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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, 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 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.


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 Dragonball Z!) and blatant Homoerotic Subtext between Nagisa and Honoka.

  • 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! did start one new trend for the franchise: including 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; Word of God is they wanted to keep things "simple". The series was licensed by Saban Brands and released on Netflix as Glitter Force.

  • DokiDoki! Pretty Cure 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.

  • 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. Another heroine, 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 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 with Laura later joining the four as Cure La Mer.

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. 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.

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" in 2016. They would later dub DokiDoki! the next year and release it as Glitter Force DokiDoki!. However, Saban Brands eventually sold their assets to Hasbro and shut down, with the franchise's international rights returning to Toei, who has no interest in continuing the Glitter Force brand. Crunchyroll now hosts officially subbed versions of Futari wa, Kira Kira, Healin' Good, and Tropical-Rouge! as part of their lineup, thus bringing the franchise Stateside proper.

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 the mascot's therein being unable to pronounce the team name correctly.

More than one installment of this franchise provides examples of:

  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: As of 2008, the older Cures have been subjected to this. It's been years since Max Heart's end, but Nagisa, Honoka and Hikari don't look a day older than they were back then. Although it should be noted that this depends only on whether or not you count the All Stars movies as canon. The character designer of Fresh Pretty Cure! actually posted this art of the characters looking seven years older, and starting with Go! Princess Pretty Cure, seasons typically have a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue that involves a timeskip. HuGtto! Pretty Cure addresses this for its crossover event, where the side effects of the time travel apparently include de-aging.
  • Obviously Evil: Played straight by every villain from this franchise. But subverted with the Desert Apostles and Minor Land.
  • Odd Couple: For two-person teams; when the teams widened and there was only one main character instead of two, just about every combination was an Odd Friendship.
  • Off-Model:
    • Sadly happens often, at least during earlier seasons. Even when the different series have different character designs, you can see that they have the same Off-Model face, courtesy of animation director/key animator Hiroyuki Kawano most of the time. This is very notable in some final episodes, just as in Yes! Pretty Cure 5, Fresh Pretty Cure! and Suite Pretty Cure ♪.note  It's around the time of Go! Princess Pretty Cure that this issue is smoothed out and the animation becomes more consistent.
    • Notably, in spite of this, the franchise is often presented as an example where Toei generally doesn't do it as much as their other flagship anime franchises, much to the chagrin of those series's fanbases who aren't as familiar with the series.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted, since several seasons tend to repeat names from previous continuities. So far the repeated names are Nozomi (Max Heart and Yes!5), Kaoru (Splash Star, Fresh, and — if it counts — Kaoruko from Heartcatch), Rin (Yes! 5 and Happiness Charge), Hayato (Fresh and Heartcatch), Kurumi (Yes!5 [given name], Heartcatch [surname]), Miyuki (Fresh, Smile, and Tropical-Rouge), Akane (the original/Max Heart and Smile), Nao (Max Heart, Heartcatch and Smile), Reika (Fresh and Smile), Ayumi (Fresh, Heartcatch, All Stars New Stage and Doki Doki), Madoka (Yes!5 [given name], Doki Doki [surname], Star Twinkle [given name]), Megumi (Yes!5 and Happiness Charge), Seiji (Doki Doki and Happiness Charge), Kenta (Splash Star and Happiness Charge) Momoka (Heartcatch and Go! Princess), and Aoi (Kira Kira A La Mode and Tropical-Rouge).
  • One-Winged Angel: Most of the villains transform into a different, much more imposing form when they directly fight the Cures.
  • Orcus on His Throne:
  • Our Fairies Are Different: They usually look like cute little animals rather than your typical fairy; probably the closest one to a "traditional" fairy is Ha-chan from Maho Girls Pretty Cure!, followed by Ai, who resembles a human infant with wings. Most others are clearly meant to look like existing animals, but sometimes they don't.
  • Overly Long Name: The strongest or other powerful Pretty Cure group attacks tend to be ridiculously long, especially with their "Precure/Pretty Cure" as the "pre-word". The longest examples for each series are:
  • Pink Heroine: In fact, every team has a member in pink, and more often than not she's the leader, similar to Super Sentai with red.
  • Plucky Girl: Pick a Cure; any of the many are this to some degree, while others like Erika Kurumi/Cure Marine and Megumi Aino/Cure Lovely are more explosively so.
  • Pokémon Speak: The Monsters of the Week. Save for the Desertrians.
    • The Jikochuus don't do this that often.
    • The Nakewamekes also do not do this after earlier episodes, but are reduced into this when they appear in Pretty Cure All Stars.
    • The Nakisakebes can't talk at all. They can only grunt.
    • There also the two Zakenna butlers from Futari wa Pretty Cure.
    • There are a Hoshina, a Negatone and an Akanbe who can talk. All of them have quizmaster/gamemaster powers.
  • Postmodernism: One of the most unusual aspects for a mainstream magical girl series that isn't a full deconstruction of the genre.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: It's usually downplayed, with a Cure's hair changing shades instead of color. Played straight with Cure Passion (from dark purple to rose), Cure Melody (from ginger to pink), Cure Heart (from pink to blonde), Cure Ace (from brown to red), Mirage (from black to blonde), both Aloha Cures (from black to orange and teal respectively), Cure Flora (from auburn to blonde with pink streaks), Cure Twinkle (from brown to orange), Cure Whip (from orange to pink), Cure Parfait (from blonde to pink), Cure Fontaine (from charcoal to blue), Cure Sparkle (from brown to blonde), Cure Earth (from blonde to purple), Cure Summer (from auburn to blonde that fades to pink), and Cure Papaya (from light brown to orange).
  • Power Gives You Wings: Most of the Movie Upgrades and most of them are later adapted to the respective series.
  • Power Makes Your Hair Grow: Downplayed in the first and second series, but began to be very blatant in the third; and the trend hasn't stopped since. The two most extreme examples are Cure Sunshine and Cure Muse who have very short hair in civilian form, but very long hair in their Cure forms. Many other examples are similar cases.
  • Power Makes Your Voice Deep: Honoka, Nozomi and Kotoha have high-pitched voices, but after their transformations, their voices become noticeably deeper. Justified with Aguri, who transforms into her Older Alter Ego, so her voice becomes naturally deeper.
  • The Power of Friendship:
    • Unlike most series in the genre, where it's second to The Power of Love, friendship is the most important thing in Pretty Cure. Every episode focuses on the relationships between the girls, and no romantic subplot is ever completely resolved, whether between the Cures themselves or with a third party; Nozomi/Coco is the one exception, and even they are allowed far fewer PDAs than other magical girl leads, only getting to kiss offscreen and in a movie. Most speeches are of the friendship variety, and the Cures' powers literally run on friendship — even the ones who can transform separately are stronger together, and, as seen in the case of Karen, powers can fail completely if they don't open up and act sincerely towards their True Companions.
    • It's proven that the Wonder Twin Powers don't work when the girls have a conflict.
    • If only one single Cure of the team is not available, the whole team cannot win against the Monster of the Week. If they gathered five members, they cannot win with four. If they gathered four members, they cannot win with three, etc. And you never win when you're alone unless you're Milky Rose or Cure Moonlight or Cure Ace or the lead Cure in episode 1. If you have a duel with a major villain, you'll still win with the Power of Friendship.
    • It is notable that, while HappinessCharge Pretty Cure! did have a strong emphasis on The Power of Love, The Power of Friendship was at least equally important.
    • It is so strong that one Cure (Amour) was able to become a Cure when, story-wise, she's not intended to become one. In Hugtto, there's only four PreHearts that were available initially, and 3 of them had been taken by the initial members. Naturally, this causes an issue when both Emiru and Ruru created their Mirai Crystals. Since there's only one of it left, Ruru is more than willing to let Emiru took the 4th PreHeart, but Emiru refuses to transform since she wants to see both of them fight together as Cures, something that Ruru admits want to do as well. Thanks to an appropriately-timed Deus ex Machina as a result of their extremely strong friendship bond and desire to fight together, said 4th PreHeart is split into two identical copies, allowing Ruru to claim her own PreHeart and become a Cure herself. This even allowed a breach of the "everyone must be there to win" rule and effectively broke the Hugtto team into two relatively independent teams: the first fight of Cures Macherie and Amour has Cures Ange and Etoile tied in other commitments and Cure Yell being sick, and the duo have their own finisher independent of Yell's.
  • Product-Promotion Parade: Given how Merchandise-Driven the franchise is, this is common. Premiere episodes can usually be counted on to have a first transformation and fight scene that shows off the Transformation Trinket, the lead Cure and her abilities (including the traditional Finishing Move). The debut of an additional Cure or a Super Mode later on prompts a similar blitz of showing off merchandising. And that's not counting other powerups accumulated along the way, as well as various other pieces of merchandise from the toyline such as accessory makers, an electronic tablet-like toy and accessories for that year's fairy doll, which means that this trope can come into play almost every week.
  • Pummel Duel:
  • Punny Name: Most Cures will often have the Cure name and their given name mean the same or something similar. From the start there's Nagisa Misumi ("sumi" means "ink") as Cure Black and Honoka Yukishiro ("yuki shiro" can be read as "snow white") as Cure White, and it just continues from there.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Any purple Cure, any Cure who has either purple eyes or hair or a purple Transformation Trinket counts. So do the villains.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Both the heroes and villains are always like this in every season/continuity.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Whether in civilian form or not, many Cures have this. See also Power Makes Your Hair Grow.
  • Recruit Teenagers with Attitude: Pretty formulaic to the Pretty Cure. Fairy retreats from the attacked homeland pick up inexperienced teens to become Precure. HeartCatch Pretty Cure! does look like this at first, but later reveals it to be an aversion, with Heroic Lineage in play.
  • Recycled Premise: Being a Long Runner, some newer seasons borrow elements from previous seasons at times.
    • Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash★Star is Futari wa Pretty Cure, but themed around nature and spirits. This is more blatant that most of the other seasons, to the point that it's sometimes mistaken for a direct sequel.
    • Smile Pretty Cure! is a Lighter and Softer version of Yes! Pretty Cure 5, as both have a Five-Man Band team with the same colors and a fairytale theme.
      • On the topic of Smile Pretty Cure, KiraKira★Pretty Cure à la Mode is this to Smile, as both were made after something happened that caused the series to change tone to a lighter and softer one, note  involve the girls transforming with a compact mirror and charms, have the girls hanging out in a place related to the series' theme note , and have a mid-season power-up that involves a pegasus character. note 
    • HuGtto! Pretty Cure is similar to Doki Doki Pretty Cure. Both series have a baby the characters have to take care of who came from the world that was in danger, use a smartphone-like item for the Transformation Trinket, have a white and pink wand-like item decorated with hearts used for the Cures' second attack, have an elementary school Cure on the team and use a smart tablet-esque device for the final attack used in the show.
    • Star★Twinkle Pretty Cure is similar to Mahou Tsukai Pretty Cure, as both series involve an imaginative pink lead obsessed with the season's theme who meets a person from a world dedicated to that topic and goes on trips there with her. Both series also has a unique concept with the Transformation Trinket note , use a smartphone item to take care of the mascot that looks like a book, and have a Sixth Ranger who comes from the alternate world they go to, with Mahoutsukai having Haa-chan become Cure Felice and Star Twinkle having Yuni, who used to be the Phantom Thief Blue Cat, become Cure Cosmo.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: A few of the seasons feature reused background music from one another, usually during the early episodes.
  • Red Herring: From Fresh until Doki Doki, there was usually at least one character initially hinted to be the Sixth Ranger, but turned out to be this trope. Due to what happened after Doki Doki used this, the practice was abandoned starting in Happiness Charge.
    • In Fresh Pretty Cure!, it was thought that the Cures' dancing mentor, Miyuki Chinnen, would become Cure Passion. It turned out to be Eas/Setsuna Higashi.
    • In HeartCatch Pretty Cure!... this trope is instead parodied. Chypre and Coffret went around asking Tsubomi's classmates if they could be the third Precure, even asking a boy, Kenji Ban, to be one (and he daydreamed himself becoming 'Cure Fire'). Turns out it's Itsuki Myoudouin.
    • In Suite Pretty Cure ♪, both Waon Nishijima and Seika Higashiyama, Hibiki and Kanade's friends in their respective specialties, were speculated to be the next Pretty Cures. The next Cures were actually Siren/Ellen Kurokawa (as Cure Beat) and Ako Shirabe (as Cure Muse).
    • In DokiDoki! Pretty Cure, Dark Magical Girl Regina, Princess Marie-Ange and Ai-chan were speculated to be Cure Ace. In fact, Cure Ace was someone completely new... but it later turned out Ace and the aforementioned candidates were all parts of the same person. The negative reaction from fans and the downward spiral of ratings and merchandise sales as a result of this twist might have caused Toei to abandon this concept in later series.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The various mascots. Most play a much bigger role in the series with Wonder Twin Powers (namely the first three, Heartcatch and Suite). Also in Doki Doki and Maho Girls, the mascots are the Transformation Trinkets.
  • Rose-Haired Sweetie: A popular choice for the protagonists: Nozomi/Cure Dream, Tsubomi/Cure Blossom, Cure Melody (Hibiki being a redhead), Miyuki/Cure Happy, Mana (but not Cure Heart, interestingly), and Megumi/Cure Lovely. Kotoha/Cure Felice is a non-protagonist example.
  • Running Gag: The In a Single Bound gag on a new lead Cure's first transformation, and the Crash-Into Hello gag when first meeting the mascot.
  • Save Both Worlds: Most plots involve saving the mascots' homeworld as well as Earth, although there are exceptions, like Heartcatch and Maho Girls.
  • Screaming Warrior: The Cures tend to scream quite a bit when in battle.
  • Secret Identity: It's interesting to note that while the Pretty Cure hides their dual lives from their non-Cure friends and family, the villains usually learn their real identities right away. Given that the one time the Cures blew their secret identities to their families (Fresh, if you're wondering) said families got so worried they almost locked the girls in their houses the day of the final battle, it's probably for the best. Sometimes other reasons are given, like how Maho Girls Pretty Cure! has Liko not wanting to ruin the reputation of the legendary magicians by revealing one of them is the resident Inept Mage... and then HuGtto! Pretty Cure does away with pretenses and has Harry fully admit it's just because being mysterious makes you seem cooler. In Star★Twinkle Pretty Cure, Lala tries to keep her Pretty Cure identity a secret from her family on planet Saman, but when it's revealed, they have no issue and actually take it in stride.
  • "Sesame Street" Cred: A few celebrity voice artists have worked on this franchise:
  • Shape Dies, Shifter Survives: In HeartCatch Pretty Cure! and HappinessCharge Pretty Cure!, the Cures' Transformation Sequence begins with an intermediate form which has their civilian appearance, but unbound hair and a simple gown made out of light. If they take severe damage while transformed, they will revert to this state rather than completely detransforming.
  • Sixth Ranger:
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Much of the franchise's comedy is this. Erika Kurumi, Kanade Minamino and Miyuki Hoshizora are the three most infamous examples, but Love Momozono and Nozomi Yumehara have their fair share of slapstick too.
  • Slice of Life: A good portion of each series is simply dedicated to the Cures' daily lives, with little interference from the villains outside of an obligatory fight scene in each episode.
  • The Smart Guy: Only those who doesn't have a double role. Mostly the blue Cures: Cure Aqua, Cure Moonlight, Cure Beauty, Cure Diamond. Cure Custard, a yellow Cure, is an exception.
  • Smurfette Principle: Despite being a Magical Girl franchise, there are not many female villains.
    • Futari wa Pretty Cure: Poisonny is the only female of the Dark Five. Later, Regine is the only female of the Seeds of Darkness.
    • Futari wa Pretty Cure Max Heart: Viblis of the Four Guardians.
    • Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash★Star: Not counting the Kiryuu sisters, Miss Shitataare is the only female of Dark Fall.
    • Yes! Pretty Cure 5: Arachnea is Bunbee's only female employee. Later, Hadenya is the only female member of the 2nd division.
    • Yes! Pretty Cure 5 Go Go: Shibiretta is the only female employee of Eternal, besides the secretary Anacondy.
    • Fresh Pretty Cure!: Eas of the three Labyrinth agents. She is later replaced by Northa.
    • HeartCatch Pretty Cure!: Sasorina of the three Desert Apostle Generals. And then, there is Dark Precure.
    • Suite Pretty Cure ♪: Siren is the only female from Minor Land.
    • Smile Pretty Cure!: Majorina of the Bad End Generals. The Bad End Precures appear for just one battle and they can arguably count as real members.
    • DokiDoki! Pretty Cure: Marmo of the Selfish Trio. Regina shows up later, but eventually two new male villains are introduced.
    • HappinessCharge Pretty Cure!: Hoshiwa is the only female Phantom General.
    • Maho Girls Pretty Cure!: Sparda is the only female out of Dokurokushe's minions. Benigyo is also the only one of Deusmast's kin that receives limelight.
    • KiraKira★Pretty Cure à la Mode: Noir’s only female underling is Bibury.
    • Healin' Good♡Pretty Cure: Shidoine is the only female Byo-gen.
    • Special mention goes to Desparaia, the only female of nine Big Bads in ten seasons. However, HappinessCharge Pretty Cure! introduces a new female Big Bad, Queen Mirage, but it turns out there's a Man Behind the Man. Go! Princess Pretty Cure has yet another female Big Bad, Dyspear, and Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure has the Witch of Delays. Darknest also qualifies since she’s really a Star Princess.
    • This also happens to the mascots from time to time. Milk is the only female of five mascots (Mailpo being counted), however, she is at least a main character. Chypre is the only female mascot who is introduced in Heartcatch, considering that Potpourri's gender is unknown. And Hummy, as well as the Crescendo Tone, are the only female mascots in Suite while Siren was never a good mascot. Mipple was also the only female for a long time before Lulun was introduced.
  • Special Edition Title: Starting with Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GO!GO!, whenever a movie is close to being premiered the title sequence of the currently airing season is replaced by scenes from the movie itself (while the standard opening theme plays). If the movie features a song, it'll usually play instead of the standard credits sequence. This continues for a few weeks after the movie premieres.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Only three series are officially subtitled, so character names are subject to differing romanizations depending on how fans translate them, with merchandise only occasionally offering a proper English spelling.
    • When it comes to Cures, at least, the Gratuitous English, French, and Italian tends to mitigate this. The lone exception is HuGtto! Pretty Cure's キュアマシェリ, a Japanese translation of the French phrase "ma chérie". Since the phrase is technically two words but most other Cures have one word names, fans are inconsistent on how it should actually be romanized. "Cure Macherie" and "Cure Ma'cherie" are both common, while "Cure Ma Chérie" is used by a smaller subset.
    • Other examples from mascots: Natts/Nuts, Pafu/Puff, Rate/Latte.
  • Spinoff Sendoff:
    • In a similar fashion to Super Sentai after Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger, since HappinessCharge Pretty Cure!, it has become necessary for the past pink Cure to introduce the next leader at the end of the final episode of the finished season. With that, Cure Lovely got to introduce Cure Flora. 50 episodes later, Flora does the same with Cure Miracle.
    • The transition got even more interesting and more Toku-like with the transition from Maho Girls to the next season. During the final episode, an epilogue set a few years into the future, while following an odd lollipop villain that looked like Dokurokushe and was stealing sweets, Mirai, Lico and Haa-chan were transported to on front of the Kira Kira Patisserie. There, they met Ichika Usami, one of the bakers there, who served up some nice treats for the girls. Later, once they got up to that monster and were fighting, as the girls were about to lose him, they got help from a mysterious bunny-eared ally. Only until after the credits does Cure Miracle learn who this girl is: Cure Whip, the new lead Cure.
    • A year later, a certain Hana Nono and a baby she was caring for visited the Kira Kira Patisserie. Then while the Kira Kira girls were fighting the evil of Chouro-sama that split from himself proper, and it seemed that the dark side would win, Cure Yell comes in and kicks Evil!Chouro's umbrella, which trapped Pekorin and her fellow fairies, open. Disappearing after cheering on the Kira Cures, Cure Yell/Hana returns in a post-credits scene to accept a cake from Cure Whip, which she baked with the rest of the Kira Cures to mark their moving on.
    • Again, at the end of Hana’s series, one last Oshimada is created by complete accident, and one Hikaru Hoshina shows up to help take it out.
    • Then at the end of Hikaru's series, she meets Nodoka Hanadera in the middle of the forest and exchange greetings before shortly jumping into a Giant Nottorei attack. Cure Grace then steps in and attacks, giving the Star Twinkle Cures a chance to purify the big brute. This one is merely the dream of a now-adult Hikaru in the distant future.
    • To no one's surprise, Cure Summer appears during a fight in the Healin' Garden during that season.
  • Spiritual Successor: The franchise on the whole appears to be this to the Magical Girl entries of Toei Fushigi Comedy Series, Sailor Moon, and most apparently Ojamajo Doremi (Heartcatch has the same character designer as Ojamajo). It may also be one to Dragon Ball, especially the first few seasons.
  • Spoiler Opening: Own page here.
  • Stock Sound Effects: The little pings and rings heard throughout the transformation sequences are repeated across all the Pretty Cure series, to the point that they're practically an entire series of Signature Sound Effects.
  • Strictly Formula: Not just individual episodes, but the series themselves. Some of the formulae below only apply to pre-Fresh seasons and some only to Fresh and after, since that season discarded a lot of franchise traditions in favour of new ones.
    • This became particularly jarring from 2009 to 2011, which always had four-girl teams and a "cheat code" item appear at a late point to give the girls a new attack or set of costumes.
    • In all series, seasons, holidays, and school events (culture festival, sports meet, etc.) roughly line up with the real world according to episode airdates. This requires a little chronological fudging, as Pretty Cure series run from February to January but reflect the April to March Japanese school year.
    • Notable is that around episodes 20-24 (usually 23) something plot-related always happens, usually the appearance of a Sixth Ranger or the Mid-Season Upgrade. Plot important episodes also happen mostly during the Episode 30 mark where they get another upgrade (usually a Team Attack including the Sixth Ranger), and the Episode 40 mark (sometimes another team member or an improvement of their team attack).
    • Certain plots also may happen once per season, such as two of the Cures having a disagreement and nearly triggering the team's break-up. This one in particular is known as the "Episode 8 Curse" and is most common in the pre-Fresh seasons.
    • An episode will feature one member of the team getting a real or imagined opportunity in acting/modeling/music/etc., with implications that they'll leave the area and cease all magical girl activities. Never actually happens.
      There is a variation of this formula in Go! Princess Pretty Cure. Kirara did the normal variation where she screwed her overseas modeling chance to save a Victim of the Week, but is then offered a bigger one at cost of eventually leaving Japan to Paris. She accepts. But her departure only happens at the end of the series, so she can still fight for the remainder of the series.
    • Most of the villains in Fresh and after will make a Heel–Face Turn by the end of the show by either purification (Desert Apostles, Noise, Pierrot's Three Subordinates), turning traitor (Westar and Souler, Regina, Shut, Lock), or flat out becoming a Pretty Cure themselves during the turnpoint of the season (Setsuna, Ellen and Towa).
    • It also seems that, from Fresh onwards, the first villain in the group to appear is the one who does a Heel–Face Turn first. Ellen and Setsuna, while Sasorina gets purified first out of Heartcatch's villains. Smile is an exception, as all three members of the Quirky Miniboss Squad are purified at the same time.
    • Doki Doki inverts this with Regina, who is the last villain to make an appearance. Also Inverted in that Regina is immediately brainwashed back to the side of evil afterwards... before finally joining as an 11th-Hour Ranger. Happiness Charge is also an inversion, as Phantom is last general to be introduced, and the first to be purified. A similar inversion also happened in Go Princess, Twilight was the last sentient villain (Stop & Freeze were basically upgraded Zetsuborg with little sentience or personality) introduced and then quickly purified into Towa and became Cure Scarlet.
    • There will be an episode/arc where the series' Fairy / Non-Human Sidekick get kidnapped and the Pretty Cures have to rescue them.
    • There will also be an episode or arc where the newest or youngest fairy runs away; sometimes it's combined with the above.
    • The 41st episode is often focused on a yellow character: Urara (plus Komachi), Inori, Fary, Yayoi, and Alice.
    • Christmas or New Year's is usually used to kickstart the final arc of the series, so prepare for a Mood Whiplash from what seems to be An Asskicking Christmas to quickly get world-endingly worse.
  • Student Council President: Considering the middle school setting of the Cures, some Cures are presidents themselves, such as Karen, Itsuki, Minami, and Madoka. Reika starts out as vice-president, and gets elected into the real deal late in the series. Mana is a main character and a Student Council President to boot.
  • Superhero Prevalence Stages:
    • Most seasons are the Early Stage: Each features a single team, with at most six members and no crossovers.
    • The first Pretty Cure All Stars movie heralds the Middle Stage: a Bat Family Crossover featuring characters from the six seasons screening up to that point (a total of 14 heroines). A new movie is made every year, incorporating the team from that season (and Sixth Rangers from the previous season who had not been introduced when the last movie was released). By the time of the fifth movie (coinciding with the tenth season, DokiDoki! Pretty Cure), there are 32 Cures, and at one point in Doki Doki Precure, one of the villains comments that at this rate it won't be long before there are a hundred. It is worth noting that these movies are not considered canon. This also applies to HuGtto! Pretty Cure, which establishes that all of the Cures (up to that point, around 60) are in danger thanks to the season's time-traveling villain.
    • HappinessCharge Pretty Cure! has a Late Stage, with Pretty Cures operating worldwide. It only applies to that season, however, due to the general Alternate Continuity nature of the main series.
  • Supreme Chef: Honoka, Hikari, Saki, Rin, Kanade, Akane, Nao, Mana.
  • Tagalong Kid: Ako and Aguri. Both are in elementary schools. Subverted though, Ako became a Cure before Hibiki and Kanade, and Aguri is The Mentor.
  • The Team: Most teams have at least a four-girl-band, though sometimes it dips into three (generally an Odd Couple with a third wheel). Some members play a double role.
  • Terrible Trio: Almost every Quirky Miniboss Squad has a main trio that is normally led by The Dragon, unless one of them is the dragon. The villainous trio is usually more active than the leader. Furthermore, there is a Smurfette Principle in every trio (except one).
    • Futari wa Pretty Cure has the Seeds of Darkness: Juna, Regine and Belzei Gertrude the leader.
    • Futari wa Pretty Cure Max Heart has the Four Guardians with Circulas, Uraganos and Viblis as the main trio who even die together. The leader Baldez rarely shows up.
    • Yes! Pretty Cure 5 has Bunbee's three subordinates Girinma, Gamao and Arachnea. Though, they never work as a trio. After they are killed, they are replaced by Bunbee himself, Hadenya and Bloody. Those three are "led" by Kawarino.
    • Fresh Pretty Cure! has the three Labyrinth agents Eas, Westar and Soular, but none of them is the leader. Later, Eas is replaced by Northa who takes the leadership.
    • HeartCatch Pretty Cure! has the Desert Apostle Generals Sasorina, Kumojacky and Cobraja, with Sabaku as their superior.
    • Suite Pretty Cure ♪ has Trio the Minor, led by Siren. She is temporarily replaced by Bassdrum for a few episodes before returning as leader. After Siren's Heel–Face Turn, Bassdrum takes the leadership most of the time, Baritone becomes the leader for two episodes before being replaced by Bassdrum again, and finally Falsetto takes the final leadership.
    • Smile Pretty Cure! has the Bad End Generals Wolfrun, Akaoni and Majorina. Their superior is Joker.
    • DokiDoki! Pretty Cure has the Selfish Trio: Ira, Marmo and Bel. Their new leader Regina steals their spotlight. Later, Leva and Gula are introduced, but they don't work with the trio. At the end of the series, Bel tries to perform a Dragon Ascendant. Emphasis on tries.
    • HappinessCharge Pretty Cure! has the Phantom Generals: Namakelda, Hoshiwa, and Oresky. In a bit of a twist, they don't have a leader; Phantom prefers to work alone, and Deep Mirror is an adviser to the Big Bad. It's also implied there are other Generals working around the world; one appears during the Hawaii episode.
    • Go! Princess Pretty Cure has the Three Musketeers: Close, Lock and Shut. Their leader, Twilight, only appears after Close dies. The role of leader passes to Shut after Twilight's Heel–Face Turn, and then passes to Close after he comes Back from the Dead. Close then creates Stop and Freeze, becoming the leader of his own trio.
    • Maho Girls Pretty Cure! has the Dark Magicians Batty, Sparda and Gamettsu. Their superior is Yamoh. Deusmast has his own trio as well.
    • KiraKira★Pretty Cure à la Mode averts this, only two of Noir’s minions work around the same time to fight the Cures- Julio and Bibury in the first half, and Glaive and Elisio in the second half.
    • HuGtto! Pretty Cure has the villains work in threes with Listol guiding them- Charalit, Ruru, and Papple in the first half, and Dr. Traum, Jelos, and Bishin in the second half. Daigan doesn’t qualify because he ends up becoming a Bait-and-Switch Boss.
    • Star★Twinkle Pretty Cure has Kappard, Tenjo, and Aiwarn with Galogre commanding them. When Aiwarn is deported from the team, Galogre ends up taking the third spot.
    • Healin' Good♡Pretty Cure has the three Tera-Byogens, Dairuzen, Shidoine, and Guaiwaru. While other Byogens do appear, these three are focused upon for the most part.
    • Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure has Chongire, Numeri, and Elda with them taking commands from Butler.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill:
    • In almost every season, the Pretty Cures use their new group Finishing Move to purify the Monsters of the Week, despite those monsters not being any stronger than the previous ones. And the old Finishing Moves become So Last Season.
    • In Futari wa Pretty Cure, Rainbow Storm is used very often, though Marble Screw is sometimes used, too. In most cases, Marble Screw would be okay, but Rainbow Storm is just an overkill.
    • In Futari wa Pretty Cure Max Heart, Marble Screw Max Spark is unnecessary because the monsters are not that strong. We see Extreme Luminario sometimes, but Marble Screw Max is never seen again. And before Marble Screw Max Spark was introduced, Extreme Luminario was an overkill.
    • In Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash★Star, we see either Spiral Heart Splash or Spiral Star Splash, but not Twin Stream Splash.
    • This is averted in Yes! Pretty Cure 5, Five Explosion is used only once against a Monster of the Week. The other times are against the Quirky Miniboss Squad members.
    • In Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GO!GO!, Rainbow Rose Explosion and Metal Blizzard are used a lot.
    • In Fresh Pretty Cure!, we see all of the individual finishing moves at the same time, and later Lucky Clover Grande Finale a lot. The latter is justified because the Sorewatase are much stronger than the Nakewameke.
    • In HeartCatch Pretty Cure!, Heartcatch Orchestra is a lot for the Desertrians, even for the empowered ones. This attack kills Desert Devils, though.
    • In Suite Pretty Cure ♪, there are Suite Session Ensemble and Suite Session Ensemble Crescendo against the black-boned Negatone. The other attacks would be enough, even if they are used together.
    • Justified in Smile Pretty Cure!, where the blue nosed Akanbe, Super Akanbe and Hyper Akanbe can only be killed by Rainbow Healing, Rainbow Burst and Royal Rainbow Burst, respectively. These have relatively long sequences.
    • In DokiDoki! Pretty Cure, we have Lovely Force Arrow against Regina's Jikochuu and Leva and Gula's combined Jikochuus because they have No-Sell to the individual attacks, except with Ace Shot. Then we have Lovely Straight Flush against the Blood Ring Jikochuus, despite Ace Shot (and apparently Lovely Force Arrow) being enough. And finally, Royal Lovely Straight Flush is used to purify Regina's Jikouchuu who are even weaker than the previous Jikochuu types.
  • Title Drop:
    • The Pretty Cures always announce the title of the series after a group transformation (though prior to Yes! Pretty Cure 5 it was just "Futari wa Pretty Cure").
    • Splash Star worked the subtitle into an attack name: Spiral Heart Splash Star.
  • Token Non-Human: Every now and then, one of the Cures won't be human.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Justified in-universe, where the transformation takes place inside a barrier or appears as a bright flash of light to observers. Yanagita Rikao, a Japanese university professor, even provided a scientific explanation as to why Cure Black and Cure White could never be attacked while transforming. Later seasons such as Kira Kira show that, to a bystander, Cure transformation is instantaneous and appears as a flash of light.
  • Transformation Trinket: Every single season has one.
  • True Companions:
  • Verbal Tic: Has its own page here.

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!


Video Example(s):



Tsubomi's crush on the Student Council President is crushed the hard way...

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / UnsettlingGenderReveal

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