By T.K. Wilson (Rated G)
A review of a Japanese anime show
Emily, a fairy tale loving young lady, is rushing to her new school in an effort not to be late after oversleeping. On her way there, Emily is brained by a Pixie named Candy, who crashed from the sky. At first, Emily is delighted; a real pixie, just like in her favorite fairy tales! Then she learns that Candy has been sent to find the “Glitter Force” a group of mighty warriors who will defend earth, and Candy’s homeland, Jubiland (which we hope is badly translated) against the forces of evil, represented by an evil Jester, the Big Bad Wolf, a Witch, an Ogre, and the big bad, Emperor Nogo. Through supreme acts of courage, Emily and her classmates, Kelsey, Lilly, April, and Chloe, are chosen to be the Glitter Force. Together, they face off with fairy tale villains in an effort to help the Earth, and keep Jubiland safe.
Despite the conventions of anime, the suit up sequences, the crazy catch phrases, and the colorful costumes, Glitter Force is actually pretty good fun, so long as you remember it’s for kids. As much as I tried to hate it, the girls were so good natured and innocent, I just couldn’t hate the show! It was such a change from most girls’ shows, where sassing back and being catty are considered funny. In Glitter Force, working together and having fun are the orders of the day. All of the girls are hard workers, finding time to get their schoolwork done and be superheroes, with other responsibilities included, like April having to watch her little brothers and sisters.
Other positives include a very low Eastern philosophy content, as well as pretty modest costumes. Yes the skirts are a bit short, but you’d see the same on cheerleaders. Plus, they all wear shorts underneath. Also, for the humor portion, Kelsey and April crack the “fourth wall” by making remarks about their big hair and catchphrases. And yes, Glitter Force is a bit childish, but if you go in remembering that this is a show for girls between the ages of seven and fourteen, you can have a good time.
The biggest themes in Glitter Force appear to be faith and courage. The catchphrase of the group as a whole is “Time to blaze a way to a happy ending! Shining bright, here comes the Glitter Force!” Emily inspires the others to believe in a “happy ending”, no matter what. She has faith that a happy ending for everyone is coming, no matter how grim the battle looks. In the final episodes, the girls, plus their pixie helpers Candy and Pop, are separated and forced to face off with the bad guys on their own turf, and it is their faith in a “happy ending” that sustains them through the toughest battles of their lives. Of course, this generic faith in a happy ending does not exactly comport with Christian ideals, but it is an encouraging sign in secular media.
Evil is depicted with an unequivocal stance that was also refreshing. These are some bad people, and they want to see the world burn. They may be misunderstood, but they also want to take it out on everybody else. Hope, therefore, is their weakness, which is really what the girls deliver, not just the magic mojo to hand these characters their rears.
When it’s all said and done, in the stale and stagnant world of girl’s shows, a fresh wind has blown in from the east. Sweeping away the dust of cattiness, mean-spiritedness, and dishonesty, the Glitter Force have revived the hopes of this reviewer. Sweet tempers, modesty, and cooperative spirits win the day in the Japan of Glitter Force… American producers could learn a thing or two from them!