Futari waSuiteRumi OkuboSmile
Pretty Cure All Stars New Stage: Friends of the Future
Also known as: Pretty Cure All Stars New Stage: Mirai no Tomodachi
Medium: film
Year: 2012
Director: Junji Shimizu
Writer: Yoshimi Narita
Actor: Akiko Nakagawa, Akiko Yajima, Ami Koshimizu, Asami Tano, Aya Hisakawa, Chinami Nishimura, Eri Kitamura, Fumie Mizusawa, Fumiko Orikasa, Haruna Ikezawa, Hisako Kanemoto, Houko Kuwashima, Ikue Otani, Kanae Oki, Kappei Yamaguchi, Kokoro Kikuchi, Kotono Mitsuishi, Mamiko Noto, Marina Inoue, Megumi Toyoguchi, Misato Fukuen, Miyu Matsuki, Motoko Kumai, Nana Mizuki, Rumi Okubo, Satomi Koorogi, Sea Kumada, Taeko Kawata, Taiki Matsuno, Takehito Koyasu, Tamao Akae, Tomokazu Seki, Youko Honna, Yuka Komatsu
Keywords: Futari wa, Splash Star, Yes! PreCure 5, Fresh, HeartCatch, Suite, Smile, PreCure, anime, magical girl
Series: << PreCure team-up movie >>
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 71 minutes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=13804
Website category: Anime early 10s
Review date: 10 April 2020
smile pretty cure
It's pretty amazing. It's doing something radical and unprecedented for a PreCure All Stars team-up movie, i.e. it's good. I love All Stars movies, don't get me wrong, but this is a film you can watch without first regressing yourself to the age of seven. It has a plot and meaningful character development.
Oh, and all 28 PreCures to date also get to be awesome.
The main character isn't one of the team-up PreCures, but an ordinary girl called Ayumi. She's just moved to a new town for her dad's work. "Do I have to go to school?" she asks. (Answer: yes.) She fails at talking to people. She spends two hours playing her video game after promising to stop after only one, then has a massive brat attack at her mother's understandable and correct response to this.
She's not a bad kid, though. She even makes a friend. It's special. It's a cute, golden blob of sentient slime that appeared shortly after all the PreCures pulverised slime supervillain Fusion in a frankly overdone pre-credits battle sequence.
What's interesting is that Fuu-chan (as Ayumi names her) is genuinely adorable, well-meaning and loves her human saviour. (Mind you, all the other little Fusion-blobs across the city are equally cute as they go looking for each other.) Fuu-chan doesn't want world domination. Fuu-chan just wants to make Ayumi happy, but unfortunately Ayumi's capable of being Extremely Teenaged and the literal-minded Fuu-chan is capable of eating dogs and people. (Fortunately this is reversible and everyone's okay in the end, but the scene where we think Fuu-chan might have eaten SPOILER is fairly strong stuff for a kiddie film.)
As for the PreCures, the film's not even trying to give them all an equal share of the spotlight. Good. There are too many of them for that. (28 altogether.) This is really just a Smile/Suite film, i.e. the current and previous teams when the film came out. (This means full transformation sequences for all of them, alas.) There's Miyuki-Hibiki comedy as the two Pink Leaders prove equally hopeless. An accidental monster headbutt made Natsuki laugh.
Eventually things turn bad. When Fuu-chan's beating up the PreCures, though, we have sympathy for both sides. Fuu-chan will have amusingly adorable faces as she pummels.
And the other PreCures return.
HeartCatch (yay!) get a cool entrance and even some dialogue. (The pre-Fresh girls are all non-speaking roles, although that's unimportant in battle.) Fusion attacks the girls with a ship in harbour. Yes, an actual ship. It might be a cruise liner. It's absolutely huge and all nine of the Suite/Smile girls together can barely hold it. It's a "holy shit" moment when Honoka, Nagisa and Shiny Luminous turn up. The PreCure mega-battle is everything I wanted it to be...
...but that's not the real heart of the finale. That's Ayumi and Fuu-chan. A surprise happens that I hadn't seen coming at all but fits perfectly and was cited by Natsuki as his favourite thing in the film.
This film isn't merely "All Stars good", but actually good. It's aiming higher than "dumb blast of fun". It's not blindly dependent on the audience knowing all the characters in advance and indeed you probably don't need to have seen any PreCure at all to enjoy it. The damn thing's good. It's a well crafted film that you'd show to adults, while also being cool as hell for anyone who just wants to see all their favourite PreCures again.
The three DX All Stars movies were a sort of trilogy, in the sense that they were all trying to be the same fan-pleasing film. This is the first of three New Stage movies. I'm excited.