(Inspired by a recent Deus Ex Magical Girl post.)
A while ago, I watched an anime called Futari wa Pretty Cure, the very first series in what would become the Pretty Cure, or “Precure,” franchise. I had heard good things about it, especially about how it was a “subversive” take on magical girls that had a lot of physical combat as opposed to the magic spells favored by Sailor Moon and its ilk. With high expectations, I fired up Crunchyroll and started watching.
It was the worst series I ever saw.
This show’s crime? It was too repetitive. Most anime, even formulaic ones, change up the action every few episodes or so. Not Futari. Every episode went the same way: the Zakenna shadows would possess a person or object, the two girls would transform to fight the creature, they would struggle at first, then there would be a last-minute save allowing them to use their Marble Screw finishing move. The shadows would retreat, then the girls would go back to their lives.
There is zero variation on this. Even near the end.
I had to force myself through it; it became very painful to watch the show, and it completely soured me on the franchise. I have no appetite to watch another Precure show, no matter how well done it allegedly is. Just about the only “subversive” element was Cure Black getting ten bajillion love letters from other girls (though both she and Cure White were heterosexual.) It had nothing — no interesting philosophy, no unique plot lines, nothing — to set it apart from other magical girl shows. Even the supposedly intense fighting, touted as a high point in the series, was dull to watch. When I got to the end, I had a profound sense of relief. My ocular torture had ended.
It’s actually kind of weird how vividly I remember this feeling. I guess it’s as they say — you’re more likely to remember bad experiences in detail.
Don’t watch this show. Watch Madoka Magica instead.