Himeno Awayuki is a high school student who's having trouble adjusting to her new lifestyle. Her mother past away when she was a child, and her father Kaoru married the richest woman in town, Natuse. Kaoru always seems to take Natuse's side, and Natuse's two daughters aren't too fond of Himeno. Himeno's new life changes when she takes a shortcut to school and runs into a young boy, who takes her to a magical world on the brink of extinction. This world needs the help of a magical princess called the Pretear, who happens to be Himeno herself.
Created with the historical fairy-tale of 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" in mind, Pretear proves to be a mediocre and lacking tale of one school-girl's journey to save the world with the aid of seven, note-worthy adorable, magical young men.
The story takes place in the present-day world, where magic and special powers are nothing but intriguing elements in fantasy novels. The main protagonist, sixteen year old Himeno, is initially presented as an ordinary girl with her share of problems. However, almost as immediately as she is introduced, it is made clear that there is more to Himeno than meets the eye.
Fast paced at
first, the story does not dawdle with introductions to all the characters, complete with biographies and a run down of their personalities. Its plot is pretty much revealed during the first few chapters, and it is made painfully clear that while a few unique attributes are present, there is hardly any sort of depth to the storyline - Something disastrous is about to happen to the world, and in order to prevent it seven mythical beings must locate Himeno, who will fight with them to battle an evil element and secure the fate of the world. It's pretty run-of-the-mill, with the regular 'a la sailor moon' transformations as Himeno physically connects with her newly acquired friends, so as to access and use their combined powers for battle.
While the seven magical beings, who appear to be human boys with varying ages, are accustomed to their powers and the battles to secure life in the world, Himeno is completely new to the task and has a bit of difficulty adjusting. Then, as if engaging in daily battles against evil is not hard enough, she has to get accustomed to her " Seven Knights", while dealing with a new family that is anything but warm and comforting. Himeno's conflicts at home affect her greatly, as the situation prompts her to question her self-worth and capabilities, thus resulting in a bumpy ride as she seeks to eliminate evil.
As the story progresses, it becomes so overly saturated with repetitiveness - mostly pertaining to Himeno's emotions - that it becomes quite annoying and a chore to read. The fast pace seen in the first few chapters, disappears in the middle, only to reappear near the end in order to produce a very rush-felt conclusion.
The Art is commendable, but not particularly exceptional. The character designs are consistent, facial expressions are readable, and the background is solid. The story deals a lot with nature, so there are many trees, flowers, landscapes...etc. These are averagely drawn, which is unimpressive especially for a fantasy tale where such things are usually exaggerated and more defined. The one solid disappointment resides in the battle panels, which are pretty hard to decipher. However, this doesn't really take away from the story as Himeno and her Knights are usually battling seeds and vines without any sort of creative moves or skills.
Character-wise, the princely characteristics displayed by the knights make them quite likeable. It is sad that there is hardly much of a development with them. The younger boys are shown as simply adorable. the preteen struggles with his spot in the middle where he is no longer very young but not yet old enough, and the older guys are gorgeous, caring, skillful and potential heartthrobs for the heroine.
As for the heroine, it is not possible to say that she is a " kind-hearted and warm" individual, because she flip-flops from being selfish to seemingly understanding, then back to selfish and annoying in almost every page. This is especially annoying as it's obvious that the author wants her to be seen as a kind hearted girl who genuinely cares about others above all else. When she speaks with what is suppose to be a genuine heart, it's hard to not see her selfishness. She makes every situation about her, and it's hard to believe that she really takes anything away from the lessons learnt.
Another character that is hard to appreciate is Himeno's younger step sister, Mawata. The author would clearly like the readers to feel pity for Mawata, but it is hard to do so when it's not shown in the story that she really "needs" to be pitied. or has encountered situations that call for such an emotion.
The other characters, such as Himeno's Dad, step mother, second step sister and best friend, are pretty much on point.
Overall, the story was not enjoyable. The heroine started off with a positive light, and then came across as very shabby until the tale ended. Each volume of the manga saw fit to waste its pages, ink, and the reader's time (in this case mine) by recapping the union of the heroine and her knights, as well as her wishy-washy emotions which consumed every other page. The battles are monotonous and uncreative. Then to top it off, when the final- and only - confrontation with the real evil source came about, I for one was disappointed because the brief moment spent between 'it' and the heroine, was so VERY uneventful, that it's indeed possible to miss.
The only enjoyable thing about Pretear is the character design for the seven knights. They are nice to look at, and the relationship between them is the only high point and interesting element in the entire series.
My advice - Watch the Anime as it does a far better job than its original counterpart.
If you have heard or read of the usual fairytale "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves", then this anime will certainly resemble that old story from the past. Except this time, the princess isn't all cute and friendly. She's got a short temper and lives in a hard situation with her family - introducing, Miss Himeno Awayuki. This girl only wants to live a normal life, but finds herself wounding into the strangest situations - a great twist to the original "Snow White" story.
The manga art is quite sketchy, and at times the lines are so thick that the visual alone is blurry and difficult
to decipher. However, the twist to the plotline and the characters patches up those holes. So if you're in for a treat where you find the princess 'Snow White' rambling to herself and is supposed to expect the unexpected, and also some love triangles, then I am truly sure that you will enjoy this manga as much as I have.
Oprah: Audience, may I please draw your attention to this Manga's cover.
What do you see?
A two-year-old's drawing of a girl holding flowers?
Yes that is absolutely correct, and it just so happens that this story was made by that two-year-old.
Don't believe me, read this and then come back and see me and ask for forgiveness knowing I was right.
The story was very 'Disney' aka. 'very Snow White', 'very 'it's so sweet that the next day the dentist gave me 5 cavities'': 'very CHILDISH'. If I knew I'd signed up for a depth-less, happy-ending-ed kind of story full of I-feel-so-sorry-for-myself and woe-is-me-I-am-SO-worthless-please-someone-pity-me characters that after opening
the first page you'd wish you could put them out of their god-damned misery.
So the story goes something like: normal teenager (hey) walking along to school (oh what a beautiful morning) and then notices she's late (oh RATS!) and sees a kid which asks for her hand (what's wrong, Honey) and suddenly **Add a Houdini phrase**, seven guys (or dwarfs) come and say 'oh, we need you not-so-average-average-teenager to save THE WORLD' and then you get to meet her new family who are disgusting; just look at how many maids our poor not-so-average-average-teenager main character has, and how she has a gorgeous mother who-is-totally-horrible and (quite normal) terrible-terrible sisters.
The writer could not have me believe that this is the Addams Family, sorry but I need a SOME eccentric-ness from the characters.
Oh, and did I mention her dad's a drunkard (but the main character loves him), that is jobless and that she is living in a mansion because her mom's stinkin dirty rich (but the main character thinks she is totally evil).
The ending needs a lot of help, ummm so does the beginning and aaaah, the middle aswell.
Scratch that, the WHOLE story needs help.
The art was detail-less, had way too much blushing and was in the gooey, sugary kind of style. Ultimately, puke-worthy. The only thing that was noteworthy about it was the fact that the artist had consistency but I'm not sure if this was bad or good, you know what I mean?
Anyway, an absolute thumbs-down. I wouldn't look twice at it, it was just depthless. Too simple for it to really work and did I mention the blinding amount of sparkles and blushing effects?
Remember the pretty stories of Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty, you think of a little damsel in need of rescuing. You rarely think of the damsel being the one able to help save the knight in shinning armor but that’s sort of the feeling about this. Such a pure and sweet little girl with a heart of gold; YA RIGHT! This little princess isn’t as pure as the story but she does have a small sad story to tell. With an alcoholic Dad who didn’t really bring money in with his books, she pretty much had to grow up fast and take care of
herself. Now that she is a princess, she can’t stop acting like how she used to. Sadly, there are some things that the anime did much better then the manga and I will be getting into this a little.
The whole beginning of the story is a little bit odd and there are major differences that just made the anime seem to have more heart. Things like how the knights were working so hard to find the Pretear, the knight’s personalities, even the story about what happen with her stepmother’s ex father. All these things just seemed like they were not as heart warming to me where as the anime had more to it. The idea that the father would have passed away instead of just a divorce made the sister’s a bit more relatable for our heroine. With the father alive, it just feels a little bland. It was also really odd because unless it was a translation error, the first book had said they were divorced but then turned around in the 4th book and said that he had died. Also, we have the knights feeling a lot more carefree then I think they should be. It’s not like they weren’t in the anime but something just feels off. I tried to keep thinking of the manga as its own and yet… It was just not that interesting to me.
The parts I did like were that the mother seemed to have a bit more of a mean stepmother style instead of a lovey dovey woman but it was still a bit off. It seemed as though the mother just didn’t care about Himeno at all and only cared about her new husband. I also liked some parts near the end a little better then the anime but again, something just seemed to be missing to me. It’s not that the anime is better then the manga, they are about the same in that aspect. But the concept of the characters and the way they act just changes what I like. To me, the story didn’t exactly end the way I wanted to, preferring the cute ending in the anime then the manga.
The artwork was beautiful, bright colors when there was watercolor styled when it was colored and the rather delicate lines in the rest. They were expertly detailed and was a joy to look at even if the story lacked.
In the end, it was slightly bland though I liked some concepts. I prefer the anime then the manga as it was a bit shorter and easier to watch then read.