Shin Shirayuki Hime Densetsu Pretear roughly translates to “The New Snow White Princess Legend Pretear.” It ran for 13 episodes, and there are 4 volumes of manga to go with the anime. The story is indeed somewhat similar to Snow White, in that it is about a young girl who has a new stepmother who may, or may not be wicked, and she meets seven men who are her protectors. There are also a few other similarities, but to say more would be spoiling the show. Pretear is sort of like a combination of a magical girl show and Fushigi Yuugi. Who needs one Tuxedo Kamen-type guy to help you out when you can have seven?
Anyway, the story is about Himeno, an ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances. Her mother died when she was young, and her dad has recently remarried. Their new family is extremely wealthy, and lives in a very large mansion. Himeno and her father are very close, but lately he and his new wife have been very lovey-dovey with each other. She doesn’t get along with her new stepsisters at all. One of them pretty much ignores her, the other torments her. Other than her unusual family and living situation, Himeno’s life is fairly normal. She has friends, and goes to school, and has a routine. Of course, this being a magical girl show, things are bound to change. One day Himeno runs into an extremely handsome guy on the street. Sparks fly at once, as they are very rude to each other. However their meeting proves to be an important event.
His name is Hayate, and little does Himeno know, but Hayate is not a normal guy. (are they ever? ^_^) He is a “Leaf-Knight,” one of seven such magical warriors protecting the earth with their magical powers from these evil seed-like things that are trying to destroy the planet. However the Leaf Knights all live to serve one person, the ultimate savior, the Pretear. Over the years, there have been many girls who have inherited the powers of the Pretear, but ever since some rather tragic events of the recent past, there has been no new Pretear for the Knights to serve. All of the Knights can sense that danger is brewing, and they are in a desperate search to find the girl who can be the new Pretear.
Guess who the new Pretear is? Yep. After meeting Himeno, Hayate has a feeling about her that proves to be correct- she is the new Pretear. The Pretear’s powers work somewhat differently than a typical Magical Girl’s powers. Yes, she has her own magical abilities. but the real key to her strength is her ability to ‘combine’ with each of the Knights that serve her. Basically what happens is she touches their hand (only one Knight at a time, each one has a different type of power that is useful in different types of situations) and they become a creature of energy that is absorbed into her body. The symbol of their power manifests itself in the form of the costume Himeno wears. When she merges with each of her Knights, she is clothed in a different dress. Once merged, Himeno can communicate telepathically with the Knight who is now part of her, and she can use his powers. They guide her in fighting and help her know what to do.
Again, this being a Magical Girl Show, there has to be some romance along with all that evil-fighting. There is a love-triangle of sorts between Himeno, Hayate, and another of the Knights, Sasame. Himeno really likes Sasame, but there are secrets hidden in his past. She doesn’t get along with Hayate very well. They argue a lot.
At first, this short-running show seems episodic. but a very serious plot starts developing a few episodes in, and by the end of the series, it is very dramatic, and the episodes are all linked together. The animation and character designs for this series are above average for a Magical Girl show (in my opinion) and the animation, which looks like it was done on computer) is very pretty. The colors are vibrant and clear, and the animation is relatively smooth. The music, in particular the opening song, is also very nice.
Shin Shirayuki Hime Densetsu Pretear is ©Kaori Naruse & Junichi Satou