After Happiness Charge Precure! failed to live up to its potential, I had hoped that the next series in the long-running Precure anime franchise would fare better. Fortunately, Go! Princess Precure wildly exceeded my expectations to become one of my favorite iterations of the popular magical girl anime. From the serious to the silly, Go! Princess Precure hits a homerun.
Go! Princess Precure follows Haruno Haruka, a teenage girl who dreams of becoming a princess. As a small child, she met a handsome young prince named Kanata who inspired her to hold onto her love of princesses, in spite of discouragement by others. In the present day, as Haruka comes to the prestigious “Noble Academy” with the goal of learning what it means to be a “true princess,” she finds out that monsters have begun to attack the school, preying on everyone’s hopes and aspirations. Haruka becomes a “Precure,” a magical warrior with the power to defend against the forces of Dysdark, and is soon joined by two other girls, Kaido Minami and Amanogawa Kirara, who also use their dreams to fight back.
Princess fever has taken over amidst the enormous popularity of Frozen in Japan, and Go! Princess Precure asks, “What is a princess?” While this question (as well as the thematic flourish of the series) can potentially be criticized on a surface level as sexist and regressive, a closer look shows that Go! Princess Precure aims to claim the concept of the princess as a symbol of hard work and kindness towards others. To this point, a major villain of the series, the powerful Princess Twilight (no relation) even confronts Haruka (Cure Flora) with the idea that one can only be born a princess, and while she’s technically more correct than Haruka in terms of how it works in real life, Go! Princess Precure shows how Haruka, Minami (Cure Mermaid), and Kirara (Cure Twinkle) strive to embrace the idea of a “princess” as being the product of one’s effort. In other words, according to Go! Princess Precure, being a princess doesn’t make you a better person. Rather, being a better person who strives for their dreams and helps others is the key that allows any girl to become a princess all on their own.
Not only is Go! Princess Precure strong thematically, it’s just an incredibly solid show in general. In terms of animation, it has some of the finest fight sequences in all of Precure as early as episode 1, and while it rises and dips in quality as is typical of a year-long anime, its overall consistency as well as its high points are notable. The outfits and character designs are all on point (In terms of narrative, the series benefits from an entertaining main cast with well thought out character development. Flora’s story at the half-way point connects to that greater theme of “princess” self actualization. Kirara as the donut-loving fashion model eager to speak her mind is one of the most unique Precure characters ever (I voted her as my favorite among the Princess Precures for this reason). The supporting characters, though not quite on the level of Heartcatch Precure!, grow admirably throughout the series as well.
Perhaps most notably, when the anime introduces a fourth Precure late into its run, she does not overshadow the rest of the cast. It’s a common problem for shows like Precure or Super Sentai, where in an effort to push the new character and her toys she ends up practically taking over the show. Honestly, I can’t recall a single bad episode.
Go! Princess Precure might be quite the hard act to follow. Whether it’s in comparison to the rest of Precure or as an anime all on its own, Go! Princess Precure is simply an outstanding work that embodies a lot of what is best in children’s shows and the magical girl anime genre. I highly recommend anyone, even those skeptical of mahou shoujo, to take a look.
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Go Princess Precure is definitely the best Precure so far and the next Precure coming up, Mahou Girls Precure is going to have a hard time not only surpassing it but they might have a problem being on par with it as well. But I think I have high hopes for the next one, while the witches might not trump the princesses, at the very least, I hope they try and pull off something entertaining to watch and can be at least on par with the princesses.
As for faring better than Happiness Charge, *pfft…*:D Happiness Charge is the worst that Toei has come up with. Any Precure series comes after this is GUARANTEED to better than that Precure wannabe, heck the Precures in Happiness Charge doesn’t even have the Legendary title, what a joke.
To be fair, its hard to be Legendary when every town and city on the planet has their own local homegrown Precure celebrities. HaCha certainly tried to do something new, but seems they panicked and backed down on whatever they were planning.
That’s the thing. If you have almost every girl with the ability to become a Precure, then being a Precure is really nothing special. The special thing about Precures are they are rare, and only a few chosen ones that are special enough to become legendary saviors.
HapCha does have some ideas, but they never thought about how they are going to execute said ideas. This is my own philosophy that I always follow, execution is everything, no matter your ideas are good or bad, if the execution is good, the finished product is good. If not, no matter how good your idea is, the finished product will always end in failure.
HapCha is that, too many ideas but not all of them are executed properly which led to its downfall in the end. I always think to myself that HapCha is the Digimon 02 of the franchise.
I certainly also rank this season up quite highly. While I still don’t think it passed Heartcatch’s High Points, GoPri was more consistent. A fun point I made to friends was that GoPri engaged with its main theme early and often. The enemies raised good points about what a Real Princess was. They pointed out that dreams have a bad side, that unfulfilled dreams can haunt people. That your dream may disappoint your family, or that you may have to have to part with people for your dreams.
Like when there was the almost-obligatory “One Cure has to choose between Moving Away and Being a Cure” episode, usually they wash over it with friendship or something. Or the characters ignore the reality of their futures in order to keep the superhero theme going.
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