First episode impressions of 3 magical girl shows from a complete newcomer

Even though I wrote about Madoka last week (which now that I look back on it was basically just an overview of Madoka’s interest curve), I haven’t actually watched a lot of more traditional magical girl shows. And while Madoka is very moving, sometimes I’m just too tired for more despair, so here’s a short post about my wanderings into more light-hearted and episodic territory.

Mahoutsukai PreCure: To be honest, it was kind of hard to get emotionally invested in this. The main character, Mirai, sees the other main character, Riko, fall out of the sky. Because that’s sort of just the way things go, they meet up and then beat a bad guy. Apart from really liking her stuffed animal, I didn’t feel there was very much in the way of emotional characterization, though there was a decent amount of foreshadowing future development.

KiraKira PreCure: The first episode begins by introducing the main character’s, Ichika’s relationship with her mother through baking shortcake. Even though we don’t see much of her mom, you can really feel how much Ichika loves and misses her through the effort she puts into baking, and I almost wanted to cry when she’s about to give up on those feelings, believing that her feelings don’t matter since her mom can’t come home to eat the shortcake she made for her. I’m caught up to Episode 6 now, and every episode is very heartwarming.

PriPara: I decided to watch this after reading about how the characters in it struggle with and overcome social expectations, and it certainly succeeded in setting that up in the first episode. PriPara is quickly introduced as an idol paradise, the object of admiration and dreams for the main character, Lala, though she is quickly characterized as too nervous to perform rather than just watch. Furthermore, both the mean elementary school headmistress and Lala’s mother expect her to help out at home, which really help to further instill a sense of worried nervousness when Lala gets dragged into an idol performance while out on an errand, breaking the expectations others have of her. I’ve watched two full cours in the past few days, and I have yet to watch an episode where I haven’t thought, “I can’t believe this is happening,” with an enormous smile on my face.

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