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During the first season, people had to be evacuated when the Dark Zone attacked, and civilians even interacted with the villains in some episodes. However, at some point, people started to fall unconscious, or even disappear until the fighting was over.

By Max Heart, I don't think a single civilian became aware that strange stuff was going on. This even included

Honoka's grandmother, who was magical enough to stand up to Poisony in the first season.

From what I've seen, future series ditched this and civilians are increasingly aware of the existence of Cures.

Is there a reason people started vanishing and falling unconscious during the earlier days of the franchise?

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Talking about the very first season of Pretty Cure, Nagisa and Honoka had to face Zakenna, black monsters that come out in form of shadows possessing objects and creatures. When those monsters appear, people fall unconscious while the sky become dark.

AFAIK, since Zakenna appears only in season one and season two (Max Heart), the behavior you're asking for seems to be related to Zakenna particularly.

  • The problem is that people didn't collapse from the beginning. During the first half of season one people were still conscious. – TurkeyFried Feb 11 '13 at 15:23

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