(This review may contain Spoilers. Please do not read until you've watched the whole season.)
Mahoutsukai Precure: The seventh season I'm watching in the Precure franchise. My experience in watching this season can be summed up like this:
Miracles do happen- But are you willing to wait for them?
Mahoutsukai Precure (Referred to as MahoPre from here) is a war of expectations and hope as a viewer, demonstrating Toei's exotic ability- Or perhaps a vicious curse- of keeping you hanging by a thread over standards they can't keep up. MahoPre has many shining moments and filled with touchy emotions overall, but if you don't look at the big picture, your patience will be pushed to your very limits with the season's overall quality.
Get ready because this will be one hell of a rant, ladies and gentlemen.
I never thought I'd say this again- MahoPre, just like Star Twinkle 3 years after it, is an example of a story that was never done justice. And in truth, I am utterly heartbroken about it, because as I am about to explain later in this review, the Cures are actually not at fault at all for the story's downfall, as the story of the Cure team and the mascot this time around was excellent and beautiful.
Unfortunately, let's talk about the Premise. The premise of the story is that there are two worlds, the magic world and the non-magic world which is Earth. And we have two Cures that come from these two respective worlds, filled with many fascinating differences and special things for our protagonists to learn about. We are pulling a Harry Potter in Precure, exposed to a Hogwarts-like mystical world. The amount of world exploration and story potential from this is insane! And since we know so much about the world we live in, surely the magic world should take more of the spotlight! Yet, that never came to pass, as most of what we see was centered around the magic school. We do see a slice of this other world, but they don't seem to be as big of a spotlight in comparison to the episodes in the school or Earth.
And then, *sigh*.
The villains. HOLY BEJESUS. TOEI, WHAT ARE YOU DOING.
WHY. LIKE, WHY. This season has the worst villain camp I have EVER seen. In this day and age, throwing a story about people being evil for the sake of evil is... Bland. I mean sure, if you're Disney then I have nothing to say, but WOW does this season's villains feel BLAND as all hell. The first half was somewhat better, each villain is sort of different in ways, but as a motivator to push the story forward they are very lackluster.
Oh, what's that I hear? That's the end of it, you ask? NOPE! I HAVEN'T EVEN BEGUN WHAT I WANTED TO SAY. They pulled a Futari Wa and made ANOTHER VILLAIN TEAM. And this one is EVEN WORSE. I could complain about The Cataclysm being the absolute most BS antagonists I've seen till the sun is dead, so I will save your and my sanity by keeping this as short as possible.
PURELY generic villains. UNBELIEVABLY CHILDISH motives. ABSOLUTELY NO personalities that differentiate them from one another. AND they had to make them as ANNOYING as they can possibly get, with their whole "Mugic is better than magic and magic is garbage so we win and you can die in Deusmast's reign" trashtalk. MY GOD, they were so garbage that the final battle of this season was only FIVE MINUTES long. YEAH. That just shows even Toei knew they messed up. IF YOU'RE GOING TO PUT ANOTHER VILLAIN TEAM, DON'T F*CKING MAKE THEM THE STUPIDEST AND MOST HORRIBLY WRITTEN VILLAINS I'VE SEEN IN MY LIFE!!!!
I'm sorry, my fellow viewer. I'm just really annoyed.
So after that horrendous rant, let me move on to something I can praise about this season, shall we?
The animation and art style for MahoPre was very enchanting and pleasant to look at, fitting the theme of the season. Besides all the pretty backgrounds and fight scenes and the concept of multiple transformation styles, this season basks in the full power of implications and details with its animation. Examples of this include the love confession by Mayumi in episode 34 and the final farewell between Mirai and Riko in episode 49. Perfect in this department.
Also exceptional in this department. There are lots of soundtracks that I see as exclusive to this season and you'd know it's this season when you hear it because you won't hear as many magical music pieces as you do in MahoPre.
Two of my favorite and personal best songs in the Precure franchise, Sparkling Vows and Two Wishes, come from this season. And can I just say, when Two Wishes played in episode 49, I want to cry. T~T
This Character review is probably one of the most infuriating reviews I have ever done on this website. Not because of the Cures, though.
Now, I'm sure I wasn't the only one who thought that Mirai in terms of her voicing was super underrated. No, I'm not just talking about how superb the voice acting was for Mirai in several moments, but I want to take this chance to vent out my disappointment of her being overshadowed by characters who, like her, was voiced by the amazing Takahashi Rie, during the season's running. Because wow, Mirai is good. Just watch episode 49.
Of course, I have to look at the story. This season's development is a bit different for our Pink because the show wanted to heavily emphasize Mirai and Riko's friendship, but on her own Mirai is also very much likable, bright and a bundle of fun by her own right. Mirai can get clumsy at times but she's also very strong and treasures her friendships greatly.
For Riko, since she didn't come from the non-magic world, we got to see more development on her individual character than we did for Mirai. Over the course of the season, Riko learns more about what it truly means to acheive her dream as an excellent magician. She learns the value of friendship, trust and support. When paired with someone so different from her as Mirai, she helped Mirai to bring out the best of herself as Mirai did the same for Riko herself. MahoPre's approach to Mirai and Riko's friendship is excellent, and makes the final farewell all the more heartbreaking.
And then, we have a fairy Cure and a mascot.
Kotoha aka Ha-Chan has taken the place as my third favourite Cure in history, and though she only debuted in the disasterous second half, her beginnings as Kotoha in the 20s was pleasant and joyous to sit through. As if Mirai and Riko's friendship wasn't enough, Ha-chan joins in the fun and turns this team into an outright Precure family, and it's just friggin adorable how that turned out.
Mofurun also took the cake as one of if not the best mascot/Precure ally I have seen so far, highlighted in her friendship with Mirai both in the series and the movie of the season. She received more profound development than many other mascot I've seen so far, and that's saying quite a lot since this is my 7th season- And of course, the quality doesn't disappoint.
You can see- I have nothing against the Cures and Mofurun, they were unbelievable in all of their stories and had the best team dynamics of all the teams I've seen. But lord and behold, of course the villains had to come and destroy everything. Not only is the development on that horrible, it is so bad that I would honestly wish the manga had been the legitimate story of MahoPre. The villains do NOTHING but drag down the story pace. No, not so much for the Dark Magicians (First half), but the Cataclysm ones. Although I have to give props to Oruba and of course Chikurun for trying to be decent, the latter being much better at it.
2020 was quite an awkward year for me and Precure, since I've been expanding on other anime. MahoPre got caught in the crossfire easily with many of its problems. Poorly written villains, really unstable quality of episodes, pacing slower than it had to be, and of course, it's been so many seasons and I'm used to all the Precure flair now.
But if I had to say whether I enjoyed the series, of course I did, I've seen much worse (You can tell by looking at my anime list.) As I said, this season's team is friggin adorable together, and I can't ask for more than just 3 Cures and a teddy bear and sometimes a bee going through a cool double life of saving the world. The season had so many cute moments, quite a bit of emotional wrecks, and arguably the greatest season finale which made me had to wait like over a week to write this review so I have no bias.
Mahoutsukai Precure has, in some ways, been a letdown. But the great moments of the season make the gaps worth it- You'll just have to be patient for them. So if you're not the kind to wait for the good content, this season might not be for you, but the story of the Cures is one to smile at nonetheless.
But don't take my word for it- Do find out what others thought about the season!