Magical Girls: Not Easy Being Green

The fourth member of the Healin’ Good Precure team makes her debut this Sunday/Saturday! Her name is Asumi Fuurin, a.k.a. Cure Earth. Yep, she’s the Precure of Earth itself.

What colors come to mind when you think of our planet? Blue and green, right? Well, blue is already taken by Cure Fontaine, the Precure of Water.

But green’s still available! Perfect! Cure Earth must be a green Cure, right? 

…Right?

Nope. She’s purple.

I love this uniform. I really do. It’s gorgeous. This is one of my favorite Precure designs ever.

But nothing about it says, “I’m the Precure of Earth.” Pretty or not, she should be a green Cure. Period.

Heck, her civilian dress is green! If she wears green in normal life, why couldn’t her Cure uniform have been green? Her two designs would have looked a lot more cohesive. As it is now, they clash with each other somewhat, almost to the point where they look like two different people. (Yeah, that makes sense for a superhero identity, but you know how magical girl shows are.)

To make things worse, her element is wind. (The “fuu” [風] in her last name means “wind”.) You know what color is often associated with wind? Green!

There’s no way around it: Cure Earth should be green. So why isn’t she? Because like a toddler who hates broccoli (or green peppers in Japan), Toei avoids green like it’s poisonous. In 16 years and 17 seasons, there have only been two truly-green Precure.

Cure Mint and Cure March

Komachi Akimoto/Cure Mint from Yes! Precure 5 and Yes! Precure 5 GoGo!

One fan theory for why green Cures are rare is that the first one, Cure Mint, a.k.a. Komachi Akimoto, didn’t go over well. She was the least popular member of the Yes! Precure 5 team (probably by doll sales). Toei may have concluded that girls don’t like green, so they started using it less.

I’m not sure this theory is true, though. As I’ll explain later, Toei’s hatred of green predates the Precure franchise.

Anyway, it wasn’t until four seasons later that they introduced another green Cure: Cure March, a.k.a. Nao Midorikawa. If you watched the “Netflix original” Glitter Force, which was really an English dub of Smile Precure!, you might know this character as Glitter Spring, a.k.a. April. I don’t know how popular she was compared to Mint, but based on the comments I’ve read in the Precure fandom, people seem to like her.

Nao Midorikawa/Cure March from Smile Precure!

But the target audience must not have bought enough Cure March toys and cosplay sets because there hasn’t been another green Cure since. Well, at least not true green.

A Little Green

The next official green Cure was Cure Felice, a.k.a. Hanami Kotoka, from Mahou Tsukai Precure! As you can see, she wore pale green instead of natural green — and not as much of it. She wore a lot more pink and white than green, but she’s still considered a green Precure.

Kotoka Hanami/Cure Felice from Mahou Tsukai Precure!

That’s become the trend in this series. The green Cure won’t necessarily wear green (or not much of it), or they’ll wear pale green or teal. But Toei will still lump them together with Mint and March.

As a result, Precure fans get confused about who’s a green Cure and who’s not. It’s not as simple as “she wears green” anymore.

For example, Cure Parfait, a.k.a. Ciel Kirahoshi, from Kirakira Precure a la Mode wore green civilian outfits sometimes. Plus, she’s been grouped with the green Cures in official merchandise and music videos. But she’s not green. She’s rainbow, all the colors.

Lala Hagoromo/Cure Milky from Star Twinkle Precure

On the other hand, Cure Milky, a.k.a. Lala Hagoromo, from Star Twinkle Precure is a green Cure. Toei confirmed this in the Halloween episode (episode 37) when the Precure pretended to put on a Super Sentai (Power Rangers) parody stage show to hide their identities. They called themselves the Mihoshi Stars, and Milky was “Mihoshi Green”.

But notice she didn’t wear a lot of green in her civilian outfit, and her hair and Cure uniform are teal. This is the closest Toei has come to a green Cure since March, but it’s still a stretch.

Yuni/Cure Cosmo from Star Twinkle Precure

To show you how confusing this gets nowadays, some fans thought Cure Cosmo, a.k.a. Yuni, was the green Cure of Star Twinkle. Look at her, though. She’s obviously wearing blue! Why would anyone think she’s geeen?

Well, “aoi” (青い), the Japanese word for blue, also means “green”. According to Nihongo Master, the Japanese used to think of green as a shade of blue, so they used the same word for both colors. Nowadays, “midori” (緑) for green has become more prevalent, but they still use “aoi” in some cases. For example, the green light is “aoi”.

Is that the real reason why green Cures are rare: because Toei combines them with blue Cures? Of course not. They acknowledge the difference. Cosmo called herself “Mihoshi Blue” in that Super Sentai skit, and both Cure Mint and Cure March had blue teammates (Cure Aqua and Cure Beauty/Glitter Breeze, respectively).

So no, Toei really does have something against green. Like I said, this isn’t the first time they’ve shied away from it in a magical girl series.

Ojamajo Doremi: The Green Ojamajo

Nozomi Waku, the green Ojamajo

In their first cash cow series, Ojamajo Doremi (which I love), the eventually-seven witch apprentices wore pink, orange, blue, red, purple, yellow, and white. There was a green Ojamajo named Nozomi Waku, but she only appeared in the OVA series Ojamajo Doremi Na-i-sho. (“Naisho” means “secrets”.) Also, she technically didn’t have magic powers. You’ll have to watch the episode to see what I mean.

Long story short: Nozomi wasn’t a recurring character, so she doesn’t count. So the main cast didn’t have a green Ojamajo.

Winx Club

Aisha (also called “Layla”), the liquids fairy, in her Charmix/Magic Winx form

You know I can’t help bringing up Winx Club. As it turns out, Rainbow also has a weird history with green.

The first green Winx was Aisha (a.k.a. “Layla”), who was introduced in the second season. She wore green in her first fairy outfit. (It’s my favorite, by the way.) But Rainbow immediately started having second thoughts and made her first Enchantix outfit in season three blue. (Enchantix was the next fairy form after Charmix.)

But blue belonged to Bloom, the fire fairy. (Yeah, it’s another Cure Earth situation.) So in the middle of the season, Rainbow suddenly switched Aisha back to green. Was there any explanation in-universe? Nope. She just started wearing green as if she had been the whole time.

To be honest, I preferred her blue Enchantix. Her green one is ugly to me, but I understand Rainbow’s decision. We didn’t need two blue Winx.

Roxy, the animal fairy

In season four, Rainbow shifted Aisha to cyan in her Believix form to make room for who we thought would be the seventh Winx: Roxy. But after they spent more than a year promoting her as a Winx, Rainbow canceled her club membership. (Maybe producing seven dolls per line was too expensive.) She still shows up from time to time, but she’s just an “adventure companion” now. (That’s literally what a staff member called her.)

After Roxy’s exit, Aisha went back to green in season five for her first new transformation, Harmonix. Then she changed again to teal in her Sirenix form. Flora, the Fairy of Nature, also wore green in both Harmonix and Sirenix. (She was originally the pink Winx.)

Daphne the nymph, Bloom’s older sister

Then came season six. Spoiler alert: the Winx restored Bloom’s sister Daphne’s spirit to her body in the previous season, and it turned out she had Sirenix because…I don’t wanna talk about it. Anyway, she wore an elegant golden dress and masquerade-style mask in her spirit form. But when she became corporeal again, Rainbow said, “You know what? We don’t have enough green fairies in this show.”

So Aisha wore teal again in her new transformations, and Daphne wore green. She also got a few new civilian outfits, most of which had shades of green.

Tecna, the technology fairy, in her Tynix form

In season seven, the Winx benched Daphne and pulled Roxy out of retirement. She also got new civilian outfits but not a new transformation. Aisha kept teal in her Butterflix transformation before switching to purple (huh?) for the second new form: Tynix. Flora wore green in Butterflix and pink in Tynix, and out of nowhere, Tecna, the Fairy of Technology, took over green in Tynix. (Green was always her secondary color, but never her main color until that season.)

The most recent season had one new transformation: Cosmix. None of the Winx wore green in that form. But Sirenix made a comeback with two new designs for each Winx (one not explained in the show). In the first style, only Flora wore green (Aisha wore purple), and in the second style — a wintry version called Crystal Sirenix — Tecna wore green again.

Flora, the nature fairy, in her Onyrix form

Finally, in the Netflix spin-off World of Winx, Tecna wore green in her Dreamix form, and she and Flora both wore green in Onyrix. Aisha wore a green Onyrix outfit in an animation error, but her real outfit was purple. (I wonder if Rainbow thought about dressing her in green again, but changed their minds.)

To sum it up: the only main fairy who has consistently worn green is Roxy. But that’s just because she’s only had one transformation since her debut. Poor girl. To think she was almost a Winx…

More Green Magical Girls

Back to Precure. While some fans have accepted that Cure Earth is purple, a lot more feel the same way I do. Green would have been better. Besides, if Toei thinks we hate green, they’re wrong. We love green magical girls just like all the others.

I found a transformation montage that features Cure Mint, Cure March, Aisha, Flora, Mew Lettuce, Sailor Jupiter, Itsuki from Yuki Yuna is a Hero, and a lot of other green-clad heroines. Enjoy! (Warning: A little nudity because…anime. 🙄 )

“Butter-Fly ~ tri. Version ~” — Digimon Adventure tri. OP — English Translation

Happy Odaiba Memorial Day, Digimon fans! I didn’t plan anything special this year, but I still wanted to mark the occasion somehow. I hope you have an awesome day (or rest of your day)!


Original Version (Romaji) | Original Version (English Translation) | tri. Version (Romaji) | tri. Version (English Translation)


Even with these unreliable wings full of lingering images
I’m sure I can fly
On my love

VERSE
I’ll become a happy butterfly, riding the glittering wind
And come and see you soon
You’d be better off forgetting all your problems
This is no time to joke around

I wonder — whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa — what will reach the sky?
But — whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa — I don’t even know what I’m doing tomorrow

CHORUS
In the empty world after an endless dream
Yes, it seems even my precious thoughts will fail me, but…
Even with these unreliable wings full of lingering images
I’m sure I can fly
On my love


Translated by me

Source:

“Butter-Fly” — Digimon Adventure OP — English Translation

Happy Odaiba Memorial Day, Digimon fans! I didn’t plan anything special this year, but I still wanted to mark the occasion somehow. I hope you have an awesome day (or rest of your day)!


Original Version (Romaji) | Original Version (English Translation) | tri. Version (Romaji) | tri. Version (English Translation)


VERSE
I’ll become a happy butterfly, riding the glittering wind
And come and see you soon
You’d be better off forgetting all your problems
This is no time to joke around

I wonder — whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa — what will reach the sky?
But — whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa — I don’t even know what I’m doing tomorrow

CHORUS
In the empty world after an endless dream
Yes, it seems even my precious thoughts will fail me, but…
Even with these unreliable wings full of lingering images
I’m sure I can fly on my love


Translated by me

Source:

“Butter-Fly ~ tri. Version ~” — Digimon Adventure tri. OP

Happy Odaiba Memorial Day, Digimon fans! I didn’t plan anything special this year, but I still wanted to mark the occasion somehow. I hope you have an awesome day (or rest of your day)!


Original Version (Romaji) | Original Version (English Translation) | tri. Version (Romaji) | tri. Version (English Translation)


STAY shigachi na IMEEJI darake no
tayorinai tsubasa demo kitto toberu sa
ON MY LOVE

VERSE
GOKIGEN na chou ni natte kirameku kaze ni notte 
ima sugu KIMI ni ai ni yukou 
yokei na koto nante wasureta hou ga MASHI sa 
kore ijou SHAREteru jikan wa nai 

nani ga WOW WOW kono sora ni todoku no darou 
dakedo WOW WOW ashita no yotei mo wakaranai

CHORUS
mugendai na yume no ato no nanimo nai yo no naka ja 
sou sa itoshii omoi mo makesou ni naru kedo 
STAY shigachi na IMEEJI darake no 
tayorinai tsubasa demo kitto toberu sa
ON MY LOVE


Source:

“Butter-Fly” — Digimon Adventure OP

Happy Odaiba Memorial Day, Digimon fans! I didn’t plan anything special this year, but I still wanted to mark the occasion somehow. I hope you have an awesome day (or rest of your day)!


Original Version (Romaji) | Original Version (English Translation) | tri. Version (Romaji) | tri. Version (English Translation)


VERSE
GOKIGEN na chou ni natte kirameku kaze ni notte 
ima sugu KIMI ni ai ni yukou 
yokei na koto nante wasureta hou ga MASHI sa 
kore ijou SHAREteru jikan wa nai 

nani ga WOW WOW kono sora ni todoku no darou 
dakedo WOW WOW ashita no yotei mo wakaranai

CHORUS
mugendai na yume no ato no nanimo nai yo no naka ja 
sou sa itoshii omoi mo makesou ni naru kedo 
STAY shigachi na IMEEJI darake no tayorinai tsubasa demo 
kitto toberu sa ON MY LOVE


Source:

“Hajimari no Hi” (trans. “The First Day”) — Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee OP1 — English Translation


Romaji | English Translation


VERSE
Which way should we go? Which way leads to the future?
Without understanding, I just kept running with you

“Can you hear me?” I shouted with all my might
But my voice kept fading away before it could reach you

Before the ghosts of summer grew restless
I had as much hope as I could have
It was like the light of a flashlight illuminating the future

CHORUS
“Hey, where to now?” “We can go anywhere!”
We held each other’s hands tightly
You and I were there together on the first day

* REPEAT CHORUS *


Translated by me

Source:

Winx Club: Mary Sue, Pt. II — Nabu The Soul Mate Sue

If you didn’t read my first post “Was Nabu a Mary Sue (a.k.a Gary Stu)?”, here’s the takeaway: he was. Specifically, he was what TV Tropes calls a “Relationship Sue”, a Sue who “exists to be the perfect mate for a specific character”. The writing advice site Springhole.net also talks about Relationship Sues in their article “Mary Sue Subtypes”.

But I recently came across a site called Tokio Hotel Fiction, an archive of fanfiction about the German band Tokio Hotel. In their article “Understanding Mary Sue”, the mods have a different name for a Relationship Sue: a “Soul Mate Sue” (Soul-mate!Sue). Their definition is…well, you’ll see when you read it.

I’ll replace the band members’ names with “Aisha” and change a gender pronoun to “his” for Nabu:

Soul-mate!Sue and [Aisha] were just meant to be together! They have everything in common. They love all the same things and they never, ever, ever fight. Common Soul-mate!Sue plots involve someone standing between Soul-mate!Sue and his true love, but, of course, they eventually overcome all their obstacles and live happily-ever-after because they are meant for each other. Alternatively, they can be tragically torn apart and one, or both of them, end up dead in some horrible mockery of Romeo and Juliet.

Sound familiar, Winx fandom?

By the way, I used the Wayback Machine to figure out when that article was published: April 2008. That’s after Nabu’s debut in Winx season three but before season four premiered.

TV Tropes’ and Springhole.net’s definitions aren’t perfect summaries of Aisha and Nabu’s love story, but they point out the same flaws and clichés.

1. The Sue and their partner are “meant to be together”.

From Springhole.net:

The characters may realize they are Meant To Be or something similar in a ridiculously short amount of time, or realize they are truly in love just days or even moments after meeting each other.

Aisha and Nabu accepted their arranged marriage after about three episodes of interaction, which equaled about two days in-universe. And in “The Wizards’ Challenge”, (Winx season 3, episode 23), his father said destiny brought the couple together.

2. The Sue and their partner “never, ever, ever fight”.

From TV Tropes’ article “Common Mary Sue Traits”:

…their relationship will never face any obstacles or tension; it’s true love from the start and nothing else.

And from Springhole.net again:

Any flaws or vices that the Intended Relationship Partner had that might put xir and the Sue at odds with each other will magically vanish…

In Winx season four, Aisha and Nabu had no conflicts at all. So what if she’s socially awkward sometimes, suffers from separation anxiety (after Anne moved away), has a loner streak, and doesn’t trust people easily? And who cares if neither of them had dated before? A Mary Sue’s relationship is always “perfect”, regardless of any problems that should complicate things.

3. The Sue may “end up dead”.

TV Tropes again (gender pronouns changed):

He’s “Too Good for This Sinful Earth” and will perform a Heroic Sacrifice to prove it. The story will often go out of its way to ensure that he doesn’t leave an ugly corpse, either by a method involving no external physical damage or just not leaving a body to be recovered.

Well, yeah. Nabu died near the end of Winx season four when he closed the portal sucking up the Earth Fairies. And sure enough, he didn’t leave a body behind. Aisha turned it into flowers and scattered it into the fields of Tir Na N’Og.

Also, side note: a Winx fan on Tumblr once said Nabu should be made a saint in-universe. I don’t know if they meant it, but if it happened, it would definitely fit the “Too Good for This Sinful Earth” trope. (In A Trekkie’s Tale, the original Mary Sue story, the Enterprise declared her birthday a national holiday after her death.)

What’s Wrong With Soul Mate Sues?

A Soul Mate Sue relationship is a parody of a healthy relationship. It has all the benefits and positive emotions: love, support, romance, companionship, mutual understanding, security, etc. But the couple doesn’t develop it through equal effort, trust, and compromise. Instead, everything happens instantly and perfectly because the Sue is so special.

That’s the point: not to show a real relationship, but to glorify the Sue. In fact, they might as well be the relationship. Their partner doesn’t have to contribute anything. All they have to do is obsess over the Sue.

Think about it. What did Aisha contribute to her relationship with Nabu? Nothing. All she did was worship him every time he showed up on screen and agree to everything he wanted: living on Earth, dates, marriage, etc. It felt like Rainbow was using her to boost his popularity at the expense of her own characterization.

That’s typical with a Mary Sue. The writers turn the other characters into fanboys and fangirls to emphasize the Sue’s awesomeness. Who cares if those characters wouldn’t act like that normally? To quote TV Tropes (with the gender pronouns changed again):

Characters’ previously established personalities change in reaction to him. Proud, arrogant gimps suddenly acknowledge his superiority in everything. Reckless youths will listen to all his advice.

“Proud, arrogant gimps” and “reckless youths”, huh? You mean like Riven and Aisha? Just sayin’.

How to Avoid Writing a Soul Mate Sue Relationship

How do you write a love interest who’s not a Soul Mate Sue? Start by doing the opposite of everything Rainbow did with Nabu:

  • Don’t give your love interest everything in common with their partner. Not even family members are that similar to each other.
  • Give the love interest flaws — not “cute” flaws like clumsiness, but traits that might actually get on their partner’s nerves. (For tips, check out the article “The Four Types of Character Flaws” from the blog Writers Helping Writers.)
  • Have the couple fall in love gradually and build their relationship together.
  • Let them fight sometimes. It’s not only normal; it’s healthy. In fact, studies show that couples who fight tend to have longer, happier relationships than couples who don’t. (Check out this video by Bright Side about these findings.)
  • Avoid cliché concepts and flowery language. Real couples don’t talk like they’re in a Shakespeare play.

(NOTE: I adapted this from the “Understanding Mary Sue” article.)

Final Thoughts

So how did Rainbow get away with a textbook Soul Mate Sue love story? And if the fandom can recognize other Mary Sues in Winx Club, why can’t they tell that Nabu was one? I’ll talk about that in a future post.

Healin’ Good Precure is Coming to Crunchyroll!

Healin’ Good Precure (Pretty Cure) poster with official English logo

Big news, Precure fans! Healin’ Good Precure resumes tomorrow (tonight if you live outside Japan), and Crunchyroll added it to their anime catalog (as Healin’ Good Pretty Cure)! Finally, we can watch it legally! (Don’t judge. You know you’re guilty, too!)

This will be the fourth season to air in North America, either on TV or online. Crunchyroll already had the first season, Futari wa Precure (The Two of Us are Precure, a.k.a. Pretty Cure), and an English dub of it once aired in Canada. And a few years ago, Netflix streamed dubs of Smile Precure! and DokiDoki! Precure under the names Glitter Force and Glitter Force Doki Doki.

This new broadcast will bring Precure to more fans all over the world and hopefully boost its popularity. Who knows? Maybe we’ll get to watch all future seasons — and past ones — on Crunchyroll!

They may simulcast the long-awaited 13th episode tonight, so watch Healin’ Good‘s official Crunchyroll page!

Opening Theme: “Healin’ Good♥Precure Touch!!” By Rie Kitagawa

“Mikakunin Hikousen” (trans. “Unidentified Airship”) — Digimon Adventure: OP — English Translation

Romaji | English Translation


Oh yeah! Be strong, jump on, and become the wind
Pass the orbit beyond the sky

VERSE
I can’t hold back this rushing speed
A familiar town becomes a diorama
Burst through the unclear skies
Blow away your worries and discontent

Who needs a journey that’s by the book?
Even if you’re lost or trembling, raise the altitude

CHORUS
Oh yeah! Show off, mess up, and stand back up
I’ll watch the unknown horizon with you
Now be strong, jump on, and become the wind
Use the sun that lights tomorrow as a guide

Fly off to the glorious world of freedom


Translation by Crunchyroll (with a few edits by me)

Notes:

Digimon Adventure: — the colon is part of the name — is a reboot of the first season of Digimon (Digimon Adventure). It’s often called Digimon Adventure 2020 to better differentiate it from the original. Toei Animation has aired three episodes so far. (You can watch them on Crunchyroll.) The show went on hiatus in April because of COVID-19, and new episodes will resume on June 28.

Source: