Jan 31, 2016
Firechick12012 (All reviews)
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!