I, personally, didn't want to be the un-cool Mom, who couldn't keep up with my 4 year old's daughter's latest craze, so I did my research....
Introducing "SMILE PRECURE"
Come Halloween, you'll be thankful you're up-to-date on "Smile Precure", when you don't have to wonder who all of the pink-haired girls are running around trick-or-treating.
Ultra Happy and Cool
You probably know who Anpanman, Ultra-man, and Pokemon are, but do you know Smile Precure? I am sure you recognize the pink haired anime girl, with the short skirt (well, all Japanese anime female characters all have, don't they?), big eyes, who hangs out with her blond, orange, green and blue haired friends? She is EVERYWHERE. On clothes, shoes, notebooks, stickers, cups, bags, masks, movies, cartoons... My daughter and her friends prance around the playground shouting magical chants from this cartoon series, then transform themselves into mini super heroes. Because of this series, Isabella's friends, who speak no English, all can say, "Ultra Happy" and "Cool" in English.
Precure, WHO ARE YOU?
Until last year, I had no idea WHO this pink-haired phenomenon was and thought my daughter was asking me to take PURIKURA photos. (Purikura is a term for the photo booths they have, where you can decorate your pictures afterwards. Not to be confused with the cartoon I am referring to, PuriKYUra, which has an oh-so slightly different pronunciation).
Well, the cartoon series name is Smile Precure (pronounced "Purikyura) プリキュア, aired 8:30AM every Sunday on Asahi TV. Last year, the series name was Sweet Precure. The series takes on a new name every year (for publicity) and is the hippest anime and a MUST KNOW for girls who are kindergarten aged through elementary school in Japan.
The mega-hit series this year is about five girls, from Melhem Land, who call themselves "Sweet Precure" and are trying to save earth and all of the other planets from "Bad End Kingdom (an outer space evil planet)." Bad End Kingdom creatures are using "bad energy" to make a "bad end" for all. Miyuki, an 8th grade girl comes across a "smile pact", which turns her into a "precure wizard", giving her and 4 of her friends magical precure wizard powers. These colorful girls are determined to keep "SMILES" on planet Earth through, light, fire, thunder, wind and water.
(*words in quotation are all direct katakana-ized English words actually used in the series)
The main Precure character, 14 year old Miyuki Hoshizora, has pink hair and with the "smile pact", becomes "Cure Happy". She is bright and outgoing but a little ditsy at times. When she is super happy, she likes to say, "ultra happy!"
Cure Happy has the power to make a wall of light.
Akane Hino, A.K.A. "Cure Sunny", from Osaka, is the head-strong, spit-fire character of the group. She is always telling jokes and making people laugh.
Cure Sunny has the power to create Purikura Sunny "fire". With a wave of her hands, fire develops into a volleyball shape, which she then can throw onto the enemies.
Yayoi Kise, A.K.A. "Cure Peace" is a bit of a cry baby, but she is always putting forth 100% into everything that she does. She likes to draw pictures.
Cure Peace has the power to create Precure Peace "thunder".
"Precure March", is the bravest of the group. When she transfers into Precure March, her hair turns to a bright green distinguishing "triple ponytail".
She holds the power to make "wind".
Reika Aoki, A.K.A., "Precure Beauty" is the "big sister" type of the group. She has her act together and serves as Student body President at her school. But... don't make her mad! Though outwardly she is calm and collected, when she is upset, she becomes the scariest of the group.
Precure Beauty has the power to make "water and ice".
"Candy" is an adorable creature from Melhem Land who is in search of the Precure powers. Miyuki "Cure Happy" stumbles across this little pet when she is running late for school. "Candy" loves to dress up and always keeps up with the latest fashion trends.
She likes to say the word, "cool".
*Images from the official Smile Precure site.