A new Precure has been born! Here’s Chiyu Sawaizumi with her Healing Animal partner Pegitan, as they become the Precure of Water, Cure Fontaine!
“The Two Intersecting Streams! Cure Fontaine!”
A new Precure has been born! Here’s Chiyu Sawaizumi with her Healing Animal partner Pegitan, as they become the Precure of Water, Cure Fontaine!
Healin’ Good Precure premiered yesterday (or today in Japan 😅). Toei uploaded the full first episode on the official Precure YouTube channel. I didn’t understand all of it, but I liked what I saw! This might be a good season!
Here’s the transformation sequence for the pink leader, Nodoka Hanadera, and her Healing Animal partner, Rabirin, who together become Cure Grace.
Another season of Precure (Pretty Cure) just ended. This Sunday, Toei will debut the 17th season: Healin’ Good Precure. (Cheesy name, but anything’s better than HUGtto! Precure. 😑) Its themes are nature, animals, and medicine.
As you know, I have a love-hate relationship with Precure. I get excited about new seasons and merchandise, but nine times out of ten, I get bored midway through a season and drop it. It happened again with Star Twinkle Precure.
The writing in this series ranges from awful to okay. It hits “good” and even “great” now and then, but don’t count on it. Yet I still come back for more each season. It’s like candy. You know it has no nutritional value and won’t curb your hunger, but you can’t resist it.
Anyway, I’ve watched enough Precure by now that I’ve picked up on the most common tropes and plot elements. So if you’re new to the series, here are 10 things to expect in almost every season. (Warning: some spoilers ahead!)
Who’s the team leader? Look for the girl who’s pretty (cure) in pink. She may even have pink hair and pink eyes, too, because screw your science teacher! This is anime!
75 percent of the plot will revolve around her. So if you don’t like her or she’s flat as tissue paper, get ready for 50 episodes of misery. (Star Twinkle’s leader, Hikaru Hoshina, made a lot of fans wanna beat their heads against a wall.)
The pink leader trend started in season four, Yes! Precure 5, with Nozomi Yumehara, a.k.a. Cure Dream. (The “5” stands for the number of Precure that season.) Before then, pink wasn’t a main color. The heroines of the first season, Futari wa Precure (The Two of Us are Precure), were Cure Black and Cure White. In the third season, Futari wa Precure Splash Star, Cure Bloom wore hot pink, but most leaders nowadays wear light pink.
An evildoer and their minions have attacked a peaceful kingdom on a magical planet. The ruler (usually a queen or princess) sends one or more fairies to Earth to find the Precure, the legendary heroes who can save their world.
Which season am I talking about? I don’t even know. Could be any of them. The details vary, but that’s the basic setup of most seasons.
It’s a magical girl show. What did you expect? Usually, each Cure gets her own transformation sequence, but there have been exceptions. For example, the girls in Suite Precure transformed as a group most of the time.
Also, Precure duos are a thing:
Unless something happens to one of them, duos always transform together. Sometimes they have to because their powers only work when they’re together.
So how does a Precure transform? She needs a magic item. It could be a cellphone, a watch, a tablet, a bottle of perfume, a compact, a pendant, or like next season, a wand.
If a Precure joins the group later (usually after she changes sides — more on that shortly), she might have a different transformation item than her teammates. For example, Cure Fortune from HappinessCharge Precure! used something called the Fortune Piano.
In their Precure forms, most of the girls get longer, brighter-colored hair (or a dye job like brown to blonde); mini dresses; boots; lots of accessories; magic weapons; and, best of all, super-human strength.
The OG Precure, Cure Black and Cure White, focused on hand-to-hand combat. That’s what made Precure stand out from other magical girl series. Toei added magic wands and sparkly attacks later, but the newer Precure still punch, kick, and judo throw their way to victory from time to time.
Sorry, Winx fans. It’s not what you think. Fairies in Precure are cuddly little critters who serve as the seasons’ mascots. They have cutesy names that may be a verbal tic they say at the end of every sentence, like “~mepo” or “~fuwa”. (The Japanese call these “gobi”. We don’t have gobi in English, so these always translate weird in dubs.)
So think Kiko or the Fairy Pets from Winx season four, except for one difference: these guys are more helpful. Sometimes, they partner up with the Precure to help them fight. For example, in DokiDoki! Precure (Heart-pounding Precure), each Precure had a fairy who turned into the magic pads the girls used to transform.
Toei’s doing something similar in Healin’ Good Precure. The girls’ Healing Animal partners turn into the magic wands they use to transform and attack. And their paws are buttons.
That’s adorable. Admit it: you’re jealous.
Another staple of the magical girl genre, the Precure have to fight an evil abomination every episode. It may be a friend or randon townsperson transformed by dark magic, or it could be an object brought to life by the Big Bad’s henchmen. After a beat-down and a finisher (some kind of purification spell), the monster reverts to its true form. The Precure may get a MacGuffin drop as a reward. (More on those in a moment.)
The monster types each season tend to have punny names like:
To save the fallen kingdom, the Precure usually need to collect the x number of magical MacGuffins. Sometimes they’re alive like the Pinkies in Yes! Precure 5 or the notes in Suite Precure. But usually they’re super-powerful inanimate objects the villains may or may not be looking for, too.
Over the years, we’ve had seeds, keys, cards, pins (“Decos”), gems (“Linkles”), and pens (writing implements). Next season, it looks like it’ll be something called Element Bottles.
As a bonus, the Precure may use the MacGuffins as power-ups. In Go! Princess Precure, the keys gave the girls alternate forms with new dresses and new special finishers. Next season is shaping up to be the same way. The Precure need their basic bottles to transform, and additional bottles give them new powers.
Speaking of power-ups…
Talking to you again, Winx fans. Remember season four when the Winx had their Believix form, the three special wings (Speedix, Zoomix, Tracix), and their alternate forms Sophix and Lovix? And we all said, “That’s too much!”?
Well, that’s a normal season for Precure. Here’s an example from HappinessCharge Precure! Megumi Aino, the pink leader, had six forms:
I don’t know if that’s the record, but it’s a lot to keep track of.
Don’t get used to the number of Cures at the beginning of the season. Someone will join the team later, and they’ll probably be a former villain turned good. In fact, if there’s a girl around the Precures’ age in the villain squad, you can bet she’s a future Precure. It doesn’t matter if she’s human, a fairy who can turn into a human, or an android. All species are welcome.
Speaking of bad guys going good, most villains in Precure aren’t evil. They may just be unhappy, disillusioned, or overworked. After several fights and a lot of persuasion, they’ll change their ways and help the Precure take down the Big Bad at the end of the season.
Heck, sometimes even the Big Bad has a change of heart in the end! Who cares if they almost destroyed the universe? The Precure will show mercy and tell them even they deserve happiness. (Your mileage may vary on how satisfying these endings are.)
The final boss has been defeated (or redeemed), calamity has been avoided, and two worlds have been saved. But another magical kingdom will soon be in danger. Time for a new team of Precure to suit up!
To hype the new season, the new pink leader shows up in the final episode of the outgoing season. Then at the end, the outgoing season’s leader introduces us to her and asks us to support her and her friends.
There. Now you’re ready to watch Precure. Since most seasons are standalone, you can start almost anywhere you want. The exceptions are Futari wa Precure Max Heart and Yes! Precure 5 GoGo! Those are sequels, so you might wanna watch Futari wa Precure and Yes! Precure 5 first.
Healin’ Good Precure premieres Sunday. I don’t know if I’m feelin’ good about it yet (sorry, I had to), but maybe it’ll surprise me. Will this be the first season I watch from beginning to end since HappinessCharge? We’ll see.
Last year, Netflix debuted a new Carmen Sandiego cartoon called…Carmen Sandiego. It has two seasons now. For today’s kids, this was their introduction to the iconic lady in red. I even met a DeviantArtist who drew the new Carmen, but didn’t know this character has been around in some form for decades.
Carmen Sandiego was my favorite teacher when I was a kid. The games, the game shows, the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, and the original cartoon (which I’ll talk about in a moment) effortlessly blended learning with action, humor, and mystery.
Including the Netflix version, there are now three well-known versions of the lady thief. The new Carmen, voiced by Gina Rodriguez, has brown hair and blue eyes. Unlike her predecessors, she’s not a villainess. Instead, she steals back the artifacts taken by the Villains’ International League of Evil, a.k.a. V.I.L.E. But because stealing is still a crime, the police and the ACME Detective Agency pursue her anyway.
Confession: I hate this new Carmen. It feels like they dumbed her down because Netflix didn’t want an actual thief as a main character. We don’t want kids to think stealing is good! 😱 So let’s make Carmen a…good thief? A little contradictory, huh?
Anyway, the Carmen Sandiego we 90’s kids remember best had brown hair and brown eyes. According to her standard backstory, she used to be ACME’s smartest, most successful detective. There was hardly a crook she couldn’t catch.
She was so good, she got bored with it. So she created V.I.L.E. to see if she could outfox her former co-workers instead. That’s right. Netflix’s Carmen is trying to stop V.I.L.E., but this Carmen founded it. With the help of her henchmen, she could steal literally anything: the Crown Jewels, the Taj Mahal, the Moon, and even human beings’ ability to speak.
Most of the Carmen Sandiego media and merchandise starred this Carmen. Parts of her design varied, but she usually kept her brown hair, brown eyes, and of course, signature red trench coat and fedora. Also, you’ll notice she looks more sinister than the other two Carmens. That’s because this Carmen was the traditional cackling super-villain you see in comic books.
But my favorite version is the one from the first cartoon: Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? This Carmen, voiced by Rita Moreno, had blue eyes like the new Carmen, but black hair instead of the usual brown.
Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? followed Zack and Ivy, a pair of sibling sleuths from ACME. Supported by the Chief and the Player — literally a kid playing a Carmen Sandiego game — they chased Carmen and her V.I.L.E. henchmen. (Side note: there were multiple Players throughout the series, both male and female.) Yes, it was all happening inside a game, but once you got sucked into the story, you didn’t really care. Besides, no 90’s PC game could be that advanced!
You should recognize those character names if you’ve seen Netflix’s Carmen Sandiego. Zack, Ivy, and the Player exist, but they help Carmen on her mission to stop V.I.L.E. I don’t mind these three working with her. In fact, in Where on Earth?, Carmen teamed up a few times with Zack and Ivy (and by extension, the Player) to catch more dangerous criminals.
But it’s weird seeing these characters work for her in the Netflix show. They’re basically her henchmen now. 😕
Anyway, most of the Where on Earth? Carmen’s story matches that of the Carmen from the games. She used to be a top-notch ACME detective, she left for some reason (the show hints that she got bored), and she founded V.I.L.E. But integrity-wise, she shares more in common with the Netflix Carmen — at least later in the series. She started out as an evil mastermind like the PC game Carmen, but the writers evolved her into more of an anti-villain.
This Carmen didn’t steal for monetary gain, but for the challenge of it. Sometimes, she even stole for a good cause. I think in one episode, she returned an artifact to the social group it belonged to. (Sounds like the new Carmen, doesn’t it?) Other times, she stole for some geeky vanity project like playing chess on the world’s biggest chessboard.
Whatever her objective, she stuck to her moral code. For one thing, she tried not to steal anything society couldn’t survive without. She also tried not to put the ACME detectives’ lives in danger (though they were pros at doing that themselves). That’s another thing: Carmen genuinely cared about Zack and Ivy, so much so that some viewers thought she was their mother!
We also learned pieces of her backstory, just like with the new Carmen. I won’t give them away because they’re in some of the best episodes (in my opinion). But because of them, even though she was a criminal, you couldn’t help but admire her — and feel sorry for her.
Honestly, this Carmen is one of my favorite childhood characters. I know the Netflix Carmen is inspired by her, but she doesn’t appeal to me as much. I like that the Where on Earth? Carmen turned to a life of crime, not away from it, but by the time she regretted it, it was too late. She could never go back to her old life. It made the later discoveries about her past even more tragic.
Whether or not you like the Netflix show, I recommend you watch Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? at least once. There’s a reason it won an Emmy. I think a company called WildBrain is uploading it legally on YouTube. Check out their playlist here.
Oh, look! An opening theme for a recent anime! This show premiered a couple weeks ago, and man, this theme song is catchy!
You can watch Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! on Crunchyroll! (No, I’m not getting paid for this. I just like Crunchyroll.)
EASY BREEZY (4X)
hai hajimatta karamatta karakatta yatsura wa
dokka ni icchatta dare ni tanomareta wake demo nai no ni
tomaranee fude koko de wa daremo ga ousama na no ne
te ka nagatsuzuki suru ki ga shinai
toka sonna seikaku de nani ga warii
tada suki na mon wa suki gaiya wa wo damari
KIMI musekinin koko chikyuu ZERO GRAVITY
ussai naa JAMA shinaide ne
IPPATSU HADE ni yatte miyou ya
mita mon kiita mon sore zenbu chi ni naru
toberu tobe namesasetoke
ataman naka mou kanseikei mieta
ataman naka mou jiyuu jizai
kokoro no amime komakaku shite
saikyou no sekai dekichatteru UNKNOWN
EASY BREEZY (4X)
icchoura PARItto kikonde
sentou MOODO nan da korya
douse yaru nara mendokusaku narou ze
naru you ni suru no sa EASY BREEZY
ii mon sa kakugo kimeta nara
yattarya ii jan donna mon da
yaburekabure demo dou ni ka kou ni ka shiyou ze
naru you ni suru no sa EASY BREEZY
YEAH WE ARE READY FOR THE PUNCH LINE
THERE’S NO USE WITH ALL YOUR GIMMICKS
SO CHECK THIS OUT!
LOGIN YOU DAMNED ONE’S
CRUSH THE WONT YOU COMPROMISE
THE NOISE COMES WE ARE READY TO BOW
WHAT ABOUT THE ANTIDOTE FOR THE JAMMED AND HYPNOTIZED
REND THE LIE THAT COVERS
WHO’S THE REAL SUCKER NOW
sakimidareta hana no you ni azayaka na itami daki
tatazumu machi o nukete mayoi no SERIFU wa sute
kaeranai koe yo hibike
WE SAY WOW WOW WOW WOW
JUST LIVING IN THE DATABASE WOW WOW
THE WALL OF PURE FICTION’S CRACKING IN MY HEAD
AND THE ADDICTION OF MY WORLD STILL SPREADS
IN THE DATABASE DATABASE
I’M STRUGGLING IN THE DATABASE WOW WOW
IT DOESN’T EVEN MATTER IF THERE IS NO HOPE
AS THE MADNESS OF THE SYSTEM GROWS
JUST LIVING IN THE DATABASE
JUST SAY WOW WOW WOW WOW
Most anime change their opening themes each season or even midway through a season. But Log Horizon kept this song for season two. (Click here to watch the second opening sequence.)
Also, as you can see, most of the song is in English.
taikutsu na madobe ni fukikomu kaze ni
kao o shikameta no wa terekusasa no uragaeshi
aimai ni unazuku te no hira no kyou
egaiteru jibun wa sukoshi oogesa de
nanika kawarisou na ki ga shite iru yo
kokoro ni yobikakeru kimi no sei da ne
kumorizora nozoita yokan
te o nobasou itsu yori mo chikarazuyoi yuuki de
hikari mo kage mo mada tookute sore demo bokura wa
yasashisa no riyuu ga shiritai
ima wa dare no namae demo nai kagayaki no kanata e
zenbu kako ni naru mae ni mitsuke ni ikou
“Hyouka” means “ice cream”. It’ll make sense if you watch the show, which I recommend you do. 😉
dochira e ikeba mirai ni tsuzuiteru no ka
wakaranakute kimi to futari de tada hashitta n da
kikoetemasu ka sore demo seiippai dashita
koe wa itsumo karete shimau mo kimi ni mukatteru n da
natsu no bourei ga abaredasu mae ni
motteru dake no kibou o motta
sore wa FURASSHU RAITO no hikari no you ni mirai o terashita
nee doko e iku doko demo iku
nigirishimeta te to te
boku ga ite kimi ga ita hajimari no hi
* REPEAT CHORUS *
“Hajimari” means “beginning”, so most people translate the song title as “The Day of Beginning(s)”. But that doesn’t make any sense to me. However, I don’t like how I translated it, either, so I might change it later.
Happy New Year! One of my New Year’s resolutions is to talk about Winx Club on this blog less often. That’s literally why I came back here. After a couple more posts, I’ll focus on other topics.
Today’s post is about anime openings again. I love ‘em. Last year, I made a list of openings that get me pumped up and calm me down. This is a list of anime openings I love to listen to, but I’ve watched little to none of the anime they’re from.
All of these are from older anime. I just wanna share stuff from my past. Here we go!
I know nothing about this anime, except that it’s based on a game. That’s it. Where did I even hear this song? 🤔
(Utawarerumono roughly means “one who is sung about”.)
I watched one episode of this anime several years ago. That was more enough for me. It’s not my thing.
The theme song is awesome, though. Too bad it goes with the most boring opening sequence ever!
My sister introduced me to this show, but I couldn’t get into it. People compare it to Naruto a lot, since they’re both about ninja. (Nabari is the name of the secret world of ninja.)
Because of all the excitement around the new season two years ago, I started watching the anime from the beginning. But I’m not that far into it right now. Yet I used to listen to this song all the time, and I’ve even memorized the lyrics! 😅
In case the sequence doesn’t make it obvious, this is a reverse harem (or “male harem”) anime. One girl. Seven guys. Goody.
Love triangles are bad enough, but a love octagon? Hard pass.
What the heck is this show? A guy drinks a soda and turns into a sheep plushie? Then his crush becomes a magical girl and collects star drops to change him back, but she doesn’t know it’s him? And some guy keeps whacking him across the sky with a bat?
And it’s based on an eroge (erotic video game)?!
Nope. I’m out. Nice theme song, though. (By the way, the anime is adapted from the clean version of the story: Nanatsuiro Drops Pure!!)
I didn’t love the game Tales of Symphonia. Maybe I’d like the anime more, but I’ve never bothered to sit down and watch it. But this theme song is gorgeous!
By the way, there are no real lyrics to it. The only recognizable words are the names of the two planets in the story — Sylvarant and Tethe’alla — and “Almateria”. It’s not even clear what language this is, but it’s not Japanese. Some fans think it represents the angelic language mentioned in the game.