Sunday, July 18, 2010
OK, I'll admit it - I'm hooked watching this anime series every Sunday morning from 8:30, and not only because it's my 4-year-old daughter's preferred eye candy.
HeartCatch PreCure! (ハートキャッチプリキュア!) is an infectious, disarming and super cute series that lacks the annoyance value of, say, Pokémon.
Having kicked off on TV Asahi (Channel 10) in Tokyo back in February this year, HeartCatch is the seventh version of the long-running girls' concept created by the 'mysterious' Izumi Todo - actually none other than an alias for the creative types at Toei Animation - and to my mind its definitely the best interpretation to date.
It all started up with our shy, upright heroine Tsubomi (Cure Blossom), swathed in pink, then she was joined by trusty neighbour and fashion-minded sidekick Erika (the all-blue Cure Marine). Today, five months into the series, the third heroine emerged with the gold enshrouded, androgynous Itsuki (Cure Sunshine).
For a young girls' romp, there's a surprising sense of patience in the development of the story-telling arc, there're surreal kaiju-style monsters every week, the villains ham it up, our heroes have a sense of humour, and the character designs are way cool.
While it's obviously aimed at the purchasing powers of the parents of the target demographic, there's something for everyone - even the more critical expat foreigners and their open-minded kids.
Here're the closing credits - the CG animation really doesn't do the show itself justice, but the infectious theme song by Mayu Kudou is being heard right now everywhere over here from kindergartens to keitai ring-tones.