The fine folks over at Toei Animation have recently revealed that their newest Precure series, Fresh Precure, is more than just Very Orange as its official website used to indicate.

We’ve got some main characters now. Momozono Love is Cure Peach. She’s a dancer! Aono Miki is Cure Berry. She’s athletic and wants to be a fashion model. Yamabuki Inori is Cure Pine. She loves animals! All of them are 14 years old, in their second year of Junior High where almost all Precure girls start.

If you’ve ever wondered why I take an interest in Precure, it partly has to do with the way it’s alchemically fused girls’ anime and boys’ anime and otaku anime into a golem of profit and merchandising, all while still being reasonably enjoyable. What steps has Toei taken to continue to ensure profitability? Well, the new costumes seem to have a sort of maid theme, and I have to wonder if that delicate balance of fanbases is leaning ever-so-slightly towards the “otaku” side. The girls are leggier, look older than previous Cures despite being roughly the same age, and even appear to be bustier.

It might not be easy to notice the disparity off-hand, so I’ve provided a comparison image below.

The Precure girls post-transformation have always had more athletic builds, so the disparity between regular Nagisa and regular Love is even more pronounced.

Is it a new character designer or is it the same character designer with some modifications to her art style? Is this a reflection of the increasing average height of Japanese people? Or is it just part of a greater strategy to target people who have a thing for legs?

We’ll find out February 1st, 2009.