Pretty Cure, Ranked

So back in October 2015, I posted my thoughts on the Pretty Cure franchise as a whole which included a list based on how I ranked each iteration of the magical girl anime. Since then, Go! Princess PreCure has finished airing, and there are some slight changes I want to make to the list. This list will group together the iterations that got two seasons, and will go from worst to best. Oh, and this is all my own opinion, so feel free to share yours as well if you so desire. The way in which I arbitrarily rank this seasons of PreCure is based on yuri subtext, story and characters – or something like that. With that said, let’s go.

Yes! PreCure 5 and Yes! PreCure 5 Go!Go!Pretty Cure 5
I don’t like either of these iterations of Pretty Cure. It felt like a slog watching both seasons, and I actually took a break between the two because I dreaded the thought of having to watch more. Still, I managed it, and I won’t be doing it again.
Nozomi/Cure Dream’s voice just grates on me, the mascot fairies are terrible and there’s far too much of it. Still, it has the usual PreCure fight scenes, so yeah.
My favourite Cure from this iteration would be Karen Minazuki, AKA Cure Aqua.

HappinessCharge! PreCureHappinessCharge
Another one that I disliked… but slightly yes than the PreCure 5 stuff. Dragging it down is a ‘romantic plot tumour’, where it seems that everyone harbours feelings for everyone else and I really didn’t care. There are a couple of redeeming factors; PreCure Hunter Phantom and the international PreCure. Still, didn’t care much for everything else.
Yuuko Omori is my favourite Cure from this season, because food is her thing and I don’t really think much of the others.

Smile PreCure!Smile PreCure
Ah, know we’re getting into the iterations I actually enjoyed watching. Smile was pretty much purely episodic, and it reached a climax halfway through. The second half was pretty much just a retread of the first, so it gets minus points for that.
Still, it does come with plenty of memorable moments – Cure Beauty’s Unlimited Blade Works and Super Saiyan 2 Cure Peace being particular highlights. Also, Joker is arguably one of the best villains in the franchise.
Cure Beauty is my favourite Cure from this season, for her elegance and the fact that she is able to wield both a sword and a bow, which are made of ice.

Futari wa Pretty Cure and Futari wa Pretty Cure Max HeartMax Heart
Where it all began. Far from my favourite, but I can’t deny we wouldn’t have Pretty Cure as it is today without these. Definitely some of the best music in the franchise, with the opening and first transformation themes being particular highlights.
Of course, there’s also the subtext between Nagisa and Honoka – though it is there, it’s somewhat negligible compared to the later seasons. Still, fanart and doujin can help with that.
Anyway, Cure White is my favourite for these seasons – I tend to enjoy watching calmer, intelligent characters. Still, Nagisa’s all right I suppose – when she’s not trying to get senpai to notice her… urgh.

Fresh Pretty Cure!
Fresh Pretty Cure
Here’s the first change to the previous ranking. Fresh Pretty Cure! is good, and it was more than welcome after the slog that was PreCure 5. Cure Passion’s character arc was pretty great, and it was the first time we saw that in PreCure (err… sort of – check out Splash Star‘s entry for more details). There have been a couple of other Cures like Cure Passion who have similar circumstances.
Oh, and the mascots, Tarte and Chiffon, in this iteration are actually tolerable, but not my personal favourite.
Favourite Cure from Fresh is Cure Passion – her powers are pretty great, and she puts them to good use in the film. Oh, and there’s her character arc as well.

Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash StarSplash Star
So first impressions would have this as nothing more than an imitation of the first series. However, give it a chance and it gains its own identity with two dark magical girls (Michiru and Kaoru) and an incredible final battle that has not been surpassed by any other iteration of Pretty Cure thus far. The physical violence was toned down (at least until the end), but it’s still worth watching.
Mai, AKA Cure Egret or Cure Windy (I know, two forms!) is my favourite Splash Star Cure. Yeah, she’s similar to Honoka, but that’s just the type of character I like.

Go! Princess PreCure
Go! Princess PreCure
OK, so I’ve given it some time for my thoughts on this one to settle in, and I’m placing it here on the list. Go! Princess improved on HappinessCharge by quite a lot, and I’m glad it did. I quite enjoyed watching this, and there were some incredibly beautifully animated scenes to be seen as well. Of course the whole princess thing involved a prince as well, and I’m sure you can work out what that means in terms of possible pairings… Though I have to say, that prince (Kanata) could have served as the fifth Cure in this season. Oh, and Yui might just be one of the best non-Cure characters so far.
But, yeah, there was yuri subtext too, which I was glad to see. Minami’s knight Haruka and Kirara ticking Towa are moments that stick out for me.
Cure Mermaid is my favourite Cure from this season – though Cure Scarlet does have a similar arc to Cure Passion, Minami is a blue Cure and thus statistically more likely to be my favourite. Quite odd for a guy who’s name means red, which also happens to be my favourite colour.

Suite PreCure♪Suite Precure
Top three time. At three, a show with a musical motif and characters called Hibiki, Kanade and Shirabe… and it isn’t Symphogear.
Anyway, I considered putting Go! Princess PreCure here, but the pairing between Hibiki and Kanade convinced me otherwise. Also helps that Hummy is the best mascot in PreCure so far.
We also have another Cure introduced with a similar set of circumstances to Cure Passion, and that one happens to be my favourite Cure. She is Cure Beat, and anyone who uses an electric guitar to power her attacks is all right by me.

HeartCatch PreCure!Heartcatch PreCure
Easily one of the best seasons of PreCure, if only due to Cure Moonlight’s story. However, it isn’t just Cure Moonlight’s story, and we get to see Cure Blossom grow from a weak, timid lass into a mighty fine magical girl. Cure Marine and Cure Sunshine are pretty great too.
As you may have guessed, Cure Moonlight is my favourite Cure from this season – she has to deal with a lot of tragedy and heartache, but she becomes a stronger person for it.

DokiDoki! PreCureDokiDoki
For someone who watches PreCure through yuri goggles, it should not be a surprise that this is my favourite iteration of PreCure. Mana Aida/Cure Heart, seems to have all the female characters drawn to her and there are plenty of jokes about this actually being a stealth yuri harem anime – jokes that have a pretty solid foundation, mind you.
Even then, there are plenty of yuri pairings between other characters that aren’t named Mana, whether it be between fellow Cures or side characters.
Another strong point is the myth arc that runs throughout the season – every episode will contain something relevant to the overall plot, whether it be a minor thing or not.
Favourite Cure… hmm, despite owning a figure of Cure Diamond, I’d probably say Cure Heart. After all, she’s the one that many girls are drawn to, with Regina being my favourite character to pair her up with.

There we have it. The majority of the PreCure seasons are actually enjoyable and a blast to watch – highlights being whenever the Cures fight the antagonists themselves rather than the monster of the week, and the finales are pretty spectacular as well.
So that’s the ranking for now, but it will change once Maho Girls PreCure! has finished – so, check back in February 2017 to see where I arbitrarily place it.

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About Rory

I enjoy writing, manga, anime and video games, so naturally here on my blog, you will find anime reviews, my art, Nintendo news and other such things that I deem interesting.
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7 Responses to Pretty Cure, Ranked

  1. OG-Man says:

    Reblogged this on The Yuri Nation and commented:
    Rory McAllister returns with an updated PreCure ranking. See which ones went up and down after Go! Princess PreCure. Rory promises to update the list once more after Mahou Tsukai PreCure next year.

  2. drinkie1 says:

    Unlimited Blade Works and Super Saiyan 2 Peace FTW i feel like rewatching those fights just for those reasons also yes Joker is EASILY one of the best villains in the franchise Gohyan was pretty clever too he hid himself from EVERYONE even the ones at Dark Fall and the fight with him was awesome.

    Yes 5 and Yes 5 GoGo! i really didn’t like same with Happiness Charge if i ever had to watch them again i don’t know if i could as a matter of fact just thinking about it is actually making me sleepy

    • Rory says:

      Whenever the Cures directly fight the villains it’s pretty spectacular, though some battles to tend to shine more than others.

      The only worthwhile thing to come out of Yes 5 was the movie, in which the Dark Pretty Cure 5 appeared. Other than that though, a total waste of time. HappinessCharge was slightly better, but it’s not something I’ll rewatch either.

  3. cirno9fan says:

    I will definitely have to agree about Joker. he was pretty amazing as a villain!

    And yep, Hummy’s definitely the best mascot~

    One of these days I’ll finish Heartcatch, and maybe actually get to Fresh. You’ve reinforced my feelings that I was smart to drop Happiness halfway through. And that I dropped Yes before getting more than 2 episodes through.

    One of these days I’ll finish Splash too.

    Pretty much every yuri fan I’ve talked to that’s seen Doki will call it a yuri harem xD It’s nice that they gave pairings within it. And I’m reminded of the unfortunate truth that ManaRegi doujins are countable on a hand that doesn’t even have five fingers….

    Here’s hoping Mahou gets to place itself in the upper eschalons!

    • Rory says:

      If you ever get curious about Yes, check out the first film (Great Miraculous Adventure in the Mirror Kingdom!) – that’s the only part that I actually enjoyed watching.

      Personally I feel like Splash Star isn’t given enough credit, possibly by people judging its beginning. Things do get better, and I would say that it’s well worth investing your time in.

      Well, regardless of the amount of doujins, ManaRegi is the best pairing in DokiDoki no matter what anyone says.

      Maho Girls PreCure!/Mahou Tsukai PreCure is off to a brilliant start and early impressions indicate that it will do very well. Still, there’s forty-odd episodes to go yet, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

  4. Very informative, and I’ll keep this in mind once I start going through the series. Thanks a lot. 🙂

  5. josefcd904 says:

    I tried watching a lot of the series. To date I seen, Doki Doki, Happiness Charge, Fresh, some of Smile and Go Princess.
    Happiness Charge I really like what they did on a large scale, they just never improved on it, they had the PreCure on a global level, yet did not do much with it.
    Fresh had to be my favorite, despite watching Doki Doki in like 3 days.
    Smile I only saw 20 episodes so far, I like the characters, just the plot is not the greatest.
    Go Princess, I liked the idea, it just felt like there was not enough to keep me entertained, for whatever reason.

    I have tried Yes PreCure 5, but could not get past ep 2. HeartCatch I tried once, and enjoyed it, but it being right after DokiDoki made it hard to watch, I still plan to.
    Right now I am rather enjoying what they are doing for the new series. It is really different since it takes place in the other world for once and not in their own. Hopefully this one turns out better since, well to put it simply enough, I want to see others use magic that can actually do something other than moving objects around to help Magical and Miracle.

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