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.|