Worlds of Light

Glitter Force (Smile Precure)

This topic contains 64 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Yuriko Rill Yuriko Rill 1 year, 10 months ago.

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  • #684722
    Profile photo of Sanae
    Sanae
    Participant

    Rayati honored ones,

    I was looking for some shining anime through Netflix– the selection is not large, and I may need another service to see the ones recommended here– and I kept being drawn to a Netflix-exclusive show called Glitter Force. The images were those of five beautiful maids in different colors and it looked quite happy. Last night I watched the first two episodes.

    When I searched elektraspace to find more information, I learned that this is actually Smile Precure! I am not able to access it in the original Japanese, but as someone only recently beginning to discover Chelouranya, I personally have not found it too… deracinated? Is that the proper word? Even in the English dub, there is something underneath that feels very correct. The amity between the characters is refreshing and delightful.

    I know that many of you prefer the Japanese versions, and I would prefer to see it that way as well, but have you seen this English dub? What do you think of it, especially as a sort of first step?

  • #685072
    Profile photo of Clare Trent
    Clare Trent
    Participant

    Rayati honored Sanae-san,
    I have only seen the Smile Precure Japanese version with, for me, English subtitles, and I am sure we could arrange for you to get those downloads should you wish.

    Personally, I have not seen the Western Telluri version, though one of us who has was rather disappointed at how it had been changed.

    I rather suspect, though, that it might be better to watch the unadulterated force of the purer Japanese version.

    It is such a wonderful anime series, it would be a shame to watch too much of an inferior version.

    I hope you find these comments helpful, and not too dampening.

    In Amity, Clare Trent

  • #685073
    Profile photo of Sushuri
    Sushuri
    Moderator

    Smile Precure is one of the best anime ever made! Hee sorry to be so opinionated but it really is very, very good.

    I have no idea what the English dub might be like. I did hear at one time that they were going to call Precure “Glitter Force” but I didn’t know it had actually happened. If they don’t re-write it too badly, it is really a wonderful story with a lot of depth and some really suteki na characters (I don’t even know an English word that expresses what I feel).

    I don’t think there is much doubt that a lot will be lost in translation even if it is a good one. There are so many cultural things that can’t be translated without a half-page of footnotes that the translators just have to re-write the characters as Americans in some areas.

    Normally I would recommend English Subtitles over dubs, as at least you can hear the original voice actresses (and they are SO good!) I know some fan subs use a few improper words though, and I imagine and official dub would avoid that, though official dubs do tend to make the girls in this kind of anime sound “rougher” than the their Japanese counterparts, simply because that is how the equivalent English-speaking characters would speak.

    A very interesting thing about Smile is the way the girls are very clearly blonde and brunette. I don’t know how this will come over in the dub.

    One of the girls here may be able to recommend a good English subtitled version. I haven’t actually seen any English subbed versions myself so I don’t know.

  • #685076
    Profile photo of Yuriko Rill
    Yuriko Rill
    Participant

    Oh how interesting. I had heard rumors that Smile Precure was going to be made into a Western version with an English dub, but I did not know that it had already happened.

    Smile Precure is a wonderful series! All of the Precure series are good, but Smile is one of the best of them (depending on who you talk to, THE best of them…heee). I have not seen Glitter Force, and I likely will not. I am really watching very little in English in any case. I hope that the English version is done well, although I expect as Miss Trent says, it is likely to be quite inferior to the original.

    Most of the anime streaming sites have Smile Precure, I think. I am not sure if you can choose the translation, but Doremi tends to be the best and least “localized” of fansubs.

    As Sushuri-chei has said, some of the fansubs use bad words in the translations…I do not know why….it is a children’s show after all! One would think that the “official” dubbed version on Netflix would not translate using improper words, but I seen the translations that Hulu uses for Sailor Moon, and some of them have improper words as well…sigh.

    I do know what you mean about the selection of anime on Netflix. Oh, and supposedly there is a way to turn off the subtitles on Netflix, but I have not found a way to do so.

    Still, I do hope that they did a good job with the English version, although, I am not likely to watch it. It would be nice of there was an easily accessible, good series available, though. After watching Smile Precure in Japanese, I am sure I would find Glitter Force disappointing, even if it were well done. If you do watch it, please do let us know what you think of it.

  • #685077
    Profile photo of Petite Sorcière
    Petite Sorcière
    Participant

    I haven’t seen it, but I have been told by someone who has that Glitter Force has really changed Smile Precure quite radically and not for the better. It probably has something of the original left, but I think a subtitled version is likely to be closer to the real thing.

  • #685078
    Profile photo of Sanae
    Sanae
    Participant

    Rayati honored Miss Trent,

    Oh, I would so very much love to have the original versions! While my Japanese is not good enough yet to watch without the subtitles, I am very happy to read subtitles and can often pick up on layers of meaning in the Japanese that I do understand.

    Your comments are not dampening at all! I will message you here to discuss the downloads. My most humble gratitude!

    Honored Sushuri-chei,

    I am not sure I would have picked up on the Blonde-ness and Brunette-ness of the maids before reading here, but knowing the concept, it is so clear to me that Cure Sunny is very Brunette, and though I have not seen her episode yet (it is next!), the yellow maid seems the most Blonde. The blue maid is very Matic! Cure Happy (Glitter Lucky in this version) seems Blonde as well but perhaps less so than the yellow maid. I have not seen much of the green maid either yet.

    It is so interesting to me to see these characters and their magnificent traits. I can see in myself the little glimmers of some of these things, and to have examples of how I may become if I purify my world… I do hope this does not come across as boastful! I mean only to say that even so early in my journey, I can…

    (Ah, sometimes my Matic side and my Chelanic side combine to make me completely unable to choose words that adequately express what I feel!)

    I am newly come here. There is much of the Tellurian world that I need to cleanse from myself. Smile Precure, in a way I did not expect at all, gives me hope that this is actually achievable! And that hope is such a precious gift to me.

    In Amity,
    Sanae

  • #685083
    Profile photo of Sanae
    Sanae
    Participant

    Rayati, honored Miss Rill, honored Miss Sorciére.

    Many thanks for your honest advice! I so very much would like to watch more Glitter Force, but perhaps it is better if I wait to watch the original. I usually do not watch dubbed versions of anything, but I did not know this was an original Japanese series, much less a Precure series, until I researched it. (I was a bit amazed at how Japanese the animation seemed, with the gestures and the reverences, thinking that it had been written and drawn by some West Tellurians.)

    What a blessing that I have found it at a time when I can ask wiser maids for advice, and at a time when I am newly learning all of the underlying things to help me understand it better!

  • #685138
    Profile photo of Yuriko Rill
    Yuriko Rill
    Participant

    I was curious…so, I just went and saw the first few minutes of the first episode.

    Oh dear.

    Yes, the artwork is the original artwork. Isn’t it lovely?

    On the other hand…even from the first couple of minutes….oh dear.

    You are much, much, much better off with the subtitled version….it is SUCH a beautiful and magical series. I could tell even from the very beginning that much of the magic and beauty has been stripped from the English version, which seems to be a complete remake…not just a dub.

  • #685140
    Profile photo of Sanae
    Sanae
    Participant

    Honored Miss Rill,

    Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry to have talked up this version so much that you tried it. But I do greatly appreciate your doing so and now I will wait to watch the subtitled version.

    What a shame that it is a complete remake! Still, I have read other threads here that suggest West Tellurians may not be able to appreciate any of the Precure series because they are so foreign. I can only hope that the little bits of magic and beauty that are still there (the art, for one, and the speech at the end of the first episode about never losing hope) can reach those who need it.

  • #685142
    Profile photo of Yuriko Rill
    Yuriko Rill
    Participant

    Oh, there is absolutely nothing to apologize for, Honored Sanae-chei.

    I was really just curious, in the hopes that, well…(I had been curious since I heard the rumors).

    Still, from what I could see from the little I did..it does not seem bad…just the original is SO much better. In Smile the first encounter between Candy-chan and Miyuki-chan is pure magic, and in Glitter Force, it is just ok, if this makes sense.

    It is what it is, and as you say, it is likely much more accessible to a West Tellurian audience. Oh, how lovely about the speech at the end about never losing hope.

  • #685193
    Profile photo of Sanae
    Sanae
    Participant

    That is most kind of you to say, Honored Miss Rill.

    And, indeed, I am somewhat relieved to hear you say that it is okay, if not any better. I was so looking forward to watching more. Do you think that perhaps it may be alright, and then later I can watch the original version and revel in the pure magic? I am so conflicted about this, because I know that the original will be more pure and more delightful, but this version still soothes my heart some.

    When Glitter Lucky (as I’ll call them, if I refer to this Netflix version, to keep them separate from their pure Cure versions) gave her speech at the end of the first episode, the message of never giving up hope and always believing in a happy ending moved me to tears. It was exactly the message my heart needed.

  • #685243
    Profile photo of Yuriko Rill
    Yuriko Rill
    Participant

    Oh dear…well, that is hard for me to say really. I only saw the first few minutes.

    I am so glad that you heard exactly what you needed to hear. That is so wonderful when that happens, isn’t it?

  • #685245
    Profile photo of Sushuri
    Sushuri
    Moderator

    That speech (in Japanese) was a big moment in my life too. My feeling is that there aren’t many things as wonderful as Smile Precure and it would be best to experience the Real Thing (or at least as close as one can get with English subtitles first and then Glitter Force as a dessert later if you still feel like it.

    This is purely my feeling though. Why not see and episode or two of Smile for yourself and see how you feel then? Rill-san seems to think you can find it subtitled on other streaming services. In fact a very quick search turns up this for some reason it says Suite Precure season 2 but it is in fact Smile, which followed Suite.

    If it were something less truly special than Smile it wouldn’t really matter but Smile is one of those rare and perfect magical things that seem sent to us.

    Having said this, of course if Glitter Force really calls to you do go ahead. I would just recommend giving Smile a try at this stage to see where you feel called.

  • #685246
    Profile photo of Sushuri
    Sushuri
    Moderator

    PS to honored Rill-san. I don’t know about Hulu or Netflix as I’ve never used them, but on Crunchyroll you just right-click the kinnie while it is playing and you get a context menu that includes “disable subtitles”. In some cases the subtitles are hard-coded, in which case you can’t disable them, but mostly you can.

  • #685249
    Profile photo of Sushuri
    Sushuri
    Moderator

    PPS: that last link seemed to have some dubious advertising so this may be better. Or you can PM Rill-san or the mere self for further help.

  • #685250
    Profile photo of Sanae
    Sanae
    Participant

    Rayati honored ones,

    My goodness, thank you ever so much! I returned from my evening shower to find two links! As you said, honored Rill-san, it is so very different, even in the first couple minutes. I am so happy!

    Please forgive me for having you do the work to find it for me. I was afraid of running across a badly subtitled or dubbed version, but in effect I shirked the duty and caused you more work, especially in my desire to have it right this minute.

    Hearing the esteem in which you all hold this particular series, I am glad to watch it in the original version first as you suggest.

    In fondest Amity,
    Sanae

  • #685296
    Profile photo of Sushuri
    Sushuri
    Moderator

    Honored Sanae-san, please understand that I am not endorsing the actual subtitles on the anime I linked. I just did a search to see where the show can be found. I don’t watch anime with English subtitles myself so I can’t say if these are good or not. They will almost certainly follow the real story much more closely and say approximately what was really said. It won’t be exactly right even with a good translator just because the languages and cultures aren’t equivalent, but it will be much, much closer.

    Once you have watched Smile itself, do please post your reactions here. It will be wonderful to discuss this most beautiful of anime together, and delightful for us to see someone experiencing one of our own most precious experiences: the first glimpse of Smile Precure.

  • #685340
    Profile photo of Sanae
    Sanae
    Participant

    Honored ones,

    Once again, so many thanks for the links. I watched the first episode of Smile and it is delightful! So many differences, as Rill-san said, between the original and Glitter Force. Scenes from later episodes, perhaps, were added at the beginning of Glitter Force to introduce the concept of the team to a perhaps unknowing West Tellurian audience, and later through the episode to serve the altered story.

    It turns out that the speech at the end I was mentioning comes earlier in Smile, and is no less powerful for it. I agree with Rill-san that the initial meeting between Cure Happy and Candy is pure magic! The voice acting is lovely, even that of the wolf! (I found his lilting voice to be perfect for an evil character who will hopefully be transformed into good in the end.)

    Sushuri-san, thank you for the caution about the subtitles. In the version I saw, they were fine, and sometimes the Japanese subtitles (with furigana!) were also displayed, which was a delight to me. I hope to watch the series again once my Japanese has improved so I can appreciate more of it.

    The jikoshoukai scene was so very different! I loved the wit with which Akane created a charming intro for Happy. (Please forgive my using different names for the characters, I can’t remember them all yet.) Even the opening and closing songs were so much more lovely!

    I thank you again for your wisdom in gently guiding me to the original version of Smile. I am looking forward to sharing my initial experiences with you!

    In Amity,
    Sanae

  • #685588
    Profile photo of Sushuri
    Sushuri
    Moderator

    Oh oh I am so Happy (heehee) that you have chosen the original Smile! Isn’t it just beyond wonderful!

    Yes all the voice-acting is perfect isn’t it? Wolfrun is very good in a scary way too, as you say. The rolled r’s are interesting I think (actually they are interesting from a Japanese pronunciation point of view too. The Japanese “r” is kind of like a rolled “r” but with only one roll. It can be fully rolled as Wolfrun often does, but in Japanese that is nearly always a characteristic of “rough” male speakers).

    Cure happy (Miyuki) is so charming isn’t she? It takes me ages to get to know names too. In the real version we meet each of the main characters in the first five episodes, each getting her own toujou (debut) episode. Though you have now met the very brunette Akane (Cure Sunny) and been introduced briefly to the other three in the jikoshoukai scene.

    One question. The wonderful Cure Happy speech about ganbari (trying one’s best) comes as a reply to Wolfrun’s speech preaching hopelessness. It is part of a tradition of shoujo anime in which the battle between good and bad characters is essentially a battle between right and wrong values, and the heroine replies to the villain’s speech, explaining why right is right. Did that come across in Glitter Force or was it taken out of context?

    It is a little sad that Glitter Force has changed Smile so much. One could say that Western fans, even those who sought out the original, seem incapable of seeing the fundamental ideas behind the anime, so perhaps it doesn’t matter. On the other hand I think younger children, who have not yet been de-educated by the materialistic ego-based view of stories taught in Western schools are much more likely to grasp the real point than the internet “fan-sphere”.

    However, I think many children of an earlier generation were much helped and inspired by Sailor Moon even though I believe the English dub was considerably altered. And perhaps it will inspire people to seek out the original with a simpler and more childlike heart!

  • #685870
    Profile photo of Sanae
    Sanae
    Participant

    Please allow me to quote some of Glitter Force’s ganbare speech:

    Candy: As long as you keep trying, anything can happen!
    Emily: [gasp, eye comes into focus as if she’s having an epiphany]

    Emily: Just today, I had to introduce myself to my new classmates. Suddenly I panicked. And I got really discouraged and I almost gave up. But then someone helped me. And I tried again, and I did it. You can make your own happy ending by just not giving up!

    Ulric: Aren’t you even a little bit afraid of me?
    Emily: I’m a whole lot afraid of you!
    Ulric: Then why make it hard on yourself?
    Emily: I don’t know. Maybe… maybe ’cause I’ve read enough fairytales to know you never trust a wolf!

    Candy: Leave me behind, he might let you go!
    Emily: You’re probably right, but I could never do that!

    Candy: You’ll never outrun him! This way we’ll both be doomed!
    Emily: Don’t be such a pessimist, Candy! Whatever happened to keep trying and never lose hope and happy endings and all that stuff?

    Emily: [to Ulric] You don’t get to decide when this story’s over, or what kind of ending it has.

    The transformation end phrase is, “A fabulous shimmer! A glow in your heart! I’m Glitter Lucky!”

    Having just watched both speeches, there is quite a bit of difference. The original talks more about not giving up and about sticking with it to the bitter end, and Ulric is so much more threatening. Glitter Force has Ulric saying he came along and “painted [this world] black” and “suddenly the future is not looking so bright,” which is not nearly so bad to me as saying “the worst possible end.” GF’s speech came across to me more as a reference to the song Paint it Black (and also the one with the lyric, “My future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades”) than to making it the worst possible end.

    GF does have Emily say that she won’t give up Candy to Ulric ever, and it does seem to strike a cooperative note– someone helped Emily with her self introduction, and so she was able to do it.

    In Smile, I also noticed an undercurrent of Miyuki having to make quick decisions to trust Candy, and always being willing to go along with it even when she doesn’t understand. GF shows some of this trust but with a lot more wry comments. Upon being given the compact, Emily asks, “Did I win a prize?” instead of “What’s this?”

    I hope that all these wry comments and quick West Tellurian wit help West Tellurians absorb some of the good messages. I am still at a stage where I found it very funny and smart. But I completely see now that the original is much more pure.

    I am happy to keep comparing the two for you all as I go along watching Smile, if you have questions about how other scenes were changed.

  • #685912
    Profile photo of Yuriko Rill
    Yuriko Rill
    Participant

    Oh, how interesting. Your analysis of the differences seems to be what one might expect. Emily seems to have rougher edges than Miyuki-chan, who is very sweet and innocent. I can not even imagine Miyuki-chan talking in the manner and tone you describe.

    It has been a long time since I have seen the first episode of Smile, and I do not remember the details of the speech. Of course, the concept of ganbaru is quite difficult to render in English. Yes, “trying hard” is a part of it, but there is so much more to it.

  • #686114
    Profile photo of Sanae
    Sanae
    Participant

    I agree, Rill-san. Emily definitely has rougher edges than Miyuki-chan. And yes to ganbaru as well. It seems to be to be a combination of trying hard, doing one’s best, never giving up, and perhaps a bit of not letting anyone else down too.

    I’m looking forward to watching the next episode to see how Akane-chan comes across!

  • #686236
    Profile photo of Sushuri
    Sushuri
    Moderator

    Honored Sanae-san, thank you so much for telling us about this.

    It sounds as if Glitter Force preserves at least the broad outlines of Smile, while perhaps losing a lot.

    I have to say that while my English is not (I hope) particularly “rough”, I find that I can speak much more simply and directly and truly in Japanese. In English there is a kind of pressure to be a bit Smart Alice – not even a social pressure (I don’t have much social contact with outland people) just somehow the way the current language works.

    One of the cultural problems of translation is that some of the things people say in Japanese just sound too “weak” or “lame” in current English. For example, in an exchange of messages:

    昨日は海に見に行った
    Yesterday I went to see the sea.

    Will very often receive a reply starting:

    海に見に行ったね
    You went to see the sea didn’t you.

    In current English one really can hardly do that. In some older English something along those lines was more possible, but for a long time now such a way of speaking has been considered too unsmart even for the most gentle discourse (except perhaps when speaking to small children).

    Yet, I feel it is putting a (sometimes thin, sometimes thicker) veneer of something just a shade false or artificial on what one really means to say. When writing or speaking in Japanese I often think – oh I don’t need to say that slightly-twisted thing, I can just say what I mean.

    It doesn’t mean one can’t produce interesting and unusual ideas in Japanese (people often do). I think it means one isn’t forced to go through the pretense of saying something “different” when one actually isn’t.

    And of course the idea of ganbari doesn’t really translate. One can talk about “doing one’s best” but that can’t convey the cultural force of ganbari which is used dozens of times every day and has such a depth of meaning.

    Oh when listening to Akane-chan in Japanese it is worth bearing in mind that she speaks kansai-ben (Osaka dialect) so some of what she says can be a bit confusing even where you would normally recognize the words.

  • #686638
    Profile photo of Sanae
    Sanae
    Participant

    Honored Sushuri-chei,

    Oh, a “Smart Alice!” I love the phrase, I know exactly what you mean. I think there are a lot of Smart Alice remarks in Glitter Force, which perhaps may make it more attractive to West Tellurian adolescent maids.

    There is a mirroring language thing in English that I used when I was a practicing physician as a way to draw out more information from my patients. “Yesterday I went to see the sea.” “Oh, the sea?” But it was taught to us specifically as an interviewing technique, a way to be open-ended about things. And the fact that we needed to be taught it shows how much it is not common in English conversation. (And still to me it sounds strange, I keep wanting to edit it to be less mirroring.)

    I think I had seen somewhere that Akane-chan speaks kansai-ben, and it definitely shows. In either the first or second episode, which I watched last night, someone mentions that she transferred from Osaka a year ago.

    In the second episode, I was struck by the formality of deciding to be tomodachi. I had assumed that Akane-chan and Miyuki-chan were already friends.

    In Glitter Force as well, the opening of the second episode with Candy and Miyuki-chan introducing themselves to each other with a deep reverence was explained more. Candy says something along the lines of, “and now you know how we introduce ourselves to each other in my world! Do you want to practice again?” And then they do the bowing introduction. It struck me as odd because I have studied Japanese, but perhaps to West Tellurians it will reinforce the concept of honor on a different world. (I could not help but see parallels to Chelouranya: Candy being an honored maid here who is teaching a newcomer how to reverence and say rayati.)

    Akane-chan is most definitely a Brunette! She is so sweet and genki. I love how Miyuki-chan’s words were what brought her out of the Bad End depression and how she wanted to protect Miyuki-chan even when she thought she was just a regular maid. And too, how she hid behind Miyuki-chan when Akanbe was threatening them, but at the last moment caught him by the nose and saved Miyuki-chan from being smashed.

    Her transformation scene! I love the flames and the fire, and how different it is from Miyuki-chan’s.

    Oh, dear honored ones, I am so glad that you were persistent in encouraging me to watch the original. I am enjoying it so very much! My heart is warm and there are sparkles all around!

    In Amity,
    Sanae

  • #687080
    Profile photo of Sanae
    Sanae
    Participant

    I watched the third episode tonight, and there is one main question I have. In the subtitles I was watching, Yayoi-chan called herself a “crybaby.” The others also used the word. I’m afraid I was not able to pick out the word in Japanese that they were using. This seems rather harsh to me, and while I understand that crying is stigmatized, at least in West Telluria, it does not seem such a fault to me– is it also not so acceptable in Japan? …I must admit that I too cry very easily, and I am likely taking this a bit personally.

    What is the Japanese word they are using, please? And is there more to its meaning than what these subtitles are implying?

    In Amity,
    Sanae

  • #687162
    Profile photo of Yuriko Rill
    Yuriko Rill
    Participant

    If I remember correctly, the word that was used was 泣き虫 (なきむし, nakimushi), which literally means “crybug.” While crybaby is probably the closest English translation, I do not think that the connotation is quite so harsh in Japanese. From what I could tell, the other characters seemed to treat her being a 泣き虫 as an endearing imperfection, rather than a cause for ridicule.

    From what I have seen, Japanese culture seems to be far more tolerant of endearing imperfections than West Tellurian culture.

    I LOVE Cure Peace. Heee…Cure Peace may be a 泣き虫, but as you can probably see from that episode, she is FAR tougher than she looks! Over the course of the series, you will likely see that one should never, ever underestimate Cure Peace!

  • #687524
    Profile photo of Yuriko Rill
    Yuriko Rill
    Participant

    I also think that 泣き虫 is used a lot differently than “crybaby” is used in English, and I do not think that crying itself is stigmatized…or even crying easily. In English, the term crybaby is often used by bullies, and is often used when people are truly hurt…and often by the people who are doing the hurting. Much like the villains do in Smile Precure.

    I think it is a far different matter when someone like Yayoi-chan recognizes that she cries a lot more easily than most (which she does…I think in the first episode, she said she cried daily, and sometimes several times a day), or when her dear friends who love her see that trait in her…and smile about it.

    It is interesting, though, how Cure Peace handles it when confronted by Akaoni. Actually, this is really what happens quite often in Precure. Akaoni bullies her and ridicules her for being both a 泣き虫 and a 弱虫 (よわむし, yowamushi), “weak bug,” which means weakling or coward. She responds in the classic Magic Girl manner. She humbly says something along the lines of, yes she is a 泣き虫 and a 弱虫. She admits that she does get scared easily, and that she was really scared then. She then gets up and says, that in spite of all of that, she has something very important to protect, which I believe was her drawing that her precious new friends helped and supported her with. She then stands up and fights Akaoni…which I believe is when she received her Smile Compact. It has been a long time since I have seen that episode, so I may have the details a little wrong…but I really LOVE that episode!

    In many ways, I think that Cure Peace is the most courageous of all the Smile Precure. She is easily scared, and on a physical level she is the weakest (and blondest) of the Smile Precure (I love her bit of confusion in her transformation scene). Yet, in spite of her weakness, she is a true Precure in every sense of the word, and well, I will not try not to give out spoilers….but throughout the series I became more and more impressed with her!

    Heeee…which is why I say to never, ever underestimate Cure Peace!

  • #687726
    Profile photo of Sanae
    Sanae
    Participant

    I had also noticed that, about Yayoi-chan but also about Akane-chan and Miyuki-chan as well. All three of them have openly admitted that they were afraid of the Akanbe. But all stood up to fight anyway.

    Is it boastful of me to say I identify very much with Yayoi-chan? I know the feeling she goes through– when one simply has enough of running scared, and instead turns to confront the evil, even though one is still scared. It seems to me true bravery to do what is right even when one is terrified.

    And I believe better than standing up for her artwork, I understood Yayoi-chan to be standing up for her treasured friends, who had helped her out so much. It was then that she became Cure Peace. And the power of lightning! My goodness, I expected something more gentle and flowing, like Sailor Mercury’s “Shine Aqua Illusion” or some such. But to have lightning as a power? The weakest among us can be strong, too.

    Thank you kindly for explaining nakimushi! You are right, “crybaby” is often used by those who provoked the crying in the first place to further taunt the sensitive. I imagine Yayoi-chan was saying “I’m a crybug and a weakling” much the same as I say “I cry in the greeting card aisle”– as a gentle self-deprecation that doesn’t come with any self-judgment.

    (At the end, she began to cry again, I think out of strong love and amity for her friends, and when they smile at her about it, she denies crying. I have learned to acknowledge it when it happens to me, but I am far older than Yayoi-chan– is she denying it perhaps because she is not used to being accepted despite– or perhaps because of, in part– her tears?)

  • #687970
    Profile photo of Yuriko Rill
    Yuriko Rill
    Participant

    I do not think it is boastful at all to identify with Yayoi-chan/Cure Peace. I identify with Reika-chan/Cure Beauty. I actually think it is quite important, really.

    We all need characters to identify with, and characters to look up to. We need to see characters who are like us and how they respond to challenges. We also all need role models. There are almost no good blonde West Tellurian role models. There are certainly none post-Eclipse, and few pre-Eclipse. The few pre-Eclipse blonde role models, such as Marilyn Monroe and Betty White, only show a few facets of being blonde, and they are usually heavily involved with masculi.

    One of the wonderful things about Japanese media is all of the very different role models for both brunettes and blondes. Reika-chan/Cure Beauty is very different from Yayoi-chan/Cure Peace and Miyuki-chan/Cure Happy, but she is still quite blonde. Her character was quite liberating to me, really, and her struggles helped me to face some of my own struggles.

    As I have watched more Japanese media, I have found other characters that I identify with, such as Cure Flora from Go! Princess Precure, and Cure Blossom from Heartcatch Precure, and characters that I admire and want to be like, such as Alicia-san from Aria. These are very important for me in developing myself as a blonde and trying to be my best self.

    Also, an interesting thing that I noticed about Emily in Glitter Force. Miyuki-chan/Cure Happy is delightfully blonde, in a little different way than Cure Peace, but still blonde. Emily seems to have a bit of a pseudo-brunette veneer.

  • #687972
    Profile photo of Sanae
    Sanae
    Participant

    Honored Miss Rill,

    I understand what you’re saying. I think I read another honored maid here say that she had to make peace with her blondeness. I am likely going to have to do that too. I’m so glad that Cure Beauty has helped you!

    When I saw the first Glitter Force episode, I realized that younger me would have identified with Glitter Breeze (Cure Beauty) as well, because the episode listed all her extracurricular activities and many accomplishments, and I was that sort of maid, but to a detrimental extreme. As I grew older, I realized that I am much happier expressing my Cure Peace side, being taken care of, being spiritual, and focusing more on the Path of Love than on the Path of Knowledge.

    It is so good to have role models, isn’t it? I feel as if I can learn from all the Smile characters. I watched the fourth episode this evening and Nao-chan is so logical and forthright! A very different type of Brunette from Akane-chan as well, but both clearly Brunettes. I find it interesting that the Precures are recognizing others they would like to be Precures too, and though Miyuki-chan tries to invite Nao-chan, she keeps getting interrupted. I like this, because then Nao-chan can still have her own realization and accept her destiny as a Precure.

    I think you’re absolutely correct with your assessment of Emily. A pseudo-Brunette veneer, absolutely! And there’s a bit of an inflection of her genki-ness, but she’s still genki.

    On a different note, I thought the inclusion of Cure Peace’s jankenpon was kawaii! And I did not understand why it was part of her henshin phrase, but perhaps all will become clear. Or perhaps it’s to throw off the monsters when they find themselves playing with her, as Akaoni did, and lose.

  • #688734
    Profile photo of Sushuri
    Sushuri
    Moderator

    The game of Janken, as you may know, is played by Japanese children (and sometimes adults) very often. It is used to decide various everyday matters, such as who goes first in a game or who does some task, and people always stick to the result of a Janken game.

    The game has a metaphysical basis, rooted in Chinese/Japanese cosmology in which the interplay of the five Eastern Elements is the basis of universal manifestation. Fire, water, wood, metal and earth are each strong to one of the others and weak to another.

    If you have played Pokemon you will be aware that the elemental strengths and weaknesses are like a giant Janken game, and in fact the original three types, fire, water and grass, are exactly like Janken, with each being strong to one of the other two and weak to the other.

    In the case of Cure Peace it is not only a cute gesture, but also チョキ choki (scissors), especially the way Cure Peace does it, looks like the two-fingered “peace sign” which is a near-forgotten remnant of the 1960s in the West, but in Japan has lived on as the cute gesture that almost all young girls (and many others too) use when they are being photographed. It is known by that name ピースサイン piisu sain (peace sign) so it is a kind of visual pun on Cure Peace’s name.

    (P.S. the regular word for scissors is hasami, but choki is the term for scissors in Janken)

  • #689536
    Profile photo of Sanae
    Sanae
    Participant

    Thank you, honored Sushuri-chei, for sharing your knowledge! I had not realized there was a metaphysical basis to Janken.

    For a period of my life when I was first studying Japanese, I took up the habit of making the peace sign in photographs too. Sometimes I would also stick out my thumb, as I’d seen that in Sailor Moon. I’m also quite fond of the graphical peace sign, and have a small charm of it in a heart shape instead of a circle. Its original message of nuclear disarmament and its current general peace message are ones I support.

    I watched episode 5 yesterday and, as I expected, Cure Peace makes the rock sign, gu (right?) In Glitter Force, this is completely disregarded, and they don’t talk about the gestures at all– at least through episode 4. Instead, Glitter Sunny remarks on Glitter Peace’s catchphrase, “Puppies and Kittens! The power of love! I’m Glitter Peace!”

  • #689858
    Profile photo of Yuriko Rill
    Yuriko Rill
    Participant

    Thank you for continuing to report about the differences. It is really interesting!

    How interesting about relating to Cure Beauty’s accomplishments. I found myself relating to her nayami (troubles, worries). In Smile Precure, Reika-chan faced many of the struggles I faced trying to be good growing up. At each turn, she made the right choice, whereas many times, I made the wrong choice. So, for me, Cure Beauty/Reika-chan is a bit of an inspiration for me in reclaiming who I am.

    Although, I have to admit, I am quite baffled as to how in the world they were able to Westernize her into Glitter Breeze. I can almost imagine Western versions of the others, although not without major changes. I can not even imagine a Western Reika-chan. In Smile, she is SO traditional and so very Japanese.

  • #690020
    Profile photo of Petite Sorcière
    Petite Sorcière
    Participant

    Gu is right, honored Sanae-san.

    Actually the lead-in to Jan-ken-PON is usually:

    “Saisho wa gu da”

    (first comes rock) but Cure Peace changes this to:

    “Pika-pika-pikarin.”

    Pika-pika is the Japanese “onomatopoeia” for electricity, best known from the name of Pikachu (chu-chu is the noise a mouse makes, so Pikachu is like a sound-effect compilation for “electric mouse”).

    Honored Rill-san, I am thinking that Reika-chan, for all her troubles would have so much more support for being good. A Western girl has so little support for being good that it is not surprising one makes bad choices sometimes.

  • #690702
    Profile photo of Sanae
    Sanae
    Participant

    Honored Miss Sorcière, how interesting about pika-pika and the sound of electricity! I thought it was a glittering, sparkling sound, but when one thinks about it, electricity is very much glittering and sparkling. (I also noticed that the Japanese voice actress who voices Candy also voiced Pikachu!)

    Regarding Chloe (Reika-chan in the English version), so far she has seemed rather flat in character. I have only seen her debut, so I hope that over time, she gains more of a character. It’s mostly stated that she’s very skilled at many things and is very busy. She does seem quite polite in the English version as well, as much as can be done in the English language.

    But you are right, honored Rill-chei, as Reika-san she is so very Japanese! It will be interesting to see how she develops as a character.

    I was able to watch Episode 6 of the original last night. Pop is so cute! (He would not like me saying that, so I will call him kakkoii instead.) His speech makes me laugh!

    I once had a Japanese alarm clock shaped like a monkey, and it would say, “jikan de gozaru” as an alarm. I read that this was how samurai spoke– the oddly plain form of the polite degozaimasu. And of course being a saru, it was also a pun. So when Pop shows up using degozaru, I could not help but think of my kawaii old clock! I am interested to see how he translates into the English version as well.

  • #690784
    Profile photo of Sushuri
    Sushuri
    Moderator

    Yes, pika-pika is a glittering sparkling sound honored Sanae-san. It is used for electricity too because that is also glittery and sparkly I think.

    If chloe didn’t show much character in her debut, that isn’t too promising. Reika’s debut scene is (at least to my mind) one of the most stirring and ennobling things in the whole series. She is so very upright, so sure of what is good and right despite being apparently powerless. Her speech to Majorina is magnificent. I am not sure how it comes across in English subtitles, but in Japanese it is wonderful I think.

    But I can see how very little of this might “translate”. It is based around values that even where they aren’t specifically Japanese are pretty much forgotten or buried under decades of ridicule in the West.

    And interesting moment is when she uses the oft-employed “yurusanai!” (I won’t forgive/allow this) but says yurushimasen. It is rather rarely used in teineigo (desu-masu form) but in this case it is such a perfect example of her character.

    Pop is delightful isn’t he! And what a wonderful alarm clock! That must have been such fun. What an appropriate thought for the Year of the Monkey!

    Thank you again for your comparisons of the two series. They are very interesting and instructive.

  • #690826
    Profile photo of Sushuri
    Sushuri
    Moderator

    Yes, pika-pika is a glittering sparkling sound honored Sanae-san. It is used for electricity too because that is also glittery and sparkly I think.

    If Chloe didn’t show much character in her debut, that isn’t too promising. Reika’s debut scene is (at least to my mind) one of the most stirring and ennobling things in the whole series. She is so very upright, so sure of what is good and right and true despite being apparently powerless. Her speech to Majorina is magnificent. I am not sure how it comes across in English subtitles, but in Japanese it is wonderful I think.

    But I can see how very little of this might “translate”. It is based around values that even where they aren’t specifically Japanese are pretty much forgotten or buried under decades of ridicule and cynicism in the West.

    And interesting moment is when she uses the oft-employed “yurusanai!” (I won’t forgive/allow this) but says yurushimasen. It is rather rarely used in teineigo (desu-masu form) but in this case it is such a perfect example of her character.

    Pop is delightful isn’t he! And what a wonderful alarm clock! That must have been such fun. What an appropriate thought for the Year of the Monkey!

    Thank you again for your comparisons of the two series. They are very interesting and instructive.

  • #690908
    Profile photo of Sanae
    Sanae
    Participant

    I am so sorry to have broken the news about Reika-chan’s interpretation so carelessly. She is very special, isn’t she?

    I think that compared with how out-sized they made the rest of the characters, her quiet, unassuming introduction wasn’t as noticeable. But she is very polite in Glitter Force as well, and after watching episode 6 of GF, she was very much the level-headed one. She seems to be aware of everything. I do have hopes for her character development over the course of Glitter Force, though time will tell.

    I do also agree that her virtues are not so translatable to West Tellurian media. She is still very Matic, at least. She has such a gentle spirit, but I could see her as the backbone of the Glitter Force, as well as the brains, much as I see Emily as its heart. In Smile Precure, I must let Cure Peace have most of the “heart” designation as she is so very Sushuric, though of course Cure Happy is the heart as well.

    There seem to be many kinds of heart, don’t there? The peaceful loving heart, the genki spirited heart, the beautiful calm heart. Perhaps my analogy only works for Glitter Force, as Smile Precure is so far beyond it in content. And I didn’t even touch on the more Brunette types of hearts!

    I recognized “yurusanai” from a kyougen sketch I did once, where a common line was “oyurusaremase.” I had never thought to put it in a more polite way, as Reika-chan does! I am inspired.

  • #691371
    Profile photo of Yuriko Rill
    Yuriko Rill
    Participant

    There is nothing to apologize for, honored Sanae-chei. I really did not expect anything much different with respect to Glitter Force and Reika-chan.

    So much of who she is is traditional Japanese, that it would be really, really hard to portray her in a Western context. That is one of the reasons that she has been so healing to me in Smile. There was no way to be who I was in the West growing up. So, through her…I was able to start to learn how to be me, if this makes sense.

    Heee…Reika-chan is as oversized as the rest, at least in Smile. She is oversized in respect to being traditional and Japanese, and her being an ojousama. Oh how to describe ojousama in English…high class young lady does not completely fit, but I guess it is close enough. Her main motivation is being on the right path, although she is not really all that practical. For example, she thinks that Fuji-san would make a great secret base.

    I did watch Smile first with English subtitles before I watched in Japanese, and her introductory episode is much, much stronger in Japanese, I think. There is so very much that really does not translate into English, including her use of teineigo in situations none of the other characters would.

    You might be interested in a past thread about color and the Precure, which can be found here.

    After reading it, I would add one thing to my analysis, after watching Go! Princess, with Cure Twinkle, is that the Yellow Precure adds sparkle and shine, a very important Function, I think.

  • #691393
    Profile photo of Mission Control
    Mission Control
    Keymaster

    A little note on teineigo which you all may already know is that I think because there is no Western equivalent it can be a bit confusing. It is often called “polite” speech which, while accurate, can give the impression that regular speech is impolite. There is no real agreed way of describing regular speech. It is sometimes called “plain form” or something like that which probably reinforces the impression.

    Part of the problem is that Western students almost always learn teineigo first, which gives them the feeling that it is the normal, base way of talking, which it very much isn’t. Young children don’t use teineigo at all. Most Japanese people are speaking friend-form most of the time when among friends, family and equals. I think friend-form is a good way to express it, or perhaps nakama-form.

    It is a complex subject. Using teineigo can be a sign of unfriendliness. Switching to teineigo with someone you normally don’t use it with can be a gesture of coldness: an indication that harmony has been disrupted. However it is very subtle and no set of “rules” is really going to apply in all cases. Ladies use teineigo in regular speech more than gentlemen. Sometimes “desu” is preferred for sounding softer. The main thing to realize is that friend-form is not a bit impolite except when used improperly.

    One way to express it is to say that teineigo implies respect and distance. What is rude (though there are always exceptions) is using plain form where there is distance. In this case one is withholding respect but not conveying warmth.

    As for yurusanai/yurushimasen I think it always implies a rift in normal social harmony to some degree because it expresses and absence of co-operation and/or forgiveness which would be normal in most cases. This is why the not-always-accurate “I won’t forgive you” translation is always somewhere near the tone if not the meaning. It is saying “your action is such that I cannot extend the normal harmonious relationship but must oppose you”. Putting it into teineigo doesn’t change that. In Cure Beauty’s case it is more an expression of her own dignity and her inbuilt respect for all beings, I would say.

    Reika is pretty impossible to Westernize I would say, which may be why her character is less defined in GF. Much of what she is, translated into Western terms might well seem dislikeable to a Western audience, either because it is too Japanese to understand or because it is what the West has been campaigning against for decades if not centuries.

    Her main concern is “michi” the Way. This is expressed in the kanji 道 and the kanji itself plays a big role in for her (you will see it often in relation to her). It is pronounced michi in Japanese, but its on-reading is dou, which is the same as the Chinese Tao. It is the same kanji and the same etymology.

    道 dou, Way is used for most Japanese arts – 茶道 sadou the Way of Tea (so untranslatable that the best English can do is “tea ceremony”), 書道 shodou, the Way of Writing (calligraphy) and of course 弓道 kyuudou the Way of the Bow (and many others). In all cases the Way is not simply the way to do the thing itself but a spiritual Path.

    At the heart of Reika’s personality and problems is concern with finding her right Way. The problem of translating this isn’t only linguistic. It is a cultural idea that really would become something quite different put into English.

  • #691797
    Profile photo of Sanae
    Sanae
    Participant

    Saying that Reika-chan is focused on 道 really is the best way to describe her, isn’t it? Even in Glitter Force she seems focused on order. The GF episode where she suggests Mt Fuji as the secret base replaces the 道 character on her scroll with a poem she wrote to be the mission statement of the Glitter Force:

    Our aim is to aim as high
    as mountains soar and eagles fly.
    To save the Earth, that’s our goal
    and keep it happy from pole to pole.
    On this mountaintop we’ll be free
    to fulfill our awesome destiny!

    She has twice now been portrayed as the “ice princess” type, with Brooha (I love it! that’s what Majorina is called in GF) using those exact words to address her. Perhaps the only way that West Telluria can wrap its mind around the Matic, traditional ojousama type is to make her into the cold and aloof– but oh so beautiful– ice princess. Extremes of politeness, even endearing ones such as Reika-chan has, I think often come across to West Tellurians as holier-than-thou, haughty, inaccessible figures. I don’t think I need to say more about what else this implies in current West Tellurian patriarchal views of women, save that it is despicable, and I sincerely apologize and beg forgiveness for even the mention of such horrors.

    Honored Rill-san, I love how you were inspired by Reika-chan’s character to make the right choices in your life. It is so much easier when we have role models to follow, isn’t it? And so difficult when we don’t even know they exist. The more I watch, the more I want to emulate Reika-chan and Cure Beauty as well. Even her henshin sequence is so serene!

    I am so very much enjoying this discussion of Smile Precure with you, as I watch it episode by episode. It adds so much to my understanding of the deeper principles!

  • #691959
    Profile photo of Yuriko Rill
    Yuriko Rill
    Participant

    I am enjoying this discussion as well, and I find your report about Glitter Force really, really interesting.

    The portrayal of Glitter Breeze as cold and aloof, and as a “ice princess,” is interesting…and a little sad, in a way. Cure Beauty does tend to be quite calm under pressure, but she is also quite gentle and warm, in many ways.

    In Smile, at the beginning of her introductory episode, she is seen watering the flowers in front of the school. Does Chloe do that in Glitter Force?

  • #691961
    Profile photo of Sanae
    Sanae
    Participant

    Chloe does indeed water the flowers at the beginning of her introductory episode in Glitter Force. It’s still a beautiful scene, but not as selfless as in the original. And she smiles sweetly and mentions how they make the school pretty and everyone likes flowers.

    Chloe is in fact quite warm to her friends, and very kind in not wanting to ask her friends to take on too much work for the read-aloud time with the children. I think the “ice princess” side comes across more as how the villains see her, and how she is initially perceived by others. This also plays into her catchphrase, “Cool and swift as the winter wind, I’m Glitter Breeze!” And the blue/white snow flurries motif that she seems to have when transforming.

    I think I was perceived like this as a child– people told me, “you’re so serious!” and admonished me to smile, as perhaps we all have been told. It would not surprise me to hear that some of my old classmates thought I was an ice princess. But I was simply focused and thoughtful, in addition to being both introverted and shy. I still am all these things, but I’ve focused more on happiness and childlike joy– something that it seems I was missing as a child.

    It really is never too late to embrace innocence or kawaii, is it? *smile*

  • #692765
    Profile photo of Sushuri
    Sushuri
    Moderator

    No it definitely never is too late!

    Of course, Cure Beauty is associated with ice and snow. Her henshin-speech is:

    しんしんと降りつもる清い心!キュアビューティ!

    Snow softly falls and piles up, Pure heart! Cure Beauty!

    I think shinshin implies soft and silent falling and the whole image is one of softness and beauty, even though it is cold. There is no very elegant way of saying “falls and piles up” in English, but 降りつもる furitsumoru is perfect.

    One really cute thing is that when the precures become very small children at one point, she still uses teineigo. That is undoubtedly an Anime stylization but it is terribly cute!

    Isn’t it true about different kinds of heart? Cure Happy’s gentle heart, Cure Sunny’s fiery determined heart, Cure Peace’s loving, gentle heart, Cure March’s steadfast protective heart, and just in case one wasn’t going to think of the word “heart” in relation to Cure Beauty, it is included in her kimezerifu! Cure Beauty’s pure heart.

  • #692890
    Profile photo of Sushuri
    Sushuri
    Moderator

    Oh a quick correction. I should have put snow in brackets in Cure Beauty’s henshin speech. The word snow is not in it at all, but snow is the only thing that can furi-tsumori (fall softly and pile up) so it is obviously a reference to snow.

    Strictly of course sakura could fall and pile too but the kind of furu used in the speech is the kind that is used for rain or snow, and sakura is always represented as kind of disappearing. The point of its fall is that it is beautiful and then gone, while snow is represented as piling up.

  • #692891
    Profile photo of Sushuri
    Sushuri
    Moderator

    Oh a quick correction. I should have put snow in brackets in Cure Beauty’s henshin speech. The word snow is not in it at all, but snow is the only thing that can furi-tsumori (fall softly and pile up) so it is obviously a reference to snow.

    Strictly of course sakura could fall and pile too but the kind of furu used in the speech is the kind that is used for rain or snow, and sakura is always represented as kind of disappearing. The point of its fall is that it is beautiful and then gone, while snow is represented as piling up.

    Shinshin is also a typical collocation with furi-tsumori and refers to snow. I have actually seen some discussion on a Japanese website as to whether shinshin is an “onomatopoeia” for silence and softness or 深深 which would mean deep-deep. However I think the feeling of the phrase is usually associated with softness and silence.

  • #693733
    Profile photo of Sanae
    Sanae
    Participant

    There is a special kind of quiet that comes with snow, isn’t there? It was falling today where I live, big drifting clumps of beautiful flakes, the kind that piles up fluffily on anything and everything. When it snows, it’s as if the whole world gets quieter, safer, softer. More gentle. しんしん is the perfect way to describe it! I love that it might mean “deep-deep” as well, to me it is so poetic.

    When snow is しんしんと降りつもっています、 I feel like I can more easily go 深深 within myself.

    I watched the next episode last night, where it’s April Fools’ Day and Yayoi-chan tries to play a trick on Miyuki-chan. It goes awry. I had to pause it after the intro because I didn’t want to see Yayoi-chan lying for an entire episode. But she tried to tell the truth, and was simply spoken over by everyone else. As a shy introvert myself, I know how hard it is to interrupt or even to speak after a normal pause. (I like to wait extra long to make sure no one else has anything more to say, before I say something. This often costs me many conversational opportunities, and I’ve had to teach myself to speak up quicker than I’d like to sometimes, or even not to yield after another person and I start speaking at the same time. It’s rather exhausting, but しょうがない、ね。

    I’m very glad that everyone accepted her apology kindly, but thought it was not as kind when, after Yayoi-chan mentions (perhaps to herself?) that she won’t tell any lies that hurt others again, the others pull a prank on her by telling her they don’t like her very much. That’s also a lie that hurts others! Perhaps they meant to inflict a bit of her own medicine back on her? But it made my heart hurt, because worrying she wasn’t liked was the very reason she got into that situation.

    I haven’t watched the Glitter Force episode of that one yet, but I’m worried it will be even worse. Poor Yayoi-chan! (Perhaps I am so sympathetic to her because I have felt exactly like that at times, have had misunderstandings, and still worry that no one likes me. I’m working on it.)

  • #693775
    Profile photo of Yuriko Rill
    Yuriko Rill
    Participant

    The April Fool’s Day episode is a difficult one, isn’t it? It was one of the more uncomfortable ones to watch, and even though I have seen it several times and know what is going to happen, I still cringe and worry every time I watch it.

    It is hard for us, I think, particularly us blondes. I spent much of my life trying to fit in as well as I could, all the while, keenly sensing that I did not. On the one hand, I worried that no one liked me, and on the other hand, I had the hardest time finding anything in common with anyone.

    I think as Chelouranyans, we do want to fit it. That is a very traditional desire. The trouble is that West Tellurian culture and society is so topsy-turvey that in order to fit in, one must twist oneself around into all sorts of strange shapes.

    A strange thing has been happening to me lately. For the past couple of years, I have been rather immersed in my Japanese studies, and I have spent most of my time around the house. Things are changing a bit, and I am starting to become ever slightly more social. Strangely enough, I am starting to feel more comfortable…or perhaps more accurately, less uncomfortable.

    I think what has changed, is that I know that I am different, and I know why I am different…so, in a sense, there is less internal pressure. I have learned to smile and nod a lot, and to not worry when people say things that sound…well…what they sound like.

    I do not know if this helps…but I hope it does.

  • #694297
    Profile photo of Sushuri
    Sushuri
    Moderator

    I watched the April Fool episode (in Japanese with Japanese subtitles) when it was first out, and when my Japanese was much slower than it is today. I remember it as a particularly difficult one to watch emotionally because the suspense and worry of Yayoi-chan’s predicament was so long and drawn-out for me. A 20-minute episode was still taking a few hours at that time.

    As for the trick the girls play on her at the end, I found that a bit upsetting too. But I think maybe the idea was to diffuse the tension, and show Yayoi-chan by antithesis that she really is loved. Of course it is also a plot device to give the story a little humorous twist at the end, but I think also it really underlines for the viewer and for Yayoi herself that these are friends who will never really turn against her. It is interesting to see how “out of character” they seem when they pretend to.

  • #694579
    Profile photo of Sanae
    Sanae
    Participant

    I am very happy to report that the West Tellurian mindset I adopt (to some extent, anyway) to watch Glitter Force, and the way the very end was treated, made the April Fools episode easier to watch.

    There is a larger emphasis in the beginning on Lily’s mother telling her to be sure to tell the truth quickly after her April Fools’ prank, and she still does try to do so, only to find that Emily has run off to share the secret.

    But at the very end, after the other four have revealed their own prank on Lily, there is dialogue to the effect of “it was worth it to see the look on your face!” And there is laughter all around.

    Perhaps it is all just because I have lower expectations of Glitter Force than of Smile Precure, or perhaps it is the general tone of the show– compared to the other episodes, this one of Smile is much less comfortable. This one of Glitter Force is closer to average.

    I also like how Lily’s name is Lily. I thought that was very sweet, being sometimes associated with the lotus and thus a sacred flower. (The lilies are also why I was drawn to the particular picture I picked to use here!)

  • #698332
    Profile photo of Sanae
    Sanae
    Participant

    Rayati, minasan! It has been very busy for me, but I have watched two more episodes of Smile to write about.

    The first one was not in Glitter Force: the okonomiyaki episode. When Kelsey (Akane-chan) brings okonomiyaki over to Emily and Lily, she calls it “Japanese pizza,” and so I think they decided that a whole episode involving such a traditional (and delicious!) food that is only like a pizza in the shape and that it is often topped with something would be too difficult to manage culturally. I could be wrong, there may be a different reason.

    But in Smile, it’s there, of course, and it is so sweet how all the Precures help Akane-chan try out many kinds of okonomiyaki to find the secret kick that her father uses. He wasn’t very nice to her when he was ill, but I don’t know if that’s because he wanted to protect his secret and stay the best, or he knew that Akane-chan needed to find it on her own. Oh, and it made me so hungry! It was cute how Ulric eats all the okonomiyaki.

    The one that was in both versions was with Nao-chan and the bugs. In Glitter Force, Candy is less scared and more annoyed that the girls have disappeared, treating it as originally a game of hide and seek, though eventually her annoyance turns to worry. It was much, much cuter in the original! GF had less focus on how Akane-chan and Nao-chan were afraid of heights; though it was there, it seemed like less of a focus. In Smile, Reika-chan simply tells Nao-chan that this small world is the bug’s city, and then there is a beautiful montage with light music over images of the bugs. In GF, Chloe gives a speech on how everyone is afraid of something, and bugs are like us, they have families and share and want to live happily. It encompasses all the images of the bugs. And to me, it’s less powerful for that. Simply being next to Nao-chan as she looks at all the bugs, Reika-chan is modeling a steady, accepting presence.

    Those were the biggest differences to me.

  • #698334
    Profile photo of Yuriko Rill
    Yuriko Rill
    Participant

    Oh how interesting!

    In Smile, the bug episode is wonderful because of the blonde/brunette humor. So much so that it made me homesick for the Motherland!

    The brunettes being afraid of heights is so amusing because it is a little surprising, as brunettes are seen to be the strong ones. Still, their brunette-ness was part of the reason they were afraid…they were well aware of how high up they were, whereas the blondes were blithely oblivious to it (even the more sensible Reika-chan).

    In Japanese, it is even funnier and sweeter, I think. One of the best lines at the end was Yayoi-chan’s. Even after everything, when Nao-chan was still afraid of the bugs, Yayoi-chan said, “Kawaii noni.” This is also a great illustration of the meaning and use of noni, which is “but, however,” but with a regretful tone. I think it was translated as, “But they are so cute.”

    Heee…I really love that episode!

  • #698414
    Profile photo of Sushuri
    Sushuri
    Moderator

    I am thinking that the point of the okonomiyaki episode is very Japanese. It has to do with the whole idea of 道 michi/dou in the sense that it comes on the end of traditional arts, meaning “way of”. The arts are a “Way”, but so are many other things, like the preparation of food.

    The idea that the secret of the truly great okonomiyaki is not some physical ingredient but the state-of-heart of the person making it, the degree of love with which they are made is something that resonates deeply with many strands of Japanese tradition and has a deep philosophy behind it. But to a Western audience who see the world through the lens of practical materialism, it may seem merely sentimental and ultimately meaningless.

    Since the whole episode absolutely depends on this point, the translators may have felt there was no way to “rescue” it from seeming strange and pointless and that it was better just to drop it altogether.

  • #700330
    Profile photo of Sanae
    Sanae
    Participant

    Perhaps it is just these episodes, but as I watch more, the divergence is growing.

    The debut of the blue-nosed Akanbe wasn’t too different, but the first episode of the field trip (where poor Miyuki-chan has terrible luck) was changed a lot. In Glitter Force, they are going to an “Asian Expo” with replicas of famous structures. Chloe is presented as a bookworm know-it-all (in a nice way, mostly) with facts about the structures, but more metrics than history. At least the green tea ice cream was still green tea flavored! The maiko were geisha, which, okay, for an audience who doesn’t know the difference. But even their appearance was scheduled for a certain time, and not a guaranteed thing (the poster was modified to say their next appearance was at 4:30 pm). And the fortunes were all modified as well, to be in English. However, all of the other four got good luck. There weren’t gradations of luck as in the original.

    I did wait a day to watch the previous episode though, so that is likely getting in the way of my recollections as well.

    In a way, it feels as though my image sphere is shifting already, making the original so much more pleasant to me. Glitter Force isn’t unpleasant, though. Just different, changed. I am very glad to be watching both.

  • #700878
    Profile photo of Sushuri
    Sushuri
    Moderator

    I suppose predictably they are changing things most where Japanese culture is involved. The “Asian Expo” idea is quite a clever way of “explaining away” the traditional Japanese things they encounter on their trip. I suppose the “geisha” being scheduled for a certain time was necessary as they weren’t real working maiko but a “staged event” in this version.

    I think one’s image sphere does change as one becomes more exposed to the real thing. From what you are saying there seems to be nothing essentially wrong with Glitter Force except that it isn’t (and couldn’t be) the honmono no Smile Precure.

    For you at this stage, watching both seems to be an interesting and valuable Path doesn’t it?

  • #700919
    Profile photo of Yuriko Rill
    Yuriko Rill
    Participant

    Yes, that was my impression of Glitter Force from the one episode that I watched. There was nothing essentially wrong with it, and indeed, compared to almost anything else that I am aware of that is available in the West, it is quite good. It only really suffers in comparison to the honmono no Smile Precure. Demo shou ga nai, ne.

    Watching both has seemed an interesting and important exercise for you, Sanae-chei, and I am really enjoying your report.

  • #701077
    Profile photo of Sanae
    Sanae
    Participant

    I agree, Sushuri-chei, the Asian Expo is a good way of explaining away all the historic and cultural things in the episode. Thank you for helping me to look at it from a more charitable point of view.

    And I also agree with both of you that there is nothing wrong with Glitter Force as it is. I will still enthusiastically recommend it to my West Tellurian friends. And to those that are interested, I will also mention that the original is even sweeter and cuter. But I am happy to have such a delightful thing so accessible to the casual viewer!

    I think that the more goodness and light that is available in the world, the better the world becomes, don’t you?

    I am very glad to be able to watch both and provide this little service to you all. Please accept my many thanks for your support and encouragement.

    In Amity,
    Sanae

  • #701274
    Profile photo of Sushuri
    Sushuri
    Moderator

    I do agree. An interesting thing is that many girls were influenced for good I believe by Sailor Moon (other anime too, but Sailor Moon was probably the one that introduced people to the others and had the most influence itself).

    I would think that compared to Sailor Moon, Smile Precure (and probably Glitter Force too as compared to the English-dubbed Sailor Moon) is a much better influence.

    This is partly because it seems to have a lot more confidence in Japanese values. One way (certain) anime has “grown up” since Sailor Moon is that, at its best, feels much less dependent on the Western outlook. It began by being inspired by Disney and other Western media, but it has become a medium of its own, rooted deeper and deeper in Japaneseness. At least at its best that is what seems to have happened.

    I think the emergence of Japan as really the only other world-wide exporter of substantial amounts of popular culture probably is a very healthy thing and something very helpful.

    The children growing up today influenced by Glitter Force may well be tempted to move on to Precure and other healthful things which really may supply something that seems to be largely missing in current Western culture.

  • #702333
    Profile photo of Petite Sorcière
    Petite Sorcière
    Participant

    Yes I think that is true. Even series like My Little Pony which really try to be good somehow seem to have the taint of West Tellurian cynicism around them, don’t they? I think there was a thread on that here at one time.

    Sailor Moon had a lot of bickering which really isn’t the way Japanese people normally behave, probably influenced by Western cartoons and things. Precure doesn’t have that except in Suite where the theme is harmony vs discord and the bickering is and its healing is part of the plot.

    In Sailor Moon discord was taken as just a part of life, the way it is in the West. In Suite Precure it was essentially seen as a spiritual problem to be overcome if the girls were to become successful Precures. In the other series, harmony is simply present as the natural state.

    If Glitter Force has the same dynamic of harmony and courtesy that in itself is an important spiritual contribution to young Western minds and a great blessing isn’t it?

  • #702775
    Profile photo of Sushuri
    Sushuri
    Moderator

    It is a blessing.I have seen Western fan-writings about Precure complaining that a “fault” of the show is that there is no real conflict between the protagonists and that any conflict that arises turns out to be a misunderstanding.

    This is of course natural. Surely all beings of goodwill should, in the nature of things, be in harmony, and where disharmony arises there must be some mistake that should be put right. The idea that characters “ought” to be in conflict for the sake of “realism”, rather than that their true nature is harmony, seems to be a part of what is troubling the Tellurian West at this point. A kind of culture of inherent disharmony.

    If Precure can help to show a different vision that would be very good, I think. And as you say, it is one example of how the best Anime have “moved on” from the somewhat Westernizing conflict-oriented presentation even of Sailor Moon.

  • #702857
    Profile photo of Yuriko Rill
    Yuriko Rill
    Participant

    It really is a blessing, and is quite interesting. I have been watching the old Sailor Moon anime…in Japanese without subtitles. I would have to say that comparing Sailor Moon with the episode I saw of Glitter Force, for racinating purposes, I would think that Glitter Force (to the extent that I have seen it) is better…even Westernized and in English.

    Even so, the conflict in Sailor Moon is interesting too, in comparison to how conflict is portrayed in Western shows. In Sailor Moon, the conflict is clearly portrayed as a fault. Usagi-chan is rather wagamama, and the conflict is showed in that light. It is, I think, intended to be humorous. In the old anime, Usagi-chan is showed to be childish in other ways too. For example, in a story arc that features the adult Usagi-chan, she writes a letter back using only hiragana, and in the letter, regretfully states that she wished that Usagi-chan had studied harder in school.

    In contrast, in Western post-Eclipse shows, conflict is seen as a necessary part of life…and even as good. People are supposed to “stand up for themselves,” which in many ways, when you think about it, is as wagamama as Usagi-chan could be.

  • #704190
    Profile photo of Sanae
    Sanae
    Participant

    It’s so interesting that you mention the lack of conflict in a West Tellurian sense. I have long thought that West Tellurian-style conflict is too much, too harsh. But in that mindset, I could not see how a proper story could be told without it, even though I wished it weren’t present.

    I did find Usagi-chan to be very wagamama– I had to look up the word, and it does suit her. My favorite has always been Sailor Mercury, as she is polite and studious.

    I haven’t watched any new episodes of Smile or Glitter Force lately, but I will keep posting my observations when I do!

  • #704738
    Profile photo of Lady Aquila
    Lady Aquila
    Participant

    Wagamama etymologically means “the self as it is, unchanged”. 我が waga=self, I まま mama = as it is, unchanged. So I think the original implication is the self in all its self-ness unchanged by any higher effort or aspiration.

    This self-as-it is, wagamama, I think may be in many cases precisely the “self” that one is supposed to “stand up for” in West Telluria. This self necessarily finds itself in conflict with other selves, especially if they too are wagamama. Which might be one reason for the conflict-oriented nature of the current West.

    I suppose this raises the question of whether people are naturally harmonious. I think they are, but at the same time there is a “downward pull” in manifestation so we do need to make effort to maintain harmony.

    The interesting thing in Precure is that the villains who preach disharmony also preach against ganbari or effort. The two things seem to go together, ganbari and harmony, in Japanese and (thus) Precure thinking.

  • #705328
    Profile photo of Sanae
    Sanae
    Participant

    The divergence continues!

    I just finished the Osaka Smile episode and its counterpart Glitter Force episode. Smile was, of course, adorable and lovely. I loved how Yayoi-chan made it a mission to rescue the Princesses (two Brunettes and a Blonde!). And how she and Miyuki-chan ended up the ones who needed rescuing at the end. Of course, our dear Reika-chan catches Candy, and leaves the others to the Brunettes– it was so sweet how everyone was caught!

    Glitter Force addresses the issue of the three Osakan women by making them into parent chaperones, with thick New York accents. (I was wondering how they’d deal with the whole “don’t talk to strangers, don’t take candy from a stranger” thing.) There is more West Tellurian-style conflict, in a bit of snippiness from the other non-GF students bragging about how they’d seen everything already, instead of inquiring after their friends.

    The takoyaki stand is made into an “octopus sandwich” shop and the food at the end is implied to come from the stall across the street, which is titled something like “Curries of Asia.” There is a cute joke about food on sticks, and instead of thinking it’s too hot, Candy accidentally pokes her mouth with the stick. The natto gyoza candy is turned into mustard and garlic taffy, which is perhaps an adequately stomach-turning combination for West Tellurians.

    What I haven’t spoken of yet in these is the ending music for Glitter Force. Every few episodes, they have a new song and dance. This episode was the first one in a very modern West Tellurian style (I would mention who I thought it was referencing, but I don’t know her, I only know I’ve heard the song it sounds like) and talked about going to LA to sit on the beach and spending money as all-stars. The animation looked like CGI in a rather rough style, more basic than what appears to be CGI in the Smile ending. The song was so opposite to Smile, and even seems to be opposite to GF.

    The ending song before this new one was running together in the sun and having fun. Not as opposed, but still not so aligned. Such a far cry from “itsudatte wakuwaku dokidoki purikyua.” (That one makes me dance along, it’s so catchy!)

    I am realizing how they are very much two different shows at this point.

  • #706254
    Profile photo of Yuriko Rill
    Yuriko Rill
    Participant

    Oh how interesting. I wondered how they would manage that episode. I do not really know what you are talking about with CGI, but there is a lot I do not know.

    I did not know that they changed the music every few episodes. In Precure, they usually change the ending song at around the second half of the series, and sometimes do a second verse of the opening song. Isn’t the Smile closing song just wonderful! I love it too!

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