Happiness Charge Precure the Movie

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This is a pretty good movie. I don’t really have any complaints about it nor anything meaningful to say on it so might as well just get right into it.

At the very beginning there’s a Terribad attacking the city, Masuko Miyo is reporting on it on location. Lovely and Princess come in to fight it, Honey and Fortune are there too. Ribbon shows up with the Miracle Lights to give to people, explaining what they do and how to use them. This whole opening scene is definitely a much more creative way to introduce the Miracle Lights than what other movies do at the beginning.

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Meanwhile a little girl named Tsumugi (who’s voiced by Yui Horie who would eventually go on to voice Cure Magical in Maho Precure) is watching this on tv. Judging by the wheelchair in her room she must be either sick or disabled. The Precure defeat the Terribad but Tsumugi doesn’t seem to care, saying she isn’t happy at all. And then she has some vision or something where someone asks her if she wants to be happy, he says he’ll make her wish come true.

Side things to note before the movie really gets into its plot. It’s a good looking movie, better looking than Doki’s, and there’s also this mascot character in it. I can’t remember what he is or why he’s in the movie but he’s there when everyone is waving the Miracle Lights. He’s not Precure related.

So anyways after this the girls are putting on a puppet show of Snow White for some kids. Hime likes the story because she dreams of a prince on a white horse coming for her. Then while they’re sorting dolls in the room one of the dolls comes alive and begins talking to them. She says she comes from the Doll Kingdom but a Terribad attacked them and everyone is in trouble now. The girls say they’ll come help and they get transported away while the opening theme song plays.

During this the “doll” transforms back into Tsumugi. It was her all along but obviously the girls don’t know anything’s up. After the opening theme is done Ribbon contacts Blue from the Doll Kingdom, he’s surprised because he’s never heard of any such place but then he’s attacked by some off-screen force and they lose connection. Before Ribbon can ponder this a Terribad attacks them all. The girls transform to fight it and defeat it pretty handily but for some reason it just vanishes when hit by their attack, it isn’t purified like normal and Ribbon doesn’t generate new Precards. How odd.

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Tsumugi continues to take them through the kingdom and introduces them to the Prince of the Doll Kingdom, Zeke. Hime falls head over heels for him at first sight. She thinks she must marry him even. The kingdom holds a parade to honor the Precure for saving them and when they get to the castle they have a ball. Hime dances with the Prince and Megumi dances with Seiji… oh yeah he came along too.

Meanwhile Iona and Yuuko are both talking about how Tsumugi knew they were Precure. Something feels off to them but they still decide to enjoy the ball for now.

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But while Seiji is off alone a group of Terribad attack him and he gets turned into a doll. Tsumugi sees all of this. The Prince is also able to easily convince Hime to come be alone with him. Hm, that sounds a lot creepier and more perverted than it actually is.

Megumi has noted that Seiji is missing but Tsumugi leads her away, while Iona and Yuuko end up getting ambushed by a Terribad at the ball. Hime also gets attacked by one while she’s alone with Zeke.

Tsumugi starts talking to Megumi and tells her that making everyone happy is impossible. No matter how hard Tsumugi tried she couldn’t be happy. And Tsumugi leads her into a room with some weird machinery and some blatantly evil looking energy and threads. This machinery churns out a Terribad right in front of Megumi so she transforms, Lovely tells Tsumugi to be careful but to Lovely’s shock Tsumugi orders the Terribad to destroy her. She says she drew Lovely into her trap.

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Everyone fights the Terribad’s but Prince Zeke also attacks Princess. He and the dolls are doing all of this for Tsumugi, he’s actually a doll too, they all belong to her and love her. They want to see her smile more than anything. Naturally Princess is crushed by this.

Tsumugi tells Lovely that she loves to dance but she can’t do it in real life. She’s loved dancing since she was a child but one day her feet stopped working. She lost everything because of this and no one knows what’s wrong with them. But then someone came to her and healed her feet and her dolls were brought to life too. The guy tells her that in her Doll Kingdom she can dance as much as she likes, it’s a kingdom just for her.

But he says that if he dies it will all go away. He tells her he’s a general from the Phantom Empire, his name is Black Fang. He says she must use her powers to defeat the Precure who are after him, or else she’ll never be able to dance again when he’s gone.

Lovely tells her she can’t trust Black Fang but Tsumugi wants to live here forever in her dream kingdom. She shows Lovely the dolls of Blue and Seiji and tells Lovely that she’ll turn all the Precure into dolls too.

Ribbon and Glassan get caught and turned into dolls while Princess, Honey and Fortune run away from their opponents after realizing that the Terribad’s just revive after being defeated and there’s no end to it.

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Lovely asks if this is what Tsumugi wants, if this will make her happy. She wants to help Tsumugi but Tsumugi says nothing Lovely can do will allow her to dance again. Tsumugi just wants to stay in her kingdom.

Princess and the others come to help Lovely and all 4 of them flee together. Tsumugi starts crying when they leave, sad that she was so mean to Lovely but she still wants to be able to dance. Lovely is sad too because of how she unknowingly hurt Tsumugi. Princess says this isn’t like her, she needs to be normal and do all she can to help Tsumugi. Fortune and Honey also back her up. Lovely says she wants to help Tsumugi and all 4 of them go back to the castle.

Zeke and the dolls are in the room with the machinery with Tsumugi, Zeke asks if what she’s doing is what she really wants. Black Fang shows up though and tells Tsumugi that the Precure are coming back. Zeke tells him not to hurt Tsumugi anymore but Black Fang simply asks if Tsumugi wants to leave her happy kingdom where she can dance.

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The girls then arrive in the room, confronting Tsumugi. Lovely says that even though she can dance here she can’t be 100% happy because of the cost, and she asks Tsumugi to come home with them. Tsumugi steps forward, looking like she’s gonna accept, but then Black Fang attacks them.

He reveals that he was the one who damaged Tsumugi’s feet in the first place, all to fulfill this grand and long term master plan to defeat the Precure and gain enough power so that he could even overcome Mirage. He’s been feeding on Tsumugi’s despair as well to get more powerful, she essentially churns out the undying Terribad’s too.

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Black Fang swallows Tsumugi up in his threads and uses her as a despair engine to fuel his power even more. Zeke tries to attack him but gets knocked back, Tsumugi’s despair just grows and grows and affects the real world. Lovely tries telling her none of this is her fault, she’s still friends with Tsumugi. But Lovely and the other girls are caught in Black Fang’s web.

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Zeke also says he’s Tsumugi’s friend, he and all the dolls love her and they wish for her happiness. Zeke tries to use his sword to free the Precure, asking them to please save Tsumugi, but he gets turned back into a doll and disappears from the kingdom thanks to Black Fang. Black Fang does the same to the other dolls who try to rescue Tsumugi.

But because of Zeke’s sword the Precure were able to break free from Black Fang’s web and they attack him.

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Lovely breaks in to the web of despair that Tsumugi is in to save her. She apologizes for not knowing what to say, and not understanding how she feels or how to help her. But she still wants to save her. Somehow she’ll do something, all of them will try their best to help her. Lovely hugs her and Tsumugi starts crying and also apologizes for all the mean things she said to Megumi. Lovely says they’ll do their best together, Tsumugi won’t bring despair to everyone.

Suddenly the Terribad’s disappear, Tsumugi’s despair has stopped.

When Lovely and Tsumugi come out of the web Black Fang says the Precure can’t help her but Tsumugi says she won’t be in despair anymore, she’ll face the real world cause her friends will be cheering her on. Also Seiji and the others go back to normal and aren’t dolls anymore.

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Black Fang still absorbs all the leftover despair and turns into a huge monster. You know after all the web stuff you’d think he’d be a giant spider or something but whatever. Not any stupider than Sir Loin from Splash Star’s movie.

The girls fight him but their attacks have no affect. Blue sends out Miracle Lights to everyone on Earth to give the Precure the power to win. At first the light is blocked by Black Fang’s power but Lovely keeps on fighting despite this. Tsumugi is watching her and her strong feelings for Lovely now allow the power of the Miracle Lights to reach Lovely. Everyone cheers for the Precure again to give the power to Lovely.

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That mascot is back cheering too. And there’s an insert song playing while all this goes on now.

So yeah all the power goes to Lovely and the Shining Make Dresser and she transforms into Super Happiness Lovely. Nice ballerina look. But hey isn’t that just great? The pink again is the only one to get a super form in both the movie and the finale. What a wonderful thing to copy from Doki.

Well whatever, Super Happiness Lovely and the other girls now combine their powers and they blow away Black Fang with Precure Miracle Love Motion.

Everything is back to normal now. Tsumugi apologizes to Lovely for everything, she says she wants to become a ballerina and make people happy with her dancing. And she says that Lovely can make everyone happy, she’s sure of it. The Doll Kingdom disappears now and back in the real world Black Fang’s death has healed Tsumugi’s feet. I think it would’ve been more interesting if Tsumugi’s injury was natural and not caused by Black Fang and she wasn’t just healthy again at the end of the movie, cause it would’ve made it an actually difficult decision for everyone to make. But maybe that would be too sad.

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Either way at the end of the movie the girls are all going to see Tsumugi put on a performance. Happy end achieved.

So yeah this was a pretty good movie, obviously I can’t blame it for only giving Lovely the super form since that’s what every movie does but again like with Doki it’s disappointing since Lovely was the only one to get a super form in the main series too. The story was good and the animation was really nice. Black Fang’s design was good too. Poor stupid Hime is never gonna get her fairy-tale Prince though.

 

 

 

Happiness Charge Precure

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Happiness Charge Precure. An interesting season. It does a lot of different and new things for the franchise, in my opinion it’s the most abnormal season of them all but still distinctly Precure. But in a lot of ways it feels more like a traditional magical girl show like Sailor Moon too, it feels old-school and nostalgic. It has that sort of atmosphere to it.

It starts off as a very fun show but there’s also a sort of plainness to it as it goes on. The characters, their arcs, the dialogue, the story, everything has this bland and tired feeling to it as the show gets into its second half. Even the art style and character designs end up enforcing that feeling. It doesn’t help that the Cures default outfits are very plain and similar and the monster of the weeks are the least creative and interesting of the entire franchise. And Megumi/Cure Lovely looking almost exactly the same, pink on pink again with the same hairstyle. She has such a boring design.

I would not say Happiness Charge is a terrible show, if you want something a little bit different and a little bit more of the same then it’s the season for you. But it’s not a great show in nearly any regard either. I don’t really have strong feelings one way or another on it, it is by far the season of Precure I care about the least. Happiness Charge does not seem to be a season that elicits strong positive responses for the most part, I’ve seen a lot of people who dislike it but I don’t know if I’ve seen anyone who has Happiness Charge as their favorite season of Precure.

There are other things that don’t really work in Happiness Charge’s favor, the fact that it is yet another 4 Cure season, the fairies being very bland after three seasons in a row with good fairies, and the fact that it uses the same plot set-up as the two seasons around it. What I mean by that is that Doki, HapCha, and GoPri all have the same basic plot to kick off the show, the Trump Kingdom was taken over by the villains and it needs to be saved in Doki, the Blue Sky Kingdom in HapCha has been taken over by villains and it needs to be saved, the whatever kingdom in GoPri has been taken over by the villains and it needs to be saved. And each of these three seasons has a Cure from the taken over world too. These aren’t the only three seasons to have a plot like that but three times in a row is a little much.

Happiness Charge Precure. It does a lot of things. For better or for worse. There are certainly good things I can say about it, it has above average action and some of the stock footage is good. Hime is great and one of my favorite Cures ever. But then you have the romance in the show, Blue, the mixed bag of villains, all of this is basically a whole other can of worms. And most of all the most original and unique (at least at this point in the franchise) thing about Happiness Charge is the different Cure outfits/forms, which is horribly mishandled and disappointing.

Well let’s dive right in.

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Oh right.

With this being the 10th anniversary season Toei decided to do something a little special, before the opening theme song plays we get a little hello and thank you message from one of the Cures. Naturally for episode 1 it’s Cure Black but there’s no pattern to the rest of them aside from Cure White being the very last one. It’s a cute little extra thing for each episode to have before they run out of Cures.

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The episode begins with the evil Queen Mirage (who’s voiced by Miyuki’s mom by the way) saying that things like love and happiness are an illusion and her forces of the Phantom Empire will defeat the Precure and drown the world in sorrow.

Then we immediately get into a fight between Cure Princess and a Terribad created by the villain Namakelder. Princess is quite weak and cowardly but her fairy, Ribbon, tells her she has to win to save the person who the Terribad was made from. Terribad’s also generate some sort of substance that “morphs” the world around them as they go on, in Namakelder’s case his Terribads generate mold. Princess though still gets her butt kicked and is only saved by the timely arrival of the much stronger Cure Fortune and her fairy Glassan.

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Defeating the Terribad and rescuing the civilian generates a special card from Glassan, who puts it into some sort of folder/book and remarks that they’re one step closer to their dream. Whatever that means. Hime thanks Fortune but Fortune pretty much tells her to shove off, she hates Hime for some reason, saying that it’s her fault that the Terribads and Phantom Empire are here in the first place and that she’ll never forgive Hime. Then she flies off.

Poor Hime, getting yelled at after getting her butt kicked, she’s never been able to defeat a Terribad either. And now the opening theme song starts. Catchy tune.

We’re then introduced to Aino Megumi and her friend Yuuko, who everyone calls YuYu or however you want to spell it out and who was tragically born without a personality. Megumi really admires the Precure as we learn.

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Hime meanwhile is throwing a tantrum over having never won a single fight, and then God appears. Blue, the actual god of Earth in the world of Happiness Charge. He is kind of unintentionally creepy. Blue comforts Hime and gives her a crystal of love that will lead Hime to a new Cure and her best friend. Hime is ecstatic at this prospect, partially because she believes that another Cure will solve her problems.

Leaving everything up to fate Hime takes the crystal and chucks it off the top of a tower, saying that whoever it hits will be her best friend. And of course it conks Megumi right in the head.

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Hime spies on Megumi to see what kind of girl she is, she’s shocked at how easily Megumi is able to get along with other people. We’re also introduced to Seiji and his little sister Mao. Seiji is one of the better side characters you’ll see in Precure.

Ribbon finally convinces Hime to talk to Megumi, and much to Hime’s pleasure they hit it off pretty well when Megumi compliments her dress and they start talking about fashion. Ribbon tells Megumi that Hime is the princess of the Blue Sky Kingdom, her full name is Himelda Window Cure Queen of Blue Sky. Rolls right off the tongue. Anyways Megumi is ecstatic to meet a Precure like her and Ribbon asks her to get along with Hime now cause she’s a Precure too.

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Meanwhile Namakelder turns Seiji’s little sister into a Terribad. The girls rush over to ight him and rescue her and Hime transforms into Princess. The transformations in Happiness Charge are pretty good. Of course Princess is still weak and unable to beat the Terribad on her own so Megumi rushes out to protect and help her new friend.

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Megumi’s love makes the crystal react, so much that Blue can feel its importance, and Megumi is able to transform into Cure Lovely. So obviously this is a two-parter beginning and the episode ends soon after this. The ending song is okay, never really cared for either of Happiness Charge’s.

Right on to episode 2.

The hello and thank you message at the beginning of the opening for episode 2 is done by Cure Dream.

Princess and Lovely fight the Terribad but they have some trouble and Princess gets discouraged. She’s sad and gives up fighting but Lovely continues to fight, seeing her Princess steps up to fight some more… or actually just takes the opportunity to use an attack as a distraction so they can flee.

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Hime and Ribbon bring Megumi to the embassy of the Blue Sky Kingdom. Megumi says they have to go back and save Seiji’s little sister but Hime says that just because they’ve become Precure doesn’t mean they can do everything. Blue comes in then, Megumi meets him for the first time and learns that he’s the god that protects Earth and everything on it.

Blue tells Megumi how it’s not just their city but everywhere around the world that Precure are fighting the Terribads. It all started with the Box of Axia that had these evil people sealed away, but then SOMEONE opened it and now the world’s in a pinch. He tells Megumi that the leader of the evil Phantom Empire is Queen Mirage.

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Mirage felt a disturbance in the force when Megumi became Cure Lovely. She calls upon her consigliere Deep Mirror, who tells her of the existence of Cure Lovely and the storng power emanating from her. Mirage finds her disgusting because she hates love and orders Cure Lovely to be destroyed.

Back on Earth Blue tells the girls how Mirage wants to eliminate love and he asks them both to help stop her.

Hime says it’s impossible for her but Ribbon reminds her of the Blue Sky Kingdom, it was taken over by the Phantom Empire and her mother and father and everyone else were captured. Hime still says she cant be a Precure and runs off. Deep Mirror then appears before Namakelder and orders him to destroy the Precure per Mirage’s orders.

YuYu comes upon Hime and gives her some candy, the ever shy Hime thanks her and then runs off.

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Ribbon apologizes to Megumi for Hime being selfish and cowardly, she gives Megumi some “Precards” that Megumi can transform with as a civilian. There are multiple transformations like this and each outfit has a special use. Here Megumi becomes a detective so she can find Hime. Megumi and Ribbon quickly find her. She says she’s still a failure as a Cure and she’s never even beaten a single Terribad. But Megumi tells her she has courage for continuing to keep fighting for so long. Megumi wants to be a Cure that can bring happiness to everyone and she needs Hime’s support to do that. Hime accepts.

Megumi says they need a pose and a team name now. Because of course they do.

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Namakelder is being lazy and not bothering to search for the Precure but the girls come to him anyways. They transform and fight him, calling themselves the Happiness Charge Precure. Namakelder calls in some Kindabad’s, little minion monsters like the Snacky’s from Heartcatch. Pretty much exactly like the Snacky’s.

Lovely uses her Prebrace to generate an energy attack and blow the Kindabad’s away, so now all that’s left is the Terribad. The girls work together and Lovely holds it down so Princess can finish it off with her attack, netting Princess her first victory. Seiji’s sister is rescued and Namakelder retreats.

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Ribbon then generates the Precards for the girls Cherry Flamenco form change, as well as some civilian cards, and then puts them in her own folder. Telling Megumi that if it’s filled up with those Precards any wish can be fulfilled. And that is the beginning of Happiness Charge Precure.

Not a bad two-parter to open up the season. Hime is a great character and very fun. Interesting too, very shy but also haughty and egotistical, selfish but wanting friends, lonely but too scared of other people. And she’s basically the main character for the first half of the season as the plot essentially revolves around her and she gets by far the most character development of anyone in the show. Megumi for now is just the very typical lead but the show doesn’t focus on her a lot right now.

Two things of importance to note before I move on to episode 3. HapCha balances the silliness and seriousness better than Doki did, HapCha from the beginning pretty much always has the same tone, there are no wild and sudden changes from slapstick to seriousness. It pretty much always stays at the same temper even when important stuff is happening, it never goes too far in one direction. HapCha didn’t start out with any dark scene like Doki did so the subsequent silliness feels a lot more natural. The second thing is that HapCha has an improved victim of the week format compared to both Doki and Heartcatch. The victims do not need to be sad, or selfish or anything like that, they can just be any human and get turned into a monster. This saves HapCha from having to have a lot of time spent on a victim of the week to make their story compelling (like Heartcatch had to) and saves them from having to actually “help” people (which Doki often failed to do) but it still leaves the opportunity for HapCha to do these things if it wants to have a really important or well developed victim of the week. Of every season of Precure that uses victim of the week HapCha has the best format for it, but that’s not to say the best execution for it.

On to episode 3, where the congratulations message is given by Cure Passion, one of my favorites.

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Blue gives Megumi and Hime special phones to contact each other with. He also says they need to keep their identities a secret. Hime ends up getting introduced to Seiji shortly after this but she and Megumi are so bad at being nonchalant that he immediately can tell that something’s up with them. Hime also is just not used to talking to guys in general. Later that night at Megumi’s place Seiji and Mao come over for dinner. Megumi’s mom is nice. Mao starts talking about the Precure and Megumi’s suspicious behavior when she does clues Seiji in further, but he decides not to question Megumi about it, just telling her not to do anything to upset her mom.

Meanwhile Mirage is annoyed at Namakelder’s failure so Deep Mirror sends out a new villain, Hosshiwa.

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Next morning while Seiji is out jogging he runs into Hosshiwa’s Terribad and a bunch of Kindabad’s. Seiji actually practices karate so he’s able to hold his own against the Kindabad’s pretty well at first but not for long. Hosshiwa loves sweets and as opposed to Namakelder’s mold that’s what her Terribad’s transform the surrounding area into. She also shares her voice with Kaoru from Splash Star. Hosshiwa wants everything for herself.

Hime and Megumi go to fight her and use the roller skate Precard to get there faster. Although Seiji is there and Hime says they shouldn’t transform in front of him Megumi knows it’s more important to save him and everyone so they both transform and fight.

Lovely attacks a swarm of Kindabad’s… and then the most disappointing thing ever happens.

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She uses the Cherry Flamenco card to transform and we enter a short stock CGI sequence where she uses an attack on the Kindabad’s. And that’s it. That’s what these form changes are used for. What a waste. It’s pretty much pointless too, it’s rarely used on the Terribad’s or generals either. They were advertised like real form changes and different outfits too, not just short pointless changes in the middle of a fight. And after that short sequence she goes back to her default form. I just can’t even begin to explain how irrelevant this stuff is.

Anyways after that happens Princess and Lovely work together to defeat the Terribad with Lovely landing the finishing blow. And they get some more Precards but now Seiji knows their secret. They take him to the embassy and explain things to Blue. Seiji says he just wants to help the girls and Blue seems to be okay with this, but he first asks if Seiji and Megumi are in love. They explain they’re not, they feel more like siblings, and ask why that’s important.

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Blue says that Precure are forbidden from falling in love. A good relationship is fine but if anyone has a bad one it hurts them too much. Hime is cute, despite her shyness she seems quite interested in romance. Megumi and Seiji don’t have a problem with this though and Blue is happy to have Seiji aboard and he gives him his own phone too.

Now to episode 4. This one has Cure Moonlight saying hi to everyone.

Hime is going to be going to the same school as Megumi and Seiji now. She’s a bit nervous. She ends up throwing a little bit of a fit but Megumi tells her she can make tons of friends at school. Hime seems to see the idea of friends as people who admire her.

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But when she gets to school the amount of people makes her nervous again and she freezes up while trying to introduce herself. The attention from the other students also makes her collapse and she tries to hide away in the infirmary, much to Megumi’s consternation.

YuYu comes by and Hime recognizes her as the girl that gave her candy before. YuYu is in the same class with Megumi and Hime. YuYu offers some candy to Hime again but this time Hime just grabs it and runs off without thanking her, still too shy. She uses the ninja Precard to escape from Megumi and hide out in the gym storage shed.

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Seiji tells Megumi that Hime isn’t like her and that she needs to take things more slowly. Hime ends up running into a teacher who’s also hiding out in the storage shed because his students don’t talk to him and he cant be open with other people. Hime feels the same way. Namakelder then shows up and turns him into a Terribad. So Hime transforms to save him, Megumi also transforms but gets temporarily sidetracked by some Kindabad’s.

Princess fights her hardest to protect everyone, she still needs to thank YuYu for the candy and become friends with her. Lovely then shows up and bashes the Terribad with two Kindabad’s, pretty cool.

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Princess then uses her own form change, Sherbet Ballet, to take care of the rest of the Kindabad’s and then she finishes off the Terribad. Hime tells the teacher after this that she’ll be more open and aggressive and the teacher should keep his hopes up too. After all now the two of them are friends she says. This generates some more Precards including another form change for Cure Lovely.

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Hime now properly thanks YuYu and asks if she wants to be her friend. YuYu gladly accepts. She also tells Hime that her hobby is to eat tasty food, because that’s basically her whole character.

Episode 5 has best girl Cure Happy deliver the anniversary message.

The episode starts with Hime still being kind of nervous around Yuuko, but gladly accepting whatever candy she has. Megumi invites Hime over to her house for the first time too. But on the way they end up using their new police and nurse Precards to do some good deeds, and using their older ones too as they go around helping people they just kind of bump into. Megumi loves helping people and seeing them happy but Hime is meh on it and was just kind of roped into it by Megumi. Hime later meets Megumi’s mom, Megumi says her mom is the one that told her that seeing everyone smile is the best thing in the whole world. She’s the one who influenced Megumi to be who she is.

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Hime tells Megumi that her parents and the other citizens of the Blue Sky Kingdom are trapped in the mirrors like what happens to someone turned into a Terribad. Megumi promises her they’ll rescue them, gaining all the Precards they need to make the wish for it. Hime asks what Megumi’s wish is and she reveals that her mom is kind of sick, she’s always had a weak body so Megumi would wish for her to be healthy.

Hosshiwa then tricks Megumi into “helping” her as she runs from a bunch of Kindabad’s (Hosshiwa was disguised but Hime and Ribbon saw through it, Megumi though is not particularly perceptive).

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Lovely uses her new Lollipop Hip-Hop form change to defeat the Kindabad’s but then Hosshiwa just calls out her Terribad. Making fun of Lovely for being dumb and running over to help and dragging Princess along with her she calls Lovely selfish for getting Princess involved with her own desires to be helpful.

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Princess disagrees with this though, saying that Lovely is just a good person and being around her makes Princess feel all warm and fuzzy. Lovely says she feels the same way too, this is the feeling of friendship. The two of them use new stronger non-finisher attacks generated from their Prebrace’s, Lovely uses her Lovely Beam attack where she shoots lasers from her eyes. Ends up being one of several signature attacks from her. They defeat the Terribad and Hosshiwa leaves.

Ribbon generates a bunch of new Precards including the second form change for Cure Princess. Hime also gets how great it is to see other people smile now too. But at the end of the episode we see Cure Fortune watching the two girls and she looks angry.

Onto episode 6 where we see Cure Egret say hello to everyone and the opening now starts showing scenes from New Stage 3 for the next several episodes.

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Ribbon is annoyed over how selfish Hime is being and not appreciating what she cooks for her. Hime runs out after getting into an argument with her. She’s starving so YuYu drags her back to her place after they run into each other. YuYu tries to get her to understand how upset Ribbon must be, so she asks Hime to help out at her family’s business, which is sort of like a lunch making restaurant, they also deliver premade lunches to people.

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Cute.

YuYu gets Hime to see how much Ribbon cares about her by showing her the effort it takes to cook for someone and the love Ribbon clearly puts into it. Megumi and Ribbon then show up at YuYu’s place, Hime still doesn’t want to admit she was at fault but right then Namakelder attacks with a Terribad. YuYu tells him not to hurt her family’s business and Hime and Megumi transform and fight.

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During the fight Princess admits how selfish she was and how she understands all the love Ribbon put into her cooking. She then uses her second CGI form change, Macadamia Hula Dance, and then they finish off the Terribad. At least with this use of the form change the attack actually affected Namakelder and the Terribad. Like always some new Precards are gained but no new form change ones for now.

Next episode Cure Aqua says hello.

Hime is putting on some sort of celebratory tea party, Megumi arrives a few hours early though and Hime gets annoyed when she tries to help out for some reason. Megumi doesn’t really understand why. Hime is trying to bake a cake but neither Ribbon or Megumi have much confidence in her cooking skills and they go in to help out, but Hime just gets mad at them for not letting her do things on her own and she kicks them out of the embassy. She later tells Blue that she wanted to do this on her own as a thank you to Megumi for always helping her.

Hosshiwa then shows up and makes a Terribad at a wedding. Hime transforms and goes to fight it alone, she wants to defeat it on her own. Meanwhile Ribbon spills the beans to Megumi that Hime was planning the tea party and cake for Megumi specifically. Megumi decides to go apologize but Blue calls her and tells her about the Terribad.

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Lovely arrives just in time to help Princess and she uses her new attack, Lovely Punching Punch. Another signature ability of hers. Lovely apologizes and so does Princess for getting so caught up in it in the first place. The girls then fight the Terribad together.

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Their strong bond together allows them to gain a new power and they use their first duo attack. It’s a really cool attack and one of the best duo ones in the franchise. The two girls feel like they can get even stronger together and later Hime gives Megumi her cake, it’s not just a thank you gift but also a celebration of their 100th day as friends. Much to Megumi’s surprise as she hadn’t been keeping track.

Episode 8 is next and Cure Pine says hello to everyone.

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We see some Cure teams from around the world, America, France and India. They’re being covered on tv by Masuko Mika… er… Masuko Miyo. She’s saying that currently the Precure with the most attention are the new girls from Pikarigaoka in Japan, the Happiness Charge Precure.

So apparently there’s a television show that covers the exploits of the Cures and it’s hosted by a reporter based off of Masukomika from Yes5. Pretty cool. I wish there were more characters based off of old ones in Happiness Charge though.

Hime and Megumi are hanging out together, they believe they’re invincible now with the strong friendship they have. There’s also a festival going on right now that they’re gonna go to. The story of it is that long ago a god came down to Earth and fell in love with a woman. Hmm…

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We meet a new villain this episode named Oresky. He decides to go defeat the Happiness Charge Precure and Mirage has no problem with this due to the repeated failures of Namakelder and Hosshiwa. He’s a completeyl self-absorbed person that likes to go on about his greatness. Pretty fun villain.

Hime and Megumi meet up with some other friends of Megumi’s at the festival and they enjoy it together, Seiji is also there advertising for a fortune teller. The fortune teller happens to be Iona, who happens to also go to the same dojo as Seiji and goes to the same school as them all so Megumi recognizes her as well. Hime though doesn’t recognize Cure Fortune in her civilian mode. But Iona certainly recognizes her, although she doesn’t let the girls know this. Anyways after recognizing Hime Iona tells the two that they have the worst possible future as friends together.

Oresky then attacks the festival and turns Megumi’s friends into a Terribad. As a side note it doesn’t seem like Terribad’s actually get any stronger if you make them out of multiple people. But what he did was secretly make two at a time and had the second one ambush the girls when they thought they had the upper-hand in the fight. Oresky’s Terribad’s seem to just wither and destroy everything around them as well, instead of generating mold or sweets.

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Masuko Miyo also films Oresky at the fight, he asks people to send him fan mail.

The girls are getting beat up but Fortune arrives to save them and she beats up the two Terribad’s on her own. Lovely thanks her but Fortune doesn’t really accept it and she tells Lovely that she can’t trust Cure Princess. If she does disaster will befall her. What does Fortune know about Hime?

Episode 9 has Cure Rhythm say hello to everyone. This episode the girls are a little down because they had to be rescued by Fortune. Blue tells Megumi that even he doesn’t know where Fortune got her powers from or who she really is and Hime clearly doesn’t want to talk about her. The girls decide to train themselves in karate to get stronger.

While out jogging they run into Seiji who takes them to the dojo he trains at. As it turns out Iona’s family runs the dojo. She doesn’t bother talking to Hime or Megumi though. Seiji personally instructs the two of them but they don’t take exceptionally well to the exercise.

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Oresky meanwhile is planning to attack the dojo because people giving it their all is a threat to his superiority. Oresky is a pretty fun guy for a while. Anyways he attacks the dojo but he’s disappointed that only Lovely and Princess come to fight him and not Fortune. The girls actually get beat up by his Terribad, Princess in particular is upset at her weakness.

But then someone starts to sing…

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A weird song about eating rice and how delicious it is and eating a full meal makes you happy. The girls see a yellow Cure on top of a building singing this song, even Oresky and his Terribad are caught up in it and seem to love the song. The girls feel completely refreshed and full of energy after listening to it and Oresky was completely distracted. Lovely and Princess defeat his Terribad now.

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The girls ask who she is and she says she’s Cure Honey and leaves. It is a very silly song she sings.

Next up is episode 10, with Cure Blossom delivering the anniversary message.

The girls are thinking about Cure Honey, Hime cant get her song out of her head, they wanted to ask Blue about her but he’s elsewhere in the world recruiting other Precure and such. A lot of people at school are singing Honey’s song too after seeing it on tv. YuYu seems discouraged for some reason when Hime calls the song weird and thinks it’s bothering her.

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Hosshiwa at this time has decided to become an idol to show Honey who the true singing queen is. Sort of. She really just sings about how much she loves sweets to a big crowd of Kindabad’s. Either way she’s still planning on challenging Honey to a singing duel.

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She makes a Terribad and Hime and Megumi go to fight it. It’s a music/sound based one that amplifies her singing and hurts the girls when they hear her song. Hosshiwa doesn’t care about Lovely and Princes though, she just wants Honey to come out.

And so Honey does appear, singing her song to counteract Hosshiwa’s.

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Honey’s song and singing overcomes Hosshiwa’s, she then attacks the Terribad and uses her powers to heal up Lovely and Princess, letting them use their dual attack to finish off the Terribad.

And at the end of the episode Yuuko comes up to Hime and Megumi to reveal…

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She is Cure Honey! And she strikes a pose while doing so cause YuYu is kind of silly herself.

Episode 11 has Cure March saying hello. And we start off with Hime and Megumi being surprised by YuYu’s Cure Honey reveal. The girls and Seiji then eat together at the embassy and Blue comes back. He says Yuuko became a Precure shortly before Megumi while he was spreading love crystals around the world.

Deep Mirror gives his report to Mirage on Honey, she says Honey’s singing couldn’t heal her, it seems something is bothering Queen Mirage. Anyways Namakelder is also there and he says he’ll go take care of Honey.

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Yuuko has the girls and Seiji come over to help out at a rice paddy owned by her grandparents. There she says she’ll reveal the secret of Honey to them. Namakelder shows up though and turns her grandparents into a Terribad. Lovely and Princess don’t do very well against it so YuYu also transforms even though she tells Namakelder she dislikes fighting. Honey has a pretty nice transformation. She uses her song to pacify the Kindabad’s but the Terribad and Namakelder aren’t affected, he says it’s because he’s too lazy to even listen to a song.

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This time though Lovely and Princess come to save her. Princess says she still doesn’t really get Honey but she’s definitely her friend. And Honey uses her first CGI attack, Popcorn Cheer, followed by her finisher for the first time. Her attack is called Precure Sparkling Baton Attack, she flies into the sky and summons a gigantic clover from space that comes crashing down and slams into the Terribad. Pretty cool.

At the end of the episode Yuuko tells them that she wanted to protect everyone, that makes food and eats it and their happiness and that’s her dream as a Precure. And she tells them her “secret” is that she was so super happy to learn that Hime and Megumi were also Cures that she didn’t know how to tell them she was one too and that’s why it took her so long to reveal herself. But now they’re all a nice happy team.

Episode 12 is up next, Cure Heart giving the anniversary message this time, and 12 is mostly just a breather episode where nothing big really happens.

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Megumi comes in last place on her tests, she says this is kind of a good thing though since it makes someone else happy that they didn’t come in last. Yeah. Blue tells her though that if she fails her make-up tests he’ll forbid her from Precure activities. The episode just floats along like that until we get to the fight where Lovely faces the Terribad in baseball. Namakelder just goes along with it too and is even accepting of his loss when Lovely hits a homerun against his pitching Terribad. Probably more due to his laziness than any sense of honor though. Why does this remind me of Fresh?

Anyways episode 12 was a breather episode for a reason as something actually important happens in episode 13, but before getting right into that let’s talk about some things first.

Firstly it’s good that something important is about to happen as it kind of feels like nothing has actually happened in Happiness Charge. Even with the reveal of Honey and her joining up. Nothing involving the villains has happened. And honestly the whole first half of Happiness Charge feels like this.

Speaking of the first half of the show Hime is basically the real main character for it (Hime is also voiced by Megumi Han, who was Chiari in Jewelpet Happiness and Akko in Little Witch Academia and she just has the most perfect scratchy voice). Megumi might be the pink and be central in the opening theme and group pose but it’s Hime who has the character arc and the show actually revolving around for now. I wish it stayed like that the whole way through because Megumi is never as interesting a character as Hime. Megumi could’ve still been the all-important love Cure but still have the show been about Hime’s growth and how Megumi influenced her. Unfortunately things don’t go like this in the future…

Also as far as the action goes it’s been generally good but there hasn’t been any actually great or well-animated fights yet. It’s just been at a bit above-average level so far. HapCha has been using its victim of the week format well and there already have been several more developed and important victims more in the style of how Heartcatch did its victims of the week. But still not to that degree.

YuYu is YuYu. None of the big problems in Happiness Charge really come into play until the second half. For now it’s just a fun and silly show.

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On to the next episode. One of my favorite Cures, Cure Mint, says hello this episode.

So episode 13 introduces the Precure Hunter, Phantom. We briefly saw his face in the first episode but now he actually does stuff. The episode starts with an Egyptian Cure getting defeated by Phantom and trapped in a mirror.

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And then we actually see a brief memory of Mirage’s, she sued to be a shrine maiden who fell in love with Blue when he came down to the Earth. But now for some reason she hates love and thinks it’s an illusion, what could’ve happened between them. Deep Mirror reinforces Mirage’s feelings too. What’s up with him by the way? He’s clearly different from the other villains.

Phantom comes by and asks Deep Mirror who the strongest Precure are, he replies that it’s the Happiness Charge Precure in Pikarigaoka. Oresky says they’re his prey but Phantom doesn’t really seem to care. Mirage asks Phantom to take care of all the Precure in the world.

On Earth Hime is addicted to watching romantic dramas, the romance seems to upset Blue for some reason, he reminisces about when Mirage was sealed away in the Box of Axia. Megumi then comes to talk to him inside his special mirror room which he can use to travel around the world in. Blue asks if she wants to go anywhere and he takes her to the shrine in the city. He then thinks about when he met Mirage there. Megumi sees him and says his eyes look so sad sometimes, she asks if there’s something he wishes for.

Phantom then appears before the two of them. He seems to hate blue for some reason, Blue asks him how Mirage is but Phantom says he has no right to speak her name.

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Megumi transforms to defend Blue but she’s not really a match at all for Phantom. Luckily Fortune arrives right on time to save her. Cure Fortune seems to hate Phantom but he doesn’t recognize her, she just tells him that he “stole someone precious” from her. She’s unfortunately not strong enough to defeat him either though.

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Lovely backs up Fortune though and convinces her to work together and combine their powers. She says they’re both fighting for love, Fortune to save her precious person and Lovely to protect everyone on Earth, who she loves. The fighting this episode is pretty good. They actually manage to do well against Phantom and overpower him a bit, but all he needs to do is pull out his sword to overcome their attacks.

Lovely and Fortune are defeated and Phantom prepares to destroy them when…

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Blue steps up to defend them. He says he’ll even lay down his life and because he knows that Mirage doesn’t want that it causes Phantom to retreat for now. Even after this though Fortune still doesn’t join up with Lovely and the others or anything. Blue asks how she became a Precure, she says her older sister Cure Tender gave her the power and then she leaves. This shocks Blue for some reason, he begins to say that all of this might be his fault and the misfortune befalling the world now is because of him.

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But Lovely says she’s happy, she’s happy she became a Precure and met everyone and she’ll be by his side and protect everyone. He thanks and hugs her… and Megumi… something might be stirring in her heart now.

Next episode is special but for a different reason.

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It’s the 500th episode of Precure! The whole Happiness Charge team comes to say hello this time. Really it’s kind of just a normal episode though. I was hoping it would be crazier or special like what OOO’s did for the 1,000th episode of Kamen Rider. Which is funny to think of since there’s a Kamen Rider reference this episode. But whatever.

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So about the episode proper, it starts with Masuko Miyo giving a report about the Precure Hunter defeating and sealing a bunch of Precure around the world in mirrors. Megumi and the others worry over how strong he is. Blue says the need to keep positive though so they all decide to go clam digging on the beach. Yeah okay. And of course even though it’s a beach episode no one wears swimsuits. The only thing of import to mention this episode is that Megumi sort of realizes she has feelings for Blue this episode. She still has no idea what the feeling in her chest is but she knows it’s there when she thinks of him. And oh yeah Honey gets her second form change Precards but that’s basically irrelevant.

Episode 15 is next and it’s the Mother’s Day episode. Huh, now that I think about it Doki didn’t have a Mother’s Day episode. Kind of weird thinking about that when Heartcatch, Suite and Smile had them but then Doki suddenly didn’t and now we’re back to doing it. Also speaking of Suite the lovely Cure Melody delivers the anniversary message this time.

Anyways for this episode the girls decide to infiltrate the Blue Sky Kingdom so Hime can say hi to her trapped parents and give some cupcakes to her mom. Ribbon is not thrilled about this idea but Blue lets them go after seeing how much Hime wants to see her mom. He uses the mirror room to open a portal to the Blue Sky Kingdom but he warns them that because it’s been taken over by the Phantom Empire their Precure powers wont work there.

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They see all the citizens stuck in their mirrors. They use their ninja and roller skate clothes changes to stealthily… err… to enter the castle. Them using their ninja outfits and everything is actually a pretty funny sequence.

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They make it to the throne room and Hime says hello to her parents, leaving the cupcakes for her mom. It’s a sweet and touching scene. But then they get swarmed by a bunch of Kindabad’s and have to fight their way out of the castle and kingdom. They can still transform but their powers are significantly weakened.

Hosshiwa confronts the girls and Princess gets angry at how they’ve been crashing in her castle but the girls are too weak to do anything so they convince Princess to leave for now. Unfortunately there’s still a ton of Kindabad’s and Terribad’s and Oresky and Namakelder show up too. They use their attacks but they aren’t strong enough in this world to purify the Terribad’s, and even the Kindabad’s are able to get up and keep fighting. Blue luckily is able to open up a nearby mirror gate for them and the girls are able to escape through it.

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The girls realize after this that they’ll need to get a lot stronger, but they refuse to get discouraged. Go Happiness Charge Precure! This was a good episode.

Next episode is another one that’s pretty much just fluff. Cure Berry gives a kanpeki anniversary message though.

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Masuko Miyo is investigating the true identities of the Happiness Charge Precure. It’s funny cause she instantly realizes who the three most likely to be them are. Energetic Megumi! Generous Yuuko! Selfish Hime! Although Hime asks how one can tell she’s selfish just from looking at her Ribbon has to comment that she isn’t wrong.

She doesn’t have any solid proof that they’re the Precure though so she follows them around interviewing them and trying to get more notes.

Of course that all stops mattering when…

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Megumi decides to transform in front of her and reveal her identity anyways.

To be fair Megumi only did this after listening to Masuko Miyo’s story about how a Precure rescued her in the past and figuring that Miyo has a true and pure love for the Precure. Miyo herself wants to become a Precure and so they take her to Blue. He gives her a love crystal but it doesn’t react with her, she thinks it’s because she’s too old but after seeing how many kids watch and love her show and the joy it brings Blue decides that her place is to spread the love of the Precure, not be one herself. In other news this episode, Cure Honey uses her second form change, Coconut Samba, in the fight.

Episode 17 then has Cure Rouge say hello, and befittingly it’s also an episode about sports. Karate to be exact, Seiji has a match and the girls decide to cheer him on. It’s funny to see that among the trio Hime is actually the normal one when compared to Megumi and YuYu’s silliness. The episode focuses on the strong friendship between Megumi and Seiji but importantly it’s also where you kind of get the first inklings that Hime might develop a crush on Seiji. We learn that Seiji first took up Karate because of Megumi, seeing her throw her all into everyone made him want to do his best too and work hard to improve himself. She makes him feel like he can’t lose. Hime feels the same way around Megumi. Anyways Seiji wins his competition.

Next episode Cure Peach delivers the anniversary message.

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For 18 Yuuko’s family is catering a wedding. Everyone decides to pitch in and help out for it and instead of a wedding cake they decide to make a huge tower of fried chicken. Hime is not impressed but the bride and groom like it. Alright then.

We also learn this episode that Iona’s older sister is supposedly traveling abroad (At least that’s the cover story since we know she was defeated by Phantom). Her name is Maria and the bride is a friend of hers and wanted something of Maria’s to borrow for the wedding. Hime asks Iona if they can borrow something and although Iona clearly is upset at something she ends up showing up at the wedding with Maria’s handkerchief and gives it to the bride. She still acts abrupt with Hime though.

There’s some nice action in the fight this episode, Fortune shows up for it, helping the girls and saying they need to protect the wedding ceremony. They still have no idea she’s Iona though. After they defeat the Terribad Fortune still admonishes Princess and leaves.

Episode 19 is the beginning of the mid-season climax more or less. It starts the ball rolling at least. Cure Ace delivers the anniversary message.

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Ribbon shows the girls that they almost have their album full of Precards and they can make their wish soon. YuYu wants to wish for rice by the way. But Ribbon tells them that they can only make one wish, so saving the Blue Sky Kingdom and healing Megumi’s mom can’t be done at once. The girls have to think hard about what wish they want to make.

Meanwhile Fortune is also close to filling up her album. She wants to wish for more power to defeat Phantom and avenge her sister. Glassan says she should team up with the Happiness Charge Precure but she refuses because Princess is with them and she’ll never forgive her. And that night Blue tells Hime she should come clean to Megumi and Yuuko about what she did with the Box of Axia. She doesn’t want to because she thinks they’ll hate her but Blue and Ribbon say their friendship isn’t so fragile. Still Hime is worried over even the smallest possibility that they’ll hate her for what she’s done.

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The next day Seiji asks the girls, including Iona, to come play in a local soccer match. They need to fill in for some guys who cant play. Iona doesn’t get along with Hime while they play. Oresky also comes by in the middle of the match and makes a Terribad. Fortune ends up saving the other girls again, she must’ve transformed somewhere they couldn’t see her.

Fortune criticizes them for having no teamwork but Lovely and Honey just ask her to join up with them then. They’ll have an even stronger combination then. Fortune refuses at first but Lovely presses the issue, saying they’ll be able to cover each other and become even stronger. Shortly afterwards they defeat the Terribad and Fortune is a bit more appreciative of them, thanking them for having her back.

After that they win the soccer match and then…

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Iona comes up to them and reveals that she’s Cure Fortune. She says she realizes now that teammates might be what she truly needs to get stronger and defeat Phantom. But she only asks Lovely and Honey to join her…

So next episode is Cure Sunshine’s turn and blah blah blah the episode starts off right where the last one ended.

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Iona refuses to fight with Princess and she reveals to the others that Hime was the one who opened Axia and started this whole mess in the first place. The Blue Sky Kingdom was conquered and shortly later Iona’s older sister Cure Tender was defeated by Phantom. So Iona hates Hime because of this. Hime then runs away crying, Megumi and Yuuko go after her but Iona tells Megumi that Hime has no right to be a Cure.

YuYu finds Hime, who cries over what she’s done and how she kept it secret from them this whole time. Hime is worried they’ll leave her and go with Fortune but Yuuko says they would never do that.

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Ribbon meanwhile also explains to Megumi that Hime didn’t mean for any of this bad stuff to happen and she’s been working hard this whole time to fix it. Megumi understands, she loves Hime after all and thinks she’s amazing. They’ll be friends forever!

I just love Precure. Just have to say that. Isn’t that just the most charming thing about these shows? Moments like this are why you love Precure.

Namakelder and Hosshiwa end up creating two Terribad’s at this point and Megumi rushes over to fight them. Yuuko and Hime hear about it too and although Hime is still worried Yuuko tells Hime she loves her too and the two of them go to back up Megumi.

It’s not actually needed though as Fortune arrives there first and the two of them fight the Terribad’s as equals and defeat them.

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Hime sees them fight and she’s sad at how easily they got along and worked together.

And then Lovely says she’d gladly team up with Fortune, but still with Princess, who’s her precious friend. She wants Fortune to understand how great Hime is too. But unfortunately Hime didn’t hear that last part and she runs away crying after thinking that Lovely is ditching her.

Hime makes so many cute noises this episode.

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At the end of the episode we see the Precure Hunter defeating yet another Cure and sealing her away in a mirror. They seem to have fought in some sort of special place cause it’s filled with the mirror’s of a bunch of other defeated Cures. After this Phantom remarks that soon he’ll destroy the Happiness Charge Precure as well.

Okay, episode 21 is Shiny Luminous’s turn. She’s not technically a Cure so maybe Michiru and Kaoru will show up at some point too.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Anyways the episode starts off with Hime crying in her room and not wanting to come out after what happened last episode. Yuuko is trying to get her out but to make things worse Megumi isn’t there and is instead talking to Iona at the moment. Iona still doesn’t want to partner up with them if Princess is there, she can’t trust her. Megumi still refuses to give up at getting everyone to get along. Blue is watching all this and tells Ribbon that while things look bad there’s still the ray of hope and love that can change things. He’ll let Megumi handle things.

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Everyone still tries to get Hime out of her room and they finally trick her but she runs off again so Megumi and Yuuko go chasing after her. Again. This scene is pretty cute and silly.

Megumi starts crying when Hime continues to run from her. Hime says Megumi hates her for what she did but Megumi tells her that isn’t remotely true and the two of them hug and cry together. They talk now and Hime opens up about what she did and how she’s feeling. Megumi and YuYu support her and say that the Phantom Empire is the true cause of everything. They now convince her to talk to Iona and have a real heart to heart with her.

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But then Phantom shows up in Pikarigaoka. He uses his sword to send a huge energy wave through the city and turn a ton of people into Terribad’s all at once. His Terribad’s generate crystals. Hime recalls that he was the one who instantly took down the Blue Sky Kingdom like this. The girls, and Iona too, transform to fight his Terribad army.

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In the fight Lovely, Princess, and Honey reaffirm their friendships with each other and how they support and give each other strength. And Lovely and Princess just talk about the things they like about each other because they’re cute like that.

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While the girls continue to fight the Terribad army Phantom appears before Fortune and lures her to his special dimension. He says this is where he’s defeated and taken numerous other Precure, it is the Precure Graveyard and now he plans to defeat Fortune as well.

Episode 22 has Cure Beauty.

At the start of the episode Fortune looks around and sees her sisters mirror and the two begin to fight. The other three are still fighting the Terribad’s and finally defeat them. The Precards they have now almost fill up the whole album, it’ll be wishing time soon. Lovely and Honey say they’ll use the wish to save the Blue Sky Kingdom, for Hime. Glassan then comes to them and tells them about what happened to Fortune.

Fortune is fighting well against Phantom but he’s much too strong, the action this episode is pretty good, some nice animation too. Blue surmises that Fortune is in the graveyard but he can’t send the girls to it. Princess begs him to help them and Blue says that with their strong feelings they might be able to open a path to her.

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Phantom knocks Fortune out of her transformation and then notices that she has the same transformation device as Cure Tender. He realizes she’s her little sister. He says Tender was one of his strongest opponents but he defeated her because she sacrificed herself to block an attack that was gonna hit Iona. Iona then took her device and became Fortune. Unfortunately Fortune has now been defeated too and Phantom destroys her Precard’s so she can’t transform anymore.

Blue has the girls in his mirror room and they focus their thoughts and feelings on Fortune in order to reach her. Which they do just in time to save her from getting trapped in a mirror. Phantom is quite surprised to see them there.

Princess goes to Iona and gives her her Precards. This is her way of apologizing for everything, she wants Iona to use them for her wish. Iona is shocked because she knows Hime has her wish to save the Blue Sky Kingdom and her family. Iona can’t accept this, she even says she knows Hime isn’t to blame and it’s really the Phantom Empire’s fault. Which to be frank is a really abrupt turnaround for Iona.

The three girls then fight Phantom, he calls their happiness and friendship an illusion and quickly knocks them out of their transformations.

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Iona realizes that wishing for Tender back won’t really save everyone, wishing for the destruction of the Phantom Empire won’t heal everyone trapped in mirrors either. Iona decides to make everyone’s wishes come true with her own hands and she wishes to become a Precure again. She gets a new special transformation device and we get to see her transformation for the first time.

Phantom says he’ll just defeat her again, but Fortune says that now she isn’t fighting with hate but the desire to protect everyone in the world and her precious friends. And she apologizes for being cruel to Hime. Fortune now has the upper hand in their fight and she even shatters Phantom’s sword. She then uses her new attack with her Fortune Tambourine, yeah she gets a tambourine like Sunshine, and defeats him. Although he isn’t killed or anything.

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However, a huge projection of Queen Mirage then appears before them…

Episode 23 has Cure Bloom.

This episode has the best animation yet in Happiness Charge. At the start of the episode Mirage chastises Phantom for attacking Pikarigaoka without her permission. She then begins to attack the girls but Blue jumps into the graveyard and tells her to stop.

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Blue asks her to stop all of this, he says it’s not too late for her. She retorts that he’s the one who showed her that love and happiness and everything else that’s good is an illusion. But then Megumi chimes in, she says that isn’t true, everyone is blooming with happiness. Mirage simply blasts Megumi for this insolence, seeing her as nothing but an annoyance.

Luckily Blue was able to get them all back into his mirror room in the nick of time. They ask him what his relationship with Mirage is, he says he knew her long ago but now she’s an enemy.

So with things having calmed down for now the other girls ask Iona to join them, but she says she doesn’t want to ruin their teamwork. Being the nice girls they are they still decide to hold a party for her.

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Hime and Iona go shopping together. BONDING. Hime is still really nervous around her so Ribbon asks Glassan about Tender, they go on about her for a bit and how amazing she was. While shopping Iona turns out to be someone who takes every little thing very seriously and really enjoys finding a bargain.

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Iona later asks Hime why she opened up Axia. Hime tells her that in the kingdom it’s a tradition to pray to the Box of Axia, and one time when Hime was praying she heard a voice come from inside it. A sad voice seeming to say “Get me out of here!”, and Hime opened it after hearing this. Iona realizes Hime was tricked and that nothing’s really her fault at all, and furthermore she refused to even listen to Hime when she tried to reach out to her earlier.

Umm…. how did Iona know Hime opened up Axia in the first place by the way?

Hm. Well whatever.

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Fortune and Princess then get in a fight with Hosshiwa and two Terribad’s she created. We get to see Fortune’s form change Pine Arabian for the first time. Funnily at the very end of the fight Lovely and Honey arrive just in time to do nothing. The fight was good and it had the best animation you’ll see in Happiness Charge.

Fortune and Princess are truly friends now and Fortune accepts to becoming a true member of Happiness Charge Precure.

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And that’s the first half of Happiness Charge Precure and now it’s time for the show to go down hill.

Yeah. Sad but true. The show has been mostly good so far, it hasn’t had any really stand out episodes or even fights but has still been consistently fine. There have been plenty of charming moments too. Hime is a treat every episode. Hime and Seiji to me are the stand out characters from Happiness Charge.

Still there are some problems already. YuYu is basically a support character, she doesn’t have any sort of arc or development of her own, we learn basically nothing about her for the first half and she’s just pretty boring. Megumi as well is fun but still bland, not a problem at the moment because Hime is more the focus in the first half but it becomes a big problem soon enough. There’s a reason Happiness Charge is a part of the dark age of the franchise and it’s because of the second half. When I was originally watching this season as it aired I correctly predicted how it would play out, there would be no romance in the first half until certain plot points were resolved and the whole team was together, then they would start the romance drama. And that’s just what they do. Almost immediately romantic plot points start developing. I was happy that Happiness Charge was doing romance at first since not enough seasons have real romance, but Happiness Charge handles nearly every romantic thing in the show terribly. At the same time Happiness Charge is doing its bad romance other plot points are being dropped and good ideas are wasted. Happiness Charge has the infuriating tendency to do something cool for one episode and then drop it and move on to the next. And it still feels like nothing happens.

Other problems are that by now the villains have become tired and they don’t develop at all or get fleshed out at all until the very end of their existence. They have no rivalries with the Cures nor do they get involved in as silly stuff as some other villains from past seasons have to keep them fresh.

Speaking of villains though I likely should’ve mentioned this earlier but Deep Mirror has a reflection inside his body that looks just like Blue. There was a lot of speculation as to what Deep Mirror was and what his connection to Blue and Mirage were.

The worldwide Cures have not been utilized at all and even in the second half are barely used. It’s a nice and different idea but why couldn’t we have seen more of them? Why couldn’t the girls travel around the world to meet and fight with them more?

Happiness Charge’s satisfaction at being consistent causes some disappointments too as the show stays at pretty much the same emotional level all the way through. There are never any particularly sad or gut-wrenching moments even when the show tries to have them. It’s the same steady beat all the way through, the tone in Happiness Charge changes maybe once or twice in only the most serious of episodes. Even the stuff in episode 22 with Iona had pretty much the same emotional wavelength as the rest of the show. That’s that unshakable feeling of blandness that Happiness Charge has.

I would like to take the time to say that the soundtrack is phenomenal. So it always has that going for it.

Happiness Charge’s first half was fun, there are very few actual problems unless you count some things as wasted potential. Not as good as Fresh’s first half since that was perfect but still good. It’s one of the few seasons that has a better first half than second. Along with Fresh of course, and GoGo as well. Others are debatable. But the thing is Happiness Charge’s second half isn’t worse just because its first half is so good (like with Fresh), it’s because its second half is legitimately bad.

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Onto episode 24. With Cure Lemonade saying hello to everyone.

Iona says they all need to go on a training camp at the beach. This is a fun episode, lots of comedy and the girls “training” is very silly. Blue also takes this time to tell Iona about the whole no romance thing. She says she can’t accept it though because fighting for those she loves gives her strength. And she’s also a normal girl like any other and has fantasies about falling in love and getting married one day. Hime vehemently agrees with this.

The three generals are at the beach too, Oresky is trying to whip them all into shape and work on their teamwork. Reminds me of the Heartcatch beach episode.

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The girls are trying to come up with a group pose when they stumble across Oresky and engage in battle with him. After transforming they end up doing a perfect group pose on reflex. We also see Fortune’s second form change, Anmitsu Komachi.

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Later that night Megumi has a private moment with Blue, they look out at the stars together and Megumi finds herself blushing and her heart beating fast… she has a slight fever. But she unquestionably also feels something else. Even Megumi seems to realize that she might have feelings for Blue. Blue carries her to bed and Seiji sees them. How does that make him feel? What could he be thinking now?

This episode is pretty much all set-up for later events.

Episode 25 starts right where 24 left off. Cure Diamond, best girl from last season, delivers the anniversary message.

Megumi is still feverish so Blue says he’ll take care of her while the others train. Seiji is clearly perturbed by this and Megumi is clearly nervous about her feelings for Blue. YuYu and Iona quickly realize by observing him that Seiji likes Megumi.

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Megumi asks Blue what happened between him and Mirage. He’s sad but tells her that he hurt her in the past and it led to her becoming evil and now he has to fight her as the protector of Earth. Megumi can tell he doesn’t really want to fight her and he can confide in her if he ever needs to.

Megumi gets healthy soon enough and enjoys the festivities. Hime at the same time might begin to feel something for Seiji this episode. It is the episode of love… sort of.

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Namakelder then attacks them. The girls full transformation takes about two minutes.This episode is the only one to give any sort of development or foreshadowing to one of the villains, as it implies that Namakelder was hurt by love or had some sort of painful experience in the past. But that’s all. Some following episodes with Namakelder repeat this point and give more implication that he has a real beef with “love” but it’s never actually developed further until the end.

At the end of the episode YuYu also tells Hime that Seiji likes Megumi.

Next for episode 26 Cure Beat says hello.

As for the content of the episode it involves Hime and Seiji getting stuck behind together as they all leave their summer training camp.

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Hime initially seems to be supporting Seiji’s love for Megumi but as the episode develops she ends up falling for him. Except not really. Blehhhhhh…

Good thing about this episode is that while Hime is in full on whiny and selfish mode she’s exceedingly cute. Bad thing about this episode is that the girls have trouble fighting an ordinary Terribad made by Hosshiwa. This makes no sense. And continues to make no sense for the rest of the show. The villains and Terribad’s never get any stronger but the girls still have pretty much the same difficulty with them. In prior seasons the monsters would either bet upgraded like the various Akanbe’s, the villains would get a power up, or newer stronger villains would appear. That does not happen in Happiness Charge.

Also Seiji’s love of Megumi pretty much comes out of nowhere as well. Never before episode 24 was it even implied that he saw her as more than just a close friend.

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So we get to episode 27, Cure Rosetta says hello.

Hime is trying to deal with her new feelings for Seiji and YuYu quickly realizes how she feels. Seems like a classic love triangle is about to form, or rectangle considering how Megumi likes Blue. EXCEPT NOT.

Yes Happiness Charge decides to destroy any possibility of love triangle drama involving Hime but fills that hole up with different love triangle drama and a heaping scoop of NTR. Wonderful.

Well anyways, back to this episode first. Ribbon says it’s too early for Hime to fall in love and Precure are forbidden to have relationships too. Iona is shocked by how Hime feels and they all decide to not tell Megumi. Yuuko also takes the opportunity to tell Hime that Megumi is infatuated with Blue. Hime thinks Seiji will be sad if they get together but Yuuko says he’ll be happy for them.

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Hime really struggles with not wanting to hurt her friends or see them get hurt. Yuuko tells her that she was in an intense love before. She says she loved him so much she wanted him to be happy even if things didn’t work out between them.

The reveal of this “love” is insane and absurd.

Anyways…

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Seiji talks with Blue about love and Megumi. He asks how he sees her, is she the most precious of all the girls he knows? Uhh… considering Megumi’s age this is just a little bit creepy. Just a little bit. Blue reveals he had someone precious like that in the past but now he treasures everyone on the planet because he’s god. Seiji says he feels sorry for Megumi if that’s the case.

Namakelder later makes Seiji into a Terribad and the girls fight him. During the fight Lovely and Princess pull out even more power than normal due to their strong feelings for Seiji.

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After the fight and seeing how close Seiji and Megumi already are Hime thinks they’re perfect for each other and decides to give up on Seiji. Although she’s concerned that maybe it’s not alright for them to stay platonic. Hime realizes that she doesn’t feel sad about giving up on Seiji and we learn that she never really liked him to begin with, she just tricked herself into thinking she did after how he helped her out and such last episode. Blehhhhh…

You know it’s funny cause you could say Megumi’s feelings for Blue are built on the same kind of mistake. But whatever. Who cares about giving Hime any sort of character arc or relevance in the second half. Also the second ending song started this episode. Again I don’t have any strong feelings towards it.

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Episode 28 features Cure Marine.

This episode is special because we see more of the international Cures and it’s the only time the girls travel to another place to team up and fight with them. It was always a disappointment about Happiness Charge that it didn’t do this more, since it’s the only season to actually have Cure teams around the world. It’s kind of like how Smile really should’ve done more episodes like the Cinderella one.

The girls go to Hawaii to help out the Aloha Precure.

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Cure Sunset and Cure Wave. They’re sisters. There’s also a new villain who’s basically a one episode character, he’s just the Phantom Empire agent in charge of conquering Hawaii. The Aloha Precure have bad teamwork and their personalities don’t mesh well. On a side not though I love the idea of sister Cures and I wish that was done more.

YuYu, being the support Cure, gets the two girls to work out their problems. And seeing the Happiness Charge Precure fight gives them the inspiration they need, and they regain their sisterly love too. Also some good new music is used this episode.

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At the end of the episode Blue is thinking about how much the Happiness Charge Precure have matured. He thinks that maybe they can unleash the power of the Shining Make Dresser.

This episode was kind of sort of about Yuuko too. Except not really. Nothing is about Yuuko. Unless it’s something dumb like you’ll see in a couple episodes.

Episode 29 Cure Peace says hello and we start to get into our next story arc.

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Blue says he has no other choice but to seal Mirage in Axia again and he also decides to tell the girls about the true power that Axia has. Blue says Axia can power the Precure up, the others want to use it to defeat Mirage but Megumi says they shouldn’t since Blue doesn’t really want to fight and hurt her anymore. But he says he has to protect Earth even if it hurts him. Megumi still doesn’t want to see him suffer but Iona says they have to defeat Mirage, although she does regret being so harsh to Megumi.YuYu thinks it was right for Iona to speak her heart, she has a right to want to defeat Mirage after what happened to her sister.

Megumi calls Seiji later for advice, he says she should stay true to herself even if they argue. It’s better if she can honestly convey her feelings.

We see Mirage briefly staring out at the Earth and imagining Blue, she clearly still wants him deep down. Deep Mirror does not seem happy with this.

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The next day Megumi and the others ask Blue for the full story on him and Mirage. Iona says she wishes to defeat the Phantom Empire but she understands Megumi too and if there is a way for them to get a happy ending for everyone she wants to find it.

Blue tells them all that 300 years ago he met Mirage. Blue and her spent a lot of time together and he did truly love her, but he felt as god of the Earth that it wasn’t right for him to love her like that and stay with her. He has to love everyone, and so he left her. He knows this hurt her and changed her, he says the real Mirage would never do such evil things. The girls resolve to defeat Mirage peacefully, they’ll get Blue and her together and have Blue convey his true feelings to her to achieve a happy ending. Blue says if they can release Axia’s power they’ll be strong enough to fight in the Phantom Empire and end things.

However…

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Deep Mirror was spying on them, he knows Axia is dangerous and uses his power to brainwash Mirage into thinking that Blue plans to have Cure Lovely defeat her and that he’s betrayed her completely. She sends the three generals to destroy Blue and the Precure.

We actually get to see “inside” Deep Mirror, there’s a person behind that shadow/reflection who’s clearly been manipulating Mirage this whole time. There were hints earlier but Deep Mirror is clearly confirmed to be the true mastermind behind everything now. But just who or what is he?

Hime and Blue start the ceremony to release Axia’s power, there’s a special dance and whatever from the Blue Sky Kingdom for Hime to perform, but the generals arrive to fight the girls. The others transform while Hime and Blue continue the ritual. The generals actually fight personally this episode, no Terribads or Kindabads.

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Blue and Hime complete the ritual and the Box of Axia is turned into the Shining make Dresser. Its great power is almost enough to purify the generals but Deep Mirror comes down and snaps them out of it.

The girls have the Shining Make Dresser but Deep Mirror further manipulates Mirage into hating Blue. She summons Phantom to defeat him.

Episode 30 has the anniversary message delivered by Milky Rose.

Now that the girls have the Shining Make Dresser, Glassan and Ribbon tell them about its legend. Supposedly it doesn’t just have a lot of power but it can also grant miracles. Blue says the girls need to have strong “innocent” feelings to draw out its power.

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Blue remembers 300 years ago when he and Mirage used the Dresser to fight a great evil. Yes, Mirage was once a Precure, the other girls are surprised to learn this. Also although it looks like this old enemy might be Deep Mirror it isn’t. Or maybe it is. Some things aren’t very clear in Happiness Charge. I’ll get to it later.

Blue tells Megumi his history with Mirage is irrelevant and he isn’t sure if she’d even listen to him now. Megumi says they have to go see her.

But then Phantom attacks them. He tells Blue that Mirage herself ordered him to destroy him. Lovely transforms and fights him, some good animation and action here. Lovely is much stronger now too and able to fight evenly with him.

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However Phantom unleashes a new power granted to him by Mirage and transforms himself into an evil double of Megumi, calling himself Un-Lovely. He’s stronger now and he says he’ll destroy the city to hurt Lovely, cause she vowed to protect it. He’s gained all her memories too and uses them to ridicule and break her down. He calls her useless, trying to help her mother all her life and how happy being thanked made her, she went around helping other people because it felt good to be thanked, she’s really just selfish he says cause she just enjoyed being thanked.

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And he tells her that she isn’t actually useful at all to anyone. She’s weak, clumsy, stupid, she has no dreams for the future, and she can’t even defeat a villain like him. This really demoralizes Lovely.

The other girls arrive to help Lovely but they aren’t strong enough to defeat Phantom without Lovely.

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Princess gets Lovely to stop crying. They all say she just needs to try her best like always, she’s fine how she is and she’s always helping them at least. Man this is like the exact opposite of what Doki did last year when the girls got the Magical Lovely Pad, that had Mana just knock herself back to her sense, here everyone else needs to get Megumi to start believing in herself again. Hell aside from their desires to help others the two of them are like polar opposites.

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The feelings of friendship between the 4 Cures give them the strength to overcome Phantom, Lovely destroys his Un-Lovely transformation too. Cure Lovely is invincible! Their strong feelings also unleash the power of the Shining Make Dresser and they use their first full team attack for the first time. Precure Happiness Big Bang.

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They get lipstick and other makeup while they do the attack. Well, it is a makeup dresser and mirror after all technically. I guess. The attack itself is actually pretty lame though, it’s like Rainbow Healing from Smile except with color.

It almost purifies Phantom. He resists it but still ends up badly injured. Which leads us into next episode.

However something that needs to be mentioned about this episode is how it’s a prime example of Happiness Charge doing something cool and then immediately forgetting it and moving on. The Un-Lovely transformation is a great idea but we never see something like that again and the things Phantom said to her are never really expanded upon either. Why couldn’t we get Un-Princess and the others too at some point? Instead the whole concept was just brought up and resolved in a single episode. Never to be mentioned again.

Okay so episode 31 has Cure Sunny and her adorable Kansai accent saying hello.

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Blue says there’s still more power to access from the Shining Make Dresser. It will come from the girls’ pure feelings.

For now though they’re wondering what to do about Phantom. After last episode they decided to take him in cause he was so badly hurt and they didn’t want to just leave him. They’re nice people after all (Try to see Nagisa do this).

YuYu is going to be nursing him back to health and making his meals.

Mirage and Deep Mirror are disturbed by the power of the Shining Make Dresser. Deep Mirror also tells Mirage that Phantom has been captured so she sends Oresky to fight the Precure (he finds it funny when he learns the Precure were taking care of the Precure Hunter). Deep Mirror uses this event to further stoke the hate Mirage has for Blue now.

Phantom doesn’t trust YuYu at first, so she tells him that he reminds her of the boy she used to love in the past. The person who opened her up to her love of rice and wanting to make people happy meals. And… okay, I’m just ending this here.

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It’s a dog. She’s talking about a dog. Like… you have to watch the episode to get how weird this is. The way she talks about it is so crazy. And the dog’s name is Debit. Who names their dog that?! I can’t even convey this oddness. Although it might kind of sort of be foreshadowing for Phantom but who knows.

2 years ago the dog unfortunately got sick and died. YuYu hasn’t, and doesn’t think she’ll ever, completely get over him. She wants Phantom to get healthier so he can go back to those he loves. He calls all the Cures naive and blames Blue for Mirage changing in the first place.

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Phantom leaves, Blue asks him to tell Mirage that he’s going to see her soon and he wants Phantom to convey his true and honest feelings to her. Phantom begins to attack Blue but YuYu gets him to stop and leave peacefully to Mirage, who he loves. He then thanks her for the meal she made him. Which makes her incredibly happy.

Episode 32 has Cure Sword saying hello to everyone.

This episode starts up a new arc where the girls each individually gain their Innocent Forms. As for episode 32 itself I do not like it. It’s annoying.

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It introduces a love interest for Iona who comes out of nowhere, but who Seiji seems to know and acts all familiar with and even Iona seems to know him tangentially. We have never seen this guy before, we have never had any hints that someone might like Iona. The episode treats him like some super special guy and Iona acts flustered around him for no reason.

What’s worse is the guy in general is just really wooden and boring and he disappears for almost the entire rest of the show after this episode. He’s basically a plot device, an excuse. It’s a terrible handling of romance in every way. Also although supposedly at this point romance is still forbidden Blue just smirks at all of this occurring.

So whatever, he confesses to Iona but she says it’s too sudden so he gives her however much time she needs to reply to him. Hime later gets them all to go on a group date together to the zoo. Iona is at least cute this episode, the guy has apparently been watching her for a while and he’s noticed that she’s started to smile more.

Namakelder then attacks them and turns the guy into a Terribad.

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There’s an art shift when this happens, the colors change and everything gets grayer. There’s some good animation too.

For some reason the girls have trouble fighting the Terribad. Which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Namakelder keeps badmouthing love which annoys the other girls, Lovely says there’s nothing you can do about your feelings after you’ve fallen in love, love is real and important. Everyone talks like Iona and this guy have some deep love… how long have they known each other?

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Fortune wants to save him and her pure, innocent, feelings activate the power of the Shining Make Dresser. She gains new Precards that allow her to transform into Innocent Form. She doesn’t actually seem much stronger by herself though, I don’t know how much this can be called a super form, since she still almost gets beat by the Terribad and the 4 girls still work together to beat it. Fortune uses a new attack to immobilize the Terribad and they finish it off with their Big Bang attack.

Fortune says she still doesn’t really understand love or dating herself and at the end of the episode she decides to not actually start dating the guy yet. She’ll take some time on her own before she really decides if she wants to be in a relationship and if she loves him or not.

Next up is episode 33 and the second to last Cure is Cure Muse.

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Megumi wants to get Innocent Form too. Blue tells her she needs to draw out the innocent feelings in her heart, she takes this to mean that she should help out even more people than she normally does.

Really though this episode is kind of like an interlude for Megumi. She does not gain her Innocent Form.

Megumi tries helping someone out but she’s pretty useless and just makes herself a bother. She doesn’t really dwell on this though and it’s not really connected at all to the things Un-Lovely said to her. Megumi realizes she doesn’t really have a dream for herself and starts wanting to find something to work hard for. We also learn this episode that because the Innocent Form is just Precards Fortune, and the rest when they get it, can transform into it at will. The older form changes and their CGI attacks go bye bye.

Alright so next episode is episode 34 and the last one to have a Cure deliver an anniversary message for us. Cure White of course!

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So it’s the cultural festival at school. Hime is feeling kind of useless while everyone else helps around… kind of like how Megumi was last episode. As is typical for Hime she wants to be the center of the festival and have everyone fuss over her.

Hime ends up helping the student council president put up posters. He’s a nice guy and the other girls tease Hime about him. After helping him Hime goes and helps in other ways. What a good girl she is.

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Namakelder attacks the day of the festival. He turns the President into a Terribad and again, somehow, the girls have trouble with it. But Princess’s innocent feelings of wanting to protect the festival and the feelings and hard-work everyone put into it allows her to achieve Innocent Form. And so of course they defeat the Terribad.

I suppose attaining Innocent Form isn’t about romantic love. I mean Hime essentially just became like Megumi this episode, and did basically the same kind of thing Megumi did last episode. Maybe because Megumi didn’t learn or feel anything new about herself is why she didn’t get Innocent Form.

Of course the real reason why is because if you’ve been watching Precure you know the Pink always gets the new power either first or last.

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I can picture that.

When was the last time Hosshiwa was the villain in her own episode? Been a while.

So episode 35 is next. And if you thought they would continue the anniversary messages through the whole season well you’re wrong. I thought they would do the fairies, or important side characters, or villains, or something but nope. Absolutely nothing. Michiru and Kaoru are crying in Toei’s warehouse. The opening theme now starts too abruptly, the song feels like it was made to have an intro to it.

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Episode 35 is Honey’s Innocent episode. I have a great summary for it: Fucking nothing.

Scenes from the movie are being used in the OP now. But there’s literally nothing to talk about in this episode compared to Iona’s and Hime’s, Yuuko doesn’t develop or learn anything ever. She is the same as always. Why does she even get her Innocent Form?

Really these Innocent Form episodes haven’t been very good. Hosshiwa is the villain again for the first time in a while though.

That brings us to episode 36.

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It’s Megumi’s birthday tomorrow. Her dad is also coming back home from his work. When he’s home the topic of her mother’s health comes up. Megumi says she’ll do everything she can to fix her mom but her mother tells her she’s fine and happy as she is. Megumi learns from her parents that while her mother’s disease is difficult to treat and be cured all she really needs to do is take her medicine and get plenty of rest. Megumi isn’t sure how to take this because she always wanted to help her mother. Her dad apologizes for never really telling her about this.

Tomorrow comes and it’s her birthday. Seiji sees Megumi in her pretty dress and is clearly smitten. But Megumi is still worried over her mom and what it means to her. Megumi confides in Seiji that she doesn’t know what she’s doing now since her mom said she’s happy, she’s lost her confidence in helping others because her mom inspired her in the first place and she was fighting as a Precure to heal her mom. Seiji says she’s always been helping and saving people, confident or not, being down like this isn’t like her.

Megumi knows they still have to save the Blue Sky Kingdom but even Seiji telling her to cheer up and smile doesn’t make her totally happy.

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She ends up dragged into a conversation with Blue after this. Blue tells her it’s okay to worry about these things, it’s difficult to help people. He comforts her but also tells her this is the kind of thing she needs to mature. He wants her to remain true to her good self. Megumi is happy to hear this, she’s flustered by him cause he holds her hand but she feels a lot better.

As it turns out today is also Oresky’s birthday but none of the other villains care so he ends up attacking Megumi’s party and creating a Terribad out of everyone there.The 4 girls transform and fight him.

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Lovely says she and Oresky can just have a birthday party together, wouldn’t that be better than fighting? Lovely gains her confidence back, she wants everyone to be happy, she’ll work hard for everyone’s sake. And she gains Innocent Form. Blue even says that her wishes of wanting everyone to be happy are her innocent feelings.

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At the end of the episode Megumi hugs Blue as thanks for everything, Seiji sees this and he’s really upset cause he realizes Blue was the one who actually helped Megumi and not him. And she clearly has feelings for Blue. Deep Mirror and Mirage are also spying on this, Mirage says that Lovely understands nothing, her love will just become misfortune in the end.

Episode 37 is Halloween. Princess is going as a princess. Real classy. Blue is Dracula, befitting of someone who preys on young girls. HAHA JUST KIDDING.

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Mirage says she has a special trump card to deal with the power of the Shining Make Dresser and Happiness Big Bang Attack.

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Blue is totally oblivious to Megumi’s own feelings for him, Hime asks Seiji if he’s okay with how Megumi feels.Obviously he isn’t totally but he doesn’t do anything. The other girls kind of want to support Megumi’s love but they don’t want Seiji hurt either.

Oresky then comes and attacks their party. He feels cornered by Mirage’s new minion and worried that his spot as number 1 will be taken from. Not that he ever actually was number 1 but the girls even ask if he just wants to talk about things and if they can help. After all they’re nice people.

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Lovely asks why he’s so obsessed with being number 1 anyways. He says no one will care about him if he isn’t the best. Lovely goes into Innocent Form to get him to stop and the girls all use Happiness Big Bang on him. It almost purifies him completely but then an energy blast comes out from somewhere and destroys the attack. Mirage’s new minion has arrived.

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Cure Tender.

Episode 38 has the best action and some of the best animation we’ve seen so far in Happiness Charge.

It starts with the girls, especially Fortune, shocked to see Cure Tender. She calls herself a faithful servant of Mirage’s. She makes Oresky go back and then attacks the girls.A projection of Mirage also appears behind her, Mirage tells the Precure that she took the strongest Precure Phantom defeated and made her into her servant and she orders Tender to defeat Cure Fortune and the others. So yeah there’s some real good action after this.

Fortune tries to get her sister to wake up but Tender is completely brainwashed and doesn’t remember her sister. Mirage says the world is full of cruel things like this.

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Blue comes in to protect the girls and try to get Mirage to stop but she doesn’t want to listen to his empty platitudes. “I want everyone to be happy” and things like that just annoy her, she wants to destroy the world he holds dear and Cure Tender blasts him away.

Fortune wont give up on getting through to Tender, all 4 of the girls transform into Innocent Form.

Tender repeats the same kind of anti-love and anti-happiness stuff as Mirage but Lovely says things have been happy and great ever since she met Blue. She says she knows Mirage was also happy when she met Blue too and Blue still treasures her deeply.

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Tender’s true heart starts to break free but the brainwashing is still stronger and she beats the girls into the ground. But seeing Lovely throw herself in front of an attack meant for Fortune draws some memories out of Tender of when she did the same thing in her fight with Phantom.

Still Mirage is able to make her keep fighting. Or is she?

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Fortune says she knows Tender doesn’t want to hurt anyone. She loves her sister. Tender finally sees through the brainwashing and cant hurt Fortune. Fortune hugs Tender to get her to remember everything and Tender finally snaps out of the brainwashing completely. Mirage is shocked but she continues to try and force more evilness into Tender and get her to fight again. But Fortune’s strong feelings of wanting to save Tender activates the Shining Make Dresser and pulls out even more power from it. Now with their hearts as one the Happiness Charge Precure have gained a new ability.

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Idol singing!

It is easily the oddest group attack we’ve had in Precure yet. Precure Innocent Purification is kind of cool, and I like the song, but damn is it weird. The girls at the end fly out and slam into the target and there’s a big explosion and yeah.

Either way it completely heals Tender.

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The light from Innocent Purification reaches Mirage too and Blue appears before her. He tells her he never hated her, he felt that as a God he had to love all humans equally and couldn’t enter a special relationship with anyone so he buried his true feelings. And his true feelings are…

But Deep Mirror intervenes before he can finish speaking to her and he whisks Mirage away.

Iona and Maria are finally reunited as well. It’s a very sweet scene.

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Mirage asks Deep Mirror what Blue’s true feelings are, he says she has no use for such things. Love and happiness are illusions. He brainwashes her and gets her to not care about Blue again. He is always by her side.

So this episode was good but disappointing again in that the return of Cure Tender really should’ve been an entire story arc, and you see from subsequent episodes that there’s no reason it couldn’t have been. Again this is Happiness Charge doing something cool for one episode and then ditching it. The return of Tender is essentially random and doesn’t really amount to anything except as an excuse to get the girls Innocent Purification. And nobody on the villain side really cares about what just happened either.

For episode 39 Cure Tender is back and kicking ass. All the girls like her and Iona wants her to join the Happiness Charge team. But Maria has other plans.

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She thinks they don’t need her, she plans to support the Precure around the world and she’s going to America first to visit her parents. Iona is obviously upset to hear this. She challenges her sister to a karate match and if she wins Maria has to stay here. If Maria wins Iona has to give her a massage.

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Erotic.

So Iona cleanly loses and Maria gets her to accept her feelings. She wants to stop any other Cures from being defeated and trapped in the Precure graveyard like she was. The next day Hosshiwa attacks while Maria is leaving, Iona doesn’t want her to be bothered so she and the other girls go to take care of it. And we actually get to see one of Fortune’s old form changes. Again for no reason the girls aren’t able to effortlessly demolish Hosshiwa’s Terribad but they do go into Innocent Form and use Innocent Purification. Talk about overkill.

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Maria watched them fight and now she’s sure they don’t need her help. She gives her farewells to Iona and Glassan and tells Iona that her and her friends will be able to overcome anything. Iona is sad to see her gone and not be able to be with her but as she tells the others it’s just as important to protect the happiness of Pikarigaoka.

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Episode 40 now is at the same time important and irrelevant.

According to Precure news things are going well and the control and power of the Phantom Empire is weakening all over the world. So this episode is still basically just an intermission before the show enters its final phase. It’s technically a “last chance” episode for the three generals to defeat the Precure but they still end up fighting later again anyways. We just “learn” what we already know, the generals are useless and can’t defeat the Precure anymore.

There are a couple little things to note, Phantom tells Mirage that he’s worried she’ll get hurt if they continuing fighting but she ignores him. We see the guy who likes Iona again, apparently they’ve been having contact with each other since episode 32 even though we haven’t seen him.

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The girls are just enjoying a nice pleasant day outside when the three generals attack them together and create a massive amount of Terribad’s from people all across the city. The fight is pretty fun to watch and is basically fanservice as the girls use a bunch of different attacks and abilities, and is used to show how much stronger they’ve gotten… even though just last episode they still bothered with Innocent Form to fight a single Terribad.

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The generals almost get purified again but they manage to snap themselves out of it and retreat. Deep Mirror says that Mirage will now have to take care of things. Mirage then asks Phantom to come with her for something. What could possibly be going on?

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Okay so next episode Happiness Charge begins the final countdown. Time to talk about a few other things first.

Happiness Charge is not a terrible show but it’s definitely lacking something. The dialogue is stilted and cliche and the same thing gets repeated over and over. There’s little real emotion in the show and it feels like every character is just going through the motions, like a veteran actor who’s been pulled into a B-movie just for the money. The themes are beaten over your head with a hammer and characters just talk and talk about them, there is no introspection or contemplation and nothing shocking is done with them like say in Smile’s finale. I yearn for the excellently crafted themes of Splash Star.

The action has been very good though.

It’s a shame the villains don’t get themselves into more interesting/fun situations or have good development.

Blue ends up as to me a fairly unlikable character due to his off-putting design and his obliviousness to the feelings of everyone despite being god. Get it together man.

I know there are probably other things I should be talking about when it comes to this season but frankly I have writer’s block. That’s what Happiness Charge has done to me. The show has such an odd feeling to it and it saps my enthusiasm for talking about it. There are worse seasons of Pretty Cure but I have more to say about those. Is Happiness Charge just not too good or too bad to be interesting? I feel like I’d be enjoying watching it a lot more if I wasn’t writing on it cause most episodes are generally light and fun.

Megumi and Yuuko are just boring characters too. And that’s really a problem. Even the two Cures I disliked from Doki, Alice and Mana, are more interesting. Mana especially is a quite different and interesting character. Megumi meanwhile is super standard. This is very problematic in the finale. No season has ever had half the team just be boring and uninteresting like this.

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At the beginning of episode 41 Mirage uses her powers to turn people all over the world into Terribad’s. Deep Mirror says now is the time for Earth and Blue to be drowned in misfortune. Phantom seems concerned over what will happen to Mirage after all this but Deep Mirror reminds Phantom that his wish is only to be servant to Mirage.

Honestly having Mirage do this is a pretty cool way to start this arc.

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Princess asks Blue to send them all to Mirage. They all go to the Blue Sky Kingdom together, Seiji wishing them well and telling them to be careful. When arriving there they immediately have to transform and fight an army of Kindabad’s and Terribad’s. The girls have gotten strong enough to the point where they can fight and use their powers normally here. All in all there’s some pretty good action this episode.

Later while going to the castle the girls get separated by some kind of mystic fog and Phantom ends up appearing before Honey, planning to defeat her and the other Precure. Honey doesn’t want to fight him but their goal is too important. Phantom doesn’t want them to hurt Mirage either, his wish is to fulfill Mirage’s orders.

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He says he cares for her more than anyone, even knowing she’s changed. He’s been with her from the beginning and he became the sword to fulfill her dark wishes when her heart was twisted by hate. He does this in the hope that he can stop her suffering and at least try and help heal the hole in her heart left by Blue.

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He’s about to turn Honey into a mirror when Blue comes in and protects her. This enrages Phantom but Blue tells him he just wants Mirage to be happy too. He says they can’t let Mirage keep doing what she’s doing. He wants them both to save her.

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Seeing how much in pain he is  from wanting to protect the one he loves, Honey uses her healing powers to reach his heart. She says they can get him and Mirage back to their normal happy selves. But as Phantom is reacting to her and might seemingly be convinced Deep Mirror takes him over and pumps him full of evil energy. The other girls arrive right at this point.

The girls all go into Innocent Form and use Innocent Purification on him. While being purified Phantom remembers that his true wish was just to see Mirage smile.

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With all the evil cleansed from him it’s revealed that Phantom is actually Mirage’s old fairy, Phan-Phan. Apparently Blue never put two and two together. This does make sense though, I don’t know if there is really anything that can be called “foreshadowing” for it but it all works.

Next in episode 42 it’s the generals turn to fight. Which is a bit different than you’d expect cause normally they’d fight first and then the stronger Phantom would be fought, but the reason it’s like this is so the three other girls can be separated into one on one fights while Lovely goes to face Mirage alone.

Before the fights with the generals begins we also see the girls use some of their CGI attacks.

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So yeah it ends up being Princess fighting Namakelder, Honey fighting Hosshiwa and Fortune fighting Oresky while Lovely goes on with Blue and the fairies to reach Mirage. Mirage watches them come to her and prepares to destroy Lovely and Blue.

The problem with this episode is that there are no real rivalries here and the generals aren’t developed enough for me to really care about the fights and what happens with them. And the fights themselves are unremarkable.

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Fortune asks Oresky what the point of being number one is if you’re all by yourself without any friends, Honey tells Hosshiwa it’s better to eat and share things with your friends, Princess tells Namakelder that even though she didn’t like working hard, all of her days since meeting Lovely and the others have been full of fun and happiness.

Basically don’t be selfish and go get friends. The three girls go into Innocent Form and defeat the generals, healing them as they disappear into nothingness.

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At the end of the episode Lovely makes it to Mirage with Blue and the fairies.

Which brings us to episode 43. Also known as the best episode of the season. It’s very artsy too. Very different look to it and a lot of good animation and cool stuff in it. The fight between Lovely and Mirage is one of the best in the season.

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Phan-Phan tries to reason with Mirage but she says that happiness will all just become misfortune one day anyways and brushes him off. Blue and Lovely also try talking to her but Mirage wont have any of it. She restrains Blue and begins to fight Lovely while the other three Cures race to help.

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Mirage is winning the fight pretty well, and we see around the world that the Precure are slowly losing ground to the Terribad. Mirage says Lovely can’t stop the end of the world. Her happiness and love will disappear too. The person inside Deep Mirror is gleefully watching all this.

Lovely aint out yet though.

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Lovely says that none of what Mirage is doing is her true dream.This wont make her happy. Lovely says that Mirage really loves Blue with all her heart. This angers Mirage but Lovely says she also understands how Mirage feels because she loves Blue with all her heart too.

Lovely says it’s okay even if he doesn’t love her back because she got to see the true beauty of the world because of him. And even losing him wont make the happiness in her heart disappear.

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Lovely again says Mirage is the same as her, the happiness she felt in her heart because of Blue hasn’t disappeared. Mirage thinks back on her time with Blue but the pain of him leaving her is still too much and she fights Lovely some more. Mirage says love is the birth of sadness but Lovely says the opposite. Lovely tells Mirage about how sad Blue has been because he couldn’t be with her, how much he loves her too, how much he needs her. Lovely knows that the two of them together will hurt her but she still wants everyone to be happy, including Mirage. And she goes into Innocent Form.

Deep Mirror gets shattered by this.

Mirage wonders if she can be happy again…

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But the entity inside Deep Mirror takes Mirage over and blinds her with hate. And now the fight turns into a brutal brawl.

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Lovely says she’ll definitely save Mirage, for Blue and everyone. The other girls finally arrive to help her  and they all use Innocent Purification on Mirage to finally defeat and save her.

The Blue Sky Kingdom and Earth are returned to normal and the Terribad’s are gone. Every girl in the Precure Graveyard is saved too.

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Blue is finally able to hug Mirage and tell her he loves her. He’ll never let something like this happen again. Lovely is happy to see this but sad too, tears start forming in her eyes. Either way it’s a great scene and a great way to cap off the episode.

NTR city though.

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At the end of the episode the Deep Mirror guy prepares to take action himself. He looks just like Blue but with red hair and eyes.

I remember thinking that he was either Blue’s evil twin, or that maybe Blue being the god of Earth separated his “evil side” and sealed it away in Axia or somewhere else so he could benevolently watch over the world without any negative feelings. Kind of like what Kami did with Piccolo in Dragonball. Honestly the true villain of Happiness Charge is a pretty good and well done villain but his true nature and identity is really disappointing. It feels like he should be something with more meaning, something more personal. But whatever, I’ll get to that later.

This faux-finale was very good. Now we get to the real finale and I hope you all like Megumi because episode 42 was the last time any girl not named Megumi is relevant.

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So you wanna know how episode 44 begins? Hime’s reunion with her parents is reduced to two static images in a montage that lasts about two seconds. You know normally a show has plot lines that it develops and resolves in a satisfying way. Obviously Happiness Charge didn’t get the message and this is one of the most annoying things about it. We don’t even get them speaking to each other. Gotta have the last 7 episodes devoted entirely to Megumi.

Anyways then Mirage and Blue thank Lovely for everything. She acts happy but Seiji is watching her and… wait… when did Seiji get here? Well whatever, he’s watching her and it seems he can tell that Megumi is putting up a front.

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Later when they’re all back on Earth Megumi is sulking in her room. However the other girls soon come over for a pajama party. It’s cute. They also use the opportunity to vent about Blue. Like calling him out on saying love is forbidden but then he goes and gets with Mirage right in front of them all. Blue certainly deserves the grief they’re giving him.

Megumi enjoys the party but she still seems sad the next morning. That’s when Seiji takes her out to relax. They go do some ice skating.

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Seiji wonders if what Megumi has done has truly made her happy and he asks her to be honest with him. Megumi admits her heart hurts even though everyone else is happy and things are back to normal. She still had her heart broken and she begins to cry in front of Seiji.

We then see the red guy, who can feel Megumi’s sadness. Mirage and Phan-Phan are meanwhile telling Blue and the others about this “red” voice talking to them and filling them up with hate. Blue seems to have a clue as to what that red hate is.

Seiji tells Megumi he’s sure she’ll find happiness again, she still has him and her friends.

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But then a red Terribad falls from the sky. She transforms but when fighting it she hears the voice of the red guy, he’s there telling her that everyone else is happy while she’s sad. Telling her that she feels regret in her heart.

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Red guy tells her that because of her selflessness she’s the only one who’s been hurt deeply. Mirage, Blue, the people of Earth are all happy, but Megumi’s happiness was sacrificed. He says now she should just do what she wants to become happy.

She almost falls to the hate but Seiji calls out to her and thinking about him and all her friends gives her the strength to overcome the hatred. Red guy says she’ll just suffer more now but Megumi tells him she doesn’t want to sacrifice the world and everyone else for her own happiness. She has to accept her pain and still search for happiness with everyone. Red guy leaves and Lovely fights against the Terribad. She fights well but these red Terribad’s are very strong, luckily the other girls arrive to help her and they defeat it with Innocent Purification.

It starts to snow now and Megumi apologizes to everyone, she may not be completely back to normal yet but she says she’ll be fine.

But now the red guy turns his eyes to Seiji.

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So next episode is Christmas. Blue tells everyone that he has no idea who the new villain is but is that true? And did neither Megumi nor Seiji tell anyone else that the guy looks exactly like Blue but just red?

Whatever. Princess says they should still enjoy their Christmas so they go out to have fun today. They have a cute gift exchange where they all made scarves for each other. Megumi made a scarf for Seiji too. While they’re hanging out Hime says she wishes she could be spending Christmas with a boyfriend, typical Hime but what’s weird is that Iona seems to share this sentiment. Uh… don’t you have a guy who likes you Iona? And don’t you kind of like him? Did he get erased from existence or something? Either way he doesn’t appear in this episode so whatever.

Yuuko wants to get gifts for Blue, Mirage, and the fairies too. Seiji also at this time got a gift for Megumi in return for the scarf, she said the scarf was a thank you for him saving her all the time and he says the same about his gift for her. And he tells her that she should stop worrying about everyone else and just enjoy herself.

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Then a Terribad attacks. These red Terribad’s don’t seem to be made from people. When Megumi goes to fight it the red guy appears before Seiji and implants a crystal of hate into him. Blue uses crystals of love to make Precure so I wonder what’s gonna happen now.

The girls defeat the Terribad but it was just a distraction anyways. Mirage can feel something bad and then they all hear someone laughing at them, Mirage recognizes it as “Deep Mirror” and Megumi recognizes it as that guy from yesterday. Megumi also notices that Seiji is missing.

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The villain finally reveals himself and Blue recognizes him as Red, a god like himself. Well, not exactly a creative name but it makes sense. Red then unveils the brainwashed Seiji as his new servant. And of course he has to repeat how love and happiness are illusions for about the ten-thousandth time in this show.

Umm, the reveal of who Red is and everything (and we haven’t gotten all the info yet) is such a whaaaaat? moment. So it’s certain that he couldn’t have been the thing Blue and Mirage fought in the past, that must’ve just been some random thing despite the visual similarities to Deep Mirror. Cause if it was Red then it wouldn’t make any sense for Blue to not know what’s instantly going on in the plot of Happiness Charge. But even then it still feels like that past monster should’ve been what was responsible for tainting Mirage, I kept expecting for the reveal that that thing survived against them and after Blue left Mirage it saw its chance and corrupted her. But apparently not. But then how did Red get to Mirage, how did he know about her? And Red couldn’t have been sealed away in the Box of Axia because again that would’ve meant that Blue would know about him. At most only the physical “body” of Deep Mirror could’ve been sealed in Axia and Red himself would’ve been far away. So then what was Red doing in the years that Mirage was sealed away?

What the fuck happened in Happiness Charge?

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At the start of episode 46 Red says he;ll show them the futility of love in the face of his hatred as he has Seiji battle the Precure.

Lovely’s voice can’t reach Seiji. Red says he hates all of them and he gathered all of that hatred into Seiji. He’ll erase their love. The girls say they’ve never done anything to make him hate them but Red doesn’t seem so sure of that. Blue tells the girls they have to attack and destroy the crystal in Seiji’s chest to free him.

Seiji is really strong though, the girls say their friendship and feelings towards Seiji will overcome Red’s hatred but their attacks don’t work on him and Seiji defeats the 4 girls.

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Red tells them all now that the reason Seiji is like this is because of the feelings he was never able to reveal to Megumi. Red says he will now completely destroy everything Blue loves and replace it with despair, happiness and love are illusions yadda yadda yadda, you get it by now. Blue says love isn’t an illusion and Megumi asls why Red hates them so much. He doesn’t deign to respond really and instead…

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He calls another red planet down from the sky and says he’s gonna smash it into the Earth. A bunch of Terribad’s also come down to Earth to terrorize people. Red and Seiji then leave to the red planet, letting the girls and Blue wallow in despair and their own helplessness.

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Megumi starts crying, unable to fight back against the Terribads. She blames herself for this happening to Seiji. A red Terribad is able to kill her when-

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Cure Tender arrives to save the day. She tells Megumi and the others not to give, Megumi has to save the people important to her doesn’t she? Megumi… uh, actually gets back to normal immediately. That was quick. She resolves to save Seiji and the other 3 Happiness Charge Precure agree, they’ll get him back.

And a bunch of other Cures from around the world show up in Pikarigaoka to help out and fight the Terribad’s. Around the world the other Precure are fighting hard too. The girls transform again and all of the Precure fight together to defeat the Terribad.

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The Happiness Charge Precure then fly into space to the red planet. The leftover Cures go back to destroying the rest of the Terribad’s on Earth. Tender watches them go, believing in them and thinking that if they combine their powers they can create a miracle. Lovely is thinking about Seiji while flying towards the red planet, she’s realized how much she cares for him and how important he is to her, she realizes he’s the most important person to her.

I guess the boy isn’t getting ntr’d.

So episode 47 and the final battles of Happiness Charge Precure begin.

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The girls are still in their Innocent Forms as they fly to the red planet, which is coming closer and close to Earth. Red has Seiji fight the Precure out in space while he looks out across the ruins on his red planet, saying how all life will eventually die and only despair remains in the end.

The fight between Seiji and the girls is a really good fight. They all want to save Seiji and they aim to destroy the crystal of hatred in him.

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Lovely uses one hell of a Punching Punch in the fight. Fortune also talks to Seiji, about how she remembers when he first came to their dojo because he wanted the strength to protect Megumi. This doesn’t get Seiji to budge though, Red says power is useless to protect anyone, just hate and destroy everything.

Princess and Honey say how strong he is because of his pure desire to see Megumi smile and be happy even when he was sad.

Lovely then punches Seiji down to the red planet, losing her Innocent Form when she hits the ground.

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Red tells her that everything she’s done is pointless, his crystal of hate can’t be destroyed and only despair awaits her.

But Lovely says that when fighting Seiji she felt things from him that she never felt before. Burning, passionate feelings that are an important part of him. And she doesn’t want to destroy those. She doesn’t know how to save Seiji yet but she’ll keep fighting him by herself, accepting all that he is and all he feels. She brought them down to the planet too so he wouldn’t hurt the others, this is between Lovely and Seiji.

Lovely and Seiji fight more, she has to thank him for all the help he’s given her and she also has something important to tell him now too. Lovely says he was always protecting her, always holding her up, and Seiji starts reacting to her words. Red can tell something isn’t right even though they’re both fighting so intensely.

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Lovely takes everything he can dish out and returns it to him with love. She hugs him and says that him disappearing hurt her even more than when her heart was broken by Blue. She says Seiji gave her more love than anyone and she thanks him for all of it.

Lovely says her new wish is to live happily together with everyone in Pikarigaoka, her family, her friends, and Seiji.

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Finally Seiji’s true inner self speaks out to her. Saying that her wish has already come true. He tells her that being with her made him happy and he wants to stay with her forever. They’ll both make this happiness stay.

The other girls arrive now and Red’s crystal of hatred is overcome by love and the Happiness Charge Precure use Innocent Purification on Seiji, saving him.

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Red is shocked that they beat his hatred.

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Blue talks to him, saying love created a miracle. Mirage also tells Red that she was saved by love. Blue says that even a god can’t erase love and that even Red’s heart holds immense love.

But Red still says love is powerless. However Lovely says love and everything it brings with it is invincible.

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Lovely says she got this far because of everyone else and asks Red if he’s loved before? She knows he has. But this angers Red and he says he’ll eliminate them all with his own hands.

You know even though episodes 48 and 49 are good too I think 47 might be the emotional peak of the finale when Lovely is fighting Seiji and they save him.

So at the beginning of episode 48 we see the Precure on Earth watching the approaching red planet. On the planet Red tells the girls that everything is destined to disappear. Lovely and the girls say how love exists in all of them and this love wont disappear.

The fight begins.

The animation for the fighting in this episode, and really the animation for the episode in general isn’t that good but the fight is still cool. Overall the fight against Red is either the 2nd or 3rd best in the franchise. For the beginning part of the fight in this episode the Innocent Purification song plays in the background, a nice touch. But I have to ask… why is Red so powerful and can fight like this when Blue doesn’t have this sort of offensive power at all? Whatever.

The girls fight pretty evenly against Red and they use Innocent Purification on him, but he isn’t defeated by it.

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Red tells them that it’s all pointless. He attacks the girls and individually knocks them out of their Innocent Forms and then he puts Princess, Honey, Fortune, Seiji and the fairies into mirrors.

Lovely still tells him that love isn’t pointless but Red…

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He once loved the planet they’re on. He was the god of this planet but long ago it was destroyed. He loved it but couldn’t protect it. Happiness and love are illusions. And he wants to destroy the Earth now because it’s unfair that it’s still alive and full of happiness. He sees this as unforgivable while his planet is desolate. Red knows how twisted this is and he asks Lovely if it makes her mad, trying to goad her into finding him disgusting and hating him.

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Lovely says that even if he destroys Earth his pain wont disappear. Red says that doesn’t matter, when the planets collide he’ll die too. But Lovely says she wants to help him.

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He hugs her and asks her to fall in love with him, use her love and save him. Let them die together if her conviction to save him with love is so strong.

This all is what makes Red one of the better developed and realized main villains of Precure. Compare him to Dune and Red looks like the best villain ever. His backstory is tragic but even he admits that it doesn’t excuse what he’s doing, he’s just maddened by his own pain and hatred. And you can see his earnest desire for love even if he doesn’t believe in its power and thinks of it as transient.

So anyways the Precure on Earth continue to fight Terribad’s even with the planets continue fall. We see Mirage in her old Cure form too. Blue comes up and tells them all that they have to believe in Lovely and send her their prayers.

Back on the red planet Lovely pushes Red away, saying that even if they all disappear Red’s pain won’t go away. She asks what his real wish is. He says it’s pointless, everything is about to disappear. But Lovely says they wont disappear, they aren’t pointless, she says Red knows what love and happiness are from the good times he had on his planet.

Red says he wants to destroy the love that brought him sadness and he attacks Lovely.

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But all the prayers of the Precure on Earth are about to be answered, their wishes become lights that go to Cure Lovely. These lights come from Princess, Honey and Fortune too even though they’re still in mirrors.

This part of Red’s planet where Lovely is turns back to being vibrant and green.

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The lights all gather and turn into new Precards. Lovely says that love isn’t an illusion, it grants her power, and she uses the new Precards to transform into Forever Lovely.

So yeah, again the pink is the only one that gets the super form. Thanks Doki. Although Happiness Charge just blindly followed suit, which is annoying. I guess it fits because Lovely is the only one who matters in the finale. UGH. I mean really, even Doki had Ace and Regina being relevant too and not just Mana. But Happiness Charge’s last 7 episodes are literally all Megumi and none of the other Happiness Charge girls. And she’s not a center of the world character like Mana either. It’s just weird, especially when Hime was so much more… everything previously.

Also wishing on the Precard’s when you have a full album is dropped completely from the show. That plot thread goes out the window. It was kind of pointless I guess since everyone’s wishes had kind of come true anyways. And I guess they didn’t want to reuse the same element to give Lovely her super form? I dunno.

Time for the last episode. It has much better animation than 48 does.

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Lovely says she’ll use her power to protect all love, including Red’s. She says how even his heart is full of love and the happy memories he once had on this planet. Forever Lovely then frees the others from their mirrors.

Red says he’ll defeat her and make the illusion of love disappear. Lovely says love and the world will never disappear and the final battle begins. Again…

It’s a much more even fight than say Parthenon Mode Heart vs Proto-Jikochu was. Forever Lovely is in control the whole fight and things never feel dangerous for her but it’s still a real match, not a stomp at all.

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Pretty cool looking fight too. During the fight Lovely is saying stuff like how Red doesn’t really want the planets to disappear and Red is saying stuff like how everything will die one day and nothing lasts forever. But Lovely says she still wants to save everyone who’s fallen and see everyone crying smile.

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She tells Red that his love for his planet is so strong and with love you can do anything. Love won’t disappear, it will always be in people’s hearts and it will connect, gather, and grow with the love from other people. Forever Lovely hugs Red, asking him to believe in happiness again and she uses Precure Forever Happiness Shower to bathe him in love.

Victory.

Happiness Shower huh? Now why does that sound familiar?

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Everyone on Earth can feel the warmth from Lovely. And Red has realized the power of love, the planet is no longer falling to Earth and he isn’t fighting against the Precure anymore. But he’s still saying that happiness won’t last forever, things will still end one day.

Blue and Mirage then come to the red planet, saying that’s why it’s called love.

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And oh yeah it’s revealed that Red is Blue’s older brother. So yeah whatever.

Red says he lost his way when his planet died but now he wants to heal it. That’s what he always really wanted to do but he grew jealous of Blue and Earth. Blue tells everyone gathered there that they need to have love in their hearts, not hatred or sadness, because then that love will spread to others. He thanks the girls for saving both of their planets. And then he tells them that he’s leaving Earth to go help Red fix his planet. Mirage is going with him, they know Earth is in good hands with Megumi and the others. Blue tells them to take care and watch over Earth, they all thank him and leave the red planet.

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And they all lived happily ever after.

Things are back to as they were on Earth, with a few familiar faces around.

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We see the who the three generals were before they became the generals, they’re back to normal. Despite the whole disintegrating into light I guess they weren’t actually dead. Oresky is a mailman, Hosshiwa is a Kindergarten teacher and Namakelder is a salaryman.

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Everyone is doing their best on Earth. Hime has decided to stay on Earth in Pikarigaoka so she can be with her friends at least until graduation. Much to Iona’s and the others delight. As for Iona the guy who likes her doesn’t appear, apparently he fell into a dimensional rift. Phan-Phan is living with Yuuko, and we see that he can still transform into his human Phantom form, I wonder how their relationship is. Megumi says how grateful she is to have become a Cure and met everyone. Hime says she’s super happy to have met Megumi and now she’s gonna throw her love crystal again just like she did in the first episode to make new friends with whoever it hits.

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Megumi and Seiji remain friends. But maybe one day?

And that’s Happiness Charge Precure.The finale was good. I liked how it had a big epic feeling and scale to it again, Doki didn’t really have that. Going into space is pretty much an instant way to do that. I wonder if that’s gonna be another trend in Precure though? One season has this really big epic finale and then the next doesn’t. Heartcatch did, Suite didn’t, Smile did, Doki didn’t, and now HapCha did.

Speaking of trends there’s the whole one year doing “villain becomes Cure” and the next doing “Evil Cures”. Happiness Charge did have Un-Lovely so I guess it keeps up that trend. Although in Doki Regina never became a Cure she just became good but whatever, still counting it since it followed basically the same format.

It just really hurts Happiness Charge that Megumi is so meh. Especially when she takes over the finale. The finale was still technically better than Doki’s and several others but it’s really annoying for it to only revolve around one Cure. It just doesn’t feel right. The action was good, Red was good, but is this really how a finale of Precure should go?

Well aside from the finale Happiness Charge’s multiple faults when it comes to the romance of the show still firmly place it in the lower half of seasons and contribute to the years of Doki, Happiness Charge and Go Princess being the dark age of the franchise. And then the Precard album wish just being forgotten, the crappy CGI form changes, Yuuko, the generals never being above average. Iona’s love interest just straight up disappearing after only reappearing once is the most egregious example I can think of for HapCha’s poorly developed romance. Hime being irrelevant in the second half too and not having any real romance of her own either. The girls only ever really interacting with one other international Precure team is horribly disappointing too.

Still the action for Happiness Charge is above average, and as I said earlier it does the victim of the week style the best, since it isn’t even really victim of the week. Maybe I should say Monster Made of Victim. And it’s generally still an enjoyable season if you don’t get tired of how stale and bland the dialogue can get and aren’t bothered by “Happiness and love are illusions” getting repeated over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. Hime is one of my favorite Cures, maybe in my top ten.

So with Happiness Charge finished up it’s time to move on to GoPrincess, another season I don’t really care about. Hooray!

Pretty Cure All Stars New Stage 3

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The last New Stage movie. 3 is kind of lackluster in a way. The action is good but the story is kind of weak and isn’t anything special compared to New Stage 1 and 2. It does some good things to be sure but it doesn’t get me to really care about the new characters or plot like the last two did. 2 had better action and felt like higher stakes, 1 had a better story and original character. So 3 is just kind of another movie in the New Stage style without really being as special as the final in the trilogy should be. It’s definitely no DX3.

The movie opens with a tenth anniversary message that you see at the beginning of Happiness Charge episodes as well and then we go to the fairy school from the last movie. Enen and Gureru are there and the teacher is just going over everything they’ve learned about the Precure and this part is used to explain the Miracle Lights to the audience again. The teacher then takes Enen and Gureru aside and tells them about a new Precure team, the Happiness Charge Precure. He tells the two to go check up on them and learn about them so they can be put into the Precure book. Enen and Gureru are happy to get to go out and meet them since they both still want to become fairies of Precure.

Opening theme then plays, showing all the girls going about their daily lives and hanging out and reaching for their dreams, whatever they may be.

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After the opening we see a young girl running from some bear monster thing (a horrible pun on bear being kuma in Japanese and nightmare being akuma) but then a tapir fairy sucks it up with a vacuum and another little tapir called Yumeta comes to play with her and asks to be friends. They’re in the land of dreams and the tapirs protect people from Nightmares. Yumeta wants friends and his mother seems happy to oblige by whatever means necessary…

Enen and Gureru go to meet the Doki girls first and they see Aguri for the first time. They tell the Doki girls about the Happiness Charge team and Sharuru says she can contact the fairy Ribbon and they can all meet up. But while waiting to meet up the Doki girls and fairies see on the news that children all over the world are falling into an unbreakable sleep. Ribbon then arrives and tells everyone that they’re in trouble and brings them back to God’s place. Yeah, Blue, the God of Happiness Charge’s world.

Before that though we see that Ayumi from New Stage 1 is around there and she also saw the news.

As it turns out Megumi is also asleep, having taken a nap earlier and not woken up, and Hime is scribbling on her face because Hime is silly like that. Hime is easily my favorite girl from Happiness Charge.

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The Doki girls and fairies meet Blue and he tells them that something is wrong with this sleep everyone is in, he sends them all to the land of dreams with his power. In the dream world they see all the kids happily playing around, oblivious to what’s happened, and Megumi is there too. Mana and Megumi then meet for the first time.

Enen and Gureru recognize Yumeta and say hello, he’s friendly. The girls recognize all the kids playing in the dream world from the news. Then Yumeta’s mom shows up, she’s the dream fairy Maamu, she says she wants to protect Yumeta and the children’s smiles. She summons one of the Nightmare’s she’s eaten and has it fight the girls. The Doki girls transform and fight it, pretty good action. But the girls realize they can’t purify the Nightmare. Their powers don’t work on it, only a tapir dream fairy can defeat a Nightmare. Maamu then kicks them all out of the dream world.

Back on Earth Mana says tomorrow they’ll gather all the Precure together and go back there to rescue the kids and talk to Yumeta for Enen and Gureru’s sake.

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But in the dream world Maamu uses her powers to preemptively strike at the girls as they sleep, she creates dreams catered to each Precure and traps them inside. Only the Happiness Charge girls escape this fate because their info wasn’t in the Precure book. Now things are up to just Megumi and Hime.

Enen and Gureru still go back into the dream world with the two of them, Megumi and Hime use their card powers to transform into ninja and sneak around… and get immediately found out. Maamu refuses to let the fairies see Yumeta and she summons another Nightmare to take care of Megumi and Hime. The two get ready to fight… and are instantly defeated off-screen without a fight and thrown into a cage. Competence. Funny.

Yumeta comes to see them, telling them he’s been lonely because when somebody wakes up from their dream they always forget him, he wants friends. The others try to tell him that what’s happened is wrong but he gets upset and leaves. We then see all the other Precure in their dreams (more specifically the Pinks), it’s some nice scenes. A few cameos too. Back with Megumi and the others they’re able to get out of the cage because Yumeta left a key behind when he came to talk to them.

Yumeta is having fun with the kids but realizes they can’t grow up if they stay here and that they kind of want to leave. The girls and fairies come talk to him again, he tells them his dream couldn’t come true so it’s better for everyone to just stay in a happy dream and he shows them how all the Precure are just enjoying themselves in their dreams too. Or are they?

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Nozomi has realized she’s just in a dream because, despite really wanting to become one, she isn’t at the level yet where she could actually be a teacher. She thanks whoever it was for the fun dream but wants to get back to reality so she can work hard herself and eventually make her dream come true.

Hime says she gets how Yumeta feels because she was the same way. Was? Well anyways she says he needs to move on too and like her he has some nice friends in Enen and Gureru who will help him out. Yumeta then stands up to his mother a bit when she comes to check on the disturbance in the force she felt when Nozomi realized she was dreaming and wanted out. Maamu gets mad and summons a bunch of Nightmares on Megumi and Hime who transform again to fight.

While that fighting is going on the other Precure realize that things are off in their dream worlds and start wanting to leave them too, they wish to achieve their dreams in the real world. We get a few more cameos like Bunbee in Komachi’s dream and Michiru and Kaoru in Saki’s. Always nice to see Toei acknowledge their existence even if it’s as brief as this. Those bastards.

Yumeta though is still a scared little fairy and he can’t fight against the Nightmares even when Enen and Gureru are in danger. Luckily Cure Honey jumps in and rescues them without a word, leaving just as quick. Cure Honey does not speak in this movie. Enen and Gureru go to help Lovely and Princess.

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Lovely and Princess can’t defeat the Nightmares and all the kids in the dream world see the monsters now and begin to cry. Blue though sends the Miracle Lights into the dream world with his power and tells all the kids and fairies to cheer for the Precure. They all do and the girls break free from the dreams and travel to the dream world, transforming along the way. Now the big fight against Maamu and the Nightmares begin.

It’s essentially just like the fight in New Stage 2, a huge brawl with everyone and the theme song plays during it. Definitely a fun fight to watch.

Maamu wants to protect her son and Lovely says that’s good but the way she’s going about things is all wrong, she needs to let her son live for himself and she can’t just be there for him all the time. She needs to let her son grow up. She’s ignoring his true dream too. Maamu sends out another Nightmare to attack them but Yumeta jumps in to protect them and sucks up the Nightmare with his power. Maamu is amazed to see this, she wanted to protect him but he tells her she shouldn’t sacrifice everyone else for him.

The other Nightmare’s are still going wild though and Maamu has used up too much of her power to suck them all up again. Yumeta decides to combine his power with the Precure so they can defeat the Nightmare’s, more fighting ensues.

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Enen and Gureru can see the Precure need more help and with their Miracle Lights they end up summoning Ayumi to them. She asks for their power and transforms into Cure Echo once more. With her help the other Precure gain the upper hand on the Nightmares… which then all gather together and turn into a giant CGI octopus.

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For some reason.

So just like DX2 and New Stage 2 the fight ends with a CGI battle and two clashing energy blasts.

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Cure Honey appears again to lend her support to Lovely and Princess and all together the Precure destroy the Nightmares.

After the fighting Yumeta tells his mother that his true dream was to become a strong dream fairy like her that wasn’t afraid of the Nightmares. Enen, Gureru and Yumeta say they’ll be friends forever now and things go back to normal for everyone. Farewell New Stage. At the end there’s a big dance number with a different version of Happiness Charge’s ending song.

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So it’s not a bad movie but like I said earlier it’s not the awesome conclusion one would hope for. The best thing about it is Ayumi appearing again and becoming Echo with the help of Enen and Gureru, it was nice of New Stage 3 to bridge together the characters and plots from the first two movies in that way. The final fight is very long but I don’t think it’s actually as fun to watch as New Stage 2’s was. And the villains aren’t as strong as the Shadows or Fusion were either. There are some other nice things about the movie though. All the Pinks get to talk and we see all their dreams, Nagisa playing lacrosse, Saki baking bread at her family’s store, Nozomi the teacher, Love dancing with the others, Tsubomi being a botanist, Hibiki giving a piano recital, Miyuki writing her stories and Mana being the Prime Minister. This movie also focuses a lot more on the new team than New Stage 2 did as well. As it should.

It’s an okay movie but this is actually only the second time I’ve ever watched it, I just never went back to watch it again until it was time to review it. Unlike quite a few other Precure movies. It just doesn’t really hold that much appeal compared to the other All Stars movies. Which is kind of a shame considering it’s the last “normal” crossover movie. I like the newer All Stars movies (partly because I love musicals) but they’re not exactly what I want when it comes to Precure crossovers. Oh well, times change and the franchise is huge now so it’s not like they could ever make a movie that really has what I want.

 

 

 

 

 

What’s Substance?

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There were several magical girl series that aired in the Fall 2016 season. Or at least several that could be loosely categorized as magical girl. Of those series there are two I would like to talk about for a particular reason. And not exactly a good one.

Spoilers ahead for both shows of course.

Both Magical Girl Raising Project and Soushin Shoujo Matoi are excellent examples of thoroughly substanceless and exceedingly average shows. Raising Project is a show that removes absolutely everything that isn’t directly necessary to the plot and moves at a breakneck pace, the girls go from collecting Candies to stealing Candies to killing each other all within one episode each at the most. And from there it’s a bloodbath as characters die at a pace faster than one an episode. Some of these characters do get development but none of them with the exception of Swim Swim are really interesting, and Swim Swim is a weird mess of contradictions that may or may not be intentional. Is the writer showing that she’s truly messed up in the head or is he just a hack? Magical Girl Raising Project is the bare minimum of storytelling that reminds me of a Hentai VN that gives you the thinnest premise possible just as an excuse to sell sex to you. Except replace sex with violence and death. It’s Battle Royale with cute magical girls. There are so many characters that I wish we could’ve seen more of but felt like they died before there time. Obviously this is shocking and in some ways it’s nice to see a show that will really kill people off but when there’s zero substance to the rest of the show I don’t really care. Some deaths were sad but I know there’s nothing behind their deaths. Why did Top Speed and Tama have to die? Because Top Speed and Tama had to die. There is no greater answer. It’s just a show where cute girls kills each other. That’s it. It’s the barest entertainment possible. It does what it does and it’s not exactly bad but with nothing more to it I’ll never be able to say this is a favorite series of mine or that I really cared about it or have any desire to see a second season.

And that’s why to me it’s a perfect example of a 5 out of 10 show.

Which brings us to Matoi. Matoi is different than Raising Project in that it has an actual plot and characters. But at the same time these plot and characters are so unbelievably typical and cliche it almost feels like it was intentional, like the creators set out to make the most average anime possible. Well, if that’s true than they succeeded. Matoi is not a bad show, it’s average. So super average at everything, it looks average, it sounds average, the characters and comedy and story and emotion are all average. It feels like the kind of VN adaptation you would’ve seen about 6 years ago with that obviously half-hearted work put into it. It has a really typical structure to it, you can tell how the season is going to be from the beginning, and a really cliche ending. What a surprise.

I also gave Matoi a 5 out of 10 because it’s not bad so much as it is the most average show ever made. No show has deserved a 5/10 more than Matoi.

This reminds me all of Nurse With Komugi-chan R that aired earlier this year. A highly disappointing show that seemed to be perfectly okay with being mediocre. It did not at all capture the special charm and atmosphere that made the original Komugi anime fun and it felt like a show from 20 years ago. Like they were going for this old-school silly magical girl/random ova quality to it. But then it also was about idols. So who the hell knows. It was also a really typical show when it came to its comedy and how the plot and characters developed. The animation as well was thoroughly unremarkable. It felt like an exercise in apathy by its creators.

All of these shows have a problem with them being totally devoid of substance and spirit. Normally as far as magical girl anime goes you don’t usually see this, Magical Canan is another one I can think of and that’s an eroge adaptation so it’s pretty much expected to be a soulless husk of an anime. It disappoints me to see that despite how many magical girl anime aired this year the only one with any real charm is the new Precure. Flip Flappers if you want to count it as magical girl (which is debatable) started out pretty good but I feel it lost all its steam and devolved into a pointlessly convoluted mess with a disappointing ending. It was basically all just yuri and otaku bait too. Every season there’s a bunch of drivel that airs with no substance at all to it, why do the few magical girl series that aired this year have to be included with that? It’s funny that after the ploddingly dull and outdated first season of Sailor Moon Crystal the second season that aired this year ended up being one of my favorite shows and easily the best Magical girl show to come out this year.  That had substance.

Doki Doki Precure the Movie

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I actually like this movie for the most part. Mana is fine in it and even comes off as a real person, unlike in the main show. There’s a lot to like about what the movie does. It’s story is pretty much ripped from Fresh and Smile’s movies but Precure always does stuff like that so I can’t knock the Doki movie for doing it. It’s generally a good movie but not one of the best and it has one really dumb thing about it and another thing that’s kind of annoying but still the same thing every Precure movie does now so I again can’t really knock Doki for doing it. It’s an enjoyable movie though and I recommend it.

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First off it starts with another opening skit where the girls explain the Miracle Lights. And then when the movie proper begins Mana’s mom has found her old wedding dress that first belonged to her mother. Mana wants to wear it too when the time comes and her grandfather says her grandma would be happy if she wore it. The opening theme song then plays and we get a dream sequence where Mana is getting married but it’s attacked by the Selfish Trio, they don’t have a part in the actual movie so this is a nice little cameo. Mana then wakes up and tells the girls about her wedding dress at school.

She also shares with them a special charm her grandma showed her, that if you draw a heart in your palm it will make your dream come true. The girls then all go to Alice’s house and have a picnic. Oh wait Aguri isn’t there. Wonder where she is?

The three girls from Earth reminisce about old times, like when Mana took in a stray dog. She called him Mallow but unfortunately he died a few years ago. Mana doesn’t want everyone to get all depressed so she says they should talk about their future dreams and if they’ve thought about their own weddings. Alice says she’s had a bunch of arranged marriage meetings but she’s turned everyone down.

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Suddenly that night in town a mysterious man with a clarinet appears. When he starts playing the clarinet something horrifying happens, his hands and the clarinet suddenly become cgi for no discernible reason!

He says he’ll make the unfair humans remember all the things they’ve forgotten and thrown away. The feelings of resentment in these old things unite and they all begin to congregate together in the sky, creating a gigantic airship. The wedding dress tries to go too but Mana grabs it and says she still needs it so the power from the clarinet leaves it.

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The other girls and the townspeople watch the whale airship form. Then the clarinet begins to play again. The mysterious guy introduces himself as Marsh from the Land of Memories. He’s come to get Mana, as if he knows her.

Where’s Aguri anyways? She isn’t here either.

Mana doesn’t recognize this guy though. He seems dismayed that she’s forgotten him so he’s going to drag everyone into the Land of Memories where time is stopped and they merely relive their happy memories over and over. All the regular townspeople then get sucked in so the girls transform to fight Marsh.

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But he summons some servants to fight them. The servants regenerate when broken so the girls figure they need to destroy Marsh’s clarinet to stop them. They fire a Lovely Force Arrow but it has no effect on Marsh. He sends out some energy beams to incapacitate the girls and then sucks them into their old memories too.

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The fairies don’t get sucked in though, and then a new fairy we haven’t seen before appears.

Mana wakes up in her memories a few years younger and finds-

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Her grandmother and Mallow are both still alive. She remembers what happened with Marsh and that she’s a Precure and everything but she still can’t help but be happy at seeing them again. All of the other girls are happy in their memories too. The plot with Mana especially also reminds me a lot of the episode of Fresh where Love meets her grandfather again.

The fairy in the real world then tells the Precure fairies that the sorrow of disowned things gave power to these villains. They ask how she knows all this and she says that her name is Bebel and she and Marsh go way back. They all need to unite together now to save the girls (Read, Mana).

Mana finds that in her memory world Rikka and the others don’t exist, at Rikka’s house some strange foreigner lives there. His name is John Smith, the classic. Mana is upset at this but still enjoys the time she has with her grandma and Mallow.

Where’s Aguri?

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Marsh watches the girls in their memories, happy to see Mana just lackadaisically enjoying herself. He wants her to forget all her pain. The fairies then infiltrate the whale airship. But they get caught trying to find the memory films of the girls so they can free them. Marsh says the girls are happy living in their memories but Bebel says they have infinite potential and he can’t take away their futures. She distracts Marsh and the girls fairies jump into the memories to find and save them.

But one day in Mana’s memories…

Sharuru finds her and asks if she’s going to come back, Mana says she will but she has to say goodbye to her grandma and Mallow. But at the same time Mana’s grandmother slipped and injured herself and when Mana went running to see her at the hospital Mallow broke through his leash and ran after her.

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Which led to him being hit and killed by a car. As Mana remembers how all of this happened (and a cute insert song starts playing) Marsh speaks into her ear, telling her that this is what he was trying to prevent, telling her she needs to go back deeper into her memories to avoid this pain. And Mana does it, she gives in to the “happiness” the villain is offering and ignores Sharuru calling for her to go back to reality. All to avoid her pain.

Oh my god. Mana with flaws? It’s unheard of. I actually have sympathy for her, it’s a miracle.

But Bebel says Mana wont stop so easily, and she still has her friends there to help her. Marsh orders his minions to take out the other girls to make sure they can’t do anything.

Meanwhile the girls are enjoying themselves but… something’s missing. What could it be? Their fairies then get to them and Alice and Rikka find themselves in the same world, and they get their memories of being Cures back and everything, it seems they were made to forget that stuff. And so what could possibly be missing from this world of happy memories? Why wouldn’t they want to just stay in it?

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Well it’s Mana of course. Please kill me.

I mean yeah, this is Doki Doki Precure, I know how it is. But when Alice and Rikka say something like that it’s just so absurdly nauseating.

Anyways Davi also reached Makoto, who wanted to forget about the tragedy that befell the Trump Kingdom. Pretty understandable. And so Marsh’s minions arrive and the girls transform and fight them. Pretty good action in this part. Would’ve been cool if they used Rosetta Balloon in the movie but oh well.

AND THEN FINALLY!

Ai-chan and Ace show up to help Sword in her memory world. Um… how??? Where was Aguri anyways? There is literally no explanation for any of this. But at least the action and animation at this part of the movie are still good.

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Mana is still stuck in her “happy” memories, even though she’s feeling depressed now, she’s gone back to before Mallow died. She doesn’t want to return to the real world where Mallow and her grandma are dead, despite Sharuru trying to convince her.

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Her grandma then comes into her room, she’s actually noticed that something is wrong with Mana and that this “world” around her is fake. She tells Mana that her name is written with the character for love and that she needs to listen clearly now… and when Mana does she can hear the voices of the other girls calling out for her. But Mana doesn’t want to leave her grandma, however she says that they’re always together. Love that’s passed down won’t disappear, Mana needs to go back to the real world.

And so Mana finally gets the resolves to leave her memories. She transforms with Sharuru and all 5 of the girls break from the memory world and confront Marsh now. They tell him they had to leave even though it was happy, experiencing painful things make people stronger.

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Marsh transforms into a huge monster dog to fight and that’s when Mana finally realizes that he’s Mallow. Marshmallow. She asks why he’s become like this but he tells her to shut up and they battle. Again there’s some good animation here. Mana allows Marshmallow to bite her to calm him down, she wanted to accept his feelings and rage. And there’s real blood, for the first time in Precure a Cure bleeds. I understand the importance of doing this but I can’t help but feel that Doki is, well… trying too hard by doing this. Marshmallow does calm down but a strange voice then tells Marsh that Mana abandoned and forgot about him and went on to the future herself without him.

Mana says she never forgot, she got so many great memories from Mallow, she hugs and thanks him for everything and he turns back into his human form. He’s no longer a villain and he’s shocked at how he could’ve done the things he did.

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Then we see that the strange voice was coming from the clarinet. It gave Marsh powers so he could take revenge for all the forgotten things. But since Marsh has left him he decides that it’s no longer enough to just trap the girls in their memories, he’ll erase their futures too and the clarinet travels forward in time to do that, leaving the girls and Mallow behind.

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Aguri’s transformation runs out while this happens but she mentions that there is a way they can follow the clarinet. The miracle lights. Ai-chan then creates the miracle lights for everyone, Rikka comments on how convenient this is, and Aguri actually breaks the 4th wall, not just speaking to the camera but asking all the kids watching the movie to wave their lights and give the girls the power they need.

So it works and the girls all go to the future, Aguri’s transformation comes back too.

They arrive at Mana’s wedding in the future. we don’t see who she’s marrying though, but then time stops and the clarinet appears riding the huge whale airship and planning to destroy it all. And then we get a cgi fight much like the final fight in the Fresh movie or DX2 I suppose. Heart and everyone else travel inside the airship, with Mallow in his normal dog form to guide them to the clarinet with his nose. They find the clarinet but they can’t destroy it, Lovely Straight Flush isn’t powerful enough.

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Mallow sacrifices himself to protect Mana and then gives her his heart. It merges with her so she can transform into Cure Heart Engage Mode. She then blows away the clarinet and stops everything despite the clarinet saying that as long as things are forgotten it’s immortal.

As the main conflict of the movie ends we see in a flashback how Mana’s grandmother gave her her name. And all the normal people of Earth get back to the real world from their memories

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Bebel then goes back to the memories where she belongs, taking Mallow’s heart with her, and Mana realizes that somehow Bebel is her grandmother. She thanks Mallow and her grandmother for everything.

The End.

Yeah, so good movie all in all. Good story and good emotion pretty much the whole way through. But a couple negatives. The one big stupid thing about the movie is the absence of Aguri. Now there is no explanation in the movie for this but the out of meta reason for it is that Aguri has no old memories, so if she was included in this plot the creators would’ve just had to make up fake memories for her or show that she didn’t have any and that would ruin the reveal of Aguri’s true identity in the main series. So instead they just have Aguri absent until more than halfway through and then she just appears randomly in Makoto’s memories. And the one big annoying thing about this movie is Heart gets another super mode all for herself, yes every movie but Heartcatch’s since GoGo has given the pink their own movie exclusive super form but to then have Heart be the only one to get the super form in the finale of the show too just makes this so excessive. At least in Fresh and Suite and Smile the girls all got the same super forms in the finale.

And when you compare Engage Mode and Heart’s transformation into it and how she finishes off the clarinet it’s super disappointing compared to Ultra Cure Happy that we got last year in Smile’s movie. Massive step down.

Still, pretty good movie and it actually got me to care about a character I hate so good job on that. It is disappointing that Mallow isn’t actually mentioned at all in the main series though and Mana’s grandmother I believe is only mentioned the one time in the first episode. Kind of sad the same way with Dark Dream not being brought up outside the Yes5 movie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doki Doki Precure

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I hate this show.

Figured I should get that out of the way right from the beginning. It’s not just Doki that’s bad though it’s this whole third era of Precure that’s problematic, the true Dark Age of the franchise. Happiness Charge and Go Princess aren’t terrible, and Go Princess is easily the best of the three, but none of them are great. At least Happiness and Princess started out strong though, which is more than I can say for Doki. After Smile the composer changed again and we got a new production team, this did not go good places. Doki is basically the exact opposite of Smile in nearly every way, tons of focus on the plot, every character is really special and smart, art and animation is not very good, it feels like it’s intentionally trying to be as different from Smile as possible. Doki is such a haphazard and uneven show where Smile was very consistent too. Doki has a lot of slapstick and comedy in otherwise serious episodes while Smile always separated the two. Smile was like a celebration of all the Precure that came before it and its ideals whereas Doki is like a slap in the face to the spirit of Precure.

A lot of the problem with Doki comes from the man who was in charge. Ryota Yamaguchi. Yamaguchi was in charge of Sailor Stars, the final season of the original Sailor Moon anime. And boy does it show. Doki takes a ton of influence from Sailor Stars. Unfortunately while Sailor Stars had problems it also had a lot of good points, Doki however only has the negatives of Stars and none of its positives. One of the biggest problems you’ll see in Doki down the road is poor character focus, this happened in Stars too with the original Senshi not really getting to do much. However because there were 150 episodes prior to Stars the Senshi already had plenty of development, so while it was sad to see them so underutilized in the final season it’s not like anything was really lost for them. They already had plenty of time and focus in previous seasons. Doki does not have this luxury. Certain characters just horribly overshadow others, it’s not even like this is a sequel like GoGo either where you’d expect the new characters to get a lot of focus over the older ones. Poor Cure Sword.

Doki is just not what a season of Pretty Cure should be and there is no greater example of this than with the main character Mana, Cure Heart. Mana is everything wrong with Doki Doki Precure. A perfect Mary Sue and unrealistic role-model for kids. Mana hardly ever comes off as human or real, the movie is one of the only instances where she does. Mana is just… the worst. Mana does not grow or develop, Mana does not have flaws, everyone completely fawns over her throughout the entire show, the show bends over backwards to make things revolve around her even when they shouldn’t, everything not having to do with Mana is given less care than Hentai dub voice actors give to their lines. It’s truly Mana Mana Precure. But you know even if it wasn’t a season of Precure, if it was just some random magical girl anime, it would still be bad because of the numerous plot holes, missed opportunities and really stupid coincidences and randomness that drives it. For a show that builds itself around its plot (and it has the greatest focus on plot of any season of Precure easily) it’s shocking that it’s so badly done and poorly thought out.

All that being said I get sort of a weird perverse enjoyment out of watching it, I’m never bored, I guess it’s the whole trainwreck thing. And I did say back in Futari Wa that being boring is the worst thing these shows can ever be, and Doki is definitely not boring if anything. Honestly the season I was looking forward to rewatching the least is actually Happiness Charge because I have no strong feelings towards it in any way. And for all Doki’s flaws there are a few gems to be had, a couple great episodes, a couple good characters, and even though it’s a bad show by any measure at least as far as kids franchises go it’s not as bad as like Kamen Rider Decade or Digimon Adventure 02. No season of Precure will ever be as incompetently made as those shows were.

Well it’s time to get to episode 1.

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The episode starts off with a lone Precure fighting animal like monsters in a devastated world. She’s able to beat the monsters that attack her but there’s still this gigantic stone statue looking devil thing in the middle of the city. Ominous. The Precure cries and laments on how she wasn’t able to protect her world. Reminiscent of how Heartcatch begins.

The opening theme song then plays. It’s pretty good, more of an actual song than just going “Smile smile smile smile” you know?

And after the theme song the episode brings us to Earth where a class of middle school kids is having a field trip to something called the Clover Tower, an absolutely gigantic radio tower, the largest in the world. It’s a big landmark of the city. And then finally, we’re introduced to HER.

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Aida Mana. Yes, that is the face of evil.

She’s the student council president and she’s busy running around helping everyone and solving everyone’s problems on the field trip.

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Her friend Rikka is also there, trying to prevent her from overextending herself . Everything she says falls on deaf ears though. Mana just needs to help everyone. The girls then see that the idol Makopi is at the Clover Tower as well, she’s a new idol who’s been getting popular lately. Mana likes her quite a bit. Mana sees her drop something so she goes to return it and briefly meets her.

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Yeah, I’d say that’s cute enough to be an idol.

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We then see these three fairies that are also at the tower, they sense some kind of evil called the Jikochu (or Selfish or Selfishness or who cares) nearby.

Mana then comes across a vendor at the tower selling jewelry and accessories. One thing instantly catches her eye because it looks like the thing that Makopi dropped. The guy who owns the stuff calls it a Cure Lovies. It seems to react to Mana and some sort of light goes into her heart, the vendor says she can have the Lovies for free now too.

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And no it’s not just you, this guy is creepy and suspicious at this point.

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And then some rich girl arrives at the Clover Tower. And if it feels like I’m just going back and forth and back and forth between a bunch of quick scenes that all make a jumbled mess of an episode well you’re crazy. Anyways rich girl apparently owns the tower, guess we’re at Karen levels of silly wealth here. She also seems to know Mana and refers to her as her precious friend but the two of them don’t meet up this episode.

And while everyone is waiting in line to go to the observation deck of the tower…

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Some guy has selfish thoughts about wanting to cut in line so he can get up there faster, however he realizes it’s wrong to think that way, it wouldn’t be fair to everyone else. But then some voice whispers in his ear, telling him to forget all that and just be selfish, and his heart turns black and the villain uses his power to make it burst from his chest.

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He then turns the heart into a crab monster that starts “cutting” in line and it goes to the top of the tower to cause more havoc. Mana follows it up to stop it and save the people there, she actually starts lecturing the monster on how bad it’s being. I will give it to Mana that she’s at least different.

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The pink fairy Sharuru sees her talking to the monster like that and thinks she would be the perfect Cure so she goes up to her and tells her she’s from the Trump Kingdom (or Card Kingdom or who cares) and that they can transform and fight. Mana is thoroughly unsurprised apparently to see a fairy. Like it’s an every day event for her and she just greets Sharuru like a normal person.

But when Mana tries to transform she’s unable to for some reason. Sharuru turned into her little cell phone form so they don’t know what’s missing. But then the Precure from the beginning of the episode comes in and defeats the crab, purifying it with her attack Holy Sword and the guy gets his heart back.

The villain who made the crab monster then comes in and calls the purple Cure Cure Sword, and then a second crab monster breaks through the ceiling and grabs her.

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There was a second villain here the whole time. A first for Precure. She made the other crab monster out of another person who was tired of standing in line. This woman asks Cure Sword where the “Princess” is. Whoever that might be.

Mana sees all this going on and she really wants to help. Her feelings activate the Cure Lovies and the power inside her and she’s able to transform with Sharuru.

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The transformation is pretty boring, Doki’s stock footage in general is bad, the transformations only being a step above the ones from Yes5 really. But the actual outfit and hair are nice looking. Glad to not have pink on pink again and instead getting a color scheme more like Peach’s.

Anyways here she is. Cure Heart. The vendor guy who gave her the Lovies seems to have realized what just happened and says he’s glad that she’s finally awakened. Alright. I’ll just say right now that nothing involving this guy makes any sense in the long run when we learn about him but whatever.

And so the episode ends there. Doki Doki starts with a two-parter and the first episode is a hectic uneven mess. The ending song is meh. I never really cared for it.

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Heart is already a strong and competent fighter and she shows this off in the beginning of episode two… or maybe the villains Ira and Mammo are just weak. Either way she makes them look like clowns and pretty much dances around them. Who is she, Tendo?

Heart and Sword both fight the second crab monster together. Heart sees that the Jikochu is just someone’s heart forced into this form, so resolves to save them and uses her attack. Afterwards some magical light bathes the whole area and fixes all the damage, people still remember what happened though. Sword also refuses to be Mana’s friend or anything like that after the fight. She tells her fairy, Davi, that she doesn’t need any friends.

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Later that day when everyone is going home Mana and Rikka are talking together. Rikka calls Mana the Happy Prince and tells her about his story. Oh and just some advice but don’t expect anything actually meaningful or important about the Happy Prince to be used as a lesson in Doki or whatever. Rikka just says she’s similar and that she shouldn’t overexert herself for others all the time. She can also tell something is wrong but when Mana tells her about being a Precure and fairies and all that she obviously doesn’t believe her. Rikka is funny, my favorite girl from Doki.

We also see Mana’s family this episode, they are completely irrelevant but her dad looks a bit like Hibiki’s dad. By the way be sure to keep in mind just how irrelevant Mana’s family is, that’s important for the end of the show.

Sharuru, and the two other fairies Raquel (Blue) and Lance (Yellow/Orange), meet up with Mana again. Sharuru tells her she can’t tell anyone about being a Precure but Mana really wants to tell Rikka everything. There’s some good comedy this episode.

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The next day while school is starting some kid is late. He wishes he could change the traffic lights so he wouldn’t be… and that’s apparently selfish enough or whatever for Ira to use him to create a monster. Yeah okay. He becomes a stoplight monster. So no more animals? All the ones we saw in the first episode were animals. I suppose the reason for the change is… I have no idea. Fuck consistency.

Anyways the monster can freeze people by using its “stop” sign.

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When it attacks the school and Mana goes to stop it Rikka says she wants to help Mana, she says Mana cant just do everything herself all the time. They try to work together against it but Mana realizes she needs to transform, much to Sharuru’s annoyance she does it right in front of Rikka because she trusts her and they’ve been friends for so long. Rikka after this even helps in the fight by pressing the button on the monster that changes the light from stop to go so it unfreezes everything. It’s nice when the properties of whatever a monster is made from get used like this. The action for the first two episodes has been a little above average for what you normally see in the first two episodes of a Precure season. THAT GOES AWAY QUICKLY.

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At the end of the episode Rikka is happy Mana told her the truth about everything but Sharuru is worried about her getting caught up in everything now. The second episode is a big improvement over the first but still not great.

So at the beginning of the third episode Rikka is looking at the Cure Lovies under a microscope at school. She can tell it isn’t made from anything on Earth. Kind of cool to have a character like actually scientifically researching Cure stuff and their powers. Rikka and Mana ask the fairies about what’s going on and everything but in true Candy fashion they are less than helpful.

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Unbeknownst to them they accidentally leave a sleeping Lance behind at school when they go home and don’t realize this for a good while. Rikka wants to find the guy who gave Mana her Lovies.

After being around her for a while and seeing how smart and nice she is Raquel asks her to become his Precure partner. Rikka doesn’t think she’s up for it though, she’s not athletic and determined like Mana is. But Mana says Rikka has always supported her. We learn that Rikka’s father is often traveling and her mother works nights a lot so Rikka is pretty independent.

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We then also get to see the villains hideout. It’s a bowling alley. Just because. Not sure if it’s actually in the Trump Kingdom or whatever. A third villain called Bel shows up but he doesn’t do anything right now and Ira just goes out to fight again.

Rikka and Mana then run into the Lovies guy.

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He’s opening up a new shop in town. Rikka is rightfully suspicious of him but he just plays dumb about everything and continues to act fairly weird. He gives Rikka her own Lovies too and it reacts to her in the same way Mana’s did.

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Meanwhile some guy is having selfish thoughts when he sees two girls mailing a love letter. He’s annoyed because he’s unpopular and no one sends him a letter like that. Like always though he tries to not dwell on his selfish thoughts but Ira is there to draw them out, this gets very old very quick. Anyways Ira transforms his heart into… what we’re doing hybrids now? Okay. And it’s also a Baphomet reference I think. None of this makes any sense or means anything. It starts eating peoples letters but it could’ve just been a shredder for that, or just a plain goat. WHY IS IT A GOAT AND A MAILBOX?

Ira is kind of annoyed because it isn’t listening to him (a lot of his Jikochu don’t listen to him) and just eating letters. The girls come across it and Mana transforms. Heart tries to protect the letters from getting eaten so she isn’t fighting back against it. Rikka sees this and realizes Mana needs her.

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She flashes back to when she first met Mana and when she became President. Mana says she’s always needed Rikka and can do so much more if she’s with her. Seeing morals and such like this in Doki is kind of painful. Especially when it just gets more and more hypocritical down the road.

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The Lovies react to Rikka again and she’s able to transform with Raquel into Cure Diamond. She uses her attack Twinkle Diamond to purify the monster. Yeah there really isn’t a fight this episode. Heart is bumped once by the monster but the Jikochu isn’t hit or anything, Diamond just purifies it instantly when she transforms. Which is really lame and dumb and takes away any threat these monsters are supposed to have. 3 episodes in.

And in another dumb event because everything just turns back to normal when the monster is defeated it means Heart getting all concerned over the letters was just random stupidity because she knows if she just purified the Jikochu the healing light would turn everything back to normal.

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Finally at the end of the episode the girls and the two fairies realize Lance has been missing this whole time. That’s when the rich girl from episode 1 and her butler pull up to them. They both know her and are surprised to see her. Alice is her name.

So next episode we learn that Mana and Rikka have both known Alice from a young age, she didn’t go to any fancy school for rich kids. Her butler is straight up called Sebastian by the way.

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By chance Alice found Lance last night, wandering through the city wondering where Sharuru and Raquel were. She almost hit him with her car. Doki sure loves random coincidences. Anyways though Alice actually knew about the Precure already because when Mana transformed and fought in episode 1 she was caught on film by the Clover Tower security cameras. Alice and Sebastian made sure no one else found out about this though.

The fairies then sense a Jikochu, and Sebastian can tell them exactly where it is because the Yotsuba Group is omnipotent and omniscient. Ira made a headphone/ipod monster (and we don’t even learn what the victim of the weeks deal was this time) but its battery power runs out in the middle of the fight and so Heart and Diamond easily dispatch it. As Lance learns after seeing Alice not attempt to help out in the fight Alice has no plans to become a Cure, she merely wishes to support them from the sidelines. Lance is upset because he really wanted her to be his partner.We learn that Alice also already has a Cure Lovies, the same mysterious vendor guy gave her one on the same day Mana got hers at the Clover Tower.

Mana and Rikka tell the fairies why they think Alice doesn’t want to become a Cure. We get a flashback (Alice is developed entirely through flashbacks as you’ll see in later episodes) to when they were kids and Alice beat the crap out of some bullies that were mean to her, Mana and Rikka. Alice is actually really strong and skilled in martial arts. But hurting those kids scared her and she decided to give up martial arts for fear of losing control again. Mana and Rikka think she doesn’t want the power of a Cure because it would be too dangerous and she might hurt someone again.

The fairies then sense another Jikochu but Lance goes to talk to Alice some more to convince her to become a Precure.

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Sebastian talks with Alice and he can tell that she really does want to become a Precure and join Mana and Rikka. But Alice tells him she’s scared of hurting others. But then Lance comes in and tells her that the Precure’s powers are about protecting people. And we get another flashback to Alice’s grandfather (who taught her all her martial arts) telling her the same thing. She remembers this now and comes to an understanding. The Lovies now reacts to her too.

At this time Ira created a boombox monster that actually plugs in to an outlet so it wont run out of power like the last one… yeah. And Heart and Diamond have a bit of trouble with it but luckily Alice is here now to save the day.

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She transforms into Cure Rosetta and dear god that is an awful pose. It’s just like Sailor Mercury’s.

And as expected of a Cure that practices martial arts Rosetta is very strong and she also uses shields, which is her “attack” called Rosetta Wall. Hm. She’s yellow, she’s rich, she practices martial arts, and she uses shields. Hi Sunshine. Her transformation phrase even uses the word sunshine…

Well whatever, she blocks the Jikochu’s attack and uses noise cancelling by banging her shields together to stop it from attacking further and then Heart purifies it. At least sometimes Doki can have some smart fights.

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Mana then mentions finding out about Cure Sword and Alice says she believes that Cure Sword is actually the idol Makopi because she was caught on the Clover Tower’s security cameras too. This surprises Mana a lot.

So to put it simply I do not like Alice. I find her to be a boring plot-device character with a contradictory backstory. More on that in later episodes. Also episodes revolving around her always use flashbacks for some reason. I think every Alice focus episode has a flashback. She is boring and annoying.

That all brings us to episode 5.

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For those who don’t know Makoto’s VA happens to be Kanako Miyamoto. She did the first ending songs to Yes5 and GoGo. And uh… as anyone who has listened to those songs can tell she has a rather distinct singing voice… and I’ll just leave it at that.

So the girls research Makopi and Mana is super happy that she happens to be Cure Sword. Meanwhile the villains talk about the Cures and even though Mammo wanted to find more clues about the Princess before defeating the Cures she decides to go out and fight them anyways because more of them keep showing up. Our heroines then go to a studio where Makopi is performing for a commercial or whatever the hell. Her full assumed name is Makoto Kenzaki. So Mana just barges in on her while she’s in her room backstage and starts fangirling out over her and bothering her with Cure Sword stuff. Makopi just chews her out for coming in and annoying her, she’s about to record something so she makes Mana leave.

Makopi’s manager Davi tells the girls that she takes her job very seriously and wants to make all her fans smile so Mana bothering her here really annoyed her. But there’s also another idol at the studio and when she sees Makopi’s performance and how popular she is she starts thinking selfish thoughts and her heart gets turned into a Jikochu by Mammo.

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There’s some alright action this episode. The 3 other girls transform to fight it because Makopi doesn’t want to transform in front of them. The monster is tough for them to beat but Heart doesn’t want it to destroy the studio that’s important to Makopi. While the monster is occupied with the 3 of them Makoto secretly transforms off-screen, we still don’t get to see her transformation this episode. And she then beats up the Jikochu and purifies it with her attack.

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Sword still doesn’t become friends with them or anything and she just walks away, but later a letter arrives at Mana’s house that was delivered by Davi (who can become a human as well) inviting Mana to a handshaking event where she can apologize to Makopi. She gets there and they make up and she also tells Makopi that she wants to protect everyone’s smiles.

Episode 6 then has Makopi come to Mana’s families restaurant as a promotional thing. She needs to cook for it but she has no idea how to, she doesn’t even know what eggs are.

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The opening now shows some clips from New Stage 2. It’s a pretty uneventful episode and mostly just comedic but we learn some important things. Makopi is singing and became an idol and famous to reach a specific person, hoping they would notice her. She’s also completely oblivious about anything in this world not related to singing or being an idol.

Mana and everyone else help Makoto learn how to cook better while the third villain, Bel, says “King Jikochu” is unhappy with how slowly things are progressing and so he decides to act now. Thanks to the other girls help Makoto is able to cook appropriately and do the show, she even gets along well with the other girls now after they helped her. She thinks how she used to sing for her special person.

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For their smile.But because she hasn’t been able to reach them she hasn’t been singing with her heart lately. But maybe now she can again after getting to feel the friendship from the other girls.

Ira then shows up and turns one of the television crew members into a pig Jikochu, so the other 3 girls transform. This time Makoto transforms in front of the other girls, fully admitting that she is Cure Sword.

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There is no action here, like episode 3 the girls defeat it without throwing a single physical attack. Sword just transforms and purifies it. Finished off without them doing anything to it beforehand. LAME.

But anyways they defeat it and Sword now accepts Hearts friendship too. But before they can actually shake hands or anything Bel comes in.

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He uses his power to transport them all to the Trump Kingdom at once. He then says some things about Selfishness taking over this world too and whatever but it doesn’t really matter, Bel tries to be cool and intimidating but it reeeeally doesn’t last.

At the start of episode 7 the girls have detransformed and been separated from their fairies… uh, somehow? And then they see the giant thing from the first episode.

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Makopi tells them it’s king Jikochu but he’s in stasis. She also tells them that she’s the last warrior of the Trump Kingdom… even though nothing is ever mentioned of any other Cures the Trump Kingdom might’ve had.

Meanwhile the 3 fairies walk through the city and then meet Davi. The city is crawling with Jikochu and because the 3 young fairies were just born they don’t really know anything about the old Trump Kingdom so they ask Davi. I like Davi a lot, probably one of my favorite fairies. Davi tells them about the Kingdom while they go to the castle because it’s the most distinct place around. Davi tells them about how the Kingdom was peacefully ruled by Princess Ange, yes just the Princess, there is no mention of any King or Queen. Remember that for later.

But then suddenly…

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One day they were attacked by the Selfishness. Ange fought them with her spear and sealed King Jikochu away but she used up all her power doing this and it weakened her. She created the 3 fairies just then and sent them to Earth to look for the Precure. But when Sword and Ange then tried going to Earth Bel attacked and separated them. And that’s the last anyone saw of Ange. They use these special inter-dimensional mirrors to go between worlds. Door mirrors.

Even with King Jikochu sealed the rest of his forces still conquered the Trump Kingdom and turned all the citizens into Jikochu. And so when Makoto arrived on Earth she decided to become an idol singer to try and find Ange, hoping her voice would reach her because Ange loved her singing and concerts. So far it hasn’t worked though, Mana then says to Makoto that they should all look for her together.

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Makoto also tells the other girls that besides just looking for the Princess the villains are gathering selfish energy each time they make a Jikochu and it’s bringing King Jikochu closer and closer to reviving. And then the 4 of them are attacked by a swarm of frog Jikochu. All the monsters in the Trump Kingdom are animals and they don’t really follow the same kind of theming of other Jikochu. Maybe they could just make generic ones with the power of King Jikochu behind them, I dunno. Meanwhile at this point Bel decides to also go back to the Trump Kingdom to make sure the girls are dealt with.

Mana, Rikka and Alice’s determination to save the Trump Kingdom despite not even being from there really surprises Makoto. She tells them about the door mirrors and they go off to the castle. But when they get there Bel is already waiting for them and he breaks the mirror in front of them. Of course something as simple as this isn’t going to stop Mana.

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Mana has correctly noticed how Bel can freely travel between worlds and says they’ll just force him to send them back to Earth. This might seem pretty smart of her but Mana’s intelligence and observational skills have absolutely no consistency. Either way Bel is pretty incredulous about this but then the 4 fairies come in and all the girls transform together.

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Doki Doki Precure group pose time!

The instrumental version of the opening plays during the fight, it’s a nice theme. It’s also a tough fight for the girls as Bel is clearly stronger than them but luckily he isn’t very smart and they easily work together and out-strategize him, easily landing their attacks on him. For the first time Diamond shows the ability to make ice with her attack as well. Bel is weakened but not dead and although he doesn’t want to let them leave the mirror is not completely broken and it still has the power to get the girls back to Earth so they jump in. They were in a tough spot this episode but they pulled through, good job.

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The 4 of them then all resolve to find the Princess and save the Trump Kingdom too.

This episode isn’t bad or anything but it kind of sets up a weird timeline in Doki, Ange sends out the fairies to Earth before Makoto even arrives there. And although the fairies are clearly in an incubating period how long could it have been from then until the first episode? How long was Makoto on Earth and how long did it take her to become that famous? Why didn’t the villains get to Earth faster? This timeline doesn’t make any sense. And besides that stuff with Bel looking like a fool it kind of ruins his ability to be an actual threatening villain like Kawarino/Northa later. To just be so utterly defeated so early on and the first time he directly fights them. The episode is kind of cool though because you don’t usually get a plot like this in Precure where they’ll travel to the villains territory until like the mid-season climax. So it’s pretty special at this point.

And that’s the first part of Doki. It’s not really bad or anything but it has noticeable problems and it’s certainly not great either. Even the animation/action are mediocre too so there really is nothing stand out 7 episodes in. Aside from Mana. But that’s being stand out in a bad way. Although to be fair she isn’t really bad yet. Soon though. And of course this being Doki there is no time to just rest or have some fun episodes or even just one or two focusing on the characters and their relationships. Nope, it’s time to immediately get into a big new plot point. Doki has no brakes.

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This is a funny episode, the best one in Doki so far. Although I was complaining about the lack of an episode dedicated to character/group development Makoto does at least feel nervous because she isn’t as close as the other girls are to each other in this one.

Mana is super happy to be Makopi’s friend and the girls decide to take Makoto to the guy who gave them their Lovies. He isn’t at his shop but inside it he has a case with a bunch of random Lovies in it, there’s also a big egg on a table in the back. Which promptly hatches in front of the 4 girls. Out comes some weird baby fairy thing. Rikka is the only one who is appropriately freaked out. She’s like the Rin or Akane and Nao of the season.

The baby has a Cure Lovies with it so the fairies think it might be related to the Trump Kingdom. And as one would expect from a show like this the Lovies is used to feed the baby by transforming into a bottle. The guy then shows up, and he’s pointlessly mysterious as always, he says they should name the baby so the girls settle on Ai-chan. And he also tells them his name is Joe.

While the girls are out taking care of Ai-chan we come to learn that Mana has a terrible singing voice when she tries to sing a lullaby. Pretty funny. Mammo then comes around and turns this tired guy who wants to sleep into a Jikochu… it’s a bunch of sheep jumping over a fence that makes all the girls tired and fall asleep. Pretty weird but I like it. Some good animation this episode too.

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Ai-chan though has some special power and she cries out and wakes up the girls, she’s also immune to the Jikochu’s effects. The girls now defeat the Jikochu. It was a fun fight. And taking care of the baby together with everyone makes Makoto feel closer to the girls and Mana especially.

As for Ai-chan herself I don’t hate her but she’s still the bad kind of fairy with random powers and is basically a walking plot device for a majority of the show. Big step down compared to similar fairies like Candy and Chiffon.

Next episode Joe runs into Mana and Rikka while they’re going to school and he pawns off Ai on them so he can go travel for work. They have to take her to school now. Sharuru and Raquel offer to help and even call Lance to come help them (Alice goes to a different school). This episode is pretty uneventful but it does show how everyone at school completely relies on Mana. Also during the fight it looks like it’ll just be Heart and Diamond but then Rosetta and Sword appear, despite Alice having no way to know that a Jikochu even appeared. And in the fight Ai-chan uses her random powers to speed up all the girls, this never happens again.

And then we get to episode 10 which is pretty bad in nearly every way.

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This episode added a lot of fuel to the yuri-shipping in the show. So anyways at this point in Doki Rikka’s entire character revolves around Mana and Raquel even says that Rikka is like Mana’s wife. And then Makoto transfers into their school. She wants to understand the world better… and be closer to the two other girls. Like we saw in episode 6 Makopi is bad at everything not having to do with singing, and that extends to school stuff. She has her own little fan club though (not made of school kids but older guys) that keeps other people from interfering in her private life.

Rikka though starts getting kind of jealous over how much Mana likes her and talks about her and how well they’re getting along. Bel also shows up again, all bandaged up from his fight in episode 7, but he doesn’t go out to fight this time, Mammo does.

The next day Rikka still feels jealous of how well Makoto and Mana are getting along but Alice tells her this is normal because she’s always been Mana’s closest friend and she wants to stay like that. One of Makoto’s fan club guys meanwhile is having selfish thoughts about wanting to be closer to Makoto and be friends with her in her private life, and so Mammo turns him into a Jikochu. The action in the fight this episode is terrible. And something weird about it is that while Mana and Makoto aren’t around right when the Jikochu is made, only Alice and Rikka are, for some reason Alice doesn’t transform at the same time as Rikka. She just stands there and lets Rikka fight on her own for a bit and then transforms with Mana and Makoto when they arrive. After the fight Sword reveals that she felt the same way as Rikka… except not really, she was just nervous about coming into their group because she hasn’t known them as long and isn’t as close. But she wants to be best friends with everyone. Rikka smiles and says they’re already best friends. And, um, okay. Rikka was worried about something else entirely. WHATEVER. The end of the episode essentially glosses over what Rikka was personally feeling by saying that everyone was worried about “something”. Alice felt this too apparently. It’s just the worst character/inter-group drama.

So next up is episode 11. The worst episode ever. Even when I watched it raw without subtitles I could tell how bad it was.

It starts with Mana getting asked by some girls on the softball team to fill in for their injured pitcher. Rikka tells her she doesn’t always have to help people like this but the girls say it’s a really important match coming up so Mana happily agrees. And of course Mana is a super amazingly good pitcher and she spends the rest of her time at practice going around helping people who can’t help themselves, she even does the laundry of all the teams jersey’s and fires up the first year girls with a pep talk. Jesus. Now Rikka tells Mana that her busy-bodyness has caused problems for her and for Makoto, because they’re still looking for the Princess, but Makoto is really just awed at how Mana can happily help anyone. Yes, Cure Sword, the famous idol and veteran Cure starts idolizing Mana at this point.

Meanwhile Bel is still pissed off at being defeated by the girls and Cure Heart especially.

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Mana later runs into Joe and Ai after practice. Joe gives Mana a new Lovies just for fun but Ai really likes it so they affix it to her instead. Bel then attacks. Mana and Sharuru don’t want to transform because of Joe… even though both of them willingly showed off to Rikka when the situation called for it back in episode 2. In fact Mana being hesitant here makes even less sense because of how little she cared earlier. But then Mana says one of the most shockingly obnoxious and stupid things ever said in any season of Precure. She says she has no reason to fight Bel. Now, Doki is trying to say Mana is doing this because she doesn’t want to get Joe involved and she doesn’t like pointless fighting, she says defeating Bel wont bring the Trump Kingdom back to normal. Which is true. However there are several reasons why this is retarded.

  1. He is directly threatening her and a (to her knowledge) civilian acquaintance
  2. He is also looking for the Princess
  3. He is an agent of evil actively turning people into monsters and using that evil energy to revive the great King Jikochu

And yet Mana has no reason to fight him. Joe’s actions, or lack thereof, in this scene are also retarded and nonsensical as we’ll learn later too. And because of Mana’s random stupidity and sudden character trait from nowhere Joe gets injured when she doesn’t transform and Bel abducts Ai-chan. He says to come meet him alone the next day, which is also when the softball game will be.

So of course the next day comes and Mana goes to fight Bel one on one. The softball team doesn’t know where she is but because Mana is Superman she inspired all of the girls and one of the first years in particular has the courage to fill in for her as pitcher. Hooray. Also the fight has shit animation the whole way through.

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The other girls figure out Mana is in danger and go to save her with the help of Sebastian. With all 4 of them here now Bel decides to go into Beast Mode. He swallows a black heart he got from some random dude and… yeah. This comes out of nowhere and disappears just as quickly in 4 episodes, never to be spoken of again. Beast Mode is retarded. At least the girls are appropriately flummoxed by the stupid appearance of it.

Well anyways the Cures attacks aren’t powerful enough to defeat it. Bel then plans to kill Ai-chan because the other girls interfered with his one on one fight but Mana’s feelings to protect Ai and Ai’s love of Mana connect and a new power if born from the Lovies Joe brought that got put on her. The one Lovies becomes 4, one for each girl, and they get new powered up attacks.

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The one good thing about this episode is that Heart’s new attack is really cool looking. Hers is the only one though. Of course. The others, Rosetta Reflection, Diamond Shower, Sparkle Sword, are basically just “bigger” versions of their old attacks and only used in a supportive way. Heart’s attack is always the finisher at this point in the show. Something I’m wondering though is that while Ai had her own powers if she didn’t have that Lovies from Joe would they have gotten this powerup? That random Lovies being the catalyst for this is such a crappy coincidence. And again it’s Doki rushing things as everything about the episode and the scene where they get their new weapons screams that it should be specifically for Mana and the other girls should get bonding episodes with Ai to unlock their new powers on their own. But instead everyone gets it at once.

At the end of the episode the softball team unsurprisingly wins their game. And Doki tries giving us a very standard and cliche Precure moral to wrap things up but dear god I just can’t, it’s so hypocritical when Doki tries to do something like this. It falls completely flat, Makoto is just left in awe of how great Mana is. Kill me.

There you go. The worst episode of Precure ever. This is the episode that started to get me to really hate Mana. Not just dislike her but hate her. I hate Cure Heart. It’s like this:

Cure Heart >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Next least liked Cure

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I’ve lost my love.

Onto the next episode. Which is also terrible. At least it’s the first episode with a good and good looking fight. But having this episode right after the last one is just… kill me.

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Mana has a fanboy, shocking I know, he wants to be her disciple so he can become strong and amazing like her. Yes this is an actual episode plot. Rikka even mentions this isn’t the first time someone has wanted to do this. Mana is happy to let him be her disciple so he follows her around trying to emulate her. This is just such a drag of an episode though coming right after 11, it’s just Mana Mana Mana so amazing! Kill me.

When they’re hanging out at Joe’s shop (he’s completely fine after last episode) he gives the kid, Jun, a Lovies as a good luck charm. Remember this because it causes some confusion in two episodes.

With our villains this episode Bel convinces Ira and Mammo that they need to use Beast Mode too, even though it hurts them when they’re hit by the Cures attacks while using it. Later in the episode Jun starts feeling more and more inferior to Mana, thinking he can never be like her because he’s short, weak and slow. His desire to be taller and stronger and better than Mana apparently make his heart ripe for becoming a Jikochu. Which is kind of weird, he didn’t have straightforward selfish desires like other victims did he? Maybe because he wanted to take a shortcut or because he was primarily thinking of himself being better and not becoming stronger to help people? At least he had a real problem he was struggling with, even if it doesn’t match well with what’s been shown in Doki previously as grounds for becoming a Jikochu.

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So Ira eats his heart and becomes an elephant. Okay. While fighting the girls try to reach Jun’s heart by saying things like how Mana wasn’t always amazing, and you don’t need to be big and strong on the outside it’s the inside that counts, Mana’s heart is what makes her amazing. Sword also reminds him that he wanted to be like Mana to help other people originally. And then Heart chimes in and says everyone is praising her too much and that she’s failed too, she’s totally not that great guys really. BLEH. Heart being all humble here feels like a joke. Especially later on in the show when it bends over backwards for her and we learn other things about her. Kill me. Mana “totally not a Mary Sue guys” Aida.

Anyways this all does reach Jun’s heart, maybe because of the Lovies maybe not, and he fights back against Ira. The girls then defeat Ira with actual good strategy and teamwork, easily the best part of the episode. After this all Jun decides to not try and emulate Mana anymore, he’s going to focus on gardening (which he really loves) and trying to make people happy and smile through taking care of the flowerbeds at school. Jun is not a bad character, he was just stuck in a bad episode.

You know even though 11-12 were terrible, terrible, episodes they weren’t show ruining ones. Despite my hate of them they didn’t do anything like bring up a horrible new plot point/plot device (at least not too bad of one) or introduce a terrible new character that fucks everything up, Doki has a ton of problems at this point but 11 and 12 were only bad episodes, not show killers, just bumps really that Doki could easily move on from. Yes I will even posit that Doki still could’ve been a good show at this point, it had the ingredients it just needed to use them well. Fixing some things about the character focus and Mana and Doki could easily still become a good show by this point. Yep, nothing to irreversibly ruin the show has happened, nothing that a few good episodes in their own right couldn’t-

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Fuck.

At the very end of episode 12 we see a strange girl looking down on our heroines. She seems to know they’re the Precure and remarks that they’ll be fun to play with. Kill me.

In 4 episodes Doki makes an irreversible decision that stops it from ever having the potential to be a good show.

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So episode 13 is important for two reasons. One is that we’re introduced to the worst, most inconsistent, plot-device in Doki. And the other is that the girls meet the mysterious blonde. This episode is also just in general a bad episode and a hallmark of the problems with the way Doki does its victim of the week format. Before I get to that though let’s just go over the episode. So we learn that Alice apparently makes a lot of decisions in her family’s company and while everyone is having a tea party at her house Makoto starts to get upset because they haven’t learned anything about the Princess. Looking for any possible clue she mentions that the Princess loved roses and so Sebastian shows them a flier for a contest where the prize is a brand new species of rose, Makoto recognizes the rose as one that should only exist in her world.

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While walking through a rose garden the girls meet the blonde shorty, she thinks Ai is cute and Ai also seems to really like her right away. But then she just causes a bunch of roses on a bush to wither casually… and no one seems weirded out by this. Like the roses just suddenly died around her and none of the other girls seem to think this is out of the ordinary. This new girl comes off as a very selfish and self-centered brat. And then she just ditches them.

Later on at the contest the girls meet an old “rival” of Alice’s.

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This girl Reina starts pestering Alice and trying to get her to react angrily but Alice just turns the other cheek the whole time. Alice has apparently grown up and changed because of Mana and the others. This sudden declaration of hers comes out of nowhere though really because Alice hasn’t really done or been used for anything since her debut. She’s basically been in the background until this episode. Alice did sorely need an episode but this isn’t a good one and what happens with Alice in it feels like something that should come in a later episode about her. Maybe if in between episode 4 and this one we actually saw more of Alice or how she used to be back when she lost her temper it would work. But it doesn’t.

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Mammo then comes and turns Reina into a Jikochu after she lost the contest (and uses Beast Mode). One good thing happens in this fight when Rosetta shoots her shield into Mammo’s face. And in a continuation of this episodes stupid “development” for Alice she goes on about all the stuff she’s been through since becoming a Cure with everyone? Really? You haven’t been a Cure for that long and this is your first focus episode since. Again this just falls flat cause of how little she’s done in the show since episode 4. Anyways they defeat the Jikochu and Reina is back to normal… but we don’t see anything of her after the fight has ended.

This is the best example I can think of of Doki’s problem with the way it does victim of the week. Reina was a mean selfish brat and there is no indication that she would stop being one, there is no talk or help given to her like there would normally be in Heartcatch. As far as anyone can tell Reina is still prime Jikochu fodder. And then she just disappears for nearly 30 episodes too, with not so much as a mention. NO ONE IS BEING HELPED IN DOKI. NO ONE IS ACTUALLY LEARNING TO CONTROL THEIR SELFISHNESS OR BE BETTER.

Except Jun.

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At the end of the episode the girls get the yellow rose but then Ai-chan touches it and it causes the rose to turn into a normal red rose while a yellow crystal comes out of it. What could this possibly be? What happened here has absolutely no consistency with what will happen in the next few episodes with the crystals.

And then finally the mysterious girl shows up at the villains hideout, asking who the hell she is she tells them that her name is Regina and she’s King Jikochu’s daughter.

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Episode 14 is at least finally a good and fun one after 4 really shit ones in a row. It’s a Rikka episode and with it she finally no longer completely revolves around Mana. We learn new non-Mana related things about her! In fact not only do we learn that she’s wanted to be a doctor since she was a kid (just like her mom) but that recently she’s really gotten into Karuta. However her recent love and practice of Karuta is starting to impair her school work, something that she feels she’s always needed to be perfect at if she was going to become a doctor. Doctor or Karuta? The decision is difficult for Rikka.

Anyways Makoto is looking at the crystal they got and Davi says it must be one of the legendary Royal Crystals from the Trump Kingdom that were supposedly stored within the castle. There are 5 of them and if all are gathered apparently something amazing will happen. I’ll just say it right now but nothing is ever adequately explained about these crystals and nothing really makes sense about them either. They’re just an awful plot-device.

Oh and so apparently Karuta is played in the Trump Kingdom too and the Princess liked it so the girls think Karuta might be a clue to where the Princess is like the rose was last episode… at least Alice comments on the absurdity of this. Regina is bossing around the other villains but Ira slinks out to go fight the girls, he turns the Karuta Queen into a Jikochu. It’s a fun fight as Ira can’t control his Jikochu at all and she just forces the girls to play a violent brand of Karuta. This is the last time Beast Mode is ever used, after this episode it disappears without a trace. Also the “heart” of the Queen being able to fight back against Ira calls into question what happened in episode 12, where the episode seems to set up that the Lovies Joe gave Jun might have allowed him to fight Ira’s control. But this episode implies it’s just because Ira sucks.

After the girls defeat the Jikochu the Queen gives Rikka her old Karuta deck.

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Ai-chan touches it and out comes a blue crystal… but unlike the rose which went from being yellow to a normal red rose the Karuta deck doesn’t change at all. Are the crystals actually “inside” these objects or is Ai-chan creating them herself and touching the objects is the catalyst? Is something else entirely going on? Next episode seems to imply that Ai-chan really has nothing to do with it at all. DESPITE THAT MAKING NO SENSE.

Rikka’s mom then comes by, she saw that Rikks has really gotten into Karuta, and she’s happy that Rikka’s found something she loves so much. She says Rikka is just a kid so she has the freedom to discover whatever she wants to do, just as long as she gives it her all.

Next episode is also a good one but it lays the foundation for the disastrous episode 16. Let’s get to it.

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Makoto is going to be in a movie of Snow White. She’s exhausted though because after rehearsal she’s been going out searching for the Princess every night. You know, even though they all decided to look for her together. Makoto’s worries over the Princess cause her acting to suffer and an older actress is disappointed in her. Makoto really wants to win her approval so she starts trying harder while the other girls look for the Princess in her stead. At this point Regina has gotten completely bored of Bel and the others (possibly a sentiment the audience shares) and she goes to Earth.

At the studio the girls run into Joe and Ai-chan, Joe is delivering props for Makoto’s movie so at least he has real reason to be there and it isn’t just totally random.

Regina crashes the movie shoot right as Makoto has impressed the actress, and even though the other actress doesn’t have any selfish thoughts or feelings right now Regina is able to fire a beam of evil energy into her and she clouds her heart with selfishness, pulling it out and making a Jikochu. She says every human has selfishness inside of them, even if it’s buried. The girls transform and fight it but Regina’s Jikochu is much stronger than a normal one. Their new attacks don’t work against it either. This always kind of annoyed me just a little bit because I feel that on principle a Jikochu that’s forced out shouldn’t be as strong as a more voluntary one but whatever. None of them are ever completely voluntary because of the way Doki does things. And the girls just gained their new attacks 4 episodes ago, am I watching Suite again?

Sword still rallies the girls though, saying they just need to combine their power. And that’s when Ai-chan randomly comes flying in. Perfect timing I guess.

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Ai does her usual thing and cries out and 4 new Lovies are made from her power, giving the girls their first group attack. Precure Lovely Force Arrow. It’s not a bad attack. But then… in episode 11 the new Lovies came from the one that Ai already had given to her by Joe and Mana, but in this episode they just come from nothing. Was that Lovies in episode 11 actually pointless? Or did they just not care? Is Ai growing up and getting stronger? The world may never know.

So Regina isn’t even angry or anything that they beat her Jikochu, in fact she thinks it’s cool that they won. She then tells them that she’s King Jikochu’s daughter and leaves. The movie then finishes shooting without a hitch and Makoto gets the approval of the actress, she then leaves her script with Makoto and out of it pops another crystal. Despite the fact that Ai didn’t touch it and she isn’t even around. OKAY. Yeah you know just fuck a coherent narrative, who gives a shit about that. Also in episodes 13 and 14 there was this strange blue bird watching over the girls both times they got the crystals, that’s gone too but there is at least an explanation of what it was in a couple episodes. Like the other girls say something along the lines of “The crystals were calling out to each other” but that still just ignores everything involving Ai-chan we saw in episodes 13 and 14… kill me.

Now we get to episode 16. Where Doki throws away any possibility it had of still being a good show.

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Regina is thinking of how am