By VIR on January 28, 2013No comments
This week’s episode of Smile Precure! – entitled The Lights that Guide Us to the Future! May the Greatest Smile Reach You!! – begins with Master Pierrot’s hand coming down to crush the Earth, and the Ultra Smile Precure trying to stop it with an Ultra Rainbow Burst.
It doesn’t work.
The Precure are un-henshined, their Pacts are broken (and turned to stone for no apparent reason), and the Earth is demolished; a giant chunk if the Earth has been blown off and is freely floating away. The Precure and the fairies are overwrought with pain and sadness: the world, tomorrow, everything is gone; there is nothing left. This hits the Precure hard, and they begin to wail for their future, wanting nothing more than to save it.
As if on cue, Candy reveals that they can use her Miracle Jewel to perform one last miracle; unfortunately, this will destroy the Miracle Jewel and make it impossible for Candy and the rest of the fairies to come back to the Earth; they will never see each other again. The Precure are caught in thought: they know they need to destroy Pierrot, but they never want to lose Candy; each choice has gains, but each also has dire losses. This is too much for Miyuki to accept. Candy was and is the reason why she has her friends and the love she carries. She breaks down in tears and refuses to let Candy leave her.
The rest of the gang follow suit, not wanting to be separated.
Pierrot revels in this despair, telling the Precure that he has finally won: all hope is lost, and tomorrow will never come. Miyuki admits defeat, but Candy snaps her out of it. “We have to think and decide for ourselves what’s important!” she says. The most important thing is to fight for tomorrow, to walk towards the future with happiness in your heart; this is more important than Candy staying with her friends. The Precure agree, and accept the power of the Miracle Jewel.
“But we’ll go forth, towards the future, together! That’s what makes us Smile Precure!”
The Precure – having overcome despair – fly up and blast Pierrot away with determination, love, hope, and a particularly potent Miracle Rainbow Burst! That, and, well… a death hug from a giant Cure Happy.
The world lives again, and everybody is happy! The day has been saved! We are granted with one last explosion of tears as Candy leaves the Smile Precure to never return again, and that moment is followed by an epilogue detailing the lives of each member after their adventures.
Everything is going well for all the members, as their futures are painted white. The series ends with Miyuki acting out her first meeting with Candy, only to have Candy actually appear! Candy says she’s been wishing upon the stars to see them all again, and her wish finally came true!
I say, readers, what an awesome conclusion. This had me on the verge of tears throughout.
I wanna say two things to start:
1. Thanks for sticking with me for all of this; it’s been a blast
2. Get ready to read, ‘cuz there’s a novel after this break!
Firstly, let’s talk about Pierrot. Can you say “most successful and nasty Precure villain ever”?
Because I can.
There haven’t been many other times when a villain gets exactly what he or she wants, and then continues for more destruction, either physically or mentally. This episode proved that Pierrot’s hatred knew no bounds. It wasn’t enough that every living thing on the planet was dead, nor was it enough that the Earth was blown to pieces; no, he was only satiated when the last living people – the Smile Precure – admitted and accepted that tomorrow would never come. Killing them wasn’t enough; he needed to break them. This personal-level hatred was spine tingling.
There was a lot of crying in this episode.
I mean, a lot. I’ve never seen so much crying by so many people in Precure. There were some extreme heart-breaking moments in the end of Heartcatch, but even that wasn't six people wailing at once! The reasons that they are all crying – the fact that Candy, the best thing that ever happened to them all, is going away forever – really sent that message home. You’re just assaulted as the viewer with these extreme emotions (of which the voice actors emulated almost TOO well), and it gets right to you. It was excellent because all their fights and all their struggles came to this direct point, and it really reminded us that these five girls are just that: fourteen-year-old girls. Sometimes, you just gotta cry.
This was certainly one of the most raw moments in Smile.
One thing that really miffed me about this episode is that Candy came back after supposedly leaving forever. FOREVER.
Now, I ask myself, just how good would the ending be if Candy just stayed away? Pretty good, methinks. It comes down to her sacrifice and her dedication to the future of her friends. When the gang are all crying with her, she escapes their grasp and says that they cannot betray the future of humanity just for their friendship; Candy is ready to lose Miyuki and her happiness to fight for tomorrow.
“There are times when you must make a decision. No matter how painful that decision may be, you have to decide your own future by yourself and go forth!” ~ Pop
This was the ultimate sacrifice for Candy. She wanted nothing more than to be part of Miyuki’s happiness and go forth with her and her friends into the future; instead, to protect that sparkling future, she chooses to separate herself from them. She knows that they cannot be together and have a future to live. Her coming back, I feel, takes this ultimate sacrifice and throws it away. It takes the growth and newfound maturity of Miyuki and her friends and makes it unimportant: what’s the point in knowing that you’ll be friends forever even though you’re separated if your friend comes back! Just ask Brian!
Overall, it just feels like Candy coming back undermined all what the crying was for; the growth was deemed unneeded when she came back.
The final battle was a little bit underwhelming, really due to the fact that it was lasers and then stronger lasers. The Ultra Rainbow Burst didn’t work; we cried; then they tried the Miracle Rainbow Burst, and it worked. This is taken poorly out of context, but a stronger laser just isn’t too captivating… just ask Futari Wa.
Also, what the heck happened to Wolf-runrun, Oni-nin, and Majo-nin? I mean, they COMPLETELY disappeared after episode 45, only to come back in one of the new pages of the Precure Book saying that they were back in Märchenland. That’s it? Their resurrection was a big deal, and the writers just threw that away? C’MON. Give us something!
Oh, well. Not everything can be Heartcatch.
We love ‘em, Smile has ‘em (two, really).
Epilogues truly are awesome, and I was very happy to see Smile have one. We got to see more of the lives of the Precure as they continue to fight for tomorrow and grow more and more each day having learned from Candy’s sacrifice. Reika is still trudging forward; Nao loves her growing family; Akane makes a lot of okonomiyaki; Yayoi’s manga got an award; and Miyuki is creating a picture book to share her happiness with others!
This was nice to see, but only Yayoi’s and Miyuki’s ending points were really any good. They showed exemplary examples of their growth and goals. Miyuki’s point as a character was to spread happiness; she’s doing it. Yayoi is finally doing great things, and I was so very happy to see them bring back her manga plot! It did tie up the main goal of the main character, so it at least did that well. Also, we never learned anything else about Märchenland; that was left completely open and unexplored afterwards. In fact, if Candy had just stayed back in Märchenland, the epilogue could have switched over to her and developed that aspect!
But I digress.
Overall, Smile Precure was a pretty solid show that suffered from some big problems, but really tied itself together with the episodes that were important to the plot. It suffers from two major aspects: having five characters at once and seemingly being written for around 25 episodes and not the allotted time frame. There were a lot of episodes and characters that were completely forgettable, and the downtime in-between the two end games and beginning were somewhat hard to get through; there wasn’t enough meat for the show to stay prominent nor enough memorable moments and characters to make it stick. There were also too many characters to well develop everything that was happening to them all and to introduce things like family and friends.
However, one the flip-side of that, the episodes that were greatly important to the forward plot and character moments that were heart-wrenching – both, when present – were some of the best I’ve ever seen, and some of the best written. For instance, in episode 22 when the Precure doubted their ability to fight and save Candy, when they came to terms with the fact that they are fourteen-year-olds, that they can fail, this was outstanding writing. This was unprecedented and showed a new level of maturity to the characters and the writers. The end-games and beginning of this show shone like so few other things, and if you were to take only those episodes from the show and add a few cushion episodes in-between, you’d have one of the absolute best Precure shows to date.
With that, readers, friends, I end my review of Smile Precure. I hope you all had a fun time reading what I had to say and watching the ninth Precure series. I hope that this show will stay in your memories and in your hearts.
I usher you to stay tuned, as I will be recapping and analyzing Doki Doki! Precure when it begins airing next week.
May you all find your Ultra Happy.