As much as I love the franchise of Pretty Cure it can produce some bad episodes. Every season has its share of poor episodes, some worse than others. Some are bad because they bring up a crappy plot point or resolve some plot thread in a bad way, some have an obnoxious character being the focus and some are just plain boring. Here are the top 15 worst episodes in Pretty Cure.
15. Happiness Charge Precure Episode 27
Happiness Charge has a larger focus on romance than any other season and it’s unfortunate how badly it drops the ball on this at some points. None is worse than the terrible way it decides to resolve Hime’s potential feelings for Seiji. It all amounts to nothing more than a bait and switch as she realizes that she doesn’t really love him, only admires him or something stupid like that. It’s especially annoying since after here is where Hime starts becoming less and less relevant. Even the final shot of the episode where it looks like Hime might still be longingly looking at Seji is actually meaningless. It’s a real shame cause otherwise this episode would be pretty funny.
14. Doki Doki Precure Episode 49
The final episode of Doki is a mess. The fight is completely lacking in any tension or emotion and we’re treated to the greatest Mary Sue moment in the franchise as Cure Heart essentially comes back to life on her own, overcoming all of the villains Selfish powers and evil energy effortlessly. And unsurprisingly since this is Doki Cure Heart is the only one who gets to transform into a super mode and then beats down Proto-Jikochu all on her own. Doki has decided to start an awful trend in the franchise by only having the leaders get the super forms in both movies and the finales of the show. It’s nice to see a season completely spit on the spirit of the franchise like this. Furthermore Doki decides to straight up insult the viewer by having Proto-Jikochu call Mana selfish and then later for her to claim that she does indeed have selfish thoughts. See everyone! Mana totally isn’t a perfect Mary Sue, see?!
13. Yes! Precure 5 GoGo Episode 1
Nozomi is a manic spaz, we’re introduced to a random new group of villains and people from out of nowhere and the episode ends with almost 4 minutes of transformations. GoGo has enough issues already and the first episode doesn’t exactly start it off on the right foot. When things come out of nowhere in a sequel you wonder where were they in the first season. The answer to this question in GoGo is nowhere. It doesn’t make any sense for why Syrup would never appear or be mentioned in the first season and it’s impossible that Eternal wouldn’t have known about or been interested in the Dream Collet, among other things. GoGo overall is not a bad show but it is unnecessary and everything new is horribly disconnected from the first season.
12. Yes! Precure 5 Episode 13
This episode is a jumbled mess that doesn’t really do anything meaningful for Rin’s character, unlike what surrounding episodes in this part of Yes5 do for the other girls. It also unfortunately has Gamao as the villain, who is easily the most boring Yes5 villain. At first the plot is about Rin being unable to choose which sports team to join or help since they all want her because she’s so good, then the plot almost completely changes direction as Gamao starts threatening her siblings when they all come across him. Finally Rin decides to go with Futsal even though nothing else with the other teams was resolved. Also for some reason Gamao found a Pinky but didn’t feel like actually taking it to Nightmare or anything, they apparently just wanted to make another Pinky into a Kowainaa.
11. Fresh Precure Episode 27
The Manzai duo who guest star in this episode of Fresh are so wooden and just don’t act well. They just aren’t funny. The duo in Smile’s manzai episode felt like they were really getting into it and having a blast. Audrey here just don’t feel like that. and the comedy is all really awkward. This is also where Fresh’s second half really starts to take a downturn. Before this we had some great Setsuna episodes that worked to bring her into the group and further develop her relationships with everyone but from here on is where the second half kind of stalls out in importance. There are still some good episodes but it stops being the perfect balance of fun and plot that the first half of Fresh was.
10. Doki Doki Precure Episode 12
This is Character Shilling: The episode. All I can think about when watching this is the episode of the Simpsons where Homer voices Poochy and tries to convince the writers of Itchy and Scratchy that whenever he isn’t around everyone needs to be asking “Where’s Poochy? Where’s Poochy?”. I also never figured out just why Joe gave Jun a Loveads, it ends up being completely meaningless. It isn’t even why Jun is able to resist Ira for a little as that happens in another episode as well. In a moment that is rather funny in hindsight as well, the other girls say Mana wasn’t always amazing, that she worked hard to get where she is. Only for a later episode to show us that Mana was SUPER SPECIAL AND AMAZING even as a baby. Mana even tries to act all humble when everyone else is fawning over her, yeah she’s not a Mary Sue at all, look at how humble she is everyone!
9. Yes! Precure 5 GoGo Episode 33
Welcome to the most insipid episode of two season of Yes5. A bad character of the week, a dumb story, an oddly paced fight. It wouldn’t seem possible that an episode with Bunbee as the villain could be bad but it is. So very bad. And it’s smack dab in the middle of when GoGo was at its worst.
8. Fresh Precure Episode 38
The cliche plot of losing the important device is one of the most annoying things any show can do. Fun can still be had but this episode thoroughly sucks out anything good that could’ve come from it. Soular as well is reduced to acting like a typical thug, gone are his clever plans and unique monsters, he might as well be Westar minus the funniness in this episode. Just because the smarter and more devious Northa is around now doesn’t mean that you have to make Soular stupider. Add to all this that the fight is just plain crappy and you end up with Fresh’s worst episode.
7. Suite Precure Episode 6
This episode just doesn’t know what it’s doing. At first it seems like the episode will be about Harmony again since Hibiki and Kanade are arguing about siblings after we get introduced to Kanade’s brother Souta, along with Ako as well, but then the episode switches focus to Kanade because she fights with Souta and then Kanade’s strength to protect Souta from the monster in the episode allows Hibiki to power up and get the Berthier. Or Beltier. Or whatever the subs feel like calling it for any given episode. It’s all so haphazard. Nothing has the right focus and development. There’s just too much going on in the episode and Suite fails to juggle it correctly at all. It’s one of the worst ways a power up has been gained in any season.
6. Pretty Cure Splash Star Episode 13
Splash Star is my favorite season and this is one bad episode. First off, the fight is garbage. It looks terrible and all of the attacks have absolutely no weight and it’s all just very floaty. It’s a very disappointing treatment for Moerumba since this is his “final” episode and he gets killed after having a bad fight in a bad episode. Secondly the episode gives us a crappy moral of the week that never becomes important again. Splash Star was good about bringing up themes and morals in other episodes that would get expanded on and actually be really important later. This does not happen here. Even Gohyaan’s funny quips about Moerumba’s carefree attitude at the beginning of the episode don’t save this one.
5. Smile Precure Episode 12
Rainbow Healing, probably the most disappointing group attack I can think of. The episode is really mediocre in every area and is the first episode of Smile that also just doesn’t look good. The first 11 episodes are all pretty nicely animated, some even really good, but episode 12 is where that streak stops. The episode also fails to develop Reika in any actual way. While technically this episode serves as a foundation for Reika’s closer relationship to Candy this doesn’t really end up being meaningful or even seen much later in the show. The other episodes in this part of Smile all do something for the other Cures, whether we get to see a new side of them we didn’t know about before, learn something new about them, or have them learn something new themselves. But this doesn’t happen with Reika. All it does is reiterate what we already knew about her from her debut. The episode sets up later events and power ups through Candy but that doesn’t make it good or the gaining of Rainbow Healing any better.
4. Heartcatch Precure Episode 29
When Heartcatch has a bad character of the week it spoils the entire episode. In no other episode is that more apparent than here. It’s just a lame story that accentuates all the problems with using a victim of the week format that more often than not spends a lot of its time developing the victim. It doesn’t help that this is in the middle of Heartcatch where at the moment less than nothing is happening. The episode, like many others, tries to have the ordeal the victim is going through parallel something one of the Cures is doing or struggling with but here the attempt falls flat. The banter in the fight and Tsubomi’s comments and talk about the boy are equally lacking. Even the music used in the fight doesn’t mesh or fit the scene well.
3. Futari Wa Pretty Cure Episode 38
A shame this comes right after the great Romeo and Juliet episode. This is the only episode where part of what makes it worse is something completely unusual. Ryouta’s voice is all messed up through the episode and I have no idea why. I don’t know if his VA was sick or what but he sounds terrible. It sounds like he has something stuck in his throat the whole time. Ryouta is already kind of annoying and this just makes it worse, the plot of the episode is also an annoying sitcom style plot. It’s uncomfortable and awkward as Ryouta gets continuously lost in the city and Nagisa and Honoka’s antics while watching over him aren’t funny enough to redeem it.
2. A Whole Bunch of Max Heart Episodes
It might be cheating to do this but if I didn’t the list would just be peppered by Max Heart episodes that are pretty much all equally bad. Now I like Max Heart quite a bit but it just has a bunch of really bad and dull episodes. No season has as many duds and mediocre episodes compared to the rest than Max Heart. It’s hard to even really get into specifics, they’re just… bad episodes. No season will ever again reach the heights of banality that Max Heart was occasionally at.
1. Doki Doki Precure Episode 11
The only thing worse than complete dullness is sheer unrelenting awfulness. This episode is a failure on every level. When it’s trying to be serious it fails, when it tries to be funny it fails, when it tries to be awesome it fails. When it tries to make Mana not a horrible character it fails. It’s difficult to describe just how much of a train wreck this episode is, just how insultingly stupid it gets. This is the first episode of Pretty Cure that ever made me feel like I was insulted by the creators of the show. Nothing is done well and future episodes even make it worse in hindsight. There are plot holes, there’s hypocrisy, Mana is horribly stupid and yet the episode still bends over backwards to make her amazing and justify all of her horrible actions. The stupid Beast mode is introduced this episode and completely dropped 4 episodes later. The individual power ups aren’t even good (besides Mana’s of course) and are gained in the worst and most contrived way imaginable that makes Hibiki’s gaining of her Berthier look amazing. Anything about how Mana being like the Happy Prince might cause problems for her and others down the road is meaningless and never actually happens. The lesson of the episode is you can do everything and have terrible priorities and forget other obligations as long as you inspire people and all the problems you might cause are no big deal because you’re Mana and everyone loves you and it doesn’t matter if you actually learn any lessons or not.