I hesitated to watch the premiere of Star Twinkle Precure as I’m actually still trying to finish last year’s Hug tto! Precure. That season is my first real dive into the Precure franchise (before that, it was just two episodes of Kirakira) and I really enjoyed the 18 or so episodes I saw of it so I’d like to see it in its entirety. Alas, it’s always tricky to find time for the backlog and it ends up being easier focusing your attention on what’s new and current, hence why I ended up checking Star Twinkle. Then again, Precure seasons are self-contained so skipping straight to the newest iteration isn’t that terribly weird of a decision.
While I’m not a Precure expert by any means, I really did the start of Star Twinkle very similar to that of Hug tto!. What you have here in both is a ditzy, energetic main character who has a chance encounter with the mascot character(s) getting chased by the main villains, decides she’ll the mascot with her life, and becomes the first Precure as a result of her determination. For crying out loud, Hikaru (Emi Naruse) even has the same magenta hair color as her Hug tto! equivalent, Hana. And obviously things play out differently but the only huge difference I can think of it is the simple fact that part of the story is going to be set in space.
To be fair, I figured the first episode was going to be formulaic. When your long running franchise is releasing a new season annually, treading the familiar tends to just happen. Super Sentai and Power Rangers very much run into that problem and those franchises have been running for much longer than Precure. Obviously, this still means Star Twinkle is going to need to carve out its own identity. Time will tell how well this show succeeds in that department. I certainly want to get my hopes up. I mean, it’s a magical girl show set in space. It’d be a real shame if this show ends up being generic.
There are a few other things that do help the story start off on a good note. For one, I did enjoy how Hikaru just accepts most of the weird stuff that’s happening to her. The only thing that truly threw her off was her becoming a Precure. Meeting a extraterrestrial fairy or a couple of aliens? That she can handle apparently. Her interactions with Fuwa, the space fairy, is cute and all though I found her newfound friendship with the humanoid alien and soon to be magical girl, Lala (Konomi Kohara), the most promising. I just like how Hikaru befriends Lala before Fuwa magically fixes their language barrier. You could also do some fun fish out of water stuff with those two as well.
I’ll also give this anime this much: it is seriously killing it with the look and feel of its magical girl designs. Only Hikaru as Cure Star appears in this episode though her character design alone looks fantastic. The different shades of pink gives her outfit a vibrant appearance. The yellow stars that she wears as accessories or has affixed onto her clothes blends surprisingly well with all that pink. The fluffy cuffs and straps as well as the translucently yellow bow at the back give off a sort of celestial or heavenly vibe to her appearance. These details really do give the impression of a space-themed magical girl and I absolutely love it. I’ve seen what the other magical girls looks like and they look incredibly promising too.
As for the transformation sequence, the musical number is pretty unique and kind of cute…but are we going to have to hear the girls sing the same lyrics over and over again? The last thing you want to do with a transformation sequence is make people want to skip it.
Given that Precure airs a season across an entire year, I imagine it’ll be a slow burn to see how Star Twinkle Precure carves out its own identity. At the very least, I want it to be a really fun time. Again, it’s a magical girl show set in space. Come on, don’t fail me now Precure.
OP: “Kirari Star Twinkle Precure” by Rie Kitagawa
I love the OP song for Hug tto! Precure so this new one is going to take some getting used to.
ED: “Papepipu Romantic” by Chihaya Yoshitake
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