Hugtto! Pretty Cure Futari wa Pretty Cure: All Stars Memories
Medium: film
Year: 2018
Director: Hiroshi Miyamoto
Writer: Junko Komura
Actor: Rie Hikisaka, Rina Honizumi, Youko Honna, Yui Ogura, Yukana
Keywords: Futari wa, Splash Star, Yes! PreCure 5, Fresh, HeartCatch, Suite, Smile, DokiDoki!, HappinessCharge, Go! Princess, Mahoutsukai, KiraKira a la Mode, Hugtto!, PreCure, anime, magical girl
Series: << PreCure team-up movie
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 74 minutes
Website category: Anime 2018
Review date: 4 June 2019
Hugtto PreCure
I got confused and watched the Hugtto! films out of order. PreCure seasons since 2009 have been accompanied by two movies, a fan-pleasing crossover and a standalone for the current team only. Hugtto!, though, had two crossovers. (This is supposedly for the fifteenth anniversary, because everyone gets excited about that number.)
Pretty Cure Super Stars! is the crossover we'd expected, following on from Pretty Cure Dream Stars! in starring the three most recent teams only. (Here that's Mahoutsukai, KiraKira and Hugtto!.) This film, though, stars:
1. Hugtto! (the latest team, from 2018) - Cures Yell (i.e. Hana), Ange, Etoile, Macherie and Amour, plus Hariham Harry and Hugtan.
2. Futari wa (original, from 2004) - Cures Black and White (aka. Nagisa and Honoka), plus Shiny Luminous, Mepple and Mipple.
I didn't realise this counted as a crossover. Nagisa and Honoka had also made guest appearances on the Hugtto! TV series, you see, so they were part of it already. In fact, though, it's the crossover to end all crossovers (so far), because it has all the main PreCures. (The numbers would go from "ridiculous" to "brain-eatingly insane" if you included all the secondary PreCures who've ever guest-starred in anything. Those might include movie-only PreCures, grannies who used to be PreCures when they were young, international ones, dead or defeated ones, etc.) This movie took the Guinness World Record title for the "Most Magical Warriors in An Anime Film". Guinness's website says, "In order to meet the guidelines, each of the 55 characters had to speak and fight using magical powers in the film."
It begins badly. Honoka and Nagisa have an underwhelming fight scene, albeit immediately followed by a better one against a Teru-Teru Bouzu. (In motion, it looks like a spooky smug ghost octopus.) The film's inferior to the TV show so far.
The Hugtto! girls get a better introduction, just sitting on the grass and joking about unimportant stuff like whether Amour started life as a metal bolt. (Androids don't grow from babies, after all.) Then, though, the Teru-Teru Bouzu (aka. Miden) appears and the baby jokes aren't jokes any more. Five PreCures are now toddlers and Miden has stolen their memories and magical attacks.
Cut to Miden's base, which is a playgroup for almost fifty toddler-Cures. That's funny, but Miden must theoretically be one of the most dangerous PreCure foes ever.
The film's pretty simplistic. It feels more like an episode than a movie. There's some fairly good baby-minding comedy, although things get more serious when we realise that the toddler-Cures have lost their memories and don't remember their teammates. Honoka thinks Nagisa's a scary stranger. Hana's got baby experience with Hugtan, but even so it's tough looking after four suspicious toddlers who want to escape.
Dwindling numbers of heroines fight Miden and, surreally, at one point a giant Mofurun. There's a scene with eye lasers and explosions. There's a "miracle light" scene, as usual for PreCure crossover movies, in which the children in the audience are invited to wave the plastic toys they all received when they entered the cinema. (This is a very silly tradition, but it's unusually well done here. I wanted to join in!)
Then, of course, everyone turns back to normal and the PreCures all fight monsters. The film works backwards chronologically, through KiraKira, Mahoutsukai, Go! Princess, HappinessCharge, etc. Everyone's theme songs accompany them on the soundtrack. This is a simple but surprisingly powerful trick and I've decided that I need to watch all the other PreCure series (except KiraKira) in order to watch the PreCure team-up movies and know who everyone is. (I can Google them, but it's not the same.) I can manage that. No problem. It's only 400-ish episodes and eight series to bring me up to HappinessCharge, after which I was watching in real time.
You might be wondering how Amour came to have a toddler form in the first place. Answer: don't worry, there's a joke about it.
When you transform to and from babyhood, your clothes change with you. In-universe justification: magic, presumably. Real justification: what you're imagining would have been going for a different target audience.
Is this a good film? Well, it's good at what it does. Personally I think the Hugtto! TV series did it better, but this is light, confident and amusing. It was certainly a hit with the target audience. It has Yell healing the baddie. It brings back Nagisa and Honoka for a third top-billed movie, thirteen years after their last two. It has some great theme songs, obviously including "DANZEN". It's lightweight and a bit on the empty side, but it's cool if you know these girls. I enjoyed it.