Star ☆ Twinkle PreCure is the sixteenth instalment of Toei’s Pretty Cure franchise, and the first series released in the Reiwa period. This season of PreCure has forty-nine episodes.
The director was Hiroaki Miyamoto, it was produced by Akari Yanagawa and the writer was Isao Murayama.
The show started airing on February 3rd 2019, and ended January 26th, 2020.
Star ☆ Twinkle PreCure‘s story starts with a place called the Star Palace being attacked by a group known as the Notraiders. Aliens Lala and Puruns (or Prunce, depending on who you ask) take the fairy Fuwa to Earth, where they seek out someone to become Pretty Cure and revive the Star Palace.
That’s when they meet Hikaru Hoshina, and give her a Star Colour Pendant and Star Colour Pen. Hikaru transforms into Cure Star, and is soon joined by other allies as they fight the Notraiders in order to revive the Star Princesses.
The main cast is made up of four girls, at least at first. First is Hikaru Hoshina, who transforms into Cure Star. She pretty much loves everything to do with space. As far as lead Cures go, Hikaru is a pretty good one. At first, her stubbornness and tendency to act on her intuition is a direct contrast to Lala’s logic, but soon the pair become inseparable.Next, we have the first alien Cure introduced in the franchise. Lala Hagoromo comes from the planet Samaan, where everyone tends to take a far more logical approach to things. This causes some initial tension between herself and Haruka, but they smooth things out in the end.Another first is Elena Amamiya: the first dark-skinned Cure in Pretty Cure. She is half-Mexican. Possesses incredible athletic skills and is arguably the most selfless character of the cast. That probably stems from being the eldest sibling of a big family. Elena is also known as the sun of Mihoshi Middle School.The fourth member is Madoka Kaguya. If Elena is the sun, then Madoka is the Moon of Mihoshi Middle School. She possesses many talents, with archery, piano and flower arrangement just being a few. That is reflective of her upbringing in her strict family.
For long time PreCure fans, it will come as no surprise to learn that the main cast grows by one over the course of the series. Arguably the fifth addition to the team is the most interesting, and not just because she is another alien.The thing is, with Star ☆ Twinkle PreCure‘s main cast, is that Hikaru, Lala and the fifth addition to team kind of steal the show. At times, Elena and Madoka feel like little more than extras. They have their episodes where they debut as Cure Soleil and Cure Selene respectively, but then there isn’t all that much to do around the middle of the season as the fifth Cure steals the spotlight.
This is remedied as the season moves towards its end, as Elena and Madoka both get multiple opportunities to shine in the second half of the season, and they even help each other to grow as characters.Of course, it wouldn’t be a season of PreCure without its female characters getting particularly close to each other. First and foremost is Hikaru and Lala, but Elena and Madoka get a bit of that towards the end of the season as well. There’s also some notable moments between the Cures and some of their enemies – pay attention to the fifth Cure in particular.Being an entry in the PreCure franchise, there are some typical things to expect. The usual monster of the week formula is in place, though there are a couple of different approaches to it – sometimes PreCure will fight a Notrigger, other times it will be an enemy who powers up their weapon with twisted imagination and there are occasions when they’ll be fighting groups of Notraiders.
Stock footage is also a given for PreCure, and it seems that some feel that the show might rely on it a little too much. It does make the fights that forego the stock footage have more impact, though.Of course, there’s also the transformation sequence. Notable in that this time around, the Cures themselves actually sing during the transformation. It is a great tune, and it is used to great effect at the end of the season.On that note, when Star ☆ Twinkle PreCure wants to do emotional scenes, it does them fantastically well. It may be a kids’ show, but there are scenes in this season that easily put shows for older viewers to shame.The antagonists in this show are certainly an interesting bunch. They, too, get their moment to shine in the spotlight, which gives some insight into their motivations. Also, at least one of them isn’t what they seem at first.With a strong space theme running throughout the season, Star ☆ Twinkle PreCure definitely plays up some sci-fi tropes when given the opportunity. This isn’t the first PreCure season involve space, but it certainly is the one that uses the theme best.
Star ☆ Twinkle PreCure actually has quite a bit in common with Maho Girls PreCure. It starts with a girl from Earth (Mirai/Hikaru) meeting a girl not from Earth (Riko/Lala). They travel to different locations together (Magic World/different planets) whilst carrying out their duties as PreCure.
There are even some strong similarities with its ending.
As a season of PreCure, the strong sci-fi theme running throughout helps to make this season stand out, even if everything else is pretty typical for the franchise.
But, after celebrating the fifteenth anniversary with Hugtto! PreCure, it was inevitable things were going to a little more standard – doesn’t detract from Star ☆ Twinkle PreCure still being a really fun time, though.
Star ☆ Twinkle PreCure is a great entry into the PreCure franchise. It does have elements that could have been improved on, but ultimately it leaves behind a lot of fun memories and some incredibly strong emotional scenes.