Pretty Cure meets Harry Potter would be the best way to describe the 13th entry in the franchise. Question is whether the combination worked wonders or it was as horrid as Lord Voldemort’s freaky visage. Let us find out as we take a look at Mahou Tsukai PreCure.
Genres: Action, Magical Girl, Comedy, Slice of Life, Magic, Supernatural
Themes: Magicians, Wizardry
Number of Episodes: 50 + 1 movie
Plot Summary: Mirai Asahina, a 13-year-old girl who’s going into her second year of middle school, witnesses a mysterious object fall in to the park. Excitedly, she brings her stuffed bear Mofurun with her to see what it was. When she gets there she sees a girl named Liko flying on a broom. Mirai has a lot of questions, and Liko explains that she’s searching for something. The two of them are wearing similar pendants. Then Batti, an ally of the dark magic user Dokurokushi, appears before them and demands the “Link Stone Emerald.” Batti creates a monster called a “Yokubarl” and drives them into a corner. Mirai, Riko, and Mofurun join hands and speak the magic words “Cure-Up Rapapa,” their pendants glow, and they become the legendary Precure.
Let us not delay the main question and answer it right off the bat. Yes, the PreCure X Harry Potter combo worked perfectly. Some people out there may not be aware of this but magical girls (and boys) and magicians are not the same. Magical girls (and boys) are essentiially superheroines (-oes) or villains depending on their allegiance who use a combination of superpowers and sometimes martial arts while magicians are spellcasters who may or may not have similar abilities as magical heroines (-oes).
The show’s setting is split between two worlds, the Magic and Non-Magic (translated as Mundane depending on the subs) Worlds. The Non-Magic World is pretty much Earth where magic is non-existent while the Magical World is where most of the fun stuff happens. Based on that statement readers can guess that a majority of the better episodes are ones set in the Magical World, though there are some in the Non-Magic World that are also quite enjoyable, mostly ones where magic is involved. The advantage animation has over live-action is that writers can get away with more creative stuff in the former than the latter and the Magical World is a prime example of this. While several of the creatures and locales are familiar to longtime fans of the fantasy genre there are still those unique and creative spells and creatures that will put a smile on many who enjoy mysticism and wonder. I mean there is an underwater kingdom inhabited by flying mermen and mermaids for crying out ooud! That is not something often seen in mainstream fantasy flicks. Another really cool facet of the Magical World is its rich culture and history. While nothing new for PreCure installments that feature more locales besides Earth it is still awesome to learn about the other world’s lore, origin, wildlife and other neat stuff pertaining to its years of existence. Even its specialty desserts are worthy of getting an entire episode revolving around them.
As mentioned above the Non-Magic World episodes are usually not as exciting as the Magical World ones but that does not mean they are dull. Most of them revolve around the standard SoL and shool life fare but because there are times that denizens of the Magical World drop by to visit and our heroines get into many magic related shenanigans they make sure the Mundane World episodes are not all…”mundane”. I will let myself out after the G-View. It also helps that the Mundane World features one of the best side-characters on the show.
Funny thing about Kana. She may be a “running gag” character for the majority of her appearances (and a good one at that) but this also leads me to another aspect of MTP I enjoy a lot, most of the show’s cast no matter how big or small their roles are have a purpose or reason, even football boy Souta. Without giving anything away Kana’s “I know magic exists” running gag is not just a running gag.
Next up is the show’s pacing. It is the standard PreCure fare:
- Our heroines and their friends and family are doing something neat.
- The baddie generals plot something to cause trouble or destroy the Cures.
- Our heroines leap into action and transform into Cures.
- The baddie generals summon the “monster of the week” called Yokubarl here.
- Cool fight between the Cures and Yokubarl with the occasional battle against a baddie general directly.
- Flashy finishing move. I must say this show features some of my favorite finishers in all of Magical Girl media because of how over the top and apocalyptic some of them can be.
- The baddie general swears revenge and escapes.
- The day is saved while there usually being some story/character development.
There is something that makes these particular Cures, Cure Miracle Mirai and Cure Magical Liko extra special in the franchise. Not since Futari wa PreCure: Splash Star! has there been a duo of Cures that had more than one transformation/fighting style. Miracle and Magical have four:
- Diamond: The default style and the most balanced.
- Ruby: The power style. Specializes in power moves.
- Sapphire: The defense style. Specializes in defensive magic and agility.
- Topaz: I call this one the “Green Lantern” style despite the topaz being yellow. Possibly the most unique of the four styles. The Cures gain the ability to create any kind of light form weapon or shield using pure excitement. Basically the weapons become more powerful the more amped up the Cures are.
As far as the villains of the show go, Dokuroxy/Dokurokushe/Dokurokushii’s Dark Magic Organization, at first they seem like simple baddies the Cures must face but give them time and they will become more interesting. Now that is a given for many villain groups in the PreCure franchise but with these a bit more patience is required. Overall they are a decent group and (minor spoiler) while not the only evil organization our heroines will face they are the best. The other more dangerous organization is alright with some members being cooler than others but Dokuroxy and his group are the best. I would even say the battle with Dokuroxy himself is my favorite on the show. Not saying the fights with the other generals are not cool. Some of them are awesome (Ruby Style Cures Vs Gamettsu is my 2nd favorite fight) but the Cures vs Dokuroxy fight is my #1.
Like most other PreCure shows before it MTP is very colorful and pleasant to the eyes with very few slips in animation. The soundtrack is also cheerful with the series’ 1st OP becoming one of my favorite songs in the franchise alongside Suite PreCure’s 1st OP.
Before we get to the most important part of the review let us talk about the mascot and infant character on the show, Mofurun the teddy bear and Haa the fairy. Not only are they two of the best mascots and infants in the franchise but in my personal opinion, THE BEST! Part of that is because of my bias for bears and fairies but even so they are not only KAWAII TO THE MAX but also very capable and great support for the Cures. They never felt like hindrances and always contributed in combat be it moral support or standing up to large threats giving the Cures enough time to mount a counterattack after being knocked down. Speaking of Haa she is currently the most unique infant character in the franchise. Without spoiling too much there comes a time as the show progresses where some fans’ tolerance of Haa…wavers. While I personally liked Haa from beginning to end, to defend her I will repeat a point I made a bove regarding characters and their purpose and reason. Long story short there is a reason and purpose behind Haa in both what she is and her capabilities. Now whether viewers like said purpose and reason is up to them. Anyway Haa and Mofurun RULE!
Now on to what most were waiting for, Mirai and Liko’s relationship. For those wondering why I am writing her name Liko and not Riko that is because the correct spelling is revealed in episode 40, Liko’s birthday. Anyway on to MiraLiko. Long story short HibiKana have met their match. Besides MANY lewd hand holding moments between the two that gave birth to BOTH MOFURUN AND HAA, the two shared many, many moments that would make viewers ask the age old question when it comes to shipping potential this powerful, “Is this even subtext anymore?” Mirai X Liko’s relationship is THAT STRONG! Besides the not so subtle symbolism of the two being both Haa and Mofurun’s mothers (Mofurun is Haa’s older sister. Yes Mofurun is a girl.) their need to be close to one another is astronomical. Oh and it can be argued that even Kana gets lucky.
Overall while not having a plot as deep as say Heartcatch or Fresh, Mahou Tsukai PreCure is one of my top 3 entries in the franchise so far alongside Suite and DokiDoki!.The magical girl and wizardy combination won me over instantly, the cast are delightful, the mascot and infant are some of the franchise’s best and the vintage Cure action is as good as always. Highly recommended to PreCure fans and magical girl enthusiasts.
PS: It is also worth mentioning that this particular entry in the franchise’s finale did a lot of unconventional things in regards to “established” rules in the PreCure franchise. Longtime fans can spot what said things are.