Nono Hana is an 8th grade student who wants to be a stylish and mature big sister like figure. She always puts on a lovely smile and loves to search for exciting things. One day, Hana meets a baby named Hug-tan and her guardian fairy named Harry who had fallen from the sky. At that exact moment, an evil organization called Dark Tomorrow suddenly appeared! They're trying to forcefully take Hug-tan's Mirai Crystal! In order to protect Hug-tan, Hana wishes to do something to help her, and her wish is granted, as she gains a Mirai Crystal and transforms into Cure Yell. The world is overflowed with Tomorrow Powerer, which is the power to create a brilliant tomorrow, which is crystallized into the Mirai Crystals. If it's stolen, everyone's future will not exist. To protect Hug-tan and everyone's future, Cure Yell will do her best!
For those of us who have seen a Precure before, that tagline is effectively TL;DR. We know what to expect. But honestly, there are very few of us, for reasons beyond the scope of this document. This is aimed at the rest of humanity ... who, for some reason, haunt underutilized sections of MAL.
Pretty Cure is, for better and for worse, a merchandise-driven show. On the plus side, it has steady returns that aren't based on BD/DVD sales figures. This means that it has a level of polish and craftsmanship that isn't usually seen in
TV anime. It also means that watching it involves being advertised to, since the show itself is an advertisement of a sort. How noticeable this is varies a lot.
Pretty Cure is also a single long-running series in a way. The seasons ostensibly start from scratch each time, but there are many similarities between, and there are crossover movies that somehow attempt to make them coexist. This entry, in particular, feels a lot like Go! Princess Precure. It's hardly surprising to find, then, that a lot of the people who worked on that also came back for this installment. Some of these are relative newcomers in the anime world.
That's why it's nice to see a veteran in the lineup. Namely, Junichi Satou. It was Ojamajo Doremi, another Toei magical girl show and thus a predecessor of sorts to Precure, that really launched his career. He went on to work on other magical girl shows, besides, so this is both a homecoming and a return to form for him.
To me, the main difference in this season is a tonal one. The first installment of Precure was poorly planned and tried to laugh off all the issues stemming from this. This season is well thought out, in a way I never expected from a Precure show. Plot developments have build up. Things flow naturally from what has come before. There's no excessive rush to build the core cast like there was in GoPri Precure. Characters have definable traits but have room to grow. The villains have a theme, but it's one that you might not expect in a kid's show. A young girl can hardly be expected to know about the corporate world, yet it makes the motivations of our starter villains, at least, comprehensible to those of us in the know.
Yet, none of this has sacrificed what makes Precure appealing to those of us who have watched it in the past. It's still fun. There's a lot of animation. A lot of that is good, and in different ways. Watch Homare ice skate, Hana flail about humorously, and all the Precures do battle. I think it's significant to note that the fight direction is a lot better than I've come to expect from this series. In early series, it seemed like they were trying to avoid things like impact, and clean lines of action, for some reason I never understood. Even in Go! Princess Precure, it seemed like these principles were only observed sometimes. Notably, those were the best episodes. Someone at Toei clearly noticed.
Thus we arrive at the present year. Pretty Cure has experimented in a lot of ways, and continues to do so, but in this season it shows that it hasn't forgotten what it's learned along the way. A big part of growing up is making mistakes and learning from them. That's why I say that Pretty Cure is grown up.
P.S. Due credit to youtuber ThePedanticRomantic, who is my source for some of this information. He really opened my eyes to how special this season is, and why. Watch his video on it! (It's the one with the really hyperbolic-sounding title. You'll know when you see it.)
There is underwatched and then there is Hugtto Precure. I gave a chance to this anime because of the praise the minority watching it were giving to the series and I definitely didn't expect to love it as much as I'm doing, ultimately leading me to start watching other entries from the franchise, I hope this review motivates you to give it a chance as well.
First of all I will start by replying to common reasons why one would avoid this without giving it a chance:
- "This is a kids show", oh boy, there were definitely some scenes so far that made me think "wait,
and kids are supposed to watch this?" The story is great and does a nice job at telling you that things could go very wrong and make you attached to the cast in their objective, it also touched some themes that "more mature" anime would avoid or only use as comedic value, which surprised me greatly.
- "It has a baby, babies are annoying!" No, Hugtan is adorable and even rarely cries, I watched anime with annoying babies or kids that annoyed me hard and I can tell you that she's not like this.
- "Eugh, mascot characters" Hell no, Harry is awesome! He also can turn into a good looking boy (the form he's mostly in) and is a very nice character for both comedic value and for his own development, he's far from just being a mascot. I'm not being biased because I already watched Heartcatch Precure due to Hugtto and, while it was a fantastic series as well, it took me a good amount of episodes to get used to the mascots of that series, Harry isn't like that at all.
With that out of the way, let's talk about the series.
The story of Hugtto is focused in the Criasu Corporation, an evil company trying to stop time and put an end to the future of the planet, Harry and Hugtan come from the future to avoid this with the help of the Precure. This anime is not afraid of going in the dark direction showing the danger of the villains while at the same time being honestly fun characters to watch, one roots for the protagonists but still enjoys the interactions with the bad side.
The characters of the series are fantastic, having likeable personalities and very solid development with honestly one of my favorite character arcs in anime included. Their interactions are lots of fun to watch and both comedy and drama moments coming from them are a blast to watch.
Then we get to the fights, Hugtto has been doing a very nice job at keeping the story and development always going, with pretty sure zero episodes being "filler" so far, but that doesn't change the fact that the episodic action scenes are a staple of the franchise and this anime hasn't changed that, nor it needs to because they are awesome to watch, the animation is constantly great for them (and honestly the whole show looks nice, it feels so alive) and so much fun to watch, this also includes the mandatory transformation scene before the fights that are sooo good looking, Precure knows that they will be reutilized a lot so they go full power on them to make them look as great as possible, and I can say they deliver. The only complaint I have is that sometimes the fights are shorter than the transformation scenes, which is honestly underwhelming when it happens, but I still enjoy them a lot.
I hope the points made in this review convince you to give it a try, I really don't want to see a series as nice as Hugtto Precure being so ignored because it's an anime that keeps impressing me every week, I can't recommend it enough.
As someone who have watch every single series of Pretty Cure, I should say that HUGtto is one of the best. In my opinion, it has been a while since precure actually have a decent series where they use fist fights and does not too focused on the lead a.k.a pink cure.
The story keeps getting better and involves not only on Hana. I am very pleased that other cures also got man chances to shine. Not only one or two, but each also got their own "highlight" on the opening and ending. If you miss watching a precure series with some fist fights, not only
relying on magic, you will like this because it reminds me to the early precure series. The theme itself is very unique an fun. The most important part and my favorite highlight, romance. There are some hinted romance and I don't think I'm the only one who has been waiting for precure to bring back romance to their series. So the two things I really love about this series are the fist fights and romance. Because those are what makes precure fun and not boring.
There are still some elements that are similar with the other precure series. Some of it I do like it and some not. What I sort of dislike about this series is the attacks. The attacks are too similar with some previous series attacks and I was hoping they come up with something new.
The art style is somewhat similar with Yes! Precure 5 mixed with a bit of DokiDoki precure. But a bit more modernized.I can't say I'm a big fan of the cures design, but they are not that bad. As for characters, each are very unique and has their own place to shine. All cures are also each have some unexpected sides of their characters which is fun. Its pretty rare to see that in latest precure series. Overall, I really enjoy HUGtto precure and have high expectations for it.