When I think about the earliest days of Precure, I’m impressed that the franchise has managed to achieve incredible longevity. Soaring Sky! Precure is the 20th series, and is a real celebration of everything that has made it such an enduring magical girl property. But Precure is not content to rest on its laurels with this newest anime, instead choosing to push its own boundaries and inspire people to believe in new possibilities.
A History of Growth
Precure has a history of slowly, yet continuously evolving by changing up who can become a heroine. Milky Rose in Yes! Pretty Cure 5 Go Go was the franchise’s first mascot-turned-magical fighter. Cure Passion is the first villain turned full-fledged Precure. Cure Moonlight in Heartcatch Precure! was the first high schooler (as opposed to middle schooler) Precure, while Cure Muse was the first elementary schooler. Cure La Mer in Tropical-Rouge Precure was a literal mermaid. Some male side characters, although not full-fledged Precures, have up to this point skirted with the notion. While much of Precure is quite orthodox in terms of presentation, it’s ever advancing.
What the Title Means
The Japanese name—Hirogaru Sky! Precure—carries an important double meaning. Firstly, hirogaru sounds a lot like “hero girl,” which is the essence of Precure and the aspiration of its main character, Sora Harewataru. Secondly, hirogaru means “expand”—in other words, this is a Precure with an “expanding sky,” broadening its horizons and challenging previous conventions.
Rules Are Meant to Be Soaring Sky Punched
It’s a tradition of sorts for main heroines in Precure to be pink. Much like the color red when it comes to sentai teams, it was assumed that “pink” equals “protagonist.” Sora, however, transforms into Cure Sky, who is a blue Cure. While there’s been a decent amount of variety in personalities among the pink leaders, they typically exist within a certain range. An energetic, righteous blue who’s also the main heroine sends a message: every assumption of how Precure is “supposed” to go is out the window.
Over the Limit
In that vein, the other three members seen so far also kick convention to the curb in their own ways. Cure Prism is a Precure whose personality would usually be the lead but is instead the secondary Cure who is all about finding herself and her dreams much like a more traditional shoujo heroine. Cure Wing is a no-caveats, official boy Precure whose very theme is learning to fly when he couldn’t before. Cure Butterfly breaks the high school barrier by being the first 18-year-old Cure who’s part of the central cast (previous series have depicted retired/deceased older Precure). Together, when asked the question “Why?,” the answer is “Why not?”
How Much More Can Change?
It’s common in Precure to introduce an additional Precure at the halfway point. It’s not certain if Soaring Sky! will do the same, but I’m curious to see if it’ll happen, and what other barriers will be leapt over next. There is a baby character, so I can’t help but wonder if we’ll see a floating baby Precure (Move over, Grogu). Even if that doesn’t happen, I think Soaring Sky! Precure is going to end up being one of the best shows of 2023.
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