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Take a chance and give it your all! Carnevale! Pretty Cure!
Carnevale! Pretty Cure is a magical girl anime series created by Izumi Todo and produced by Toei Animation. The series is directed by Narumi Kuroda and written by Takashi Yamada. The themes of the series are play, taking risks, facing challenges, and communication, with games and riddles serving as primary motifs.


Synopsis

In the magical realm of Domino, from where all games, sports and puzzles originate, the wise Queen Ferz rules as the goddess of games and play, and ensures that all games played in her world and the human world are fair and fun.

One day, a mysterious group calling themselves "Snake Eyes" approaches the Queen and challenges her to a game, the only catch being that if she loses, she will have to give up her throne to them. While Ferz initially brushes them off, her son, Prince Rajah, god of risk and chance, takes them up on their offer. They agree to play a simple game of checkers.

Just as the prince becomes convinced of his assured victory, his opponent surprises him with a move the prince never foresaw, thus forcing him and the Queen to relinquish their rule over Domino to Snake Eyes, who wish to use their newfound control over all the world's games to spread dishonesty, miscommunication and back-handedness throughout the world.

In a final effort to stop Snake Eyes, Rajah sends his fairy companion Nazorro to the mortal world in order to guide the legendary Grandmaster Pretty Cure, game masters of legend who can only be awoken by opening a Maestro Puzzlelock, which are said to only be solvable for those who truly love games. 

When 14 year old Yoshiko finds a mysterious puzzlebox left on her windowsill one night, she is becomes obsessed with trying to open it. Unknown to her, her new classmate, chess prodigy Sonya Maximova is doing the same thing. When they finally solve their puzzles, they awaken the ability to transform into Cure Lucky and Cure Gambit With the phrase "Pretty Cure! Ready, Set, Change!" they become game masters of unmatched luck and skill. They must learn to work together as they devise strategies and take risks in order to beat Snake Eyes at their own game!

Characters

Pretty Cure

CureLucky

Yoshiko Kichida (吉田吉子 Kichida Yoshiko) / Cure Lucky (キュアラッキー Kyua Rakkī)

"Roll the dice, Take a chance! Cure Lucky!"
"Saikoro o korogashi, chansu o tsukaou! Kyua Rakkī!"
A kindhearted and bubbly 14-year-old girl with a love of games and puzzles. She has strong belief in serendipity and the power of chance, despite her often bad luck. Despite her lack of athleticism, she has tried out for every sports team at her middle school, and is the  dedicated president of the school's gaming club.

Her most prized possession is a Meiji-era 5 yen gold coin given to her by her grandmother that she often flips to help her make decisions in life.

Yoshiko has a latent competitive streak, partially due to being the middle child between her older sister, a successful attorney, and her younger brother, a promising basketball player. However, in her heart is a sincere love of board  games, card games, and sports, whether she wins or loses. 

When she first meets Sonya, they have an immediate personality clash, as Yoshiko's flippant disregard for whether or not she wins clashes with Sonya's obsession with being the best. When Yoshiko manages to beat Sonya at chess by what seems like pure luck, Sonya  panics and declares Yoshiko her archrival. As the two learn more about one another, this contention turns into a friendly rivalry.

After solving the Maestro Puzzlelock after months of trying, she gains the ability to become Cure Lucky, the Precure of games of chance. Cure Lucky is gifted with luck-based powers and can manipulate probability. Her appearance and attacks are based on the motifs of games of change such as roulette, poker and knucklebones. Her final attack involves her rolling her signature Lucky Die, which determines the strength and nature of her finishing blow.

Her theme colors are pink, black and gold.

After becoming partners with Sonya, she helps her new friend to open up to the idea of games as a way to have fun and to the fact that not everything is life can be perfectly planned. In turn, Sonya helps her accept that leaving everything up to chance can also be dangerous, and that sometimes in life you need to be proactive and strategic when making decisions in life.

Sonya Maximova (Соня Макси́мова / ソーニャマキシモバ Sōnya Makishimoba) / Cure Gambit (キュアガンビット Kyua Ganbitto)

"Make your move, Plan a strategy! Cure Gambit!"
"Kōdō o okosu, keikaku o tateru! Kyus Ganbitto!"

CureGambit

The daughter of chess grandmaster Sergei Maximov, Sonya and her family recently moved from Moscow after her father decided to retire from his job in the Russian Chess Federation and move to Japan, a place where he dreamed of living in since he was a young man. Sonya was trained to play competitive chess ever since she could pick up a pawn, and has grown to rival even her own father in skill. 

Although chess had always been a major part of her life, Sonya saw it as a way to show off her intellect, not as a fun game. The Retakuneshi Municipal Junior High School chess team attempts to recruit her after she beats the team captain in 5 minutes, but Sonya declines, declaring she only plays alone.

She resigns to spending most of her free time in the school library, working on her Japanese and playing solo chess on her personal board. Yoshiko excitedly approaches her one afternoon after hearing about her history as a competitive chess player, and encourages her to play a game with her. Sonya agrees, seeing it as an easy win, especially after Yoshiko begins making moves at complete random. But when Yoshiko unexpectedly ekes out a victory, Sonya is left in utter shock. Sonya demands to know how Yoshiko managed to beat her, to which Yoshiko responds that luck was just on her side. Sonya finds this answer ludicrous and insulting, and declares Yoshiko her rival, swearing to beat her the next time.

After solving her Maestro Puzzlelock, she gains the ability to become Cure Gambit, the Precure of games of strategy. Cure Gambit is a tactical genius with the ability to strategize steps ahead of her opponent. Her appearance and attacks are based on the motifs of strategy games such as chess, go, alquerque, mancala, and shogi. Her final attack involves her "checkmating" her opponent, backing them into a corner they cannot escape.

Her theme colors are blue, white, and purple.

When forced to become Yoshiko's partner as Precure, Sonya gradually grows to like her new friend and learns to see games as a way to have fun, not just as a competition. Although the two remain a friendly rivalry when it comes to the games they play, they come to care deeply for one another both on and off the battlefield.

Rune (ルーン Rūn) / Run Heyawake (へやわけ琉 Heyawake Rūn) / Cure Enigma (キュアエニグマ Kyua Eniguma)

"Here's a riddle, Take a guess! Cure Enigma!"
"Kore o nazoda you, atete o mite! Kyua Eniguma!"

CureEnigma

Originally from Domino, Rune is a Puzzle Master, a mystical person who creates new puzzles and riddles before sending them out to the world for people to solve. Rune lives and works in the Hall of Mysteries, a vast library where the answers to all puzzles are collected. Rune becomes a mentor and trainer to the Precure by creating riddles and puzzles to test and strengthen their abilities, while doling out advice, though oftentimes in overly cryptic ways.

Rune is androgynous in appearance and refers to themselves with being both male and female, alternating between the masculine "boku" and feminine "atashi". Rune considers their ambiguous gender to be a riddle meant to never be solved.

When Rune begins attending Retakuneshi Municipal Junior High in order to keep a better eye on the Cures, they take on the identity of a 14-year-old boy named Run Heyawake.

Early on in their fight against Snake Eyes, the Precure begin receiving help from a mysterious rogue Cure called Cure Enigma. Shrouded in a long, billowing cape and large opaque glasses, Enigma's identity remained just that. That is, until a trail of clues leads Yoshiko and Sonya to realize that Rune was Enigma all along, and had been keeping it a secret in the hopes that the Cures would find out when they had become true riddle masters themselves.

Rune is able to transform into Cure Enigma using the Paradox Puzzlelock, a device they created themselves. Unlike Rune's male alter-ego Run Heyawake, Enigma is a girl, as she uses female personal pronouns. Cure Enigma is a master trickster who fights using illusions, misdirection, and trickery to get the upper hand. Her design resembles that of a magician or wizard, with a flowing cape, large top hat, and an ornate staff. Her attacks are all based on famous logic puzzles and paradoxes.

Her theme colors are green, yellow and orange.

Snake Eyes

Sagiheishi

The main monsters of the series. They serve as lackeys for the Snake Eyes generals. Resembling chess pawns, Sagiheishi engage the Precure in high-stakes, corrupted versions of popular games and sports. Their name is a portmanteu of the "Sagi-shi", meaning cheater or swindler, and "Heishi", meaning soldier (lit. "Cheating Soldier")

Torok (トロック Torokku)

Member of Snake Eyes. He uses automatons to cheat. Inspired by and named for the "Mechanical Turk", a fake chess-playing machine from the 18th century.

Lady Monte (レディモンティ Redi Monte)

Member of Snake Eyes. She uses confidence tricks to cheat. Named for "Three-Card Monte", also called "Find the Lady", a popular confidence game.

Paranga (パランガ Paranga)

Higher-up member of Snake Eyes. He uses match-fixing to cheat. Named for "Paranga", a Greek term for match-rigging in soccer.

Alcatraz (アルカトラズ Arukatorazu)

Higher-up member of Snake Eyes. He uses spies to cheat. Named for the "Alcatraz Coup", a card-counting cheat in bridge.

Ponzi (ポンジー Ponjī)

Second-in-command in Snake Eyes. Named for the infamous "Ponzi Scheme".

Demara (デマラ Demara)

Second-in-command in Snake Eyes. Named for con artist Ferdinand Demara.

Natwar (ナトワールNatowaru)

Second-in-command in Snake Eyes. Named for con artist Natwarlal.

Grandmaster (グランドマスターGurandomasutā)

Leader of Snake Eyes. Has taken Queen Ferz' place as ruler of Domino.

Domino

Nazorro (謎ろ Nazoro)

Prince Rajah's fairy companion and confidante, who resembles a small, gold and red tanuki (Japanese raccoon dog) with a wide-brimmed sunhat. He is tasked with sending the Maestro Puzzlelocks to Earth and mentoring the Precures. Although kind at heart, he has a bit of a mischievous streak, and often pulls pranks, even on the Cures. Nazorro wears his heart on his sleeve, and often speaks without thinking. He has limited shapeshifting abilities, occasionally transforming into a number of human and animal disguises, although he cannot stay in another form for much longer than an hour or so. Nazorro has a weak spot for gambling, and is rarely one to pass up a bet. This was his and Rajah's greatest weakness, and the latter's downfall.

He has a habit of ending sentences with the verbal tick "~nazo".

Prince Rajah (ラージャ-王子 Rāja-ōji)

PrinceRajah

The son of Queen Ferz and the minor god of risk and chance, who is notorious throughout Domino for his gambling habits. His pension for gambling led him to take up Snake Eyes' bet with the rule of Domino on the line, and his loss haunts him. Though he generally appears as a mature, wise-cracking, confident older-brother figure to the Cures, his feelings of guilt often lead him feeling depressed and angry. He tries in everyway he can to aid the Precure in their fight as a way to atone for his mistake. He deeply cares for his mother and for all the people of his world and that of the Precures.

The word "Rajah" comes from the Sanskrit term for "prince", and is the name of a piece in the ancient board game Chaturanga.

Queen Ferz (フェルズ-女王 Feruzu-joō)

QueenFerz2

The mother of Prince Rajah and the goddess of games and play who rules over Domino. She oversees all games played in her realm and on Earth, keeping close tabs on whether they are played fair. She has a strong sense of justice and has no tolerance for those who cheat or lie for their own gain. Known for being tough but fair, she is beloved by the citizens of Domino, who view her as both a maternal figure and as the ultimate gamemaster. Though she loves her son, she shows great disappointment in his decision to gamble with Snake Eyes. She is currently held prisoner by the Grandmaster, though she can still speak to the Precure holographically through projectors in their Puzzlelocks.

The word "Ferz" comes from a Persian term for "counselor" and is the name of a piece in the ancient board game Chaturanga.

Supporting Cast

Kichirou and Asuki Kichida

Yoshimi "Yumi" Kichida

Yoshiharu "Haru" Kichida

Sergei and Alexandra Maximov

Daisuke Maki

Aya Kurosawa

Satomi Inoue

Ayumu Kurosawa

Hachirou Himura

Locations

Earth

Retakuneshi (レタクネシ Retakuneshi)

A small port city located in northern Hokkaido, not far from the real-world city Wakkanai. A town with long winters and harsh winds from the sea, most of its citizens spend their time inside, entertaining themselves with indoor sports and games.

The city's name is derived from the words for "white" and "black" in Ainu, a language historically spoken on Hokkaido.

Retakuneshi Municipal Junior High School (レタクネシ市立中学校 Retakuneshi Shiritsu Chūgakkō)

Local middle school attended by the Precure.

Trivia

  • Carnevale! Precure is the 7th installment in the Pretty Cure franchise to begin with a Precure team of two members, but is only the 3rd installment (after Heartcatch! and Happiness Charge!) in which the two original members are able to transform independently.
  • Carnevale! is the first installment to feature a main Cure who is not female in their civilian form (While Cure Infiniti of Hugtto! is a male Cure, he is not a main team member).
  • It is the second installment after Suite to feature a Precure duo who dislike each other at first.
  • The initial relationship between Yoshiko and Sonya takes inspiration from the trope of shonen rivalries, in particular children's TCG tie-ins such as Ash and Gary from Pokemon and Yugi and Kaiba from Yu-Gi-Oh!
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