Like many, I remember watching Sailor Moon growing up and dreaming about moon princesses and exciting adventures. My niece and I start watching SM together but it was just too outdated for her - made in early 90's I believe. I started looking for an anime series that would be similar to SM but also be appropriated for her to watch. I came across this little jewel and am beyond please with the series.
It is wonderfully imaginative and exciting to watch. Himeno, the heroine, was lovable without being over annoying or whinny (SM overall was a weaker personality). I'm a sucker for a fully developed bad guy and Pretear did well at giving you insight to the bad guy's (Princess of Disaster)actions and fall for grace. Himeno goes from being a school girl dealing with settling in with her new step family to being chosen as the new Pretear, defender of our world. She is aided in her duties by a band of knights that combined their individual power with her to create different Pretear's abilities. I absolutely love the knights and, as an adult, appreciated that, given the length of the series (13 episodes), there was a good amount of time spent flushing out the knight's characters.
The real evil in the series is fear and doubt. Himeno must struggle with her fear and doubt knowing the last Pretear that was 'called' gave into her fear and anger and became the Princess of Disaster - the very evil Himeno is tasked with destroying.
What really made the series are the side character's development. I felt such empathy for Sasame, a knight that was in love with the Princess of Disaster, yet had to imprison her with his fellow knights. Now she is free, he is torn between his loyalty to his people and his love for the girl the princess once was. And then there is Mawata, one of Himeno's stepsister, who is still grieving for her father and feels isolated and alone. Everybody is too caught up in their own lives to notice her despair.
There are many ups and downs in this series and my niece and I felt everyone of them. I truly recommend this series to anyone looking for a fairy tale that will make you laugh, make you cry, and leave you completely satisfied at the end.