Once upon a time, there was a little girl who desperately wanted to become a princess just like the ones in her picture book. Other children made fun of her childish wishes, but she never stopped believing. One day, a boy who looked like a prince appeared, asking her if she would like to be a princess. He gave the girl magical charm to make her wish come true.
That little girl, Haruka Haruno, is now a thirteen-year-old attending Noble Academy, a junior high boarding school. Her school life is interrupted by two fairies, Pafu and Aroma, who give her a Princess Perfume, which mysteriously matches the charm she was given eight years ago! Turns out, Haruka is one of the Princess Precures, and must team up with Cure Mermaid and Cure Twinkle in Go! Princess Precure in order to defeat the dark witch Dyspear before she brings the the Hope Kingdom and Haruka's world to a nightmareish end!
Dreams are beautiful and worth protecting, something that moves forward people and gives us a goal to reach in our way to happiness. Poor/unappealing execution and disliking the characters aside, the theme of "working hard to reach your dreams" is one of the most compelling ones there is to me, and well, here is an anime where the characters having a dream and the enemy trying to take them away is the main theme! I was already hooked from the start, and the execution couldn't have been better.
“I want to be a princess!” Said our clumsy, but hardworking and absurdly lovable protagonist Haruka when she
was a kid, the rest laughed at her for having such childish dream, maybe you did you too after reading this thinking about how absurd that might be, but that hurt her, a lot. Thankfully, one day she met a mysterious person who looked like a prince and he cheered for her dream and that she could become one, and that moment is what pushed her to stay that way and continue having that dream she wanted to reach all the way to when she joined Noble Academy, a school where this fantastic story is set.
In this entry, the antagonist side is an organization called Dysdark, that focuses on bringing despair to the people by locking away their dreams (and them in the process inside of a cage), they already showed their power by taking full control of Hope Kingdom and the people living there, with the few who managed to run away asking the Precures of this entry for help. While some comedic interactions with the girls are still there, I have to say that Princess clearly went more serious when it comes to showing the villains as the evil force they are, and how threatening Dyspear (the main antagonist of the story) is definitely helps on that.
And this is where the Precure come to action, and what a nice job they made, the cast of this anime is so likeable and this is especially true for the main characters of this story and Yui, another student who isn't a Precure but is always with the girls, we follow them in their way to accomplish their dreams and this includes all the happy, sad, and very emotional moments of that, it's so easy to root for them and each episode is really enjoyable no matter who takes the spotlight, I was hooked to this anime from the first episode and it only made but get better, reaching godlike status in the last cour where it became a string of amazing episode after amazing episode into a conclusion that left me immensely satisfied.
The animation of the series is fantastic, especially delivering hard in the transformations and action scenes that are characteristic of the series, it's honestly surprising how consistent the quality is considering that Precure never really stops airing.
With that said, it's time to tackle the only negative I can think of this anime: some use of the CGI. Together with the “real life looking” issue I have with the toys the franchise obviously wants to advertise to keep going as mentioned in my Heartcatch Precure review, the magic spells and the CGI models that come along with them can be pretty jarring, but it really becomes a minor complaint when everything else in the series was just so great.
The series is also very solid in the music department, and god, I love the second ED of the series so much even if having the issue I mentioned, it's a great song and it also has different versions (one for each of the Precure), alternating between them, most of the time fitting with who was the main focus of the episode, it was unskippable and a fantastic way to end the episode.
Princess Precure is no anime “just for kids”, the themes of the story and how well they are handled are made in a way that anyone can enjoy this anime and feel connected with the cast and their dreams, maybe also being able to relate with your own ones and feel an extra push for your objectives. One of the best series I have watched and an anime I can't recommend enough to everyone.
Go! Princess Precure was a hard thing to pick up given that my preferences - while being variant with genres like Horror, psychological, comedy, slice of life, mecha, sci-fi, sports, shounen etc prominent - never really had the Mahou (magical) part. However Princess Precure is more than just pretty girls being super powerful and awesome. But before I tackle what is the anime's theme (I don't mean the story/synopsis) I would like to convey one thing strongly. Go! Princess Precure is not targeted towards a mature audience and so don't expect it to appeal in such a manner.
The anime is meant for a younger
audience, regardless of gender and should be appreciated as such. That doesn't mean a grown up CANNOT enjoy it (I am 23 and I loved it) but one has to keep in mind what the anime is about and for whom does it deliver. Which brings me back to my main discussion. Princess Precure is saturated with positive themes. It's basic premise would be to follow your dreams no matter how hard it is. Alongside it gives many other valuable lessons regarding friends, family, and understanding people. It shows us that the struggle for our dreams may be tough but still we struggle because we dream. And that is the beauty as well as the crux of the anime.
Now since it is for kids, it does not border on themes that are surely part of real life but may be hard for kids to understand or might have a negative impact on them and so we have no adult style jokes, no deliberate sarcasm, no politics (back stabbing and what not). And of course we have a long transformation. However that doesn't mean we have a bland story with no ups and downs. There is tension, there is anticipation, there are rather quite thrilling scenes.
The pacing is well done - it doesn't move the story too fast for it to confuse or too slow for it to bore. The animation is good - it is over all a vibrant and smooth display and where the anime wishes to deliver, it delivers beautifully with intense fighting scenes (no blood or gore though). The sounds are complimenting though I didn't find anything excessively outstanding about it. The characters do adhere to certain specific traits but honestly, given that it was for kids, excessive 3-D personality build would be unsuitable. That is not to say that the characters are just dumb projections - they play their part well.
So if one understands that the anime is in essence a lesson targeting mainly kids, then anyone can enjoy it. It has a lot to offer and plot wise it handles things very well leaving a memorable experience. I hope you enjoy it!
Confession time: when I was little, I absolutely HATED girly things. Well, my mom says I played with a lot of Barbie dolls when I was a kid, but other than that, I hated anything remotely girly. I still hate dresses and skirts to this day though only because of sensory issues, I didn't watch shows like My Little Pony, Bratz, or anything of the like when I was young, I despise makeup because I don't like the way it feels on my skin, and I used to think that all shows for girls were bad and were all about pretty princesses who did nothing
but giggle at nothing, have endless tea parties, and cry over the stupidest things...and I'm a girl! I was VERY into shows like Pokemon, Digimon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Monster Rancher, Codename: Kids Next Door, Danny Phantom, etc. Anything that had cute monsters saving the world and characters who weren't archetypes and that had compelling stories were a win for me! Admittedly, I did watch the English dubs of Tokyo Mew Mew and Ojamajo Doremi back when 4Kids was still around, but I just considered them good shows. When one of my favorite bloggers was praising a show called Heartcatch Precure up the wazoo, I got curious and decided to watch it...and I'm glad I did, because it completely changed my perception of shows for girls, and this was BEFORE My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic came around! Now, if you were to tell me ten years ago that I would fall head over heels for a show called Go! Princess Pretty Cure, I would have called you stupid. But here I am, loving Go! Princess Pretty Cure in all its frilly, cutesy, pink, princess-y glory!
Haruka Haruno has always dreamed of being a princess, even at age 13. When she was young, a boy named Kanata gave her a strange pink key, telling her that she can fulfill her dream. Years later, she transfers to an elite middle school called Noble Academy in the hopes of becoming a fine young lady. When she meets two fairies, Puff and Aroma, they're being chased by Close and his monster, a Zetsuborg. Strangely, the key she's held onto winds up turning her into a magical girl, Cure Flora. As it turns out, Puff and Aroma are fairies from the Hope Kingdom, which is being conquered by an evil lady named Dyspear and her minions. The prince, Kanata, is trying to help however he can and needs 12 Princess Keys in order to get Hope Kingdom back. Joining them are calm natured do-gooder Minami Kaido, Cure Mermaid, and sassy, upbeat model Kirara Amanogawa, Cure Twinkle, and later, the revived princess of Hope Kingdom, Towa, aka Cure Scarlet. Can they defeat DysDark and save both their world and Hope Kingdom?
The animation is a major step-up from Happiness Charge. It looks so much more clearer, the movements are more fluid, the transformation sequences are just brimming with life, and while the CGI does look a teensy bit out of place in places, there are times when its integrated better. I definitely liked the animation for the first ending theme. The second one...not so much. The characters still fall into uncanny valley territory when the CGI is there. The colors are bright and the animation doesn't have that weird, smoky, murky quality about it that Happiness Charge was plagued with a lot of the time.
While it's well known that the Precure series reuse music from other seasons, even when they shouldn't due to not being connected with each other, Go Princess did have this problem at first. Thankfully, once the second half came, the Doki Doki music disappeared entirely, and what original music it does have does its job well. I do think the insert songs are a bit to peppy and don't give certain scenes impact, but they're not bad, and the rest of the music is pretty good as well. The opening theme is definitely a major step-up from Happiness Charge and it doesn't grate on my ears. The first ending theme is absolutely beautiful, and it sounds more like it'd be in an anime about classical music like Your Lie In April rather than Precure, but it does fit the "want to be a noble princess" theme rather well.
Again, the characters are also massively improved from Happiness Charge. All of the characters here are endearing and engaging, have reasonable personalities, strengths, weaknesses, and dreams that all come into play in the series, all of them get episodes in the limelight, and no one character outshines another nor is anyone given more importance than the other. Plus, they're all reasonably developed and aren't just walking catchphrases meant to shove morals down kids' throats! Even side characters are given focus, and although some could have used better development or were just terrible (I'm looking at you, Ranko!), they all played their part in the show in a good way, and they don't just disappear when the going gets tough, either. Such is the case for one girl, Yui Nanase, who isn't a Pretty Cure nor does she fight any enemies physically like Seiji from HapiCha did, but she contributes in her own way, and everyone loves her for it, me being one of those people. Also, the mascots. I thought Aroma would be annoying since he insults Haruka sometimes, but he completely grows out of that, and Puff is the most adorable little puffball ever! The villains are also improved and have MUCH better, more refined personalities than HapiCha's and aren't bland archetypes. However, when one of them gets redeemed halfway through the series (You'll know who I'm talking about), he doesn't do anything throughout the show, instead being shy and clinging to Siamour all the time. I like him, but I felt the show could have made better use of him, or at the very least made him do something worthwhile.
Any flaws that the show has are for the most part pretty minor for me. It did have one bad episode that just made me cringe (Episode 37, the one with the school play) at the fact that they're willing to worsen a kid's injury just so they can get on with the play rather than do the reasonable thing and have someone replace him, and Ranko was an annoying little hypocrite who ruined everything in her debut episode and got in the way despite telling Kirara not to do the same. However, those were just small problems, and everything else was relatively great. But I won't lie, this isn't a show for everyone. It is ridiculously girly, the whole show is riddled with bright colors like pink, yellow, red, and white, there's large, poofy dresses, the girl characters are unabashedly attached to their dreams, and it can get rather sappy at times. But for me, it wasn't so sappy that it made me cringe from how girly it was. Show's like G3 My Little Pony and Lady Lovely Locks relied too much on cuteness, enforcing female gender roles, and overall saccharineness rather than telling a compelling and genuinely entertaining story, or didn't utilize what potential they did have, which is why they're either little known or disliked, because they thought that excessive girliness would attract an audience, but it didn't work. It let its saccharine image drive away potential audiences.
Normally, shows about princesses, or shows for girls in general, have gotten a lot of backlash over the years because of their low quality and emphasis on being as inhumanely cute and girly and saccharine as possible. Thankfully, this mindset seems to be dying out, both for fans and creators. Lauren Faust created My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic to appeal to people of all genders and ages, and as a result of its strong focus on storytelling and developing its characters, it became the cash cow franchise it is today. Other shows such as Candy Candy, Snow White With The Red Hair, Yona of the Dawn, Miraculous Ladybug, Steven Universe, Madoka Magica, Ever After High, Monster High, and many others, are well loved by audiences because they're changing the standards for shows for girls: that just because the show is aimed at girls or has princesses or girly elements in it, it doesn't mean its bad, and if its executed well, it can be loved by anyone or everyone. I can say proudly that Go Princess Pretty Cure completely changed my views on princesses forever.
If you want to watch a good show with your daughter, little sister, niece, or whoever, Go Princess Pretty Cure is the show for you, and it shows that even in poofy dresses, girls can kick butt!
I've always loved Precure transformations and have always looked forward to them every year despite not watching the full series since I was afraid it would be too childish and I would just waste my time. However, I decided to give it a try with Go! Princess Precure and I am SO glad I did.
As I'm writing this, I literally just want to boast this anime and say it's a masterpiece and that everyone in the world should watch it, and that's truly how I feel about it cause that's how much I personally enjoyed it.
This anime is just a surprise every episode. You
think you're getting yourself into some boring cutesy anime aimed at children, and while it is aimed at children, there are so many themes treated (mainly about dreams) and they're obviously not crude or hardcore, but they can touch you and I'm not ashamed to say I cried multiple times throughout the series.
The animation is just great. There are very few episodes where the quality decreases, but even so they never fail to deliver amazing fight scenes and gorgeous magical girl powers. Some episodes probably have one of the most amazing animation of 2015, and you'll be surprised to see such details and smoothness in an anime like this.
The music fit the anime really well. The OST really does sound like something out of a princess movie, so the princess theme is very recurrent and never feels out of place. Take a listen to the transformation music and you'll know what I'm talking about.
Overall I gave the anime a 10 because I can honestly say this is the best magical girl anime I've ever seen. It might be an exaggeration to some, but I felt so good each and every episode and I really don't feel like giving it any less. It deserves everything.
Give it a chance, you won't regret it for a second.