The increased Moe elements are seen as either new and refreshing or as desperate and creepy otaku pandering.
The character designs. Some love them, others find them gaudy and trying too hard.
The revelation of the Glitter Force dub went about as well you'd expect when just the title and the involvement of Saban was all that was known. Then it came out that 8 episodes were being dropped. Some people were optimistic because at least it meant a new magical girls anime was coming to America, but many were still upset that a show in the 2010s was being released in the older, 90s style of heavy edits, lost episodes, and Americanization at a time when even most kids shows were not dubbed like this anymore. It seemed destined by this group to become yetanotherexample of an Americanized dub that would wreck the show then promptly crash and burn. Somehow this even revived the usual Subbing vs. Dubbing wars. The release of the first trailer did give some hope to people willing to try the dub due to the revelation of well-loved anime VA Laura Bailey as the voice of Emily/Cure Lucky, showing there had at least been a lot of effort put into the voice production. However, it did little to convince fans that were already opposed to the idea that it was worth watching as it basically confirmed what kind of dub it would be and they wrote it off without even watching it.
When Glitter Force finally streamed, it was decently received by the fandom at the time, as long as the viewer was willing to overlook the many changes made. To this day there are still many that defend the dub as a solid adaptation under the circumstances and particularly praise the voice cast and some clever new jokes and dialog. These fans were happy that it was a good enough presentation of Pretty Cure that could lead to the show finally breaking through outside Japan or leading to future English releases. However there were critical reviews of it in the press that specifically called out these alterations and in particular the insistence on the removal of Japanese names and culture in an anime airing in 2016. Furthermore, plenty of other fans ultimately watched about one episode and dropped it over the new and perceived inferior soundtrack, the constant darkening of many, many scenes, the eight missing episodes, and particularly that any single moment where the girls weren't talking (especially the transformations) be filled with endless chatter. Since the end of Glitter Force, though, that reputation has declined as time has passed and especially when non-edited, full versions of later seasons started coming to the English market anyway.
A specific issue of the dub was the 8 missing episodes. Smile's episode total is 48, meaning 8 episodes were skipped - this was later revealed to be done in an attempt to sell the show as two separate seasons to Nickelodeon, who only approved 20 episode seasons of all their shows (just ask Power Rangers fans how frustrating that is.) The episodes skipped are the ones about Okonomiyaki, Manzai, Lily/Yayoi's deceased father, Summer Festival, the visit with Emily/Miyuki's Grandmother, the filming of a Japanese Historical Drama, the Culture Festival, and Kelsey/Akane's first crushnote A foreign exchange student who spoke English. (in the original run, they were episodes 10, 17, 19, 26, 27, 33, 34, and 36 respectively). Some believed it was understandable that the episodes deemed skippable were mostly heavily Japanese while the dub was meant to be American. However, others pointed out that one of the dropped episodes represented an overall issue with the show toning down any darker content by removing a storyline involving the death of a family member, especially when contemporary American kids cartoons were openly tackling the same topic and doing well both critically and commercially for it. This paired with the show embracing a Never Say "Die" approach to the other episodes as well as many cuts to remove or downplay any potentially sad scenes. Still others dislike that any episodes were dropped at all - people who wanted a dub weren't able to get a complete series while people who didn't want any dub saw it as yet another mark against the adaptation.
Complete Monster: Joker is a surprisingly vile villain in an otherwise light and comical show. He's The Dragon to Pierrot, but since Pierrot needs to be revived to do anything for most of the show, Joker is the primary villain. His goal is to bring the world to a Bad End, an eternal state of despair. He revels in breaking people's hopes and dreams. His first major act is to kidnap Candy for something he thinks she has, and shortly afterwards he thrashes the Pretty Cure and takes their despair energy for Pierrot's revival. In the past, he manipulated Wolfrun, Akaoni, and Majorina's rejection in the picture books to become his Bad End Generals. Later, he sends them to die in a stalling tactic. Throughout the series, Joker tries to find the Miracle Jewel, which is said to grant wishes. When it turns out to be Candy, he tries to kill her, revealing that he just wants to destroy it to deprive them of hope. Then he sends the world into a state of despair, turning it into a wasteland. Even as he's dying, he's laughing at the prospect of Pierrot's revival destroying the world.
Due to its episodic, goofy nature, and childish writing (with the usual Myth Arc nonexistent), some viewers disliked it (however, it was financially successful overall). Apparently Shōji Yonemura, the lead writer of Kamen Rider Kabuto (which suffers from the same plot problems) also wrote for this show and wanted it to be "simple".
Overall, it really says something when the most popular character is a villain (Wolfrun), and not even the main one. It also says something when its first SH Figuarts figure is the PreCure who's an otaku (Yayoi/Cure Peace) and not the leader.
The villain Wolfrun has gained a surprising amount of popularity, almost to Draco in Leather Pants level. One day after the first episode, the Japanese art site pixiv already displayed about 5 pages of fan art of him, a lot of it even pairing him with Miyuki.
From the Cures side, apart from Yayoi, Reika/Beauty also had a massive popularity on her side. Reika's a contender for one of the most popular Cures in the franchise (possibly the most popular Cure ever, in fact), as she has consistently been ranked ''1st'' in the Naver fan-votes.
The same can be said with Miyuki/Happy. Not only she has consistently been in the top ten in nearly every Pretty Cure popularity vote since the first PreCure General Election in 2012, she's the one who actually dethroned Reika from the number 1 spot in fan-votes, such as the rankings in the 2018 poll and Rank Best.
In fact, in general all of the Cures can be considered this, considering Nao is a prime candidate for shippers, and Akane is one-half of one of the show's most popular ship, the Nissan Combination.
Joker isn't immune from this either, particularly at Tumblr.
After episode 23, Majorina in her more powerful AND sexy form, is also getting this treatment, with quite a handful of Pixiv fanarts just hours after the episode aired.
Ikuyo Hoshizora probably has more fanart on Pixiv than any other Precure mother in the entire franchise.
The Bad End Precures received fan art on Pixiv a week before their debut episode even aired.
Pop is also loved for generally being much more tolerable and mature than Candy.
The "Nissan Combination" (Nao and Akane) is also highly widespread and pretty much rivals Nao/Reika in popularity when it comes to pixiv fanart.
In the non-yuri side there's Miyuki and Wolfrun, which acquired quite a bit of fanart at pixiv as soon as the first episode aired.
Foe Yay Shipping: A lot of people on pixiv like pairing up each of the Cures with the villain they fought in episode 23. note Meaning Sunny/Wolfrun, Peace/Akaoni, March/Majorina, and particularly Beauty/Joker. Of course, this means Miyuki is left over—fanartists are split between keeping her single or having her and Sunny compete for Wolfrun.; the pairing of the Cures with their respective Bad End counterparts also generated quite a bit of fanart even before the latter's episode aired.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Episode 9 is an April Fools' Plot where Yayoi lies to Miyuki about becoming a New Transfer Student somewhere else. This lie soon spreads to her entire classroom since Yayoi unable to say "April Fools!". Eventually they hold a "going away" party, and Yayoi is given the chance to admit this lie. However, she can't bring herself to do so because she imagined that it would go From Bad to Worse where everybody would abandon her for being a liar and that "They'll be really mad... They'll all hate her" and "nobody will talk to her anymore". The very next year, a show called Kotoura-san premiered with a Downer Beginning that made this nightmare a reality for its titular heroine in a much more dramatic sense. To top off the awkwardness, this doubles as an Actor Allusion—both Yayoi and Haruka Kotoura were played by Hisako Kanemoto.
Gateway Series: If you're a fan of Precure since 2015 and have a Netflix subscription, then chances are, the English dub is probably what introduced you to Precure.
Germans Love David Hasselhoff: While Cure March was decently popular in Japan (In the sales of Smart Phones slips designed after the Smile Cures, she's the third most popular, only behind Cures Peace and Beauty at one point in time), she's the most popular character among children who watched the Glitter Force dub.
Lady Mondegreen: A mistransliteration of the kanji for "volleyball" infamously led a good chunk of the fandom to believe Akane was into ballet early on.
Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Nao Midorikawa. She is mostly shipped with Reika and Akane, but after Episode 18, Nao/Yayoi fanart began to surface, and after Episode 23, she gets shipped with the Beautiful All Along Majorina. And then there's Episode 25, which ignited more Nao/Akane shippers.
Les Yay: Wouldn't be Pretty Cure without it. Episode 18 is a standout example.
Also in the 3DS game, Let's Go! Marchen World!, the opening of which features Nao and Reika, Yayoi and Akane, and Miyuki and Candy ballroom dancing together in pairs...
Episode 25 is dedicated to the Nissan Combination pair, Nao and Akane.
Episode 33 has Princess Reika with her fangirls Miyuki and Yayoi.
Episode 39 has Cinderella-Miyuki dancing with... Prince Reika? And fairy godmother Yayoi getting gallantly saved by Prince Reika, and then they stare deeply into each other's eyes.
In the movie: Miyuki and Nico, Akane and Miyuki. Actually, every girl loves Miyuki.
Memetic Hair: All five PreCure do count, but the best examples are Cure March with her fluffy pigtails and Cure Peace with her banana hair.
Memetic Molester: Joker, it only took his voice and a couple of facial expressions in his debut episode for him to reach this status.
Mis-blamed: One argument against the localization was that another Americanized, edited Pretty Cure dub would prevent the series from succeeding outside Japan once again. Ultimately this was irrelevant as the chaos behind the scenes with Glitter Force meant the show was doomed to fail no matter how many people liked or disliked it. Glitter Force was then blamed for killing any shot at the franchise getting future localizations... only for this to be disproved when Toei secured a deal with Crunchyroll in 2020 to begin simul-subbing the then-most recent season Healin' Good♡Pretty Cure. After the release of the already completed Kira Kira Precure Ala Mode and the continuing of the simulcasting arrangement for Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure, it seems that Glitter Force's unfortunate circumstances had no impact on anything but future seasons of Glitter Force.
While he doesn't actually cross it by virtue of being Brainwashed and Crazy, Straw NihilistJerkass Wolfrun at the very least proves himself to be a Not-So-Harmless Villain in episode 40 when he tries to kill Miyuki as part of a vendetta against Akane and everything she cares about. Smashing the precious charm her friends made for her earlier in the episode was at worst a slightly extreme example of Kick the Dog even for him, but this is the first time a Cure has ever found herself in mortal peril.
The Latin American Spanish dub, partly due of the thickness of the accents of many of the characters, including having accents who are very out of place for their personalities, being the worst offender Reika, who sports a thick Colombian accent.note For a better analogy in English, it could be Caribbean English.
The characters are almost self-aware that they are supposed to be larger-than-life characters in a fairytale, leading to this trope. Especially Miyuki.
The dub in general sort of works, if you don't out-and-out hate everything about it, since it sometimes feels like an Affectionate Parody of magical girl anime, with the lampshades they hang, the Talking Is a Free Action during the transformation sequences, as well as the Tastes Like Diabetes of Glitter Peace's catchphrase's over-the-top cutesyness (which is even lampshaded), the fact that it's called Glitter Force, and that they take any and every opportunity to mention glitter and sparkling (which is often everywhere in magical girl anime). The dub is so ridiculous, but yet, charming, if you aren't totally offended by it.
One True Threesome: Appropriately enough, Akane's, Reika's, and Nao's hair colors (red, blue and green) are the primary colors for screens, which makes a shipping triangle all the more popular.
The Producer Thinks of Everything: A minor example, in the first ending's Cure Peace variation where she face plants, her face is red afterwards. This is the only time this happens.
The Scrappy: Candy is disliked for her annoying nature, plots being kicked off because she acts like a moron, and generally being useless. It doesn't help that she's also somewhat of a Spotlight-Stealing Squad (a good chunk of episode plots can be described as "babysitting Candy"). Her older and more mature brother, Pop, is not only more liked than her, but fans express disappointment that he's not the main fairy and is a minor character who only shows up every now and then.
Tastes Like Diabetes: Glitter Peace's catchphrase in the dub. "Puppies and kittens, the power of love!" HRRRRRGH! This gets lampshaded the first time she uses it.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The sudden darkening of many scenes in Glitter Force, presumably to avoid epilepsy, despite its own country having already strong guidelines to prevent such. The irony of a show called Glitter Force having all the glitter censored was not lost on many. It also ruins their Finishing Move, especially when they are in princess mode, which was originally a colorful spectacle, looks hard to watch when the screen darkens at random intervals.
Smile was the last season of the show featuring a score by powerhouse composer Yasunaru Takahashi (best known for his work on Fairy Tail), with Smile featuring a lush, full score that became one of his most beloved contributions to the franchise. So naturally, any replacement of this soundtrack would have gone poorly. Saban brought in their regular composer Noam Kaniel, who was best known for scoring the entire Neo-Saban era of Power Rangers as well as Miraculous Ladybug. While the final result was hardly a train wreck, it's been compared poorly to beloved Smile soundtrack.
While the English dub of Glitter Force had plenty of defenders, that is not the case for the Latin American Spanish dub, which was universally loathed for being of exceptionally low quality. It was dubbed in Miami, Florida by the same studio who produced the already controversial dubs of both The Fairly OddParents and South Park. The heat over it was so intense that any discussion about the topic in some popular anime sites was banned.
Even the most diehard fans of the Glitter Force dub agreed that the new American CGI dance sequences that appeared later in the show were extremely low quality and creepy.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Wolfrun/Ulric, Akaoni/Brute, and Majorina/Brooha inexplicably vanish after they're revealed to be Märchenland fairies and are only seen again in a page of the Pretty Cure's book.
Uncanny Valley: The CGI ending themes, with incredibly lifelike and fluid dancing movements topped by mildly-unexpressive anime faces, has a little bit of this effect, like people wearing anime masks. This was far worse in the American-produced Glitter Force CGI endings.
Aside from the series animation being pretty good overall, the first ending's CG animation is GORGEOUS, rivaling big-budget movies. The animated movements are also amazingly lifelike.
The sword fight between Beauty and Joker in episodes 23 and 43 is generally considered among the most beautiful animated fights in the entire franchise, with even the Broken Base appreciating the Animation Bump that went into the battle. Hell much of Episode 23's long-awaited battle against the Bad End Generals is truly beautifully animated.
Woolseyism: The dub's version Miyuki/Emily's "Kiai! Kiai! Kiai!" when charging up Happy Shower is her chanting "We've got spirit!" a lot like a cheerleader. Coupled with her saying beforehand that she almost made as a member of a pep squad once, it would be good way of pumping up energy.