I’d been hearing about how awesome Heartcatch Precure was so I’d always intended to eventually watch it. The art was fantastic and I’d seen some great clips of the fights. The problem is that when I found out about it, it was already really far into the 50 or so episodes. So once I got a ton of time after I graduated and was looking for a show to watch, I figured it was time. After all, I rolled through Cardcaptor Sakura pretty quickly.
I’ve been thinking about whether I’d put Heartcatch at the top of my magical girl list, but I think it ends up coming second to Cardcaptor Sakura. Still, this means I think that Heartcatch is pretty damned good. I think it’s a better magical girl show than Madoka or Nanoha and I friggin love those two shows.
What makes Heartcatch so great is that it’s just good. It has a great cast of characters, the story is wonderful, and the production is stellar. Most importantly, it’s just a magical girl show. It isn’t magical girl with lasers. It isn’t magical girl with zombies. It is what it is and it stands toe to toe with all of those magical girl and x shows, where x is something that makes it more palatable to people who need an excuse for why they’re watching shows for little girls.
And Heartcatch is girly as hell. Yeah, the Cures might be throwing some punches around, but the show is tripping flowers and fashion. You can attempt to reframe Nanoha as scifi and talk about intelligent devices and stuff, but the Cures spray perfume to transform. At this point, Nanoha’s pretty much decked out in mecha gear in Force. Meanwhile, this is a show with tambourines and those spinny things that look way too much like their only function is to sell toys.
There’s also the characters’ boundless optimism and energy. There isn’t anything that’s especially dark about is show, even the villains are kind of goofy. Everyone’s got dreams and everyone’s fighting to protect their dreams and it’s terrible that villains use the uncertainty in people’s hearts against them. Here, the objective isn’t to seal away some rogue magics or befriend the opposition with lasers, but to restore people’s hearts.
The other Precure series are going to have a tough time measuring up to the Heartcatch bar, but I hope they do.