Originally started by Canon-chan, the 12 days of anime is an anime blogging tradition where writers make 12 consecutive days of blog posts reflecting on their experiences with anime, usually within the past year. As a PreCure blog, there is no better way to contribute to this community tradition than to highlight all of the wonderful things that Smile PreCure has brought us this year. The first one? An unforgiving game called jan-ken-pon.
Like all magical girl shows, there is always a monster of the week involved, which coincides with the transformation of female protagonists into superheroines and giving said monster a major whopping. This sort of weekly formula is a cornerstone of the genre, and fans endlessly discuss which transformations are their favourites. In Smile PreCure, my favourite transformation hands-down is Cure Peace, simply because of the game she plays during her catchphrase.
“Pikapikapikarin, jan ken pon!” She would say, throwing down either rock, paper, or scissors. The fact that she was playing this game wasn’t pointed out until her second transformation, when Aka Oni showed disgust at losing to Peace at janken.
It was this sort of medium-awareness that set Smile apart from its franchise kin, resulting in what would end up becoming a weekly ritual of audience participation, and perhaps the source of despair for the 33% of people who watched and lost that week. After 42 episodes and 37 games of jankenpon with Cure Peace, my record is a paltry 9 wins, 15 losses, and 13 ties. Despite Yayoi’s clear superiority in this art, I can’t help but cheer Peace on whenever she wins.
Win or lose, I’ll always be satisfied with having the privilege of watching another episode of Smile PreCure.