I just finished watching NS2 a day before yesterday and preparing to write the review today, but kragito had posted his review before me.
Let me conclude his view:
-Generally brighter in terms of storyline
-Dokidoki team has good interaction with the Smile Team
-Good performance for HCPC Duo
-better action scenes
-MH team can talk
- 5 Gogo is neglected
- seiyuu problem
- story is not very creative (like what kragito said it is similar to Persona 4 etc.)
- The ending is a bit rush
- Kage is not a very good villain
Please tell me if I miss any of Pros and Cons in kragito's review. You can read his review here: http://hallofanimefame.blogspot.sg/2013/07/precure-all-stars-new-stage-2-movie.html
Before going to my review of NS 2, I would like to show you this:
Let me translate some of them:
---and then the feature of three "DX" series is there is NO GUEST CHARACTER in protagonist side, right? It is a rare case in TV Movie series.
Ootsuka: If we want to convey our desired theme, do what we want and show and what we expect for this movie, we should be do in this way, because it is ALL STAR MOVIE. We want to show the collaboration of all Precure thoroughly in the limited time. All 3 series is based on that concept.
Why I post this? because I want to reply what I had said in All Star Magnet Review(http://precure.livejournal.com/2077779.html): " they are appeared for nostalgia, not only for audience, but also for the producer himself." I think what I said last year is one of "what they want to do and show, and what they expect for the movie". In DX production team, their mindset is very clear, so even there are some flaws in Dx2, we still think that Dx series are good movies. Agree?
I forgot to tell you about the source of this picture, it is from Apr 2013 Newtype (with Precure cover).
The following points are my POV to Umezawa's interview after I watch NS2:
1. The theme is "bully". Gureru is the bully and Enen is so-called victim
I quote some of kragito's description of Gureru and Enen:
"Gureru was jealous of the Precures and started to make a mess in the class"
"Enen who loved the Precures but was very shy"
"The shadow or Kage (which I will be referring to from now on) tricked Gereru into luring the Precures to a trap. Enen was reluctant to join them but he has no choice but to follow."
The point is here. Do you feel Gureru is the bully? From kragito's description (which is also the movie description), Gureru just make some practical jokes in the class, or I say in this way, he just expresses that he is very strong, and he has a doubt-"why we need to support Precure? we can do it ourselves". If he is really a bully, he won't feel guilty on classmates' cry. In this movie, I don't think he had bullied anyone, even Enen. He is only being exploited by Kage.
How about Enen? He is definitely not a victim, he is just too shy and timid. In the movie, there is a description telling us how Enen treasures Gureru as a friend (his best friend, imo).
The whole thing is Gureru want to take over Precure position(i.e. to be hero), so he is exploited. Does it convey the theme "Bully"? At least I don't feel that. The movie looks like "the meaning of hero" to me. As Umezawa set this theme, I think this movie failed to convey this theme, as what he said about Gureru & Enen are not convincing. However, at least, it meets the title - the friend in our heart
2. Umezawa had pointed out two flaws about Washio's DX series:
a. 1 enemy vs 30+ Precure, it become "group bully"
b. The opponent is powerful, so you have to use more power to defeat, it become power to power battle.
The first point, I don't know what you think, but I strongly disagree with this. It is because Dx movies never said there is only one villain opposes Precure. Dx1 is Fusion with many past monsters, Dx2 is Bottom with past TV cadres and Dx3 is Black hole with past Movie cadres. I can't count for Dx1, just Dx 2 and 3, how many villains oppose Precure? Dx 2 is (count from wikipedia info) 11 villains vs 17 Precures and Dx 3 is 9 villains +tons of monsters vs 21 Precure. What he said about this flaw is shown in NS1 & 2- esp this movie, our villain is Kage only and we have 32 Precure (I don't count Cure Echo because I only see Ayumi, not Echo). Then? He said it is the flaw and he did it in this movie!
The second point....is he is like slapping himself....because in FPC ep 23, Peach and Eas are communicating using the so-called power to power fight (even they use fists), and SmPC is definitely power to power battle (but he insists that it is covered (I think he refers to Happy hugging Pierrot)), HCPC and SPC as well...(although Noise is revived, and Dune become younger). The power to power battle is not only conveying how powerful Precure are, but also their belief and spirits. It is what Tokusatsu, robot, and other shonen manga are trying to tell us.
Ok, if he want to find ways other than fighting with power (the way is either persuade or being killed by another enemy group, for villain), a very good story telling is required, like how Pc5 staff did in PC5 ending and movie. I mean once he says this out, he has to prove that out...but ironically, Washio, who doesn't really point out this, yet he can make it.
3. To be more narrative, he decided to create guest main character and let Precure all stars to support them.
I remember chibi_mitsuki had commented that why Dx series seems no story, just come together and defeat the enemies. Yes, comparing to TV movie series, it is less narrative, because the movie selling point is not narrative story. Most all star movie serves the same purpose- to make a crossover between characters in all series. Here comes. What happen when they put narrative story in this kind of movie? Now Umezawa is trying to put story in this kind of movie, however, the problem arise. In NS series, either Ayumi and Gureru/Enen, they take over most of the movie scenes, it become they are primary, and Precure is secondary! but the point is Precure should be primary! I re-think what chibi-mitsuki had said "USE WHAT YOU ALREADY ESTABLISHED AND DO SOMETHING CREATIVE WITHIN THOSE LIMITATIONS", and actually DX series does, even they are commercial. At least, we can see a lot of the collaboration of all Precure in these 3 series. Nevertheless, once you put guest character, like what TV movie does, it already destroyed the all-star movie features, and it is duplicate to TV movie. What the movie left is commercial issue. Yes, they are more commercial than DX, even they put narrative story, esp Umezawa is not good enough to cope with storyline with many Precures. If we want to have narrative story with such a huge amount of Precure, they have to make something like Skyrider or Gokaiger series. All star movie is limited to do that. So now we get the narrative but we miss the collaboration of all Precure (it shrink to two recent cure groups), is it the all star movie we want to see?
After sharing Umezawa's interview with my POV, I reveal the first serious con of this movie:
A. Movie structure
With above description on DX and Umezawa interview(please read Apr 2013 Newtype, if there is anything I mistranslate, you can point out as well), the movie structure is opposed Umezawa's intention. NS series structure is proved that they contradict the meaning of all-star movie. Even there is good narrative story on Gureru and Enen, it can't say it is a good movie.
In addition, because Umezawa object power to power battle for this movie, so the finishing move become like this:
What Precure can do is repelling Kage attack..NS1 is also like that. Why the enemy use his full power to attack us, Precure only can defend? There is a phrase called "Attack is the best defense". When you want to protect people, you should put the most effort to do that, so power to power battle cannot be avoid in this case. Also, there are physical fight brought up in the middle part, and the audience are very excited, this kind of defending act is like pouring water to us (cool down rapidly), which make a big disappointment to those who want to see their finisher towards Kage (including me). The ending, as kragito said, is rush, or in other words, too rough. They just repel Kage's attack and win! so easy! Why they need to fight so hard (esp DDPC) in the middle part? (esp Kage is still needed to be disappear at the end) and yes, Precure don't need to power up to defeat Kage, but they still need to do purifying action, not just repelling Kage's attack.
B. Seiyuu problem
To reply kragito, this problem had been appeared since NS1, so the reason of this is budget, most likely. Let's see the voices appeared in NS1 & 2 (excluding mascot)
Perhaps they want to make all Precures no sound except SmPC & DDPC, but this movie hits 10th anniversary. As a 10th anni movie, the 1st cure group must have voice. Then, why SS and PC5 are speechless again? um...for SS, we only can see this in the battle:
They don't even have the chance to open mouth...and they have been neglected since DX (but NS is more serious)
How about PC5?
Dream, I know you want to talk but the producer does not allow.
This group can't be speechless, I can guess what they want to say..
Dream: Let's go, Everyone.
PC5+Milky rose: Yes!
so...if Bloom and Dream can talk, others have to speak too...esp PC5, just the word Yes! and they may talk even more than what MH group does.
These group have such leader talk, everyone talk problem, how about FPC-SPC? HCPC is acceptable to have Blossom & Marine voice, because Marine is talkative, they can't make her speechless. The problem go to FPC & SPC, why only Passion & Beat can speak? Their voices are used here:
talk to Gureru and Enen (their attacks are bonus). Passion & Beat appear to have an example of villain to Precure, but it causes another problem as well, I will talk later.
In FPC & SPC, the member who can speak is more outstanding, so only Passion & Beat are voiced may make the audience feel that they are taking over leader position (i.e. Love & Hibiki) .
The ignorance of SS & PC5 had been there since NS1...NS1 still have the op animation to see how they fight (in the past), but here we barely see their fight.
Is it good to have voice? Let's see these situation:
In this situation, voiced cures only interact with their own, but voiceless scene can provide more Precure interaction.
Voiceless character cast more powerful and effective attack than the voiced character.
Here are both voiced (Pop) and voiceless (Syrup) mascots
Syrup can't even scream when he is in danger...
Only Enen notices his disappearance...poor Syrup....
but when Pop is caught....other can respond immediately (of course, he suffer in front of them, plus his scream...)
Voice is very important for showing existence.
Generally, these cases point out one thing which is worse than NS1-the voiced characters are not used in an appropriate place.
C. Mascot problem
In NS1, we can hear voices from FPC-SmPC mascots, how about here?
DDPC- mainly Shalulu and Rachel, Rance & Davi are only voiced for henshin
SmPC- Candy, Pop
MH-Mepple & Mipple
The interaction between mascots in all series is very poor, I can only see Candy/Tarte(as the teacher) interacts with Gureru/Enen, Pop has a little conversation with Mepple & Mipple and Mepple to Rachel.
As a mascot focus movie, these interactions are too few. Especially, the part when Gureru/Enen meet "Special" Precures...if they want to have people with similar situation as Gureru, there are two mascots are more suitable, who have opposed Precure before (in any form), but Precure forgives them, and they support Precure later. Do you know who are they? The most appropiate mascot who is similar to Gureru is Syrup. He did take Precure item (rose pact) and submit to Eternal for saving Precure. Even it is reasonable, but the action itself is betraying Precure. Syrup is also similar to Gureru in terms of lonesome, they want others to understand them. The second person is Coco,his case is brainwashed(in gogo movie), but his destruction is not less than Gureru's Kage. Is Beat suitable for encouraging Gureru? yes, but provided that she is in mascot form. For that part, encouragement from mascots with similar situation is more convincing than Precure. (If Gureru position change to Ayumi, then it will be better, as human to human, Precure to Precure) Why Beat and others are not angry with Gureru? Besides what they said in the movie, the main reason is they know Gureru is a victim as well.
In the beginning part,Tarte is invited as the guest lecturer for the fairy school. My question is why him? why not Coco? Coco has the educational background on teaching mascots, which Tarte doesn't have. Ok, even the mascot teacher wants to invite a guest to share Precure history, should they call Mepple/Mipple instead? since they are voiced.
In addition, when mascots are caught and thrown to the sea, there are two problems:
1. The mascots Kage catches should have the power to escape by themselves, esp Pc5 mascots.
2. this picture:
why....Mepple needs to use a new toy to contact with Rachel? Aren't they cellphone as well? If Coco take this, it is understandable, but Mepple definitely doesn't need....similarly to Mipple....
Their interaction to Precure is not well written too. Except Gureru and Enen, series mascots only interact with their corresponding cures. Also, I can't see Candy/Pop interact with Shalulu and Rachel....comparing to NS1, even Mepple & Mipple can speak, the mascot line is worse than NS1.
D. A small bug at the end
It is a minor bug though...
When we watch Precure battle, usually the surrounding will automatically repaired (recovered)...but here Precure need to repair the surrounding....why?
E. Precure interaction
Similarly to NS1, over 90% of the screen time goes to SmPC and DDPC. The interaction we can see are:
a. SmPC to DDPC:
-Happy to Heart
-Sunny to Rosetta
-Peace to Sword
-Beauty to Diamond
b. Passion to Beat
That's all! I won't compare to Dx, just to NS1, it is even worse than NS1 that there are no interaction between MH, FPC, HCPC & SPC. This Movie is precious to have dubbed MH, but they can't interact with other Precure, esp to the new DDPC. We still can see Precure waving one another in NS1, this one just DDPC looking at the huge Precure group...(excl. ending because both also have still interaction) We have similar number of seiyuu for both NS1 & 2, but the interaction quality is declining...seriously....
Continue to NS1...
NS1 attack: SmPcx5+SPCx5+HCPCx4+FPCx4=18
Last year, I count 28 cures with 26 attacks. How about NS2?
NS2 attack: DDPCx4+SmPCx10+SPCx1+HCPCx8(I include small attacks) +MHx1
so....33 cures with 24 (if excluding small attacks, it is 20) attacks?
I can see the dropping numbers of attack in NS1 review, this one is even worse!
It is wasted that MH duo can't cast Marble Screw....and SS, PC5 & FPC don't even have any attacks...
Besides SmPC, DDPC and HCPC group, other attacks are not finishers....it is too far...While the number of Precure is increasing, but their attack are decreasing...
This point includes villain interaction to Precure. Due to the limited Precure interaction, villain interaction (I mean talking to Precure) is only to SmPC. DDPC don't talk much to Kage, except Heart shout "don't be selfish":
This enemy, Kage is actually the weakest villain among the all-star movie, because he needs to read Precure textbook to attack Precure like:
reading it before reacting those attacks....after that:
To Sunny fire and Peace thunder can use natural principle. March shoot can just defend directly....but when he reacts Beauty Blizzard, he only can escape. Luckily (or on purpose?), Happy didn't shoot her Happy shower...but when he meets DDPC:
He doesn't know how to fight against DDPC without information, and later Beauty scold Kage to the point:
Beauty's word takes the victory. (on the contrary, Happy's word is kind of useless...)
Since he is Gureru's shadow, his interaction with Gureru is definitely well written. However, he is not suitable to be all star enemy. His splitting ability is similar to Fusion in NS1 (not Dx1).
I think that's enough for the cons. Let's talk about the pros.
The main pros I can think of for this movie is quite similar to kragito, with some elaboration:
A. This movie fits the title "New Stage" & "the friend in the heart"
Although this movie still fails to fulfil the title of All-star, it can convey the title of New stage, with completely new stage(background) and story. I had a long discussion with ivanhobe before in his/her post about the position of NS. I remember he/she has a question like "why can't treat NS1 as a new stage instead of a sequel". Now, we have another movie to compare, which is NS2. If you ask me whether I can treat NS2 as a new stage movie, apart from Dx series, I definitely, surely will say yes, even though they show Ayumi for a while to show the continuity between NS1 to NS2. The opening, although its description is worse than NS1(because it is no relation to the story itself) , the way it shows is conveying Precure going to a new tomorrow (new stage).
About the title "the friend in the heart", it doesn't show much on Precure groups, but Gureru and Enen can convey that. As for Gureru & Enen storyline, as kragito said, it is not a new idea though, their friendship plot is well written (as in how Gureru treasures Enen and vice versa).
B. SmPC & DDPC Performance
I think I show Youtube clip would be better:
starting from 04:30
It is pity that March works alone, unlike Rouge fight with Dream and Bloom in Dx1, but...
her big sister pose with multiple March shoot is very awesome!
Sunny pairs with Rosetta, by being attacker and defender respectively.
Also, they can become another Mansai pair...when Sunny comments about Happy & Heart combined attack:
Sunny: There it is! Doki Doki Smile Miracle Bomber!
Rosetta: What's that?
Rosetta is definitely a Tsukkomi character.....
Beauty leads Diamond very well.
Due to Sword's serious character, Peace has to "ask" for cooperation... poor girl...
it seems Happy can lead Heart, but actually...
Heart can completely lead Happy...because Happy & Heart is similar to Peace & Sword, only that Happy is not as timid as Peace.
By looking at the collaboration between these two groups, we can see DDPC group generally stronger than SmPC in terms of personality. If the character is strong enough, she can lead the weaker one, like Beauty & Diamond (well, Beauty is already SmPC true leader....), otherwise it will become Peace & Sword. Overall, except Beauty and March (who is alone), others are being leaded by DDPC. Furthermore, DDPC is different from SmPC in NS1, they can actually save the day, like PC5 in DX1, just need the senior to give them a small hand. Comparing to NS1, this collaboration is fairer than last year.
C. MH & HCPC Performance
Unfortunately, they cannot interact with one another, but their fighting animations are well drawn individually, which can be compared with SmPC & DDPC, such as:
Nagisa's punch with dynamic step
A strong throw by White
Owing to the only Washio voiced group, Luminous has her own spotlight here.
Marine won't let us down, her Marine dive and Forehead punch are energetic and comical.
Blossom also works hard with her two small attack- Blossom Shoot & Shower.
Besides her determined reprimand to Kage and her lead to Diamond, another good action I can see from her is this one:
Don't try to steal her thing from her back....
I would say, if you enjoy the pros I list above very much, you may think it is better than NS1. However, by reading Umezawa's interview and those core structure didn't improve and some are getting worse. Now we have human POV in NS1, and mascot POV in NS2, what's next? The henshin item POV? I don't think Umezawa stops at NS2 because Washio can do 3 parts, he will make 3 parts (at least) as well. For NS3, I just hope I don't have further disappointment like this one...and hope that we can have full voiced Precure (although it seems not possible)