Doki Doki! PreCure’s Cast Makes Me Doki-Doki

Doki Doki! PreCure

*Editing note: How the hell did I get Sword and Rosetta’s seiyuu mixed up? Don’t know. Don’t ask, either, but the changes have been made. Yikes!*

It was preciesely a year ago to this very day when I wrote about my excitement about the official announced cast of Smile PreCure, and while most of my initial hype was for Marina Inoue’s role as Nao Midorikawa/Cure March, I found myself awed by Hisako Kanemoto’s portrayal of Yayoi Kise/Cure Peace, a performance worthy of being one of 2012’s best among seiyuu.

In fact, the entire cast of Smile did a wonderful job with their assigned roles. PreCure is generally very strong with regards to voice acting, and despite vocal standouts such as Yukana (Chobits, Code Geass) as Cure White, Eri Kitamura (Toradora, Sora no Woto) as Cure Berry, Nana Mizuki (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Princess Tutu) as Cure Blossom, Ami Koshimizu (Spice and Wolf, School Rumble) as cure Melody, and of course Inoue Marina (Minami-ke, Gurren Lagann)the main ensemble of Cures are strong as a singular unit.

Doki Doki PreCure is no different. With the official cast announced over the weekend, I am excited to see a cast that may not have as much star power as previous iterations, but appears strong, top-down. Let’s take a look at each of the seiyuu involved with the new show.

Hitomi Nabatame as Aida Mana/Cure Heart

Doki Doki! PreCure

Of all the seiyuu announced in Doki, Hitomi Nabatame has the most extensive resume, credited for roles such as the sporty Mikoto Sou in School Rumble, the bottle fairy-flame haze Margery Daw in Shakugan no Shana, and most recently, Cryska from Muv-Luv Alternative. She even has history with the PreCure franchise, having voiced one of Nagisa’s lacrosse teammates in Futari wa Pretty Cure. My favourite Hitomi-voiced character, however, would be Saori from Ore no Imouto, in which she portrayed a tall, level-headed otaku girl with a unique brand of fandom for anime.

Hitomi shows great range with the variety of roles that she has played, although she has never really broken out into the upper echelon of popularity among seiyuu. She will have her work cut out for her, as the history of PreCure leads is a storied one which includes the likes of Ami Koshimizu and Nana Mizuki. I have no worries about her abilities, and am sure that she will live up to the tradition of the lead heroine.

Minako Kotobuki as Rikka Hishikawa/Cure Diamond

Doki Doki! PreCure

Minako doesn’t appear to have many roles in anime relative to her more experienced counterpart in Hitomi, but her immense popularity stems from her role as Tsumugi Kotobuki from the wildly successfull K-ON!, as well as her membership in the renowned seiyuu group, Sphere. Ever since her breakout with Mugi, she’s enjoyed success in a number of other shows like Tiger and Bunny (as Blue Rose), A-channel (as Yuuko Nishi) and most recently, Aikatsu (as Mizuki Kanzaki).

Her role as the aloof top idol Mizuki in Aikatsu is of particular note, as experience in the show itself lends very well to a show like Doki. Both are aimed at similar audience demographics and are year-long projects. While Minako has only seen work in shorter series, roles in Aikatsu and Doki make for a very busy 2013. Will she elevate herself to the superstardom of fellow Sphere alumni Aki Toyosaki? Probably not, as PreCure isn’t exactly the launching pad for popularity, but you can rely on her to not only do justice to Cure Diamond’s character, but perhaps become the most popular character in the show.

Mai Fuchigami as Alice Yotsuba/Cure Rosetta

Doki Doki! PreCure

Mai Fuchigami is pretty new in the seiyuu business, having to date only a single notable role starring Miho Nishizumi from the 2012 hit series Girls Und Panzer. That said, don’t be fooled by abilities. There’s a pretty good set of chords in that girl, and if Panzer is any indication, she can go from a shy wallflower to a determined fighter in an instant. That said, the disconnect that Alice from the rest of society due to her rich background lends reasonably well to that distance that Miho has early on, though not precisely due to the same reasons. She’ll have to adapt slightly to the mannerisms of an ojou-like girl, which is probably more suited for a girl with experience with Miho’s partner in tankery, Hana Isuzu, but given that Mai came out of “nowhere” to star in such a prominent role, I’m not worried one bit.

Doki Doki brings an interesting alternate challenge outside of voicing the actual character itself, and that’s with regards to the process of voicing a character for an entire year. The process is long and full of adjustments along the way, and almost every PreCure has some instances of actresses getting better throughout, such as Misato Fukuen’s role as Cure Happy, which got a lot better. This gives me a lot of optimism for Mai’s Alice, as she’ll be given the opportunity to get even better at the business.

Kanako Miyamoto as Makoto Kenzaki/Cure Sword

Doki Doki! PreCure

One would think at first glance that Kanako Miyamoto would be just as new to the seiyuu scene as her panzer-faring counterpart, Mai, but a separation of a few months and having one or two more series under her belt makes all the difference in the world. With Naru Arata from Eureka Seven AO and Mikoto from Tanken Driland on her resume, I’m already quite sold on Kanako’s ability as a seiyuu. Furthermore, as I mentioned with regards to Cure Rosetta’s seiyuu, The demands of a long-running show is a wonderful experience for newbies to the industry, and not only does Tanken Driland provide the best starting point, but the production of that show lends well to PreCure, since they are both aimed at kids and have lots of action going on.

Comparing Mikoto to Cure Sword is a lot more interesting than comparing to Cure Rosetta, which is what I did mistakenly when I wrote this post yesterday (I still regret everything!), but this casting decision makes a whole lot more sense in my eyes, having watched the few episodes of Driland when it was first airing (and still is at this point). Mikoto is a fish out of water, yet a very capable fighter with a strong moral conviction. Makoto’s background with the Trumps Kingdom makes her more familiar with the PreCure mythos than the others, but requires her to adapt to the life amongst the humans in Ada’s world. I wouldn’t be surprised if I kept misspelling Makoto as Mikoto in my posts as the series progresses, sigh.

Doki Doki! PreCure’s cast is a ragtag bunch of individuals who are highly talented despite a relative lack of star power compared to previous years. While names can sell a show to fans, it’s the performance that counts in the end, and PreCure as a whole has always been excellent in this regard. I can’t wait for February to come!

7 thoughts on “Doki Doki! PreCure’s Cast Makes Me Doki-Doki

  1. Wow so much amazing information here Krizzly!

    -Cure Heart: I don’t know much about Hitomi Nabatame outiside of the drunken Margery Daw from Shakugan but she did have several combat scenes so I think it is a perfect fit, as for her role as Saori from Ore no Imouto that has me excited! I remember she had a great voice for comedy or generally “messing around” with people…maybe she will be the fun slapstick comedic type like Akane from Smile or probably better as a Miyuki~

    -Cure Diamond: We might as well call her Cure Blue Rose or Cure moe keyboard player? I can’t wait to hear Minako running around in Doki! I almost forgot she was Blue Rose in Tiger and Bunny which is perfect because she did get into some crazy fights and she also showed some emotional scenes…I kind of wonder what her power base is? Water? Ice? Something new? also catch phrases like you said on twitter! They are key in precure <3

    -Cure Rosetta: Wait is she going to teach me different languages?! That would require a lot of sub work, I only know of Kanako's voice work from Eureka Seven Ao which pushed her role as Naru into best friend of the main character; however she was playing a generic sickly girl, but without spoiling that series her character goes through several changes resulting in her becoming a leader/mecha pilot near the end~ So I believe she has the skills to be semi serious and emotional actress which fits in precure because there are a lot of "feel" themed episodes of course.

    -Cure Sword: I wonder how many swords she can wield at once?! Two swords like Lamirito from SAO? No way! She should just go for broke and copy Zoro from One piece with his amazing three sword style or go the Basara side and use six like Date?! HELL YA! Anyway I am with you on Mai's job on Panzer which pushed her from shy quiet girl to AWESOME leader which has me thinking maybe she will take up the role as Doki Doki leader? NAwww just kidding I get the feeling she is going to be a lot like Cure Moonlight not because she has purple as a color scheme, but Sword looks like the "kick ass" character~ I guess with a name like sword I kind of expect a skilled fighter type.

    So far I am all kinds of excited to see Doki Doki! Even though right now I am only digging Cure Sword and Cure Diamond, but just like Smile Precure I find it really hard to say who I like because damn all of them are so entertaining! Even now I can watch Reika and Nao and say they are my favorites xD

    1. Love the wall of text, fosh. I’m not going to respond to the comments about Alice/Makoto, since I originally flipped their seiyuu by accident (bah), but I will definitely comment about Heart/Diamond.

      Mana’s seiyuu sounds typically lead-like from what I’ve heard in the PV, but it’s not really too difficult to voice that kind of character. I’m actually more interested in what her PreCure voice will sound like, as it will probably be something shana-ish or even a bit of MuvLuv. Just hoping that she doesn’t go crazy or anything, haha.

      Cure Diamond’s colour coding ensures that if the precure attacks are anything elemental-based, hers will be either water or ice for sure. But since this is Diamond we’re talking about, another interesting possibility that matches the colour would be something gem-related. PreCure Diamond Cutter perhaps? Sounds pretty legit to me. We’ll just have to wait and see!

  2. But Kriz! Kanako Miyamoto! She’s actually voicing Cure Sword, and how can you forget that she sang the first endings for Yes! Precure 5 and Gogo? Maybe it doesn’t have much to do with voice acting, but still!

    Other than that slip, very nice writeup! I’m personally most interested in hearing more Hitomi Nabatame in this kind of role, because I only remember her more mature roles like Ryoko Yakushiji. There’s a pretty big contrast with the voices that spring to my head when I see the name and what I’d expect from a Precure main character.

  3. Several of us in the fansub community have had long discussions about Yotsuba-san (Cure Rosetta) and have come to the conclusion that her given name is probably Arisu and not Alice. Arisu is a name with a long Japanese history, well before there was any western influence. In fact, there are over 100 kanji combinations that can be used to spell Arisu. The character listings all list it in hirigana (ありす), which is the main deciding factor here. She also appears to be the daughter of a family running a large traditional privately held corporation, which lends credence to it being the traditional name rather than the western one. If they had meant the western “Alice” it likely would have been written in katakana instead (アリス). Of course, depending on other factors in her family background (are her parents foreigners? etc), that may change, but that’s the thinking of most of the translators at this point.

    1. That’s a very interesting point you bring up. As soon as I saw the initial leaks for the character names, I looked into the usage of Alice/Arisu in Japanese media, and the first thing that I came up upon was a little write-up about the localization of Alice Mizuki from Serial Experiments Lain. Although the write-up itself was from the now-defunct Anime Grapevine (and by extension, is from 2001 and is outdated as hell), it brought up some interesting points in regards to various reasonings behind using the Western version in fansubs/official TL.

      In this particular case, there was enough evidence in the show itself (arabic character usage, mainly) that lent to the usage of the Alice instead of Arisu, but what drew my attention here was the numerous references to Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland. While Doki Doki doesn’t directly make reference to the book itself (probably a bit more fitting for Smile), the visual motif of playing card suits is a common thread between the two works, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Yotsuba-san’s given name was intentional for this very reason.

      That said, whether or not Rosetta’s name came from Carroll’s book shouldn’t be a deciding factor in determining how it should be presented in subs. As you already mentioned, we’ll have to wait to see if there’s any textual evidence that pops up. I won’t mind whatever initial decision the fansubbers will make in this case (I’m assuming and hoping that Doremi will continue with their excellent work with this franchise this year); I just hope that they end up being correct down the road so that they don’t have to go back and v2 their work. Thanks a bunch for the comment, I’m glad that subbers are reading my blog.

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