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Anime / Pretty Cure

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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 that holds a MacGuffin that the evil force needs next. There, the fairies bestow their magical power upon a number (it ranges from two to six) of ordinary school girls after The Powers That Be grant them a Transformation Trinket as a result of their strong feelings of determination, who must then Save Both Worlds when the evil force arrives.

The series distinguishes itself from other Magical Girl series in the high quantity of physical fighting and (particularly early on) Postmodernism included, and in the earliest series, 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 Slice of Life moments that lead to Character Development between the lead characters, though it is not afraid to go into darker places at times.

The various series (and seasons) are:

    Series 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. This season is the only one to be dubbed uncut yet still edited under the Pretty Cure name.

  • 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 teammates have to catch fifty-five fairy critters with their extremely cool and affordable watches before the evil Nightmare Corporation does. Yes! started a lot of new trends for the franchise: it was the first to have a full color-coded team rather than just a duo, the first where the Cures get vibrant hair colors, and the first to include the phrase "Pretty Cure" in every attack name and transformation phrase.

  • 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 PreCure! 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; the creators wanted to keep things simple and lighthearted in the wake of Japan's devastating 2011 tsunami. The series was licensed by Saban Brands and released on Netflix as Glitter Force.

  • Doki Doki! 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. The series was licensed by Saban Brands and released on Netflix as Glitter Force DokiDoki!.

  • HappinessCharge 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. invoked

  • 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 Pretty Cure! 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 Liko 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 Liko team up to become Cure Miracle and Cure Magical. They are later joined by Cure Felice.

  • KiraKira★Pretty Cure à la Mode marks the return of five initial Cures for the first time since Smile. Ichika Usami, a girl who often hops like a rabbit whenever excited, meets a fairy named Pekorin while trying to bake a cake. She then miraculously becomes the rabbit-eared Cure Whip while protecting that cake from a monster fairy named Gummy, who was trying to steal "kirakirau", magical energy that makes a pastry delicious, from the cake. Alongside four friends that have become her teammates, the legendary patisserie warriors Pretty Cure must defend the world and its sweets from the evil that looms within the universe — and at the same time, run their own café!

  • HuGtto! Pretty Cure celebrates the franchise's fifteenth anniversary. It tells the story of a girl named Hana Nono, who aspires to be a mature, big-sister like figure. On her first day at a new school, she cuts her bangs the wrong way when she realizes she's going to be late, but the day is made better when she meets a mysterious baby named Hugtan, who helps her transform into the Pretty Cure of High Spirits, Cure Yell, to stop the Dark Tommorow Company and collect Tomorrow Power along with her friends Homare and Saaya, who become Cure Etoile and Cure Ange. Joining the trio later on are Ascended Fangirl Emiru Aisaki and an android formerly under the enemy, Ruru Amour, the two assisting the three Cures as Cure Macherie and Cure Amour, respectively.

  • Star★Twinkle Pretty Cure is about outer space-obsessed Hikaru Hoshina who one day gets to meet a few actual aliens: Lala, Prunce, and Fuwa. The three of them are trying to find the 12 Princess Star Color Pens to save the universe from being consumed by darkness. With Fuwa's mysterious powers, Hikaru and Lala turn into Cure Star and Cure Milky respectively to fight against the Notraiders, who are seeking the pens for their own gain. The two Cures are soon joined by fellow Earthlings Elena and Madoka as Cure Soleil and Cure Selene, and later on by the mysterious Phantom Thief Blue Cat, who becomes Cure Cosmo.

  • Healin' Good♡Pretty Cure focuses on Nodoka Hanadera, a girl who moves into Sukoyaka City with her parents after recovering from an illness. There, she encounters four Healing Animals, from another world, the Healing Garden, searching for humans who can help them fight back their enemy, the Byogens. When the Byogens initiate their attack on the city, Nodoka resolves to help them and becomes Cure Grace to save the world from the foe, who are intent on infecting the world. Nodoka is joined by two other girls, Chiyu, who transforms into Cure Fontaine, and Hinata, who becomes Cure Sparkle. Asumi Fuurin, who becomes Cure Earth, later joins the trio as they continue the battle against the Byogens.

  • Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure centers on the energetic Manatsu Natsuumi, who moves from Minamino Island to live with her mother in Aozora City. There, she encounters Laura, a mermaid from the aquatic Grand Ocean Kingdom searching for the legendary warriors foretold in the kingdom's legends, the Pretty Cure, in order to fight back against their enemy, the Witch of Procrastination. With the power from one of Laura's assigned Tropical Pacts, Manatsu becomes Cure Summer to battle the Witch's forces. Joining her in that fight are Sango Suzumura, Minori Ichinose and Asuka Takizawa, the three transforming into Cure Coral, Cure Papaya and Cure Flamingo, respectively. Laura later joins the four as Cure La Mer, becoming a human in the process.

  • Delicious Party♡Pretty Cure puts Yui Nagomi, a resident of Oishiina Town, in the spotlight. One day, some fairies and a prince from the CooKingdom cross paths with her to ask for her assistance to find the Recipe-bons and save them from the Bundle Land Bandits. As such, Yui becomes Cure Precious to combat the foe, later joined by Kokone Fuwa (Cure Spicy) and Ran Hanamichi (Cure Yumyum). Eventually they're joined by formerly brainwashed Bundle Land Bandit member Amane Kasai who becomes Cure Finale.

  • Hirogaru Sky! Pretty Cure marks the franchise's twentieth anniversary. Aspiring hero Sora Harewataru travels to the capital of Sky Land to further pursue her ambition, but gets sidetracked when she witnesses the abduction of the infant Princess Elle by an agent of the Underg Empire. Without missing a beat, Sora springs into action and rescues the child. In the process, the two pass through a portal and quite literally drop into Sorashido City, Earth. Kabaton, the aforementioned agent of the Underg Empire, pursues them to take Elle back, but Sora refuses to back down, even in the face of being overpowered by Kabaton's Ranborg. That determination is what allows Elle to awaken the power of Precure within her, resulting in Sora transforming into Cure Sky. Sora and Elle find assistance and shelter with the help of the gentle Mashiro Nijigaoka, who soon thereafter awakens to the power of Cure Prism. Over the course of the series, they are joined by the ambitious and scholarly Tsubasa Yuunagi as Cure Wing, and the enthusiastic kintergarden teacher Ageha Hijiri as Cure Butterfly. The four of them protect both Princess Elle and Sorashido City from the Underg Empire with action on a level not seen since the days of Futari wa.


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. Once the sheer number of teams became too unweildy to do this, it shifted to usually having the three most recent teams meet up instead. Most series 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. Then there's 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 has a strong relationship with tokusatsu: it's produced by Toei, which also produces Super Sentai and Kamen Rider, 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 crossovers are common as promotional material. Nagisa and Honoka even teamed up with Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger characters in an audio drama, and later with Mahou Sentai Magiranger as well. Despite this, there's a somewhat ironic effect that actresses who play Cures later tend to play female villains or monsters of the week in toku series (usually in Super Sentai). Inversely, actors who voice heroic characters in Super Sentai tend to play villains in Pretty Cure; the same thing applies to Gundam, funnily enough.

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"… at least until HeartCatch Pretty Cure! and subsequent series, which say "PRECURE" instead. 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 does the latter for reasons completely unrelated to "Pretty Cure" making a good WikiWord.

There have been many attempts to bring the franchise outside of Japan and specifically into English-speaking territories. The first company to try this was 4Kids Entertainment, who eventually just gave up and didn't broadcast or even dub any episodes. Then came Canadian kids cable network YTV, who commissioned an English dub made by Ocean Production's subcontractor studio Blue Water. This dub is notable because it is the only attempt to bring Pretty Cure to English-speaking territories under its own name.

Saban Brands attempted to do what they did for both Digimon and the Power Rangers (Super Sentai) and licensed the franchise for the West in late 2015, first dubbing Smile and rebranding it as Glitter Force, with the show being released on Netflix as a "Netflix Original" (except in selected territories) in 2016. They would later dub DokiDoki! the next year and release it as Glitter Force Doki-Doki!. However, Saban Brands eventually sold their assets to Hasbro and shut down, with the franchise's international rights returning to Toei Animation, who has no interest in continuing the Glitter Force brand. Crunchyroll now hosts officially subbed versions of Futari wa, Kira Kira, Healin' Good, Tropical-Rouge!, Delicious Party, and Hirogaru Sky! as part of their lineup, thus bringing the franchise Stateside proper, simulcasting the series starting with Healin' Good.

The IP's Pun-Based Title has no in-universe significance, but is simply very similar to the name for instant photo booths (purikura/print-clubs). This joke is only really referenced in the original season's opening credits, and one of the mascots therein being unable to pronounce the team name correctly.

More than one installment of this franchise provides examples of:

Statler: So, how come I've never heard of this Pretty Cure thing?
Waldorf: Don't worry, I'm pretty cure nobody else has heard of it, either!
Both: Do-ho-ho-ho-hoh!