Anime observers are cocking an eyebrow at prize in latest PreCure promotional event.
Magical girl anime TV series Pretty Cure, better known to fans as PreCure, is currently airing its 13th consecutive season. That’s an impressive show of longevity, and in keeping with that sustained popularity, the PreCure franchise, like clockwork, also puts out one theatrical feature a year.
This year’s movie, Maho Girls PreCure! The Movie: The Miraculous Transformation! Cure Mofurun! is set to open on October 29, and distributor Toei has already released a trailer packed with the pastel colors, frilly outfits, and earnest friendship that have made PreCure a hit with its target audience of elementary school-age girls.
Starting September 17, the Tokyo Metro subway network will be holding what Japan calls a “stamp rally,” in which participants fill up a special sheet of paper by stamping it with different designs available at designated stations. Once they’ve filled up the sheet, they turn it in for some sort of inexpensive trinket, and can also enter a drawing for bigger prizes. For the upcoming PreCure contest, 348 chosen winners will receive toy magic wands, organizer notebooks, and stuffed animals. For the grand prize, to be given to two winners, the magical girls themselves will stop by and visit you in your house or apartment.
That’s sure to be an unforgettable experience for a child who regularly watches PreCure. But as with any anime series with an all-female cast of cute characters, PreCure has a sizeable secondary fan base, one made up of adult men.
Completing the PreCure stamp rally requires visits to five stations in the central Tokyo area, and while it might be hard for a grade schooler to talk her parents into making that circuit, it’s something an adult could easily do in an afternoon, if he felt like it. As such, there’s a chance that a significant number of full-grown men will be completing the stamp rally, which has some people wondering if their applications will be filtered out before the winners of the grand prize are otherwise randomly chosen. One online commentator even voiced his suspicion that some men will put a false, much younger age on their applications to avoid just such a possibility.
However, maybe an adult male being one of the grand winners would be a poetically perfect outcome. Since they’re anime characters, the PreCure girls obviously aren’t real, so when they make their visit, it’ll be in the form of performers dressed in costumes, sort of like what you’d see at a theme park. Since the performers’ faces are hidden, there’s no way for other people to tell if there’s a man or a woman inside the costume, which could result in, as one commenter put it:
“A depressing meeting between two middle-aged dudes: one in a costume, and one who loves PreCure.”
So maybe the adult fans who don’t win the grand prize are actually dodging a bullet.
Follow Casey on Twitter, and he promises to bring snacks if/when he visits you in your home.