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Nov. 14th, 2015

This is HaCha final review.


After watching the whole series, what do you feel? Do you feel "happiness charge"? Do you feel love? To me, I don't feel any love from the production team. Even FPC, SPC and SmPC which I had commented as the worst series before, are much better than this one, because they still treat the characters well...before ep 37, I think that it will still better than SPC...but the staffs disappoint me. It is more disappointed than FPC, SPC and SmPC as it is Precure series for 10th anniversary. Is it really so bad that I said? Let's study by the following sections:
1. Setting
2. Story
3. Theme
4. Character
5. Battle and animation
6. Music

1. Setting

I mainly talk about Love Crystal, Cure Line, Precard and Precard album, as they affect the whole series.

A. Love Crystal
I had discussed the selection of Precure in DDPC review, and analyse how good DDPC is. Unfortunately, the Love Crystal is the worst selection system I had ever seen. The staffs try to make the system more romantic like PC5, but it just make us think the system sexually. The idea of Love Crystal comes from its meaning, which is baby. However, we can treat being Precure as "baby". The worst thing is Blue still think he is helping the girls. The system is unstable as well. It can be seen from Masuko Miyo. She gets the crystal but she can't be Precure. On the other hand, Iona can succeed from Maria's power. It means there should have some criteria to be Precure, yet the series never tell us anything about this.

B. Cure Line
I can see they want to make it like Curemo in 5GG. Nevertheless, this phone is only used by Blue, Megumi, Hime and Seiji. It does use as emergency call at the beginning by Blue and Hime, but it becomes Megumi and Seiji private calls. Ironically, Seiji uses Cure Line the most.

C. Precard and Precard album
I don't mention PreChange Mirror because the power source is Precard. Without Precard, PreChange Mirror is just a mirror. I start with Precard album. This album has the same function as Dream Collet. Both objects can grant any wish after completing the collection. However, this album make the wish-granting system...I don't want to use this word...but I can't think of other word to describe besides lame. In YPC5, it is successful as the enemy used Dream Collet instead of Coco and Nuts. The lame here is not only using the wish to get something which can be done by Blue, but also having two albums, and HaCha just uses once. We never know if the cards are fully collected at the end of the series. In addition, I believe the staffs throw the idea (granting wish) once they found out the critical plothole in ep 22. In particular, in this series, both sides has a God, there is no point to collect such thing. Yes, Precard itself is just redundant! Not only redundant, but also a hinderence for the character development. Among four members, Megumi uses the most and she has the least development. Hime and Yuuko usually use the card for clothing (it excludes form change). Iona seldom use the card though, her development is not good either. Her case is another story, but she is still better than Megumi. The hinderence here means the dependency of Precard. As you can see in the series, Megumi uses the card when she can't do something such as detective, cook and skating. Other members don't have such dependency as Megumi because they are more capable than her. Even Hime has cooked by herself without using Precard. In HCPC, heart seeds are still useful when Yuri transforms to Moonlight, only that HCPC later collect the seeds for Moonlight more than the heart tree. I think this one is even worse, they gradually become Doraemon's magical device...

I know that card system had been started since the first series. I always think that using cards for transformation is troublesome because the user needs to insert the card accurately (or slide the card precisely) before going to the transformation scene. Especially, in HaCha, they need to insert three cards. Even though they never show how heroines inserting the card (I don't think they can show), it still look troublesome and time-consuming.

The way HaCha get the cards is weird too. Obviously, the system is resemble to heart seed system, but it can't work well because it is not like heart seed, which is very emotional thing. The victim's feeling can't link to the card they get. Sometimes, the staffs just make use of HaCha feeling to get the card, but it doesn't work either. The reason what HaCha receive is physical thing,i.e. garments. What situation for the character obtains or uses _garments? The answer is clothes changing game and idol anime like Aikatsu. I know Aikatsu does very well that Precure series and PuriPara(which is formerly Pretty Rhythm) treat it as strong competitor. (I am not sure for Jewel Pet...) However, Precure is not suitable for this kind of card system. In other words, even the staffs want to use card system in the series, try to use less in story part. (FwPC series and 5GG are good examples)

2. Story
Unlike my previous final review, I will show you in a excel chart of story flow, on character basis. The characters include: Megumi, Hime, Yuuko, Iona, Seiji, Blue, Mirage, Red, Phantom and Mirage Trio.

http://www.mediafire.com/view/7m4knaq56q562ed/HaCha_worksheet_%281%29.xls

Why I describe the story in this way? The reason is the main line is changed in the middle of the series. How messy the storyline is I had explained a lot in my individual ep review, even though I will still mention later, it will be brief.

Basically, the story pattern is similar to HCPC (because of the same director) that the story is concentrated on one Precure. This kind of pattern is more dangerous than concentrating on mascots (i.e. mascotshomeland) because Precure cannot work on the same goal. For example, the current GPPC, the objectives of Precure are to be Grand Princess. They look at the goal in the same way, the same feeling. Even though there is one of them more eager to the goal than other members, it doesn’t matter, as she can be the simulator for the team. However, HCPC and HaCha cases are different. One of Precure is the victim/culprit. It looks like the incident is closer than helping mascots and its countries, but both stories turn out the victim Precure keeps the distance from other Precure. In HCPC, due to the loss of Moonlight’s power, the story needs Blossom, Marine and Sunshine to help Moonlight to recover (physically and mentally). After Moonlight is recovered, they become outsiders. They can’t treat the matter in the same way as Moonlight, since the enemy and the boss are all pointing to Moonlight. HCPC still can manage to keep the story balance because they have so-called the generation system. From Flower to the newest Sunshine, their enemies are the same group. Now, HaCha tries to do the same thing. There are some elements the director intends to keep the same balance as HCPC, such as the Precure in the world, Blue Sky is one of the countries in the Earth, Blue as the God of Earth etc., so that all HaCha members are aiming the same ambition-protecting the Earth.

It conveys saving the Earth stronger than HCPC, but these elements make the story worse. The appearance of Blue is a mine in the story. International cures should be good to the series, but it distracts the audiences’ focus. The result now is that the audience wants to know more about the international cures, including how they protect their countries, than the main focus-Blue Sky. With the existence of international cures, Blue Sky is no longer the most important country HaCha wants to deal with. (even though Hime is Blue Sky princess and Mirage kingdom is in Blue Sky) It is fine to have a setting of the victim country on the Earth, but because of international cures, this story can end very fast. In the beginning of the story, we can see Phantom (yes, just him) does a good job to lengthen the Blue Sky arc, by defeating many international cures, but he meets Yuuko/Honey before defeating all international cures. Therefore, Maria is inserted in ep 37-39 to extend the arc, but it can’t extend any further. Originally, the goal of this story is the revival of Blue Sky, yet as I had said, it ends very fast, so at the end they finish this arc in ep 43 instead of 49. (You can see how the story wraps up in comic version. It can end the Blue Sky story in 3/4 of a book) The story in this series can’t do the same thing as HCPC. It is one of the reasons the story collapses like this.

Another reason of the story collapse is also related to the countries. The director unnecessarily tags the nationalities on the characters. HaCha represents Japanese Precure, but one of the member is not from Japan. The victim country is Blue Sky, but the enemy is from Japan, and also the former Japanese Precure. Furthermore, he tags Blue as the Earth god, and Red is the god of the brother planet. The story can be messy just because of this setting:

A God from Red planet controls a Japanese Precure after being ditched by the Earth god, and then the Earth god seals his elder brother and his girlfriend into a box (Axia) and keeps in Blue Sky. After 300 years, Blue Sky Princess opens the box and let the Earth god’s girlfriend and relative out. Due to the responsibility, this princess becomes Precure. Later, this Earth god gathers Precure in the whole world to beat his girlfriend and his elder brother up.

The story is the most absurd among all Precure series. Even there are some plot holes in some Precure series (such as SPC), you wouldn’t have such conclusion-the fairy (Blue is a fairy in certain extent) asks Precure to beat his family and lover, so please forget about storyline. There is no main storyline. All depend on the characters.

In comic version, the author picks up some characters to summarize the story. Besides HaCha, Blue, Seiji, Queen Mirage, only Namakelda, Oresuki, Phantom are playing the same roles as the anime. Others like Red, Maria, Masuko Miyo just come out for few pages. There is no Hoshiwa in the comic version. The chapters, if corresponding to anime eps, are:
Ch.1-Ep1
Ch.2-Ep2
Ch.3-Ep4
Ch.4-Ep13
Ch.5-Ep 10 (but it happens after Phantom appears) 
Ch.6-Ep 20-22
Ch.7-Original Summer chapter, but it is similar to ep 25-26
Ch.8-Ep 30
Ch.9-Ep 29 & 34
Ch.10-Ep 36 & 38
Ch.11-Ep 41
Ch.12-Ep 43
Ch.13-Ep 45

The story ends with Seiji instead of Red. I can see the comic artist tries to wrap the story up in a more reasonable way, like HaCha powers up after Phantom appears. However, the Forever Lovely part still does not make sense because of the opponents. Both Seiji and Red are the opponents to persuade and they are undefeatable. Actually, I expect a different ending for Red in comic version, but the author doesn’t write much about Red, as there is no character development for him in anime. Let’s go back to the character stories. In TV series, only Yuuko and Phantom have a full storyline. What do I mean the full storyline? The basic of the story development are: beginning, development, climax and ending. Others don’t have? Let’s have a look on the main characters.

Megumi- she doesn’t really have a beginning (being Precure is not considered)! Her development, which is helping people, is very weak that she can’t have climax, and there is no ending for this development. That is why the writer/director asks her to have a relationship with Blue to make the climax and ending.

Hime- she has a good beginning (country collapse, open the axia and become Precure after the collapse), the development is how she deals with her responsibility to the citizen (say it out is just the first step), but the director skips this part because it is a complicated issue. Hime is supposed to have a climax-vs Queen Mirage, but it is stolen by Megumi. Therefore, Hime doesn’t have climax and quickly goes to the expected ending.

Yuuko-Why I said she has a full storyline? Firstly, she is a working girl before being Precure. Unlike Megumi, she provides bento and honey candy for her interest and her job. After she becomes Precure, she even develops her another skill, singing. She starts with a delivery and waitress in her bento shop as the beginning, and later she learns to sing and composes songs. Later, her encounter and fight with Phantom is the climax because he changes her life (from no mascot to have a mascot). The ending is she lives with PhanPhan. (Happy ending) What happen to Hime and Megumi can’t happen to her since nobody can steal her plot away. (In other words, she is unique)

Iona- her beginning is built by Hime and Maria. Without them, her story can’t start. Supposedly, her development is searching for her sister, not fighting against Phantom for revenge. Nevertheless, it is skipped and jumped to the climax, which is fighting against Phantom. The climax and the ending are actually happened in the same ep (ep 22). After ep 22, if her sister is saved, there is none of her business. Hence, the director lengthens the story to fight against and save her own sister.

Phantom-his beginning is serving Queen Mirage and defeating international cures, that is Precure hunter’s life. His development is being Cure Unlovely XDo redo his mission in Japan, as he can’t defeat any Precure in Japan besides Tender. The climax is intersected with Yuuko, and the ending is the same as Yuuko. 

Blue and Mirage- they have the beginning, but there is no development and climax (in comic version, there is a little climax), and the ending is together again.

As the story is character-driven, I leave my discussion to character section.

3. Theme
The name of the series is happiness charge, which means the theme is about happiness. For FPC fans, you surely compare it to FPC. Although I had given some negative comments to FPC, I would say FPC describes happiness much much better than this series! There is very little description about happiness (near to none), and it moves to talk about love. Unfortunately, Megumi’s story can’t support this theme, especially DDPC had talked about it, and DDPC describes more detailed than this series as well. The person who builds up the theme in this series is Red. He, or Queen Mirage always said:

  Love is an illusion. Happiness is a moment.

This is a questionable phrase for those who doesn’t believe in love and happiness, or is pessimistic to his/her life. The hidden message is how to make the happiness last longer. To make the happiness last longer, you must have love, to yourself and others. How to make love to be real? You have to open your heart and trust others. (to the person who is trustworthy) However, our Lovely can’t trust Red in ep 48, which breaks the theme heavily. Even they compensate in ep 49, it is too late. In addition, Megumi’s relationship with Seiji is unclear at the end. Only Honey can achieve love and trust to others, including enemy. You can see from their attitude towards Phantom in ep 31. The culprits-Mirage and Blue also fail to achieve love and happiness. By reading ivanhobe’s review, it has an idol trend. It is very obvious competition with Aikatsu from the production of Precards. Honey’s appearance and Innocent Purification are the response to Aikatsu andymphogear. It is quite dangerous to make this as the theme of the series (note: It is not this seriestheme) because the story is nothing to do with songs and idols (please leave it to SPC). It also seems to have a religious theme, like Miko/Witch and Gods, but it is also unclear..Sohat is the theme of this series? Um…from the Precure name: Lovely, Princess, Honey, Fortune, Tender and Mirage that are the relationship among them? Only one word-happy. All the happy words here are not everlasting happiness. Lovely is related to the appearance, or in other words, beauty. Beauty won’t last forever, otherwise Despairah doesn’t need to worry about her beauty and steal Dream Collet. Princess is related to status, it also can’t last long by seeing Hime’s experience. Honey is a moment of taste and Fortune is the moment of luck. Tender is a moment of feeling. If you watch Inside Out, you will understand a human must have different emotions. Wait! The theme may be just the evidence of Love is an illusion. Happiness is a moment! Megumi and Hime shows us the illusion of love and happiness has been shown above.

4. Character
The characters I am going to discuss are:
Aino Megumi/Cure Lovely
Himelda Window the Cure of Blue Sky/Cure Princess
Oomori Yuuko/Cure Honey
Hikawa Iona/Cure Fortune
Hikawa Maria/Cure Tender
Sagara Seiji
Blue
Mirage/Cure Mirage
Phantom/PhanPhan
Ribbon and Glasun
Mirage Trios
International Cures

The character section is too long that I have to show in the following links:
From Megumi~Maria
http://kokoda-koji.livejournal.com/5543.html
From Seiji ~ International Cures
http://kokoda-koji.livejournal.com/5705.html

5. Battle and animation
The main feature of HaCha battle is Form Change. Each Precure has 2 forms, usually one is strike type, another one is delusion type. I list all the Precure form change first:

Lovely- Cherry Flamenco (strike), Lollipop Hippop (strike)
Princess-Sherbet Ballet (delusion), Macadamia Huladance (delusion)
Honey-Popcorn Cheer (delusion), Coconut Samba (strike)
Fortune- Pine Arabian (delusion), Anmitsu Komachi (strike)

Among them, only Fortune doesn’t use Form Change to attack the cadres, but it doesn’t matter as all these attacks are not the final blow. Then why they exist? If they are used for Choiark, it is too much. Even HaCha use form change for the cadres, the attacks are only workable to Oresuki Trio, Phantom can easily dodge it (please see ep 13). Hence, the Form Changes become Precard promotion only. From Princess Precure, we can see the form change here is not a very good system. It is because Mode Elegant in Princess Precure can only use in the final blow, which amends the weakness in this form change.

The next thing I would like to talk about is…the arrangement of weapon. From ep 1-ep 22, only Honey has a weapon called Honey Baton. We may think that the setting is similar to HCPC, but after ep 22, Fortune also has a weapon, which is so similar to Sunshine’s Tambourine…(but I like Fortune Tambourine more) The formation becomes 2 Love PreBrace, 2 different weapons. The ideal setting should be all has different weapons. The only Precure group having this ideal setting is PC5’s symphony set. The setting now is a bit similar to SPC, but SPC’s Beilther has different design, which can be considered as two different weapons. In SPC, Melody and Rhythm can use their weapons to do various combination attacks, but they can’t do with Love Beat Guitar, and even the Module (Cure Muse uses Module as a weapon). Similarly, Lovely and Princess can use combined attack, while Honey and Fortune cannot use any combined attack with their weapons. After ep 22, I barely see the miracle power shoot.

Even we always see them fighting against Choiarks and Saiarks together, they don’t really cooperate very well. I think this group this group is not as united as other Precure group, even the international. HaCha cooperate with international cures better than their own group.

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Honey cooperates with Cure Wave, while Princess with Sunset

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Fortune prefers cooperating with her sister if she is there.

HACHA_0003_Layer 1HACHA_0002_Layer 2HACHA_0001_Layer 3HACHA_0000_Layer 4

The only impressive (?) group collaboration is this beach princess ball…

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When Princess is weak at the beginning of the series, Lovely always backup her. Later, when she is strong enough, she prefers to work with Honey.

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If Tender is not in the scene, Fortune usually prefers fighting alone, unless the opponent is too strong…like ep 13, she needs to cooperate with Lovely.
However, I seldom see Lovely and Honey having any collaboration, I forget or is it really too little for them?
Another feature in this series is singing battle. Honey is the first singing Precure in the history. I think she does pretty well as she doesn’t use the song all the time in the battle. The final group attack is also singing attack. Before Innocent Purification, we have Happiness Big Bang.

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It is the first group attack not set by the pink leader. Toei should keep this trend (let other Precure besides pink lead the group attack) in the future (I know GPPC still goes to the old trend). Honestly, I don’t really like both Big Bang and Innocent Purification. It is because the attacks are too time-consuming and the dresser drops the beauty of the attack. Especially, Blue is the first one to demonstrate how to use the dresser as a MAP attack.

HACHA12_0000_Layer 2

Nothing is worse than showing the future group attack by this infamous God…

As you know, I don’t like Innocent costume, so does its individual attacks…all the attacks are related to make up…nails, eyeshadow, rouge, lipstick…

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What do you feel if your cosmetics can do this kind of attacks? (Lovely’s attack is a fatal kiss…)
The animation style is basically close to HCPC, but comparing to HCPC, it is rather lazy, even though they have form change. Despite of the good Precure costume design, the animation drawing is so-so…as the character design is not very difficult to draw in general…but there are exceptions. Beautiful scenes includes Phantom x Yuuko, and the following ones:

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Seiji vs Blue



Namakelda, the love consultant

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Honey concert

As I had said there are exception, which means there are awful ones….

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SmPC-like distortion…It becomes a proof of a bad series…

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Red after OT for the whole series…Toei, how you compensate to Red?

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Another awful Red…Toei, why you do this to Red!
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Just drawing awful Red is unfair, Blue also has an awful face.

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Mirage with a thick lip
The god family is not Toei’s favourite?



Even a mascot like Ribbon is also a victim…



not only Mirage, Lovely also has a thick lip…scary…



Hime…your eyes…



One of them is Yuuko’s siblings? (maybe the lower pic is DVD ver…)
Even how awful they are…they can’t defeat this one:



SmPC wins for the distortion…
To me, I understand the distortion of YPC5 and SmPC as Kawamura’s design is really difficult to draw that the characters are easily distorted if the animator’s technique is not good enough. Nevertheless, HaCha has a simple character design (comparing to other Precure design), it still can distort like this… but it still can’t beat that Sunny, so I think it is so-so XD (am I too lenient…?)

6. Music
How long I didn’t write about the music section for final review…I think since HCPC…With the appearance of singing Precure and the singing group attack, I should talk about it. Undoubtedly, Honey’s song becomes the second brainwashed song after Urara’s songs. Since Yuuko is not an idol in nature, she can’t match with Urara, who can make the villains to buy her CD…(Nebatakos and Mucardia are her fans XDD) I remember in HCPC, Toei tries to sell HCPC images song in the episodes…some are successful (like Moon attack, Heart goes on etc.), while some are failed…(like Tsubomi’s and Erika’s song) The failure is not because of the song quality, it is due to the place they put. As Honey has to sing during battle, we don’t feel odd that we can hear that rice song at that moment. However, as a singing Precure, Honey may look “dry”...because she only uses one song throughout the whole series! Honey should have more song production in the series (Toei can even promote her 2nd image song). In addition, since Honey creates such inductive song, Hoshiwa tries to have a singing counterattack by deriving Honey’s song and change the lyrics. I think this is the first time happening in Precure history. However, the so-called counterattack is like a duet with Honey. They (Honey and Hoshiwa) should do something like Zababa team in Symphogear.

On the other hand, Toei promotes HaCha group song as a group attack, even there is a web radio for this series. (The web radio is called Cure Cure Pretty, hosted by Yoshida Hitomi, it had also promoted Innocent Harmony in radio ep 33) The song is nice though, I can’t accept it fills the timing of final attack. I don’t think the villains wouldn’t wait for Precure to sing a minute and receive the attack (if the villain is like Westar)…Precure villain is not Mermaid Melody villain! MMPPP villains also attack mermaids by singing, so I understand that why they can stand there and watch them singing. In particular, Innocent Harmony is not like Honey’s song that can delude enemies…Precure still need to crash towards the enemy after singing a minute, why Precure need to waste the time singing to make the dresser work? As the Innocent Harmony concert, despites of the awful Innocent dress, the character animation in the song is pretty good, but…please Toei, don’t do this kind of thing again. I accept Honey’s concert, but not opening the concert during the finishing attack.

Final words
Sorry for waiting so long…as you can see, there are many things to discuss in this series…but all these discussions are ideas more than the story. When talking about story, you can see the conclusion at the end is “it doesn’t make sense”. I feel that Toei makes this series as an idea farm more than a grand story. They throw tons of ideas in the beginning without thinking how to end the series. (or they try to lengthen the series) It is quite sad that we feel Toei doesn’t put enough effort to end the series. Looking back to FPC and SPC, which were the lowest positions in my rank, now I think that they are much better than this series, at least they know how to end and end it reasonably (well, for FPC, I don’t agree the self-destructed boss, but they end other things clearly..). Last but not least, I list my new Precure ranking:

Story-wise
1. YPC5
2. YPC5GG
3. DDPC
4. GPPC (although it is not ended yet)
5. SS
6. HCPC
7. FwPC/MH
8. FPC
9. SmPC
10. SPC
11. HaCha

Character design wise
1. YPC5/YPC5GG
2. FwPC/MH
3. SPC
4. SmPC
5. GPPC
6. DDPC
7. HaCha (although I like Red, Cure Honey and Phantom)
8. HCPC
9. SS
10. FPC

Battle wise
1. YPC5GG
2. YPC5
3. GPPC
4. SS
5. MH
6. FwPC
7. HCPC
8. DDPC
9. SPC
10. HaCha
11. SmPC
12. FPC
This ranking is according to my favouritism …you can list your own ranking for further discussion.
P.S. Supposedly, I plan to write HaCha vs other Precure section, but the review is too long that I leave it to GPPC review…and as it is very long, I may miss some mistakes in the review. Please tell me if there is any typo mistake

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