|Futari wa Pretty Cure|
(Futari wa Purikyua)
|Network||Animax, TV Asahi, Asahi Broadcasting Corporation|
|Original Run||February 1, 2004 - January 30, 2005|
March 6, 2009 - July 31, 2010 (English Dub)
|Successor||Futari wa Pretty Cure Max Heart|
|Opening Song||Danzen! Futari wa Pretty Cure|
Together We Are Pretty Cure (Dub)
|Ending Song||Get You! Love Love?!|
Futari wa Pretty Cure (ふたりはプリキュア Futari wa Purikyua?, Lit. "We are Pretty Cure") (Pretty Cure in the English dub) was the first season in the series, directed by Daisuke Nishio and premiered on TV Asahi February 1, 2004. The story revolves around two girls, Misumi Nagisa and Yukishiro Honoka, who fight the forces of the Dusk Zone — a dimension of evil that encroached on the Garden of Light. The Dusk Zone's power takes the form of the Zakenna (ザケンナー Zakennaa?), creatures that infect people or items to turn them evil.
The Dusk Zone's actions necessitated the escape of two of the Garden of Light's protectors, odd talkative creatures named Mepple and Mipple. They serve as a source of information and peanut gallery for the series and are usually found within Card Communes, transformation devices which resemble mobile phones. For some periods, they can transform into their real selves and interact more easily with each other.
The initial run of the series has Cure White and Cure Black searching for the Prism Stones, which they collect in a heart shaped device known as the Prism Hopish. The Prism Hopish is protected by the Guardian, Wisdom. Once they have collected all of the Prism Stones, their power takes them to the Garden of Light and repairs most of the damage.
The series motifs are rainbows and hearts.
On February 25, 2006, 4Kids Entertainment announced broadcasting and distribution rights for Pretty Cure in the United States of America. However, 4Kids Entertainment never aired the show or produced an English version of it. As of 2008, Toei Animation had attempted to market it themselves in the United States. In July 2008, they began making episodes available through IGN's Direct2Drive service subtitled into English.Toei also made those same epics odes available for free internet streaming on the Crunchyroll website.  The subtitles were produced by "Nippon Golden Network", a Hawaii-based cable network that broadcasts Asian programming, mostly from Japan.
On December 16, 2008, Anime News Network, citing Animation Magazine, reported that Toei Animation made an agreement with the Canadian cable network YTV to air an English-dubbed version of the first Pretty Cure series in Canada. The series premiered on March 6, 2009, with Nagisa and Honoka renamed as "Natalie Blackstone" and "Hannah Whitehouse" respectively. The dub is produced by Ocean Studios in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and recorded at Blue Water Studios in Calgary, Alberta. The final five episodes of the first series aired on July 31, 2010 on that channel.
- Misumi Nagisa (美墨なぎさ Misumi Nagisa?) (Natalie "Nat" Blackstone in the English dub): Nagisa is the athletic heroine of the series. She is a member of the school's lacrosse team and is very popular. Although she is bad at school and is immature, she has her own sense of justice and never lets anyone dear to her down. Her alter ego is Cure Black (キュア・ブラック Kyua Burakku?), with her special abilities lying in her great physical strength and prowess.
- Yukishiro Honoka (雪城ほのか Yukishiro Honoka?) (Hannah Whitehouse in the English dub): Honoka is the best student in the class, and loves reading books and science. Though popular with the boys, she has no interest in them. She had a special bond with Kiriya, helping to teach him the virtues of kindness and friendship. The friends that she has are very close to her, and she will do everything to protect them. She has a lot of hope and can always see the good in people. Her alter ego is Cure White (キュア・ホワイト Kyua Howaito?), with her abilities lying in her vast intelligence and agility.
- Mepple (メップル Meppuru?): He is the chosen protector of the Princess of Hope, and is in Nagisa's care. He is quite arrogant and constantly argues with with his care-taker, but he loves Mipple, and they are often seen having a "lovey-dovey" relationship. He ends his sentences with "-mepo" in the Japanese episodes.
- Mipple (ミップル Mippuru?): The Princess of Hope, and also in Honoka's care. Unlike Mepple, she is reserved and seems to get along well with her care-taker, but she still cares very much for him. She ends her sentences with "-mipo" in the Japanese episodes.
- Pollun (ポルン Porun?): The Prince of Light who is sent to be with Pretty Cure in the second half of the series. He is extremely selfish and usually only thinks of himself. He lives with Nagisa and annoys her and Mipple to a great extend. He ends his sentences with "-popo" in the Japanese episodes.
- Pisard (ピーサード Pīsādo?) (Pijard in the English dub): The first denizen of the Dusk Zone. He mainly uses his Zakenna to possess daily objects for use in fighting Pretty Cure. His prism stone was green.
- Gekidrago (ゲキドラーゴ Gekidorāgo?): The second denizen of the Dusk Zone. He is large, monstrous and muscular, and relies more on strength than intelligence. His prism stone was blue.
- Poisony (ポイズニー Poizonī?) (Pandora in the English dub): The only female of the Denizens, Poisony is the third of them. She is much more sly and careful than the others, and usually transforms into a human to gain Pretty Cure's trust first. Unlike the others she summons Zakenna by clicking her fingers. She has a younger brother, Kiriya. Her prism stone was orange.
- Kiriya (キリヤ Kiriya?) (Kirea in the English dub): The youngest and fourth of the denizens, and Poisony's little brother. He is arrogant and thinks of himself as being better than the others. He was sent to the Garden Of Rainbows to spy on Nagisa and Honoka but fails because of Honoka's kindness and relationship with him. His prism stone was yellow.
- Ilkubo (イルクーボ Irukūbo?): The last and strongest of the denizens, emotionless Illkubo can be considered the Dark King's right hand man. His prism stone was purple.
Seeds Of Darkness
- Belzei Gertrude (ベルゼイ・ガートルード Beruzei Gātorūdo?): One of the Seeds of Darkness that appears in the second half of the series. He is a plotter and a sadist. His human alias is Yuuki Hidehiko (ゆうき ひでひこ Yuuki Hidehiko?).
- Regine (レギーネ Regīne?): The only female of the Seeds of Darkness. As a human, she has much lower confidence than when she is in her real form. Her human alias is Koyama Shouko (こやま しょうこ Koyama Shouko?).
- Juna (ジュナ Jyuna?): The tall young man of the trio. More the muscle of the group, Juna is quite stoic and his expression seldom changes. His human alias is Kazukawa Ryuuichirou (かくざわ りゅういちろう Kazukawa Ryuuichirou?).
- Zakenna (ザケンナー Zakennā?): The physical form of the Dusk Zone's power. They infect items or people's shadows to turn them evil mascots.
- Dark King (ジャアクキング Jākukingu?): The imprisoned ruler of the Dusk Zone, and also the series' main antagonist. He is made of darkness and has red glowing eyes. He wants the Prism Stones to prevent the power to consume all things to consume himself, and to gain immortality to destroy all worlds.
Others from the Garden of Light
- Wisdom (ウィズダム Wizudamu?): Wisdom is the mysterious guardian of the Prism Stones who usually appears when summoned by Pretty Cure and who's name is only mentioned once by Ilkubo. He usually hides between dimensions to guard the stones.
- Queen (クイーン Kuīn?): The queen of the Garden of Light. She is a grand woman, whose height is only rivaled by that of the Dark King. She is always seen sitting on her throne with closed eyes, never moving even if she is talking.
Others from the Garden of Rainbows
- Takashimizu Rina (隆水 莉奈 Takashimizu Rina?): One of Nagisa's best friends. She is the trio's wisest when she needs to be, and is also the defense of the lacrosse team.
- Kubota Shiho (久保田志穂 Kubota Shiho?) (Shauna in the English dub): The other friend of Nagisa. Out of the trio, she is the most hyper one, and can often be heard repeating certain words thrice.
- Takenouchi Yoshimi (吉見竹之内 Takenouchi Yoshimi?) (Yvette Woodgrove in the English dub): The teacher of Verone Academy's Cherry Blossom class. Though strict at times, she has a good heart and close relationship with her students.
- Fujimura Shougo (藤村省吾 Fujimura Shougo?) (Shawn Ferguson in the English dub): Honoka's childhood friend, whom Nagisa has had a crush on from before the series' start. Although nice and cheerful at all times, he does not catch Nagisa's hints. Though he does not like it, friends call him Fujipi (藤P Fujipi?) (Fergie in the English dub).
- Kimata (木全 Kimata?) (Kossner in the English dub): Shougo's best friend who is also part of the football team. He seems to know about Nagisa's crush on Shougo.
- Fujita Akane (藤田 アカネ Fujita Akane?) (Alex in the English dub): Former lacrosse captain when she was a Verone Academy student, she now owns a mobile takoyaki shop that Nagisa, Honoka and their friends frequently visit.
- Nakagawa Yumiko (?) (Nickie in the English dub): The present captain of the lacrosse team and a senior student.
- The Principal (校長先生 Kōchō sensei?): The principal of Verone Academy. Though he may look strict, he is actually very calm and slightly goofy.
- Kometsuki Kyouto (米槻教頭 Kometsuki Kyouto?) (Mr. Weaver in the English dub): The vice-Principal of Verone Academy, and tries desperately to be on the principal's good side, following him everywhere.
- Card Communes - The device that allows the pair to transform into their Pretty Cure forms.
- Pretty Cure Rainbow Bracelets- A power-up received later in the series that lets them use Pretty Cure Rainbow Storm.
- Garden of Rainbows (虹の園 Niji no Sono?): :The term used by residents of the Garden of Light and Dusk Zone that refers to the Earth.
- Garden of Light (光の園 Hikari no Sono?): The world where Mepple, Mipple, Porun and Lulun come from. The Garden of Light is protected by the power of the Prism stones. It is daylight all the time and flowers bloom all year long. Also time works differently here than in the Garden of Rainbows. Mepple and Mipple had visited the Garden of Rainbows 100 years before the start of the series. From their point of view however, the 100 years that had passed was merely a single day.
- Koizumi Gakuen (小泉学園 Koizumi Gakuen?): The city where Nagisa and Honoka live. It appears to be modeled after Ooizumi Gakuen, which is a district of the Narima ward in Tokyo.
- Verone Academy (or Verone Academy Junior High School): Nagisa and Honoka's school.
- Kappa Mountain and Lake Hyoutan: The places where Mepple dropped the Prism Hopeish into. The outline of the lake looks like a figure eight. In Max Heart, Pretty Cure went to the same place to find a piece of shining earth that "contained great power of hope which was surrounded by six pillars" in Lake Hyoutan.
- Tako Café: A mobile cafe created by Akane. Nagisa and Honoka are frequent visitors.
The story revolves around two girls, Misumi Nagisa and Yukishiro Honoka, who fight the forces of the Dusk Zone; a dimension of evil that encroached on the Garden of Light. The Dusk Zone's power takes the form of the Zakenna, creatures that infect people or items to turn them evil. The Princess of Hope, Mipple, and her chosen warrior Mepple are told to go to the Garden of Rainbows where it is said that they will find the legendary warriors, Pretty Cure.
Nagisa and Honoka have not really spoken to each other, and hardly know the other exists because of their differences. However, when they meet Mepple and Mipple, and are led to each other through them, they are able to use the power of light to transform into Cure Black and Cure White and fight the denizens of the Dusk Zone.
After defeating the first denizen, the girls find a Prism Stone, one of the seven artifacts that protected the Garden of Light from danger, whereas now most of them are in the hands of each of the denizens. Now that they have gotten the first Prism Stone from the hands of danger, they look for the Prism Hopish and its guardian, Wisdom, to keep the stones safe.
Once they have discovered all the Prism Stones, its power takes them to the Garden of Light and repairs most of the damage done by the Dusk Zone. However, they have to defeat the Dark King himself, using all of their strength to manage that. Eventually, they get help from the Queen, and the Dark King perishes.
Later in the series, Pollun, the Prince of Light, is added to the mix. He transforms into what looks like an electronic notebook, and stays with Nagisa in order to help them fight against the Seeds of Darkness, which are creatures that the Dark King managed to make right before he got destroyed. When the Seeds of Darkness awaken, they begin working together in order to revive the Dark King. Eventually, they kidnap Wisdom, but he manages to put the power of the Prism Stones inside of Pollun before he is taken away. Following this, whenever Pollun becomes agitated, he shoots out power, granting Pretty Cure their Rainbow Bracelets. These vastly strengthen them physically and supply them with a new attack. Pollun also has the added ability of premonition.
After fighting with Pretty Cure for a long time, the Seeds of Darkness realize that as soon as the Dark King is back in control, they will cease to exist, and thus plan to take over him and the Prism Stones' powers. Eventually, they are able to fuse together and acquire the power of light, which makes them unstoppable in the fight against Pretty Cure. However, Dark King uses all of his strength to suck the fused Seeds of Darkness within him, and also the power of the Prism Stones. The girls try all their might to fight him, and with the help of Pollun and the Queen, are able to defeat him once and for all.
At the very end of the series, Mepple and Mipple bid a tearful goodbye to Nagisa and Honoka, who beg the two of them not to go. Although they are no longer Pretty Cure, Nagisa and Honoka continue being best friends, and still keep their Card Communes that Mepple and Mipple are now asleep in.
- Futari wa Pretty Cure Max Heart follows what happens after the summer break, in the girls' third and last year at Verone Academy.
The series has proven popular enough with Japanese viewers to warrant five spin-off series.
In a TV Asahi opinion poll, Pretty Cure appeared in the 45th position, above other series of the magical girl genre like Cutie Honey, Cardcaptor Sakura, and Magical Angel Creamy Mami. Sailor Moon appears in the Top 20, and was the winner of the "Best Theme Song Award" at the 9th Animation Kobe (2004) for Mayumi Gojo's "Danzen! Futari wa Pretty Cure".
Its popularity has also led to a spoof of the show in an episode of the Gin Tama anime. Cure Black and Cure White have also appeared in a panel of the manga Mahou Sensei Negima!.
Futari wa Pretty Cure Max Heart
Futari wa Pretty Cure Max Heart is a sequel to Futari wa Pretty Cure. The Queen disappears, it is revealed that the Dark King is going through a resurrection, new and even stronger servants of the dark powers appear, and the girls get a new ally; a girl named Kujou Hikari who can transform into Shiny Luminous.
- Futari wa Pretty Cure is the first season to have the Cures using the mascots to transform.
- Futari wa Pretty Cure is the very first series in what is, as of 2014, a franchise consisting of nine different series, eleven seasons and 15 different movies.
- Futari wa Pretty Cure is the only season so far that has only one ending song; all others have two different ending songs. It does, however, change one scene of the animation sequence where the villains from the first half are replaced by the Seeds of Darkness and Mepple, Mipple, and Pollun are added to the final scene.
- Futari wa Pretty Cure is the only season with only one transformation sequence, while all other seasons have at least two different transformation sequences, including its sequel.
- It is the only season that does not have any movie dedicated to it. However, Futari wa Pretty Cure Max Heart, its sequel, has two movies as to replace this detail.
- It is the only (old) season that has no villain who has been revived in Pretty Cure All Stars DX 2: Kibou no Hikari - Rainbow Jewel o Mamore!. However, its sequel has only one revived villain in that movie.
- Futari wa Pretty Cure is the only season that has been dubbed in English. Although Pretty Cure has been accomplished, Yes! Pretty Cure 5 has a possibility of being dubbed as well.
- Futari wa Pretty Cure is the first series to have the Cures wear leg warmers.
- Futari wa Pretty Cure is the first season to have a sequel.
- A special Audio Drama was created pairing up the characters of Futari wa Pretty Cure with the characters of the then-current Tokusatsu Super Sentai series Tokuso Sentai Dekaranger.
- Futari wa Pretty Cure is probably the series with the most dubs including Japanese, Cantonese, Italian, German, Spanish, Korean, Filipino, and more.
- "Arienai" was spoken over 100 times by the characters.
- Futari wa Pretty Cure is the first season where all the Cures are the same age (14).
- Futari wa Pretty Cure is the first Pretty Cure series where every one is wearing different clothes.
- Futari wa Pretty Cure is the first series where the Cures have a dynamic between them similar to the riders in Kamen Rider. Two heroes who work together to defeat an evil organization that threatens mankind and sends monsters to destroy them. This dynamic is also presented in Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash Star.
- Main article: Futari wa Pretty Cure Merchandise
- Futari wa Pretty Cure at Toei Animation (Japanese)
- Futari wa Pretty Cure at YTV.com
- Futari wa Pretty Cure at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Futari wa Pretty Cure at Television Tropes & Idioms
- Futari wa Pretty Cure(legal streaming) at Crunchyroll
- ↑ 4Kids Licenses Pretty Cure Anime News Network (2006-02-24) Retrieved 2007-01-01.
- ↑ Pretty Cure, Digimon 02 Added to Direct2Drive Downloads Anime News Network (2008-07-19) Retrieved 2008-07-30.
- ↑ Toei Animation Adds Anime to Crunchyroll Website Today Anime News Network (2008-10-27) Retrieved 2008-12-18.
- ↑ YTV's Official Pretty Cure Page
- ↑ Canada's YTV to Premiere Pretty Cure on March 6
- ↑ Article on FUNimation's newest licenses
- ↑ TV Asahi Top 100 Anime (2009-09-23) Retrieved 2007-01-01
- ↑ TV Asahi Top 100 Anime Part 2 (2005-09-23) Retrieved 2007-01-01
- ↑ Futari wa Pretty Cure (TV) - Anime News Network