Go! Princess Precure Impression: Ep. 47-50 [FINAL]

Very late. Been very busy. Need a vacation.

See, this is why I cannot stand Toei.

They have it in them to do the most amazing things with their work yet they always fall short of reaching that point because they’re too afraid to break that ridiculous status quo that they set for themselves. They keep messing up what otherwise would have been a very balanced story with those unnecessary adjustments to keep everything within their outdated comfort zone. It’s like you can’t have one without the other. I can’t love a Toei production without hating Toei and I can’t always say Toei is bad because I’m more than likely going to find something to love among all the crap they do.

Why do I have to put up with this grief?! Ugh!

*sigh*

Good. Now that I got that off my chest, I can properly close this book on Go!Pri.

Just so there’s no misunderstanding, this was indeed a very great season, all flaws aside. I doubt we’re going to get another that can deliver on par with what Go!Pri gave us (at least in overall quality for the next few years) so while I have moderate hopes that Mahou Tsukai Precure and future successors can bring something interesting to this table, I’m going to keep my expectations low so that the standards set by Go!Pri don’t ruin my enjoyment for the following seasons. Of course, this is just my opinion and it’s not like Go!Pri raised the bar so high that it can’t be reached (unlike Heartcatch, which is my true fave) so there’s not that much to really stress over about. If we get something good, then it’s good. If not, then look forward to the next year.

Now, onto the finale!

WARNING: This is not a spoiler-free post.

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Finale Review

It doesn’t surprise me that Dsydark chose to switch the final battlefield to the human world at the last moment.  Nevertheless, I was pleased that they were smart enough to dupe the Cures in order stay a step ahead. Hope Kingdom was pretty much sucked dry of people’s dreams to feed on so what’s the next best source for despair? Noble Academy, duh! The place where all those aspiring dreamers gather and also the cruelest way to defeat Precure since it’s their beloved school.

But before getting into that, there’s the matter of throwing Haruka into the Lotus-Eater Machine.

I know I throw a dramatic fit every time the focus is on her but since I declared in my last post that I wasn’t going to be hung up about the attention-hogging issue anymore, I was thankfully able to watch the last four episodes without popping a vein. And believe me, it was such a relief when I realized that nothing Haruka did from that point on could affect me as badly as it did before. It still bothers me a little, hence the complaint at the beginning of this post, but for the most part I think I’ve mostly gotten over it.

Anyways, getting back on topic, it was Haruka’s turn to revive her palace temple and Dysdark saw it as the perfect opportunity to slide into the human world while the rest of the team was preoccupied with trying to free Flora trapped within. I thought it was a clever way for the plot to progress into what happened later on so it’s not really a problem of Haruka getting special treatment again just because they approached her purification episode differently than the rest. In fact, they were all pretty different so yea, it’s all good.

The best thing that we got from that episode was the message they were conveying through Flora. Throughout Go!Pri’s story, the moral kept changing depending on the situation but it was always consistent with its central themes.

Have hope, do not give into despair, make an effort and don’t just wish for it, accept the hardships alongside the successes and so on.

Here, we receive another example from a different perspective.

Close failed in his first attempt to drive Haruka to despair by trying to make her lose hope. That she would never reach her goal to become a true princess because of how daunting the size of her dream is. But Haruka defied him when she accepted her struggles instead of continuing to suffer over her doubts.

Then Close tried to trap Haruka by doing the exact opposite: giving Haruka what she desired. Under Dyspear’s command, he lured her into a false dream where her wish came true despite knowing that the current Haruka would never fall for something like that. And he was right. Haruka could never accept an easy world where everything she wanted was handed to her on a silver platter. That’s not why she wanted to become a princess. Her dream was to become a wonderful person, not just simply be one.

When that didn’t work, he tries to attack her from another angle. So what if becomes a princess or not? If she does, it would mean the end of her dream. It’ll be over. If she doesn’t, then she will never stop dreaming, never stop chasing. Close tries to use that as a reason for despair but it only allowed Haruka to turn his argument against him.
Having a dream is more than just getting a result. If her dream becomes reality, true, she would’ve reached where she wanted to be but that doesn’t mean there will be nothing left for her afterwards. There will be more dreams waiting for her beyond that. She could decide to want to become an even better princess or pursue another goal. And if she never becomes a princess and continues to dream, then there’s nothing wrong with that either because then she would always have something to chase. She would never be without a dream which is definitely better than having no dreams at all.

At least that is the way I interpret it. After Haruka overcame her toughest obstacle in episode 39, it gave her the strength to look past the despair and this is how she is able to defend herself against Close. She doesn’t sidestep or avoid the despair but pushes through it valiantly because the hope within her will never die out.

This is awesome. This is why for once, I can actually say I loved a Haruka episode. I cannot be sure if the target audience was able to learn this lesson the story was trying to teach but it doesn’t make it any less valuable even if they didn’t. Because through Haruka’s example, her words and her fight against the odds, it shows that this is a truth that can exist anywhere and ring just as strongly in anyone when they truly understand what it means to have a dream, regardless of how they come to realize it.

Moving along, the climactic stage has descended upon Noble Academy and the Cures’ identities are revealed to their classmates. Nice.

I have to say that after the second-to-last boss fight against a revived Lock, this shot took me back to the glory days of the first Sailor Moon anime series, particularly the last three seasons. The heroines bravely facing the looming figure of their nemesis under a darkened sky and the cliffhanger that built up anticipation for next week’s decisive episode. Really, this moment had what Sailor Moon had during its finales. Obviously, Go!Pri’s conclusion wasn’t anything similar to SM’s endings but the way this scene almost brought a chill down my spine…it just made me very nostalgic for the time when I was easily awed as a child.

For a minute there, it renewed a little of my faith in Toei as a studio and I thought it might have been possible for them to recreate that feeling for today’s anime. The excitement for what will happen next and the dread on whether or not the girls will triumph over evil. That kind of feeling.

…*sigh* well, I can still dream.

I also wished that all four Cures could’ve done their “Do prepare yourself!” speech together instead of just having Flora do it by herself but I suppose it wouldn’t have worked because Scarlet’s monologue is worded differently than the other threes’ (though Scarlet’s version was more suited for the final showdown). Still, that would have been cool to see.

On another note, they did such a great job of including everyone in the final battle because when you think about it, the minor characters’ presence is so essential to the Cures’ victory against Dysdark. And not in the cheap way like how it’s done with the Miracle Lights in the All-Stars movies either.

Dyspear is basically despair itself so no, her true form is not really a horrible fruit pun (aww, poo). Where there is hope, there will always be despair and since Dyspear is an amalgamation of all the despair people have felt, it’s understandable why four girls would be no match for her no matter how much magical power and hope they possess. It’s like trying to topple a giant without the appropriate manpower. To effectively counter despair, they need the hopes of many people. Hopes that lie within the powers of dreams.

Just as people are capable of falling into despair for having dreams, they are also capable of having hope because of dreams. This is the one thing Dysdark underestimated about those whom they wanted to enslave. Their fates were never meant to be decided by despair but by themselves and their own choices. Once they learn that and break free from the chains of doubt that tie them down, Dyspear’s power is greatly reduced.

This is just a more wide-spread reiteration of what Haruka went through when Close did that mind-break on her and Kanata tried to dissuade her from becoming a princess. Time and time again, people will always get discouraged on the path towards their dreams but it can only end if you choose not to go forward with it. And like Haruka, these kids have done too much to really give up on their dreams.

So as long as they still have it in themselves to dream, to work hard towards their goals, and to acknowledge the fact that they can do it, nothing will be impossible. Despair will never completely snuff out hope.

Which leads us to the next important part…

The ability to fight back. Now that these kids are aware that they have the power to overcome despair thanks to the brave, magnificent efforts and leadership of THE true heroine, Yui (I LOVE HER SO F*CKIN’ MUCH!), they must put it to good use.

Up to this point, it has always been the Cures doing the combating, rescuing and protecting while the civilians remained the helpless victims. That all changed right here and let me tell you, this is phenomenal in terms of Precure development because never before have we seen something like this happen with those in the minor supporting category.

Which is why I must argue on how it is not just another version of the Miracle Lights.

In the movies, the Lights only served to cheer the Cures on and give them power through the support of the fairies and non-magical folk (and the audience). Those were meant for Precure.

This is not.

This is the students taking a stand for themselves. This is them defying Dyspear and what she personifies. This is them protecting their own dreams using their own strength. Not for Precure or anybody else but for them alone.

It’s just as Yui said when they were still trapped in those cages and the Cures were too busy fending off Dsydark to come save them. They have to take charge of their own dreams precisely because those dreams don’t belong to anyone but them. The Cures can only do so much. It is their duty to defend the people but it is not their role to achieve those dreams. There is only meaning in having a dream if you take the necessary steps to get there yourself. No one else can do it for you and certainly, no one is going to give those results to you either. So you must do everything within your own power to see it through to the end.

Like the above example with Haruka recovering from her inner despair in episode 39, this is indeed another reiteration of the epiphany Haruka reached in episode 47 (what you want being the result of what you did).

Except this time it takes on a different but still, oh so powerful significance when a whole bunch of people come to that realization.

When the protagonist conquers an obstacle, she’s displayed in this grand light that makes her seem superior to those who have lesser or no powers. That she was capable of doing it because she was the ‘Chosen One’ and of whatever plot privileges that are included in her title as the MC. However, with the students actively breaking free themselves, it fundamentally debunks the notion that Haruka is more special than the people around her.

At the very base of it all, everyone is just an ordinary person with a dream they want to come true. Haruka, Towa, Yui, Precure or a simple student. No one is that much more exceptional than another in that respect. It’s just the magical girl setting they’ve been put in that calls for a select number of girls to represent certain ideas and themes.

However, even if you take away the magical aspects of the show and there is no monster-of-the-week or evil boss to face in a finale, the fact that despair is something to be confronted still remains.

For Go!Pri’s plot, its main characters are the Cures so of course their progress is going to be magnified. They’ve been given the sole responsibility of resolving the major problems within the story. However, in the bigger picture, the Cures are just four people in a large sea of individuals, each who have their own story to tell and conflicts to face. It’s not the question of bringing the magical girls down to the level of normal. It’s making it clear that any person can go through the same things they did (minus the magic part) and still be a hero/heroine in their own right.

Which is where we have the perfect example of Yui. She has no magical powers whatsoever and was never granted any throughout the course of the season. However, she had her own journey alongside the Cures. She learned valuable lessons while watching them fight, about her friends and about herself, and that made her stronger. So strong that she didn’t need the Cures to help her when she was taken prisoner again. Yui had gained the resilience she needed to resist despair and because of that, she was not only fight on her own but also remind her classmates that they, too, are capable of doing the same. All they have to do is not give in.

So what am I really trying to get at here? Yea, this is getting to be very f*ckin’ long but that’s what you get when I blog.

It’s actually pretty straightforward.

This particular Precure finale is pretty much all about how you don’t need to be Precure to be someone of worth. You don’t have to possess magical powers, fighting abilities or anything extraordinarily special to get where you want to go.

What matters is hard work and whether or not you believe that your efforts mean something in the end. That is called having hope.

What matters is prevailing through those moments of despair that can bring you down and standing up again and again, no matter how many times it takes because through whatever pain you experience, you will become a better person because of it. This is what it means to fight with hope.

Rounding it up, the part where the fragments of the Crystal Rods had reshaped themselves into keys thanks to the powers of everyone’s dreams is also quite amazing.

We all knew that no one can replace the Cures when it comes to taking down the villain but there’s something more to this than what meets the eye.

No, it is still not another way of slipping a Miracle Lights solution in. Rather, it’s more along the lines of everyone fighting together as opposed to letting Precure do all the work.

The students are entrusting their hopes to the Cures. In other words, they’re giving them the last boost of power, their very own power, that is needed in order to defeat Dyspear once and for all.

It is through this utmost belief in the girls, that they are all in this together and it’s not just Precure fighting anymore, that is able to bring about the miracle we’ve been aiming for since the beginning…

Grand Princesses.

And not tacky at all. Nice job, design team. *thumbs up* Now if only I could omit Mermaid somehow because her blue blob of hair is disturbing my warm-color palette, GDI!

I think I can say that I love how their final form turned out, even with the surplus of gold it’s not even gold, it’s yellow gold which has been done to death. They carried over the uniformity from the Premium/Royal forms but switched out the sparkly frivolity of the bows and frills for something more formal and majestic (the fur-lined cape, the long scepter-wands, etc).

Very fitting for the ultimate look of Princess Precure, who have matured so much since the start of the story, and this whole upgrade probably counts as their official inauguration as ‘true princesses’.

They did it! They earned it! Woot! *claps happily*

Then we have “Grand Libération” which is also fitting with the whole lock-and-key motif, despair being symbolized as cages and so on.

I guess I was wrong on the gold Dress-up key being used for transformation but since it stabbed Dyspear through the heart, can’t really complain. Plus, its major purpose was to free the trapped dreams of the world so all’s well that ends well.

Or so I would’ve liked it to end that way but nope. As if on cue, Close is brought back again despite Dyspear making him pull a Nui in the episode before. That I was not pleased with.

The whole “return to me” thing, not Close taking up the mantle for Dyspear.

In my mind, I always knew they weren’t going to end the show without letting Flora and Close settle the score between them. I just wish they could’ve used Close as the second-to-last boss instead of bringing Lock back and had them be done with it then and there.

Cuz this…

Is just another act of favoritism towards Flora. The combat version of the Grand Princess regalia, the last last fight of the entire season (aka the one that gets the best animation), and the tidying up of the whole hope-despair conflict with a truce that has each side acknowledging the other’s necessary existence… until that truce is broken another day when the world calls for this kind of havoc again.

Not to mention, that ending fatigue. Omg, please tell me I’m not the only one who’s been exasperatedly exhausted by this long finale cuz their fight just made it even longer than it had to be. *pulls face and rolls eyes back*

I mean, even if they had to spell it out letter by letter that despair would continue to exist as long as there’s hope…they didn’t really have to? I already got that message like 10 episodes ago and then some more again with what happened in episodes 48-49. Frankly, it’s just something everybody comes to realize sooner or later. Life is tough as it is wonderful but if you believe in yourself and strive to become more than you are today, you will get far.

But I suppose this is more for the kiddies’ benefit than anything since they’re “not as smart” as the more mature part of the audience and visual learning is plenty more helpful when it comes to keeping things to memory.

Showing, not telling. Flora = hope, Close = despair. Back-to-back, two sides of the same coin.

Whatever. As long as it works, I don’t really care.

In the meantime, this caused a number of HarukaxClose fanart to pop up on pixiv and here I am, snorting into my tea, thinking ‘Pfft, ok, but you still got nothing on my lesbians.’ :P

Anyways, so now that that’s done, the world is saved and Hope Kingdom is finally restored.

I’m glad they reserved the role of opening the Door of Dreams and releasing the citizens from stasis for Towa because I won’t lie, things would’ve gotten utterly ugly if Haruka took that away from her.

Thankfully, that didn’t happen. After all, it wouldn’t make sense for anyone but the rightful Princess of Hope Kingdom to save her country.

And think of how this must be such an avalanche of emotions for Towa. Towa, who vowed to become a Grand Princess and having to go through so much because of that dream,  is rewarded with the tear-inducing sight of her people waking from their doomed sleep, reuniting with her parents after what might have been almost a decade of separation and most of all, achieving her dream of becoming a true princess.

Hell, even Kanata couldn’t hold it in any longer and had to cry silently to himself at seeing his family whole again. Think of how long he’s had to carry that feeling along with so many others that must have been bottled up in order to not deter him from saving Hope Kingdom. The despair when he lost his sister at a young age, witnessing the gradual decay of heart in his mother, father and people over her absence followed by the overwhelming invasion of Dysdark that nearly swallowed up everything he cared for.

And now, that nightmare is over. He got everything back. His shoulders are no longer heavy with the burden of the massive task he set out to do as the sole fugitive of an enemy’s reign. He no longer has to constantly put on a brave face. He can finally put it all behind him and let those feelings go because he Got. It. All. Back.

I just…I…*grasps for words*…I just REALLY have strong feelings for the royal hope siblings, ok? I can’t help it! *weeps tears of joy*

*sniffles* I’m so happy for them. <3

Alas, despite all the thanks and celebrations that need to be had to commemorate the Cures’ heroics, it has to be cut short because now that they have finished their duty as Precure, there is no longer a need for the roads between the worlds to remain open. Why the hell not?!

So it’s time for goodbye and a very sad goodbye it is.

These girls have been through so much together that it’s hard to believe that anything, even their personal dreams, can separate them. But as I suspected earlier on, Toei did choose to be more realistic with the setting and circumstances this time around so it didn’t hit me quite as hard since I was expecting it.

…Ok, I admit it. I was anticipating the bittersweet parting of the group. Happy? Good, cuz I’m happy…and happy that I’m sad…how does that even work?! Ugh, feelings! DX

But nevermind me. Among the five of them (not counting the mascots), Towa is the one who will be the farthest away and the most unreachable. And though she tries to depart with a smile and promises to continue doing her best in her own world, she just…can’t hide how sad she is that she won’t be able to see her friends anymore. For god knows how long or maybe even never again. NOOO!!! That’s too crruuueelll!! *wails* Dx

Sure, Kirara is leaving for Paris soon but at least she’s on the same planet with Haruka, Minami and Yui and there’s nothing barring any of them from traveling between countries to see each other. But Towa doesn’t have those options. Leaving this world literally means farewell and possibly having no means of contacting them once she’s back home.

It’s not as bad as when she was abducted and later shut out of Hope Kingdom (cuz nothing can be worst than that) but Towa’s still being forced to endure that kind of hardship in this situation, even if it can’t be helped because those are the rules.

For Towa, this world, Noble Academy, was her second home. She met her first real friends here. Friends who gave her so much, welcomed her with open arms, taught her so many things she didn’t know, helped her grow as person and faithfully stood by her as she fought off her demons, the inner ones and the actual monster that started it all. This world was her home because her friends were here.

I mean, she got her original home back along with her family but with friends, it’s totally different yet not any less important. She’s never going to find anyone like the people in this group. She’ll make new friends, yes, but they won’t ever replace what she has with Haruka, Minami, Kirara and Yui.

And I’m sure the girls all share Towa’s feelings because this kind of bond they have can only be possible if they went through and supported each other through the same ordeals. Their friendship became so strong because of that.

Which is why they reassure each other that because they have this deep bond connecting them, they will never truly be apart.

…yea, I’m gonna stop here cuz all this maudlin talk has gone on long enough and I don’t want to dwell on it anymore. I’m filled to the brim with sappiness and tears and love for them and my throat is starting to hurt. T_T

(On another note: WHY DID I NOT GET MY TOWAXKIRARA HUG?!?!?!?! Again with the Haruka! They weren’t even that close! Kirara and Towa practically lived together and may have probably likely cuddled with each other when they were alone! Is that the reason why?! They said their proper goodbyes in the dorms before meeting up with the rest of the gang?! That has to be it, right?! They must have had a long hug in private cuz they didn’t want anyone intruding on their last personal moment together! That’s gotta be it! This is canon and I will not accept otherwise!

UUUGGGHHHH, now I need more KiraTowa and KiraTowa hugs! I saw them do it a lot in the manga. Why did the Go!Pri manga sell out so fast and are not reprinting faster?! Does Kinokuniya still have them?! I’m gonna go buy them cuz I need it! ヽ(`Д´)ノ)

And so, this chapter of Princess Precure closes with its respective members shouting their last hurrah. They are shining with hope and promise for the future but will always stay strong, graceful and beautiful no matter what.

Because after all, they’re Princess Precure!

Yay~! *claps*

The epilogue montage was a real nice touch and I give my enormous approval for it. It’s more thanks to this season having an extra episode to spare cuz everything would be too crammed if it were a usual 49-episode run. I think a good number of previous Precure installments chose to skip having an epilogue altogether or just give a glimpse of what happens after a time-skip, leaving things ambiguous and up for interpretation on where the Cures are now after so-and-so years.

So yea, this part was very satisfying because we not only got to see what the main characters were doing after they went along their separate ways but also what the minor characters were doing as well.

The world does not stop and the dreamers continue to chase their dreams.

Hmm. I feel so warm inside watching this. <3

Even nicer is the well thought-out bookends. Go!Pri began with Haruka’s first meeting with Kanata, where she received hope for the first time. Go!Pri ends with her meeting him again before he returns to his world, now able to sustain her own hope and ready to pursue her dream even further after her experience as Precure.

I may not be so fond of this ship but their relationship is undeniably a close one after all they’ve been through. Whichever way you want to look at it, romantically or platonically (I resolved my issues with this by viewing them as kindred spirits), their love for each other is pretty deep and admirable and it’s quite sad to see them part.

But like Haruka, I have hope that they’ll meet again even if we never get to see it. After all, having hope for something just means that you have another dream to chase, right? :)

Fwoo, wow, this finale is long, but listen. It’s so good. In fact, it’s excellent because we got all the above… *waves arm at wall of text before this point* …and this…

THIS.

My jaw fell open so wide when I realized there was more time left after the ED credits that I pretty much fast-forwarded through the entire sequence just to see what this was.

And I was definitely NOT disappointed.

Omg, Toei, I think I can forgive you now. I think I can actually, honestly, really forgive you for all the crap you made me put up with in the past year because this…THIS is what I’ve always wanted. Not some vague look into the future with just a framed photo of the past sitting at someone’s desk or implications based on objects that are supposed to represent who-and-who.

I…I’ve rendered myself so speechless that I don’t know how to go about discussing this but all this confirmation is just so, soooo wonderful.

My god, the girls grew up! Our girls grew up! Never in a hundred the past 12 years were the Cures ever allowed to grow up and even then, it wasn’t real but this is real! They really grew up! *screams to the heavens* xDD

And the first sign was, of course, Yui’s book so we know she’s made it as a picture-book author and we know the story of Precure sold well to the younger generations, effectively passing on the lessons of hope and dreams as it should be done.

Then Haruka, all grown-up Haruka, appears and suddenly, it doesn’t seem so impossible for someone to become a princess after all. That little ‘bud’ of a Haruka had blossomed into such a beautiful, young lady like a flower blooming proudly in spring.

…though I’m sure she’s still in school or has some kind of job cuz unless she found some prince to marry in her world, being a princess doesn’t really count as legitimate employment. *forever salty on this topic* :P

We also get a brief look at what the other girls are doing. Minami is probably a full-fledged marine biologist by now, already got her PhD and is researching in Florida and everything. Kirara is still in Paris, no doubt shining more brilliantly than ever as the world’s brightest star and lighting up the runway like no one’s ever done. Towa, if possible, became even more beautiful than before and is likely working hard at doing what she can for her country, being every bit the unyielding symbol of hope her kingdom needs and winning more love and devotion from her people for being the princess they’ve always longed for.

What’s interesting is that while there are notable changes (Haruka and Towa growing their hair out while Minami and Kirara have shortened theirs, all signs of them entering womanhood in their own ways), there are some things that haven’t changed. These girls are still chasing their dreams even though they’ve already attained what they wanted. It just goes to prove that Haruka was right. That dreams never truly end even when they do come true and that’s what’s so great about it. And the glass (?) replicas of the their respective Dress-up keys are a clear indication that they still recall their past as Precure very fondly.

I’m sure those were made before Towa returned to her world since they couldn’t really keep the real ones, which have been put away for the future Princess Precure (oooo~). I’m also leaning towards the idea that the paths between the worlds hasn’t opened since Haruka last met with Kanata either so it’s a very nice gesture on Toei’s part to think of their characters this way because we all want to see these girls still united in some manner, no matter how far the distance is between them or how long it’s been since they’ve seen each other. It was very heartwarming and honestly, what made Go!Pri’s ending the best ending out of all Precure endings.

…and also because it was an EPIC way of flipping the finger at the All Stars movies and elegantly saying “Fuck you and your canon-bending crossover fuckeries!”. Not that it’d be enough to stop Toei from making more but this draws a pretty fine line between the movies and the TV anime, which suggests that we can put all our questions about whether the Precure live in the same universe to rest. If you want to anyway. I am because things just got more stupid after the DX series ended and I don’t have the patience to deal with it anymore.

Alrighty…is that it? I think that’s it, right?

Holy crap, I’m done?! I can move on with my life now?!

*gasp* 8D

…no, I still need to give a few more final reviews for other stuff below but this finale has given me more than I can ever ask for (some things even more than too much) and really, there’s nothing else I can say other than thank you, Toei. Thank you for such a great ending to a great season.

Finale Rating: 9.4/10.0

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Character Review

  • Main:

Haruka/Cure Flora – *clicks tongue* …Well, if you read any of my Go!Pri posts before this one, you’d be more than familiar with what I think about her.

The thing is, while Haruka’s character is hardly anything ground-breaking (generic genki girl archetype) and quite often very infuriating to deal with (Mary-Sue), Haruka as a protagonist is something you absolutely need to acknowledge even if you don’t want to. Her progress throughout the season was what basically defined her entire purpose as the lead Cure.

Setting the plucky personality aside, Haruka is all about determination and work ethic. She starts off with an obsession over a fantasy and turns it into something of priceless value for herself. And it wasn’t a stroll in the park either. We all witnessed the moments when she’s been beaten down by her own doubts and despair only to pull herself together and find the strength to stand up again. That’s pretty much the most important aspect of her character and I can’t say I dislike that part of Haruka. In fact, I quite admire it since I’m almost always rooting for the underdog who starts out with nothing and gains so much by the end because of their unwillingness to give up.

It’s just…the sheer amount of focus on Haruka that makes it hard to remember that. I understand that she “needs” to be the primary example for girls to follow since she’s the most normal and therefore, relatable one in the main (magical) cast but if you go overboard, it’s only going to sour people’s impression of her for “having it so easy”. Which renders the whole hard work idea pointless cuz the plot just gives her what she needs when she needs it the most.

Like, they shouldn’t have tried to appeal her as much as possible to all the viewers watching. I’m sure a lot of people would’ve been okay with Haruka in moderation but the extra attention she got ruined what could have been a wide recognition of her as one of the best lead Cures in the franchise. To add to that, it made the plot dumb every time it had to bend over to accommodate another “praise Haruka!” glory moment.

And that’s really all I have to say (for now).

Other than that, Haruka’s done a lot of good and that’s good enough for me.

Minami/Cure Mermaid – I’ll say it again. Anything outside the four episodes that dealt with Minami switching her old dream for a new one is immaterial.

Which brings us to why she’s such a huge disappointment for me.

It doesn’t matter if Haruka got more screentime because she was the lead. It should have been more than possible to dedicate more episodes to Minami’s development so that it wouldn’t have felt so jam-packed when they actually got to it. And while we’re on that topic, it should have been easy to give her more noticeable flaws as well. Normal flaws! Just like what every other human being has! Is that so hard?

I still believe the reason why Minami never got a decent story for the majority of Go!Pri was because she was too perfect to begin with. She could do anything and literally had everything. She was initially very sure of herself and knew where she wanted to be so how can you write beyond that unless something major happened out of the blue to frazzle that structure she set for herself?
Plus, when it came to personality, she’s very understanding and nice once you get to know her but she wasn’t so cold from the start that getting her to ease up and smile a little more can really constitute as development. Change, yes. Development? Not really. People tend to relax themselves when they hang out with friends so that’s the kind of stuff you expect to happen.

Not that her turmoil over choosing between two dreams wasn’t great because it totally was but they could’ve done so much more with her character. It could’ve been like a reverse-Haruka situation where Haruka went from ordinary girl to a great representation of hope while Minami was this image of constant perfection and composure but was “released” from that pressure when she realized she was allowed to be imperfect. That she didn’t have to adhere to others’ expectations of her or even her own expectations of herself. That she could make choices for herself and be selfish and so on.

But they didn’t go that way with her. She just stayed an archetype, never growing out of her mold or utilizing it to its full potential in order to make herself more unique.

Hence why Minami was boring. *sigh*

Kirara/Cure Twinkle – *heaves a huge sigh…and SCREAMS* AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! MY GODDESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!
(人♥∀♥)♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡

My love! My beautiful girl! My forever shining everlasting star princess, Kiraraaaaaaaaa~~~~!!!! <33333333

*breaks down into gross sobbing* It hurts me that I won’t see her anymore on a regular weekly basis and I can’t handle it! I’ll never be able to handle it! *goes into utter Kirara withdrawal*

But in all seriousness, Kirara truly was the best girl. She had attitude, confidence, professionalism, incredible charisma. All traits that set her apart from the crowd and showed us exactly why she’s so successful as a model. But she, too, had development. It’s more subtle than the rest of her peers but it’s definitely there.

Kirara went from all work and no fun to someone who could treasure both her dream and the people dear to her equally. It might not sound as grand as a fashion show but when you put it into a perspective of a young teenager already working in a fast-lane industry, it makes such a huge difference in her life that she can have both of those things. Juggling a demanding job and making time for personal affairs is not easy and Kirara was aware of the consequences from the beginning when she was asked to become Precure, which itself was another task to add to her busy schedule. Still, she was brave enough, willing enough, to see how far it could take her if she chose that option, despite the risks of it possibly compromising her career.

Even when that happened, she never regretted her choices. Becoming friends and Precure with Haruka and the others didn’t take away from her dream but gave her more than what she had before she was Precure. She’d never trade that for all the modeling opportunities in the world. What’s better is that she eventually realizes she doesn’t have to give up her dream either and the ones who made her realize that were her friends so everything comes full circle.

This is why Kirara’s route is my favorite. Like Minami, she also didn’t get a lot of episodes to herself. However, unlike Minami, the effects of the episodes that did focus on her were stretched out so evenly over the course of the season that we didn’t really need more than what we already got. Kirara is so balanced in all the important aspects of a character (strong points and flaws, development, personality) that it made her story pretty much perfect as it is. It didn’t need anything superfluous to prove itself like how Haruka’s story was or anything dark like Towa’s to count as something worth telling.

Her story was practical and ambitious, just like Kirara herself. And true to her very self, she made it work out for her in the best way possible. She really did accomplish that 200% she set out to do and she boldly declared that she’s only getting starting.

I adore and admire her so much. Even though she’s a fictional character, she just feels so real to me because of everything she’s done to get where she is and I hope that many kids, especially girls, will look to her as an example to follow when they need one. Because Kirara is the very definition of a true woman and it would be great if more of us can aspire to be someone like her.

I love you, my star princess. You will shine for eternity in the galaxy of my heart! <3

Towa/Cure Scarlet – My baby. My precious child. My angel. *cuddles her and bawls uncontrollably* This is too hard! I don’t want to say goodbye! ;_________; Also, Puff, get out of the picture, you’re messing up my last shot arrangements.

*sniffs*…well, I suspect her role as the fourth Cure is still stirring up some discontent among fans but I’m positive it’s for nothing more than stupid reasons because Towa is as good, if not better, than a lot of the Cures we had up till now. Her circumstances are unusual (royalty from another world, brainwashing) but not uncommon in the Precure continuity so it’s mostly a matter of how her story was executed.

For me, it certainly drew my sympathy. I’m not sure if it’s because naive, post-brainwashed Towa activated my maternal instincts but after the trauma she’s experienced, anyone would feel protective over how vulnerable she was.

The great thing about Towa is that she didn’t stay that way.

Towa was the one who was hurt most by despair. She was the only one whom Dyspear continually went after to wreck in whatever way possible as a means of destroying hope for good. Yet despite her own fears of losing everything a second time, she still had it in her to hold onto that hope and slowly, but surely, opened her heart to trust and believe again. She climbed back up from the depths of her own despair with the support from friends she probably never imagined she would find, let alone cherish so much afterwards. She became the princess she desired to be not by being a princess but by being a normal person who learned what it meant to put in her own effort and to show kindness to others instead of lording over them.

Which is what I think sets the difference between her and Haruka in regards to being a princess. (I know, I hate comparing them but for analysis’s sake, I just got to.)

For Haruka, becoming a true princess meant self-improvement. She set out on her dream to make something of herself. Which is good. Not all dreams have to be born for the sake of others. Your dream can just exist for you alone and no one should find fault in that.

For Towa, on the other hand, there are more implications to this dream than just simply wanting something for herself. Towa comes from a magical land that revered the legend of Precure. Seeing as she was born into royalty, it was only natural that she would want to be like the princesses in the legend. To be a Grand Princess. Except back then, she knew only those who were granted the Princess Perfume could really become Grand Princesses. It was a little disheartening (because she had yet to become Precure and she didn’t even know that she could become Precure) but that didn’t stop her from dreaming. That didn’t stop her from wanting to be a Grand Princess and doing her best to reach that goal.

So this brings us to why she wants to. We understood that Haruka’s dream started from a picture book story which is not that much different than Towa’s starting from the legend passed down for generations in Hope Kingdom. We know these two girls yearned to become their ideals based on that.

But whereas Haruka did it mostly for herself (possibly to escape the mundanity of being ‘talentless’) , Towa included her own people in her drive towards her dream. Since she was a child, she was already very aware of her duties as a princess. Judging by how much she cares for her citizens and how they saw her as their symbol of hope, she probably wanted to become a Grand Princess for their sake as much as, if not more than, her own.

This is especially evident after she was brought back to her old self and became Cure Scarlet. Her priority was always to rescue her kingdom from Dyspear. Nothing was more important than that. Becoming a Grand Princess just happened to coincide with that task.

Nevertheless, Towa’s dream was still precious to her. It just meant a hell of a lot more when she combined it with something she already loved. Her country.

And when she finally unlocked the achievement of becoming Grand Princess, those tears of joy were not just for her own satisfaction. It came with the relief knowing that she could finally release her people from despair. That all the suffering she endured for carrying this dream was repaid with their lives returned. Having her faith continuously tested and still being able to hold onto hope really did mean something in the end.

That’s why I think Towa is the superior princess to Haruka. Towa had a lot more to lose than just a dream and a majority of her life was wracked with pain that most could only imagine the worst of, not actually comprehend full-hand. Yet Towa persevered through it all. The sadness, fear, frustration and rage. These are all emotions that she triumphed over when she chose the better way to fight and it just proves that she was the real symbol of hope.

Not Haruka. Towa.

This is why I believe Towa is the strongest of the Cures. This is why I know she is the best of the four princesses.

Towa was born with the calling to be a great princess and she answered that with the greatest dignity I’ve only ever seen in the best. She’s the real true princess of the show.

I’m so proud. And I’m gonna miss her so much. ;__________;

  • Supporting:

Mascots – Not going to linger on this section cuz mascots so going to break it down into a few sentences each.

Puff – Still adorable and the bravest puppy fairy ever. I won’t miss her but keep doing your best, lil’ Puff-chan!

Aroma – Annoying earsore, barely made a difference, glad we’re done with him. Please don’t repeat if you can help it, Toei.

Shamour – The only mascot we actually needed and the mascot all Precure seasons should have but can’t afford.

Kuroro – The sole mascot who actually got any development worth talking about. From crying, traumatized little kitten to kickass kitty to new Royal Fairy recruit. Kyaa! Kuroro, you’re so cute and so brave! Wish we could’ve gotten more time with him but ah well. Less is more.

Yui – I’ve talked about Yui so many times in this post and my other ones that I really don’t have anything new to add here.

Yui is just incredible. She went above what was expected of her as a supporting role. She became such a valuable part of the group despite not having any fighting capabilities. What she lacked, she made up for in her strong belief in her friends, the will and courage to defend for herself and last but not least, motivating those around her to protect their own dreams.

Honestly, it has to be seen to be believed. Just talking about it won’t do Yui enough justice especially since she’s probably the biggest hero of them all, standing even above the main characters.

I’m so thankful for Yui that I can’t even explain or put it into words. I’m even more grateful to Toei for handling her character so well (even better than Seiji’s!) and for not making her Precure. It just made Yui’s presence so much more impressionable that way and one that I’ll never forget.

Thank you, Yui. Thank you for being such a great friend. ^^

Kanata – Him. Where should I begin with him?

Well, I still like Kanata. A lot, in fact, and that’s saying something because while I find a lot of the male supporting characters in Precure pretty okay, I seldom admit to genuinely liking them. They never do much to contribute to the plot. That’s not the case with Kanata, who perhaps did a lot more work than all the previous male minor characters combined.

But even so, his role has been very muted despite it being a very crucial one.

He just….or rather, it seems as if the writers didn’t want to give him more individuality. They had the model of a prince to work with and colored him in with a sympathetic story, humble demeanor and a fair amount of power but we’re still left wondering if there’s more to this guy than what’s shown to us.

Like, the idea of Kanata is that he can’t be thought of as a separate entity from Precure. He’s never his own person. He has to be attached to someone to have significance. He had to relay Precure’s duties to them as the leading jurisdiction of the good side. He had to be the older brother of a lost princess who eventually became a Cure destined to save their world. He had to be the one responsible for giving Haruka hope and later had those parts switched with her, pushing him forward as her potential love interest but never really going all the way to a mutual confession. There’s never a time when he’s not revolving around them (which I’ll get back to in a minute).

In a harsh way of saying it, he’s not that much better than a plot tool like the Princess Palace or whatever magical item the Cures use to get the story moving. Only brought back for a small period of plot relevance but otherwise, forgotten and not discussed for the most part.

Which is a shame because there have been instances where we did get a tiny glimpse of the man underneath the princely mask that tells us he’s more than just an ally to the heroines. It’s mostly inferred but it’s clear that he was angry at Dysdark for what they’ve done and that he did struggle with being alone for a long time in his solitary fight against the enemy. Him crying in the finale is a good indication of those hidden feelings. They were just never explored in detail, leaving him quite flat as a character.

Now going back to the ‘revolve around Precure’ thing, we can argue that it’s the same case with all the supporting characters. I mean, Yui wouldn’t have gotten to where she is today without tagging along with the girls. Anything that’s worth happening for a minor role has to occur within vicinity of the Cures since the story is centered on them, the main characters.

But here’s where they split in terms of establishing themselves as ‘independent’ of that. Yui came into her own by the end. She took charge of her own fate and didn’t need Precure to define her anymore. She created herself as a character who is still linked to the girls but is unique in her own way. Kanata, however, never did.

It’s really difficult to explain what I’m really going for here and this isn’t even the proper place to go into this sort of analysis but if I were to take examples and elaborate, I’d compare Kanata’s scenario with Joe’s from DokiDoki and Blue’s from HaCha. Kanata has more in common with the former than the latter. While Blue’s role is inexplicably intertwined with all the Precure in HaCha’s universe, his romance with Mirage allowed him to be set apart from his formal duties so that he can be Blue the person instead of Blue the god. Joe had his relation with Princess Marie-Ange as well which formed his connection to the Cures but without it, there wouldn’t be any reason for him to exist.

*sigh* Yea, I really don’t know how to organize my thoughts and get it out in a coherent way. What it boils down to is this. Kanata had potential to be more than ‘Prince Kanata’ but since they never expanded his role, he’s going to be nothing more than just ‘Prince Kanata’. Towa’s gentle and kind Onii-sama. Haruka’s undeclared “first love”. That bishounen guy who proved himself useful but that’s all he is. Useful…and good-looking…yea.

…I’m sorry for being repetitive and confusing. *so tired* ( ̄□ ̄;)

  • Villains:

Dyspear – I love how they’re not even trying to hide the fact that they’re KLK fans. I mean, how else can you explain for Dyspear sporting Ragyo’s crazy hair style? And don’t give me that coincidence bullshit. Towa brainwashed into becoming an underling daughter of this bitch (Ryuuko) and Close being absorbed back into her to power up for her final form (Nui)? C’mon!

Anyways, the rather underwhelming reveal of Dyspear’s origin didn’t surprise me in the least. Dyspear never displayed capacity for anything other than wickedness and malcontent so for her to be the embodiment of a concept rather than an actual person who turned to the wrong side, it makes sense. Not the most thrilling revelation out there but it’s not like there was any time left to give her a human backstory even with the extra episode. Plus, I don’t think the writers wanted us to sympathize with her anyway with all the terrible things she’s done and the way she took pleasure in doing them (so I’m guessing this is the closest Precure will ever come to creating a psychopath).

Whatever the case is with what went into drafting and approving her character, I’m glad they decided to stick to the good old-fashioned formula. Making her a pure evil villain. I’m tired of all the sops we got in the past seasons who lose their will to fight once the lead Cure gives them a generic speech about how great love is and whatnot. If a bad guy is meant to be bad, just keep it that way all the way. Don’t complicate things.

Close – Post-Dyspear!Close is probably the only Close I can really tolerate. Otherwise, he’s been unbearable for all the 40-something episodes he was active and I’m going to save my breath by not going back into that.

Instead, let’s look at the freshly reborn Close, who inherited Dyspear’s role as the face of despair. If Toei retracts their decision to no longer make sequels, this would be the perfect sequel hook for the third generation (?) Princess Precure. Close was born from Dyspear who was born from despair so it’s not like he’ll die of old age or anything. So long as hope exists, he’ll exist.

Which is why I prefer this Close to the more obnoxious versions of his past self. He and Flora have moved into this archenemy relationship a long time ago but after they both attained their highest, most powerful forms, they come to an agreement that continuing to fight for dominance is pointless. Hope and despair will always coexist regardless of what they do. And with Flora acknowledging that Close/despair is needed for the purpose of allowing dreams to shine just as Close needs hope to give him a place in the world, he makes peace with her and retreats, vowing to come back to fight the side of hope again one day but leaving with no bitterness in his words like in the previous times she’s thwarted him.

………ok, I can see why this pairing appeals to some people but I’m actually more excited about what Close would do differently as the new ruler of despair. Especially since he received closure that Dyspear never managed to do. Haruka obviously is not going to live forever so by the time the next Princess Precure are chosen, she would probably have passed away already. I’m sure Close is aware of how short human lifespans are so it’s not going to affect him that much if he can’t fight his old enemy anymore. However, he sure will have a fun time laying the vicious hurt on the next Cure Flora. Aye, that poor girl in the future. I can just imagine it. Close raging about how weak the latest Flora is compared to the Flora he fought in the past and goading her to come to the same realization that Haruka had so they can have another epic battle of hope vs. despair.

Hmm, yea…I almost want to see it. I’m so mean and evil. Kkkkk…

Shut – Who else shouted a “Whoop!” of joy at how freakingly awesome Shut was in the finale?! I certainly did, lol!

Well, technically, Shut never fought for the good side. Scarlet and the others only hounded him to stop hurting people and in extension, himself. Which he did so he could really think hard on what he should really do. Once he saw how more beneficial it would be for him to reject Dyspear instead of continuing to suffer under her service, he made it official by declaring his break from Dysdark. After that, he just had to make sure Dyspear didn’t get in the way of his newfound freedom so he aligned with the good side to take her down, which just so happened to lead him into helping the Cures achieve victory. Also, it was a nice way to clean up any hard feelings he might’ve still had so he could truly start anew and fresh.

That’s great! I’m so proud of Shut and glad that he can finally find his own happiness without a cloud of angst hovering over his head! ^^

But let’s go back to the battle for a bit and really, what was the best highlight of the entirety of episode 48.

Beside Shut coming out of nowhere (to the Cures’ knowledge, we knew where he was hiding) and gallantly defending the girls from an attack, there’s also that face-slapping pep talk he gave Lock and that oh-so-brilliant, much needed punch he delivered to Close’s smug assface. For a good number of episodes, he’s done nothing but complain about these two (and then some) on and on so it’s refreshing to see him finally gain a step over them in a manner that shows he’s beaten his inferiority complex.

Shut yelling at Lock, demanding to know who’s the dumb one now after how low the latter has sunk as a puppet in Dyspear’s hands, before telling him to get his shit together because Lock should be better than this. He takes the advice Scarlet has given him and uses it to convince his fellow villain/former rival to change with him so that they can make their own paths instead of following someone who uses them for her own end. This effectively wakes Lock back to his senses, allowing him to reclaim his identity and also be freed from despair, adding another ally to the good side.

Then Shut giving his own “Fuck you!” to Close and getting the last laugh out of it despite being punched back. Because Shut doesn’t have to worry about his respect being trampled on by that jerk anymore. He’s his own master who can decide things for himself while Close still clings to despair because there’s nothing else out there for him. Who’s the real loser here?

All this points to how much Shut has grown through and from his inner deliberation during his time away from the battles. It’s meaningful because he learned that taking from others and holding onto his hate towards them didn’t give him anything. He needed to find his own way to his own happiness and neither Dysdark nor the Cures can do that for him. That’s why he never felt obligated to fight the last fight for the heroines or the civilians. Just like everyone else who’s been victimized by despair, he chose to take a stand for himself and I think that speaks so much more strongly than if he did fight for the Cures.

Let’s face it, Shut was never meant to be a hero but as an individual, he, like anybody else, was capable of change. He had the right to change. And that’s where it all starts, really. Baby steps in the right direction. There was no need for him to suddenly be purified or to come in on a white horse in shining armor because that’s not Shut. Shut was a bully to be pitied on before he became the new Shut who could now see what true beauty looks like. That’s more than enough.

On another note, can I just say how sweet it is that he hasn’t moved on from his crush over Towa? Except instead of calling her Twilight, it’s ‘Cure Scarlet’ now (according to Lock but his words is as good as true with how tsun and readable Shut is, hahaha!).
He still attributes his ideal image of beauty to her but perhaps with a different, but more positive and less creepy, admiration than before. Which makes sense since she’s the one who reached out to him and gave him the chance and hope he needed to change. It’s nice that his source of misery was able to turn into an inspiration for him and though I doubt they’ll see each other again, I’m sure he’ll continue to remember her in that light. It would serve him better to think of her that way than if he was still moping over Twilight.

Lock – Ok, so this is not really a picture of Lock but it’s a better one than him as a worn-out rag. Also because post!battle Lock turned into a thrifty scarf so it’s not like you can get a shot of him without Shut being in the same picture anyway. Not that that’s a bad thing cuz Lock is very cute as a shade-throwing piece of garment but ack, that’s not the point.

Urm, I don’t have much to add for him since I’ve pretty much said all I needed to when he was defeated the first time. It might’ve been unnecessary to bring him back but with how things turned out, I don’t mind all that much. Plus, Lock returning gave Kuroro more screentime which also turned out to be his best screentime ever…and I guess the same can be said for Lock as well.

Think about it. Lock’s possession of Kuroro messed the kid up so badly that it took him a long time to recover from PTSD after he returned to his original fairy form. Around twenty episodes later, Kuroro has more or less went back to being his normal kitty self but he’s still afraid of the bad guys and for good reason. Except that all changed when he saw how miserable Lock was in his reduced state. So what does Kuroro do? He asks his friends to help save Lock. He wanted to save the enemy who brought him nightmares and used his body to commit a whole bunch of crimes.

Kuroro forgave Lock for all he’s done and held onto what was left of him after the Cures released him from Dyspear’s grasp, almost like he was salvaging the last bits Lock’s existence and maybe hoping that he wouldn’t completely disappear now that he’s not physically tied to anything that can support him. He understood Lock was just as much a victim as any of them and that the true bad person was Dyspear.

I think it’s through this act of forgiveness that they were able to combine their powers in mutual cooperation. Lock accepted Kuroro’s goodwill and lent him his strength so that they can both join in the fight and neither one overpowered the other so they balanced out what each other needed to do just that.

And in the end, they had to be separated because they are two distinct beings after all but that team-up did a lot to give them a head start for their respective roads ahead. Kuroro has gotten over his fears and aims to become a fairy that can help others while Lock partnered up with Shut to see what they can do for themselves now that they’re not affiliated with Dysdark anymore.

God, I just love this ending. It has so many good endings for everyone. <3

Twilight – Waaah, it’s been a while since Twilight has been discussed but knowing me, there was no way I wouldn’t mention her in this final post.

Honestly, I don’t even have to build up a heap of reasons on why she’s so awesome but I will since I like to ramble because anyone reading this should have watched those earlier episodes already and know exactly why.

Twilight is no doubt the best villain of this season and probably the best since Eas in terms of having the ‘whole package’ when it comes to character. As I said before, she has this very intimidating and regal presence whenever she makes her appearance and when she leaves, you can never really forget her because the impression she left on you is just too deeply ingrained into your mind.

She had such force, discipline and this sort of beautiful coldness you’d expect to see in a female villain of her class but at the same time, still be pleasantly surprised that she wears it all so well. Like she was born to be in this commanding position of ruthlessness. It’s an arrogance you wouldn’t dare laugh at because when you look at her, you know you’d never stand a chance against her in a fight. This is the kind of girl who will deal with nobody’s shit. She’ll pummel you into the ground when she gets serious and then laugh about your foolishness afterwards.

But she also has this sense of code and composure that a lot of villains lack which just makes her all the more great as an antagonist. Even when she’s beaten, the way she refuses to admit defeat and continues to strive to prove she’s the only one allowed to stand above it all…you just can’t help but be awe-inspired by that tenacity. It’s one of those rare times where you want to root for the bad guy because when you put her next to the wide-eyed idealist, it’s just obvious who would be more likely to win. She’s the type of villain who can effortlessly cut down the lofty words her naive rival spouts out because she has power at her disposal while they only go on whims. If this wasn’t a mahou shoujo anime, the heroines wouldn’t have been named the victors so easily, especially against the likes of Twilight.

I can’t…express how long I’ve wanted and waited for this kind of villain to show up in Precure and I totally appreciated this gorgeous dark princess for everything she was. It’s a shame she couldn’t have stayed a villain a little longer because she and Towa will forever be too far apart on the personality spectrum to be considered the same person but the important thing is that Twilight owned every moment that was hers. That’s why she is unarguably one of the best things of Go!Pri.

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Story

As far as plot goes, everything was pretty straightforward. A clean start to a clean finish with a good number of interesting twists mixed in along the way but never branching out into anything extraneous that would have ended up making the overall story and its messages too convoluted.

The best thing is that it never got too boring that you’d burn out completely before the last episode me excluded but I blogged it so that’s an entirely different case. At even its lowest point, Go!Pri somehow always manages to pull you back into active excitement for what’s to come next. Of course, to everyone and their own, but that’s how I felt. Yes, even with all the complaints I had.

Obviously one of the reasons why Go!Pri is one of the better Precure seasons. Its foundation was solid.

Rating: 8.5/10.0

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Animation


Scrapped two points off the full score because I think it’s unfair to grade a year-long anime the same way you’d grade an anime that runs for only one or two cour. So let’s just say those two points covered all the less-than-quality episodes that, in retrospect, probably never mattered much anyway cuz they were mostly filler.

Moving along, I’m just going to echo comments that’s been said numerous times now. Precure hasn’t looked this great since…well, the closest example of great animation would have to be the HaCha movie but if we’re talking exclusively about seasons, then around Suite-Smile, maybe?

I dunno. My judgment is nowhere close to perfect since I’m basing it heavily on transformation sequences, major battles and whatever falls under the “Ooo, shiny! Pretty~!” category but hey, Go!Pri definitely lived up to expectations in those areas. Honestly, Go!Pri was stellar. The animation team really deserves an applause for making all the important scenes count for all their worth. From those sparkly, eye-pleasing henshins to those awesome, fast-paced and stunningly executed fights to the more quiet but emotionally charged moments. They were all great.

Rating: 7.4/10.0 8.0

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Soundtrack

Another to add to the ‘great’ list. Maybe I’m giving a higher rating because I was more invested in this season but I don’t think that really detracts from what impartiality I had when grading the soundtrack. Because let’s be real here. A good anime would be one that uses all its strengths to the fullest extent.

Go!Pri had done a more than satisfactory job in story and animation so the last primary ingredient to tie it altogether would be the music.

And after listening to both OSTs, I have got to say that Hiroshi Takaki’s work is the best out of those of the three main composers who contributed to the franchise. Of course, my opinion is very biased and almost baseless because I never even finished listening to the other complete soundtracks but he just has this noticeable artistic signature meshed in with his unique approach for each season he was responsible for, y’know?

Anyways, Go!Pri’s soundtrack gets more kudos. Not only for weaving something that is charmingly regal and sentimentally inspiring (and occasionally badass) for the princess theme but also for having a few select tracks that sound like it could be part of a epic fantasy movie. Most notably tracks 29 and 30 from the second OST. I mean, wow. Now I’m dying to see what else Hiroshi Takaki can do with different genres.
But even if it didn’t include those, this OST is certainly one of the most memorable ones in Precure. Special mentions go to the “Precure! Princess Engage”, Kanata and Towa’s violin duet, and Cure Scarlet’s theme. I don’t think there are a lot of people who don’t appreciate those (among others) and let me tell ya, if fans are willing to spend money to purchase a soundtrack, you know it’s gotta be good.

Rating: 8.8/10.0

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Design Concept + Themes

I’ve never been a huge fan of princesses. Sure, I like them a healthy amount under specific settings but for me, there are more enticing things to get into than the girly portrayal of this trope. However, I won’t lie that I was pretty excited when Toei first officially announced the title and even more pleasantly surprised that I won the gamble on Go!Pri not sucking.

This is really due to how well they incorporated the princess theme into the central theme of the season: dreams. I’m sure objective of said themes was to be plot-driven just as much as the plot was to have something to aim for through those themes.

Everything worked out extremely well on that part and I’ll refrain from saying anything more than that. You have to watch the girls’ progress through those 50-episodes in order to see how and why Go!Pri came off so strong as a Precure show.

Finally, design-wise, I couldn’t be happier. While the regular Cure forms lacked uniformity like some of their predecessors (at least until the debut of the super forms), I’m glad they decided to cater something different and special for each Cure. I mean, they went ahead and assigned all these distinct elements for each girl so why should they go through the boring route of having them wear the same outfit with only minor detail adjustments? Not to mention, since we are dealing with princesses here, it’s only right that the girls wear outfits that accurately represent them and what they stand for individually. Flora has flowers for Haruka’s growth, Mermaid has the sea to symbolize Minami’s strength beneath whatever conditions rough or smooth, Twinkle has the stars to measure the great height and display the unyielding radiance of Kirara’s ambition, and Scarlet has fire to illustrate the rekindling and resilience of hope after despair.

So tell me, after reading that, do you think it’s possible to have these princesses wear uniforms?

No!

You did a brilliant job for this, Toei. I’m so proud of you. *claps*

Rating: 8.6/10.0

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Top 10 Best of Season

Alternatively, this list can also be called “Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Watch Go!Pri”.

Of course, it’s based on a subjective evaluation but I think they are good reasons.

And out of respect for the love I do have for Go!Pri, I decided not to make a “Top 5” list for the worst of the season…also, because I’m seriously tired as fuck at this point and just want to get this over with.

1) Engaging plot – See ‘Story’ above.

2) Henshin sequences – See ‘Animation’ above. Or just watch all the henshin sequences. *whispers fiercely* WATCH THEM!

3) Fluid battle scenes – Again, see ‘Animation’ above (also, it’s hard to get a perfect screencap when everything is in motion so have a fabulous dancing/fighting Scarlet instead *zooms away*).

4) Soundtrack – See ‘Sountrack’ above.

5) Minor Villains – When it comes to your typical magical girl show (by that, I mean the simplified ones that emphasizes on black-and-white morality more than grey), rarely are the minor villains portrayed as people to be sympathized with, let alone be given any function beyond acting like a total assholes to the heroines.

That, however, did happen here.

DysDark had very in-depth characters ranging from Close being consumed by his own vendetta to Lock’s greed for power to Shut’s gradual shift in his personal philosophy. For once, the villains had their own stories to develop alongside the main one and that’s what made them so much more worthwhile than the lackeys we normally see in Precure.

6) Addressing realistic concerns in a fictional perspective. – See ‘Themes’ above and the discussion on dreams in particular.

While there’s plenty of magical girl stuff to enjoy, I really liked how the main topic has always been rooted in reality. Perhaps it’s arguable in Haruka’s case since her dream almost can’t be separated from being Precure but for the majority of it, these girls didn’t get what they want through magic. They arrived at their goals through hard work and struggle.

What’s more is that each of them demonstrated their development in different but very real and relatable ways.

Haruka constantly suffered insecurities about not being good or capable enough yet she still did the best she could because she wanted to fulfill her dream so badly.

Minami was at a loss on what to do with weighing one dream against another and tried to go at it alone because she didn’t know how to express how troubled she was, clearly showing that even a model person like her needs help from time to time.

Kirara set such strict standards for herself that she felt every error or misstep was a result of her own actions and needed to take full responsibility for them. Except her definition of ‘full responsibility’ was too extreme, much more than what a upstanding and serious young worker like her should be held accountable for.

Towa encountered despair at every turn imaginable, from her past to the present, but continued to stand up despite how badly she was bruised inside and out. She fought through every pain inflicted on her, keeping that light of hope within her alive through sheer will.

None of these needed to have anything to do with magic. They were all issues that the girls eventually resolved on their own with their own hands. Magic served more as symbolism, a marker at how they prevailed over their toughest trials.

In short, what the Cures have been through are very much applicable to everyday context. To real life context.

Just because it’s set in a fictional world doesn’t mean it’s any less true.

7) Twilight – Oh yea. I’d say Twilight is a very good reason why you should check Go!Pri out and you definitely won’t regret it.

Girl is such a badass princess and so great as an antagonist that it’s impossible not to love her if you have an appreciation for her type of character.

And love her for simply being the villain! You don’t have to look for good traits in her! You don’t need to justify her actions with some freudian excuse! You can simply like her for being a bad guy! Love her for being an malicious, condescending, self-righteous bitch! Love her for the challenges she brought to the story! Love her as what she’s meant to be cuz lemme tell ya, this is what a quality villain is and it seldom gets better than that in this diabetic franchise!

8) Kirara – It would not be a stretch to claim that Kirara unequivocally made this show for me.

I mean, I have so many wonderful things to love about Go!Pri but if you were to ask me to give my top 3 favorites, Kirara… would not be at the front of that list (cuz I have to establish some groundwork first) but she is the one whom I would most fiercely and passionately fangirl to oblivion about.

Need I explain why when I’ve done so numerous times already? Haha, yea, I don’t think so.

All you need to know is that she is absolutely, positively friggin’ AWESOME!!

Best girl, hands down.

And don’t anyone try to argue with me on this. I will squash you with a gargantuan donut. Seriously. (*`Λ´*)

9) Magical Lesbians Friendships – Stock trait of every Precure show out there but always heartwarming to see how close and tight-knit these girls become over the course of a year.

Especially these five girls who are as different as can be from each other yet by the end, were practically so inseparable that it took the law of canon to split them up. And still, years later in the epilogue, that wasn’t enough to truly make them forget each other.

Princess Precure’s dynamic as a team is simply put, remarkable. They will make you want to cheer for them, be angry for them and cry for them. Most of all, they will make you very happy because *clenches fist* FRIENDSHIP, man! ( >^<)۶ʸᵉᵃʰᵎ

10) Character development – Another stock trait of the franchise but compared to the ‘power of friendship’ aspect, is not as prominent in some seasons for a variety of reasons (e.g. poor writing, complete absence of any progressive changes in the protagonist(s), etc).

However, Go!Pri was all about this in a multiple respects so for once, we can put it on the same level as #9.

Compare how these girls were at the beginning of the story to how much they’ve grown by the end.

Just try not to admit that you’re immensely proud of their accomplishments. Just TRY.

Special Honor: Yui – She came as a surprise to all of us but is probably a surprise where an unanimous agreement can be reached that we are very glad Toei decided to include her into the group.

You wouldn’t watch Go!Pri just for Yui (unless you do want to which is perfectly great as well *waves Yui support flags aggressively*). She’s more of a bonus that comes with the full package but it’s definitely a package that’s worth your time. I know for a fact that Yui would assure you that.

 

…So after reading all my mumble jumble, if you still haven’t watched Go!Pri and are planning to, what on earth are you waiting for?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Overall Season Rating: 8.4/10.0

How many fucking times did I say “season” in this post?! ARGH!!!

Ha ha…ha… hear that in the distance? What sounds like a combination of a drained, dehydrated hyena and a dying elevator noise? Yea, that’s me.

LMAO, I love how I just gave up halfway through all of these. I don’t even know why I push myself to ramble on until there’s nothing left to talk about but I still keep going till I force myself to stop. Ugh, what this season does to me. It really was a crazy love-hate roller-coaster ride to blog it.

But I don’t regret it and I’m glad I did it. I’m glad I came to love this show and everything it had to offer. I’m glad I came to love it even more by analyzing every little detail my hands managed to snatch on while combing through the content. Most of all, I’m glad it taught me a lot more about Precure, being a fan and myself in general.

And while I won’t miss Go!Pri too much right away c’mon, just shut up and finish the fucking post already …I’m just going to miss having something to look forward to on Saturday night (though Mahou Tsukai Precure is holding up my interest so it’s okay so far).

Right, that’s all for now.

Gokigenyo! *curtsies*

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