January 26th, 2015

Firechick's Cartoon Reviews: Lady Lovely Locks

I give this girly yet charming show...a 64/100.

To be perfectly honest, I had NEVER heard of this show until now. The only reason I heard about it was because someone compared it to the upcoming Go! Princess Pretty Cure anime. If I had heard about this show when I was little, I probably would not have watched it. I was very into shows like Pokemon, Digimon, Super Robot Monkey Team, Hamtaro, Monster Rancher, Kirby, Chalk Zone, etc. I wasn't into girly shows like Barbie, Bratz, My Little Pony, etc. But shows like Heartcatch Precure and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic taught me that shows for girls weren't as bad as everybody thought. Seeing that it was only 20 episodes long, all of which are under ten minutes, I decided to check it out, having liked My Little Pony Tales. While I don't hate it, I have to admit that it's VERY flawed, and it could have been so much better.

The show takes place in a fictional kingdom called the Land of Lovely Locks, ruled by Lady Lovely Locks, a young girl with blonde, pink, and yellow hair that's magical. She is the ruler of the kingdom, who gets assistance from cute magical animal fairies called Pixie Tails and Shining Glory, a sort of blind magician. She goes on various adventures with her friends Maiden Fair Hair and Maiden Curly Crown, solves problems, and tries to go up against the evil sorceress Duchess Ravenwaves, her servant Hairball, and their annoying friends the Comb Gnomes. There's also a Prince named Strongheart who is cursed to turn into a dog, and wants to tell LLL how he feels about her but can't due to various circumstances. There isn't really much of a plot, as it's mostly Lady Lovely Locks solving a problem of the week or sitting around doing nothing while everyone else does everything.

Yeah, this kind of leads me to one of the show's biggest problems. Lady Lovely Locks comes off as extremely perfect. She has no flaws, she's loved by everyone except Ravenwaves and anyone associated with her, she doesn't do anything but is praised for things she didn't do, and always knows what to do. She doesn't really have any realistic character flaws that really make her grow as a character, nor is she given the opporunity to overcome obstacles using her own power. She mostly relies on either Prince, Shining Glory, or the Pixie Tails for pretty much everything. Because of all of this, she isn't exactly the most interesting character. I don't hate her or anything. She's just bland and too perfect for her own good. The other characters are similarly bland. Ravenwaves is the typical evil villain who hates the hero, Hairball is her dopey servant, Strongheart is the love interest, Fair Hair and Curly Crown are her friends who follow her around and join on her adventures, the Pixie Tails are the cute animals that do most of everything, etc. Yeah, the characters are pretty bland and cliche at best. None of them are bad, but I would have liked it if they had been explored a lot more. Also, the Pixie Tails have a habit of adding "ix" to every single word they say, and matching it up with their impossibly high pitched voices and the bad quality of the videos make most of their speech nigh incomprehensible.

One reason for their lack of characterization could be that there are only twenty episodes, all of which are under ten minutes long. The pacing isn't too brisk, so we know what's going on, partly because the plots of the episodes are so simple and easily solved. But had the episodes been at least half an hour long, it would have given the creators opportunities to not only explore the characters and give them realistic flaws and personalities, it'd also expand on the stories and make them more interesting than they are now. Unfortunately, we will never know why the episodes are ten minutes long, and the show was never renewed for any future seasons. Plus, it was mostly made to sell toys, so I don't think the creators wanted much to do with characterization or writing a good story, just making a big commercial to make kids buy toys. And ugh, Ravenwaves' voice makes my ears bleed!

But it does have some good qualities, which I feel could have benefitted from extra airtime and expansion. The setting is very interesting. Two castles controlled by magicians, a kingdom whose trees and its foundation are entirely made out of magical hair, dragons with hair whose babies look like cute piglets, metallic bugs that make someone fall into a coma, a prince that turns into a dog due to a curse, all of those are very interesting concepts, and its a shame that they not only haven't been explored more, but we never know the reason behind Strongheart's curse nor if he will ever break it. We also never know why Lady Lovely Locks has magical hair or why she even rules a kingdom to begin with. The show has so much potential, yet all of it is never used due to wanting to sell toys. There's also a continuity error I need to address. It's not as bad as the one in My Little Pony Tales, but it's still pretty prominent. In one episode, Hairball sneaks into Shining Glory's castle with some trouble along way, but in the last episode he gets in without effort with the reasoning that he used to work for Shining Glory. This was absolutely never brought up beforehand, nor was there any indication of such a relationship, and the two hardly ever interacted. There's also an episode where Prince gets an opportunity to break the curse, but wastes it in order to save Shining Glory. This wouldn't be so bad, except that the situation was so easily resolved that Prince could have saved him without the use of the golden wishbone, making the whole thing be in vain.

So with all my riffing, I must hate this show, right? Actually, no I don't. I was convinced I'd hate it, but I found it to be quite charming and interesting. It's not perfect, but nothing ever is. I think I found my guilty pleasure show! I have no idea why I like it so much. There's something about it that really pulls me in, in spite of all its cliches, preachiness, girliness, and wasted opportunities. I can't really explain it. It has its problems, but it's not a bad series in any way. I just feel it could have benefitted from so much more effort put into it.

It's nothing special, but it's a cute little show and I like it.