The concept of those graced with powers and abilities to save the world are by no means a rarity. From the likes of more classic heroes that we have seen adore the pages of comic books, line the pages of novels and dash across screens small and large- heroes are everywhere.
For some time now we have all across the globe have developed such a strong attraction with the trope. With the likes of classics such as Marvel and DC Comics, to newer series that aim to take a bit of the action we are being both re-united and introduced with heroes more often than not.
As I have said before any often under-looked aspect of the heroes’ spectrum is that of magical girls- girls who develop magical abilities. Automatically a wide-range of series probably come to mind; Sailor Moon, My Little Pony (yes, to some degree it is in fact a magical girl series), Lolirock, Miraculous Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir, and the list is never-ending. If you do follow the genera to any extent it is almost impossible to not have come across a little something known as Pretty Cure.
Twelve made for television films, eight All Star feature films, twelve series (going on thirteen next month), musicals and endless amounts of merchandise are perhaps the greatest example of how defining Pretty Cure as little is truly laughable. It is an empire that is perhaps stronger than ever with both that of young and old fans eagerly waiting the next stage of the saga.
Pretty Cure, or PreCure, has a very basic and simplistic core. Each series follows a group of young girls who are granted magical items that allow them to transform into the legendary warriors known as Pretty Cure. Together with their respective fairies the Pretty Cures fight against their advisories, gain stronger powers and items- and you know, lead somewhat ordinary lives.
On screen it does seem very paint-by-numbers, as a manner of speaking of course, yet Pretty Cure has a lot of variations and even depth if you are willing to look past the layers of pink and glitter. Each series barriers a different theme -ranging from that of music, princess, stars and nature, ect- that not only reflects back into the narrative, but also the characters. And like with any series after a while you do find yourself very connected with the character and cheering them on.
Despite having a large internationally following, Pretty Cure has not quite migrated well- or much, really- with some of the world. Only the very first series of the franchise had been dubbed into English and only streamed on the likes of Crunchyroll and Funimation. Unlike Sailor Moon or Ojamajo Doremi it never even made it to airwaves outside of Canada.
That is until as of recent. Last year news broke that a new English adaption of Pretty Cure, under the name Glitter Force, was coming to Netflix at the hand of Saban (the company that also brings us Power Rangers). Anime fans where filled with questions in regards to what incarnation would become Glitter Force and naturally hesitation. Even though Pretty Cure is not quite the name you want to drop a lot and takes a while to say with a straight face, Glitter Force came off rockier.
I must confess, I still cringe slightly at the name. Glitter, is that necessary?
Back on point; rather than starting from the first incarnation of the brand, Glitter Force acts as an adaptation of the ninth series, Smile Pretty Cure! A fact that was noted from the official summary of the series:
Glitter Force is an adapted version of Toei Animation’s successful Japanese anime television series, Pretty Cure (or PreCure). The new series follows five preteen girls who learn that they are a legendary superhero squad known as the Glitter Force and must defend Earth from evil fairytale villains.
Glitter Force follows five preteen girls who learn that they are a legendary superhero squad known as the Glitter Force and must defend Earth from evil fairytale villains. As a part of the Glitter Force, these fabulous friends transform from ordinary school girls into super powered cool girls. Defending the earth from fairytale villains isn’t an easy job, but the Glitter Force proves that nothing is more powerful than friendship! Visit the Glitter Force YouTube channel for more information.
After seeing the first twenty episodes on Netflix I must admit it is not as bad as I had walked in thinking. Yet the amount of localization in the dub was perhaps the biggest turn-off. Even though they are aiming for a younger audience to get hooked on the series, and I do understand that, I wish they had keep some of the series’ roots in-tack. They are magical girls living in modern day Japan. With the world so interconnected as it is now the removal of cultural aspects was saddening. It would be such a great chance to celebrate and focus on the Japanese culture. Granted this could very well simply be because I myself am not only into the world or anime, but also world cultures as whole.
By no means are the Glitter Force like some of the heroes we come face to face with nearly daily. They are no Kim Possible, or Ladybug- and that is beyond alright. They are their own heroes, doing things their way.
The first twenty episode of the series is now live and exclusively on Netflix. No question that the other half of the series will be coming sometime soon, at least with any luck. But if there will be more adaptations of Pretty Cure…well, time will tell.
Join the conversation: Pretty Cure fans, what is your stance on Glitter Force? And for anyone just jumping in how is it fairing for you?