Eri KitamuraHiromi TsuruBanjou GingaFresh
Fresh PreCure the Movie: The Kingdom of Toys has Lots of Secrets!?
Also known as: Fresh PreCure! Omocha no Kuni wa Himitsu ga Ippai!?
Medium: film
Year: 2009
Director: Junji Shimizu
Writer: Atsushi Maekawa
Actor: Akiko Nakagawa, Banjou Ginga, Chika Sakamoto, Eri Kitamura, Hiromi Tsuru, Kanae Oki, Kozo Shioya, Yuka Komatsu
Keywords: Fresh, PreCure, anime, magical girl
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 71 minutes
Website category: Anime late 00s
Review date: 27 November 2019
Fresh Pretty Cure
It's bland, but with a nice ending. Its setting is pleasantly eccentric and there are bits I liked, but my reaction afterwards was, "Was that it? Was that really 71 minutes? Not much movie in there, was there?"
The Fresh girls are planning a pyjama party. (This includes Passion, since the film was released on Halloween, between ep.38 and ep.39.) This is significant because it reminds Love of an old teddy bear called Usapyon, which she used to love but hasn't thought about for years. The plot then gets going. A supervillain called Toymajin vows to steal the toys of all the children in the world. "All of us will disappear from the children who never remember us!" he said, then proves himself a liar by spiriting away toys while children are playing with them.
To fix this, the girls visit the Kingdom of Toys! This is the film's main selling point. I love their idea of a valid passport, or Count Roulette's explanation of why the PreCures have to do a Celestial Toymaker. "If you don't obey the dice board game's rules... it's not fun!"
Unfortunately, the film's mostly just fun visuals. The Kingdom of Toys is a laugh, but a stronger plot would have also been nice. The PreCure all get teleported to different worlds. Love has to fight a kung fu bloke who's dressed like Uma Thurman from Kill Bill (released 2003-4, so probably deliberate). In fairness, how she beats him is awesome. Miki gets transported into space, where I think she murders an alien and blows up its flying saucer. Um. Is that right? I can't see any other interpretation of what happened. Passion gets teleported on to a giant chessboard. Were Miki and Passion's worlds originally meant for each other, perhaps, but then swapped at some point during production? Miki's meant to be a brainbox, which would fit chess, while I rather like the idea of our heroic Passion being a bit villainous.
I liked Bukki and her dinosaur, though.
1. Count Roulette? He looks great and it's a cool idea for a mildly surreal character, but seriously? The Kingdom of Toys includes gambling and casinos, does it?
2. This isn't just a movie problem, incidentally, but I dislike dodgy subtitles calling Bukki "Buki". That's the Japanese word for "weapons", which is distractingly inappropriate.
3. The Land of Toys can be glimpsed in the main series, in ep.35 and then again in the finale.
4. We get Tourette's remixes of the opening and closing theme songs. ("Punch!" "Kick!") I prefer the originals, although I was mildly amused by the updated closing title sequence with added Tarte.
This is all sort of okay, but it's a mush of stuff that happens because the film says so. They reach the villain because he decides to let them. Characters travel between worlds on script whim. There's nothing actually wrong with that, but it's unmemorable. That said, though, the finale works emotionally and takes the film somewhere meaningful. I love the supervillain's real identity, followed by the teddy bear being adopted by a child in a teddy bear top. That's the film's strongest moment. Love and Usapyon at the end are rather lovely too.
It's okay and quite likeable in places, but ultimately forgettable. That's what you'd guess from Fresh PreCure, really.