Why I love Precure

Posted 2022-03-31.

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Because it saved my life - I really, truly, sincerely believe that!

Here's my boring story. Back in October 2015 or so I was going through a bad time in my life; I had just dropped out of college (technically I dropped out of a major to get a very minor technical degree) and I was feeling very lonely. A guy I was following on Twitter around those days was a huge fan of girls' anime like Pretty Rhythm, Aikatsu and, of course, Precure. I could never understand him until, one day, he shared an image of a girl from Go! Princess Precure whose name was Kirara. The character was a very pretty and stylish girl with long brown hair and, I must admit, I was bewitched.... I obviously didn't see her with the purest of eyes and I could have very well forgotten her like the other thousand and one other pretty Chinese cartoon girls out there, but I decided to give her show a try anyway.

I think I watched everything that had come out up to that point of Go! Princess (around 30 episodes at the time) and then, thirsty for more, I asked the guy from before if there was more to see. He recommended Heartcatch Precure and the rest is history. I still vividly remember the first time I saw the opening scene of Heartcatch with Cure Moonlight losing to his nemesis Dark Precure. It turned out to be a gorgeous show, I loved it and watched the whole thing. And then I watched another season, and another, and another.

But of course, there was still the vivid fact that I had become NEET, one of those people that until then I still believed were part of Internet folklore. And being one didn't appeal to me at all; I hated it. I think I got very depressed during the three years that I was just hanging around at home with no desire to do anything with my life. However, it would have been much worse if I hadn't had Precure. I'm pretty sure that in my desperation for failing at my one goal in life, I probably would have killed myself if it hadn't been for Precure keeping me grounded and eventually giving me the heart to step up to where I am now, which, while is not the most perfect situation, is three thousand times better than those three years.

And the weirdest thing is that I haven't even told you what Precure is yet. It's simple: it's a magical girl anime made by Toei Animation that started in 2004 and is still airing to this day. It's one of the few magical girl shows left that are primarily made for a child audience without falling back on edgy plots that all Madoka clones sin of. It's a sister series to Super Sentai and Kamen Rider, also produced by Toei, and just like those franchises, it's not hard to conclude that Precure is mostly meant to sell toys to kids.

However, despite being a corporate product, I feel like Precure has a soul that shines across the light spectrum. It feels very different from the otaku-bait series pretty girls and "healing" plots, i.e., the so-called "slice of life" or now rarely "iyashikei" shows that are meant for adults. I watched many such shows and honestly, although I love some of them with all my heart, I'm fed up with them now because they feel so fake; they're like drinking nothing but Coke, at first it's delicious and refreshing, but by the end it's such an artificial sweetness that it just leaves your mouth sticky and gross.

Precure, on the other hand, is properly made for kids, and it's very rare for Toei to even acknowledge that it has an adult or otaku audience, even though they clearly know it exists. I like this in a way, because it procures real sweetness through simple jokes and cute stories (taking me back to an innocent time that I never got to live much) while at the same time the girl protagonists bludgeon their enemies with great physical strength -satiating my desire for good action- and show unbeatable determinations that even for an adult can be inspiring (Nozomi, the protagonist of Yes! Precure 5, comes to mind with her dream of becoming a teacher through sheer hard work and determination despite not being very smart).

The series somehow avoids all the nasty, nihilistic, hypocritical garbage that adult audiences normally expect and that has me bored me to shreds already. It's really a shame that there are so many Precure fans trying to dump this garbage on it; the last thing the show needs is the made-up problems we suffer with. I imagine the creators think so too, and they write Precure in such a way as to escape from all that... I can't explain it any other way. Although, obviously, the reality must be much different and I'm probably romanticizing the matter too much. However, that's how I like to see it.

Now, well, I've watched all 18 seasons and almost all the movies. I "caught up with it" in 2018, although I took a break in 2020. My favorites are Splash Star, Yes 5, Fresh, Heartcatch, Smile and Star Twinkle (all seasons that a beginner could very much enjoy), although all the others have their own thing too! Well, maybe not so much Max Heart... And I'm not even the biggest fan of Precure, there are thousands much crazier than me!

Precure has influenced me greatly: it's inspired my music, my stories, my characters, and almost everything else I do. It's also brought me closer to my friends, who I've shown Precure to and have loved it despite all, and now they even watch it with me - maybe they'll even end up liking it more than I do! I'm not so alone anymore, huh? It's a shame it's not better known around these parts, but for now it will be our well-kept secret.

I was a very different person before Precure and now the optimism of this girls' series has rubbed off on me like nothing else! Precure may not be a perfect series, having its ups and downs, but I love it despite all its faults, almost as if it were part of my family. I don't even watch any other anime these days, nothing really is as fulfilling! Anyway, it is one of the most important things to me, because it has always accompanied me and filled every day with joy. In the past I have wished that it would end soon for its own good, but I really hope that it will be with us for a long time to come.

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