February is just around the corner, and to Precure fans that means one thing: a new season! We were especially lucky this year, getting both a standard season and the anniversary project Power of Hope: Precure Full Bloom. If all goes to plan, we’ll be getting a Maho Girls sequel alongside Wonderful Precure this year. But before all that happens, we’re taking a look back at what Soaring Sky! brought to the table.
We could talk about the leaps and bounds the show made in general, like the inclusion of boys and older team members. But instead, we want to talk about the pleasant little story surprises: things that, while not revolutionary, still make the show special.
The Redemption of Undergu
Precure is no stranger to redeeming its baddies. Villains become allies regularly, and some even become Cures themselves. But we especially love the broad range of redemption arcs the Soaring Sky! Precure villains had — and the fact that all of them had a different concept of what “power” was and how they demonstrated it. Minoton, for example, was actually kind of likable. He was more interested in a fair fight than in the Undergu Empire’s mission statement, and there was a sort of mutual respect born early.
But others, from the jealous and put-upon Battamonda to the schoolyard bully-esque Kabaton, were harder to win over. In the end, it was a matter of breaking through their idea of power over others, translating it to an idea of power for others. And it’s a good message for kids: choosing to use power to hurt others has very little to do with the people being hurt, and everything to do with the person doing the hurting.
Recent seasons of Precure have gone all-in on childcare (just look at HUGtto! for an example of that). But Soaring Sky! Precure has some excellent insight on how to deal with toddlers and preschool kids, thanks to the presence of World’s Best Preschool Teacher Ageha. And, we imagine, this advice is extra helpful for young viewers with little siblings.
Throughout the series, we see Ageha stepping in to defuse issues with Ellee, the show’s magical baby princess. When Ellee throws a tantrum, Ageha knows exactly what to do: talk Ellee through her feelings, demonstrate understanding of them, and redirect her energy elsewhere. The rest of the team gets better at helping the young savior grow, teaching her lasting lessons about gratitude, sharing, and friendship.
Okay, we’ve talked about the good life lessons Soaring Sky! Precure can teach its young viewers. Now let’s talk about its dark horse: Captain Shalala. The head of Skyland’s military, Shalala was protagonist Sora’s entire reason for wanting to become a “hero girl” in the first place. And once she’s introduced, the captain becomes a semi-regular presence in the show. Sometimes she’s doing the rescuing; other times she’s being rescued. But, in short, she’s awesome.
It was also fantastic to see our lead Cure with a mentor in a similar field. Having a grownup outside the family to talk openly with about her goals, hopes, and fears — and to temper her expectations that she needed to be perfect — made her journey that much more meaningful. (Also, we can see why she inspired Sora so much… Shalala is just plain cool.)
Wonderful Precure premieres Sunday, February 4. What are your hopes for this fresh new season?