Go! Princess PreCure is the twelfth installment of Izumi Todo’s Pretty Cure franchise. It is a fifty episode long magical girl anime series produced by Toei Animation. The director is Yuta Tanaka and the writer is Hitoshi Tanaka – the latter of which also wrote Dragon Ball: Plan to Eradicate the Super Saiyans. Character designs are by Yukiko Nakatani.
The story begins with a young Haruko Haruno, who has a dream of becoming a princess. She meets a boy named Kanata who gives her a charm and tells her to never give up on her dream.
Ten years later is when the story starts proper, with Haruka attending the Noble Academy boarding school. Though she is thirteen at this point, Haruka still holds on to her dream of becoming a princess.
After an encounter with Pafu and Aroma – two fairies from the Hope Kingdom, and the mascots for this iteration of Pretty Cure – Haruka also encounters a man named Close. Close works for an organisation called Dys Dark, which is led by a witch named Dyspear. As you might be able to guess, Dyspear wants to throw the entire world into despair – this is done by locking away people’s dreams.
Turns out the charm from Kanata is a key, to be used with the Princess Perfume given to her by the fairies. When Haruka uses the key, she transforms into Cure Flora – one of the legendary warriors Pretty Cure.
Haruka is joined by three others as Princess PreCure; Minami Kaido, Kirara Amanogawa and Towa Akagi. They are Cure Mermaid, Cure Twinkle and Cure Scarlet respectively. The Princess PreCures’ goal is to collect all of the Dress Up Keys and protect people’s dreams from Dys Dark.
As with other iterations of Pretty Cure before it, Go! Princess PreCure follows a monster of the week formula – not that this detracts from the overall appeal in anyway. Naturally, there are some exceptions to this rule – again, something that is normal for Pretty Cure, particularly when the plot kicks in.
Cure Flora, or Haruka Haruno in civilian form, is the lead Cure for this season. As mentioned before she dreams of becoming a princess – a dream that resulted in her being bullied when she was younger. She is seemingly always full of energy and tends to be fairly clumsy.
The blue Cure for this season is Minami Kaido, who transforms into Cure Mermaid. Cure Mermaid is one year older than Haruka, and is known throughout Noble Academy for her beauty, elegance and caring nature. Oh, she’s also the student council president of Noble Academy.
Next up is fan-favourite Kirara Amanogawa, who transforms into Cure Twinkle. She’s an up and coming fashion model who attends Noble Academy. Kirara is also reluctant to become a Cure at first, returning the Princess Perfume twice in her introduction episode. Her work as a fashion model is the reason behind this, though she accepts the call in the end.
The fourth Cure doesn’t join until part-way into the series. Towa Akagi transforms into Cure Scarlet. Towa had a sheltered life before becoming a Princess PreCure, so she’s lacking in social experience – she does possess skills in a variety of areas such as dance, music and academics, though.
In each season of Pretty Cure, you’ll also tend to find a ‘big good’ – Prince Kanata serves this role in Go! Princess PreCure. From time to time Kanata will fight alongside the Princess PreCures, with there being jokes about him being the fifth Cure – still, it’s nice to have a royal who actually does something.
Of course, a big good is generally opposed by a big bad – in this case, Dyspear. Dyspear will also actively take part in the action on occasion, proving that she’s not just some ominous presence who hands out commands to her underlings.
Out of Dyspear’s underlings, Close is the most notable – he’s the first villain the Cures fight proper. So what’s so great about a starter villain? Well, watch the series and find out. Shut and Lock, the other two main underlings, also have some interesting development throughout the series.
Oh, and it’s definitely worth mentioning Princess Twilight – she is the evil counterpart of the Princess PreCure. Twilight considers herself to be the only true princess in the series, and is certainly capable of holding her own in a fight.
In terms of other characters, the only ones worth mentioning are Yui Nanase and Miss Siamour. Miss Siamour is a Siamese cat fairy who peppers almost every sentence with English words. She can transform into a human, and is the one who teaches the Cures how to be princesses.
Yui Nanase is the first friend Haruka makes at Noble Academy. It doesn’t take long for Yui to discover that Haruka and the others are the legendary warriors Pretty Cure. Of course, possessing that knowledge means that she is probably the person who’s dream is targeted most throughout the series, but that certainly leads to some interesting events during the last couple of times. Yui is another character that is popular with the fans, and with good reason.
There’s a whole host of other characters – the students and staff of Noble Academy, the Cures’ friends and families and a few others. Naturally, if any of those characters have the spotlight, their probably going to be the victim of the week.
The Princess PreCures’ objectives to collect all the Dress Up Keys and become Grand Princesses are not easy, and they have plenty of hardships to overcome. One that sticks in mind particularly is the inevitable descent into despair for one of the characters – it wasn’t an enemy who drove her into that state.
Actually, the Cures have tough decisions to make when it comes to their dreams – Kirara finds it tough to balance being a model and a Cure for example. We get to see how the characters tackle those decisions and the effects they have.
Go! Princess PreCure is probably the best looking Pretty Cure to date – episodes 30, 39 and the finale are all pretty spectacular examples of this. The fights in particular are great fun to watch, with many that wouldn’t look out of place in a shonen anime. Of course, most fights ends with a big flashy special attack, but the hand-to-hand combat on display is brilliant.
So if you’ve read my ‘Thoughts on Pretty Cure‘ post, you know that I got into Pretty Cure because of the yuri subtext. Go! Princess PreCure has plenty of that as well. This is something that is definitely worth watching with yuri goggles, if you’re into that.
Anyways, Haruka has moments with all of the female cast that count as subtext – my particular favourite being episode 9, with Minami chooses to have her first dance with Haruka, and Haruka calling herself Minami’s knight.
Another great example of this is when Kirara tickles Towa in order to make her smile – this is probably the most intimate you’ll see two characters in PreCure. Oh, they also become roommates as well.
Haruka also has a few notable moments with Yui, the first of which is right in the first episode. Haruka could start her own harem with the female characters – though it wouldn’t even come close to Mana’s.
Haruka and Minami are one of my personal favourite pairings from this season, as well as Kirara and Towa.
One of the best-looking iterations of Pretty Cure to date. It blows its predecessor, HappinessCharge PreCure, out of the water, and should be watched by all fans of the magical girl genre. Of course, it does mean that Maho Girls PreCure! has a tough act to follow…
Sometime in the near future, I’ll be posting an updated ranking for the Pretty Cure series, so if you want to know what I think of this series compared to all the others, keep an eye on my blog.