Now is the time of year when the Precure fandom starts looking forward to next season. Along with Toei, they have a predictable pattern of behaviors they go through each time. Some things have happened out of order this year because of COVID, but the hype train has left the station! All aboard!
Here’s what to expect when a new season of Precure is coming.
1. Toei files a trademark for the new season’s logo.
Whenever Toei (or any Japanese company) files a trademark, the information is made public. This is the kickoff moment. The Precure fandom starts speculating. What’s the theme of the season? How many Cures are there? What are their names? What are their colors? Will there finally be another legit green Cure?
The logo for the upcoming 18th season (good grief!) dropped this week. The season is called Tropical Rouge! Precure. Looks like the themes are makeup, mermaids, and the ocean.
While I don’t love the name, the logo is beautiful. I don’t know how I feel about the theme, though. The ocean and makeup don’t appeal to me, but mermaids are cool.
Oh, well. I cringed through Winx season five, the Sirenix season. Maybe I’ll get through this season — and even enjoy it.
Let’s guess some names. Cure Wave, Cure Sunset, and Cure Mermaid have already been done. (Fun fact: Cure Mermaid is also the name of a Yu-Gi-Oh! card.) How about Cure Coral, Cure Ocean, Cure Pearl, Cure Shimmer, or Cure Palm? Hmmm, these aren’t bad. I wonder if any of them are right.
2. Fake character designs flood the Internet.
Next, a bunch of fan artists draw fake Cures for the season and try to pass them off as official. This leads to countless Twitter threads, Amino posts, and YouTube videos with titles like, “OMG! Is this real?” It’s almost like a game to some fans. Who can fool the most people?
Some people think it’s funny; others think it’s annoying. Me? I don’t mind. They rarely ever fool me.
The only time it bothers me is if it’s malicious, as a way to insult the series. Something like that happened in the Winx Club fandom. A disgruntled fan made up a sweets-themed transformation called Candix and claimed it was the official season eight transformation. When they got caught, they said they did it because Winx Club has become so childish, a season about sweets is not out of the realm of possibility. (I disagree. Also, Precure beat them to it.)
But Precure fans don’t seem to be like that. They have gripes about the series, but it doesn’t seem like they take it that far. The fake leaks are just for fun.
On a funnier note, one of the fake leaks for Healin’ Good Precure was actually real — that is, it came from a real anime. My Hero Academia made up a Precure parody called More Let’s Preare (or something like that). The episode that featured it came out around the time the Precure fandom was expecting new season news, so they thought these designs were official. Oops!
3. The fandom finds the toy listings.
Usually, the toy listings reveal the real character designs, but they can be fake, too. Sometimes, a fan will take catalog pages from a previous season and photoshop their own Precure designs onto them. But when the real catalog comes out and the online listings are found, the jig is up.
4. Toei launches the new season’s website.
When the website for the new season goes live, the speculation train start to slow down. Eventually, we find out the names of the characters, the overall plot, the voice actors, the staff, the crew — everything a hardcore Precure fan would wanna know.
5. Promos for the new season appear in magazines and online.
I’m so jealous of the Precure fandom sometimes. Toei puts entire episode plots, with images, into a kids’ magazine called Fun Kindergarten (Tanoshii Youchien) every month! Precure fans consult these pages for news about the new season and for spoilers throughout the year as the season is airing.
Also, Toei uploads teaser videos on their official YouTube channel, as well as the annual baton pass between the leader in the outgoing season and the leader in the incoming season. Here’s the baton pass from Star Twinkle Precure‘s leader Cure Star to Healin’ Good Precure‘s leader Cure Grace.
Bonus: A fan hacks the toys and spoils the identit(y)(ies) of the Sixth Ranger(s).
Nine times out of ten, one or two new Cures join the group about mid-season. If those new Cures use the same transformation item as the other Cures, their voices will be recorded and programmed into the toys already. Fans know this, so they hack the toys, usually with toothpicks, to learn the name(s) of the future Cure(s) and who they might be.
Cure Ma Chérie and Cure Amour from HUGtto! Precure and Cure Earth from Healin’ Good Precure were leaked this way. What’s interesting in Cure Earth’s case is that she doesn’t use the Healing Stick to transform, yet that’s the toy that revealed her. She has some voice clips in it because her air, wind, and sound Healing Bottles, which hadn’t been released in the stores yet, work with Healing Stick toy.
That’s it — until next fall when the Precure fandom does it all again. So Precure fans, are you excited for Tropical Rouge! Precure? What are your predictions for the season?