A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Glitter Force is an anime series with strong female role models, a fun fairy-tale twist, and generally happy endings. Villains can be intimidating, but they're not often scary to look at (an inflatable bouncy house sprouts legs and walks around, for instance), and their goal is to cause "unhappy endings" for the general population rather than anything more sinister. The heroines' appearances change immensely when they're in save-the-world mode, which they instigate by giving themselves a magical makeover that lengthens their hair, shortens their skirts, and adds some sparkle to their eyes. Overall they're likable leads, but this attention to their appearances can instigate conversations about body image with your daughters.
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What's the story?
GLITTER FORCE is the story of five warriors foretold to save Earth and the magical fairy-tale realm of Jubiland from various evil villains. It centers on Emily (voiced by Laura Bailey), an optimistic teen whose encounter with a pixie named Candy (Debi Derryberry) identifies her as Glitter Lucky, the legendary leader of the powerful Glitter Force, sought by Jubiland's queen to fend off the villains. Together she and Candy gather four of her classmates -- Kelsey (Colleen O'Shaughnessey), April (Danielle Judovits), Chloe (Kate Higgins), and Lily (Alex Cavares) -- to assume their own powers and to join their fight to preserve happy endings for both Jubiland and Earth.
Is it any good?
With an all-female cast of heroines and some fun tweaks on the standard good-vs.-evil story line, this Japanese anime tries hard to stand out in a populous genre, but it often comes across feeling silly and superficial. Kids, and girls especially, will like Emily's determination and ever-upbeat attitude, and the show does a good job casting each Glitter gal as a positive role model academically, athletically, and/or socially. As the girls' friendship deepens, their strength as a unit grows as well, giving new impact to the term "girl power."
As for flaws, the show's "glitter" shtick grates a bit. Between the glitter packs the girls use for their magical makeovers, the bedazzled boots and brightly colored baby-doll costumes that match their voluminous hair, and the constant references to all things glitter and sparkly, the show is a mild assault on the visual and auditory senses. It's too bad, really, since even without the overblown theme, it's a decent story with strong, appealing female role models.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the characteristics that make the Glitter Force girls good role models. Which special trait does each one have? How are these traits prominent when they're playing the heroines?
Kids: What is meant by a person's destiny? Do you believe that your future is already decided for you, or do you have control over it? Would being a superhero be fun? Which real-world heroes exist in your community?
Kids: Do you think much about how you look or what you wear? Is a person's appearance indicative of who he or she is inside?
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