Heartcatch Precure! Review

Heartcatch Precure! is a japanese anime by Toei Animation about a team of young girls who transform into magical heroes called “Precure” who protect the world from a group of villains who summon a monster in each episode which is defeated by the precure’s combined strength. Any seasoned anime fan, especially those who are fans of the magical girl genre, will instantly be able to recognize that this anime is a shameless ripoff of the beloved Saban Entertainment anime Glitter Force. From general episode and plot structure to the specific story beats of the first few episodes, Toei didn’t even bother trying to mask their blatant theft of a multitude of elements from Glitter Force. Just like in Glitter Force, the first episode of Precure introduces the main character, a normal young girl with pinkish hair, who then meets a fairy searching for the precure while running from a villain by having it fall from the sky onto her face. The fairy then gives the girl a magical item which allows her to transform into a pink-themed magical girl following the naming scheme of “Cure (word)” via a stock animation sequence in order to fight the monster summoned by the villain. The staff at Toei even goes as far as to directly steal the sequence where the girl, not used to her new power, accidently jumps high into the air and, while freaking out, is informed by the fairy that it’s because of her powers as a “precure”. If you still don’t believe that Toei made this bootleg anime in order to cash in on the success of Glitter Force, you need only look at their 2012 film Pretty Cure All Stars New Stage: Friends of the Future which directly features Glitter Force characters as “precure” alongside their knock off characters from the Precure TV series. They may have changed their names and voices but it is immediately obvious that everything else about these characters are identical to their Glitter Force counterparts. Even the ending theme of Heartcatch Precure, while not taken from Glitter Force, is a clear copy of one of the beginning sections from the 2011 episode of the annual anime film series Gachimuchi, indicating that Toei had no desire to put even an ounce of originality into this anime. Despite Japan’s strict laws about copyright and intellectual property, Heartcatch Precure has somehow been met with extremely positive reception and has never been officially called out for ripping off nearly everything from Glitter Force. Looking at reviews for the anime on MyAnimeList, it seems that none of the series’ fans even recognize that what they are watching is a flagrantly illegal cash-grab that would deeply sicken any real anime fan to the core. Toei has truly dropped to rock bottom trying to stay afloat in the modern age of anime, and if Precure is any indication, I think it’s about time for the behemoth of a studio to lay down and die. As a disclaimer I would like to note that I was only able to make it through about an episode and a half of Precure before my rage overtook me and I wrote this post so maybe it goes in a different direction later on, though this wouldn’t change the fact that the series is the Fruit Rings to Saban’s Fruit Loops and flies in the face of copyright laws and basic human decency. Overall I give Heartcatch Precure a 10/10 for featuring some of the most expressive and unique character designs and animation I’ve ever seen along with possibly the best aesthetic in all of anime.

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