Pretty Cure All Stars New Stage 3: Friends Forever is the last of the Pretty Cure All Stars New Stage film trilogy, and the sixth instalment of the Pretty Cure All Stars film series.
It was released on March 15th 2014, during which time HappinessCharge PreCure! was airing. As such, this is where the HappinessCharge Cures make their All Stars debut, with the exception of Cure Fortune. This also the first All Stars appearance for Cure Ace from DokiDoki! PreCure.
The director for this film was Kouji Ogawa, and it was written by Yoshimi Narita. It also features music by Yasuharu Takanashi, who has also done soundtracks for Fairy Tail and Log Horizon, as well as another Toei-produced magical girl series: Sailor Moon Crystal.
“Pretty Cure ~Eternal Friends~ (2014 Version)” is the opening theme for this film, performed by Mayu Kudou, Hitomi Nabatame and Megumi Nakajima. The ending theme is “PreCure Memory (NewStage3 Version)” by Yōko Honna, Orie Kimoto, Yuuko Sanpei, Kanae Oki, Nana Mizuki, Ami Koshimizu, Misato Fukuen, Hitomi Nabatame and Megumi Nakajima. Oh, I should mention that those people are the seiyu of the lead Cures from each series.
Series featured: Futari wa Pretty Cure Max Heart, Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash Star, Yes! PreCure 5 GoGo!, Fresh Pretty Cure!, HeartCatch PreCure!, Suite PreCure♪, Smile PreCure!, DokiDoki! PreCure & HappinessCharge PreCure!
The plot begins with the teacher from the Fairy Academy assigning Gureru and Enen the task of gathering information about the HappinessCharge Cures for the PreCure textbook.
They go about this by meeting with the best Cures – that’s DokiDoki!, by the way – who then get in contact with the new Cures. When the DokiDoki! Cures go to meet with them, they see a news report about children falling into an eternal sleep – and it turns out that Megumi has become one of the victims as well.
Hime, the DokiDoki! Cures, Gureru and Enen end up venturing into the land of dreams, where we get the usual moment where to lead Cures meet each other – and this moment plays out in a manner that I feel fits Mana perfectly.
We are also introduced to two fairies who play an important role in this film. They are tapir fairies, responsible for eating nightmares and giving children sweet dreams.
So as you can imagine, the Cures try to convince Maamu to let the children wake up, but she takes that as a threat to Yumeta’s happiness and this sics a Nightmare on them.
The DokiDoki! Cures do their thing, but ultimately Maamu is able to expel the unwanted guests – though they do leave behind the PreCure textbook. Using that, Maamu is able to lock the majority of the Cures in their own dream worlds. You’d think Gureru and Enen would be more careful with that book after the trouble it caused previously…
Throughout the film, we get to see a select few of the Cures’ dreams. Considering how many of them they are, I suppose that is only natural. Thinking about it, some could have been fairly emotional, but they don’t go for that.
Anyway, since they aren’t in the book, it falls on the shoulders of the HappinessCharge Cures to play heroes and venture into the dream world again. Let’s just say that things go bad almost immediately, but, hey, they’re rookie Cures, what do you expect?
Still, Yumeta provides a little help and things start moving towards the final act. Naturally, this involves the Miracle Lights and all of the Cures breaking out of their dreams in order to fight against an army of Nightmares unleashed by Yumeta.
The action scene that follows might just be one of my favourites from the whole All Stars series. The reason for this is that the we get a fair bit of humour mixed in with the action, and the music helps as well.
Cure Marine brings a lot of the humour, though Cure Happy, Cure Moonlight and Cure Ace provide some great moments as well. Actually, Cure Moonlight and Cure Ace’s moment doubles as a crowning moment of awesome as well.
Also, at least one Cure from each continuity gets a line, which wasn’t the case in the previous film. Some get more than others, but at least Splash Star isn’t completely left out again… also, being the only Cures with the inherent power of flight, they get to take out a group of airborne foes.
As tends to be the case, the battle transitions from multiple foes to a single powerful enemy. Over the course of this battle, two more Cures actually show up to lend a helping hand.
As for the second Cure to appear – well, I’ve already said that Cure Fortune doesn’t appear here, and all the other Cures are already present and accounted for – right? Well, cast your mind back to the first New Stage film…
Yep, Ayumi Sakagami comes back, and Gureru and Enen become her partners. This allows her to transform into Cure Echo once again and actually use an attack. She doesn’t really contribute much more than that though…
The action doesn’t stop with the arrival of Cure Echo, though. We get a final boss for the Cures to deal with. Whilst that sequence is shorter than the fights before it, it is still enjoyable.
For a 10th anniversary celebration of PreCure, this film is much better than the entirety of HappinessCharge PreCure! – mainly because we don’t have any stupid forced romance plot to distract from the Cures teaming up.
Whilst I do miss the use of the Cures’ respective theme tunes from DX, I’ve always liked Yasaharu’s Takanashi’s music and this here is no exception.
As I’ve already mentioned, the action is great and it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
It’s nice to see Cure Echo actually do something, and she gets her fairy partners her as well. I would like to see her participate more actively in the physical combat, though…
Overall, a pretty great conclusion to the New Stage trilogy, even if it wasn’t quite on the same dramatic level as DX3. Regardless, I’d probably say this is one my favourite iterations of the All Stars films, right up there with Pretty Cure All Stars DX – that would be the first feature-length film, in case you lost track.