On February 7th the world will be introduced to Mahou Tsukai Pretty Cure!, the newest successor to the long-running Pretty Cure mahou shoujo franchise (PreCurefor short) and holy lace petticoats, y’all. This is one magical girl series that isn’t ashamed to aim for the long run. Let’s start with a little background.
In 2004 the PreCure series began with its first incarnation, Futari wa Pretty Cure!, a tale of two girls whose magical transformations to defeat evil rely on the presence of the other, becoming the legendary warriors Cure Black and Cure White respectively. One aspect of the show that sets it apart from old standbys like, say, Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon or even the newer mahou shoujo classic Puella Magi Madoka Magica is that the girls participate in far more hand-to-hand combat without aid of their magic powers or weaponry.
Starting with Yes! Pretty Cure 5 Go Go! later seasons of the franchise would experiment with more typical mahou shoujo tropes such as four or five-member teams, human transformation of guardian creatures, and various power ups. I tend to compare Pretty Cure in its quest for eternal air time to franchises like Naruto or One Piece, but it’s more fair to compare the show to Pokémon since each season induces a fresh round of “How the hell are you still making more?!” (Fun fact: with roughly 900 episodes Pokémon is way longer than PreCure at 600 episodes, but that’s not accounting for a seven year head start. The two are also tied with 20 movies apiece.) In short, what we are witnessing is a sparkle-tinged bid for anime dominance, intended for younger audiences or not.
According to Crunchyroll, Toei Animation updated the official website this past Christmas to include the visuals for Mahou Tsukai, confirming that the series will focus on the theme of “magical witches” as the title suggests (and yes, that does sound a tad familiar). Featuring 13-year-old human Mirai Asahina/Cure Miracle and magical world resident Riko/Cure Magical, Mahou Tsukai will return to PreCure origins by featuring foil Cures whose powers depend on one another. Fans can also expect to see the reprise of differently themed outfit modes a la HappinessCharge including the Ruby, Sapphire, and Topaz transformations.
Given that many of the PreCure seasons such as Heartcatch, Suite, and HappinessCharge have appeared to feature a partnership only to reveal an entire team in later episodes, it stands to reason that Miracle and Magical won’t be the only Cures to appear in this show. At the very least audiences will get to see the new girls join up with their many, many predecessors in the newest full length film Pretty Cure All Stars: Singing with Everyone♪ Miraculous Magic! set to be released in Japan on March 19.