Friday, October 18, 2002

Pretear: The New Legend of Snow White

Genre: Shoujo / Magical Girl
Parental Guidance Recommended
2001. Creators: Junichi Sato and Kaori Naruse (manga). Asuka. Hal Film Maker. WOWOW.

Pretear DVDs
Pretear Art Books & Manga
Everything Pretear

Thundersenshi's Description:
Himeno lives with her dad, a journalist, who just married the richest woman in the city. Caught in a new situation of her mushy newlywed parents and two new stepsisters, she feels a bit out of place. However, when the Leafe Knights discover that Himeno is Pretear, the protector they were looking for, they immediately aid her in the new missions they must face. But with all this, Himeno must still prove that she can live up to the challenges as Pretear.

(13 episodes)

Gimme bishounen and I'm all set. >>> by thundersenshi

Pretear is pretty much your typical magical girl title. It has most of the elements that'll keep the regular shoujo-fan happy - magical transformations, cute costumes, elemental attacks, cute male counterpart... Well, since we're in the subject of the magical girl template, I'm sure some of you may be picturing another Sailormoon wannabe or something of that sort. I'm not claiming Pretear is the most original concept I've ever encountered, and in fact, now and then I do find myself comparing it to Sailormoon ...but Pretear packs its own special brand of punch, too. For one thing, it had me squealing like a schoolgirl at the transformation sequences. You see, when Himeno transforms to Pretear, she combines with one of her Leafe knights and fuses with them completely - heart, mind, soul and body. The Leafe Knights are either gorgeous or adorably cute (can you say bishounen?). You have to see it for yourself to know why I think it's one of the coolest henshin (transformation) sequences around.

As I mentioned before, I did some unconscious comparing of Pretear with Sailormoon. If you are familiar with the latter, and the romantic essence of its first season, you will find it in Pretear as well. (Editor's note: She's talking about the love-hate relationship of the protagonist and her leading man.) Not an entirely new love formula, but it does have its percious quirks, too. And something like this usually succeeds in pulling the strings of a mushy heart. As for the rest of the population who hates overkill romance, well, you'll be glad to know Pretear isn't that sort of shoujo .

Some more similarities also led me to a comparison of heroines - whereas Usagi (Sailormoon) was a hyper, bumbling crybaby, Himeno is just a hyper redhead who actually does know martial arts. At least her being a warrior for love and justice is a little more feasible. And if Usagi is known as Odango Atama (Odango Head [odango is a japanese dessert, shaped like a ball]), so is Himeno fondly nicknamed as Tulip Atama (Tulip Head). Both are in reference to their hairstyles.

As for the story itself, fortunately it's different. And I did enjoy watching Pretear. I'm not too fond of its latter parts, though, because it seemed too cliché for me to like at all. Thankfully, the build-up of banality was saved only for a few episodes. I don't think I could've gotten through the whole series otherwise. Well, okay, maybe I could've stayed a little bit more for the sake of those fascinating bishies...

Note 1 : The artwork is nice. It kinda reminded me of CLAMP (Card Captor Sakura in particular) at some points.

Note 2 : The manga is a good read, too. There are some stark differences from the anime, including major storylines; you may want to know what those are. And, if you enjoyed this (anime), and you want more Pretear, you'll be glad to know that the manga version goes beyond the anime storyline.

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 8; Story 7; Characters 8; Sounds 7

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