There are a lot of bad magical girl anime. A lot of very mediocre and uninspired ones as well. But three of the worst occupy a specific place, the unnecessary, unwanted, crappy sequel. Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch Pure is a sequel to a mediocre but not bad exactly show that unfortunately decides to make some really bad decisions in what way the plot will go. Fushigiboshi no Futagohime Gyu is a sequel to a really fun and kind of unique magical girl that throws out all of the good parts of the first season. And Shugo Chara Party… well Party is so damn absurd that I’m going to save everything I have to say about it below.
For starters let’s talk about Mermaid Melody. The first season was clearly aimed at young girls and it was very shoujo. It’s like a beginner magical girl series. It has romance and drama and they have to save the world and everything else but it was never serious like Sailor Moon for example. It’s okay, not great not bad, I would never recommend it to someone unless you’re like me and just want to see every magical girl show possible. Or if you really like mermaids. The characters are fine and the villains are a lot of fun. It’s a thoroughly meh production. But then Pure comes in. The sequel immediately makes a huge mistake by giving us an amnesia plot for the season, making our main characters lover forget about everything, it’s so damn annoying. I can’t stand plots like this and I don’t know if I’ve ever met someone who liked them. And then furthermore Pure adds in a really obnoxious love triangle to just make things even worse. The first season had drama and characters angsting over their relationships but it was never as annoying as it gets in the sequel. And then the new villains just aren’t nearly as good either. The Dark Lovers from the first season were a lot of fun and had far better character development. The best thing Pure does though is bring back the Black Beauty Sisters (although the new song they get isn’t as good) who were great in the first season and quickly become the best thing about Pure. Speaking of songs that’s something that doesn’t really change, the songs are good across both seasons.
And then we get to the ending of Pure. The ending where I kind of like it if it actually happened because of just how insane and non-sensical it would be but if it didn’t actually happen then it’s just annoying. Basically the show abruptly ends with everyone, and I mean everyone, singing the main mermaid song in a theater. This includes dead characters, villains, and everyone else. It probably was just a little addendum that didn’t really happen but it’s honestly not very clear. And characters have been revived in the show before so who knows. But still it’s an absolutely “out there” ending that’s either trying to give the viewer a little fanservice by showing all the beloved characters together or giving us an insanely awkward happy ending for everyone with no explanation as to how some characters are alive again.
Onward to Futagohime. Futagohime was a very fun show that I highly recommend to everyone. It was so silly and cute with great characters. And then Gyu comes around and ruins everything. The first season took place in an interesting and unique magical world where Fein and Rein (our main character duo) would visit other magical countries to take part in competitions with other princesses while at the same time trying to save the world. It’s silly but in all the right ways. It has such a great atmosphere with nice side characters, but Fein and Rein are definitely the stars. They are such a unique main character duo. You will never see a duo quite like them in any other show, they have a really good chemistry together. And the overall plot of the season isn’t bad either. So what does Gyu do then? Gets rid of everything that made the first season fun. Instead of a bunch of really cool magical kingdoms we get a boring and bland school setting (obviously they didn’t want to just retread the first season but come on what they came up with was trash). All the great secondary characters are basically ignored in favor of new, not nearly as good, ones. And similar to Yes Precure GoGo the plot for Gyu is just made of things that come out of nowhere and don’t really make any sense when taking the first season into consideration. All of Fein and Rein’s accomplishments are ignored and they get treated like crap. They are not exactly classy people but apparently no one at the school knows or cares about what they did in the first season to save the world. It’s so… dumb.
And worst of all is that it just isn’t nearly as fun. The special and silly atmosphere and style of the first season is almost completely gone. It pops up in a few episodes every now and then and the ending isn’t bad either but for the most part the things that made the first season fun have disappeared. A couple of the new characters are alright. Bibin is probably the best, she was a fun villain and she has funny scenes with Edward (another earlier villain). Elizabetta (a new princess) can also be kind of funny.
So lastly… Shugo Chara Party. Where to even begin? Firstly I guess is that Party isn’t even entirely an anime. Near half of every episode is made of live-action sequences featuring these girls dressed as Amu’s Guardian Characters. These segments vary from being kind of entertaining to completely unwatchable. Another segment of the episode is a chibi anime featuring the Guardian Characters, this part is more fun. Finally the regular anime portion of Party takes up the second half of the episode. This part is essentially a sequel to Doki. This part isn’t bad and it has some good stuff in it, like seeing what the company of Embryo and Hikaru are doing now. And the new character Rikka is pretty fun I guess. But it’s still just a relatively irrelevant epilogue. The main story is done with and all of this stuff now is like watching DVD specials or some random OVA. The plot with the X-Eggs is also kind of dumb in general and I don’t think it meshes well with what we’ve seen in the previous two seasons of Shugo Chara. That being said there was some funny stuff in Party and the show has good characters so if the season was just this stuff it wouldn’t really be bad, it would just be irrelevant. But then with the live-action stuff and everything it’s just so weird. Party is unlike anything I’ve seen because of its Variety Show nature. I feel like the anime parts get a bad rep because of the live-action parts being attached but I can’t blame people for getting mad that a sequel to a popular show became… this.
Well, three bad sequels for different reasons. But what they all share in common is how utterly unnecessary their existences are. The plots were wrapped up just fine in the previous seasons of all of them. At least Party doesn’t even try to have a big important plot like the main show but you’re honestly not missing anything if you never watch Party. But to get the “true” endings of Mermaid Melody and Futagohime you have to wade through an awful season each. There’s just something about magical girl anime and poorly designed sequels like this. There are more than just the three I’ve listed here of course, Madoka Magica Rebellion could count too really. Well this is hardly unique to magical girl anime in fairness. Psycho Pass 2, Kiddy Girl-and, etc. The crappy sequel will plague the world of anime for years to come.