Posted by psgels on 16 July 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews, Heartcatch Precure




So, because of Heartcatch Precure I’m doomed to watch every All Stars Precure from now on until eternity, just to see more of Tsubomi, Erika, Itsuki and Yuri, even though they’re all pretty bad movies. Imagine this: a movie with 21 main characters. To give an indication of how incredibly crowded this is: it took this movie three minutes and twenty seconds to get through the transformation scenes of everyone. There was like… no end in sight to them!

What’s more is that the Precure Franchise has always been very clingy to its own formula. What this means for this movie is that it’s pretty much the same as the previous All Stars movie. The general plot outline in any case is like an exact copy. Heartcatch Precure solved this with really good characters, animation and storytelling. This movie however… yeah.

With 21 main characters plus a truckload of mascot characters that gets a bit hard if you refuse to stay with the same formulaic premise. Usually stories just pick four or five characters and give those some depth, but even that doesn’t happen here: the main characters from Suite Precure just get a few more lines, that’s all. Apart from that, everyone is equal. And equally bland if you haven’t seen the series they belong to.

I will say this, though: this third movie IS better than the first. The animation is more creative for one, but it actually does attempt some serious drama other than “bad guys evil. Kill them again”. It doesn’t pick out any characters to focus on, but instead it goes with a theme that everyone can relate to: partnerships. These themes are explored without any subtleties at all (even going as far as to make Heartcatch’s Erika act out of character just for the sake of getting its message through), and its messages are really obviously shallow, but at least it gives the movie more of a structure than what happened with the second movie. Oh, and the ending is a Deus ex Machina ending. That doesn’t help either.

Aside from that, this is a very bright, flashy and colourful movie. Flashes, beams and sparkles are incredibly abound, and this all happens with a huge amount of fluidity. The interesting thing however is that this movie really leaves things to be desired in terms of hand to hand combat: it looks gorgeous during the long-distance fights, but when characters actually need to touch each other the animation resorts to shortcuts, still frames and awkward cuts. This leads me to think that Toei put a ton of money and talented animators on this thing, but left things to be desired on the animation direction and production.

Now, I do wonder about the point of these movies. Of course it’s fun to watch your favourite characters all together in a movie. I get that. But the first precure series is already seven years old by now. That’s older than actually some of its fans and the franchise’s target audience. I mean, there’s a reason why Disney re-releases its movies every seven years: there are going to be so many kids who wonder who the heck the older characters are. And this movie is purely fanservice. It’s not like it’s doing a good job introducing the characters to people unfamiliar to them or anything. This movie was entertaining. I give it that. But not much more, unfortunately.

Storytelling: 7/10 – At least it’s mildly fun and the action is good to watch, but it depends way too much on its own formula.
Characters: 6/10 – You’re going to have to put in effort to make a story with 21 main characters work. The characters who ended up stand out the most to me are actually the exposition mascots!
Production-Values: 8/10 – Really, really flashy, sparkly and beamy with often fluid animation, but leaves things to be desired on the hand-to-hand combat.
Setting: 5/10 – Forgets some of the things it introduces, brings characters out of characters, completely contrived set-up.

Suggestions:
Heartcatch Precure Movie – Hana no Miyako de Fashion Show… desu ka?
Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva
Digimon Movie 2 – Bokura no War Game

14 Responses

  1. DmonHiro says:

    I’m still pissed off at how inferior Suite is comapread to HeartCatch. I mean.. how can you make something so AWESOME, then go back and make something so… bland?!

  2. Shirencel says:

    I still refuse to watch any of this simply because I can’t bear to see the HeartCatch cast mixed into that … mess.

  3. AnimeFan000 says:

    The from the small clips of the moive I have seen, it wasn’t too bad, it was quite enjoyable. At least they kept Cure Moonlight’s badassery, that’s a plus.

  4. gsilver says:

    I decided to stick with Suite, and I’m glad that I did. While, yes, it isn’t as good as Heartcatch and had some weak early episodes, it’s turning into a very enjoyable show, and episode 21 in particular was quite good. I’m also much more of a fan of Hummy than I was of the mascots in Heartcatch.

  5. DmonHiro says:

    @4: Yeah… pretty good my ass. It was obvious from episode 1 that ***** would be a precure. Mephisto is a joke, and about as threatning as an angry dog. The trio of morons is… well… stupid. Hummy is the only one keeping this show from sucking 100%. Also, if you haven’t figured out who Muse is by now…

  6. Kiseki says:

    I happened to love this movie. Fanservice, fanservice everywhere! Rin/Rogue is forever a tsuokkomi.

    The writing in Suite is pretty bad, but I do rather like what’s going on with the plot. Mephisto may be a joke, but that may be done on purpose. Notice his ears? They’re always like that. Notice the ears of those he brain controls? Yeah.
    I still think Aphrodite is the true Big Bad.

    @5 – You’re being trolled. The whole Suite series is a troll. Mostly Muse. You THINK you may know who Cure Muse is, but (unless you’re talking about that background character…) you don’t.
    The Suite movie poster confuses me even further. The orange “Cure Muse” is most definitely Ako, but what about the masked “Cure Muse” who is on the same poster!? (Hypothesized to be said background character.)

    Bravo to the Toei staff for posted a preairing fake leak on the interwebs too.

    By the way psgels, I think you’d like Splash Star. It has a lame start, but the slice of life is just so well-written and heartwarming. Mainly because the whole theme of Splash Star is the importance of life. Can’t praise the animation though.

  7. updatedude says:

    Just finished this movie, and I liked it.

    The first DX movie was great in my view. It was lovely action all the way and a nice gateway movie. It had its flaws, but was the perfect multi-series crossover, especially when contrasted with the likes of Kamen Rider Decade’s All Rider War movie.

    Second movie was… erm, well, it lacked the fights, unfortunately. It had a bit more character interaction, but a step down from the first one to me.

    Now this third movie, I liked it. With 21 characters, I think they did the best they could. It lacked hand to hand fighting, and it felt like it was going through the motions of hitting points A to B to C all the way to Z. Really, there were just too many characters and too many points they had to hit for there to be any “additional detail”.

    HOWEVER, what I did like was that they never dawdled. The entire premise is laid out right at the start. And all the usual knock downs and rallying and more knock downs and final rallying was done in quick succession in a very fluid fashion. And there was plenty of dialogue, one might say… a LOT of dialogue for a kiddie movie, but that allowed many of the Cures to get some spotlight.

    But here’s where the movie really worked for me. In the first movie, they had time to devote to beautiful action. In this one, they didn’t have time to do anything extra, so instead, they crammed as much detail into each sequence as possible.

    For instance, when the Cool/Secondary Cures landed, Mint caught Rhythm. But Marine, being the goofy char she is, fell into the water.

    Or whenever a group is presented with a situation, each character had an appropriate facial expression based on their character type.

    Cure Marine’s probably the most obvious. All the silly landings or reactions and so forth are done by her. Though granted, Cure Blossom became somewhat more generic, but oh well, she was on the Leader/Determinator team.

    As Kiseki said, it’s got loads of fanservice, but the fanservice is pretty subtle. As a standalone, it does the best it could considering it’s got to cram a huge number of characters in. But if you’re at least familiar with the general personality of each Cure, there’s a lot of tiny attention to detail.

    Would I recommend this movie to a non-fan? Probably not. I maintain that the first DX movie is the best gateway into the franchise. But this one’s a suitable entry and it caps off the trilogy well enough.

    The Deus Ex Machina ending almost seems to be as a result of Suite being an ongoing series though. If this movie came out at the end of the year rather than early on, I wonder if it would have ended at the credits?

  8. updatedude says:

    Additional note: Regarding Splash Star. I can’t remember who’s subbing, but I think they re-released Splash Star in 3 batches? If nothing else, you might want to get that last batch. If I recall, batch 1 dealt with the first 2 generals and is the infamously slow series start.

    Batch 2 gave us the more interesting generals as well as the inevitable “Sixth Ranger” arc.

    Batch 3, which was I think… 40 to 49? 41 to 46 was pretty action packed. But it’s the last 3 eps… I think Batch 3 is good to watch overall, but those last 3 or 4 eps were astounding. You can basically watched those eps and take ‘em as a mini-movie. Naturally, there’s some plot details you might not be aware of, but you can easily conjecture what’s happened based on context (after all, the PreCure franchise doesn’t exactly have Bantorra or Bacanno level intricate plots).

  9. Kiseki says:

    The Deus Ex Machina ending has nothing to do with Suite going on. None of the Precure movies are canon (but Suite’s movie will be?), Fresh’s and Heartcatch’s are almost canon.

    So far Splash Star’s movie is my least favorite. Great anime, horrible, horrible movie.

  10. updatedude says:

    @9 – I meant Suite going on in the sense that the kids in the audience needed to know why the TV series still had Hummy when the movie said it shouldn’t.

    Although in retrospect, Precure wouldn’t cross the line of having a bummer or bittersweet ending anyway.

    I don’t even remember which one’s the Splash Star movie. I think the worst movie for me so far is the one with the Toymajin. Was that the one? I genuinely can’t remember which group handled that.

    I’m glad the DX movie made a mention that Toymajin and Baron Salamander weren’t that “bad” though.

  11. KN-XIII says:

    Hi, I just finished watching Heartcatch Precure and their movies (It was my very first Pretty Cure series I watched and I liked it. I think I’ll give a shot for the Futari wa Precure and FwPC Max Heart next).
    I don’t know anything about the DX3 since I waiting for someone to sub the Blu-ray version. But still I think I’ll watch this only to see again the Precure from Heartcatch (I miss them so much…).
    I just wanted to tell, it seems that every one didn’t like the DX2 movie but still it had an awesome ending theme and dance. Aren’t you agree with me?

  12. gsilver says:

    @10: While the movie definitely isn’t cannon, Hummy is still around. The mascots come back after the credits sequence.

  13. kagami says:

    koollllllllllllllllllll!

  14. Firechick says:

    Hey Psgels? Have you seen the Precure All Stars New Stage movies yet? Because they’re MUCH more structured and character driven than the first three All Stars movie. I saw New Stages 1 and 2, and they’re both very good, albeit very flawed.

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