The next installment for the Pretty Cure franchise, the show about cute girls saving the world with the power of love and fisticuffs, will be Healin’ Good♥Pretty Cure (or Precure, for short). The new show will revolve around the motifs of nature and animals and will debut following the end of the currently airing Star☆Twinkle Pretty Cure.
After the villainous Byougenzu attack the Healing Garden — a secret world that provides treatment for the environment — and infect the Earth with an illness, the Healing Animals of the Garden along with Princess Latte (Shiraishi Haruka) come across three ordinary girls. Sensing the girls’ desire to protect Latte, who has lost her powers due to Byougenzu’s attack, the Healing Animals team up with the girls and transform them into magical warriors tasked with protecting the Earth and its inhabitants — the Pretty Cure.
Healin’ Good’s protagonist is second-year middle school student Hanadera Nodoka (voiced by Aoi Yuuki), a kindhearted girl who strives to accomplish many things, even if she is incapable of doing so. She recently moved to Sukoyaka City, the setting where Healin’ Good takes place, and wishes to become someone useful. Through the power of her Healing Animal partner Rabirin (Kakuma Ai), she transforms into the Pretty Cure of Flowers, Cure Grace.
Along with Nodoka are two other heroines, Sawaizumi Chiyu (Yorita Natsu) and Hiramitsu Hinata (Kouno Hiyori). Chiyu is an older sister type who is a star track runner as well as a top science student. Her Cure alter-ego is the Pretty Cure of Water, Cure Fontaine, who she transforms into with the help of Pengitan, her Healing Animal partner. Hinata is a bright and cheery girl who is a fan of fashion and is prone to apologizing. With her Healing Animal partner, Nyatoran, she becomes the Pretty Cure of Light, Cure Sparkle.
Initial fan reception has been mostly positive, especially regarding the casting of Aoi Yuuki as the main protagonist. Having played the part of a magical girl hero as Kaname Madoka from Madoka Magica and Tachibana Hibiki from Symphogear certainly leaves Aoi more than qualified for the part. Speaking of Symphogear, some have hoped that Nodoka sharing her voice actresses with the hot-blooded Hibiki will mean that her fixation for fists will also rub off on her. Initially, the Precure series set itself apart from other magical girl shows by having the main characters actually engage in physical combat — throwing punches and kicks to defeat the bad guys instead of resorting to the usual giant fantasy energy beams or magical spells. Precure has, in recent years, started to stray away from this idea with 2017’s Kirakira PreCure a la Mode featuring almost no physical contact. The current series, Star☆Twinkle, has much shorter fight sequences, with its main hero’s signature punch move obscured by a star effect. A return to tradition allowing the girls to lay hands on their enemies again would certainly be more than welcome. It worked out well for Precure’s fellow superhero show, Kamen Rider Zero-One — a show that rejected almost a decade of toyetic visuals and over-the-top motifs for classic visuals and grounded character stories.
When it comes to the plot, it seems to be standard fare, although there’s sure to be more than what’s shown in the trailers and press releases. According to statements on the official site, one can find allusions to the concept of “overcoming pain,” leading some fans to speculate that there may be darker undertones to the show. It remains to be seen.
Healin’ Good♥Pretty Cure airs on February 2nd, 2020, the week following the final episode of Star☆Twinkle Pretty Cure, which airs on January 26th.