Pretty Cure is a seminal magical girl show, but it doesn’t get its fair due from English-speaking anime fans. The first season, Futari wa Pretty Cure, got an absolutely awful English adaptation and Smile PreCure was adapted into Glitter Force for Netflix, but the rest of the franchise’s many series have remained untouched. I’ve watched each of the PreCure seasons, with several favorites, but it was 2016’s Maho Girls PreCure! that really inspired me to tout it as the magical girl gospel for younger viewers and anyone who has ever enjoyed a storybook-like adventure.
Maho Girls PreCure! follows a magical theme, starring thirteen-year-old Mirai Asahina, who happens upon a mysterious object that fell from the sky. Together with her stuffed bear Mofurun, she meets a magician named Liko who’s looking for the Linkle Stone Emerald. Mirai and Liko turn into the magicians (Pretty Cures, of course) in order to fight off the dark soldiers of Dokuroxy who come to claim the Linkle Stone Emerald. Mirai and Liko end up going to Magic School after all that, learning how to harness their new magical powers while fighting off the Dokuroxy lackeys.
This translates to evil wizards that show up here and there with the intent to destroy the world, much like the “monster of the day” formula seen in shows like Sailor Moon, Wedding Peach, and so on. But it’s all angled to seem as though it’s been pulled straight out of a fantasy book, in a much more whimsical manner than the other series. There’s a romantic touch to it as well that makes me feel like I’ve stepped back to a simpler time in anime.
It’s magical girl 101 stuff, but it’s also accessible in a way that’s been a boon for me to introduce the show to friends of mine who have children. I’m not interested in them myself–children, that is–and plan on avoiding the entire parenting thing, but I’m excited to introduce a younger generation with otaku parents to shows that might plant the seeds of excitement for the medium later on. And this Pretty Cure series is one of the best I’ve seen, combining a storybook aesthetic with important themes of friendship, kindness, fending off evil, and simple-to-understand plot threads that don’t overwhelm.
So far, the reaction has been massively positive for both younger boys and girls, who find something to enjoy–whether it’s the enormous teddy bear-looking monsters or the gorgeous transformation sequences. Plus, you have the fact that these are younger heroines to begin with. They’re idols to look up to.
It makes sense that this iteration of Pretty Cure could be getting a possible English dub under the name Witchy Pretty Cure, perhaps for this reason and the same that Smile PreCure was adapted into Netflix’s Glitter Force. Nothing’s been officially announced just yet, but it would be one of the most logical next steps to introduce additional fans overall to the ten-year running Pretty Cure series. I’d love to see the rest get the same treatment, but I understand that’s probably not going to be the case.
I found myself hopelessly engrossed with this adventure this time around, even when I wasn’t as interested in some of the prior installments. While it didn’t quite make my list of the top five anime I watched this year, it’ll definitely go down as part of my top ten, and I’ll certainly advocate for it as a great “first step” into anime for kids for parents looking for something out of the Naruto, Dragon Ball Z, and Sailor Moon norm. It’s classic, cute, and best of all, magical.
Top Image Credit: YouTube