 2014
So basically you need Word of God that outright states the Era's separation to agree with the proposed drafts? Though I'm fine with implications, I guess it won't be so satisfying than to have the big guys saying it in some interview. Fine for me, put this thing in the backburner until someone miraculously found anything about it. Then the discussion can be opened again.
07:29:48 PM Jun 22nd 2013
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I'm going to use this page to make a Pretty Cure series index; I hope no-one minds.
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