So I’ve ranked Pretty Cure by season based on my own personal tastes, and I always mention how the main reason I’m watching it is for the yuri subtext. With that in mind, I figure a post to talk about the various pairings would probably be a good idea.
As you may have guessed, the pairings I will talk about will strictly be yuri – I know there’s potential straight pairings as well, but I have no personal interest in them.
This is just to discuss the various pairings, so I’m not ranking them or anything. However, I’ll probably mention when I’m talking about a favourite.
Also, the pictures featured in this post were found on danbooru (a NSFW imageboard, though the images in this post are SFW), and the caption for each image will have the artist’s name.
Nagisa Misumi (Cure Black) and Honoka Yukishiro (Cure White)
Well, might as well start with the premier Cures, from Futari wa Pretty Cure. They definitely deserve a mention for being the first, though there are several factors that put a dampener on this pairing in the main series.
Still, Nagisa and Honoka could be considered the fan-preferred couple for this season – with them playing lead roles in Romeo and Juliet, and the pair sharing a bed at one point providing some pretty good reasons for having them together.
Saki Hyuuga (Cure Bloom/Cure Bright) & Mai Mishou (Cure Bright/Cure Windy)
For characters who start of as expies of Nagisa and Honoka, it’s only natural that there’d be yuri subtext between the two. Fortunately, they do go on to become their own characters, but retain that yuri subtext. Heck, the non-serial movie is almost entirely devoted to the relationship between Saki and Mai. Should probably also mention the first ending theme with all the shots of Saki and Mai holding hands.
Saki does show interest towards Mai’s older brother, though nothing much really happens with that as far as I recall.
I happen to prefer Splash Star to the first two seasons, so naturally when it comes to couples I prefer Saki and Mai to Nagisa and Honoka.
Yes! Pretty Cure 5 and Yes! Pretty Cure 5 Go!Go! does have some yuri subtext, but ultimately it was pretty negligible. So let’s just move on.
Love Momozono (Cure Peach) and Setsuna Higashi (Cure Passion)
From Fresh Pretty Cure!, Cure Passion officially debuts around the halfway point. To say too much more would spoil things, but basically she ends up living together with Love and her family, and Love is there to offer advice and comfort when Setsuna needs it.
A pretty good pairing, though there are others that I think are better.
Yuri Tsukikage (Cure Moonlight) and Momoka Kurumi
Ah, a pairing between a Cure and a civilian – though that civilian is the older sister of Erika Kurumi, AKA Cure Marine. Yuri and Momoka attend the same school, and have some rather nice moments together.
Tsubomi Hanasaki (Cure Blossom) and Erika Kurumi (Cure Marine)
Since HeartCatch starts with two Cures, it’s only natural for there to be les yay between the two. Actually, Tsubomi could be paired up with practically any of the other characters, the Cures in particular. When it comes down to it, I think she’s best paired up with Erika, though being at Yuri’s side during the climactic battle also provides a solid argument for that pairing.
Hibiki Houjou (Cure Melody) and Kanade Minamino (Cure Rhythm)
From Suite PreCure♪, we have quite possibly one of the best couples in the franchise – though still not my personal favourite.
Anyway, the two argue like a married couple, Kanade’s father says he bakes cakes for his wife and Kanade repeats that almost word for word about Hibiki, there’s a point where Cure Melody and Cure Rhythm have what could be considered an accidental kiss, a female villain infiltrates their school and we get what looks like a love triangle situation, their transformation and the opening theme… yeah, just a couple of things to justify this pairing, then.
Hummy and Seiren
How about some love between mascots? Maybe a weird inclusion, but hey, why the heck not? Anyway, turns out trying to make Hummy suffer in front of Seiren is a rather bad idea – this acts as catalyst for an event that I won’t spoil here; though I suspect it’s easy enough to guess considering this is Pretty Cure.
Regardless, definitely a more unusual pairing, but one that deserves recognition anyway.
Akane Hino (Cure Sunny), Nao Midorikawa (Cure March) and Reika Aoki (Cure Beauty)
Did I say pairs? Well, Smile PreCure! gives us the RGB Trio. If you want pairs, I suppose you could go for the Nissan Combination (Akane and Nao) or 8:40 (Nao and Reika), but why not put all three characters together?
There’s an episode dedicated to the Nissan Combination (thus named because Sunny and March are both names of Nissan-brand vehicles), and it seems this was a catalyst for creating a fan-preferred couple.
Oh, and 8:40 refers to moments between Nao and Reika that tend to happen around the eight minutes and forty seconds mark.
Talking of Reika, there’s an episode based on fairy tails where she gets to be the handsome prince who dances with Cinderella-Miyuki… and Yayoi quite likes Prince Reika as well.
Miyuki Hoshizora (Cure Happy) and Nico
Nico is a movie-only character, appearing in Smile PreCure! The Movie: Big Mismatch in a Picture Book!, but hey, she provides some les yay so why not acknowledge her here?
Nico’s isn’t particularly nice at first, but there’s a pretty good reason for this. As the movie goes on, she gets better and even declares her love for Miyuki. Though the movies tend to be non-canon, it’s definitely worth watching this one for that.
Next up, we dive into the stealth yuri harem that is DokiDoki! PreCure – my personal favourite iteration of Pretty Cure, and also the one with my favourite pairing. Now, let’s take a look at the six different girls that have feelings for Mana Aida (Cure Heart).
Rikka Hishikawa (Cure Diamond)
First up, Mana’s close and devoted childhood friend, Rikka. Mana feels she can do so much more with the support of Rikka. Rikka also gets called Mana’s wife at one point. Rikka also gets jealous over the growing friendship between Mana and Makoto.
Mana can get back into Rikka’s good graces by saying ‘I love you’. Oh, and the pair have slept together at least once… the list doesn’t end there, either.
Alice Yotsuba (Cure Rosetta)
Also a childhood friend of Mana’s, and she feels the same jealousy over the friendship between Mana and Makoto as Rikka. In a flashback, Mana caught Alice much like one might expect a prince to catch a falling princess, and Alice is motivated to fight for Mana after recalling her words from when they were younger. Oh, and Alice is the one who looks after Mana in the infirmary. Not as much here as for other characters, but still…
Makoto Kenzaki (Cure Sword)
Mana pretty much fangirls over Makoto, and can be seen as having a crush on her. They decorate a rice omelette with a heart together, Mana and Makoto get described as Ai’s mama and papa, Makoto doesn’t like the idea of Regina befriending Mana. The two also eat a rice omelette together, which Mana is happy about.
Aguri Madoka (Cure Ace)
There’s a point where Aguri leans on Mana’s head for no reason, they all share their shaved ice together – ‘Super Special Delicious Sweets’, an experience that Mana shared with Regina before, Aguri becomes the sparrow to Mana’s prince and they also dance together.
Or is it Sharuru? Well, however you spell it, Mana hugs Charle, Charle does everything for Mana and they sleep in the same bedroom.
Ah, here’s quite possibly my most favourite non-Cure character in the entire franchise. She also happens to be my favourite character to pair Mana with, and the following will show why this is:
It starts with Regina declaring that Mana belongs to her, Cure Heart gives a speech that sets Regina’s heart racing, episode 21 has Regina say three words, episode 22 shows them sleeping together in the same bed whilst holding hands. Cure Heart loses her will to fight for reasons pertaining to Regina, though she is able to get it back thanks to her love for her harem.
The final few episodes really take the cake when it comes to Mana and Regina, though.
There isn’t just Mana’s harem, either. Makoto gets moments with Marie Ange and Alice, there’s also Aguri and her classmate and ‘most precious friend’ Eru.
To sum it up, DokiDoki! PreCure is a goldmine for yuri fans. That’s part of what makes it my personal favourite iteration of the Pretty Cure franchise, along with the myth arc that runs through it.
Megumi Aino (Cure Lovely) and Hime Shirayuki (Cure Princess)
Though it felt like everyone had romantic feelings for everyone else at some point in HappinessCharge, this happens to be a fan-preferred couple even despite all the straight couples getting exposure.
Some highlights include Megumi and Hime holding hands, the pair cutting a cake together like at a wedding, Megumi saying she loves Hime and Megumi dreaming of Hime’s belly…
In the grand scheme of things, HappinessCharge wasn’t very good in my opinion, even with the yuri subtext, so I don’t really think much of this pairing.
Haruka Haruno (Cure Flora) and Minami Kaido (Cure Mermaid)
Yes, Kanata serves as a potential love interest for Haruka in Go! Princess PreCure, but I don’t care – in fact, it seems that Haruka is a launcher of a thousand ships, being paired with Yui, Minami, Kirara, Towa, Kanata, Close and Yuuki. It’s just that out of those potential pairings, I happen to believe she goes best with Minami.
This comes about from Haruka comforting Minami by holding her hand, as her fear of ghosts has rendered her unable to fight. In the same episode, Minami asks to have her first dance with Haruka, in front of the entire school. Haruka accepts, and there’s also the declaration of her being Minami’s knight.
Or how about when Minami’s self-proclaimed fiancee turns up and tries to separate Haruka from Minami – this only results in strengthening the bond between the two girls.
Kirara Amanogawa (Cure Twinkle) and Towa Akagi (Cure Scarlet)
Kirara tickling Towa in order to get her to smile, and the pair gazing into each other’s eyes for a long moment – an event from a single episode, but enough material I feel to justify shipping these two together. Oh, and they also happen to become roommates.
Mirai Asahina (Cure Miracle) and Riko (Cure Magical)
It’s only early days for Maho Girls PreCure!, but already Mirai and Riko are fast-establishing themselves as one of my favourite pairings. They need to be together to transform, and there is a lot of hand-holding going on. Their transformation sequences have them getting rather close, with the Ruby one being rather spectacular in that regard.
Also, Mirai needs Riko – not my words, but Mofurun’s. Oh, and I’m obligated to mention the birth of a magical baby fairy through the power of yuri, having missed the opportunity in my episodic post for episode 4.
So there we have it, that covers various pairings from the Pretty Cure franchise. Oh, and my top three look something like this, starting with my favourite:
Mana and Regina
Hibiki and Kanade
Mirai and Riko