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by Rebecca Silverman,

Soaring Sky! Pretty Cure

Episodes 25-36 Streaming

Soaring Sky! Pretty Cure Episodes 25-36 Anime Review
With Minoton's turn as the solider of the Undergu Empire fighting the Cures, things are a little less alarming, since he's dedicated to abiding by the rules (or at least, his rules) of fair play. But when the Empress decides that he's ineffective, new enemy Skearhead appears, and he's more than willing to pull out all the stops in his efforts to take out the Cures. This means that they're going to need some new firepower on their side – can the mysterious new Cure Majesty help them save the day?

As of this writing, Soaring Sky! Pretty Cure is airing concurrently with Power of Hope: Precure Full Bloom. While that's doubly exciting for franchise fans (and this is an excellent time to be one in the English-speaking world, at long last), it's also something the creators have taken into account. There are a few fascinating parallels between the first two episodes of the latter and the advent of Cure Majesty in the former that bear examining, even as Soaring Sky! Pretty Cure stands firmly on its own two feet as a series in the larger franchise. As a note, from this point on, there will be a significant spoiler for both series discussed to analyze the story best.

The most obvious is aging up or down across both series. Most relevant to this show is that our new Cure, Cure Majesty, is an aged-up version of Princess Ellee. Ellee has been developing at a rapid yet believable clip ever since her true nature as the Child of Destiny was revealed. Now, when the chips are down, and Cures Sky, Prism, Wing, and Butterfly are in danger, Ellee manifests the power to become Cure Majesty, which first necessitates her growing from a toddler to a teenager. This turning ahead of the clock directly parallels how the transformations work in Power of Hope: Precure Full Bloom – in that series, the women must first turn back the clock to transform. While that perhaps says something about the idealization of teenagers (and Ageha is still a teen herself, albeit one who is legally an adult), it also speaks to the idea that your internal age is more important than the physical one or that we are all in charge of how we present ourselves to the world. Yes, Ellee and Nozomi transform, but both can change the clock because of their earnest and sincere desires to help someone else. This suggests that being a superhero is a frame of mind we can all take on, no matter how old we are.

It certainly helps that Cure Majesty's design is striking and her powers very helpful. As the spikes on her earcuffs indicate, this is no passive princess; Cure Majesty is a full-on warrior queen. Like Cure Sky, Cure Majesty will likely punch and kick the villains, leaving the ranged attacks to Cures Prism and Wing and defense to Cure Butterfly. This works with Ellee's identity and reason for transforming in the first place. She's got a destiny to fulfill, but she's also tired of being protected, as poor Wing notes when he laments that the princess isn't supposed to save the knight. But Ellee's largely done with that, and she wants to play her part in saving herself and her world.

This makes it very interesting when her special power-up item is a book. The role of text in this series has been consistent: Mashiro writes literary fairy tale picture books, Sora keeps detailed notes about what it means to be a hero, and Tsubasa has been reading books on aerospace engineering and aerodynamics, which help him as Cure Wing. To have Cure Majesty's entrance coincide with the magic tome that allows everyone to power up and join forces to use their special attack shows that the Cures are all writing their own stories. They are active participants in their legend, something even more noteworthy when we consider that this is one of the seasons without a Legendary Pretty Cure who paved the way. They are that Legendary Cure, and the particularly tight-knit way they all work together helps to showcase that. Even if you don't see a Hall of Justice link in that all five of them live together, it certainly has helped to make them one of the closest teams in the franchise.

We can see that in how everyone looks out for one another in this set of episodes. When Ageha is suffering, feeling that she's failed a student (creating another parallel with Power of Hope), Tsubasa immediately notices and takes action to try to help her. When a stuffed animal haunts Sora, everyone comes together to find a solution, and in another episode, teaches her to swim. Sora and Mashiro may be the obvious "best friends" of the quintet, but everyone is there for each other, and that's a major draw of the series – as well as a concern for when it ends, because three of the bunch may have to go back to Skyland, leaving Mashiro and Ageha behind in Sorashido City.

That's in the future, however. Right now, Skearhead has appeared as the latest emissary of the Undergu Empire, and he's the scariest of all the villains. He's utterly ruthless, feeling perfectly justified in warping underperforming minion Minoton into a form he would never choose and proving more successful than his predecessors when hunting the Cures down and attacking when they're more vulnerable. Monda (three guesses who he is, and the first two don't count) provides some necessary villain comedic relief, but Skearhead brings real danger whenever he appears. Although we're still mostly in fluffier plot territory, there's a very solid chance that he could escalate things to levels we last saw in Healin' Good Precure.

Soaring Sky! Pretty Cure, as it heads into its fourth cour, is holding strong. Animation and art can be mixed, even within a given episode, but the characters are all strong, and the story never feels like it veers off into irrelevancy. Even without the special twentieth-anniversary projects, this is a worthy commemorative entry in the franchise.

Overall (sub) : A-
Story : A-
Animation : B
Art : B
Music : B

+ Cure Majesty is a good addition, Skearhead is appropriately scary. Neat parallels between this and its concurrently airing franchise friend.
Art and animation are uneven, theme songs aren't quite sure how to add in Cure Majesty.

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Production Info:
Series Director: Kouji Ogawa
Series Composition: Ryunosuke Kingetsu
Mio Inoue
Mutsumi Ito
Kanichi Katō
Ryunosuke Kingetsu
Isao Murayama
Yoshimi Narita
Konomi Shugo
Junpei Yamaoka
Kenichi Domon
Morio Hatano
Shinji Itadaki
Yuriko Kado
Ryûta Kawahara
Toshiaki Komura
Chiaki Kon
Kenta Kushitani
Naoki Miyahara
Takayuki Murakami
Masayoshi Nishida
Ayaka Noro
Kouji Ogawa
Noriyo Sasaki
Teruo Sato
Takumi Shibata
Junji Shimizu
Hana Shinohara
Masao Suzuki
Yutaka Tsuchida
Junichi Yamamoto
Kazuki Yokouchi
Episode Director:
Kenichi Domon
Morio Hatano
Hideki Hiroshima
Takao Iwai
Yuriko Kado
Toshiaki Komura
Kenta Kushitani
Takayuki Murakami
Yūya Nomoto
Ayaka Noro
Aiyu Ōgaki
Kouji Ogawa
Noriyo Sasaki
Takumi Shibata
Junji Shimizu
Hana Shinohara
Satoshi Toba
Tsuyoshi Tobita
Yutaka Tsuchida
Kazuki Yokouchi
Unit Director:
Naoki Miyahara
Tsuyoshi Tobita
Junichi Yamamoto
Music: Erika Fukasawa
Original creator: Izumi Todo
Original Manga: Futago Kamikita
Character Design: Atsushi Saitō
Art Director: Aya Kadoguchi
Yuko Doi
Ryūta Hayashi
Aya Kadoguchi
Yuki Nakabayashi
Junko Shimada
Shota Suzuki
Yuri Takagi
Natsuko Tosugi
Zhu Xing Xu
Animation Director:
Nobuto Akada
Mitsuru Aoyama
Joey Calangian
Ting Ting Chen
Kaori Endō
Mika Hironaka
Hirokazu Hisayuki
Saori Hosoda
Akira Inagami
Eri Ishikawa
Kazuhiro Itakura
Nishiki Itaoka
Shigeki Iwasaki
Rei Kamiie
Keisuke Katayama
Yumiko Kinoshita
Yūha Komura
Reggie Manabatt
Seiji Masuda
Hitomi Matsuura
Sakurako Mitsuhashi
Kenji Miuma
Risa Miyadani
Hiroshi Numata
Kurisu Ogawa
Nobutaka Ōta
Makoto Ozawa
Atsushi Saitō
Natsumi Sakai
Akira Takahashi
Yuka Takemori
Katsumi Tamegai
Yukiko Ueda
Ken Ueno
Yue Chun Wang
Rui Yang
Art design: Miki Imai
Cgi Director:
Yusuke Osone
Tomohiko Takahashi
Kazuo Yamaguchi
Director of Photography: Shinichi Igarashi
Kaori Katō
Saya Koseki
Maki Takahashi
Akira Tanaka
Rika Tone
Takashi Washio

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Soaring Sky! Pretty Cure (TV)

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