By: Casea Mhtar | @madamekrow
As a fan of Mahou Shoujo, I’ve had my eye on the longstanding Pretty Cure series for quite a while. However, I couldn’t jump into this colorful franchise because it was only available on illegal streaming services. As a Neutral Good, that doesn’t sit well with me. My only other option would be Glitter Force on Netflix, for which I have heard many complaints about the dubbing. So, I decided to forgo that as well. It wasn’t until fairly recently that Crunchyroll has started adding their dubs for Healin’ Good Pretty Cure (their most current season) and Kirakira Pretty Cure a la Mode that I am finally able to hop right in! I mean, yeah, Crunchyroll had the very first season already, but I’m picky, and I didn’t want to start with that one. Not only that but if I had watched it when I first wanted to get into this franchise, I’d have to wait years before legally watching more seasons! (And why would I sentence myself to such a horrible fate?!) Frivolous complaints aside, I now have my chance to start this series exactly where I wanted to in the first place: Kirakira Pretty Cure a la Mode!!
What Should You Expect?
I’m seven episodes in, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it! First and foremost, PreCure (short for Pretty Cure) is generally aimed toward a demographic of 4 to 7-year-old girls; however, there is a loyal fanbase of adults who watch the show and buy the merchandise (much like My Little Pony). All this to say that it is obviously a show for young girls, so you won’t be seeing the same kind of content you might find in a Shonen, for instance. It’s all just good wholesome fun, perfect for a brightly colored distraction from the darkness of the real world. With that in mind, the animation exceeded my expectations, which were relatively low to begin with, and there’s a wide array of expressions. There were definitely some moments that had me bust out laughing because of their attention to detail during well-timed comedic moments. I certainly have my gripes, but I’m rather at peace with them considering I was well aware of potential issues going into the series–those issues being with the villains and the combat.
PreCure, as a whole, is a monster-of-the-week kind of show, but as far as I understand, there is usually an overarching big-bad working behind the scenes throughout the season in these kinds of shows. There are a total of 49 episodes in this particular season, so the main villain will probably appear at some point. As of right now, the monsters in each episode are painfully convenient and, thus far, the fights feel somewhat lazy as they shoot out ropes made of cream to bind the enemy in each episode with little struggle. I’ve heard other PreCure seasons have excelled in both of these things, so I understand that each one will have their own pros and cons. But again I’m only 7 episodes in; there’s plenty of room for spectacle and splendor to go! Besides, these minor complaints really don’t amount to much since this show has exceeded my expectations overall, allowing me to look past the blemishes and simply enjoy the show. With all of that said, let’s address the pink magical-girl in the room…
Tokyo Mew Mew
I know, I know, I was thinking the exact same thing I’m assuming you’re thinking right now. I too had an accusatory tone in my head as I thought, “Is that a Tokyo Mew Mew rip off?” The answer is, “Well of course not!” Otherwise, they would’ve legally been taken down, like, yesterday. Even so, there are some similarities. While not outright plagiarism, the show will remind you of Tokyo Mew Mew, either because of the designs or color schemes. But honestly, those reminders begin to dissipate as the shows’ respective stories begin to diverge. You will soon realize that PreCure is entirely doing their own thing with the whole food-mixed with animal themes. In fact, they lean into the animal side of things far more than Tokyo Mew Mew, and it’s enjoyable to see these ideas played out. Sure, both groups have a pink, strawberry girl as their leader. But, if you were to look past that, you’ll see that these two characters, much like the series themselves, are entirely different from each other. So if you’re a fan of Tokyo Mew Mew and you were rolling your eyes and brushing PreCure a la Mode aside for that reason alone, I’d say give it a shot!
With All of That Out of The Way,
Let’s talk about why I really like this season of PreCure: I love a good sweets motif, and I am absolutely infatuated with the character designs of this show. Moreover, the food looks so good that I want to eat it. Going in, I knew that the food would look okay, but boy did they not disappoint! In the second episode, they make pudding (the jiggly kind, not the plastic cup variety) and let me tell you… when that pudding plopped and wobbled onto the plate, I felt it.
I think though that what I really enjoy is the show’s overall message. This show is all about coming together with your friends and putting your heart and soul into your creations, adding those little personal touches that your stomach will indifferently digest with the rest of it. I know that the idea of friendship and coming together is a staple feature of the genre, but this show feels like it’s taken a refreshing look at that idea.
As the person watching, I feel like the show’s intention is to make watchers the recipient of feeling special and loved for who you are and what you like. I appreciate that the characters aren’t masters of their crafts in many regards yet, but evens though they might not be the best and they make multiple failed attempts, they remain determined. These girls are driven by the power of friendship and the sweet times they spend together, as well as their own passions. That right there is precisely why I will continue watching Kirakira PreCure a la Mode. In fact, that’s why I’m a fan of the Mahou Shoujo in general–To be reminded of the pure joy a wonderful friendship can bring!! 🧡 To feel that pillowy-ticklishness I get in my heart when I think of the ones I hold dear.
Something as simple as friendship, just like that extra whipped cream on your favorite treat, can make all the difference in life! 🎂🧡