oceanicbutterfly: ([k] Defensive)
[personal profile] oceanicbutterfly
Since character ages come up with some frequency, I've decided to just dedicate a post to explaining the problems with determining how old Karen is supposed to be.

Many canons give specific ages and birthdays for their characters. Yes! Pretty Cure 5 is not one of them--its characters' ages are only given implicitly, and the evidence is somewhat inconsistent.

What is known for certain is that Karen is a third-year junior high student and the student council president at the beginning of the series, making her either 14 or 15 at the time depending on whether her birthday has come along yet. The series takes place over the course of about a year, with New Year's Day occuring in one of the last few episodes, so she is definitely 15 at the end.

If things had ended there, then it would be simple, but of course they didn't. YPC5 got a sequel, Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GoGo!, which again took place over the course of a year, depicting spring, summer, fall and winter again. At the end of this, she was... still the student council president, wearing the same uniform, and still at the same school as younger characters, implying that she's somehow still a third-year junior high school student.

Things got even worse a few months later with the first of the Pretty Cure All-Stars theatrical crossover movies, featuring characters from multiple Precure seasons. These movies typically a) depict all characters exactly as they were when their seasons ended and b) explicitly present the newest season's characters as newcomers and the preceding season's characters as more experienced. After six of these with a seventh on the way (as of this writing) this premise is gradually becoming self-contradictory.

Many of these inconsistencies can be explained away by one commonly accepted suspension-of-disbelief or another, but the overall point is that nobody at Toei seems to actually give a damn how old Karen is, and as such her age post-GoGo (which is how I generally play her) is open to interpretation. I usually call her 16 for meme threads and at the beginnings of games, but that's not a provable number, and it's entirely possible and reasonable for other players to disagree with it for one reason or another.

A couple of other notes about this:

  • If I get a YPC5 canonmate, it's possible that I'll need to quietly adjust Karen's age to synchronize our calendars.
  • In the game Drama Drama Duck, time in the Precure unvierse explicitly doesn't work properly and Karen turns fifteen every year.
  • I think of Karen's birthday as being March 21. This has absolutely no basis in canon.

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Karen Minazuki/Cure Aqua/Caroline Banks (Recollé)

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