The first Max Heart movie doesn’t have an especially good reputation but it isn’t terrible. It’s enjoyable enough to watch but not an exceptional movie like some of the others.
An evil Witch from the Dark Zone is obsessing over a powerful jewel. The Diamond Line from the Garden of Hope. She plans to steal it on the birthday of the Garden of Hope’s Queen, the one day where it will be worn by the Queen and out in the open.
Meanwhile our heroines are all spending time at Tako Cafe and Nagisa briefly freaks out over Fujipi. The movie is often accused of being heavily Nagisa centric and while it’s definitely tilted in her direction it’s hardly completely focused on her and both Honoka and Hikari get unique angles and roles as well. Eventually all the later movies would just be about the pinks anyways. So while they’re at Tako Cafe a mysterious trench-coat wearing figure appears and challenges them to a fight. They handle themselves pretty well and we learn that the figure is actually a bunch of frog fairies from the Garden of Hope.
The animation is definitely good, as expected for a movie. It’s nice to see a Max Heart thing with consistently good animation. Anyways the fairies beg Pretty Cure for help and we get a fairly typical excuse plot for the movie, the Witch is from the Dark Zone even though it makes no sense, and if she gets the Diamond Line all the worlds will be covered in darkness yadda yadda yadda. It’s not until the GoGo movie that the villain has nothing to do with the main villainous group of the show. It’s especially annoying in Splash Stars movie since it completely fucks up the important and very set in stone themes and world of Splash Star.
Aaaanyways they all set off to the Garden of Hope and the girls meet the Prince, who looks astonishingly like Fujipi. He’s also a bit of a putz.
Hikari, ever the dutiful one, is also worried about how she’s abandoned Akane to work at Tako Cafe all alone. Honoka meanwhile is trying to make friends with one of the more contentious fairies who thinks that Pretty Cure isn’t needed and they’re no good anyways. This little blue frog fairy continues to be a dick for the remainder of the movie. Later on at the party for the Queen all three girls get to wear cute dresses, my favorite is Nagisa’s cheongsam. The blue frog, Square, ends up pissing off Nagisa and she runs off. Then the Witch comes to attack in a flying pirate ship. For some reason. Apparently her lair is a ship graveyard where all the missing ships from the Bermuda Triangle are.
Nagisa’a shortsightedness means that they cant get together and transform to fight her in time. Hikari transforms into Luminous and does her best but is easily defeated and injured. The Witch easily grabs the Diamond Line from the Queen and runs off. And she also mentions that her true plan is to revive the Dark King. And that stealing the Diamond Line and having the darkness to spread over all worlds will cause this. I don’t really think they needed to add this extra part about reviving the Dark King but sure why not. Black and White then go with the fairies to chase after her and get the Diamond Line back before it’s too late. They fight the witch in the ship graveyard and we learn that Nagisa apparently can’t swim. They lose this fight pretty handily (Marble Screw Max gets destroyed) and they even think one of the little frogs has actually died, but it turns out he’s just accidentally stuck in the feathers of the Witch’s outfit after the fighting earlier.
Angry over what they think is the poor frogs death Black and White are reinvigorated and go to battle the Witch again inside her ship. They actually get the Diamond Line away from her and the other frogs run away with it. Then we get some cool action as Pretty Cure fights again but they still end up getting beaten. So the Witch then goes to retrieve the Diamond Line from the others.
The final battle has some cool action too but nothing amazing. Luminous joins Black and White as they all arrive to stop the Witch, who enters a larger and more powerful form. And we kind of get a precursor to what later movies would do with the Miracle Lights. The Prince and all the frog fairies gather their power and send it to Pretty Cure, the way the Prince starts it all up is kind of like he’s halfway talking to the audience. it’s not as overt as when the Miracle Lights are used in other movies but it’s there.
Their power all comes together and Pretty Cure and Luminous get shining golden forms and fire an Extreme Luminario right into the Witch’s chest where Black punched the shit out of her earlier. She’s defeated and everyone in the Garden of Hope lived happily ever after.
So yeah. It’s an alright movie, probably still in the bottom half but not the worst or anything. It’s a fun 70 minute romp so it pretty much succeeds at what it set out to do at least.