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Futari wa Pretty Cure

Futari wa Pretty Cure logo Japanese.png
Futari wa Pretty Cure (Original)

Futari wa Pretty Cure is a Japanese-American CGI 2D Live Action Animation slapstick comedy web series that was first shown on YouTube, the show later moved to Nickelodeon. The series, based on the inanimated art centers on 17-year-old Cure Black and 21-year-old Cure White who are two teenage girls who are related to Yin and Yang. Cure Black, a tomboyish Japanese-American, and Cure White, a tomgirlish Japanese-American.

Plot

Kuni and Honoka live with their new family in Tokyo, Japan. They have many adventures with their family and friends. "They are the Best dang girls around."

Each episode in Seasons 1–3 has a theme and is divided into several short sections that mix animation, puppet skits, and video of Japanese citizens in real-life situations. In Seasons 4–5, the episodes are divided into three short sections; the puppet segment was dropped, along with the "Real Kids" version of the segment.

During the first season, many of the stories in the animated version began with the show's narrator. Since the second season, the narrator is an unseen character.

Production

Caillou Sucks became the cartoon theme song since 2021.[17]

The series was originally broadcast in Japanese in Japan, and the episodes were later translated into English, and re-runs in English began on Nickelodeon in the United States. The original books were also in Japanese. The Futari wa Pretty Cure Cartoon was designed primarily for teenagers and adults. It was created by Natsuki Futago and the creators of 2004's Futari wa Pretty Cure and the manga.

In 1997, 65 five-minute episodes of Caillou were aired in Canada and in selected markets worldwide, including the US, as mentioned above. In 2000 there were 40 thirty-minute episodes of the show, containing a mixture of the five-minute episodes plus new stories, songs, real kids segment and puppets. This was followed by another 16 thirty-minute episodes containing all-new stories in 2003. The film Caillou's Holiday Movie was released on October 7, 2003.

On April 3, 2006, a new set of 20 episodes finally premiered after a three-year hiatus. Caillou started attending preschool and there were new themes and a new opening. The show was renewed for a second season in 2003.[18]

On November 14, 2012, PBS Kids announced that a 26-episode 4th season of Caillou would premiere March 11, 2013.[19][20]

For the franchise's 25th anniversary in 2014, a DVD/book combo pack was released,[21] as well as a reissue of the holiday film Caillou's Holiday Movie with a 25th anniversary logo on the cover artwork.[22]

Reception

A 2011 study conducted at the University of Virginia, published in the journal Pediatrics, tested the show's effect on preschool-aged children's attention spans and cognitive abilities. The study had three groups of four-year-olds each engaged in activities; one group watched Caillou, another watched SpongeBob SquarePants, and the third group drew pictures. After nine minutes, the children were tested on mental functions; those that watched Caillou had very similar results to the group that drew pictures, both of whom performed significantly better than the group that watched the SpongeBob episode.[23]

In a May 2017 article from the National Post, writer Tristin Hopper identified Caillou to be "quite possibly the world's most universally reviled children's program," noting "a stunning level of animosity for a series about the relatively uncontroversial daily life of a four-year-old boy."[24] Examples include several "I hate Caillou" pages made on Facebook, posts saying that Caillou is a ripoff of Charlie Brown, numerous parenting blogs criticizing the series, and petitions on Change.org for the show to stop airing. A common criticism towards the series is the "petulant, manipulative and spoiled" behaviour of the titular character, the lack of consequences Caillou is given, and the "poor parenting" presented in the parent characters. As Hopper explained, "This has understandably led to theories that this is an accurate portrayal of Canadian parenting and that Canada is raising a generation of psychopaths. Or that Caillou's parents are so blasted on Canadian weed that they are unable to summon the presence of mind necessary to properly discipline their child." He called the series "a toddler version of Sex and the City or Mad Men," criticizing its lack of educational value: "Unlike most children's programming, Caillou makes almost no attempt to educate its young audience. There are no veiled math problems, spelling lessons or morality tales; it's just calm, non-threatening, bright-coloured people navigating everyday tasks."[24] These criticisms of the show's titular character have been echoed on online platforms, with the formation of anti-Caillou groups online such as "I Hate Caillou" on Facebook and "r/FuckCaillou" on Reddit.[25][26] On a segment of the late-night talk show Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver hyperbolically exclaimed "Fuck you, Caillou!" in a comedic comparison.[27]

As Caillou appeared as a much younger child in the original line of children's books, he originally had no hair. When illustrators found that adding hair made him look unrecognizable, it was decided that Caillou would never have hair.[28][29] This has led to an urban legend that the protagonist has cancer.[30]

The staff of Entertainment Weekly wrote, "Embellishing everything he sees with his rich imagination."[31] The New York Times wrote "Caillou looks at the world through the eyes of its 4-year-old namesake."[32] Lynne Heffley of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "Caillou grows and learns to make sense of his world."[33]

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