Futari wa Precure (2004)

Cure black and cure white are a really fun and lovable duo, some of the most memorable characters of the whole series. The lonelier "all we have is eachother in the fight against darkness" ethos lends to an interesting tone not present at all in most other precure seasons.

It's pretty grounded in reality, the fights take place with more real stakes of danger to civillians and are often set in places like urban construction sites or warehouses. Raw punching and kicking with less focus on exaggerated magical power make up the fight scenes, which is awesome and unique for a magical girl show, its really the original trademark of precure. This and the other earliest seasons up to heartcatch are the best precure for if you are a fan of superhero media and want something a bit scarier than modern precure.

This season was originally intended to finish at 25 episodes, but was extended due to popularity. because of this, there is a consice story in these episodes, and is good on its own if you dont have the time or arent sure if you want to commit to watch an entire season of anime.

Futari wa Precure Max Heart (2005)

Its more precure if you liked the first season, featuring a new girl that doesnt add very much to the team chemistry. Basically, start with the first season and not this one. I'll write some more here if i get around to watching it again.

Futari wa Precure Splash Star (2006)

This season suffers from the awkward stage in the lifespan of the series where there wasnt a sure method for what should happen next. And by suffer i mean in terms of popularity, due to being assumed a copy of the original precure team, which i find is not deserved.

Splash star is the spiritual, nostalgic forest to original precure's brutal, industrial urban location. The two characters are even more tender and loving toward eachother, but as individuals i think they fall short compared to original precures personalities.

This however, is no longer an issue when the kiryuu sisters are involved. They are a duo of cold, seemingly unempathetic villain girls that brilliantly mirror cure bloom and cure egret, observing and learning from their love of life and eachother. When the cures and the kiryuu sisters are around eachother is when this season's narrative and enjoyability shines the brightest.

Yes! Precure 5 (2007)

This is the most shoujo-esque season of precure, a major point is cure dreams relationship with a cute boy named coco who is a prince from another land, that sometimes transforms into the cute animal mascot. Its frustrating to see how much they are portrayed to earnestly love and care for eachother, while coco also seems to be an adult, and also is her teacher?! This is one of the ways cure dream is intentionally similar to sailor moon as a character, as well with her personality being a departure from previous precure main characters to match.

Another departure from previous precure is sort of worse pacing and animation quality, i find it hard to pay attention a bit too often to say this is a favorite season of mine.

HOWEVER, there is an admirable detication to the sentai formula. the girls have the best combat synergy of any precure season, and have the zealous spirit of fighting for love and justice that i wish other precure seasons could borrow from more. Its pretty much a really good bad show in my eyes, the kind of thing to watch with a dose of irony and end up liking for its good points

Yes! Precure 5 GoGo (2008)

Well, its pretty much more of the same now featuring a really cool new addition to the team. More precure 5 if you love precure 5. Im not exactly masterfuly knowledgable enough about both seasons to elaborate more

Fresh Precure (2009)

Fresh precure was the beginning of the rest of precure in a way. A lot of things that would become staples forever began here, like the 3D CG ending dance sequence. This season was about dancing which is why they did it, but it was just too good of an idea to stop afterwards.

The thing fresh precure is most well known for though has to be the midseason arc of finding the fourth cure. Its some of the most emotionally moving stuff in all of precure. If you want a really awesome villain to hero redemption this is the biggest hitter. You'll probably cry.

No other precure season adresses the idea of fighting as a cure having stress on the body except for fresh. But it isnt cruel or anything, its presented in tangent to the high emotions of the redemption arc, and as a life lesson of not overworking yourself. A testament to how much more serious precure could be in these years.

Heartcatch Precure (2010)

This is the best one for people who just consider themselves anime watchers, as in there is something here for any viewer and not just hardcore magical girl fans. It sort of feels like the cures in this season are the only ones to ever be designed with ease of animation in mind and it shows from how much sakuga heartcatch pulls out. I would go as far to say some of the greatest scenes of anime in general come from the key story moments of this show with how beautiful and serious they are. Things like post traumatic stress and the emotional consequences of gender roles are discussed.

The protagonist is unique because she is a shy and unconfident girl rather than a boisterous genki type (the role is filled by her partner) and her growth as a person is a main story point.

Also like, her grandma was a precure in the past too and gets to be a supportive figure which is really awesome and not a spoiler since you find this out in the first episode. Its a pretty experimental precure season overall and it payed off for sure.

Suite Precure (2011)

This was the beginning of a new era for precure. The 2010 tsunami disaster's impact in japan lead this show to have a major rewrite from the original more serious story, from then on all of precure was a lot more lighthearted and slightly less violent.

Suite is a far cry from heartcatch which came right before which causes it to be more criticised and less talked about. I would agree it is a little awkward and mediocre for precure, but it mostly makes up for this with the lovable humorous tone and fun character chemistry. Cure melody, rhythm and their eventual teammates (they get a villain redemption one) are really awesome to see bounce off eachother and just hang out and have fun.

While being music themed, it doesnt really deliver on integrating the characters doing music stuff in a way that would satisfy someone passionate about playing instruments, but they have a singing cat i guess lol.

Something that interfered with my enjoyment of it was the unpleasantness of one of the main villains named Bassdrum that gets a lot of screentime, he seems inspired by black gospel choir singers but not in a flattering way.

Smile Precure (2012)

This is where precure being a vessel for cheering people up after the devistating 2010 tsunami disasters actually came into full force. Smile precure was very comedy focused, and the grit and fear of original precure is nowhere in sight. That isnt to say it doesnt take itself seriously when it counts though

If you can get into the tone of smile precure, it ends up being maybe the best season of precure? To me, it had the best consistency of quality per every episode. There are not really any stinkers. All of this is probably the reason it was chosen for a netflix dub, which by the way is NOT a good dub at all, dont let that be your first experience of Smile precure.

Amazingly, cure peace outsold the rest of the team in popularity and was more quick to recieve certain merch. She is very into sentai and mech shows, and is very enthusiastic about being a cure, so its not hard to see why she appealed to so many people. The characters are hard not to love in this one.

Doki Doki Precure (2013)

Happinesscharge Precure (2014)

Man, there is just soooo much going on with Happinesscharge (yes its supposed to be one word) in both good and bad ways.

Since it was the 10th anniversary celebration for precure, the characters all have like 10 different attacks each or something which rules. You wont get quite as tired of the same attack stock footage repeating over and over.

The intention was to recreate the success of Heartcatch and had almost the same team formula, though characters can be hit or miss for some people because they are very exaggerated and cartoonish in their personalities and could even be seen as a tounge in cheek parody of precure itself? I personally really love them.

More importantly the idea of the precure truly being superheroes is given room for experimentation once again. There are precure all over the world known as celebrities, they have fans and get featured on television. For most of the series the precure fights take place in a vacuum with little to no integration of the civillians in the world nearly without fail as a rule, but not at all in happinesscharge.

The characters who arent the main 4 girls can get tiresome, especially the villain commanders and the guardian of the precure, blue, who outside of being handsome comes off as unlikable and antagonistic to fans of this show.

Romance with a boy who is thankfuly at least the same age as the precure he gets paired with is is a significant plot point

The gimmick at play is the ability to play dress-up in different costumes to gain abilities, such as putting on a detective outfit to find something that went missing, or ninja costume to be more stealthy. It gets dodgy though when they start putting on costumes that represent different cultures to perform attacks.

The aforementioned worldwide precure are also portrayed for the most "consumable" aesthetic aspects of their cultures, nobody has particularly dark skin. This is very sadly the most racist season of precure and goes all in with pale skin centricism and exploitation of non japanese and white cultures.

One other egregious point however more skippable due to lesser amount of focus, is one of the wooooorst okama stereotype villains ive ever seen in "Madam Momare". Avoid even witnessing this character at all costs.

Go! Princess Precure (2015)

Mahou Tsukai Precure (2016)

This is a really cute comfort food kind of precure season. Cure miracle and magical have so much love for eachother, its really fun and adorable to see and comes off as intentionally romantic sometimes. The mascot Mofurun is also extremely lovable and feels like just another one of the girls due to how involved she is.

There is a noticable harry potter inspiration in the way the magical witch world they visit operates, this makes it a great alternative for a guilt free revisitation of the more whimsical and kind parts of harry potter if thats something you want.

No other precure season places as much focus on the alternate world location as much as mahou tsukai, pretty much half the show takes place there. It can make you wish it was just a magic school anime without trying to also cram in the precure superhero part. It suffers a little from lack of focus in this way, and the quality wavers a lot of times especially in the second half, picking up again by the end.

Kira Kira Precure a la Mode (2017)

Hugtto Precure (2018)

This is the 15th anniversary season for precure, and like happinesscharge it recieved extra sauce in development in its own way, having more sakuga than is usually expected. The story also gets back to the serious roots of precure with darker themes somewhere in there. An implied gay male cure is also featured as a minor character. This however, is secondhand knowledge because i have not watched this season for a reason i will now explain.

The main themeing is that of "the future, what will you be when you grow up", the team members representing things like an airplane cabin attendant, nurse, rockstars. The main character is a mother, with her own infant child from the future as the mascot fairy. It is never officially stated, but it is known that japan is struggling with declining birthrate and this is suspected to have been a factor in the inclusion of this character concept, to influence little girls to have children when they grow up.

This is not entirely an unprecedented trope, Sailor Moon has it, but the daughter from the future is not an infant and has a sisterly dynamic with her then teen mom. Hugtto brings it to new heights though with the character design of the young girl having a costume midriff window that suggests pregnancy, presence of the father character who is an adult (timeline shenanigans), and an excruciating birthing scene featuring the character as an adult with the other cures helping to deliver the baby.

See how hung up i am on this? It is actually abhorrent to create a mom themed 12 year old girl cartoon character, and then sell it to little girls who already have to struggle against the expectation of having children. Precure is largely profitable through toys, and it isnt so bad for a child to want a doll of a baby to play with, but the marketing dynamic is in this case being exploited in a disturbing way. If you decide to watch this season, which im not trying to say watching it is immoral, just have all this in your mind as you proceed.

Star Twinkle Precure (2019)

This is a great season to watch if you arent sure where to start and want something theraputic and cute.

A really great thing brought to the table is that the characters often go to space in a rocket and go on adventures with fun aliens. The main character loves UMAs (japanese equivilant acronym word for cryptid) and is really excited about it which is fun to watch.

There is a dip in quality around the begining of the second half but it picks up again by the end.

There is implication of the girls having romantic interest in eachother, particularly with cure soleil and cure selene, also with cure milky and cure star

A detication to the theme of inclusivity and diversity has the team boast a total of 2 non human cures, but more importantly the only character in the series whos skin is past being just a little tan, cure soleil. She is mexican japanese and is really cool and presented with dignity, though her family falls under stereotype so youll have to take them with a grain of salt (she has a lot of siblings, dad goes around everywhere playing guitar and saying things like "ole senorita"). There is a 2 episode arc in which the concept of racism and how it can be an emotional burden on those effected by it is presented in an empathetic manner.

Healin' Good Precure (2020)

From the outside this precure season may come off as plain and generic, to which i partially agree in the sense that it harnesses pleasant mundanity as supplement for its major themes. The main character cure grace has lived most of her life in the hospital, and from episode one we witness her reintegration into a non inpatient world, and the appreciation for life and being nurturing she has accrued in her harsh past experiences. The catch phrase she is marketed as having "fu-wow!" (a soft and fluffy kind of wow) is outspoken by what i interpret is her actual catch phrase, "ikiteru 'te kanji" (i feel so alive).

A major milestone is cure earth as the first adult cure to be a main character. As well, standing up to an abuser and allowing you to put your own self care first is a portrayed message.

This season unignorably aired during the height of covid fear, which it could not have predicted and has the heroes as doctors defeating the villains who are diseases. Thankfuly, it was too late for revision so nothing aside from the holiday themed episodes were sacrificed from the original intentions.

Tropical Rouge Precure (2021)

Delicious Party Precure (2022)