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Anime / Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream

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Let's dance together! Go for it! Go for it!

Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream is the first animated adaptation of the Pretty Series games by Takara Tomy Arts, animated by Tatsunoko Production and Bridge.

The plot is about 3 girls, Aira Harune, Rizumu Amamiya and Mion Takamine, who are Prism Show stars and form a group named MARs.

The Prism Show is an all-new kind of entertainment show that requires its participants to be figure skaters, models, and singers all at the same time. Aira and Rizumu are two girls who both dream of becoming the Prism Queen. They'll have to train hard and overcome both their quarrels with each other and their blossoming interest in boys if they want to achieve their dream.

The second season, Pretty Rhythm: Dear My Future, is set three years after Aurora Dream and centers around a four member group known as Prizmmy☆ (Mia Ageha, Reina Miyama, Karin Shijimi, and Ayami Ooruri). Dear My Future also introduces five girls from Korea - Hye In, So Min, Jae Eun, So Min, and Chae Kyoung - who act as Prizmmy☆'s friendly rivals, PURETTY. The season also introduces the new concept of Prism Acts, a special type of Prism Jump used to entertain the audience.

The third season, Rainbow Live, is a completely new story, although the Pair Cheer and Pair Charm mascots do make occasional cameos. Rainbow Live introduces seven girls - Naru Ayase, Ann Fukuhara, Ito Suzuno, Otoha Takanashi, Wakana Morizono, Bell Renjouji, and the amnesiac Rinne. The season completely gets rid of Prism Acts, and introduces Prism Lives, in which Prism Stars use instruments to perform.

The anime started airing in Spring 2011, with a new season premiering every Spring until 2014.

Tropes included:

  • Alpha Bitch: Neko-chi is like this to the other mascots and is always going on about how Mion is a big international star and doesn't have time to waste on anybody below her (Mion isn't like that though).
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Besides Aira's dad, described below, Serena's dad always makes it a point to advertise his company whenever he comes to see his daughter's shows.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Penguin Teacher and Yamada are always around each other and one of their 2-minute shorts has them staring at each other while blushing. There's also their reunion scene in Pretty Rhythm: Rainbow Live, where they run to each other as if they were long-lost lovers — that is, before Penguin Teacher gets sentenced to Mascot Hell.
  • The Artifact: Penguin-sensei and Yamada, ostensibly dance teachers and the mascots' mentors, become pretty much superfluous after their debut and appear once in a blue moon for no other reason than to provide cheap laughs.
    • The mascots themselves make less and less of an impact in the story as the show goes on. They're just kind of there from around episode 40 onwards.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Serena and Kanon have this as part of their act.
  • Book Dumb: Rhythm, who does abysmally at exams.
  • Boyfriend-Blocking Dad: Aira's dad despises Prism Shows at first and breaks down from the idea of her daughter seeing a boy.
  • Broke the Rating Scale: Aira's Aurora Rising is deemed so beautiful and creative by the judges that they refuse to rate it and she becomes Prism Queen.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Serena is half-French, Mion is half-Italian.
  • Calling Your Attacks: The girls call out the names of the special jumps and tricks as they perform them.
  • Cameo:
    • Moeko Ueda and Asami Konno (yes, that Asami Konno), TV anchors for TV Tokyo, appear in episode 39 of Aurora Dream.
    • Takky (Sachi Taketani), the narrator of the commercials for Pretty Rhythm: Mini Skirt and MC for some of the franchise's live events made appearances as a tournament commentator near the end of Aurora Dream.
  • Camp Gay: Penguin Teacher speaks very flamboyantly and, on several occasions, has been shown he's in love with Yamada.
  • Canon Foreigner: Flare Nanri, the main character of the Aurora Dream manga adaptation, makes an appearance in episode 31 in the series and the comedy shorts.
  • Catchphrase: Aira's "Happy Lucky!", Rizumu's "My heart is fully charged!", and Mion's "Mion - switch on!"
  • Color Motif: Aira (pink / red), Rhythm (blue) and Mion (purple).
  • Costume Porn: The girls have beautiful skating costumes.
  • Crash-Into Hello: Aira and Rhythm almost met like this, but Rhythm did a Prism Jump out of the way.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Aira (red hair and eyes) and Rizumu (orange hair and eyes).
  • Crossover: For the anniversary of the franchise, the original, Dear My Future, Rainbow Live, and PriPara= casts converge for Pretty All Friends.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Aurora Rising is a bit like this. Sonata Kanzaki dropped out from Prism Shows after using it, and seemingly lost her will to live. Plus, anybody who fails at doing it can get seriously injured.
  • Doting Parent: Aira's dad deeply convinced that his daughter is the cutest girl in the world, and feels the need to inform the whole country of that fact by storming into MARs debut show wearing an animal costume and wielding a microphone.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Jun in the last few minutes of Episode 26. We're given a look into how Asechi treats him.
  • Epic Fail: Aira's first couple of times being in Prism Show.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: The more your heart sparkles (which is reflected by how much your costume sparkles), the better your Prism Jump will be.
  • Faceless Masses: To the nth degree in the anime. All the crowds are rendered as colored silhouettes. They get better about this as the anime goes on.
  • Filler:
    • There are several live-action segments that have nothing to do with the plot. It's taken to ridiculous levels in episode 13 where half the episode consists of a live-action segment to fill up the episode length.
    • Most of the episodes after episode 25 are filler and have very little to do with the plot. The plot picks up around episode 33, when Kaname is introduced in the series.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: In the fight described below, Aira has small white wings while Rhythm has gigantic black wings.
  • Happily Adopted: Kaname is part of Rizumu's family at the end.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Rizumu, and previously Kyouko, worked through Hell and back to perform the Aurora Rising, but never made it (well, Rizumu manages to do it finally, but blows it by running off stage after her mother), while their more talented rivals do it happily.
  • Henpecked Husband: Serena's dad. Aira's dad to a slightly lesser extent.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Aira is an example.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Episode 46, between Aira and a far-gone Rizumu.
  • Instant Expert: Aira, who does the Prism Jump perfectly at her first try. Which is later subverted when they show that she sucks at everything about ice skating and can't do a jump again until she's trained.
  • Jerkass: Kintaro Asechi in Dear My Future.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Serena and Kanon.
  • Lamarck Was Right: Aira's and Rizumu's parents worked in Prism Shows when younger.
  • Large Ham: Jun, one of the girls' managers, who has a penchant for talking in metaphors and randomly yet dramatically shouting in English.
  • Lost in Translation: "Purizumu" is supposed to be the shortening for Pretty Rhythm, pronounced as "Puriti Rizumu", but since it's translated as "Prism", the connection becomes lost.
  • Magic Idol Singer: Of a sort they're ice skaters instead of idol singers, and they lack Older Alter Egos, but otherwise the show fits the genre pretty well.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It's hard to say whether the jumps are really as they appear, or just metaphorical. The fight in episode 46 complicates things further.
  • Mean Boss: Kyouko, MARs' boss, is a money-grubber who'll schedule a Prism Show every chance she gets. But she's well-meaning for the most part.
  • Meet Cute: To give you just one example, the very first seconds after Aira meets Shou, he kisses her on the forehead. Now that's assertive.
  • Mentor Mascot: Aira's Rabbit-chi, Rizumu's Bear-chi and Mion's Neko-chi, the talking animal plushies.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Aurora Dream is naturally an animated adaptation of the arcade game of the same name, but the Product Placement can be pretty in-your-face sometimes.
    • Prism Stone's flagship store opened in Yokohama as a tie-in to the series and it is extensively shown throughout the series, with long shots depicting clothing sold in the store in real life.
    • Prism Stones, collectible items that can be used to customize characters in the arcade game, are also extensively shown through plots involving the characters finding or coordinating new outfits. This is also promoted through the Prism Queen Cup tournaments, where the winning items are often rare Prism Stones.
    • The live-action segments are often seen promoting Prism Stones and other toys. In episode 3, Mia is seen showing off one of Takara Tomy's Millefeui dress-up card series over Aira.
  • Missing Mom: Rizumu's. It turns out that she's Sonata Kanzaki, the only one to ever do the Aurora Rising successfully.
  • Multiethnic Name: Pietro Takamine has an Italian given name and a Japanese surname.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits: Kanon feels this way about her brother Hibiki being with Rhythm.
  • My Instincts Are Showing: Neko-chi can't resist pouncing on Mion's baton.
  • Mythology Gag: The choreography for several of the songs were recycled from the original arcade game.
    • The choreography from Aira's song came from "Kataomoi My Heart."
    • The choreography from Rizumu's song, "Kokoro Juuden", came from "D@nce (Maho no Groove)."
    • The choreography from Mion's song came from "Fuwa Fuwa Snow de Atta Heart."
    • The choreography from Serenon's song came from "Step! Step! Step!"
    • The choreography from Serena's song came from "Machikirenai! After School Rock!"
    • The choreography from Kanon's song came from "Tobikkiri! Poppin' Summer!"
    • The choreography from Kaname's song came from "Dreamin' Boys & Girls."
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Aira puts on a Prism Show at Kaname's request out of kindness. However, Rizumu and Mion point out that she had unknowingly shared their routine and outfits to someone who could potentially be their rival. Aira dismisses this at first, but coincidentally, Rizumu and Mion turn out to be right.
  • No Antagonist: Aurora Dream was like this: Coach Kei comes closest to being one; her worst characteristic is simply being incredibly stern even towards her children.
  • Pinball Protagonist: Aira makes it very clear that she doesn't really have a grand goal like the other characters, and therefore spends much of the series just doing what she's told and reacting to others' problems.
    • In the end, she decides that her dream is to share her feelings of happiness with others, so this trope still applies at the end.
  • Recap Episode: The majority of Episode 26, in which the girls flashback to everything that happened up until that point while going through the wacky hijinx of cooking up a giant gyoza for their boss.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Rizumu's eyes become red and dull from her obsessive training in performing the Aurora Rising.
  • The Reveal: In Aurora Dream, Sonata Kanzaki, former Prism Queen, turns out to Rhythm's mom.
  • Later we get Sere-non, who consist of Serena, Kanon and Kaname, and are rivals to MARs.
  • Kyouko and Sonata were rivals to each other.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Pair Cheer mascots in Aurora Dream, the Pair Charm mascots in Dear My Future, and the Pair Friend mascots in Rainbow Live.
  • Rummage Sale Reject: Rizumu, unlike Aira, has absolutely no sense of fashion, so she sometimes ends up looking like this (for example, in her date with Mion). She gets better.
  • Senpai/Kōhai: Mion functions as this at first to the other two, as she's been in the business longer and is six months older than them. In Dear My Future, MARs become sempais to Prizmmy☆ and PURETTY.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Serena and Kanon's first performance outfit resembles Cure Black and Cure White from Futari wa Pretty Cure. Their duo Prism Jump resembles their attack, Pretty Cure Marble Screw.
  • Significant Birth Date: Rizumu and Aira were born in the same year, month and day, which was when an important constellation in their world, the Skater, was shining in the sky, binding them not only to a bright future in the Prism Shows, but to each other. Mion is initially bothered that this means that she's basically a third wheel, until Jun reveals that the Skater was also shining on the day she was born (funnily enough, she herself doesn't discover this until episode 45).
  • Spoiler Opening: The 1st opening to Aurora Dream clearly presents Aira, Rizumu, and Mion as a trio, but they don't become such until over 20 episodes in.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Aira's sisters have the same hair and eye color as her.
  • Tournament Arc:
    • Episodes 12-13 focus on the Tiara Cup for the Pure Wedding Tiara.
    • Episodes 20-21 focus on the Summer Queen Cup for the Pure White Wedding Dress.
    • Episode 37 focuses on the High Heel Cup for the Pure Crystal High Heels.
    • Episode 40 focuses on the New Year Cup for the Pure Fresh Wedding Stone Set.
    • Episode 41 focuses on the Pure Premium Cup for the Pure Premium Wedding Stone Set.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Meat for Rizumu.
  • Verbal Tic: The mascots' tend to end their sentences with "cheer!".
  • Wax On, Wax Off: Rabitchi trains Aira to maintain balance by having work in a Chinese restaurant. Bearchi trains Rizumu to have better color coordination by preparing food at the Chinese restaurant and painting all the pictures in a coloring book.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Aira in episode 2 was thinking how nice it was to be in Rizumu's company (cue Death Glare from Rizumu).

Dream goes on...