Have you ever heard of the Japanese magical girl anime metaseries (a series with several subseries) called “Pretty Cure?” It is an exciting animation which started in February 2004 and has been really popular among elementary school-age girls in the country. Because the series consists of all-female characters, it also has a significant secondary fan base made up of adult men. To commemorate its impressive show of longevity, it will be holding a contest from September 17 to October 30, 2016 in the form of a “stamp rally” around the Tokyo Metro Subway network. Those who’ll be winning the grand prize will get the chance to be visited by one of these cute characters!
Pretty Cure is also known as “PreCure” in Japan. It is based on an original work called “Futari wa Pretty Cure” and has an anime television series directed by Daisuke Nishio, a Japanese animator and director. Its metaseries has been created by Izumi Todo and produced by Toei Animation (an animation studio owned by Toei Company, Ltd.) and Asahi Broadcasting Corporation (a regional television and radio broadcaster headquartered in Osaka).
The original work revolves around the story of two girls, Nagisa Misumi and Honoka Yukishiro. Nagisa is a second-year student who is strong-hearted though quite lazy with her homework. She is also known to be strong and passionate. Honoka, on the other hand, is Nagisa’s classmate in middle school. She is very knowledgeable and is often looked up to by others. She is also known for being swift and graceful. They transformed into the emissaries of light upon encountering the Garden of Light’s Mipple and Mepple. They then became known as “Cure Black” and “Cure White,” respectively. They are tasked to fight the evil forces while restoring the Garden’s beauty damaged by the Dark Zone.
The Garden of Light consists of several characters such as Mipple who is the Princess of Hope, Mepple who is the chosen protector of the Princess of Hope, the Queen who is the ruler of the Garden of Light, Lulun who is the Princess of Light, Porun who is the Prince of the Garden of Light, and many more! The Dark Zone consists two primary characters, Jack King who is somewhat humanoid and an imprisoned ruler, and Zakennah which is a large purple monster summoned by the servants of the Dark Zone. In the latter part of the series, the Pretty Cures are seen fighting the Dark Zone in order to restore the Queen.
— 東映アニメーション公式 (@toeianime_info) October 27, 2016
From its original version, Pretty Cure has been seen with many anime series being franchised around the world. There are around 600 episodes to date accompanied by a variety of video games, toys, manga, and the like. Its latest iteration is known as “Maho Girls Precure!” which started in February 2016. It is directed by Masako Mitsuka and written by Isao Murayama. The main theme of the series includes magic, jewels, and friendship while its main focus is a group of schoolgirls in the middle school. Each of them can transform into a Pretty Cure which is a legendary magician. They can do this with the items granted to them. As warriors, they have to fight against evil forces with the aid of some creatures such as fairies. As the series progresses, the characters receive new items and abilities in order to beat the stronger enemies.
Each of the animation series has a manga adaptation which has been illustrated by Futago Kamikita (a pseudonym of two Japanese manga artists and character designers who are twins). There are also several theatrical animated films of the series, around 12 TV-based films, and 7 “All Stars” films.
— 東京メトロ【公式】 (@tokyometro_info) August 30, 2016
The animation’s sustained popularity opened the door to more opportunities for theatrical films to be featured every year. For 2016, “Maho Girls Precure! The Movie: The Miraculous Transformation! Cure Mofurun!” will premiere this coming October 29, 2016. It is going to target elementary school-age girls audience.
Apart from the movie release, a “stamp rally” contest will be held at the Tokyo Metro Subway stations. This form of contest is often done to entice people to join the event. The rally is happening on September 17 to October 30, 2016 where participants will be given special sheets of paper for them to fill-up. They will also be stamping the different designs found at every designated station. A total of 5 stations will be visited at the central part of Tokyo.
The contest will have 348 winners who will be receiving PreCure items in the form of notebooks, magical wands, stuffed toys, and so on. Just keep in mind that once you have filled up the sheet, you can already hand it to the staff who will be giving you a trinket. You may also opt to enter a drawing so you can win bigger prizes. The grand prize will be randomly given to two winners and whoever wins it will be lucky enough to be visited by the magical girls!
However, it may sound hard for school girls to actually join the contest as they would have to travel from station to station to stamp their sheets unless they are accompanied by a guardian. As such, there’s a high probability that most contestants will consist of adults who are men. Not much is known about whether their applications will be filtered out or not. But still, some people believe that this is going to happen.
It is still a question if the magical girls who will be visiting the grand prize winner’s home will be performers dressed in cute costumes as this is often the case. If faces are going to be hidden, then you will definitely not be able to tell whether they are males or females. But if you’re one of the die-hard fans of PreCure, then I suggest that you join the contest as it is going to be fun and the prizes are worth it. Plus, you’ll get the chance to talk to people who are in the same fandom and who are interested in the same topic as you.
Pretty Cure Stamp Rally on Tokyo Metro’s Website *Japanese only