Even though the Pretty Cure franchise has a noticeable periphery demographic in older ages (mostly males, but many females as well), the overwhelming audience that makes up the fan base consists of girls in elementary school. It requires a special kind of multi-demographic appeal to get this kind of mix that Toei has cultivated. It is achieved through a nice blend of simple storytelling carrying a deceptive amount of substance, as well as a versatile brand of humour and inability to take oneself seriously.
This is perhaps best highlighted in episode 38, where Majorina turns the PreCure gang into little kids. Through one of her many ridiculous inventions (a primary example of the silliness exuded by this show and other iterations), the girls are once again in a tight bind, and even though they resolve to find Majorina and turn them back, they find themselves distracted by everything, especially the antics of a kid-ified Wolfrun and Aka Oni. The silliness culminates when they are forced to transform, only to find their powers ineffective in their childlike forms.
What makes this particular scene highly effective is that it’s not just a throwaway excuse plot to show the PreCure as cute kids. The production pays special attention to the minor details that execute this deceptively simple premise. The best example of this is essentially the conscious decision to play around with the transformation sequence. The flashy backgrounds are simplified to children’s colourings, yet the show’s characteristic thick line-art is keenly adapted. The audience’s familiarity with the PreCure girls’ catchphrases and recurring bits are played around with, particularly Cure Peace’s weekly jan-ken-pon segment, which further established that even as a kid, Peace is ostensibly unbeatable at her game.
This particular episode was a brief reminder to Nao (it was technically her spotlight episode, despite everyone being affected by Majorina’s scheme) that she can remain a kid at heart, despite being the eldest in the household. In a way, it was a gentle and entertaining reminder to the periphery audience that it’s also okay to like this sort of thing, especially when it’s done as effectively as it was. There’s no shame in liking fun things. Fun things are fun, after all.