This year, PreCure enters its 20th year. The magical girl franchise, which kicked off with Pretty Cure‘s team of two, is now dozens of heroines strong. Those of us who have been watching since the beginning may not have foreseen the show’s super-powered legacy, but we can totally understand it.
So what makes this show a force to be reckoned with? There are lots of things that give the franchise its own special magic:
The Power of Friendship
The first three seasons of PreCure featured a team of two at their core: first Cure Black and Cure White, and then Cure Bloom and Cure Egret. The show thrived on lessons of friendship, trust, and open communication. This was aided by the fact that, at first, our heroines couldn’t transform without each other. In other words, they had to learn to work together, or there could be major repercussions.
Even as the teams expand into Super Sentai-esque groups, those messages remain. Girls of all different backgrounds have to find common ground for something bigger than themselves. In fact, that in itself is another aspect of the show’s enduring strength.
All Kinds of Girls Are Powerful
Across the PreCure franchise, you’ll meet all kinds of girls. Some are sporty, some are smart. Some are traditionally girly; others are unabashed tomboys. (And others still are tomboys on the outside who would give anything to wear a pretty dress.) Our stars aspire to all sorts of things, too—from fame to family, from big business pursuits to cooking for locals.
Kids who watch each season learn there’s no one “right” way to be strong. Your interests, aspirations, and self-expression don’t make you more or less likely to succeed. They’re all unique and valuable. Everyone who watches will find a character who resonates with them. And when the show also sends the message that anyone can be a PreCure, that’s huge.
You Have the Power
Magical girl anime is full of “chosen ones,” but PreCure makes it clear in their team-up movies that this power isn’t out of reach. Ayumi—a.k.a. Cure Echo—is a fan of the magical girl team in one of the early team-up films. No mascots chose her, no alternate universe granted her a marketable compact. She exemplifies the deepest message of the show: being a PreCure is about the strength inside you and the love you have for others.
With messages like these, exemplifying the strength and friendship inside all of us, it’s no wonder multiple generations have continued to tune in. We’re looking forward to seeing how the show celebrates this big anniversary!