|Yeah. My gallery. I don't leave anything in the main gallery because it drives me nuts. I organize everything...sorta. This gallery is also not for people who despise rants, fanfics, emo poetry or the occasional insane, random thing.|
Overall score 8/10
Introduction: I started out watching this show with a very low opinion of it. At first, it came across as far too repetitive, tropey and focused on the typical archetypes set forth by Sailor Moon. But about halfway through the show, I decided to give it a chance and was pleasantly surprised. I started to enjoy it for what it was since I realised I'm way out of the target audience. I can't beat up on it too much, though, because of that.
Though the plot and characters rank kind of low, I felt the final episodes were good enough to bump it up several spots. Oftentimes I'll watch something that begins as kind of average, but then the final episode(s) will be good enough to increase its score.
Plotwise, the show is very simple like I said. The main concept is that the bad guys want to bring a Bad End to the world. The main three villains are the Big Bad Wolf (Wolfrun), the Witch (Majorina) and the Red Oni (demon).
The land of picture books (called Märchenland) has had a Bad End brought onto it by the three villains. During the battle between them, the Queen used all her power to seal the evil king Pierrot away. The villains are trying to revive him to bring Earth to a bad end.
The episodes are very formulaic with a different monster of the week. It's very safe and predictable, but I can't beat up on this series too much; it's aimed at girls 6-12, so of course they're going to play it very safe and predictable.
The final four episodes are extremely well-written as well as the short two parter in the middle, but six episodes of 48 isn't really enough to carry the plot entirely.
While they weren't enough to carry the plot, they were definitely enough to bump the score up from a six or seven to an eight. I won't give any spoilers away, but they are extremely well-written. They're suspenseful, dramatic and action-packed. The feelings and messages conveyed are extremely good for the target age range and even older audiences.
The main themes in the show boil down to:
These characters are your typical five-band magical girl warriors.
Miyuki: The bright, happy pink leader
Reika: The cool, smart blue one
Nao: The tomboy green big sister
Yayoi: The feminine yellow one
Akane: The hot-headed red one
But for all the archetypes used, these characters are a LOT of fun. They do grow as it goes on, though it's surprisingly subtle growth.
Miyuki is absolutely brimming with life and energy. Her catch phrase is "ultra happy" though it never seems to wear thin. She is just an amazingly fun character that never failed to put a smile on my face after I started to enjoy the series.
Nao's dedication to her family is admirable. By the end of the series, she's the oldest of seven. Seeing her protective of her little brothers and sisters in one of the lower 40's episodes made me swell with happiness.
Yayoi is a shy crybaby with little confidence in herself at the beginning. She's still rather shy and quiet, but she's clearly grown a lot by the end of the series. Her dedication and love of drawing manga is great. Even her art improves as the series goes.
Reika is your typical Yamato Nadeshiko character, but she still grows as the show goes on as well. She starts off unsure of herself, even having an episode showing her self-doubts. By the end of the series, she has set her path forward and forges it for herself.
Akane felt kind of underwhelming to me compared to the other characters. She still had her strengths and weaknesses, but she didn't stick out all that much to me for some reason despite her loud personality. She is by no means a bad character, however; she just didn't leave much of an impact on me personally.
Conclusion: Smile Pretty Cure is an extremely enjoyable show. While the formulaic nature and reliance on typical magical girl archetypes and tropes can get a little tedious, the target audience is girls 6-12. If you remember that and give the show a chance, you're almost guaranteed to have a smile on your face. The characters are fun, bouncy and grow through the entire 48 episodes, but the growth is subtle. The simple nature of the show can be both refreshing but a bit lackluster at times. But, overall, I don't regret watching it. Would I watch it again? Maybe, maybe not.
Recommendation: I would recommend this series to big magical girl fans. If you can let the archetypes, tropes and formulaic nature slide, you'll find a truly enjoyable show that's just trying to have as much fun as possible. It might not be something more casual fans would enjoy because of those things, however.