It’s good to be a Precure fan in 2023. Once difficult to get hold of, the long-running magical girl franchise is now available each season via Crunchyroll. And while there’s still a lot of backfilling to do, we’re also getting bonuses this season. For instance, Power of Hope ~Precure Full Bloom~ is available for grown-up fans to dive into!
This threequel to 2007’s Yes! Precure 5 revisits the heroines a decade and a half later. They have new lives with new worries… but some distinctly magical girl-ish problems are looming. How does this show grow with its fans? We’re taking a look at its debut episode to find out.
Dreams Come True
A lot can happen in 15 years, and Precure Full Bloom is making sure we’re caught up to the team. Lead girl Nozomi Yumehara, for instance, has become a teacher. And she goes out of her way to help her students. As the series begins, we see her attempting to help one student continue at her private school, in spite of the family business (and the family itself) falling apart.
As the first episode comes to a close, the rest of the team reunites. Here, and in the opening credits, we get a glimpse of what they’ve been up to since we last saw them. Karen’s become a doctor, Komachi is writing, Urara is singing, and Rin is designing jewelry while playing soccer for fun. But not all is as happy as it could be.
Power of Hope: Precure Full Bloom takes its prefix from Cure Dream’s speech when she transformed. Hope was a powerful thing in Yes! Precure 5, as it is for lots of magical girl anime (and anime in general). If you believe, you’ll make it. It just takes hope. Right? This first episode takes a much more familiar, much more adult approach.
Rin, for example, isn’t making much headway in her job, no matter how hard she works. The father of Nozomi’s unfortunate student is losing business despite doing his best work. And the overall bleakness of modernity is present from the first moment of the series. A new villain appears to be taking advantage of this feeling of hopelessness. Where that will end up, we can for now only guess.
What Comes Next
It’s a risky move to immediately start your magical girl nostalgia show with a message like the one in Precure Full Bloom. “Remember how all we needed as kids was hope? Isn’t it wild how that seems to no longer apply?” But while it’s risky, it’s also relatable. We’ve been through a lot since then, and sometimes hope and good intentions just aren’t enough. Sometimes—often—things simply aren’t fair.
It will be interesting to see how this grown-up take on the franchise addresses this. Where do we turn when the mantra of our childhood fails us? Here’s hoping that, as usual, the Precures come through with an answer.
Power of Hope: Precure Full Bloom airs every Saturday on Crunchyroll.