Pretty Cure, known in Japan as Futari wa Pretty Cure (ふたりはプリキュア Futari wa Purikyua , Lit. We are Pretty Cure), is a Japanese magical girlanime series, part of the Pretty Cure metaseries produced by Toei Animation and broadcast across Japan by Animax, TV Asahi and Asahi Broadcasting Corporation. The series is watched mostly by elementary and secondary students in Japan; it is also broadcast around the world. The original Pretty Cure series, directed by Daisuke Nishio aired on TV Asahi between February 1, 2004 and January 30, 2005. It is the only Pretty Cureseries to date to have received an English language version, which aired in Canada from March 2009. A direct sequel, Futari wa Pretty Cure Max Heart (ふたりはプリキュア Max Heart Futari wa PuriKyua Makkusu Hāto , Lit. We are Pretty Cure Max Heart), or simply Max Heart, aired in Japan between February 6, 2005 and January 29, 2006. Two Max Heart movies were released on April 16, 2005 and December 10, 2005 respectively.
The first story revolves around two girls, Nagisa Misumi and Honoka Yukishiro, who encounter the Garden of Light's Mipple and Mepple, who give them the means to the fight the forces of the Dark Zone: a dimension of evil that has
encroached on the Garden of Light and is now about to do the same to the Garden of Rainbows, Earth. The initial run of the series has Cure White and Cure Black searching for the Prism Stones, and they place them in a heart-shaped device known as the Prism Hopish. The Hopish is protected by the Guardian, Wisdom. Once they have discovered all the Prism Stones, its power takes them to the Garden of Light and repairs most of the damage done by the Dark Zone. Later in the series, Porun, the Prince of the Garden of Light, grants the Pretty Cure duo use of their Rainbow Bracelets as they defeat the Dark King.
Max Heart continues the story when Nagisa and Honoka meet the mysterious Hikari Kujou, revealed to be the "Life" of the Queen with no memory of her life before and powers scattered in the form of the "Heartiel." But as the Pretty Cure duo attempt to find the Heartiel, remnants of the Dark Zone are protecting a mysterious boy suspected to be the "Life" of the Dark King. Cure Black and Cure White fight back these new enemies with Hikari backing them up as Shiny Luminous.
The original Futari wa Pretty Cure anime aired in Japan between February 1, 2004 and January 30, 2005. The opening theme is Danzen! We are Pretty Cure (Danzen! ふたりはプリキュア Danzen! Futari wa Purikyua ) by Mayumi Gojo whilst the ending theme is "Get you! Love Love?!" (ゲッチュウ！らぶらぶぅ？！ Gecchu! Rabu Rabu?! ) also by Gojo. The follow up series, Futari wa Pretty Cure Max Heart, aired in Japan between February 6, 2005 and January 29, 2006. The opening theme is Danzen! We are Pretty Cure (Max Heart ver.) (ＤＡＮＺＥＮ！ふたりはプリキュア（ｖｅｒ．ＭａｘＨｅａｒｔ）) by Mayumi Gojo. The first ending theme, used for episodes 1-36, is "No way!? Unbeliveable!! Is that Okay?!" (ムリムリ！？ありあり！！ＩＮじゃあな～い？！ Muri Muri!? Ari Ari!! Injana~i?! ) by Mayumi Gojo with Young Flesh, whilst the second ending theme, used for episodes 37-47 is "Wonder Winter Alright" (ワンダーウィンターヤッタ Wandā Wintā Yatta ) by Gojo.
On February 25, 2006, 4Kids Entertainment announced broadcasting and distribution rights for Pretty Cure in the United States, though never produced an English version of it. In July, 2008, Toei Animation began making episodes available through IGN's Direct2Drive service subtitled into English., and have also started making those same episodes available for free internet streaming on the Crunchyroll website. The subtitles were produced by "Nippon Golden Network", a Hawaii-based cable network that broadcasts Asian programming (mostly from Japan). In April 2009, Funimationlicensed the English-subtitled version of the series for online distribution on the company's website.
An English-dubbed version was produced by Toei and Ocean Productions which aired on Canada's YTV channel from March 6, 2009 to July 31, 2010. The English dub makes several changes to character names, cultural references and theme music, though mostly retains the original version's main soundtrack. This dub also aired in the United Kingdom on the PopGirl digital channel from September 6, 2010.
Two movies set in the Max Heart season. The first, Futari wa Pretty Cure Max Heart: The Movie (映画 ふたりはプリキュア ー マックスハート Eiga Futari wa Purikyua Makkusu
Haato) premiered April 16, 2005. In the movie, the creatures Round, Square, Marquis, Oval, Heart, Pear and Triliant who reside in the Garden of Hope (希望の園 Kibou no Sono) have called in Pretty Cure to save their world from a witch from the Dark Zone who wants to take the Garden of Hope's Diamond Line, which consists of several pieces of jewelry worn by the Queen of Hope on her birthday. These jewels, if fallen in the wrong hands, will cause the Garden of Hope to become unbalanced, thereby causing everything else to become destroyed and enabling the restoration of the Dark King.
The second movie, Futari wa Pretty Cure Max Heart: Friends of the Snow-Laden Sky (映画 ふたりはプリキュア ー マックスハート Eiga Futari wa Purikyua Makkusu Haato 2: Yukizora no Tomodachi )premiered December 10, 2005. In this movie, Sage accidentally drops the egg containing a houou to the Garden of Rainbows. Hikari retrieves the creature and names it Hinata (warm). Sage eventually finds Hinata and travels up into the Garden of Clouds with Pretty Cure and Hikari. Sage explains that this rare houou is important in contributing heat and warmth to all the worlds. They need a blessing from the queen in the Garden of Light to ensure its healthy life. However, Frozen and Freezen, both against warmth, inhibits Hinata's success by freezing her.
Nagisa, Honoka and Hikari also appear in the Pretty Cure All Stars DX crossover movies, released between 2009 and 2011.