Healin’ Good Precure! Episode 1 [First Impression]
Eva’s First Impression: I’M MELTING. THEY ARE SO CUTEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!
Oh my gosh, this has to be my favourite premiere of Precure to date! It was such a pleasure to watch, it made me all warm and fuzzy, its cuteness was charming and my favourite part about it was how well everything came together. It felt like they were finally able to tapped into that energy I have been waiting for since Go! Princess Precure. As some of you may know, GPP is my all time favourite precure series. Ever since, it has served as my golden standard for Precure and I have been waiting in hopes that they will bring that magic back because it was truly an incredible series that remains dear to my heart. It is also a big reason why the last few Precure series either fell short or weren’t enough to keep me interested. Fortunately I came out of this premiere feeling incredibly optimistic and truly excited about what’s to come.
The story kicks off with our newest heroine Nodoka moving into a new town, and three trainees, Rabbirin, Penguitan, Nyatoran and their princess Latte in tow, embark on the mission to find their Human Partners, the legendary Precures. And with their help they will be able to fight back against the Pathogerms inflicting harm upon their worlds by stealing the power of life from Earth! But healing those who have been afflicted of the Pathogerms require the power of Elements shared and stored into the Element Bottle. Today they used it to heal Latte who was suffering from the element being corrupted by the enemy (though chances are, it may be every time that happens, it weakens Late and they will need to treat her for it every time).
So let’s bet’s begin with the said Trainees: Rabbirin, Penguitan, Nyatoran, and their princess, Latte! Because much to my surprise, they were the ones who impressed me the most today!
I am in love their all three of their personalities and their character designs. Rabbirin is our fiery little rabbit who is not afraid to put herself out there in front of Humans, even when they think she’s either a bug, or think she’s a stuffed animal (the struggle is real). Her courage to throw herself at the Pathogerms despite being powerless until she finds her Human Partner, and best of all, her intial reaction to when Nodaka first appeared to save them. I am really looking forward to the partnership between the two of them, I think it’s going to be really fun since while their values are aligned, their personalities seem to be a bit different from each other.
Penguitan and Nyatoran weren’t in the spotlight today, but we did get an idea of what kind of partners they are looking for. While Rabbirin insisted what they need is a Human Doctor, Penguitan just wants someone who is nice, and Nyatoran wants someone with the same energy level as him. As for Princess Latte our adorable little pup, it’s quite interesting how nobody except for the Queen Teatime seems to be able to hear her voice unless they use a stethoscope (which is also used to hear and communicate with the little Elements of nature, such as the Flower Element they saved today). It also goes without saying, bringing a pup into your home is WAY more believable for the family, and easier to take care of than a freaking baby or a flying unicorn. So hurray for SOME sort of normality!
But best of all, after god knows how long, they are finally enabling the sidekicks to have a more purposeful role as the Precure’s support right from the start! IT’S A MIRACLE! As far as I can remember, (and correct me if I am wrong about this) most if not all of the Precure’s partners up until this point simply served their purpose as scouting them out, explaining what their mission is, and occasionally finding creative ways to pitch into the fight if they have the power to do so. And they do this by making these trainees literally become part of the legendary Precure Stick. Sure it looks a bit funny (and adorably so), but it is so cool to see them actually be part of the action! (IE: Bunny Shield!) Not to mention, this is another great way to help the Precure organically hold their own during their first fight, by receiving support from someone who has been prepared for this moment. I am very excited to see how this concept of their power source will evolve over-time. It would be very cool to see the Trainees be a part of the power upgrades in the future!
And that brings us to our newest protagonist Hanadera Nodoka! Oh what a sweetheart she is! She is like a breath of fresh air. Yes she is checking off all the boxes of your a-typical Precure protagonist, cheerful, kind and always looking to help others, but she got something else going for her: A more original backstory.
I am so glad they confirmed our suspicions of everything they had been alluding to from the start of the episode about her frail health. It appears her family has moved out to a new town so that she will be able to live a healthier and happier life. We saw how she is still adjusting to the newfound freedom of being able run as much as she desires, and her parents cautionary warning her not to go too far. She is type who will help her elders, step up to assist foreigner travelers, and in the face of danger, leaves nobody. (Or more admirably: she didn’t even flinch when she saw the Nanopathgerm running rampant, but you can argue she had been running on adrenaline for a while.) Of course this is nothing new for Precure protagonists, but I think the reason why it resonated more strongly with me is because they immediately put into perspective of how Nodoka’s struggles with her health (to the point of being hospitalized) shaped her into who she is today. It also goes without saying, this kind of special understanding of the helplessness when one is suffering from sickness, and how important it is to them to help to make others feel better is a powerful quality for a Precure to have. There is a lot of potential with this theme, so I am looking forward to seeing where they will go with it!
We also were briefly introduced to the other two protagonists, energetic girl and the runner, we didn’t get their names though, but it was nice to see them meet. One bolted because she was in a rush, and the other actually stopped and shared her water with her haha. We also were introduced to the first antagonist Daruizen. He and Rabbirin had a brief confrontation, but he didn’t show himself to Nodoka. Although he had a short appearance, I’m already super into his character and I am looking forward to learning more about him. Not to mention he is super handsome and has a great voice to match! I would love to see a fun rivalry between Nodaka and him as alluded to in the OP.
Maybe some romance? [DUCKS] I KNOW I KNOW ROMANCE IS RARELY FEATURED, BUT LET ME INDULGE IN MY DREAMS OKAY?!
However when it comes to the character designs, it’s a bit of a different story. I think we can all agree their standard ones are all really nice, especially Nodoka’s (I’m a big fan of hers!), the Precure designs a bit disappointing. I think many of us would like to see them be more daring in playing around with either a shade they haven’t used yet, or go beyond the staple “trio colors” of: Pink, Blue and Yellow. I think this is the biggest problem because it makes it harder to differentiate from the other Precures in past series. This is especially a major problem when you throw them into the All-Stars film! It has already become a game of Find Wally! Other than their lack of originality, I do like the minimalist design of their outfits.
The same can be said about Cure Grace’s transformation as well. I was quite surprised how much they cut down on the details of it, and it certainly feels like they reduced the time spent on it as well. But they were able to retain its magical beauty with its gorgeous animation we all love to see in any magical girl (or boy) series. I absolutely loved the way they used the doctor’s coat and played around with its fabric, as well as the Cure Grace emerging from the petal. It was so prettily done.
But the best part about it, THEY GOT THEY GOT RID OF THE SINGING! THANK GOD!!!!! That was the one thing I couldn’t stand, thank god, it’s gone, and I hope they keep it that way!
Speaking of music, for whatever reason, my ears don’t usually pick up on Precure’s OST, more often than not it flies right over my head. But this time, caught my attention right away, and I found myself enjoying the tracks quite a bit! The Opening and Ending Themes are also absolutely fantastic, I’m hooked on both songs, and their sequences are really fun to watch!
…Holy smokes, I wrote up a lot more than I thought I would! But I think that goes to show just how much I loved this premiere. It left me feelin’ incredibly optimistic and energized about how this series will unfold, and much of that has to do with the characters that were introduced to us today. As I said in the beginning, it has been a long time since I have had this feeling for a Precure series, so I am so ready for this next adventure!
Possibility of Blogging: HIGH – As per tradition, I can guarantee you right now I will be covering the first ten episodes. Hopefully this is the one I have been waiting for!