Superheroes find an easy outlet to both champion and denigrate them in the press.
An easy connection between a hero and journalist can be found in any iteration of Superman. Superman’s human alter ego is a member of the press, Clark Kent, and his closest two mouthpieces in Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen are also employed by the same newspaper. This gives their outlet the inside scoop on Superman’s activities while also providing the public with their daily fill of Superman. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship, with the added, mostly positive, publicity allowing Superman a method of ingratiating himself to the general populace in addition to his actions of saving others.
The reverse side of the superhero news coverage is J. Jonah Jameson and his consistent smear campaign against Spider-Man. Taking a page from the book of yellow journalism written by Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, Jameson sets out to destroy Spider-Man’s relationship with the people, both for personal reasons and added popularity for his newspaper, The Daily Bugle. Unwittingly, he hires the hero’s alter ego, Peter Parker, as a photojournalist to capture Spider-Man’s supposedly nefarious deeds. In both the cases of Spider-Man and Superman, news outlets are used to champion or bring down the heroic side, rather than the every day.
On the whole, Precure sides with this aforementioned precedent by covering heroes rather than the every day, primarily because the deeds of Precure are out in the open and their alter egos are likely not. For example, in Heartcatch Precure!, a photographer classmate Kanae Tada is constantly attempting to capture her great “scoop” through photographing the precure in action.
Yes! Precure 5 takes a notably different approach through a recurring periphery character, Mika Masuko, chief editor of the school paper, Cinq Lumières News. Eager for the “big scoop,” Mika is constantly stalking around the school campus, looking for her next headline. In a way, she reminds me of myself and university colleagues, stomping around campus with cameras, notepads, and cell phones on a quest to capture the latest breaking news among our approximately 1,700 total students. One of the first things that one is taught while studying journalism is that being a journalist can be wonderfully glamorous if one is able to capture that elusive scoop. Mika encapsulates this idea, as she is always saying that her paper is for the good of the school, using the line that “what the people want to know, I want to know!”
As the precure themselves, as heroes, remain hidden from the general public, what Mika’s classmates want to know revolve around very mundane things. Mika’s first introduction to the audience in episode nine shows her covering what Urara Kasugano (Cure Lemonade), up-and-coming school idol, ate for lunch. This leads to Mika wondering just why the Student Council President, school sports star, school idol, and student librarian are hanging out with the comparatively ordinary Nozomi Yumehara (Cure Dream). Her suspicions lead Mika inevitably to the precure a few times; however, she rarely ends up reporting on them as something else (more often than not, the mascot Nuts) distracts her enough to make the headlines of the paper over the town heroines. Additionally, when Mika manages a decent picture of the precure in action, she is admonished by school cafeteria worker Otaka (who, unbeknownst to Mika is also the school principal) that she shouldn’t print pictures without permission.
The events that Mika does end up focusing on, in lieu of the heroic, are all endearingly filtered through the lens of a junior high school girl. She reports on Nuts’ human form, asking the burning question of how such a “mysterious hottie” appeared in town. Mika also is the first to break the news Rin Natsuki (Cure Rouge) chose the unknown futsal team over all other sports teams to join. She prints an interview on Student Council President Karen Minazuki’s (Cure Aqua) every day life, as requested by the students. She follows Urara around on her idol endeavors. Rather than building up an image of the precure as heroines, she instead introduces their everyday selves to the student body and perpetuates somewhat of a cult of personality around them.
Many magical girl series – Sailor Moon being the most obvious comparison down to the individual colors/personalities of each of the main five heroines – focus on balancing one’s dreams for the future and being a superhero. However, none focus on the comparatively ordinary quite like Yes! PreCure 5, where their largest champion in the press is one who glorifies their individual, ordinary talents, rather than their superhero alter egos.