Shining Pretty Cure
Youko Akiyama is an energetic fangirl who dreams of becoming a true hero. Her discovery of a strange crystal fragment is soon followed by an encounter with a talking rabbit, Sheeny. When the two are attacked by a strange girl, Amazora, a resolute Youko is empowered by the Ruby of Vitality, allowing her to transform into Cure Ruby. It turns out that Sheeny is one of the guards for a legendary crystal, the Star of Radiance, that had protected his home, the Garden of Treasures. The Garden had been invaded by the Shade Quartet, four vassals of the Shade Queen. When they tried taking the Star, it shattered into twenty-five pieces, which plummeted towards Earth.
Youko, who sees Pretty Cure as the closest she'll get to living out her dreams of being an Ultra Sentai hero, is all too glad to help Sheeny and his partner, Lucey save their world. Soon, she's found three other girls who can use the Garden's other gemstones to become the legendary warriors, Pretty Cure. Together, the four of them must collect the Star Pieces while fighting against the Shade Quartet, who are bent on using the Star's power for the wishes of their Queen...
The members of Pretty Cure are:
- Youko Akiyama (Cure Ruby): The (sometimes clueless) main character, an obsessive Ascended Fangirl who refuses to give up that easily.
- Aina Kobayashi (Cure Peridot): Youko's childhood friend, a cheery and caring serial matchmaker who struggles with confessing her own feelings.
- Shinju Miwa (Cure Pearl): A sharp heiress who tends to act snarky and haughty but cares more for her teammates than she usually lets on.
- Akira Takamura (Cure Turquoise): An upperclassman who tries to be a reliable older sister to her friends, but suffers from an inferiority complex.
- Sheeny and Lucey: The Mentor Mascots and Team Pets. Sheeny is bold and outspoken, while Lucey is sweet and timid.
The Cures' opposition consists of:
- The Shade Queen: The Big Bad. A shadowy sorceress who seeks the power of the Star of Radiance for unknown reasons.
- Meran and Korii: The Queen's sadistic twin assistants.
- Sora Kibami (Amazora): A hyperactive, emotional and cloyingly cute teenage girl who infiltrates the Cures' school as a spy.
- Haru Enshoku (Yakeru): The rude and loud-mouthed team strongman who doesn't seem to have much in the way of direction or sense.
- Mizuki Noukon (Anya): A cold-hearted and analytical mind-reader who only shows affection around her sister, Amazora.
- Frédéric Verdant (Suishoku): The de jure team leader, a French-speaking man who is the most upstanding member of the team.
The story is currently on hiatus; the author is condensing and re-writing the earlier parts, no matter how long it takes before continuing.
More character-specific tropes may be found here.
- Adults Are Useless: Or evil...unless your name is Ren Fukui, anyway.
- All Your Colors Combined: The late-series Pretty Cure Shining Cannon
- Alternate Continuity
- Anatomy of the Soul: Unlike the other Quartet members, who go the usual route and infect inanimate objects, Anya prefers to use crystallized parts of Soul Anatomy to create monsters.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Chiyoko, Youko's four-year-old sister, who can whine and cry with the best of them, while insisting that the rabbits (especially Sheeny) are her best friends. Amazora is sometimes this to Anya as well.
- Another Dimension: The Shade Quartet's kingdom is located in one, although it...doesn't look so good.
- Aw, Look -- They Really Do Love Each Other: Yakeru is as much of a jerkass to Anya as he is to anyone else, and Anya is usually frigid and snide towards him, but when you get down to it, they really are in love with each other and do show it once in a while.
- Bare Your Midriff: Cure Peridot and Amazora.
- Broken Aesop: After a session at the library, Youko learns the value of studying... but the Cures only knew how to effectively defeat the Monster of the Week because of her and Hibiki's habit of spending their time at the arcade instead. This is lampshaded, of course.
- By the Power of Greyskull: "Precure, switch on!"
- Calling Your Attacks: The finishing moves, naturally; Cure Ruby also calls her kicks and punches in an imitation of her idol, AuraRed.
- Catch Phrase: Youko's "I'm not giving up that easily!", Amazora's "Super cool, super awesome!" (or variations thereof), minor character Maki Kanon's variations on "Isn't that weird?", and Anya's "Your <insert emotion here> shall be a tool in my hands."
- Characterization Marches On: Painfully evident when one compares the earliest handful of episodes with the later ones. The Cures get more defined personalities as the writing progresses, and the Quartet, who (unintentionally, according to the author) came off as more generically evil, saw a minor tweak in their personalities and motivation.
- Dances and Balls: Shinju organizes one for her fathers' homecoming in a later episode.
- Date Peepers: The Cures' trip to the museum with Ren and Frédéric isn't actually an example, Aina just thinks it is.
- Dating Catwoman: Akira and Amazora, eventually. This may be the case with Ren and Frédéric too. Maybe.
- Elemental Powers: With each side divided into sort of Four-Element Ensemble. In order, the Cures use fire, nature, water, and wind; the Quartet uses lightning, fire, ice, and roses.
- Color-Coded Elements: Played straight for the most part, but averted with Cure Turquoise (wind-elemental; blue) and Cure Pearl (water-elemental; white).
- Personality Powers: We have a hot-headed fire user, a coolly logical water user, a laid-back wind user, and a kind-hearted plant user. Seems about right.
- Epiphany Therapy: Somehow, all it takes is a few well-placed words during a battle to make Shinju want to be friends with the other girls and allow Akira to stop feeling guilty for her mistakes. Who knew?
- Excited Episode Title
- Expy: True for most of the cast, who had elements of expy-dom when created, and took on their own traits as the writing progressed.
- Fan Nickname: "Kansai" for Aina; "White Princess" for Shinju
- Festival Episode
- Five-Bad Band:
- Four-Girl Ensemble: Aina is the sweet-tempered girly girl, Youko is a fiery tomboy, Shinju is a sarcastic heiress, and Akira is a calm older sister-type.
- Four Is Death: Averted by the Cures themselves, played straight with the Shade Quartet.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Within both factions:
- Sanguine: Aina and Amazora
- Choleric: Youko and Yakeru
- Melancholic: Shinju and Anya
- Phlegmatic: Akira and Suishoku
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Meran and Korii show these off fairly often, and the Queen's eyes are shown briefly glowing red whenever she's put out about something. Hoshiko has these too, whenever her powers activate.
- Good Colors, Evil Colors: The Cures' outfits use an overall brighter and cheerier palette than their rivals' do. Every single villain outfit also includes black.
- Idol Singer: Kanon wants to be one. Amazora sort of presents herself as one, going far enough to call herself the "Lightning Songstress."
- I Have the High Ground: Mostly Suishoku's domain, but the other Quartet members and the Cures themselves occasionally do this.
- I Know Mortal Kombat: Justified in one episode, where Yakeru makes a monster out of an arcade machine and the girls have to defeat the various bosses found in the game.
- In the Name of the Moon
Ruby: The red gem stands for vitality! Shining strongly, Cure Ruby!Pearl and Turquoise: ...will carry the lights of the future across the galaxy!
Peridot: The green gem stands for joy! Shining brilliantly, Cure Peridot!
Pearl: The white gem stands for purity! Shining radiantly, Cure Pearl!
Turquoise: The blue gem stands for valor! Shining steadily, Cure Turquoise!
Ruby and Peridot: Four sparkling treasures from far away...
—All: Together we shine brightly! We are Precure!
- Japanese School Club: Akira is president of the Drama Club, while Aina is a member of the Gardening Club along with Soichi. Youko and Shinju are both "members" of the Go Home Club, although the former later joins the track and field team and the latter ends up providing background music for the Drama productions on the piano.
- Jossed: The idea that Amazora would become the fifth Cure has all but vanished now that the author has revealed the fifth as a purple Cure Diamond (and almost surely Hoshiko), not a yellow Cure Topaz.
- Kaleidoscope Eyes: Not as dramatic as Perfume Preppy's, but there is a change from civilian to Cure form, with Youko: brown to red; Aina: hazel to green; Shinju: gray to silver; and Akira: teal to blue, respectively.
- Meaningful Name: Quite a few. For example, "Shinju" literally (and conveniently) means "Pearl", while each of the Quartet's given names allude to their element in some manner.
- Memento MacGuffin: Hoshiko's star-shaped diamond pendant seems important to her. It's always glowing whenever her powers activate, so its value goes beyond sentimental.
- Mid-Season Upgrade: The Quartet's cards are later upgraded, thanks to a powered-up Meran and Korii. The Cures counter this, first by adding a new member, and then by acquiring their personal weapons, the Shining Lights.
- Minion Shipping: Yakeru and Anya
- Monster of the Week: Manmanusa.
- Mythology Gag: Well, there's Luminous Town for one, but there are certainly others.
- Name's the Same: One of the consequences of a very tight-knit fanseries community is that fans tend to confuse Akiyama Youko with Nakayama Yoko. The authors of both series tend to joke about this in the comments. Since gems are a very common motif, there's also a lot of other Cure Rubies, Cure Diamonds, and a few Cure Pearls out there as well.
- Never Hurt an Innocent: Suishoku believes strongly in this. Yakeru does not, adding yet another reason for them to hate each other.
- One True Sequence: The Cures and the Quartet always run into each other when a Star Piece appears. Every. Single. Time. Then again, the Star Pieces are implied to be somewhat sentient, wanting the Cures to find them. That doesn't explain how the Quartet acquired three of them pre-series, though.
- "On the Next Episode of..." Catchphrase: "We'll win in the next episode too!"
- Opera Gloves: Sported by both Cure Pearl and Anya.
- Parental Abandonment: Shinju's mother left the family and her father is usually away on business. Akira's parents aren't really there for her.
- Post Episode Trailer
- Power Crystal: Now in henshin item and plot trinket flavors!
- Premiseville: Luminous Town, home of many, many shiny things.
- The Psycho Rangers: The Shade Quartet are a team of Evil Counterparts to the Cures.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Both sides with Youko/Aina and Amazora/Yakeru as outgoing/impulsive red and Shinju/Akira and Anya/Suishoku as cool and more introverted blue.
- Sarcastic Confession: Shinju in Turquoise's debut episode:
Shinju: If you're so curious, then here's the truth. Akiyama, Kobayashi, and I are all secretly transforming heroines known as Precure who fight monsters summoned by people from another dimension while collecting magical sparkly crystals that make people happy. Oh, and this stuffed bunny rabbit I'm holding is actually alive and gave us our powers, and Akiyama here thinks you're our last member because of something about valor and your hair color. Any questions?
Akira: Um...just one. What television show is this story based off of?
- School Festival
- Second Episode Morning
- Series Hiatus: Very deliberately, per Word of God -- she's revising and compressing the earlier parts of the story.
- Sixth Ranger: The Cures get an eventual Fifth Ranger, Cure Diamond by mid-series, while the mascots get a Third Ranger, Gleamy.
- Meran and Korii are this for the villains, in a roundabout way -- they're there from the beginning but don't start fighting the Cures until mid-season.
- Supervillain Lair: Castle Triste
- Theme Naming
- Colorful Theme Naming: The Quartet's civilian aliases generally follow a "first name=element, surname=theme color" pattern.
- Rock Theme Naming: Not just the Cures and the mascots, but the locations, which show a heavy light and gemstone motif. The story is set in Luminous Town, they attend Bright Academy, and congregate at Gemstone Park by Lake Lapis...
- Those Two Girls: Aina's friends Miyako and Mimi.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Youko and Aina, who are best friends despite their differences. The Quartet has the Spear Counterpart, Sensitive Guy and Manly Man, in Suishoku and Yakeru, who are most decidedly not best friends.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Hoshiko loves chocolate very, very much. Meanwhile, Youko has been shown to have some fondness for taiyaki, while both Frédéric is fond of both coffee and coffee cake.
- Transformation Sequence: Described the first time each of the girls transform, only mentioned as a "flash of light" after that.
- Transformation Trinket: Pretty Cure's Star Braces, and the Quartet's gemstone rings.
- Two-Teacher School
- Undead Tax Exemption: All of the Quartet to some degree, but Amazora is probably the worst offender.
- Verbal Tic: Sheeny ends his sentences with "-shii", Lucey uses "-lu", and Gleamy uses "-gurii". Kanon's catchphrase also approaches near-verbal tic levels.
- Villain Teleportation
- Weapon of Choice:
- What Could Have Been:
- The four main heroines were originally a ditzy girly-girl, a shy bookworm, an outgoing and sweet-yet-misunderstood rich girl, and a daydreaming fairy tale-obsessed crossdresser. The fifth? She was supposed to defect from the villains' side.
- Meran and Korii spoke in Zorn and Thorn-like antimetabole.
- Amazora's character was originally male and very different from her current incarnation. The Quartet were more archetypal card-carrying types as well.
- Where The Hell Is Luminous Town: Somewhere in Japan?
- Wonder Twin Powers: Sheeny and Lucey have these, as do Meran and Korii.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Three out of four Cures, as well as at least four of the villains and quite a few supporting characters.
- Curtains Match the Window: In general, although Cure Pearl and Anya both avert this.