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Anime / Pretty Rhythm: Dear My Future

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Top (L to R): Mion, Aira, Rizumu; middle: So-min, Chae-kyoung, Hye-in, Shi-yoon, Jae-eun; bottom: Karin, Mia, Reina, Ayami
Pretty Rhythm: Dear My Future is the second animated adaptation of the Pretty Series games by Takara Tomy Arts, animated by Tatsunoko Production. Set three years after Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream, Dear My Future follows Prizmmy, a new Prism Star group consisting of Mia Ageha, Reina Miyama, Karin Shijimi, and Ayami Ooruri. Having been inspired by Aira Harune from Aurora Dream, Mia dreams of being No. 1 and overtaking her someday. Aside from Aira, Prizmmy find themselves friendly rivals to five international students from South Korea — Hye-in, Jae-eun, Shi-yoon, Chae-kyoung, and So-min — who debut as Puretty.

As Prizmmy and Puretty begin gaining experience as Prism Stars, they are also drawn into tournaments part of the Symphonia Series. The prizes from each tournament from the Symphonia Series are Prism Stones with rare clothing items that are part of the Symphonia Set. Wearing them gives the user the opportunity to do a legendary Prism Act called the "Grateful Symphonia", but a darker secret lurks behind the Symphonia Series and may threaten to end the existence of Prism Shows for good.

A new system called "Prism Acts" is featured in the series, where Prism Stars can put on a special acting skit as a finishing move.note  In addition, Fan Calls have replaced the carat (points) system, where people can send votes that are separated into three categories: Cute (pink), Cool (blue), and Fun (yellow).note 

In real life, Dear My Future was also used as a vehicle to promote the music groups Prizmmy and Puretty, who the characters are based on. Unlike Aurora Dream, Dear My Future was more global-focused, as the involvement of SBS Viacom onto the production committee led to the series to be marketed in South Korea as well. On top of that, Avex was not shy about promoting Prizmmy and some of their other music acts through the series, and as a result, the series feels more Merchandise-Driven than its predecessor. Unfortunately, Dear My Future not only debuted around the time Japan lost interest in South Korean entertainment, but the series didn't do very well in both countries. This led to a Retool of the Pretty Rhythm series with its third season, Pretty Rhythm: Rainbow Live, which took place in a different continuity.

Tropes seen in Pretty Rhythm: Dear My Future:

  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game: The Sky High Symphonia is open to any Prism Star, but if the competitor loses against MARs, they must join the Symphonia Foundation.
  • Actor Allusion: In the preview for episode 22, which is the episode Yong-hwa debuts in, Mia keeps quoting Case Closed, down to the Tag Line "There is only one truth!", despite Reina telling her to cut it out. Guess who Yong-hwa's voice actress is?
  • Age Lift: Prizmmy and Puretty are based on their real-life counterparts; however, in real-life, the members of Prizmmy are 10-12 years old while the members of Puretty are 14-18 years old. in order to target the show's demographic, Prizmmy was made two years older than their real-life counterparts, whereas Puretty were all made 14-16 years old.
  • Art Shift: Compared to Aurora Dream, the character designs for this series are a bit blockier. While the arms and legs were thinner, the eye shapes were more square.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Mia, Reina, Karin, and Ayami were seen in the audience during the final episode of Aurora Dream.
    • Itsuki was originally a minor character in Aurora Dream, but in Dear My Future, he's given a larger role on account of him being the same age as Prizmmy, giving him more opportunities to interact with them.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Don Bomby seems like a Cloudcuckoolander Rummage Sale Reject with an odd sense of humor. However, he's really Kintaro Asechi, the Big Bad of the series set on ending Prism Shows in favor of Prism Acts.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Whereas Mega-nee announces the names of Prism Jumps and Prism Acts in the game, in the anime, the characters do it themselves.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Mia: "No. 1"note  or "I'm No. 1!"note 
    • Karin: "Galactica!"
    • Ayami: "I must take note!"note 
    • Shi-yoon: "Yeah!"
    • Chae-kyoung: "Celebrity!" and "Gwenchana!"
    • Jae-eun: "Munch! Munch!"
  • Continuity Nod: Dear My Future makes references to Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream's Prism Comedy Theater, a series of exclusive shorts from the home release. Examples include Magical Mion, Prism Ace, and the Magical Girl parodies where the characters attack a monster with their Prism Jumps.
  • Cerebus Retcon: In Aurora Dream, Sonata's outfit was tattered during her first Prism Queen Cup tournament and the narrative reasoned that it was because she was poor. Dear My Future changes this so that Sonata's outfit was deliberately sabotaged by Kintaro Asechi.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Jae-eun is very air-headed and relies on "eating" air in order to understand the feelings of other people. She is also very much in love with the idea of love.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Kintaro Asechi, the series' Big Bad, has been in the show from the very first episode as the Prism Show MC, Don Bomby.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Unlike the other characters who were Out of Focus in this series, Hibiki and Wataru get the worst of it during the Sky High Symphonia arc. To put it in context, MARs is captured and all groups under Pretty Top decide to participate in the Sky High Symphonia to save them. Who are the groups? Serenon with K, Love-Mix, Prizmmy, and Puretty. There's only one problem: Callings is also under Pretty Top, yet the story makes no mention of them and they do not participate, even though both Hibiki and Wataru would both have strong reasons to.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Mia is able to save the other Prism Stars and reach Hye-in after everyone around the world sends her Fan Calls.
  • Color Motif:
    • Red Is Heroic: Mia and Hye-in share this color, though Hye-in's is a bit more red-orange
    • Gray: Reina
    • Yellow: Karin
    • Pink Is Feminine: Ayami and Jae-eun share this color, though Jae-eun's is a bit darker
    • Green: Shi-yoon
    • True Blue Femininity: Chae-kyoung
    • Orange: So-min
  • Crossover: For the anniversary of the franchise, the original, Dear My Future, Rainbow Live, and PriPara= casts converge for Pretty All Friends.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Mia twice threatens to quit Pretty Top, both times because her melon bread was stolen. First by Aira, and then by Kyouko. To be fair, both of them just saw it lying on the table with nobody around to claim ownership.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Since Puretty is Korean, they do say some gratuitous Korean, but surprisingly not often, aside from Chae-kyoung saying "Gwenchana" ("It's all right!") and them sometimes mentioning "jeol-chin." Jae-eun calls Reina "unnie", but surprisingly, none of the Puretty members call each other this when they actually should.note  Another thing that sticks out is how Chae-kyoung calls her brother Yun-su by his first name when she isn't calling him using an honorific.
  • The Fashionista: Whereas Reina's specialty is singing and Karin's is dancing, Ayami specializes in fashion.
  • Hope Spot: Sho and Yun-su finally get an idea on how to save Pretty Top after the Symphonia Foundation captures MARs, Serenon with K, and Love-Mix. They manage to recreate the Symphonia stones for Prizmmy successfully and Prizmmy is able to perform "Road to Symphonia" with the recreations. However, even then, Prizmmy is unable to save Aira and they are captured by the Symphonia Foundation too.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: Don Bomby has several lookalikes running around town who wear the same nose-and-mustache glasses like him. However, it turns out that this is not a coincidence, and that all of them are the same person.
  • Love Dodecahedron: So-min loves Yun-su. Jae-eun loves Sho (for about 6 episodes). Yun-su and Sho love Aira. Aira loves Sho, but later decides she is not sure if she really is in love with him or not.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Karin has 8 younger brothers, presumably octuplets, since they appear to be about the same age and size as each other.
  • Maybe Ever After: By the end of Dear My Future, the series keeps it ambiguous as to whether Mion and Wataru get together. Kyoko and Jun are engaged, leaving Mion with nearly zero chance of dating Jun. Mion and Wataru now work together closely but their dynamic has changed very little. Wataru still acts as a Dogged Nice Guy to Mion, while she has yet to accept his feelings.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Due to the anime being a tie-in to the arcade game, the series can get pretty notorious about its Merchandise-Driven nature and Product Placement. It's way more obvious during the live-action segments of the show, where the real-life Prizmmy members are seen demonstrating the toys, announcing new merchandise, and new updates to the arcade game.
    • A new Prism Stone shop location opened up in the Venus Fort shopping mall in Odaiba, with Dear Crown's flagship location opening right next to it. The characters sometimes spend a good deal of time in the shops at those two locations, with long, panning shots showing off the clothing sold in the store. Mia's default outfits are sold in Prism Stone in real life (with the real-life Mia wearing the clothing in some of the live-action segments). She is also sometimes seen at Prism Store playing with the capsule toy machines, and shows off what she won, items which are also available in real life.
    • The Pair Charms can transform into hair/wrist accessories or keychains, which can be purchased in real life. The cell phones and Prism Stone storage cases can also be purchased in real life too.
    • Episode 6 introduces Surprise Prism Stones, a rare item you can get in the real-life arcade game.
    • Episode 19 shows Prizmmy and Puretty playing the actual arcade game that the anime is based on. They also show off the Prism Gloves, items that can also be purchased.
    • Every time Prizmmy and Puretty get new outfits, the Pair Charms use the Prism Stone Maker to make them a Prism Stone. The toy is sold in real life.
    • Sho and Yun-su are seen using the Deco Stone Kit to decorate Prism Stones, which are also sold in real-life. They both also own the Prism Stone Maker Deluxe kits, and they both use a large version of the Deco Stone Maker in the Prism Show World to recreate the Symphonia stones.
    • Avex also used the show to promote Tokyo Girls' Style and Dream 5. Their latest singles at the time could be briefly heard during the Stand Up Girls tournament in episode 12 and they continue to appear as background characters.
  • Mood Whiplash: After the first couple of episodes having a general positive tone, episode 8 suddenly ends in a dark room with a man reporting his failure to his boss, and the boss suddenly approaches him. The scene cuts out and ends with the first man screaming.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In episode 19, during the Kobe leg of the Prism Summer Festival, Prizmmy and Puretty play the Pretty Rhythm arcade game. Don Bomby even says Mega-nee's line: "With the red and blue buttons, let's dance!"
    • The choreography for "Cheki Love" was recycled from the choreography for "Summer Night Evolution" in the arcade game.
  • Out of Focus: Because the series focuses on Prizmmy and Puretty, there are a lot of characters who are left outside of the spotlight. Basically, if the character is not Mia or Hye-in, chances are they will not be developed.
    • Other than Aira, MARs rarely makes appearances during the first half of the series. Rizumu gets the worst of it, as Aira and Mion at least have played large roles in their appearances. In the second opening video, Aira is also the only person to appear.
    • Serenon with K gets even less screentime with MARs and only begin making more consistent appearances during the end of the Road to Symphonia arc.
    • Hibiki and Wataru only appear in 4 episodes total even though the series confirms that they are still Prism Stars, Callings hasn't disbanded, and they are still managed by Pretty Top. It gets especially ridiculous during the Sky High Symphonia arc, when the narrative decides to focus on Sho and Yun-su's rivalry advancing the phot without even so much of a mention, despite that they would be just as much emotionally invested about the events at the time.
    • Penguin Teacher, Yamada, and the Pair Cheers Lampshade a lot about not being given screentime and lines, especially during the Prism Summer Festival tournament. In episode 24, they even confront the Pair Charms about their dubious status in the show. However, they are completely absent from the Road to Symphonia and Sky High Symphonia arcs. Despite that they no longer mentor MARs, you'd think they'd at least have something to say about MARs being captured by the Symphonia Foundation. Part of it may be because they've been reduced to the Butt-Monkey Comic Relief roles, and their presence would affect more serious moments, so the writers decided to Shoo Out the Clowns.
  • Power Trio: Halfway through Dear My Future, Prizmmy and Puretty are temporarily split into three different groups to compete in a tournament only for trios.
    • Mia, Chae-kyoung, and So-min form the group Cosmos, with the name coming from their first initials.
    • Hye-in, Karin, and Shi-yoon form the group P&P, which represents the unbreakable bonds between Prizmmy and Puretty.
    • Reina, Ayami, and Jae-eun form the group Sprouts, which comes from Mion's idea of a new beginning.
  • Protagonist Power-Up Privileges: Mia and Hye-in get the most focus out of the main characters, and their final outfits reflect that. Their Symphonia outfits are the last to change, and when they do, they each have a special Prism Jump that only they can do.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Aira gets possessed by the Grateful Symphonia after Kintaro Asechi shows her his design, and when she announces that MARs is dropping out of the Prism Queen Cup, her eyes are glowing red when she lifts her head up.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Mia is Hot-Blooded, impulsive, and takes action in her own hands, while Hye-in is more reserved, calm, and careful. In addition, by the end of the series, Mia wears the red Passionate Symphonia Dress while Hye-in wears the blue Starry Sky Symphonia Dress.
  • The Reveal: Don Bomby, the regular MC of each Prism Show in the series, is actually Kintaro Asechi, Kei's estranged husband.
  • Running Gag:
    • The Pair Cheers and Penguin Teacher are always trying to get more screen time over the Pair Charms, but they fail.
    • Whenever Mia approaches Yun-su, she always calls him "Rival Dude", and Yun-su always has to correct her.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Other teams competing against Prizmmy and Puretty are Tokyo Girls Wind and Dream 4, a parody of Tokyo Girls' Style and Dream 5, two other groups from Avex. In episode 13, you can hear "Lolita Strawberry in Summer" by Tokyo Girls' Style and "EZ Do Dance" by Dream 5.
    • In episode 19, the explosions that Rabitchi, Bearchi, and Nekochi keep running into are a reference to Yatterman, one of Tatsunoko's most famous anime productions.
      • Another Yatterman reference appeared in episode 24 as Prizmmy and Puretty enter the Prism Stone Maker.
    • In episode 38, when declaring to defeat Aira, Mia does the Pegasus Ryuuseiken from Saint Seiya.
  • Spell My Name With An S: Is it "Greatful Symphonia" or "Grateful Symphonia?" Episode 16 of Dear My Future spells it as the former, while merchandise spells it as the latter.
  • Theme Naming: All four of the Prizmmy members have last names that are based off the name of a butterfly.
  • Tournament Arc:
    • Episode 12 takes place at the Stand Up Girls tournament, with the Starting Symphonia Boots as the prize.
    • Episodes 19 to 21 focuses on the Prism Summer Festival (casually referred to as "Summer Fest"), with the Fluttering Symphonia Tops awarded to the best team and the Awakening Symphonia Dress awarded to the MVP.
    • Episodes 36 to 38 focuses on the Road to Symphonia, with the Mysterious Symphonia Dress and Dreamy Symphonia Headband as the prizes.
    • Episodes 39 to 42 focuses on the Sky High Symphonia, with Pretty Top's survival on the line.
    • Episodes 44 to 50 focuses on the Grateful Symphonia.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Kintaro Asechi wants to replace Prism Shows with Prism Acts, which would end Prism Shows for good. He tries to reason with Mia and Hye-in that competitive Prism Shows would affect their friendships, while Prism Acts would put everyone on equal ground. However, because Mia and Hye-in value their Friendly Rivalry, which allows both of them to grow as performers, they reject his ideals.