In the story, the Illusionary Empire led by Queen Mirage has begun attacking Earth. The Precure teams that are on every continent of the world fend off the rampaging Saiaaku, and word spreads on global television news about the Precure girls who fight for humanity. "Precure" becomes a common word throughout the world.
Some shows are good. Some shows are bad. Some shows...can't seem to decide what it wants to be, or what it is. I like it when an anime wants to tell a story and knows what its doing, even in its filler episodes, and it's not just shows for adults that do this. Kids shows have done this too. Popolocrois, Fancy Lala, and Jewelpet Twinkle are three examples of great kids shows that know what they want and come out great because of it. Everything in the World Masterpiece Theater does it masterfully. Unfortunately, while I do love Happiness Charge Pretty Cure, I admit it could have been done much better.
The story is about Hime Shirayuki, a princess of the Blue Sky Kingdom. Her kingdom was attacked by the Phantom Empire, and despite becoming a Pretty Cure, she is utterly hopeless at fighting, and has to go to Earth for her own safety, accompanied by her friend Ribbon. Her rival--Cure Fortune--blames her for everything and Hime is at a loss as to what to do. She does, however, find a new friend in a young girl named Megumi Aino, a happy-go-lucky girl who is obsessed with love and making people happy. Megumi actually winds up becoming a Pretty Cure alongside Hime--Cure Lovely. Together, along with two new allies, the girls try to fight the Phantom Empire's minions, the Saiarks, and try to stop them from spreading despair. But there's a lot more to the Phantom Empire than meets the eye, and there are many secrets to be revealed.
The animation...fluctuates a LOT throughout the series. Some episodes, it's good, other episodes...are pretty badly animated, with kooky faces with parts out of place, movement being stilted, the animation style being really cloudy and too cartoony for my tastes (but I got used to it), etc. The budget for the episodes is clearly limited, but when they use it, boy do they use it! Hime's transformation is the most well animated and visually pleasing transformation in the entire series, and that's saying a lot. But other than that, the show's animation is sub-par. The music...I don't know what to say about this one. The opening theme is too bubblegummy for me, the ending themes more so. The actual soundtrack...ugh, to be honest, I can't tell if the show even has its own pieces at all, because since the show has the same composer as Doki Doki Precure before it, the anime reuses pieces from Doki Doki in EVERY SINGLE EPISODE! Now, if the show was a direct sequel to Doki Doki, I wouldn't have a problem if they're the same series taking place in the same universe, but HapiCha is an entity completely separate for Doki Doki, so the fact that they reuse music from Doki Doki makes the production team really come off as lazy and uninspired. I get that there are budget issues involved, and other series used music from other series too, but at least Suite made sure to not use Heartcatch and Fresh pieces in EVERY episode (I haven't seen Fresh or Smile so I can't comment on that).
The characters...are arguably a mixed bag. However, before I get to the bad, I really need to talk about what I feel is THE best part of the entire show: Hime. She is by far the best main character in any anime I've seen. She's well developed, has plenty of flaws and weaknesses, good qualities and strengths, has the best executed character arc in the show, is proactive despite her royal upbringing and occasionally selfish personality, grows as a character throughout the series awesomely, and has more spotlight on her than the pink character. The show seems to be making her out to be the main character, even though it's sort of not the case. And seriously, why can't Hime be the main character, because she's easily the best character in the entire show even though she's made of traits that people would absolutely hate if done wrong, and Hime's character is done so right it's not even funny. I'm glad the writers really pulled out all the stops when it came to Hime. Also, Glasan is awesome.
Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the other characters. Now don't get me wrong, they're not bad. They're all engagingly flawed...except for Yuuko. I'll get to that in a bit. One thing I like about the series is that the characters all come off as annoying at first, but when you least expect it, the writers realize it and completely redeem them for you. I used to hate Megumi in the beginning, because her constantly harping on about love and happiness got on my nerves, and it seemed to be her only character trait. Thankfully I grew to like her starting from episode 30 onward. I used to hate Iona too, for being a straight up jerk to Hime for plot reasons, but she dropped the act and realized her own faults as well. The other characters all have engaging flaws...except for one: Yuuko. Sorry, guys. I hate to admit it, as I like her too, but there's no denying it: Yuuko is kind of a Mary Sue. She's unfailingly kind and friendly, loves food and rice to insane levels, doesn't make any mistakes, all of her potential flaws are presented as cute character quirks instead of realistic flaws, everything she does is praised by everyone, she's always in the right, nobody questions what she does (save for a few, but even they change their views later on), and she's loved by everyone. Her character writing is one of the show's low points, as a character like Yuuko just isn't very interesting, and her focus episodes were all poorly executed, especially the cheesy episode 31, with the fact that the entire episode implied she had a love interest that turned out to be something else entirely. Both her character and that episode could have been handled so much better. But I do appreciate that she contributes no more or less than any of the other characters, that her attacks aren't foolproof, and that she's still on the same level as the girls, so I can give kudos to the creators for that.
The villains are pretty much the same. Mirage and Phantom are the only good villains in the show, whereas the bumbling bad trio are the worst. They're never developed, their backstories aren't elaborated on, and they're very bland, one note characters who don't do much throughout the entire show. They were the biggest waste of characters ever. Also, I absolutely hate Hosshiwa. Her voice was annoying, her character was annoying, her personality was annoying, her evil laugh was annoying, God everytime she opened her mouth I just wanted to deck her! Another contender is the final villain. I won't spoil anything, but he is the whinest, most annoying, most pathetic villain I've ever seen. He constantly whines and moans about how love is bad every five minutes any time he's on screen! He doesn't even do anything really threatening, just brainwashing people and being annoying, and he REFUSES TO SHUT UP!!! Seriously, I can write a better villain character than him!
Which also brings me to the show's biggest flaw. Now, let me say this: when it knows what it wants to do, Happiness Charge is great. But when it doesn't, it sinks. Hard. What do I mean? Well, some episodes are written well, while others are very poorly executed, like the writers were battling over what the moral of the episode should be and wind up making an episode that's a big mess. Unfortunately, Happiness Charge is pretty guilty of this. Episode 17 is one such example. To me it looked like the moral was going to be about Hime learning that it's okay to share your friends with other friends, but Megumi and Yuuko force Hime to support Seiji's karate tournament, and at one point Hime says "Curse you, Seiji!" for no reason at all, implying that she secretly hated him. I won't go into detail about other episodes, as it'd take waaaay too long. But yeah, it's like the show is at a fork in the road and it goes on one road, only to constantly zigzag between that road and the other, and in the end it finally decides on a road, only to still have doubts and regrets and the feeling of not having reached their destination. That's how Happiness Charge's filler episodes are to me. But different strokes for different blokes, I suppose. Plus, all the romance was really forced, and in a way, it didn't really need to be there. My mom often says "don't buy the car if you can't drive it." For this series? Don't try to write about something if you're going to write it badly...or in this case, indecisively. So lack of focus is Happiness Charge's biggest problem. But there are shows that did this far worse, and when the show knows what it wants to do, boy does it shine! I only wish it was this focused during its filler episodes, too.
While not a great show, Happiness Charge is a cute little slice of entertainment for your daughter, sister, niece, etc. It's not perfect, but nothing ever is, so I enjoy it for what it is, though many parts of it could have been done much better.read more
If I could use one word to describe Happiness Charge it would be consistent. It's pretty much always a fun and entertaining show at the least, while there are parts that are better and worse than others its highs and lows aren't particularly extreme ever. I could always count on each episode to be basely enjoyable when I watched it even if I didn't expect much else.
The characters are fun enough. They have good chemistry with each other and I Hime in particular is great, she's definitely the stand out Cure from this season to me. Something of a problem though is that the show doesn't really balance out what it does with each girl. Yuuko feels like a prop for the first 30 episodes of the show and in the second half Hime is just kind of there. Not every Cure needs to have some sort of important side plot or be directly related to the main story in some way like Hime but there is really nothing going on for Yuuko and Hime at large stretches of time. Not only that but Yuuko's character is hardly expanded upon at all in the first half. Not counting Cures we have Seiji, Megumi's childhood friend. He's a pretty good character in his own right, and he becomes a nice support for the group of girls later on.
More than any other season Happiness Charge has a big focus on romance and love. It's pretty refreshing seeing this as a theme for Precure after so long. But it's not exactly done the best. A lot of it just ends up being characters agonizing over feelings and there not being good resolution on most things. Hime's potentially burgeoning crush on Seiji is wrapped up in the most disappointing and anti-climactic way possible, and in the worst case a possible love interest for Iona comes out of nowhere to enable a power-up and disappears just as quickly. For a show where love is such a big deal it really drops the ball in a lot of places.
In general the show is very quick to finish one thing and then move on to the next. Mostly in the second half. It will do something interesting and shocking for one episode and then it's done, time to do something else. The "Unlovely" event, which could've been expanded on so much more, and the resolution of Cure Tender are treated this way and it's a bit anti-climactic once again. The show does have a bit of a bad habit of bringing up supposedly important things and then just forgetting about them or seemingly thinking that they never need to bring them up again.
For a season where there are many different teams of Cures fighting around the world this wasn't really utilized much, they travel once and that's it. It's just kind of a shame they didn't really get to know that many other Cures well.
And then there's the CGI stock footage transformations. It's probably the most unique thing about HapCha compared to other Precure seasons. The girls each get some form changes and when they use them we get CGI stock footage exactly like the ending songs. They're very disappointing. The attacks themselves are basically pointless in the first place, very rarely do they even have an affect on anything other than the small monsters the Cures will be fighting. It basically just amounts to a weird cut-scene, "Oh. That happened.", and then they get phased out as the show goes on and we never see them again, it's basically just a waste of an idea. This only applies to the form changes used for battle though. The regular civilian changes are good, the girls get a wide variety of different outfits like ninja gear. It's one of the better realized parts of the show as they're always transforming into something cute.
The action in the show is overall the best we've had in Precure since Heartcatch. There's a lot of energy and excitement in the fights and the Cures are always inventing random attacks and throwing energy blasts and stuff that make the fights more fun. There's not really a ton of exceptionally well animated fights though but the show makes up for it I feel.
The animation isn't the best to be sure but the characters are very expressive and I feel the style and atmosphere of the show balance this out. I never found myself caring much about the general animation outside of fight scenes because Hime's exaggerated motions and such kept me entertained.
The villains are quite varied. The minion trio, like we've had every season since Fresh, is not particularly good. They have their fun scenes and are kind of basely entertaining but there's nothing else to them. They just kind of get worn out after a while. It doesn't feel like they have much of a rivalry with the Cures or anything and they aren't given backstories or any real development until much later than necessary. This makes the inevitable final fights with them just feel hollow.
Phantom is a better villain but still bland for most of his run. He later gets some development and what we learn about him makes him quite interesting but he's still not particularly compelling or fun to watch as a villain. Mirage is also pretty good and interesting herself but she just doesn't do much. The fight with her is indeed quite great though.
Deep Mirror is easily the best villain of the show. He also ends up as just being one of the most thought out, complex, and well realized villains of the franchise.
The finale is good definitely. Relatively well built up, intense, awesome, good villains to deal with, shocking reveals, it pretty much has all you could want. However. Megumi is the only Cure to be even remotely relevant to anything going on in the last part of the show. She does everything important basically. I don't know if I should be angrier at Doki for starting this terrible trend or HapCha for blindly following it. At least HapCha doesn't go out of its way to make things revolve around Megumi when they shouldn't though. She just... happens to be the only important one at the end. It's honestly kind of annoying.
The show uses a victim of the week format at a very loose level, we don't really get to know the people made into Terribads for the most part and they don't have to be sad or having a problem of their own like in other seasons. It's just a quick way to create a victim and a monster for the show and it's kind of nice truthfully, it at least means they never half ass the victim of the weeks story and they can still have important people made into monsters.
The normal non-cgi stock footage in the show is pretty good. All the transformations are good, Lovely and Princesse's duo attack is awesome, and the final group attack... well it's certainly unique I can tell you that much.
With all this being said the last thing about HapCha I can say is that there's just a feeling of staleness to it. Watching it I can't shake that it just all comes off as kind of bland to me. Probably having to do with Megumi's character, as fun as she can be, being really typical herself. But it's other things too that I can't quite describe, just a feeling the show gives off. But perhaps this is only because it's been ten years of Precure.
I would never rate Happiness Charge as one of the best or worst seasons of Precure. It's fine. That's it. It never evoked feelings of love or hate. But I could watch it and enjoy it again one day. read more
If you like the original pretty cure, your bound to love this one. Like the original, it takes a fair time of their lives and the fight.
This pretty cure is perfect on keeping the characters in the "right spot"(by that I mean they never act differently than you'd expect someone to be. Example: An evil queen giving money to the poor for no apparent reason).
I liked how they made part of it in 3-D(I would say specifically what part, but I think that'd be a spoiler). I also like how it ties all the pretty cures together(again, spoiler). Every single detail makes sense. Whenever there's an argument between the characters, it explains why they're mad at eachother. read more
At this time precure is all but not original. Toei is taking ideas from past seasons to make a new one. This time, Happiness charge looks very similar to Heartcatch precure.
The story is the same as always: some evil people attavk a kingdom and wants to conquer earth. Only because they hate love, kindness, hope and all that good feelings. But they wont have it easy: precure will save the day!
One thing that I like is the new addition of the show: they put international precure: no matter in which country you are. A group of precure will save the day: India, Japan, Texas, Spain... Because, why only the evil organization attack one city if they can attack at the same time all world?
One thing that they used in the first half of the anime is that: if you collect enought precards you can wish something. In the second part this thing was forgotten. At the end its only a cute thing only to collect and use. Why: the cards are clothes and with magic you can change into the clothes that are on the cards.
Art and animation aren't good enough. Past season have better animation and character design. But again, a new addition is now on the series: CGI animation on when the precure attack. Yes, its cheap CGI, but is something. For the 10th anniversay of pretty cure the animation is really lame, with episodes that you can say: "what... where they lazy or don't have enough budget to animate this episode."
About the character design its not bad. Its cute but to be honest to childish and "sweet". You can say, "hey, its a kids show" yes, but I have seen several animated kids shiw and they have better.
The character is one of the best points of the show. They're aren't perfect ith a lot of cualities and no defects. megimu is a little dumb about love and she doesn't have any dream. Iona hate Hime becouse on her own version he has the fault what happened to her. This 3 characters have bad and good feelings.
But I really don't like too much Yuuko. She is always kind, likes food and thinks all the time about food and honey candy. She sings good and is the perfect lady: knows what she wants, and help others.
Talking about other characters, I also ike Blue, the Earth god. He search for kind girls only to become them precures. He has doubts and secrets. And you know that will be problems when the four protagonist know what really happened.
In overall, I enjoyed the anime. Ignoring bad animation (is bad in several episodes not in all) I really liked this season. but I really wish that toei, in some parts the story were superficial. They can be better.read more
Pretty Cure is a long running mahou shoujo series that has enchanted young girls for over 10 years. The songs featured in it represent the essence of the series, but what exactly are they about? Let's take a look at the song lyrics in Precure through a process called text mining to find out.