Now that Healin’ Good ♡ PreCure has finished, I shall be adding to my personal ranking of every PreCure season. As with previous years, I’ll be ranking them from what I least enjoyed to what I most enjoyed.
As ever, this is just my personal opinion. The shows with direct sequels will be grouped together. With the new addition of Healin’ Good ♡ PreCure, let’s jump right in.Yes! PreCure 5 and Yes! PreCure 5 GoGo!How come this team get to be in a film with the Healin’ Good Cures? A certain duo would make a much better fit with the whole nature thing. Oh well.
Anyways, I do not have fond memories of watching either season of Yes! Pretty Cure 5. It just felt like such a slog to get through, and this came right after the fantastic Splash Star. Nozomi/Cure Dream was a character I just could not bring myself to like, I loathed the mascots and there is very little yuri to speak of here.
At least it kept the franchise’s fantastic fight scenes, and I will say that the first Yes! PreCure 5 film is actually decent.
HappinessCharge PreCure!HappinessCharge PreCure! had its moments, but man did the negative stuff overshadow the positive stuff for me. Ideas like international Cures and PreCure Hunter Phantom were great, but the show wanted to focus on some convoluted romance thing instead. Ugh.
Not even giving Cure Lovely eye lasers could save this one for me. A disappointing way to celebrate the franchise’s tenth anniversary.
Smile PreCure!Now we’re getting into the seasons I remember a little more fondly. Out of all the seasons in the franchise, Smile PreCure! is probably the one that is most episodic. Not a negative thing at all, but the second half of the season is pretty much just a retread of the first.
Some of the fights from this one are incredible, though. Cure Beauty vs. Joker still stands strong after all this time.
Pretty Cure and Pretty Cure Max HeartWhere it all began.
There is something that newcomers to the PreCure franchise need to understand, though. You’ve probably seen a lot of Honoka x Nagisa (Cure Black x Cure White) stuff out there, and I’m all for that. However, the first two seasons of Pretty Cure are not the yuri-filled shows that I feel some people are making them out to be.
In fact, the show pushes a het romance. Bear that in mind if you choose to watch these two seasons. Honoka & Nagisa do have their moments together – even more prominently in relatively recent crossover films.
Pretty Cure and Max Heart set the standard for the franchise, and I respect that a lot. Later seasons did improve upon what we got from here, which is why this is where I chose to rank these two seasons.
KiraKira ☆ PreCure a la ModeThings got changed up a bit for KiraKira ☆ PreCure a la Mode, with them deciding to ditch the physical combat that had been prevalent in the franchise before. That didn’t really do it any favours, but we did get some pretty great stuff from this season.
Most notably the pairings of Yukari x Akira, Aoi x Himari and Ciel x Bibury. Shame they kind of fizzle out, but the films where these girls appear do kind of make up for that.
The actual season really didn’t need as many Cures as it ended up having, though…
Fresh Pretty Cure!Watching Fresh PreCure! after Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GoGo! was such a relief. This was kind of a soft reboot for the franchise, and it definitely gave PreCure the kick up the arse it needed after the slog that came before.
This is where mascots became much more than cutesy creatures with annoying verbal tics, and it also introduced the world to Cure Passion. Her character arc alone makes this entire season worth watching.
The characters are fun, too. On top of that, you have some of the most unique antagonists.
Go! Princess PreCureI feel that Go! Princess PreCure is probably considered one of the best seasons of the entire franchise, and that’s a justified line of thinking. It’s all about chasing after your dreams, and honestly, it is fantastic.
There is a prince in this story about princesses, and I’m sure you can probably guess what that means. Whatever your opinion of het romance in PreCure is, don’t let it distract from the fact that Prince Kanata is actually a good character.
The stand out character – even more than the Cures themselves, perhaps – is Yui Nanase. Look, there’s a reason she was chosen to represent Go! Princess PreCure‘s side characters over Prince Kanata in the fifteenth anniversary.
Suite PreCure♪So there’s this show with a strong focus on music, and characters called Hibiki and Kanade. Wait, not Symphogear, but Suite PreCure♪. Hibiki and Kanade were one of the most prominent PreCure ships for a while, but later seasons resulted in others coming to the forefront. Perhaps we can think of Hibiki and Kanade as putting down the groundwork for them (though technically you could also say that about Nagisa and Honoka.)
Even to this day, Hummy remains one of my favourite mascot characters from the franchise. She is just a fantastic cat.
Joining the cast later on are Cure Beat and Cure Muse. I adored Cure Beat, and am kind of indifferent about Cure Muse.
Healin’ Good ♡ PreCureHere we have the newest entry on this list, Healin’ Good ♡ PreCure. I mentioned before in an episode review that it might end up in my top five. However, now I sit down and take another look at my personal ranking, I realise just how much I adore all the entries after this one.
Don’t get me wrong, Healin’ Good is a good entry in the franchise. It balances its cast of protagonists pretty well, generally not having one shine more than others. The antagonists aren’t so lucky, and I’m not a fan of Daruizen.
Fortunately, this season brings Daruizen’s arc to an end that I liked a lot; it actually makes a nice contrast from what we usually see in PreCure.
A fantastic cast of characters, a mascot who really steps up when she’s needed and some astonishingly appropriate themes considering this aired in 2020 made this season quite memorable.
HeartCatch PreCure!Possibly one of the darkest entries of the entire franchise, and one that is so well written. Sure, there are people out there who believe HeartCatch PreCure! is overrated, but surely all this love it has must indicate that it did something right.
Tsubomi’s development as a Cure is fantastic, Cure Moonlight is one of the best characters in the entire franchise and Dark PreCure is an incredible villain. Can’t forget about the hilarious Cure Marine and Cure Sunshine’s arc, too.
There’s a reason this season was the most highly regarded, at least until Go! Princess PreCure came along.
DokiDoki! PreCureDokiDoki! PreCure could probably be considered the most divisive entry of the franchise. It all depends on how you feel about Mana Aida, because though we have one of the larger groups, this basically ends up being her anime. Perhaps more could have been done with Rikka, Alice, Makoto and Aguri.
However, this is also the season that gives us Regina. I absolutely adore Regina; she easily stands alongside Dark PreCure as one of my favourite antagonists. Well, sometimes she’s not an antagonist.
Whatever the case may be, the relationship between Mana and Regina is a massive part of what I love about DokiDoki!. Also the fact that it is a stealth yuri harem.
Wait, isn’t there something else I always mention when it comes to DokiDoki!? Oh, right, the myth arc! There’s a story thread through every episode, whether it’s a minor event or the entire episode itself. Actually, DokiDoki! is still pretty unique in that regard.
Pretty Cure Splash StarIf you compare my previous years’ rankings to this one, you’ll notice that Pretty Cure Splash Star has jumped up quite a few spaces. That’s because I rewatched it, and reminded myself just how much I adored this season.
Saki and Mai are fantastic characters with great chemistry – once they settle into their roles. Then you get Michiru and Kaoru, who are amazing additions to the cast. Those two are what allow Splash Star to really stand out from Max Heart. We also have memorable antagonists like Moerumba and Kintoleski.
For me, Splash Star‘s final battle is still unmatched. It’s pretty much Dragon Ball Z with frills, and it is also a thrill.
I adore Splash Star so much, but there are certain other seasons that left greater impressions on me.
Star ☆ Twinkle PreCureWhilst I absolutely adore Star ☆ Twinkle PreCure, I will admit that I feel like Madoka and Elena got the short end of the stick. We could have something incredible if they just had more time to shine.
Everything else about this season, though, is superb. Hikaru, Lala and Yuni are all so good. HikaLala is definitely one of the best PreCure ships out there, and the Star ☆ Twinkle film just adds to that even more.
This season has the most unique transformation theme, and I love it so much. It is used to devastating effect in the final episode, too.
Isao Murayama was the writer for this season. They done an excellent job, but they couldn’t quite match their contributions to an earlier season. In fact, the very next one on this list.
Maho Girls PreCure!Maho Girls PreCure! is incredible. I have nothing but love for this season. We have the Magic World, with a magic school, multiple forms for the Cures and one of the greatest relationships between Cures in any season.
Mirai and Riko have superb chemistry with each other. So much so that the two of them end up bringing up a fairy together; the anime even acknowledges them as two Mums. Can’t forget to mention Mofurun, either, who is easily one of the best mascots in the franchise.
Then we have the final episode, possibly one of the most emotional moments within the entire franchise. That moment alone makes Mirai and Riko’s relationship stand head and shoulders above the rest. With maybe one exception…
Hugtto! PreCureThe celebration of PreCure‘s fifteenth anniversary was handled much better than it’s tenth. This season is pretty much the culmination of everything that came before, and it is done so well.
This one is definitely meant for those who have been into PreCure for a while, so I wouldn’t recommend it watching it as your first season of PreCure. Pick it up after watching a few other seasons (Splash Star, Star ☆ Twinkle and Maho Girls being some particularly excellent choices) just so you can appreciate the beauty of this one even more.
Something to note is that no season of PreCure is perfect. Even this one has flaws: Homare x Harry and the ending springing to mind here. Fortunately, the positives far outweigh the negatives for this season.
Episode 37 might just be the greatest single episode of PreCure in existence. A proper celebration of fifteen years of the magical girl show.
We also have another instance of a great cast of characters. The two who stand out most, though, are Ruru and Emiru. You can’t have one without the other, and for me, that pair are what elevates Hugtto! so high for me. I could write an entire essay on how amazing the pair are, but I’ll refrain.
This season of PreCure actually makes some very bold choices, too, and that really helps it to stand out. I won’t spoil what they are here, but it does cover topics that are barely even touched in any other season.
That wraps up my 2021 PreCure ranking. Healin’ Good may not have done as well as I would have hoped, but then again, my top ranked picks are pretty hard to beat. When it comes down to it, though, I can say this: I love PreCure.
I guess I’ll do this again in about a year’s time after Tropical-Rouge! PreCure. I don’t really know what to expect from that one, but I’m looking forward to it regardless.