When I first saw Futari wa Pretty Cure (2004) a few years ago I thought that this was the best example of Maho Shojo series since Sailor Moon (1992) and Akazukin Chacha (1994). While there have been many examples of decent Maho Shojo since Sailor Moon I feel that Pretty Cure embodies the best qualities of a magic girl series, so on to episode one.

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     Episode one starts off with glimpses of the two girls that will become our magical duo, the first girl is Nagisa Misumi, she is a very athletic girl, and the star of her Lacrosse team, and the second girl is Honoka Yukishiro, she is a very smart and confidant girl, she is a star in the school’s science club. While both girls are stars with their own orbits surrounding them they take very little notice of each other.

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     Both girls are second year students at a all girls junior high school. Honoka is rumored to be very popular with the guys, Nagisa is also very popular but to her chagrin it’s with the girls. The next day after school both girls find glowing cellphone looking devices that have a strange light on them, when Nagisa touches her’s it transforms into a cute creature called Mepple, Mepple always uses the phrase Mepo, he then tells Nagisa to please take him to the princess of hope, Mipple.

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     So Mepple guides Nagisa towards the princess of hope, and along the way he tells her that she must defend the garden of light from the dark zone. Mepple leads Nagisa to an amusement park where she runs in to a bad guy called Pissard, he kind of looks like a reject from a rock band that wears too much makeup. He takes Mepple away from Nagisa just as Honoka shows up with Mipple (the princess of Hope), Pissard proceeds to attack the girls and the girls decide to fight, Nagisa regains Mepple from Pissard. Mepple and Mipple tell the girls to transform into Pretty Cure and fight, the girls trigger the transformation by sliding a card through their cell phones, Nagisa transforms into Cure Black and Honoka transforms into Cure White. After fighting Pissard to a stand still using hand to hand combat he calls on the power of darkness (Zakenna) to help him.

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     Zakenna has the power to take over items such as a roller coaster and turn it into a monster, this is kind of like the “monster of the day” setup found in many magic girl anime like Sailor Moon. The girls really can’t use physical force against this new monster, so Mipple and Mepple tell them to hold hands to gain a new attack, when the girls hold hands they get powered up by energy from the sky, Nagisa’s power up is called black thunder, and Honoka’s power up is called white thunder. When they combine their power they send out a energy blast called “pretty cure marble screw”, this blasts overcomes Zakenna, and Zakenna dissipates into little black stars that runaway. After the fight Pissard withdraws and Mipple and Mepple are reunited, and they tell the girls that they have been granted the power of Pretty Cure in order to fight for the garden of light. Well that’s all for episode one, below are some more screen shots.

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     Well episode one sets Pretty Cure up in the classic Maho Shojo mold, two normal junior high school girls are granted magical powers to defend everything pure and good from evil and darkness. The girls get animal/creature friends to help them use their powers properly and give them advice. The two girls are almost completely different in their personalities, and the contrast between the two different girls will lead to many humorous situations, but also their difference’s will strengthen both of them. Overall what separates a good magic girls show from a great show is that the viewer must actually care what happens to the girls, and for that to happen some parts of the girl’s personalities must seem real and believable. Also what makes this show different from other magic girl anime is that it is directed by Daisuke Nishio of the Dragon Ball Z series, so this series has actual physical combat by the girls before they use their magical attacks. So if you like magic girl anime or you always wished that there was more fighting in the magic girl genre then this show is for you. But if you never liked transformation sequences, animal guardians, and attack gestures this series might not be for you.