On August 4 of this year, one of the Precure events for children was held in Tokyo. They’re popular, featuring all sorts of activities, including a live-action stage battle and dress-up corner where girls can transform into their favorite current season Cures and have their photo taken.
Something was missing this time. There are outfits for Cure Sky, Cure Prism, and Cure butterfly, but none for Cure Wing! Maybe the sign was a mistake?
Nope, no Cure Wing costume. Cure Wing transformed before Cure Butterfly (on the left), so it wasn’t a question of timing.
A mother took Bandai/Toei to task on X for not having a Cure Wing costume available. Her son loves the show but wasn’t sure if he should attend because it seemed to be aimed at girls. She encouraged him to go. At the event, he noticed there were other boys attending the live-action Precure show. However, when he went to the cosplay event, he saw the above. His mother posted to X:
My son, who loves Soaring Sky! Pretty Cure, which features the first male PreCure protagonist, was worried if it would be strange for a boy to attend the (PreCure) event. I reassured him, saying “Cure Wing is also a boy, so it’s okay,” and took him to the event. However, at the transformation corner, when he realized that there was no Cure Wing costume, he started to cry inconsolably. He colored a coloring book and we went home…I’m so sad.Post translation
As the first male Cure in the series that’s a full member of the team, Wing is important. As I said before, “Tsubasa / Cure Wing is an equal member of the team; he doesn’t try and take over, and he doesn’t always save the day. He often works with Cure Butterfly, the other “oddball” Cure. He uses his interests and skills, taking the lead or helping when appropriate. He’s definitely got a boy personality too.” Characters like Cure Wing give boys a role model for working alongside women in a positive, cooperative way.
At the time of the event, there were no Wing costumes available. On August 15, the Pretty Cure Stores announced that, starting on September 15, they will have a photo studio with costumes for Sky, Prism, Wing, and Butterfly.
On September 3rd, the episode “A New Threat! Rescue Ellee!” was aired. In it, the group takes Princess Ellee to the town photo studio to cheer her up; the studio had over 100 children’s costumes. They’re shocked to find that the studio has costumes for the town’s mysterious and popluar heroes, Purikyua. Ellee wants to dress up as all of them, including…
Cure Wing! (including a Peach Airways product placement.)
Boys have watched Precure since it was introduced in 2004. It airs immediately before the live-action special effects Tokusatsu series Kamen Rider and Super Sentai. When the tune in early they see the fantastic battle sequences in Precure, and start watching that too. Of course, they can’t possibly admit this to their friends at school or they’d be taunted. But older guys admit to loving Precure as kids, and still watch it, of course:
Here’s a fun video where a the leader of Japanese group called Fischer’s pranks his fellows with a live-action Precure battle in his living room. The monster appears at about 2:40, and if you click CC for closed caption you can get a translation. Yes, these 27-year-old guys know just who the Cures are!
There hasn’t been a Cure Wing doll because Bandai uses the same (female) body casting for all the dolls. You can get a little mascot figurine and plushie.
The toys Bandai designs for Precure tend to be excessively florid and “girly”. To the extent that even Mattel’s Barbie would say “Chill out, dudes, that’s WAY TO MUCH PINK.” The transformation microphone for Hirogaru Sky is restrained by comparison, and at least Cure Wing’s Tone Connect device is orange and the item matches the one in the show.
You can order an adult-sized Cure Wing costume on AliExpress, including boots, in either male or female versions. I strongly suspect isn’t not official.
Toei’s apparently downgraded female Cures with a more masculine presentation like Cure Chocolat in KiraKira Precure a la Mode as well. I’m not bothered by the toy designs if they’re accurate to the shows, but snubbing the young fans is just cruel. Precure’s done a good job showing girls with a wider range of interests, including science, active sports, and jobs that are traditionally male-oriented. They’ve done a good job with Cure Wing, being a boy who respects his female teammates for their strengths. They should extend that to the boys who are fans of the show, supporting their interest in a more positive masculinity.
I hope that the organizers of the event make things right for the boys that attended. They should arrange for a costumed Wing to visit their homes, apologize to them, and invite them to the nearest Precure store to have their photo taken with him for free.