Smile PreCure! Episode 8: A Fresh Freaky Friday Flip!

Cure Candy, Kuru!

The freaky friday flip is a commonly done trope in fictional media, where two characters of reasonably different personality swap bodies due to some freak incident; the two characters for the most part retain their personality and mental processes, but taking over the other person’s body has major ramifications, and hilarity almost always ensues.

This is especially true for the PreCure franchise, and with this week’s episode of Smile PreCure in the books, the trope has been done twice in two different continuities: Fresh in episode 10, and Smile in episode 8. When I watched Fresh’s take before, it was immediately my favourite episode in the entire series; the same is certainly true for Smile.

Synopsis

On the way to school, Miyuki and Candy discover a pair of rings. After curiously looking through them, the rings clamp on to their respective fingers and the two swap bodies. The other girls are puzzled by the occurrence, and they try to go through the school day with Candy attending class in Miyuki’s body. Hilarity ensues, with Candy failing to act like Miyuki during all of her classes. Miyuki admonishes Candy after school for messing everything up, and the latter runs away, distraught. While Miyuki and the others try to look for her, Candy plays with little kids at a playground. She is discovered by Majorina, who notices the switch, and casts Bad End on the playground. The other cures show up and transform except for Miyuki, but are handily dispatched by a nimble Akanbe. Miyuki stands up for Candy, and her smile pact activates. She transforms while in Candy’s body, turning into Cure Candy, and defeats the Akanbe with Happy Shower.

As I’ve mentioned already, the freaky Friday flip happened twice in the Pretty Cure franchise, and there are some differences between the two with regards to the trope’s execution, resulting in two distinct, yet equally memorable episodes. The freaky Friday flip has a number of recognizable elements: the cause of the flip itself, the contrasting characters involved, lifestyle adjustments, realization of perspective leading to the flip back.  Let’s compare the different elements:

The Flip

The comedy starts with the Bad End group, who sets the tone for the rest of the episode.

Smile’s flip was caused by Majorina’s “switcheroo” rings, while Fresh’s flip was caused by the monster-of-the-week, which took the form of a slot machine. Smile’s only affected Miyuki and Candy, whereas Fresh switched a large number of people with random animals, and by extension, Inori and the ferret-like Tarte.

Smile’s switch was caused by the trickster witch, Majorina, who originally created the rings, but lost them due to fellow Bad Ender Aka Oni’s tomfoolery. Majorina’s pride in making the rings is observed hilariously when the other villains knock her for her uncreative naming conventions for her inventions. This is repeated with the PreCure when they knock her for her name for the antidote. Overall, Majorina’s role in the flip really brings out her goofiness, especially when she tries to look for the rings. Her tendency to be mistaken for an old granny instead of a devious witch is played with again in this episode, this time by a random police officer. She was really enjoyable throughout.

The tension in Fresh was focused mainly on the city-wide chaos that was caused by the Nakewameke. Countless people were switched, and examples were shown of different people that were switched, capitulated by Inori and Tarte’s switch. This was an effective way of advancing the series’ plot for Fresh. While the Bad End Kingdom’s gradual revival of Pierrot is repetitive and minimal in its devious impact, Labyrinth’s weekly plots to fill the sorrow gauge are done in different ways, with the citywide freaky Friday flip as not only one of its methods, but also one of its most visually apparent and effective.

Contrasting Characters

Fresh does the better job contrasting characters before the swap.

Smile’s switch focused on Miyuki and Candy, the main Cure character and the Cure mascot for the series. Fresh’s switch occurred to many individuals, but mostly focused on Inori and Tarte, a supporting character and mascot, respectively.

Miyuki and Candy’s differences aren’t as extreme or polar with regards to general personality; they’re both relatively airheaded, and often get into trouble. The main difference shown in the flip is the differences in maturity. Candy really shows her infantile behaviour in her actions at school, as well as the park aftwerwards, where she plays with like-minded elementary school children. Miyuki acts like the mother in this episode, which really shows her mature side, especially when they reconcile for Miyuki’s scolding. I really enjoyed that part of her character that was brought out.

Inori and Tarte’s differences, on the other hand, are as clear as night and day. Inori is the chick in the trio at this point of the series, and she is deathly afraid of ferrets (and Tarte, by extension). Tarte is brash, speaks in a Kansai dialect, and acts like a complete guy while in Inori’s body. The contrasts are played with hilariously amongst the citizens of clovertown, particularly with Kaoru, the cuckoolander who runs the donut shop. While Peach andBerrysearch for the Nakewameke, they assume that Kaoru remains unchanged, but in reality he’s swapped with an American bullfrog, which results in minimal differences, but maximum comedic effect due to this observation.

Lifestyle Adjustment

The Smile girls have a difficult time keeping up with Candy, much to the delight of the audience.

Dealing with the adjustment is quite a task for those involved in the switch, not only between the switched individuals, but those who are aware of the switch itself. In smile, the other Cures have to deal with Candy by keeping it a secret, whereas in Fresh, the other Cures have to fix up the entire town while Inori’s parents are left to deal with her and Tarte.

Smile’s switch had hilarious consequences at school; Candy’s antics was displayed through a wide variety of classes, including homeroom, classical Japanese literature, social studies, science, and even gym. The other girls have extreme difficulty keeping up with Candy’s boundless energy, and their facial reactions are effectively comical and expressive, probably a high note in art quality for the series so far.

Fresh’s switch was made more hectic due to the city-wide switch, but was capitulated by Inori and Tarte’s switch. The potential repercussions of the switch are imagined by Inori’s friends, Love and Miki, who worry that they will be unable to go to dance practice or perform as PreCure. Their imagine spots of Weasel!Inori going through the motions leaves them with utterly hilarious reactions, which by this point, is a radical departure in facial animation in the series. It’s more apparent in this show at this point, but becomes a more regular feature later on, much to Fresh’s benefit.

Realization of Perspective

Happy Shower is even more awesome when Cure Candy does it!

The realization of perspective allows the flipped characters to see through the eyes of each other, resulting in a newly formed bond between the two. In terms of PreCure, this allows them to transform despite having switched bodies.

In Smile, Miyuki is able to transform into a PreCure while in Candy’s body due to her realization of Candy’s great, yet futile efforts at school, resulting in the hilariously awesome Cure Candy. As Cure Candy, Miyuki uses her ears (Hair? Ears? What exactly are those, anyway?) as limbs for fighting, which she utilizes for maximum effect. This is also the first episode in the series where a fully choreographed fight finally shows up. Cure Candy fights a lot like Yoda in the new Star Wars movies, fast and nimble, but remarkably strong and skilled. Cure Candy still uses Happy Shower, but the variation in her attack animation is noticeable but still awesome all at once.

Fresh’s realization of perspective happens to Inori while she is treated for a wound on her tail. She has a word with her dad, a veterinarian, who explains to her that animals have different sensory thresholds than humans. Inori, having learned that her fear of ferrets stems from a childhood incident where she was bitten by one, which she knows now from first-hand experience, that the bite didn’t mean to harm. She learns to get along with Tarte, which enables Tarte to transform into Cure Pine while in her body. It turns out that Tarte is just as capable a fighter as the girls, which is a breath of fresh air for the viewers. While Cure Candy is a more stark departure in animation, seeing Cure Pine fight with Tarte’s voice is pretty damn cool in its own right.

The Verdict

Cure Tarte was never fully realized, but that doesen't make Fresh's swap any less enjoyable.

Looking at both shows, it is very different at first to determine which episode I liked more. I’ll have to give the nod to Smile, simply due to the large amounts of comedy that the situation provided from both the good guys and bad guys’ perspectives, as well as the remarkable action sequence that finally showed up in the series.

However, I still really like Fresh’s freaky Friday episode, which I realize now is the reason why Inori is my favourite character on the show. She really came out of her shell as the timid type in this episode, and going forward, she really became her own character within the cast. It’s still my favourite episode in the entire series.

Even though both shows had the same premise, their differences in execution, as well as their respective abilities to execute those differences in a very competent manner, manage to keep the trope…

*puts on sunglasses*

…quite fresh.

YYYYEEEAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

PreCure Power Rankings

1. Yayoi/Cure Peace – she didn’t hog the limelight, but her reactions to the situation were quite hilarious, and the best of the group.
2. Akane/Cure Sunny – unlike Yayoi, she hammed up the episode big time, and really provided the energy that the episode needed to provide the comedy.
3. Miyuki/Cure Candy – she was the central character of the episode, alongside Candy. Their relationship was examined well enough, but could have used more.
4. Nao/Cure March – she played the straight character in this comedy of errors, and for the most part, she did a great job at showing how ridiculous everyone else looked.
5. Reika/Cure Beauty – while she was a bit of the odd one out during the flip, she had a pretty great physical exchange with the Akanbe during the fight.

12 thoughts on “Smile PreCure! Episode 8: A Fresh Freaky Friday Flip!

    1. It’s the power of friendship! Miyuki’s determination to save Candy came through in the most spectacular way. This is definitely one of the more memorable episodes in the entire franchise.

  1. Best comedic episode so far! That swap thing I have seen in some anime out there, but I can honestly only think of DBZ…as for Smile precure I really enjoyed how they did it. Then again I haven’t seen Fresh Precure yet maybe I should watch the swap episode? I laughed when you said Inori from Fresh was scared of ferrets! LOL I can’t imagine how insane that was for her to change bodies.

    Miyuki as Candy was great! I loved that fight at the end I figured the overall theme would be something cheesy about being short or something like that. And then we have Candy as Miyuki! That was pure comic gold right there! And whenever Yayoi made that comment about the Kuru to the teacher my mind went Ika Musume?! Damn if only Yayoi had something like that…the best school moment had to be in gym class with Candy running away with the basketball.

    Akane was her usual cool self <3

    The bad guys were great too! I almost forgot how crazy things got with them and the witch character good god I think love the entire Smile Precure cast…Where are you Joker? I WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

    1. Inori’s fear of ferrets early on in the series is pretty great, especially considering that her goal in life is to become a veterinarian. The mark of writing likeable, memorable characters is to make them contradict themselves. Inori is a pretty good example of one such charcter within the precure franchise! The swap episode is definitely great to check out, but it’s an Inori and Tarte-centric episode, so you won’t get to see much of the other girls in action.

      The last thing we need is Yayoi being super meta and saying -de geso at the end of her sentences! I mean, she’s pretty great, but I love her just the way she is, haha. What I loved a lot about Cure Candy was that the production team went out of their way to re-animate what would normally be stock footage just for this episode. The budget was pretty good in this episode, and was reasonably low on the Meguca-esque animation moments. I know we won’t see something like this in a while, but it’s great to appreciate while it’s still here.

      Akane is olev. Nothing else needs to be said!

      I would love an episode that featured the villain’s viewpoint. They can still have a similar slice of life type of storyline going on within the episode, and still get beaten by the PreCure at the end. It would be an awesome take on the weekly format, and I would love Toei forever if they went through with it, but chances are pretty slim. I kind of liked how Joker wasn’t in this episode. Him being there would be great, no doubt, but his absence feels a bit sinister, since he’s too serious for this level of hijinx, but isn’t above being crazy himself. He straddles a fine line of insanity, and I think his brand of hijinx brings a sense of dread over the coming episodes. Would love to see him again as well, either way.

    2. True that on Yayoi! I do enjoy listening to her talk without the required use of de geso and other usual Ika Musume speech related fun! Hisako Kanemoto has slowly appeared in a few of my favorite shows this season with her role as Asteria in Rinne no Lagrange and a side character in Mouretsu Pirates and she returns as Yuki from Kore wa zombie desu ka? The funny thing so about all those characters is the fact are all blonde girls…I smell a trend for her voice roles.

      I love that idea of a episode from the villains perspective! I can imagine the orge waking up after smashing his alarm clock followed by running out of the “castle” with a giant piece of toast in his mouth! Time to get to “work” aka challenge the Smile precure girls to a battle and at the end of the episode he returns home and drags himself to bed after patching himself up. That sounds like a typical episode <3

    3. I really loved Hisako Kanemoto’s role in Sora no Woto. I still think it’s her best role so far, even though her trademark is probably Ika Musume now. I’ll have to check out Rinne, though. It seems like my kind of show, haha!

  2. @krizzlybear episode 11-13 titles:
    Episode 11: The Pretty Cures Become Tiny!?
    Episode 12: Awakening Power! Rainbow Healing!!
    Episode 13: Excursion! Miyuki and the Happy Depths of Kyoto!?

    what do you think about the next episodes titles?

    1. 11: Honey! I Shrunk the Kids! the movie comes to mind, but knowing Smile, they could really do anything at this point. I imagine that such a situation involves Majorina’s nefarious (yet such blandly named) concoctions.
      12: Rainbow Healing is the name of their combination attack, as I’ve read around in various 2ch and /a/ forums. It seems a bit early to me to get such a power-up, but I think that Yes 5’s combination attack came a bit late as well, so we’ll just have to see how it works.
      13: Field trip episode. Definitely more civilian antics, it reminds me of the Fresh PreCure episode where they go to Okinawa. That one was pretty neat, since it involved romantic development between Love and one of the side characters. I can imagine that this one would be less serious.

      Overall, I think we’re in store for some pretty neat episodes. I’m a bit concerned that there aren’t any prominent side-characters being introduced, though.

  3. Hahaha! Totally laughed out loud episode!

    Yayoi was like “I can’t take it anymore!” and her expression during Candy’s antics kept me entertaining and laughing. Since you’ve made a comparison about Smile and Fresh Precure, It took my interest and decided to watch it when I found a copy.

    1. I can imagine that I’ll be doing similar comparisons between precure series when this show is airing. It’d be a great way to expose first-timers to other Precure franchises, as well as outline how each series can be different from each other in some ways despite having similar formulas.

    1. Oh my goodness, that’s pretty damn hilarious. Smile is really good at small shout-outs like that. I have a .gif that compares the end of Cure Beauty’s transformation sequence with a mecha animation sequence (probably gundam). The movements are spot-on!

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