Nagisa and Honoka with Suite Precure’s style, looks so cute right?? >w<
The first anime season of the new year is starting! Next month will see the advent of this year’s Smile Precure!, but otherwise we’re not seeing a lot of magical girl action. Milky Holmes II continues the first season’s almost-mahou shoujo little girl fantasy antics, with little shout-outs to popular magical girl series like Shugo Chara in the first episode. However, one series has been making magical girl fans wrinkle their brows: Senki Zessho Symphogear.
A sci-fi series that blends the pop-idol glitz of Macross Frontier and The Idolm@ster with slick action scenes, Symphogear is about girls who can don supernatural armor to fight marauding beasts from another world. This armor is the titular “Symphogear”, and the heroines obtain huge combat abilities by obtaining it— a rather science-fictiony take on your run-of-the-mill magical girl premise. However, what makes this show most eye-catching to magical girl fans is the naming scheme. The main character is a schoolgirl named Hibiki who attends a concert for an idol duo which ends up being the target of a gang of evil aliens known as Noise. Luckily, one of the performers summons her Symphogear and rescues Hibiki— and her name is Kanade. Wait a minute…
This same week, we’ve seen another Hibiki and Kanade, the dynamic duo of the 2010 Pretty Cure installment, Suite Precure, go up against their own otherworldly nemesis named Noise. Could this be a coincidence? According to designer Thomas Romain, Symphogear is a very new project: where Satelight’s Aquarion (which he also worked on) was two years in development, Symphogear has only been in production for nine months altogether— which means that the series was concieved and launched during Suite Precure’s year-long run. Dun dun dunnnn! Could Symphogear be an homage to Suite Precure, or merely a doppelganger? Maybe some of the staff will speak out about this one day!
About the girl from New Stage
She is Hoshizora Ikuem, Cure Union. She is the daughter of Miyuki (Cure Happy) from an alternate future where Fusion rules the world.
*-* It sound awesome!!
NO WAY. (((( ;°Д°))))
Yesss, she can join Chibiusa and Fami in the pink-haired, time-traveling offspring from the future club! Can we safely say this is Toei’s favorite magical girl plot device?
These civilian forms
Greenie’s civilian form
OMFG!! SMILE TEAM’S CIVILIAN FORMS!! I LOVE THEM ALL!! MIYUKI, YAYOI, KAREN, AKANE, NAO!! OMG!! I NEED SMILE PRECURE!!
WOAH HER HAIR IS MORE NEON GREEN THAN I ANTICIPATED. PLUS MORE ORANGE THAN I ANTICIPATED.
BUT HOLY SHIT CLEAN OFFICIAL ART »»»»»»» EVERYTHING ELSE.
EXCUSE ME WHILE I LOOK AT THESE AND DRAW THESE LADIES MORE. MOTHER OF GOD（●´∀｀）ノノノノノノノ♡
UH YEAH. DEM SPOILER SCANS DO NOT COMPARE TO THIS. WAIT = WORTH IT.
PIXIV, PLEASE PROCEED TO EXPLODE IN FANART. PLEASE…..
Smile Precure character art is released! Look at all these excited reactions from the fandom— 2012 is going to be a good year for the Precure franchise! Check out these scans from Pretty Cure All Stars New Stage too. The absence of Smile Precure characters and the inclusion of a new magical girl in these images might suggest that the New Stage will be a Pokemon Chronicles-style way to highlight the retired Precures, detached from the newer series, but some of the text on the scans suggests that Smile Precure will feature in the film.
Once again PreCure fans scare me…
Once upon a time, there was a kingdom of fairy tales called “Märchenland”, where many fairy tale characters live together in joy. Suddenly, the evil emperor Pierrot made an invasion on Märchenland, sealing its Queen in the process. To revive the Queen, the symbol of happiness called Cure Decor, “the Queen’s scattered power of light of happiness”, is required. To collect the Cure Decor, a fairy named Candy searches for the Pretty Cures on Earth. There, Candy meets a girl, who decides to collect the Cure Decor. Now, will the world earn a “happy ending”?
- Cure Happy (Pink) – Hoshizora Miyuki
- Cure Sunny (Red) – Hino Akane
- Cure Peace (Yellow) – Kise Yayoi
- Cure March (Green) – Midorikawa Nao
- Cure Beauty (Blue) – Aoki Reika
- Candy (Mascot)
Sneak peek at the plot and characters of next year’s Smile Precure!! How exciting. It looks like the theme is going to be fairy tales this time, which is always popular subject matter in magical girl series: we’ve seen some amazing things happen with series like Princess Tutu (2002), Mahou no Mako-chan (1970) and Akazukin Chacha (1991). However, one might also compare this story (the “alternate land of fairytales is plagued by evil and needs to find relief via the human world”) to the setup of the seminal magical girl of the 80s, Minky Momo. In Minky Momo, the heroine lives in Fenarinarsa, a land in the sky where characters from fairy tales live— Momo herself is a cognate of Japanese folk hero Momotaro. Fenarinarsa is suffering because it is fueled by the idealism of people on Earth, which have been fading as the world becomes more disillusioned. This plot is practically fax-copied into last year’s Lilpri: a magical fairyland (in which live folktale characters like Snow White, Cinderella and Princess Kaguya) is fueled by the happiness of Earthlings and begins to wither without them. In both Minky Momo and Lilpri, the solution for this is for the series’ heroines to wander around Earth cheering people up; I suspect that things will be different in Smile Precure, in which it’s rare to find a problem that can’t be solved through extreme violence and intense womance.
Smile Precure’s summary suggests that the series will rest on themes and ideas that have previously been successful in magical girls; while this might make some wary that it will not be as daring or inventive as its predecessors, we shouldn’t underestimate Precure’s ability to turn out an engaging, exciting story or fairytales to delight audiences in their recreation and recycling year after year.
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In Yes! Precure 5, the girls come together to discuss strategy and life at their “secret hideout”, Nuts Shop. The Shop is, as the name suggests, a store that sells (assumably?) handmade accessories and collectibles, owned by the human persona of the series mascot Nuts. It’s not unusual for magical girls to have a center of operations like this— Sailor Moon certainly had its Game Center arcade— nor for it to be a place of business— see Tokyo Mew Mew’s Cafe Mew Mew and Ojamajo Doremi’s Mahou-Dou— but the nature of Nuts Shop feeds into some of the greater themes of the series in a way that is unique to Yes! Precure 5.
The motif of business and commerce is a large one in Yes! Precure 5. Not only do the girls make their headquarters at a store (which they help to tend), but many of them have links to the business world: Komachi and Rin’s families own shops, for example. Local stores are depicted in the series as interesting, personable places manned by familiar and attentive staff. In contrast, the villains of the first series, the Nightmare organization, take the form of a large committee, with business-suited minions and teleporting secretaries building a towering hierarchy. They plot their evil plans around a wide table— a facsimile of a typical conference room— and wear masks, marking themselves as detached, unidentifiable cogs in the system. Compare to the world of small business in the Precures’ town, where shopkeepers and clerks (like the girls’ frequent confidante, the food court manager Otaka) are friendly and relatable; there is a clear divide being spelled out here between the warm world of small business and the anonymous, committee-driven world of big business. In episode 10, the contrast is especially set out, as the girls happily work together to launch an ad campaign for Nuts’ shop, relying on friends in local papers and (magically) xeroxing flyers to hand out in the par, while Nightmare executives threaten and mistreat their employees.
This motif may seem rather odd, especially given Precure’s status as a product that is very much designed by a huge committee of anonymous staffers (see the Izumi Todo concept.) However, perhaps the “small business” motif is meant to lend character to the series’ five-girl team: where the earlier versions of the series, Futari wa Pretty Cure and Splash Star, dwelt on duos of heroines, Yes! Precure 5 introduces a bigger group, which changes the dynamic from that of a two-person partnership to a more complicated, committee-like staff. The series adds an emphasis on organization and goal-setting that previous Precures lacked: in many episodes, Cure Dream will take her comrades aside during a battle so that they can figure out what strategy each Cure should take, splitting the team up to be most effective. Other good businessplace attitudes, like the friendly competition between Karen and Rin in episode 8, are also exhibited.
Where the original Precure and Splash Star depicted the collaboration of magical girls as a close-knit partnership, Yes! Precure 5 shakes up the formula by presenting heroines as a larger group of individuals working towards the same goal, using the model of the staff of a small business as a basis for their teamwork— a motif that pervades the entire series.