Everything You Should Know About KING OF PRISM And Pretty Series in 90 Seconds

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Everyone and their cat knows how Shinkai Makoto’s Your Name revolutionized anime cinema in 2016, breaking through Spirited Away‘s records. What few know, however, is that another movie made anime history the same year: KING OF PRISM by PrettyRhythm.

As you may know, the KING OF PRISM movies are spin-offs of the Pretty Rhythm franchise. The first movie, KING OF PRISM by PrettyRhythm (shortened as Kinpri) was initially released in 14 theaters on January 9th 2016. Three weeks after release, it was only screening in 9 cinemas, and the staff was preparing for the worst. However, the movie ended up earning more than 800 million yen, and by May 2016 it was in over 100 cinemas across Japan. All thanks to dedicated fans’ word to mouth and the movie’s “Cheer Screenings” (応援上映 in Japanese), screenings where you can come in cosplay, use glowsticks, scream and sing along during the movie, or dub lines during subtitled scenes specifically made for it. The movie had a 9 months run in cinemas, and its final screening was at Shinjuku Wald 9, on September 2nd 2016, even though the movie was already out on DVD/BD since June 17th. KING OF PRISM was a huge success in South Korea as well. The first movie released there on August 11th 2016, and broke the record of longest screening period for an anime film, a record previously held by Love Live! The School Idol Movie!
The sequel movie, KING OF PRISM -PRIDE the HERO-, ended up releasing simultaneously in Japan and South Korea on June 10th 2017.

However, the Kinpri movies have a hidden history unrecorded even on Japanese anime sites. In the first place, how did a kids franchise spawn movies geared towards adults? Why are the movies gayer than actual Boys Love anime? Why does what seems to be a Yuri on Ice! ripoff with Shinji and Kaworu clones is a big enough deal to be screened at Los Angeles Anime Film Festival???

Note: While similar, I’ve added a lot of things compared to the French version of this article I published back in May 2018.  This is basically the XX+ Reloaded Definitive edition of the “Pretty Series History”.

Edit: I fixed the post’s layout, as it got screwed up after I changed the blog’s theme, even though it was fine beforehand during preview.

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Controversy on Pretty All Friends official “big cushion covers”, “Taisho Roman style” outfits

On August 3rd 2018, the official Prichan twitter RTed how there’s swimsuit dakimakura among the Pretty All Friends(PAF) official goods to be sold by Icrea at C94 (August 10-12 2018). It created a controversy among the Pretty Series fans. This is natural as the fan community is pretty massive now after PriPara and Kinpri’s successes, and includes people from different countries (mostly Japan and South Korea) so obviously everyone has different opinions and sensibilities. There’s people saying the dakimakuras are bad because they’re sexualizing underage characters from children oriented anime, and making hashtags protesting about it.

On August 3-4, the Japanese tags for PriPara and Pretty Series were trending.  The Korean tags for “dakimakura” , “children anime” and “pripara” were trending too. There’s also a currently trending tag with thousands of tweets used by people to protest against the goods: #プリティーシリーズ_女の子キャラクター_性商品化_もいい加減にしろ, meaning “Stop making official goods sexualizing the Pretty Series girls characters”
And a korean equivalent: #프리티_시리즈_여아캐릭터_성상품화_작작해라

I’m not making this post to repost some of the tweets in those tags, and write/translate things like
“look how low the Pretty Series franchise has fallen”
“wow Japan is so cool and redpilled, they NEVER PUT POLITICS IN ANIME, those Koreans complaining about the swimsuit dakis are just dumb SJW!!”
and get views like the crap Yaraon already did. (I’ll explain later why I mention Korea. Not linking the yaraon post on purpose to not give them views. And I hope ANN won’t write a post on this issue with yaraon as only source, because unlike what they said it’s not only Korean fans that are displeased about it)
I’m not interested either in trying to figure out if there’s a consensus, or counting the heads on each multiple sides of the argument. Rather, I wanna try to talk about the incident as a whole and explain what led to this. And in case it a becomes an even bigger controversy, it would be good to have a post for future reference to know what happened.

Also, I’m not going to voice my own opinion much. Which is that basically I don’t think the dakis are a good thing, but I don’t agree with 100% the arguments against it I’ve seen. Explaining my opinion would require me to write about things personal and I don’t feel like it nowadays. Usually, I always voice my opinion because I don’t believe 100% objectivity is a good thing. (Like how most people saying they’re apolitical or don’t care about politics and don’t want to see politics in cultural works pretty much means they voluntarily support the wrong politics by not caring, and has never been forced to care because they’re rich or white or never experienced stuff like racism)

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La franchise Pretty Rhythm et le phénomène KING OF PRISM

Edit: Si vous comprenez l’Anglais, je vous conseille plutot de lire la version anglaise, plus complète, sortie quelques mois plus tard.

Edit: Aux Sama Awards 2018, l’article a remporté le prix de la passion. Merci beaucoup!!

Tout le monde connait Your Name de Shinkai Makoto, mais il existe un autre film entré dans l’histoire en 2016: KING OF PRISM by PrettyRhythm. Pretty Rhythm étant mon anime préféré de cette décennie, il fallait bien que j’y consacre un article en Français un jour. Et quitte à le faire, autant le faire bien et tout expliquer, tout en divulgâchant le moins possible. En espérant un jour une sortie Française ou au moins une projection des films lors d’une convention.

KING OF PRISM by PrettyRhythm (officiellement abrégé en Kinpri), est un film issu de la franchise Pretty Rhythm, sorti au Japon le 10 Janvier 2016 avec une programmation dans 14 cinémas seulement. Bien que la franchise Pretty Rhythm vise pour audience les petites filles, Kinpri cible les personnes plus âgées et les aficionados de BL. Le film n’a pas eu beaucoup de succès à sa sortie, et au bout de 3 semaine il  n’était plus que dans 9 cinémas. Le staff s’attendait au pire. Pourtant, il a fini par vendre plus de 800 million de yen de tickets, en Mai 2016 le film était programmé dans plus de 100 cinémas à travers le Japon, et il est resté dans les salles de cinémas pendant 9 mois. Tout ça grâce au bouche à oreille des fans de Pretty Rhythm extrêmement motivés sur Twitter, et les 応援上映/ouenjouei/Cheer Screenings/Séances à encouragements: des séances où il est possible de venir en cosplay, d’utiliser des glowstick, de chanter ou encore répondre aux répliques des personnages, parfois à certains moments sous-titrés spécialement faits pour. La dernière diffusion dans le cinéma où le film avait fait sa première, le Shinjuku Wald Nine, fut le 2 Septembre 2016, sachant que le film était déjà sorti en disque depuis le 17 juin. Le film est aussi sorti en Corée du Sud le 11 Août 2016,  et a battu le record Sud Coréen du film d’animation resté le plus longtemps programmé au cinéma, record détenu précédemment par le film Love Live! The School Idol Movie!.
Une suite, KING OF PRISM –PRIDE the HERO-(Kinpri2 ou Kinpra) fut annoncé le 11 Septembre 2016 et est sortie au cinéma le 10 Juin 2017, simultanément au Japon et en Corée du Sud.

Tout ça, c’est les uniques infos que l’on peut lire sur Kinpri sur la majorité des sites d’anime, même japonais(MantanWeb, etc). La franchise Pretty Rhythm n’ayant pas eu de grand succès avant Kinpri, la plupart des sites n’ont jamais vraiment suivit son actualité avant ça, à part les grosses annonces du genre l’annonce d’une nouvelle saison. Cependant, le film a un background beaucoup plus complexe qu’il n’y parait, et a connu une production extrêmement difficile. L’audience cible a t’elle réellement changée entre Pretty Rhythm et Kinpri?  Qu’est ce qui s’est passé pour que le film rencontre un tel succès au fil du temps? Y’a des skates sur le visuel, du coup c’est pas juste Yuri on Ice mais avec des idols et des clones de Shinji & Kaworu?

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Pretty Museum, new Pretty All Friends story info

Like I said on Twitter, there’s a Pretty Museum event which started at Tokyo’s anime center on April 21, will last till May 13 2018. It’s a museum like event showing all kinds of things about the Pretty Series. Pretty Rhythm, PriPara, KING OF PRISM, and Kiratto Pri ☆chan. They show non credit OP&ED, making of, storyboards, designs etc.

Most Yakuzas in Tokyo went there the 1st day and put pics on Twitter. Emu san posted lotsof pics. Early design PP pics too, which IIRC some of which were already in a PP book. I love PP but not as much as PR, and I’m not rich so I’m not buying the PP books.
Note that the Pretty Series explanation in the event includes KING OF PRISM in it. I could swear before they would consider it in but implicitly, only saying Pretty Rhythm is part of it, and the KING OF PRISM is part of Pretty Rhythm. Nice they changed that.
They definitely know what Pretty All Friends will be, (either a movie, a tv anime, a game, a drama CD like thing, a novel or even just goods) as that kind of thing is planned long in advance, but seems they still won’t tell us anything. The only thing we know about PAF so far is it’s a very good merchandising way to sell goods of all Pretty Series together. The cosmetics goods they released at thestart of April at Prism Stone shops are pretty popular.

However Pretty Museum also has a Pretty All Friends corner, with a “new” visual. It’s the same as before except they added each girl’s mascot. The mascots have been redesigned.

uruoisan was saying how they don’t like it how Rabichi is actually cute now, made me laugh a lot. The AD mascots  were ugly on purpose after all.

They also published story text for Pretty All Friends.

Pretty All Friends story intro text:

“Prism Stone Shop!! The only shop where every girls’ dreams and latest fashion gathers. When they arrived at Prism Stone one day, its atmosphere seemed different…Turns out it was a special day!! Under the effect of the Rainbow Bridge, multiple worlds’ Prism Stone Shops have merged!!  Multiple girls are guided by the Rainbow Bridge and are brought together: Aira, Mia, Naru, Laala and Yui. Inside the shop, they meet with Akaii Meganee who tells them the following: You girls are the chosen Pretty Friends! Travelling using the Rainbow Bridge, you will do live shows in many different worlds to collect Sparkle and gather your friends. Doing this, I want you girls to revive the All Friends Coord currently sleeping in the country of singing and dancing,  Pretty Prism Paradise. The girls are excited hearing about a legendary coord. Following Aira’s suggestion, they decide to take up the team name  “Pretty All Friends”. Boarding the “NEW Prism Trailer”, they embark on a tour across various worlds to gather the Sparkle and meet new friends. Thus starts the adventure of the legendary dream team.”

“Episode 1 ” text:

“The first place the “Pretty All Friends” team arrived at is the Mascot Graveyard. The mascots there all seemed to be depressed and lifeless…
“What’s going on, these mascots aren’t sparkling at all!”, “They lack dreaminess” Mia and Yui shared their thoughts. Suddenly, they started to recognize familiar figures… Shocked, they realize that their own mascots were in the Mascot Graveyard!! The girls ask them what happened. It seems that the mascots wanted to follow them in their tour, but lost their way and out of all places ended up in the Mascot Graveyard . This place sucks up the Sparkle inside the mascots, so they became unable to leave. In order to make everyone happy again, the All Friends decide to do their first live show of their tour. Needless to say, the song they chose as their first song is  “You May Dream” . Reinvigorated, the mascots decide to travel with the girls, like they always did. Now, let’s go look for the next Sparkle!!”

Impressions: Being the first heroine, Aira is the leader it seems. It’s funny they wrote it in such a childish way (I tried to reflect this in my translation) because another thing we know about PAF so far is it’s aiming the adults and people who were fan of Pretty Rhythm and PriPara who grew up. That’s why they released the cosmetics goods. And if you compare with their anime designs, each heroines look a bit older in the PAF visual. In a sense PAF is what I always dreamed about, and what I thought the PR All Star Selection tv anime would be about when it was announced. Though I want it to include Kinpri and Prichan, basically everyone. And make Akaii Meganee the final boss who actually tricked them.

As you should know, Rainbow Bridge is what you see Rinne on in RL and what they use to travel between worlds. Coo’s trailer in RLKinpri is the “Prism Stone trailer”, so I guess they travel in something similar. And they’ll drive it on the Rainbow Bridge. It’s like Magic Bus. I hope the “you’re gonna meet more friends” part means more characters will appear.

At first it seems it’s going to be a “let’s recover the sparkle” type of story for the nth time, like they did in one of the movies or what they did with the PriPara Switch game’s OG story with Mirai. But then turns out it’s a story on how they all became something similar to the Rinne system. Except they’re not Rinnes. They also seem to be the real characters and not virtual copies like Saints was supposed to be. “Supposed to be”, as you should already know, this isn’t true anymore, Aira Mia Naru appeared in IPP so the Saints did not turn out to be virtual. Like PR director said, that was just his idea and the PP anime did something else than his metaplot in the Pretty Rhythm&PriPara movie .

It’s really well thought too. At first I was wondering why the mascots were in the graveyard since only mascots who failed something end up there. They got lost and ended there unwillingly.

While it’s reusing many lore elements they talked about in Pretty Rhythm (Rainbow Bridge, Mascot’s Graveyard etc) PAF’s background may also turn out to be completely new and unrelated background to past series. Akaii Meganee mentions a world called “Pretty Prism Paradise” which isn’t “Prism World”. Until now despite being multiple parallel universes: ADMF, RLKinpri, PriPara, they were all connected by the same “Prism World”. Anyway it’s too early to tell for now. And they probably won’t elaborate on it much in the end anyway, so while I find it a bit interesting, it’s kinda useless speculating.

It’s really fun though. Even if they just publish the story in text form in events like that. It can also be taken as a meta story with all the past heroines trying to get everything back and get their own new anime or movie or whatever greenlighted at the end.

Pretty Series movie, “Gekijouban PriPara&Kiratto Pri☆Chan ~Kirakira Memorial Live~” announced for May 5th 2018

PriPara official twitter announced on February 27 a new movie: Gekijouban PriPara&Kiratto Pri☆Chan ~Kirakira Memorial Live~. This will be last PP focused movie before Prichan takes over. It’s interesting they call it a “Pretty Series” movie and not just a “PriPara movie”, I guess it’s to show that similar to the 1st PP movie, it’ll also have Pretty Rhythm characters in it, but also Kiratto Pri☆Chan characters. I think even if PriPara ends, it’s possible future Prichan movies that are CG compilations with no real story will still have PR and PP characters in them.

They published a 1st teaser which is just PP scenes so nothing new. Maybe some of this won’t even be in the actual movie too since it’s just a teaser. Prichan would already have 5 episodes aired by the movie’s release, so the movie will probably focus on Prichan stuff and then feature PP and some bits of PR,  so you shouldn’t get your hopes up too much if you want more of the PR or PP girls.

There will surely be stage greetings events with i☆Ris. Their lastest song is titled Memorial too and its MV is like a farewell to PP with all the PP costumes they used in the past appearing in it. There might be events with the seiyuu too. And there will definitely be Cheer Screenings . Even before Kinpri revolutionized Japanese cinemas and made Cheer Screening ultra popular, they already did them in 2014 with the final screenings of the Pretty Rhythm movie for example, so there’s no reason they wouldn’t do it for this too.
They haven’t announced it yet, but similar to past movies there will definitely be a part that changes depending of the screening too. It would be funny if they do multiple routes like the 1st PP movie and include a boys route with WITH and PR males.

I’m not sure if this movie is supposed to be the Pretty All Friends project. What’s really weird is that for the PAF key visual, they bothered making new clothes and art, but for this PPxPrichan movie, the key visual just recycles art from each seasons’ key visual. Canamaji san also pointed out how the source code for the official site doesn’t mention “Pretty All friends” at all, and the summary seems to point out Prichan will be the main focus of the movie, so it’s still possible PAF will turn out to be yet another thing announced at a later date. In any case I was expecting PAF to be a CG compilation movie anyway, so if it’s indeed this, I’m not really surprised or disappointed. But I still hope Pretty All Friends will be something and an actual crossover with plot.

This movie will be directed by Nobutaka Yoda, who did Tobidasu PriPara ~Miina de Mezase! Idol Grand Prix(the 2nd PP movie which used 3D and afaik doesn’t have a DVD/Bluray release, so no one outside Japan has actually seen it). Script is by Fukuda Hiroko. It seems it’ll just be a compilation of CG scenes with no particular story like all the movies except the 3rd PP movie(the PriParis one which was the only “real” movie). There will probably be a baton touch like scene at the end with Aira Mia Naru Laala Yui Mirai Emo doing a live together.

They also announced the name of the OP for Prichan.

Lastly the fact that this movie exists confirms what we all already knew anyway, Prichan will still use CG for its live scenes.

Edit: They also revealed Prichan starts airing on April 8 at 1000JP time, first time Pretty Series uses this timeslot, and info about two more characters, Anna and Sara.
Akagi Anna(red hair one): Middle school 1st year at Kirari, a popular Pri☆Chan Idol. She looks like an oujou sama and her self produced channel reeks of celebrity, but she’s actually very childish and selfish. She doesn’t get along well with Mirai and Emo.
Midorikawa Sara: (green hair one.lol as expected someone called Midorikawa) Same year same school. She’s Anna’s best friend. She’s cool and has a rock and boyish fashion style. She refers to herself with “boku”.She follows Anna like her shadow, often restraining her when she goes out of control.

And it seems the Prism Jump/Making Drama equivalent in Prichan is called “Yatte Mitta”.

In other news in case you haven’t seen it on Twitter, PR director Hishida Masakazu storyboarded episode 8 of Hugtto Purikyua. He posted about it on Insta. He said it’s the first time he worked with Tsubota Fumi since Rainbow Live ended and it was tons of fun, and he didn’t think he’d get to work on a Toei show one day so he’s really happy. I’d like to watch the show but don’t really have the time, I’m trying to catch up on PriPara so I’m  using all my anime time on it and not watching anything else. I want to watch IPP before Prichan starts and do episodic blogging for it.
I still haven’t watched Kinpri2, maybe next weekend. It seems besides the new Yanpri goods each month, and Prichan’s launch with more info a tAnimeJapan2018, there won’t be any big news these next months. Kinpri will probably get a new thing announced at the June 10 2018 concert event. Until then, I’d like to finish translating the interviews in the PR All Star Selection guidebook, and then start the Kinpri books and bonus material like the stuff in the kinpri 2 Hiro special edition(stage greetings, events, etc), plus all the fan reports and other interviews on the net I have saved.  Honestly there’s so much stuff I’m not sure when I’ll ever finish translating everything though.