Dokidoki! Precure is the tenth installment and, therefore, the tenth anniversary of Izumi Todo’s Pretty Cure series. Let’s all join in the celebration with episode one entitled The Earth is in a Big Pinch! The Last Remaining Precure!!
The episode starts off with a view of a radiant kingdom, only to see it plunged into darkness. Cure Sword begins to fight giant animals in the hope of saving the kingdom. Alas, as she is met with a burning demomized effigy, she realizes that she failed to protect anything, anything at all.
We change over to the real world, and the Oogai First Middle School is having their orientation. Mishaps happen, but the ever-reliable Aida Mana is on the case; she solves everyone’s problems and makes the day better.
Rikka – Mana’s friend – tries to tell her to stop helping every single person she meets; to her no great surprise, Mana runs off to help a lost girl find her mother, and then helps return a trinket to the mysterious idol Kenzaki Makoto, a decision that will change her life forever.
Coming back down to meet Rikka, Mana is met by a strange kiosk salesman who proceeds to give her a trinket, one that is just like Kenzaki’s. How strange, she remarks.
Upon reaching the line for the viewing platform of the Tokyo Clover Tower – the point of their class’s journey – a raging beast begins to terrorize the patrons of the tower by… cutting in line? A Selfish has removed a person’s heart and made it into a terrible beast! Mana, always ready to help, chases after it.
Mana tries to talk with the beast, but to no avail. Three fairies – seeing that she is no normal girl – come to her and give her the ability to henshin into Precure! Failing to do so, Cure Sword (alter ego to Kenzaki) arrives and destroys the beast, only to be captured by another!
Mana, wanting nothing more than to help, finally learns how to henshin and becomes Cure Heart! The episode ends with her facing down the two Selfish.
Here we go, constant readers, the moment we’ve all been waiting for! The tenth anniversary of Precure, Dokidoki! Precure!
I must say, this show started off pretty strongly for me with only a few minor complaints to speak of. Let’s begin talking, shall we?
Firstly, Aida Mana. This is the very first time we have ever gotten a main character to be a student council president; usually it’s tertiary characters such as Karen, Reika, and Itsuki who play that role; this will be very interesting to see, especially since said role invokes certain character traits, such as reliability, intelligence, and social-aptitude. These traits haven’t ever been portrayed by a main Cure before – at least, not all at once – so this will be an interesting new direction to take, as it may very well make Mana a more potent character.
Before we get too far, let me get this out of my system:
Alright, we’re good.
Kenzaki seems like she is going to be a very, very interesting character. Being the last Precure from a different world and having a mysterious aura and past will put her into a light that just begs for extreme development and cool things to come. There will be undoubtedly tonnes of interesting character traits for her, such as being the loner and – having experience as a Precure – being somewhat of a mentor to the other Cures. Her character idea hasn’t really ever been done before, so this will be a treat!
Sorry, won’t happen again.
The Selfish – this season’s villains – already hit me just right. Their way to make monsters (also known as Selfish) is to see someone with a selfish desire, RIP THEIR HEART OUT, and make it rampage using that desire. This was last used in Heartcatch, and I’m really glad to see it used again. The idea of preying on people’s desires and worries really makes the villains feel extra nasty -- hurting people on a personal level -- and makes the monsters that much more destructive. This could really impact the Cures on a very personal level; it has the potential, at least.
I also enjoy how the villains are written to interact with each other. This episode had the two of them make fun of each other; this allows the villains to be as developed and interesting as the heroes, so I hope it keeps up.
Another thing that I noticed and certainly hope comes to fruition is a possible focus on family. In the intro to the show, we get to see three of the girls’ families. We haven’t gotten a good family base in the past two years, so it would be awesome to see the girls’ families introduced as important aspects of their characters and lives, as this is always welcomes and makes the show feel more rounded and developed.
And the ending song.
I’ll let you experience that awesomeness on your own.
If there was only one thing that bothered me about this episode, it was the animation, notably its budget (or lack thereof). The art style of this show is very heavy, taking a lot of time on hair detail, eyes, and saturated colors. Though this looks good, I noticed that the show felt a little choppy and that things didn’t really move as humanly as they should have. The art style seems to be taking a toll on the budget and it may be hard to keep up for long.
Also, this episode's animation felt a little flat to me. This is primarily due to the fact that the animators didn't seem to want to experiment with anything; there were no exaggerated expressions, no anime-tropes, nothing that really deviated from the strictest of considerations. Hopefully this show will warm up and try to experiment with things, but it's not going to be a deal breaker if not.
I think the main thing that was unsettlingly apparent to me was the eyes. They immediately weirded me out. It comes down to the fact that their colors – as well as the overall pallet – aren’t very dark, so they do not create the illusion that there are pupils; it just looks like swatches of color, and it doesn’t look very good. I’m sure I’ll get used to it, but it’s just weird to see.
On the flip-side of that, the fights were gorgeous. This will undoubtedly be a hard hitting show that focuses well on the fighting aspects of the show.
Finally, Sebastian – who will undoubtedly be the best character – is totally a light-speed collision between Norman Burg and Sir Hammerlock.
Good luck trying to unsee that.
And there we have it, readers! The first episode of Dokidoki! Precure. With what this show has introduced and brought back, I have feeling that this series will quite awesome!
Stay tuned for more, and Happy Tenth Anniversary, Precure!