- It's a movie: Hugtto! Pretty Cure Futari wa Pretty Cure: All Stars Memories, which I loved.
- It's a movie: Pretty Cure Super Stars!, which as usual with the team-up films these days is very good.
- Hugtto! PreCure
- Series 15 of PreCure
- Episode 1: "Hooray Hooray, Everyone! The Pretty Cure of High Spirits, Cure Yell is Born!"
- Episodes: 49 x 24 minutes (plus two movies)
- Keep watching: hell, yes
- One-line summary: magical girls
- I've since finished it and.. it is indeed excellent, one of the best PreCure series.
FIRST VIEWING: APRIL 2019
Hugtto! is known in Japan as one of the strongest PreCure series. I'd been looking forward to it.
Hana Nono is confident and forward-looking to the point of being manic. "My grown-up debut is a mess, but I can't lose! Hooray, hooray, me!" "I'm smart, I'm sporty, I'm stylish! I can't wait to grow up!" That could have been annoying, but other character traits make her extremely likeable. She's fearless, nice and not too bright. When an old lady's about to get hit by a ball, Hana jumps in as a human shield and never considers trying to catch it. Naturally, it whacks her in the head.
(She'll do the same thing later, but with a baby and a bus-sized rampaging monster.)
She also fails at giving herself a grown-up haircut (whoops) and in her determination not to be late for school.
Conversely, the supervillains are company employees. They have work targets and a head office. They hate people who have hope for the future and their attack is a "negative wave".
This is already an interesting take on PreCure. There's none of the usual fairy mentor stuff, with instead Hana becoming a PreCure all by herself. The fairy (Harry) has a baby. (Not a cutesy animal blob, but an actual human baby.) However other PreCure traditions are reassuringly present, so for instance the monsters' names in Japanese are silly (Oshimaidaa).
The only thing I disliked was Hana thinking she has to hide things from her sister. That often annoys me. Hana I already like a lot, though, which is good. She's wacky. On seeing her transformed PreCure self, her response is, "I'm totally hot!" She's a cheerleader, with pom-poms. She also made me laugh with her peek-a-boo face for the baby.
I've got high expectations for this one. Should be good.
SECOND VIEWING: SEPTEMBER 2020
I watched this show only last year, but now I'm rewatching it. Firstly, it's one of the best PreCure series. Secondly, I'm doing the whole franchise from the beginning.
This rewatch was interesting. Firstly, they're really going for the cheerleader thing. Hana says "hooray hooray!" a lot to encourage people, often herself, which on first viewing looked eccentric but in fact will be her defining feature as a Pink Leader. Repeated comedy failures can't stop her from saying it. Even her magical girl costume has cheerleader pompoms. There's a lot of set-up here, e.g. Hana's self-administered bad haircut that gives her the wonky fringe she'll keep all series.
(We also meet Saaya and Homare.)
I love Hana. She's hyper and mental even for a Pink Leader, while I'm in awe of her courage when saving Hugtan from a walking castle monster. (She's not too bright, though, e.g. the baseball thing.) This is a good, solid start, with some strong animation. A baby falling from heaven is attention-grabbing, as is with the hamster with a kansai accent. I like the time-twisting villains, while baby maintenance is going to be an entertaining headache for our heroes. Note, though, that "ass power" is actually "asu", i.e. "tomorrow".