So I made a historic announcement some time ago and here we are again with another history making moment on the blog. For the first time ever The Yuri Nation presents a PreCure G-View. Let us take a look at the tenth entry in the long running franchise, DokiDoki! PreCure.
Genres: Action, Magical Girl, Comedy, Slice of Life, School Life, Magic, (Harem, Yuri)
Number of episodes: 49
Plot Summary: The Trump Kingdom is a magical world where everyone’s hearts live happily with the guidance of their ruler Princess Marie Ange. However one day, a evil force known as the Jikochuu attacked the Kingdom. But a warrior who served Marie Ange, known as Cure Sword, fended the Jikochuu by herself before being sent the human world with her fairy partner to find the missing princess. The Cure Sword also brought with her three other fairies who are to find three chosen girls to be her allies. One of the fairies, Charles, finds a girl named Mana Aida who is her school’s student council president. Whilst visiting the Clover Tower’s observatory during her school’s orientation day, Mana encounters a Jikochuu who attempts to manipulate her heart but being found by Charles as he gives her the power to become Cure Heart. Joined by Cure Diamond, Cure Rosetta and Cure Sword, the Dokidoki PreCure must fight to protect everyone’s hearts from the Jikochuu.
Zero-Two image source: http://shadowchild71.deviantart.com/art/Zero-Two-322448755
To sum up the PreCure franchise in a nutshell it goes something like this: Imagine Kirby split into a team of two or more cute girls (The Mass Attack reference was unintentional) and them protecting the world by beating up goofy baddies of the week led by goofy generals until the time comes to face the a super scary big bad in an epic final battle. During that time the girls either do casual stuff or get several character driven episodes revolving around one of them while the main plot is slowly unraveled.
DD! P has the same premise as what I described above but what makes a PreCure show special are three things that I will get to.
First of all while the main concept is easy to understand when comparing it to Kirby the best way to describe the fight scenes would be “Power Rangers minus Megazord fights”. I am not joking. Many of the PreCure fights in DD! P and other entries contain lots of kung fu and special moves, Power Rangers but with all members being female. The fist episode’s very first scene features Cure Sword (the purple one) gut-punching a giant gorilla then hip throwing a giant squid onto a giant buzzard. Oh yes, while the fights feature the standard. Despite being a rated PG show the Cures sometimes get into battles so intense I am surprised they do not have broken ribs afterward. Like Power Rangers and Kirby, even though DD! P is marketed toward a younger audience it often includes content that soccer moms would normally deem not suitable for children. Nothing too extreme but let us just say goofy monsters are not the only things the Cures get beat up by. Some fights take up the entirety of the second half or even an episode while others take seconds. It depends on the story being told.
Next up are the characters. Sure, 49 episodes will feature “filler” episodes (Thankfully DD! P’s fillers are usually amusing) every now and then but that is to be expected. Anyway the highlights are the character driven and plot progressing episodes, also as expected. Nothing revolutionary but like I always say, it does not have to be in order to be entertaining. Each girl, even Mana, has their own obstacles to overcome either revolving around their own personal lives or around how much they want to enter Mana’s garden. More on that later. The show’s main theme is “Love & Peace vs Selfishness” in many different shapes and forms. The ultimate moral is exactly what one would expect. Still cool though as the other morals are simple yet valuable.
The animation is very colorful as one would expect from a lighthearted mahou shoujo series but since this and other entries in the franchise have arguably shounen quality fight scenes from time to time it is expected that those be well animated as well. They are. The soundtrack is decent with the henshin theme being my favorite. The OP and EDs are not my favorite in the franchise so far but they are still worth listening to.
Before we get to the third aspect of what makes PreCure, DD! P in particular special, let us discuss the show’s cons. These are not dealbreakers for everyone but can deter the viewing experience or curiosity to pick the show up for some. First of all the show is formulaic. Basically most episodes except main plot progression ones have identical pacing:
- The Cures are doing something casual.
- The Selfish generals plot a mischievous scheme involving a “monster of the week” or sometimes step-up themselves.
- The Cures answer the call unless some are in trouble.
- Henshin sequence (that over time get shortened).
- Fight sequence (the special move cinematics also get shortened over time).
- “Love, Love, LOOOOOOOOVE!” or “I/We’ll get you next time Cures!”.
- The day is saved.
- Second, while there are some neat surprises once in a while the majority of the show is predictable.
Third, Mana Aida’s John Cenalike booking. At first I thought it would be a similar situation to Divergence Eve where the focus is all on the main protagonist and her co-stars are treated like plot devices rather than important characters. That is not the case here as everyone gets their time to shine and even though Mana has the best knockout record she is no Mary Sue and gets her butt beat as many times as her teammates/conquests. More on that later. The reason I bring up the John Cena comparison is, as diehard PreCure fans will attest, that Mana gets shoved down viewers’ throats as the stop star of the show while fans will argue her teammates/conquests are more developed and interesting than she is. While I personally disagree and consider Mana a reasonably developed character. I argue that not every single character needs a tragic past or the odds stacked against them to be interesting. Mana is no “Mary Sue” who can do no wrong or never fails, and even if she were I still would not have said she sucked, but some will be bothered by her being booked like the ultimate savior. I do not see her as a shoved in or meaningless main protagonist like Final Fantasy 12’s Vaan is what I am saying. Mana is nowhere near as “perfect” as say Dog Days’ Cinque or Medaka Box’ Medaka. Again this will not annoy everyone but can deter some.
Third, some will say “There are several other mahou shoujo series that deliver similar goods as DD! P does.” While this is true for DD! P it does enough to make it stand out from other lighthearted mahou shoujo series.
And now the moment I am sure many yuri Cure fans have been waiting for, the legend of Mana “The Conqueror” Aida. See, even SOME non-yuri fans can see the truth behind this particular entry. It is secretly a yuri harem about how Mana got several girls with varying degrees of desire to not only have the utmost faith in her but also develop a nearly uncontrollable desire to eat her taco. Heck one of them has a character episode dedicated to them learning how to control their love and lust for Mana. Not to mention the YuriCure community’s debate regarding who is The Conqueror’s greatest “conquest”/worthiest bride. This is not even counting most of “the conquered” having lady loves of their own. Obviously The Conqueror has plenty of love to share with all her conquests. Truly a praiseworthy Iono-sama disciple, The Conqueror is.
Mana is essentially a less savage Brock Lesnar of both the Cure-Verse and the Yuri Nation. Mana does not destroy weaker people or throw them off stairs.
She is not a heroine of a galactic scale but her legend is awe inspiring in the Cure-Verse…though keep in mind none of the Cure movies or DX All-Star crossovers are canon. While yuri goggles might be required they need not be set to high AT ALL.
Overall DD! P may be a formulaic magical girl show but it has more than enough to make it stand out, just like the other Cure shows I will be covering in time from now on. It is colorful, the fight scenes range from simple to intense (reaching shounen quality), the girls are likable (even Mana) and the legend is real. Recommended to yuri fans who do not mind formulaic magical girl shows and fans of said shows. It has enough kick to make it worthwhile.
PS: Wow. I think this is the most references I have made in one post, ever. A historic post indeed.