After the Precure Allstars Movie and Suite Precure, I was a bit wary of the Heartcatch Precure Movie, especially how it was made by different people than the TV-series. The way in which Toei just keeps coming with these cash-in movies definitely had me worried. That’s why I’m so glad that this movie did manage to capture the charms of the TV-series!
The first thing you have to know for this movie is that it has a bit of a misleading title. Yes, the cast travels to Paris in order to participate in a fashion show, but they end up doing something completely different. The real plot of this movie is very much like the TV-series: it follows your standard movie plotline, conforming to a lot of cliches, but it does this so well that it doesn’t really matter, subverting quite a few other cliches in the process.
You can see that the creators of this movie carefully discussed with the creators of the TV-series what this movie should be, unlike what was the case with the Precure Allstars movie. Imagine the TV-series animation, with a movie budget. The fight scenes here are animated even better with the same addictive combination of close-combat martial arts and long-range beams, rather than just trying to zap everything.
Now, this movie could be seen as a glorified episode, but it’s a bit more than just that. The story in this movie would have never worked as an episode because it really makes use of its allocated time of 70 minutes. It’s a whimsical adventure in a wonderfully portrayed Paris, but at the same time it paints a great picture of the two new characters that are introduced in this movie. Yeah, they both start out as stereotypical, but the movie really spends its time to make their characters more than just cliches. The villain in this movie rocks because of his dynamic personality and he’s got quite an adequate backstory, making him actually more than just someone who is evil for the sake of being evil. That’s not something I expect from a main bad guy in a Precure series.
And to top things off, the movie also contains just the right amount of slice of life, in which the creators get the chance to show off both the excellent cast of characters and the tourist areas of Paris. It’s the kind that isn’t just random fluff to sit through just to get to the good parts, and instead they’re all really enjoyable to watch, wisely making use of the TV-series that already did a ton of build-up on their characters.
It’s not like this movie came with some brilliant idea like with the first and third movie of Digimon; this movie isn’t going to break any bounds, but on the other hand, it just did everything it was supposed to. It’s a must-watch for fans of Heartcatch Precure. For people who have never seen it I wouldn’t recommend it, though. The best place to start this show is really the first episode.
The reason why I’m rating this lower than what I did for the TV-series simply has to do with its length. Heartcatch Precure was a consistently entertaining ride for fifty episodes that just kept amazing me and completely redefined what it meant to be a good Mahou Shoujo. This movie lacks that value and instead just does everything it does right. Blame me watching the Third Digimon movie for that.
|Storytelling:||8/10 – Whimsical, exciting, charming and adorable. Conforms to cliches but does them really well.|
|Characters:||9/10 – Both the recurring and the new characters are wonderful to watch.|
|Production-Values:||8/10 – Perhaps not the best animation for movie standards, but compared to the TV-series the extra inbetween animation really had an excellent effect.|
|Setting:||8/10 – Actually expands on the Sabaaku history a bit, plus an excellent portrayal of Paris without being either Xenophobic or overly obsessive. Just don’t expect much from the fashion show…|