What’s it about ?
The baddies have unleashed seeds of misery onto Earth ! The Knights of Leafe immediately start running around to seal them, but their power is limited until they can find the legendary Prétear. (The gimmick is that she gets different powers from merging with each Knight.)
This is actually quite better than it sounds.
Himeno, our protagonist, has a much more complex background than your average high school magical girl. Her hopeless dad just married a very rich woman who basically owns the town (every company bears her name… or rather his, now) and lives in a ridiculously huge mansion. It’s not clear how that happened, but they do look genuinely in love. Anyway, Himeno doesn’t really get to enjoy it, as she’s martyrised by one of her stepsisters (the other just ignores her blatantly), and ostracised by most of her classmates as a gold-digger.
There are seven Knights of Leafe, all of them male. It’s very obvious most of them were designed as fanservice for the ladies, although three of them are underage for the “cute” factor.
The only one who really gets a personality so far is Hayate, the one Himeno randomly bumps into. It’s irritation at first sight. Too bad their hands connecting identify her as the Prétear : he’d much rather do without this brat.
Whoever the main villain is, she stays conspicuously off-screen (although the Knights do refer to her as female). Anyone taking odds on her being the quiet stepsister ?
Perfectly okay, and it does succeed at building a foreboding atmosphere.
A pity that the ED proves that Himeno’s VA can’t sing, though.
This is quite intriguing. Himeno belongs to an archetype (girl bullied by her stepfamily) that I’m not used to seeing in magical girl stories, although in retrospect it’s a perfect fit for a genre that’s all about wish fulfilment. When the series focuses on her, I’m quite enjoying it. The main plot is very basic, but the show makes a good job of selling it.
On the other hand, I’m not quite buying the Knights, who look like a bunch of bishonen clichés (with some cute shota thrown in for good measure). I fear this could turn into a male harem setting (especially with the blatantly unsubtle subtext of the Prétear merging with a Knight), and that’s the second last thing I want to watch.
This could turn out either way, really.