A sixteen-year-old girl is struggling to adjust to a new step-family when seven guys appear on the scene revealing that she possesses a special magical power. Shying away from the strange group, she later joins them when a monster places her friend's life in jeopardy. Without training, she must prove herself capable to take up the sacred duty of the Pretear. They must resolve their differences and work together to defeat the evil princess intent on destruction.
Upon first looking at the title you may be thinking to yourself, is this some sort of story about someone about to cry? (Pre-tear) Hahahaha but no, in all seriousness this is actual a magical girl style anime with a more interesting concept.
Basically it follows our main heroine "Himeno" as she tries to stop the evil demons made from the "Princess of disaster." (main villain) But how she does this is pretty interesting, she basically has to merge with these beings called "The Leafe Knights" in order to temporally take control of their powers, and this is quite important as she will need different
elements against the right foe. It basically sticks to this the whole way through, all along giving the viewer some pretty nifty plot twists and surprises after the half way point. There is also a nice love story that takes place between Himeno and the main Leafe Knight, (even if it is pretty standard in anime. You know? The whole love--hate relationship) along with other mini plots to help prevent the story from keeping a sort of straight forwardness to the audience. In fact there are a handful of episodes that deal more with personal problems, and take a break from the overall story. The ending itself is by no means anything spectacular, but it does resolve all plot threads and questions, and should make you feel satisfied at the end. The action scenes I must say are a bit more on the shallow side and lack a certain flare and appeal, as some enemies were defeated in a matter of minutes once Himeno transforms, which might disappoint some viewers. This happens on most parts where they usually are involved with side plots, and make you feel like some of the actions scenes play second fiddle in some episodes. Though this is a magical girl style anime, it also has some pretty funny comedy scenes as well, but it’s never over the top and is mostly there to keep the audience into the anime. When they do gear up for battle and/or show more problematic scenes between the characters, the title quickly shifts into the appropriate mood, so you don’t have to worry about the characters acting comical at the wrong time, as it’s balanced with the seriousness.
Pretear does have some content that should be mentioned, for one there are some scenes that show Himeno and the Leafe Knights in a more nude look. It basically happens when they are about to merge with one another. Though they don’t draw any actual detail in the body, and are more just implied (ie Sailor Moon transformations).
Well being that this is a 2001 title, it will come as no surprise that it shows age. The character design that went into each is quite nice though, each article of clothing and facial expression is pretty decent to look at with a good scenes of detail and personality, however the backgrounds leave much to be desired, as most come off as a sort of bland watercolor style painting, this is especially true with the more natural environments, (such as the parks and forests) which aren’t the nicest to look at. Though some of the interior (such as Himeko’s house) is pretty detailed and well made with style.
The opening and closing themes are very pleasing to the ears, the first with a more mature magical girl style up beat theme, and the ending with a much more relaxed yet enthusiastic style. The background music is pretty forgettable though, it does play the right tunes at the right time depending on the situation. But you will most likely forget about it once you finished the series. The character voices are very well done (even in the dub version), and mix well with the character’s persona. An endearing soundtrack overall!
Well to be quite frank they are very appealing and give off good vibes to the audience, but they lack real depth found on other magical girl series. As this is due to one problem, there are simply too many characters in the overall story that you really never get a chance to learn about any of them. In fact if I was to give number count of how many of them you get actual back story and/or knowledge of, I would say its around 5 or so. Which isn’t much considering there are around 14 characters in this. Still, they do spotlight the appropriate cast members whom of which are indeed important to the storyline.
Bottom Line: 7/10
All in all Pretear is an endearing tale that should satisfy its audience. Even though it lacks deep character depth found in other titles of this style, it makes up for it nicely with its mix baggage of genres (ie love, action, suspense, comedy). While I am not the biggest fan of magical girl titles, I certainly did have fun with this. And I think you will too!
At first, I thought Pretear would be some dumb rip off of Sailor Moon using elements instead of planets but man was I wrong. This show was much deeper than I thought it would be and even made me cry at the end! One thing I liked about this anime was that all of the characters developed into likeable people and it also wasnt predictable-- because predictable shows are just plain boring. I couldnt stop watching it and finished the series in one night! So I give this one two thumbs up, although I wish I could have watched it over time other than all
at once so I dont reccomend my method haha. Well hoped this helped even though it was written kinda bad :]
When most people look at the mahou shoujo genre nowadays, there are probably two things that immediately pop into their heads. The first is a traditional, happy-go-lucky mahou shoujo series with young girls fighting evil with the power of love and friendship, a la Sailor Moon or Pretty Cure.
The second is Puella Magi Madoka Magica, the dark and gritty reconstruction of the genre that became the darling of the anime fandom almost overnight.
However, Shin Shirayuki-hime Densetsu Pretear, or simply known as Pretear, seems to straddle those two preconceptions. While the series starts out as light-hearted as a traditional magical girl
series, the latter half exposes many of the darker elements that made Madoka Magica so popular, even though Pretear was created nearly a decade before. And while I'm not here to compare Pretear to every other mahou shoujo anime out there, I do find it important to place the show in the context of something in a genre that is meant for younger girls. With that said, let's begin the review.
Pretear definitely had a slow start, and the first quarter or so is extremely episodic with a monster-of-the-week formula. The tone was very light with numerous comedic moments that you would expect to see in a typical shoujo series. However, around the half way mark, Pretear begins to unveil some of the darker undertones and by the last few episodes, it becomes quite emotional and dramatic. There is a sense of despair in those final episodes, as characters are put through many difficult situations. Although I wouldn't necessarily call the story philosophical in any way, the depth is there if you look for it. Throughout the latter half of the series, themes like unrequited love, abandonment, and loneliness play a huge role in how the story pans out. And while this type of drama may not appeal to everyone, I certainly found the story to be quite gripping and emotionally charged where it needed to be. Pretear also borrowed some ideas from famous fairy tales, so it was also interesting to see those elements come into play at various points in the series.
For those who have read the manga and enjoyed it, keep in mind that the anime story line is quite different from the midpoint onward. However, I personally felt that the anime version was much more enjoyable with the changes added, since it contributed to the drama and overall feel of the series. Although the manga explored similar themes, the anime changed the plot in a way that made much more sense, in my opinion.
When watching Pretear, I tried my best not to gripe about the art and animation too much, given that the show was produced in 2001. Still, I can't say the animation was top-notch, and even the character designs weren't all that great. Himeno in particular had this problem of looking too thin and lanky from afar, and the faces of all the characters were often distorted slightly during some scenes. But since Himeno transforms into a different form with each guy, the costume changes were very pretty to watch. Overall, don't expect too much from the art and animation. It wasn't terrible to the point of making my eyes bleed, but it definitely wasn't outstanding.
Unfortunately, the sound department for Pretear was also not top-notch, but this probably had less to do with the production year and more with the type of budget usually given to a title like this. There wasn't much music throughout most of the show, and even during the emotional scenes in the finale, they just reused the opening theme over and over again. Although the opening theme wasn't bad, it eventually became annoying because they played it often more than once in several episodes. At other points during the show, the music was either not noticeable or wholly nonexistent. As for voice acting, the roles were played out quite well but none of them stood out. A few were even slightly grating, such as Mayune and Yayoi, but this might have been due to the characters themselves being rather irritating at times. Overall, the sound was just mediocre. Not horrible, but not great either.
This is definitely where Pretear shined. Although the characters each follow archetypes, each of them develop enough that towards the end of the series they become quite likable. Save for a few, even the comedic relief characters end up being important towards the end. The main lead, Himeno, is your typical ditzy shoujo protagonist. What makes her unique at first is her physical strength due to years of martial arts training, but this aspect of her character is not brought up as often as you would think. Himeno is quite admirable as she attempts to understand and help others while blocking out her own vulnerabilities, and this makes for much of the drama in the series. The seven "Leafe Knights" are her comrades and protectors, and while two of them, Hayate and Sasame are fleshed out more than the others, all of them become endearing to the viewer by the end of the series. The antagonist, whom I won't name because of spoilers, is actually a very tragic figure and easy to sympathize with. Although I wished her character back story was elaborated upon a little more, I still felt like her plight was understandable.
And then, there's Himeno's family. One thing that really separates Pretear from the hoard of mahou shoujo anime is that a lot of attention is given to the main female lead's family. If you've ever watched Sailor Moon or even Madoka Magica (to a lesser extent) you'll find that the family is introduced, then effectively disappears for the climax of the series. But Pretear is not just about romance and magic; the theme of love in the family sense is also explored quite well. Throughout the series, Himeno's family serves as a source of happiness as well as conflict, and this was very interesting to watch. Although I do wish more insight was given on her relationship with them after the final battle, the growth of that relationship through the rest of the series was still quite good.
Overall, I have to say I was quite impressed with Pretear. Since I read the manga before watching this version, I was a little nervous as to how it would be adapted. I expected a normal magical girl series, but what I got was something that was actually a few shades darker than the source material. Of course this is no Madoka Magica, but it's definitely not Sailor Moon either. If you're a fan of mahou shoujo series, then Pretear is definitely a show you should watch if you haven't already. If you don't necessarily like traditional mahou shoujo but you would like a fantasy romance with a few darker psychological twists (but not enough to make it truly grim and gritty like Madoka Magica) then Pretear may be something you would like to check out. All in all, while Pretear wasn't perfect, I did enjoy it a lot. The first few episodes dragged a bit, but once I bit into the meat of the story it really captured me. The finale especially was quite enjoyable with all of the emotional drama.
I've pretty much said everything that needs to be said, and this is already a really long review so I'll just leave it at that. Watch this series if it looks like something you'll enjoy, and keep in mind that it isn't actually all it seems to be at first glance.
At first, this show seems like every other Shojo anime you might've seen. And, you're pretty much right. This show is horrible.
This plot is very generic and boring. I cannot believe that I sat at watched this. A girl named Himeno Awayuki moves into her new home, and stumbles into a guy named Hayate. Then she discovers she has powers, yada yada yada. There's obviously romance involved, duh, it's a shojo anime. The rest of the plot writes itself, pretty much. I haven't read the manga (I never plan to) so I have no clue how much has been changed.
art was probably one of the only half-way decent things about this show. It's not mediocre, but not amazing. So it's actually pretty standard. Though, it has some horrible art at times. That's one thing I can say about the art. The major battle scenes were animated the best, I think. But they usually are, arent they?
The only songs I can really remember are the opening and ending songs, which weren't that great. So I can't really grade this aspect.
Besides the main heroine, I could stand all the characters. Though, like the plot, the characters were somewhat typical. There weren't many stand-out characters as most anime have, but if I had to choose one, it'd be Kei. He was the really gay one. He had a fucking doll of himself and used a picture of himself as his wallpaper. Come on!
This show didn't make me feel they way I usualy feel at the end of a series, satisfied. Though I hated the show, something seemed weird about the ending and I have no clue what. Anyway, the characters defenetly had something to do with the lack of enjoyment.