The story begins when the protagonist Hikaru meets aliens Lala, Prunce, and Fuwa while watching the night sky. She learns of the "Star Palace," where the 12 Star Princesses of the constellations kept the balance of the universe until they were attacked. Lala is searching for the legendary Precure warriors to help find the 12 scattered "Princess Star Color Pens" and revive the princesses. When Fuwa is captured by an enemy, Hikaru wishes to save Fuwa, and a Star Color Pendent and a Star Color Pen appear to allow her to transform into Cure Star. From then on she works to collect the pens and raise Fuwa, who is the key to reviving the princesses.
Star Twinkle Precure delivers a beautiful collage of art, music, and emotions that comes together to form something really special!
The show follows the main girls on a galaxy spanning adventure, effortlessly switching between whimsical exploration, and slice of life comedy on one hand; and relatively dark and emotional stories involving loss, anger, and isolation on the other. All without missing a beat.
The art is superb. The science-fiction designs feel fresh while comfortable, and the diverse settings of interstellar space are exploited well. But the standout is the character designs, especially Lala (who i'll return to) . The transformation sequences are STUNNING, amazingly cute and
graceful and the girls also sing while transforming which is beautiful and releases so much pent up emotion after a tense or dramatic episode. Hearing the precure's break out into song after 20 minutes of building emotional weight is an incredible catharsis, and enough to make me tear up.
Personally the girls other than Hikaru and Lala fall into the background for me. But it's a testament to how great this show is that Madoka, Elena, and even Blue-cat had scenes that excited, and moved me.
Hikaru's enthusiasm and curiosity is easy to take for granted at first, but by the end of the show I started to realize how serious she actually was, and she really started to make me feel something. Combined with her really cute character design, and lynch pin position on the shows cast, and character-dynamics she's a solid and important character that's executed well. I thought I had Hikaru's stereotypical character all figured out when I first saw her, but in the end she had me in tears on more than one occasion...
Lala had me from the start. Her character design is simply perfect, perfect color scheme, cute alien feelers, and her really cute outfits with her iconic loose yellow socks. Lala makes cute alien expressions like 'Lun~' and 'oyo~' which is very cute and charming. Her voice is really cute and expressive. There's about 100 different way's for Lala to say 'oyo' or 'lun' and they all make perfect sense, its amazing.
While Hikaru is right at home on earth, the whole time Lala is making a concerted effort to fit in, learn about human culture, and explore. She even enrolls in the school just for the experience. It's easy to forget and let Hikaru's enthusiasm and excitement outshine her, but Lala is a long way from home.
Lala's story is a great one, and her personality is also wonderful and inspiring. I don't think I'm really capable of expressing my love for Lala in this review, and it would be out of place to try lol.
Star twinkle precure is one of the only animes I can think of that can make me Laugh and Cry in the space of a single episode. And one of the only animes that managed to catapult one of its characters so deeply into my heart (LALA!!!!!). It's great and you should watch it.
ALso Kappard is sick and his arc is awesome, and his design is cool.
When deciding how good a series like Star Twinkle is you've got to think: are you comparing it to other Precure series, or are you comparing it to anime as a whole? I won't sugar coat it, compared to some other Precure series Star Twinkle isn't as good. But in the end it's still Precure. It's fun, it has cute girls, it has action, it's really easygoing and heartwarming and will make you laugh and cry. On the spectrum of the entire medium, Star Twinkle is great.
Hikaru is really cute and it was a lot of fun going on a fifty episode ride with her
and the other girls. Seeing different planets was really adventurous and fun. Back on earth you get the typical episodes of people resolving their social issues which can be very relatable at times. There were some really awesome villains, Kappard in particular is one of my favorite Precure villains hands down. The man is just so darned handsome, and he uses a freakin lightsaber it's awesome. Most of the finishers were kind of lame in my opinion but the henshin sequences were top notch. Lala is a really cute character that is complemented well by slapstick humor. Lots of random funny episodes, was hilarious watching Madoka's dad get gaslit by a bunch of children. There are a lot of things to like about Star Twinkle, and it's not as if it's the worst Precure series by any means.
I'll say that it might not be the best Precure series to start with. You've got things like Heartcatch and Smile to that end. But if you've already watched some Precure and are looking for more, you could do worse than watch Star Twinkle. You'll definitely enjoy it a lot if you like Hikaru or Lala.
Why is this franchise still around? I’m not being facetious here, I genuinely want to know this. This was a franchise built on friendship and cool fights, and now the cool fights are gone, the friendship thing has less weight each time for some reason, and the quality of the previous two seasons was nonexistent. Meanwhile Aikatsu is on its last legs, despite being a far better franchise. How unfair.
But this isn’t the topic for that. Welcome to the Star Twinkle review by everyone’s favorite caustic reviewer.
Star Twinkle is a step on the right direction compared to KiraKira and Hugtto, but only because when
you hit the bottom there’s nowhere to go but up. The plotline is simple enough: the universe is gonna be destroyed unless our plucky heroines gather 12 Star Pens and revive the Star Princesses to fix this mess. Seems Toei realized the more “intricate” storylines of DokiDoki/GoPri/Hugtto were terrible and decided to keep things simple which frankly is a wise move. There are a few twists and surprises during the way but that’s basically it. It works, there’s no big plotholes nor issues, good so far.
The characters are… mixed bag. Most are alright, but the pink Cure and the baby mascot are terrible. Did I mention they hog much of the screentime? Why do you keep doing this, Toei?
Anyway. Hikaru is the pink Cure and she’s plain terrible. Loud, obnoxious, childish, and utterly annoying, Hikaru encapsulates the worst traits of pink Cures in a twintailed package. Her catchphrase is dumb and forced and gets thrown in all the time, to ear-shattering points. Her plotline is also barely touched on, and while it shows she could’ve been a better character… She’s not. Lala is the GREEN Cure who doesn’t look green because for whatever reason Toei hates green. She’s an alien and has cute verbal tics and is serious but earnest and overall one of the best girls in the show. She deserves being the most popular Cure this season. Shame after the plot featuring her home planet she becomes background noise, aside from the movie. Erena with R is the yellow Cure and she’s basically Nao from Smile but with dark skin. She spends most of the season being a walking prop though once they remember to give her focus her storyline isn’t too bad and is linked to the main plot even. I still don’t get why they did 3 plots about discrimination in 4 episodes but sure. Madoka is the purple Cure and much like Erena is Nao then Madoka is Reika because the season about imagination lacks any. Seriously, change the strict grandpa for a strict dad and you get Madoka. Both even have the same plotline which just screams lazy and shows how little Toei cares about her. Finally there’s Yuni the blue Cure that joins “halfway”, more like 40% in now, and she’s a weird one. Not her personality, which is fine and dandy, but rather she appears somewhat late and then joins in a rather shoehorned way and barely gets focus outside her spotlight episodes. It’s almost like Murayama had the plot outline done and his editor said “Dude, you forgot the mid-season Cure” and he then just went “Oh shi-“ and shoved her in rather haphazardly. But no way is Toei that incompetent, right?
For other characters, we have Prunce and Fuwa the two mascots. Prunce is cool and thus gets treated like dirt. Fuwa is annoying and she gets put on a pedestal. Yeah. The various family members and friends of the Cures are all fine, except Hikaru’s dad who is basically just as annoying and obnoxious as his daughter down to the stupid catchphrase. Luckily he’s only in two episodes. The villains are cool though, and they even make good points about things which is either really good writing or really bad one. The jury’s out on this one. Still, all in all it’s not a bad cast.
The sound is fine. I could do without Hikaru screaming “KIRAYABAAAAAA” every five seconds and the OP and ED all feel identical to previous ones. But if it ain’t broken don’t fix it.
As for the art, the designs of the characters are good. The main girls are all cute and easily recognizable, the villains have a youkai patter which is pretty neat, and there’s no real issue here. However the fights are subpar and among the worst in the franchise. Too much beamspam, not enough physical contact. Even the final battles are 90% beamspam. It’s not even COOL beamspam, since they reuse stock animation all the time. Boring!
All in all, Star Twinkle is not one of the strongest entries in the franchise. It’s a decent entry point, and if you wanna watch everything PreCure it won’t be the worst part of that, but the glory days of Splash Star and Fresh and Heartcatch are long gone. A pity about that.
Introduction: Admittedly, Hugtto Pretty Cure had some good ideas like Hana, its cute moments, and the physical fights, but they are just not enough to outweigh the negatives that season suffered from. Depending on who you talk to, the season felt like its potential was thrown out of the window and shattered upon the impact of the floor. The characters and story were handled horribly with the time travel idea where better decisions could've been made, the crossover episodes that prevented its characters from having more episodes, and the "you can do anything, you can become anything" tagline going as far as to include subject
matters that can be deemed too political that don't belong in a kid series that Hugtto felt like a modern Doki Doki. Hugtto felt like it was trying to take risks and/or experiment like making the dress-wearing boy Henri to be a Pretty Cure, and showing women plus adult Hana giving birth to a baby complete with the labor stage and screaming. The end result was that it failed since Fumi Tsubota was the season's composer, and some of its topics are not age-appropriate and too sexual or like hentai for children, even in Japan or other countries. Toei should've thought things out. Breaking or ignoring rules can be fun, but not always because there will be consequences. When going into a new direction and trying something different without rehashing ideas, you have to know how to do that right, and know if it can work without alienating the viewers nor insult their intelligence. Can Star Twinkle Pretty Cure fix all the problems Hugtto had caused? Can it save the franchise? Can this is be the next Go! Princess, Heartcatch, or Splash Star? Let's find out. Hang on because this is going to be a long one, though not much to spoil.
Story: Pretty Cure are out of this world... literally. Hikaru discovered the aliens Lala and Prunce from when she brought Fuwa the fairy to Earth from the constellation she created, who are on the search for the legendary warriors Pretty Cure. They rescue the star princesses who balance the universe once the Pretty Cure gathered their team including helpful aliens who serve as mascots. Along the way, they have to retrieve the Star Color Pens before the Not Raiders can use them to get rid of the universe's light. As simple as that sounds, that is something you have to expect from a kid series. The story is pretty new, unlike the past seasons. Was the new story made right with care? Absolutely. The theme of this season is art, imagination, and space. One of the concerns people have is that space-theme settings are a gimmick. Here, it worked out pretty well. Much better than Hugtto's time travel plot. Art can bring something that's memorable rather than being a product of its time. The team travels to other planets for the pens, and do get back to Earth plenty of times, more so than in Mahou Tsukai. They also have to be aware of Galactic Alliance who are planning to have the Pretty Cure work for them. I got excited when I watched it the first time that made me think what can they do next. The story is cute, funny, lighthearted, serious, smart, and simple in all the right places.
Characters: Hikaru is just like a lot of leader cures. Though, she is perhaps to be the most excited and curious girl I have ever seen. Maybe more than Miyuki from Smile, Ichika from Kira Kira, and... Hana from Hugtto. She likes outer space, constellations, aliens, and is good at drawings. Though, she can be stubborn on how she wants to look for the Star Pens, thought she can overpower, and usually doesn't listen to her friends like when she wants to join in her activities. But, Hikaru is harmless enough. She is just a kid. Kids aren't expected to act like adults, and they can't be too spoiled either. She is not as in your face as Ichika, does not steal the spotlight as much as others, she learns from her mistakes, and does allow the other cures to make their move. Lala is who I think is the most adorable cure, even my favorite and the best cure in the season. Not because she is an alien, but because she tries to do the best she can to be a responsible character like trying to learn on her own, which helped do more than just being the first alien to become a cure, if not the first since the fairies do come from outer space too and became cures before. She can be serious too, but that's how responsible characters are, but she treats her friends with respect. Fuwa is a baby fairy, but at least the season establishes she has a mysterious power that helps revive the Star Princesses. Fuwa does talk with complete sentences since the beginning. Prunce seems like Tarte from Fresh but that's OK because he is pretty cute and cool at the same time. It's always great to have a male fairy with a male voice to show girls that male mascots and human boys can be cute too. He has the ability to shape-shift, which is pretty useful for to help him blend in so people on Earth won't find out he and Lala are aliens, and act as a barrier and grow giant for the cures. Elena, the sun of Mihoshi Town, is one of those rare tan-skinned Cures like Saki from Splash Star or a brown skin depending on the show's lighting, but she does take time getting used to. She is Mexican, which is also rare for a Japanese cartoon. She acts like a normal girl, she is good at sports like football, and is good with students and her siblings. So, she's all right. She is treated like a person who exists instead of being bullied for being different. Madoka, the moon of Mihoshi Town, is an honest and level-headed girl who is skilled at archery and piano, gets excellent grades that makes her popular with her students as student council, does tea ceremonies, and tries to be lady-like. Because of how serious is, and being pressured by her father as she was not naturally talented to begin with, she doesn't want to disappoint others. I may say she is beautiful and is the best human cure in the season. Yuni is a cat alien who can disguise herself and wants to save her people. The characters are interesting, and their episodes are easy to understand.
The character interactions are so cute, and it's done from the beginning and during character-centered episodes to get on with the story while others get their turn later on. Hikaru and Lala have different culture and tastes on what they think, but they learned how to get along and introduced things that are foreign to them. Lala also learned that she can become a Pretty Cure, learn different things on Earth like schools, and the value of friendship without using A.I. by being with Hikaru, Elena, and Madoka to help her in battles. Lala even cheered Elena's oldest brother saying everyone is different, but they are not weird nor always a bad thing. Lala shared her experience with Yuni, who usually does things alone. A.I. is with Lala all the time and learns by itself too. Madoka's father works for the government, which they are known for being against extra-terrestrials, and hard on Madoka while her mother is more respectful. Hikaru, Lala, and Elena helped Madoka feel more open, going to the shopping district, eating star donuts, making friends, and having fun. Elena and Madoka are classmates. They both admire with each other, and Hikaru and Lala too. Madoka's friends can help Madoka out whenever she is in trouble while being the smart one, and giving her the freedom she wanted. Elena's family are half-Japanese and half-Mexican. They are written to be a proud family rather than depicting them as poor. They are similar to Nao's family from Smile, and written to be normal characters rather than Mexican stereotypes. Featuring this type of family makes the inclusion of having Latin Americans in an anime worth trying. Hikaru's family are pretty good, especially her mother who is a manga artist, and her father is interested in mythical creatures.
These aspects are what made these characters unique in their own way. They may be well-behaved, but that's the beauty of it, and one of the things that makes the show good for kids without being given bad ideas. You don't need to relate to them to like them. You like, connect, and root for them because they have something to make them stand out from the other characters and hoping for them to develop themselves, others, and the story as what characters do instead of being just there for the sake of the viewers, relating to them, shipping, fan-service, or doing nothing, or else that would make the characters useless. Even I don't care whether or not if the characters have the same zodiac sign as mine nor relate to me. I care about likeable characters and wonderful stories rather than stereotypes nor characters staying in the same place. Even kids can like characters that are personally different from them. The characters are great that made me root for them to grow.
The Not Raiders are based on creatures from the Japanese folklore. These include a kappa, tengu, hitotsume-kozo, and others. Kappard is pretty cool. Aiwarn is interesting later on. The Cures do know the villains by name unlike in Mahou Tsukai.
Battles: The fights have a combination of physical and energy-based attacks. They do have monsters-of-the-week on occasion, and by using the Dark Pen that was a blackened Star Pen to turn people into monsters, similar to in Smile and Happiness Charge. But can also take someone's heart and turn it into the villain's power. That means the fights do connect to the story unlike Hugtto. Prunce is pretty awesome in battles like how he can grow giant and blow the Not Pawns away. They can be over fast, may use stock footage, but they're still enjoyable. Each of the Cures have sweet signature moves, especially Lala.
Animation/Visuals/Art: Of course, the visuals are great and colorful for a kids series. The characters are expressive, the background color matches the environmental tone, and the CG looks more like the 2D animation the show utilizes. The characters look identifiable that you can tell who they are when they are together or when you separate them. The outfits and looks are distinguishable enough. The girl with overalls and pink pigtails is Hikaru. The white fairy with two spheres on her head is Fuwa. The girl with blue/green shoulder length hair, antennae, and a white dress is Lala. A green cure is something we have been demanding for years. The blue octopoid is Prunce. Elena is the tan/brown skin in yellow. Madoka is the beautiful purple one with lovely blue eyes and a dress. You get the idea. The Cures are pretty adorable in their own right. Their cure outfits are great and do have distinguishable designs to set apart like their hairstyles, dresses, and shorts. The Not Raiders follow the youkai depictions accurately with noticeable differences. Tenjo the tengu's one-piece outfit may be a bit too sexy for a kid show, but the show is more politely mature than an American cartoon. Aiwarn is the most different than how the hitotsume-kozo are represented. Aiwarn is a girl, but still retains her single eye and purposely creepy look. The pawns look the same, gray humanoids with the Ns on their faces though having different body types. The Star Princesses are beautiful and do resemble the zodiac signs well. Pretty cute character designs, nice atmosphere, and lively expressions overall.
Music/Sound/Voices: The music is unbelievably cute and catchy. The theme songs are great with some rock to them during the solos. The score matches the emotional scenes while utilizing silences. They added vocal songs in the transformation scenes for the first time in the series. The music is the same for all the Cures. It's a new thing that really works and makes me smile. Each Cure sings the same lyrics but with a different voice. Hikaru's voice does take time getting used to because she is supposed to sound like a curious and happy girl. It's hard to describe her voice. It sounds all squeaky, hard to understand her words at times especially the consonants, but it doesn't ring the speakers. A few times I even compared her voice to Geddy Lee from Rush. I can still say her voice is cute, especially her singing. Lala sounds cute too and gives a gentle and shyness feel to her. Her take on the transformation song is the most lovely and has the power to make the song great in her own right, maybe the best. Fuwa, of course, has to sound like a baby. High-pitched with a crack. Same way as she talks, and doesn't scream cry a lot. Prunce sounds like Tarte. Of course, the obvious difference is that he has a different actor, a male this time unlike Harry, and speaks in Tokyo dialect. Whenever Prunce is speaking softly, he can sound much like an adult. Elena sounds like a normal girl, though not too deep, and not too high. Her singing sounds the most normal while strong. Madoka is just too beautiful to listen to. Her voice is so lovely, beautiful, and gentle that she doesn't need to sound sexy to be loved. Her singing is also beautiful and mature too, and of course, not too sexy, which is good. Yuni's singing is OK. There are times where I'm trying to know for sure if the vocals are double-tracked or auto-tuned, but it doesn't matter. When they sing together... OH MY GOD! They sound so amazing that, to me, this is undoubtedly the best Pretty Cure transformation they've ever done in the series. The characters' voices match their character and their emotions overall.
Humor: The humor is pretty funny. Lala trying to grow and fixing her rocket does bring a smile to me, especially when her human friends began to help her out that it doesn't feel too insulting her. Hikaru is pretty funny too. She did little to think for herself, but only made some mistakes that she does get spared for it. Prunce is pretty funny like how he emotes like being surrounded by humans, gets mad, scared, or in love, and also changes his voice as he transforms. The adult humor is easily unnoticed that even kids won't mind that. It's probably a lot better than when Homare from Hugtto called Hugtan the baby "sexy and cute."
Negatives: Not much to talk about. Besides people unfairly bashing Hikaru for her voice, there are some I can talk about and how Toei can do to improve. Episode 8 is where the characters could've explained to the dog aliens properly that they needed the Star Pen when the aliens think the pen is a bone from heaven. It just makes Elena too soft to care for the aliens rather than caring for the universe's peace that without it, it wouldn't make anyone smile. Explain the purpose and let them know that what they found is not a sacred bone or whatever the aliens think the pen is. She could've gotten more screen time since the May 5th episode where Lala was the one who helped Elena's brother. Thankfully, Elena got more attention later on. Lala should've been more green with no hint of blue nor red so we can clearly classify her as a green cure. Give her a forest green hair and dark pastel green clothes, and on her hair too. Kind of like Nao from Smile. Same thing for any future green cure. Who cares if that won't sell? Just give her green, make her a great girl character like be girly, smart, strong, an authority figure, or any of the above, and give her more screen time. She'll be respected as time goes on. You can't have a complete rainbow without green (midori, not aoi).
Overall: This is a significant improvement over the previous seasons. It had a great start, and it continues to stay up there. Its potential has been put into great use to never let its fans nor the series down. I love all the Cures. Lala and Madoka are my favorite and the best in the season. Hikaru and Elena are great too. Hikaru, Lala, Prunce, and Fuwa are adorable, cute and helpful. And the Not Raiders are interesting that I learned about different creatures from the folklore. The negatives are so minor that they are easy to let slide. Even if Pretty Cure is a series made to sell to children rather than be an art form, this season does a good job at being a commercial because Toei understands their own product, what they are selling to kids, and having better writers to do that without going over the edge nor take things too far. It is the Super Mario Galaxy of the Pretty Cure franchise. It might scare off some Precure fans or viewers, but if you watch Star Twinkle with an open mind, you will love it. Even if you're an adult, you can still enjoy a kid series because you know a series is good for kids as it's advertised as kids entertainment and delivered what it's promised. Boys can like female heroes too especially Pretty Cure, Sailor Moon, and others because they can be just as useful as the male heroes. It is the best Precure season since Go! Princess, Heartcatch, and Splash Star. I can definitely recommend this show to kids, even subtitled if you can the correct translation. Kirayaba (Twincool)!