Smile Pretty Cure! (スマイルプリキュア！ Sumairu Purikyua!?) is a Japanese anime series and the ninth Pretty Cure installment by Izumi Todo. Produced by Toei Animation, the series is written by Shōji Yonemura, who is best known as the series writer of several Heisei Kamen Rider series, including Kabuto, the second half of Decade, and OOO. It began airing on TV Asahi on February 5, 2012, replacing Suite Pretty Cure♪ in its initial timeslot. The final episode aired on January 27, 2013. The signature motif is based on fairy tales, while its other motif is happiness.
This series has been dubbed into English by the company Saban as Glitter Force, making it the second season to be released in the US since Futari wa Pretty Cure. The first 20 episodes are available on Netflix starting on December 18, 2015 in every region except Asia . The other 20 episodes are available on August 26, 2016 . In Taiwan & Hong Kong it's known as Smile光之美少女 (Smile Precure). In South Korea it's known as 스마일 프리큐어 (Smile Precure). And in Vietnam it's known as Smile Warrior (Chiến binh Nụ cười).
Official AnnouncementSmile Pretty Cure! was first announced in Mainichi Shinbun's Mantan Web in November 2011 after Toei officially revealed the new copyright name for the ninth series. Later that month the official logo was revealed by TV Asahi. Also, the official pamphlet included in the December issue of Nakayoshi reveals the character designs of the 5 main Cures alongside their fairy mascot, Candy. The ninth Pretty Cure Series is announced to premiere on 5 February, 2012, thus setting up Suite Pretty Cure♪ to have a grand total of 48 episodes.
During the screening of movie Pretty Cure All Stars New Stage: Mirai no Tomodachi in theatres, it was revealed that a Smile Pretty Cure! movie, Ehon no Naka wa Minna Chiguhagu! will be released in October 2012.
Somewhere in the universe exists a place called Märchenland, where characters from fairy tales live. Near the corner of Märchenland exists a world called Bad End Kingdom, where the antagonists of all fairy tales gathered. In order to show everyone the "Worst Ending", the people of Bad End Kingdom traveled to Earth to collect Bad Energy. If the villains succeed, all the worlds in the universe will suffer from the "Worst Ending".
In order to prevent the "Worst Ending", the 5 Legendary Warriors, Pretty Cure, need to collect Cure Decor, the power of happiness of Märchenland's Queen. The Cure Decor, however, has been stolen and hidden away. Set to the task of finding Pretty Cure, Candy the fairy follows the 5 Beams of Light to Earth, where she meets a flustered Miyuki, a transfer student on her first day of school, and already running late...
- Hoshizora Miyuki (星空 みゆき Hoshizora Miyuki?) (known as Emily in the English dub) A fourteen year old girl with an interest in books and fairy tales who transfers to Nanairogaoka Middle School. Like many of the lead Cures before her, Miyuki is cheery and optimistic, but also something of a klutz. Her catchphrase is "Ultra Happy!" She transforms into Cure Happy (Glitter Lucky in the dub) and uses the power of holy light.
- Hino Akane (日野 あかね Hino Akane?) (known as Kelsey in the English dub) A girl from Osaka whose parents run an okonomiyaki shop and is a member of the school's volleyball team. Akane may be a jokester, but when she has a goal set, she can be very passionate about achieving it. She transforms into Cure Sunny (Glitter Sunny in the dub) and uses the power of fire.
- Kise Yayoi (黄瀬 やよい Kise Yayoi?) (known as Lily in the English dub) A girl who is in the Homemaking Club and aspires to be a mangaka. Though timid, shy about her work, and a crybaby, Yayoi is very loyal, diligent, and headstrong when pushed. She transforms into Cure Peace (Glitter Peace in the dub) and uses the power of lightning.
- Midorikawa Nao (緑川 なお Midorikawa Nao?) (known as April in the English dub) A tomboyish girl from a family with many younger siblings who is a member of the school's soccer team. Nao is straightforward and reliable with a strong sense of justice, though she does get frustrated when things does not go according to plan. She transforms into Cure March (Glitter Spring in the dub) who uses the power of wind.
- Aoki Reika (青木 れいか Aoki Reika?) (known as Chloe in the English dub) The student council vice president and a member of the Art Club, often writing poems and tanka. Reika is generally elegant and kind-hearted, but has a frightening temper once her patience reaches her limit. Her father is a painter whilst her mother practices aikido and her elder brother practises judo. She transforms into Cure Beauty (Glitter Breeze in the dub) and uses the power of snow and ice.
- Candy (キャンディ Kyandi?)
Candy is the mascot of the group. She was sent to Earth to collect the Cure Decor to save Märchenland.
- Pop (ポップ Poppu?)
Pop is a lion-like fairy and the second fairy mascot in Smile Pretty Cure!. He is the big brother of Candy and came to earth to pass the Cures the Decor Décor to collect the Cure Decor pieces in.
- Pierrot (ピエーロ Piēro?) (known as Nogo in the English dub) is the sinful emperor of Bad End Kingdom, who invaded Märchenland to steal the Cure Decor and bring about the "Worst Ending".
- Joker (ジョーカー Jōkā?) (known as Rascal in the English dub) At Pierrot's service, he is the leader of the Bad End generals.
- Wolfrun (ウルフルン Urufurun?) (known as Ulric in the dub) is a wolf-like monster whose mission is to chase Candy before she finds Pretty Cures. He is based on wolf villains from Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs.
- Majorina (マジョリーナ Majorīna?) (known as Brooha in the dub) One of Pierrot's subordinates, she is a little witch that reminds one of Snow White's stepmother
- Akaoni (アカオーニ Akaōni?) (known as Brute in the dub) At Pierrot's service, he is a red demon that reminds one of oni from Japanese fairytales such as "Momotaro".
- Akanbe (アカンベェ Akanbē?) (known as Buffoons in the dub) are monsters summoned by the villians of the series to battle the Pretty Cure. They are created by fusing an ordinary object with a Red Nose containing Pierrot's power, turning the Cure Decor's energy to Bad Energy.
- Smile Pact - (Glitter Pact in English) The Cures' transformation device. If Cure Decor are inserted to the Smile Pact, it produces items.
- Cure Decor - (Glitter Charm in English) The source of happiness of Royal Queen; special tokens that can be used either to revive Royal Queen of Märchenland or bring about the Worst Ending.
- Decor Décor - (Charm Chest in English) Special box used to store Cure Decor pieces in. Brought to the Cures by Pop in Episode 6.
- Princess Candle - (Princess Wand in English) The Cure's main weapon, first used in Episode 23. Used alongside the powers of the Super Princess Cure Decors, the Cures can undergo their secondary forms called Princess Form (Glitter Princess Mode in English) to execute their most powerful group attack, Rainbow Burst.
- Royal Clock - The Cure's weapon which allows them to transform into their Princess Form to execute their most powerful group attack, Royal Rainbow Burst. They also need their Princess Candles to perform it. It can also turn Hyper Akanbe to Normal, Red nosed Akanbe.
- Märchenland (メルヘンランド Meruhenrando?) (known as Jubiland in the dub) is a fairy tale kingdom where all fairy tale characters live. The Queen has been sealed before the story begins. Märchen is German for "fairy tales".
- Nanairogaoka Middle School (七色ヶ丘中学校 Nanairogaoka Chūgakkō?) is the school that the Cures attend. Nanairo means "rainbow" in Japanese.
- Bad End Kingdom (バッドエンド王国 Baddo Endo Ōkoku?) (known as the Shadow Realm in the dub) is the home place of the antagonists of the series, whose residents invaded Märchenland and travelled to Earth in an attempt to give it the "Worst Ending" by collecting Bad Energy.
- Magical Library (ふしぎ図書館 Fushigi Toshokan?) (known as the Library of Legends in the dub) is a magical location in Smile Pretty Cure!. It is the place where all fairy tales from the different worlds are stored. It seems to be located in an alternate dimension, separate from the human world and Märchenland, and can only be accessed through the Book Door Code. The girls' secret base is also located here.
- Nanairogaoka (七色ヶ丘 Nanairogaoka?) (known as Rainbow Hills in the dub) is the home town of Hoshizora Miyuki, Hino Akane, Kise Yayoi, Midorikawa Nao and Aoki Reika.
- Fairy Tale World (絵本の世界 Ehon no Sekai?) is the place where Nico, a character from Smile Pretty Cure!: Ehon no Naka wa Minna Chiguhagu!, lives.
Differences Between Smile and Glitter Force
- The names of the Cures are Americanized and the villains' names are changed as well.
- The Akanbes are renamed "Buffoons."
- Most, if not all of the music in the dub, is rescored.
- Only 40 episodes are dubbed in English, with 8 of them omitted. This is mostly due to cultural differences between Japan and America.
- Märchenland has been renamed as Jubiland and Nanairogaoka has been renamed as Rainbow Hills.
- The transformation phrased is changed to "(Altogether!) Glitter Force, Makeover!" Unlike in Smile Pretty Cure!, they also talk during the transformation.
- Fairies have been renamed 'Pixies' in the dub.
- The Bad End Kingdom has been renamed the 'Shadow Realm'.
- The Magical Library is now called the 'Library of Legends'.
- The Bad End Pretty Cure are now called the 'Glitter Shadow Force.'
- Many scenes of the show, including parts of the opening and the transformation and attack sequences, are darkened heavily. This is probably to reduce the risk of certain viewers developing epilepsy or any eye problems from the bright or flashing colors.
- Various signs, letters, or anything featuring Japanese text is either erased or replaced with English sentences and phrases.
- The ending alternates every four episodes. While the first two contained footage from the Japanese endings, the other three are all new with different CGI models.
While the Japanese version of Smile Pretty Cure was successful in Japan, the English dub of Smile Pretty Cure, Glitter Force on the other hand, has received a sum of criticism from fans of the series. The title change is the most controversial because Futari wa Pretty Cure was already given an English dub under the name Pretty Cure, and even Saban subtitled any show that is based around Power Rangers, the company's own franchise. A lot of people compare the drastic name change to 4Kids' edits for that reason.
Many fans of the series are also critical of the Cure's name changes of the characters in Glitter Force. They think it is very unorganized and see it as nonsensical how only Glitter Sunny and Glitter Peace retained their Japanese Cure names while the rest received new hero names (Happy - Lucky, March - Spring, and Beauty - Breeze). Many think that if Sunny and Peace kept their names, then the other three should keep them, or simply change all the names and not just oddly leave two with the same names.
The transformation and attack scenes being darkened is also a major part of criticism. It is said that this is done to reduce the risk of viewers getting seizures, but this reasoning may not be valid since Japan didn't have a problem with this from the original version's colors and screen lightening. Also, Japanese animation companies are especially cautious about using flashing visuals due to the infamous "Dennō Senshi Porygon" incident in which an episode of Pokémon had rapidly flashing colors, leaving 685 Japanese viewers to be diagnosed with photosensitive epilepsy.
Not all negative reception comes from original fans of Pretty Cure hating the dubbing changes. Most viewers who aren't familiar to the Pretty Cure franchise accuse Glitter Force of being a "Sailor Moon ripoff" due to the similarities between the characters and concepts of both. They see it as a bad series not because of any changes (since they've never seen the original Smile Pretty Cure!), but because they believe it is very similar to Sailor Moon. This accusation angers quite a lot of Pretty Cure fans, who explain that not all seasons of Pretty Cure are reminiscent of Sailor Moon, and that it is mostly Smile which draws inspiration from Sailor Moon. The accusations have also caused some Pretty Cure fans wish that Saban had chosen another season to dub, (Most notably Suite; Note that Glitter Force also had an Italian dub after Rai revoked the license back in 2013) because despite being different from Sailor Moon in ways, this particular season is especially similar to Sailor Moon more than any of the other Pretty Cure seasons, most notably cause of the themes and sharing voice actors in Glitter Force.
Some anime fans including fans of the Pretty Cure franchise suggest that the installments after Futari Wa should've been licensed by another anime distributor that doesn't heavily edit their series, and having them available on Crunchyroll, Hulu, or any other streaming site besides Netflix.
- Smile Pretty Cure! has a very large amount of similarities with Yes! Pretty Cure 5.
- Both series feature a team of five Cures with the colors pink, red, yellow, green and blue.
- The pink Cures lack athletic skills.
- The red Cures excel in sports, they have the power of fire and quite tomboyish.
- The yellow Cures are the only child in their respective families and have lost 1 of their parents while they were still young.
- The blue Cures are the presidents (vice-president in Reika's case) in their school's student council, have great intelligence, have polite and calm personalities, and they can create bow and arrow and even a sword with their powers.
- The main mascots of both seasons can transform to their human forms.
- The Cures of both seasons have their evil counterparts.
- Both series had the same character designer.
- Smile Pretty Cure! is the first Pretty Cure season to have more than one athletic Cure. Akane is in the volleyball team, Nao is in the girls' soccer team, and Reika is in the archery team.
- Smile Pretty Cure! is the first season to feature two tomboyish Cures instead of one (in this case, they are Akane and Nao).
- Smile Pretty Cure! is the second season to have a Cure whose theme color is purely green.
- Smile Pretty Cure! is third season in which the Cures do not have heart-shaped hair accessories. Instead, the Cures wear jeweled tiaras and wing-shaped hair accessories.
- Smile Pretty Cure! is the fourth season in a row in which the Cures wear a choker around their necks.
- Smile Pretty Cure! is the third season to utilize a cosmetic item as a transformation device.
- Smile Pretty Cure! is the second season to have five main Cures that were announced from the very beginning.
- Smile Pretty Cure! is the second season in which the Cures' basic finishers include their Cure names.
- In the June issue of magazine Animage, an interview with one of the producers revealed that all the Cures were initially designed to have long flowing hairstyles.
- Quote: "However, letting all the Cures have long hairstyles seemed to take away their personality differences, so we did quite a bit of thinking to rectify that. (...) Both final hairstyles and Cure theme colors were determined not by looking at each girl alone, but everyone as a group. We needed to see them together before we settled on their final design, in order to achieve a good total balance."
- Smile Pretty Cure! is the third season to have its starting roster unchanged from beginning to end.
- Smile Pretty Cure! is the third team in the entire Pretty Cure franchise to have to fight against Dark Cure versions of themselves.
- Smile Pretty Cure! is the first season to have varying eyecatches every episode. In this case, it's a picture of a different Cure in every episode (or in some cases, an Akanbe).
- Coincidentally, for unknown reasons, in the aired episodes, Nao or Reika or both of them often appear around 8:40am .
- Smile Pretty Cure! is the fourth season where all the Cures are all the same age (14).
- Smile Pretty Cure! is the first season where the Cures becoming fairies as seen in episode 24.
- Smile Pretty Cure! is the last season to be lettereboxed in analog feed on Japanese television shortly until the other three prefecture ended it's analog (Despite Suite Pretty Cure♪ was the last season to do so, which it have caused by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami and it made it's delay on other three prefectures.)
- Smile Pretty Cure! is the first season to have onomatopoeia on every member's introductory speech (Happy: "kirakira" - Sunny: "sansan" - Peace: "pikapika" - March: "rinrin" - Beauty: "shinshin")
- Smile Pretty Cure! is the second season to have an English dub, with the first being Futari wa Pretty Cure. which has been produced by the company Saban, and is named Glitter Force.
- However, Smile Pretty Cure! will be the first season to have an American dub, as Futari wa Pretty Cure was dubbed in Canada.
Please refer to the main page Smile Pretty Cure! Merchandise for more information.
- ↑ http://kidscreen.com/2015/10/01/seven-more-original-kids-series-are-headed-to-netflix/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=seven-more-original-kids-series-are-headed-to-netflix&_u=WG2eOgzaxKs%3d
- ↑ http://m.seattlepi.com/news/article/Here-s-What-s-Coming-to-and-Leaving-Netflix-8410625.php
- ↑ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2011-12-01/smile-precure-1st-anime-art-february-5-debut-revealed
- ↑ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2011-11-27/smile-precure-confirmed-for-next-spring
- ↑ http://worldscreen.com/worldscreenings/screening/832
- ↑ http://issuu.com/worldscreen/docs/tv_kids_mipcom_2015