Halloween Means Precure!

I’ve come to realize that my favorite Halloween-themed episodes in anime come from the Precure franchise. This might be because it runs all year long (thus making holiday celebrations a common part of the shows), but I also think the mix of magic (in the form of magical girls) on a night associated with the occult works in its favor. Out of the many Halloween-themed instances of Precure, three stand out in particular: an episode of Suite Precure, another from Maho Girls Precure, and the movie Go! Princesss Precure: Go! Go!! Gorgeous Triple Feature

Before I proceed, here’s the requisite SPOILER WARNING.

Suite Pretty Cure

One of my main criticisms of Suite Precure is that, once a major character development moment passes, the show acts as if the new status quo is the way it’s always been. The key example of this is when the character Siren goes from antagonistic cat character to fellow human Precure. All of her history as a villain is seemingly forgotten after a couple episodes. The one major exception comes in the Halloween episode, where the now-Kurokawa Ellen dresses up as a cat girl. When a classmate asks about her costume, Ellen (without missing a beat) casually begins to mention that she used to be a cat, which prompts the other Precures to jump in and brush it off as a joke. It’s a clever bit of continuity in a show which often put it on the back burner.

The character Atarashi Ako is herself dressed as a princess, which is also a joke based on her true identity. Amusement all around!

Maho Girls Precure

The Harry Potter-esque world of Maho Girls Precure lends itself perfectly to a Halloween episode. One of the running jokes of the series is the way that visitors from the Magical World will sometimes forget that they’re supposed to be hiding their identity and will just casually mention things that the Muggles (so to speak) shouldn’t know. Halloween is presented as a major exception, because in the festive, costumed environment, magicians can come as they are because people will think they’re dressed for the occasion. Even then, the Maho Girls find a way to push the limits. The star of the show in this instance is probably Haa-chan, the third Precure and by far the most powerful of the trio in terms of magic. She appears throughout the episode in bizarre costumes, like a mummy complete with sarcophagus, and an alien being taken away by Men in Black.

It’s just a fine episode of nudges and winks and fulfilling the expectations one might have for a Halloween episode in a show about wizarding magical girls.

Go! Princess Precure

Go! Princess Precure: Go! Go!! Gorgeous Triple Feature is actually an entire Halloween-themed movie, consisting of two shorts and one longer standard Precure movie. It was (appropriately) released on October 31, 2015. Go! Princess is already one of the strongest entries in the franchise, and many of its strengths—animation, charismatic characters, strong and positive themes—can be seen in the movie. Interestingly, the main thing the film seems to take from Halloween is the prominence of pumpkins. Whether they’re jack o’ lanterns or pumpkin desserts, the iconic Halloween vegetable seems to overshadow the costume and trick or treat aspects of the holiday. In a way, it’s probably the best of the three story-wise, but the weakest in terms of Halloween hijinks.

I do need to make a special mention in regards to the movie-exclusive transformation, though. The Cures here have a special Halloween-themed power-up that is appropriately flashy.

So those are some of my favorite Halloween anime. In the 90s, the holiday wasn’t a big deal in Japan, but has grown in prominence over the past couple of decades. If we were to move away from Halloween the holiday and more towards “monster”-themed anime, then Kore wa Zombie Desuka? would rank much higher. If you have your own special Halloween shows, feel free to leave a comment.

This post was sponsored by Johnny Trovato. If you’re interested in submitting topics for the blog, or just like my writing and want to support Ogiue Maniax, check out my Patreon.

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Have a Mega Chain Combo Halloween

It’s Halloween, but it’s not Cosplay

Tomorrow I’m going to a one-day-early Halloween party where costumes are mandatory, and so I’ve decided to go as an anime character. I won’t say which one, but don’t worry, I’m not going dressed as Ogiue. While I’m going to a Halloween party as an anime character, in my mind I don’t consider it cosplay. There’s a distinction I’ve created in my mind, and I don’t know how valid it is, but I think it has to do with the amount of effort exerted in making the costume.

Aside from a few minor purchases, the costume I’ve assembled is base primarily on clothing I own already, and none of it required any sort of modifications. I am not sacrificing my existing clothing and transforming any of it into permanent costume status, nor have I done any handiwork to make it more than it already is. This is why I believe myself to be “dressing up” for Halloween and not “cosplaying” for Halloween.

Nothing wrong with cosplay, though I try not to get involved with the cosplay community to any great extent. It’s more of a personal mental thing, this situation of mine.

Girls, are you having trouble coming up with a Halloween costume?

Might I recommend the “Ogiue” costume.

Ogiue wears plenty of outfits throughout the series, so clothing-wise there shouldn’t be too much trouble. You can go with the classic hoodie from her first appearance, but make sure to wrap your arm in bandages to go with it. Alternately you can go for Ogiue incognito at Comic Festival. Wearing men-sized shirts is also Ogiue-appropriate. And there’s always the Renko cosplay option.

The hair of course is the difficult part and seeing as my hair is not long I can’t give any real tips. Perhaps you could construct a fude out of a spare large paint brush, or create some sort of fude clip to add to your existing hair. If this is too much trouble, don’t forget that Ogiue has other hairstyles, such as the high school hairstyle (perfect in conjunction with incognito Ogi), the junior high style, or even the heavy side bangs from volume 9.

And to top it off, secretly carry some yaoi.